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So lovers of life, don’t keep your hopes up high.
Why? Cause it’s just a matter of time before it’s your turn to die.
But until then, when you stop breathin’,
It’s time to stand up and fight for what you believe in!
Sticky Fingaz, “2 Wrongz,” from Onyx’s All We Got Iz Us,  1995
Back in the days when I was a teenager,
Before I had status, and before I had a pager,
You could find The Abstract, listening to hip-hop,
My pops used to say it reminded him of be-bop.
I said, ‘Well daddy don’t you know that things go in cycles.
The way that Bobby Brown is just ampin’ like Michael.
It’s all expected, things are for the lookin’,
If you got the money, Quest is for the bookin’.
Q-Tip, “Excursions,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory, 1991
Lookin’ out at the world through my window pane,
Every day has many colors ‘cause the glass is stained.
Everything has changed but remains the same,
So once again the mirror raised.
And I see myself as clear as day,
And I am goin’ to the limits of my ultimate destiny,
Feeling as though somebody somewhere is testin’ me.
He who sees the end from the beginning of time
Looking forward through all the ages:
Is, was, and always shall be.
MCA, “B-Boy Bouillabaisse (A Year And A Day),” from Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, 1989. Rest in power, Adam Yauch (1964 – 2012).
Put this in your CD-ROM:
www dot Canibus dot com.
You can find me on the Internet, talkin’ to chicks
That was sweatin’ me off the ‘Music Makes Me High’ remix.
I be talkin’ mad trash, tryin to get ’em to laugh.
See, if I click and drag long enough I’ll get the ass…
Canibus, “Making a Name For Ourselves,” from Common’s One Day It’ll All Make Sense, 1998
Infrareds on little people standing with some big heads,
I was Captain Kirk, walkin’ with a black t-shirt.
LAPD, the nurse asked did my knee hurt?
I was in pain, little Martians tryin’ ta take my brain,
Hospitals came, detectives wrote down my name.
I was to blame, my life never been the same.
A true story; I tell ya, it’ll never bore me.
My classmate died, my other friend named Cory
Drinkin’ 40s, he jumped out the project window,
Stabbed himself with a yellow number 2 pencil.
Kool Keith, “Object Unknown,” from DJ Spooky featuring Kool Keith Object Unknown, 1998
I don’t respect killers, I respect O.G. knowledge,
Codes of the streets got new rules, but no guidance.
Lessons, detrimental to a young disciple;
Folks, take care of your brothers, niggas do as I do.
Keep your enemies close, where they can see you.
It’s not your enemy who get you, it’s always your own people.
Nas, “In Between Us,” from Scarface’s The Fix, 2002
…Cops just surrounding me with pistols everywhere.
They put me in the backseat of their car handcuffed,
Pushed out them chests like they’re big rough and tough.
A cop come and said ‘You’ll never sell your guns now.’
I said ‘It doesn’t matter, you’ll sell them anyhow.
You take the guns from me, you sell them for a fee;
Anyway you put it, they’ll get in the city!’
KRS-One, “100 Guns,” from Boogie Down Productions’ Edutainment, 1990
Yo, where the teachers went, with all that pro-black shit?
Where all the conscious niggas, who used to chat like this?
See, I remember yesterday when y’all was Gods and Earths,
Egyptians and metaphysicists on the verge of giving birth
To Understanding, and planting seeds that grow.
Now everybody’s on that bullshit about killing and so.
Wise Intelligent, “Conscious Style,” The New World Order, 1996

I seen her in the subway, on my way to Brooklyn.
“Hello, good lookin, is this seat tooken?”

On the A Train, pickin at her brain,
I couldn’t get her number, I couldn’t get her name.

I said, “I still like your style and fashion,
But I hate your hot sadiddy attitude wit a passion.
Is it because brothers like to hawk a lot?
Is it because your sign don’t talk a lot?”

She turned away, no play, I said, “OK,
You don’t really look good, I hope you have a bad day.”

Rakim, “What’s On Your Mind,” from Eric B. & Rakim’s Don’t Sweat the Technique, 1992

The poor get worked, the rich get richer,
The world gets worse, do you get the picture?
The poor gets dead, the rich get depressed,
The ugly get mad, the pretty get stressed.
The ugly get violent, the pretty get gone,
The old get stiff, the young get stepped on.

Whoever told you that “it was all good” lied,
So throw your fists up if you not satisfied.

J-Live, “Satisfied,” All of the Above, 2002