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Funny how things change when you got a liquor in ya:
You’re quicker with the tongue, givin’ me rhythm now.
Block the music and the people out to admire the love,
The nerve of us…impervious to the entire club.
And like marijuana shotguns, let’s blow this joint,
It’s pointless to stay here, so let me anoint.
Pharoahe Monch, “The Light,” Internal Affairs, 1999. More Pharoahe Monch quotes.
Americanomics works, and I won’t argue that is true.
But if the economy is getting better, getting better for who?
Well, if you ask me, I’m doing much worse than before,
With the welfare cuts, I don’t eat no more.
So if I did wanna go out, I couldn’t go nowhere,
Cause I ate every last one of them reindeer.
Rudolph first, I went down the list,
I got so hungry, I just couldn’t resist.
I ate Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Dixon,
Fried them up and then started to mix them.
And before you knew it, they were all gone,
I wonder what y’all gonna do about my reindeer song!
Kool Moe Dee, “Santa’s Rap,” from Beat Street, 1984
It was December 24th on Hollis Ave. in the dark,
When I see a man chilling with his dog in the park.
I approached very slowly with my heart full of fear,
Looked at his dog, oh my God, an ill reindeer!
But then I was illin’ because the man had a beard,
And a bag full of goodies, 12 o’clock had neared.
So I turned my head a second and the man had gone,
But he left his driver’s wallet smack dead on the lawn.
I picked the wallet up, then I took a pause…
Took out the license and it cold said ‘Santa Claus!’
Run, “Christmas in Hollis,” from A Very Special Christmas, 1987
I said ‘Whoa, little hottie,
I’m not DeLorean, Gambino or Gotti.
I don’t deal coke,
And furthermore you’re making me broke.
I’ll put you in a rehab and I won’t tell your folks.’
And what do you know,
In 18 months she came home,
And I let her back in…
And now she’s sniffing again.
Smooth B., “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow,” from Nice & Smooth’s Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed, 1991.

From open mics to solutions, I got a collage of answers,
And a 10-point program, just like the Black Panthers:

1: First, respect yourself as an artist
If you don’t respect yourself, then your rhymes is garbage.

2: Make sure your crew is as tight as you
Cause when them niggaz fallin off, they gonna bring you down too.

3: Understand the meaning of MC
The power to Move the Crowd like Moses split the seas.

4: Know your shit and don’t ever be blunted
If you don’t know what your words mean, then your rhymes mean nothin.

5: Kick facts in the raps, and curse with clarity
What’s a curse when language is immersed in vulgarity?

6: We gonna fix industrial poli-tricks
Shit, they made an art form out of ridin dicks.

7: We soldiers for God needin new recruits
So if you rhymin for the loot, then you’s a prostitute.

8: Acknowledge that you need food on your plate
In order to say your grace, make sure your business is straight.

9: We buildin black minds with intelligence
And when you freestyle, keep the subject matter relevant.

10: Every MC grab a pen
And write some conscious lyrics to tell the children.

Talib Kweli, “Manifesto,” from Lyricist Lounge, Volume 1, 1998. More Talib Kweli quotes