The world is kinda cold and the rhythm is my blanket.
Q-Tip, “Verses from the Abstract,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory, 1991
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My crew’s all about loot.
Fuck looking cute,
I’m strictly Timb boots and Army-certified suits.
Puffin L’s, laid back, enjoying the smell,
In the Bridge, getting down…it ain’t hard to tell.
From the bottom of my heart, that’s where the love starts:
The love for breakdancing, my love for the art.
And with this love, I do hip-hop from the soul,
A real MC, who never sweats how many copies are sold.
Yeah, I want to go gold, platinum, et ceteras,
But why put out some wackness when no one will respect ya?
I’m staying true, nuff respect to those that paved the way,
From Bambaata down to Shah (that be my DJ).
Without my peeps, I dont know how the hell I’d make it, word…
Sometimes I feel that my career is headed for the curb.
One love for the lendin’ hand and givin’ all your help,
Believing in me when I didn’t believe in my own self.
The Abstract, with whom I’m always making rugged tunes,
Kid Hood, restin’ in heaven, I hope to see you soon.
Question: Why is that MC’s be wack
And major labels wanna sign that crap?
Your whole appearance is a lie and it could never be true.
And if you really loved yourself, then you would try and be you.
I like ‘em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian.
Name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation.
Used to have a crush on Dawn from En Vogue.
It’s not like honey dip would wanna get with me,
But just in case I own more condoms than TLC.
The thing that men and women need to do is stick together,
Progressions can’t be made if we’re separate forever.
Serve the curves, I never swerve I’m superb;
Every word you heard played tricks on your nerves.
I’m a beast on the microphone, a night stalker,
A killing machine, a savage street talker,
Jason with an axe, but I put it on wax
To eradicate the suckers who thought I had relaxed.
Money is the key to end all your woes,
Your ups, your downs, your highs, and your lows.
Won’t you tell me last time love bought your clothes?
‘Cause in my physical I can express through song,
Delete stress like Motrin, then extend strong.
I drink Moet with Medusa, give her shotguns in hell
From the spliff that I lift and inhale…it ain’t hard to tell.
Deep like The Shining, sparkle like a diamond,
Sneak a Uzi on the Island in my army jacket lining.
Hit the Earth like a comet…invasion,
Nas is like the Afrocentric Asian: half-man, half-amazing.
It ain’t hard to tell, I excel then prevail,
The mic is contacted, I attract clientele.
My mic check is life or death, breathing a sniper’s breath,
I exhale the yellow smoke of buddha through righteous steps.
Asparagus tips look yummy, yummy, yummy,
Candied yams inside my tummy.
A collage of good eats, some snacks or nice treats,
Apple sauce and some nice red beets.
This is what we snack on when we’re questin’.
Back in the days was kinda crazy, kid: I started out with nothin’.
Wasn’t livin’ like Thanksgiving; I was turkey without the stuffin’.
Baby, baby, baby, I don’t wanna be rude,
But I know the cause of your bloody attitude.
I know why you act that way,
It usually happens on the 28th day.
I respect that…crazily,
When you’re done with the pads, can you come check me?
Brothers ain’t shit,
So don’t honk your horn, keep rolling.
No, I don’t wanna ride cause the shit might be stolen.
Anyway, I know your number:
You got a ‘Gas, Grass or Ass’ sticker on your bumper.
The way mothers feel for they sons, how fathers feel for they daughters;
When he date, he straight, chip off his own papa.
When she date, we wait behind the door with the sawed off,
Cause we think no one is good enough for our daughters.
Now Joe wanna be like Bob,
Bob got it goin’ on with no job.
And everything Rob got he got from Robin,
And everything she got, she got ho-hoppin’.
My girl Jilly wanna be like Jackie,
Fat rope chains and I think that’s wick-wacky.
Tom and Dick wanna be like Harry,
Little do they know he’s bitin’ on Barry…
They been calling me a criminal for so damn long,
Start to believe they right…and they gon’ make me do something wrong.
You see me in the hood, you think I’m trynna rob you.
I’m just talking to you when you think I’m trynna con you?
No matter what, they gon’ call me a crook.
So you think I give a fuck if I look like a motherfuckin’ criminal?
Stop walking through life as if you were blind,
You should reach for your goal cause I’m reaching for mine.
I’m just a bastard with a bad habit,
Bad back, in a black Volkswagen Rabbit
…Shit, I gotta have it.
Black magic woman put a spell on me;
Fuck around and win a spelling bee.
I could walk under ladders, still win the lotto.
Ten minutes flat: built a boat in a bottle.
Fear is weakness, learn from what experience teaches.
Beware of leeches, the vampires, my secrets…
Never follow, cause most niggas is straight up cowards.
Take care of my body’s the temple, my mind is the power.
A thin line between the haters and the ones who love us.
A thinner line from the freedom and the foul judges,
In the streets where the snake niggas hold grudges.
My mic is a Magnum.
See me and this chick, we go back like Cro-Magnon.
Man…we did it in the back of your Magnum;
I said, ‘Put them Lifestyles back, give me the Magnums.’
This is business: they don’t care about your lyrics;
The better you sell, the better future for their children.
Controversy sells, so they support conflict,
Makes more progress, means more profit.
An artist gets killed, they say they’re ‘so sorry,’
Meanwhile, they tell you the date of his next project.
What a life…death made them more profit:
Record companies get paid for your drama.
Rappers hate each other, not the labels that got rich,
Don’t care about culture, they only want profit.
If your album sell slow, bet you’ll get dropped quick;
Q-Tip warned us: the industry’s toxic.
For reference, check out BDP’s Sex and Violence.
Different day, same shit, ain’t nothing good in the hood,
I’d run away from this bitch and never come back, if I could.
Squeeze 7cc’s so I could see the seven seas,
And CC all my friends so they could see what I was seeing…
But what they saw was a despicable human being;
So, I guess they just wasn’t seeing what I was seeing.
Shorty, let me tell you about my only vice:
It has to do with lots of lovin’, and it ain’t nuttin’ nice.