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.
Havoc, “Survival of the Fittest,” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 1995.
‘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.
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.
Nas, “Daughters,” Life is Good, 2012. More from Nas…
Stop walking through life as if you were blind,
You should reach for your goal cause I’m reaching for mine.
MC Shan, “The Bridge,” Down by Law, 1987
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.
Nas, “Self Conscience,” from Nas & Ill Will Records Presents QB’s Finest, 2000. More from Nas >
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.
Tragedy Khadafi, “Calm Down,” Thug Matrix II, 2006. More from The Intelligent Hoodlum…
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.
Cormega, “Industry,” Mega Philosophy, 2014. More wisdom from ‘Mega…
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.
Cormega, “Industry,” Mega Philosophy, 2014
I never sleep, ‘cause sleep is the cousin of death.
Nas, “N.Y. State of Mind,” Illmatic, 1994
This game is lame, the music comes second
So you can save that stupidness for all them artists you checkin.
Popularity don’t last long, I’m in it for classics,
Cause the other side of the biz is fake and it’s plastic.
Craig G., “Classic Personified,” Ramblings of an Angry Old Man, 2012
What you base your happiness around?
Material, women, and large paper?
That means you inferior, not major.
Nas, “No Idea’s Original,” The Lost Tapes, 2002
Everything will eventually come to an end,
So try to savor the moment, cause time flies, don’t it?
The beauty of life, you gotta make it last for the better,
Cause nothin’ lasts forever.
Nas, “Nothing Lasts Forever,” The Lost Tapes, 2002
I know you think my life is good ‘cause my diamond piece,
But my life been good since I started finding peace.
Nas, “Loco-Motive,” Life Is Good, 2012
Inhale deep like the words of my breath,
I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.
Nas, “New York State of Mind,” Illmatic, 1994
Every coast gotta know, I’m the most with the flow,
No joke I’m a pro, I’m like The Pope on the low.
AZ, “I Am the Truth,” The Format, 2006. Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected as the 266th pope of the Catholic Church yesterday.
…Shorty’s laugh was cold-blooded as he spoke so foul,
Only twelve tryin to tell me that he liked my style.
Then I rose, wiping the blunt’s ash from my clothes,
Then froze, only to blow the herb smoke through my nose.
Nas, “One Love,” Illmatic, 1994
Party’s over, tell the rest of the crew.
Mobb Deep, “Party Over,” The Infamous, 1995
If rhyme is a crime, my mic is my co-defendant.
Cormega, “Focused Up,” from Large Professor’s Professor @ Large, 2012
It’s a thin line between paper and hate,
Friends and snakes, nine millis and thirty-eights,
Hell or the pearly gates…I was destined to come,
Predicted, blame God, He blew breath in my lungs.
Nas, “Hate Me Now,” I Am…, 1999
You know the wisdom is reflected in the knowledge when it’s manifested;
If not fed in due time, the mind is anorexic.
Cormega, “American Beauty,” The Realness, 2001
So you think that hip-hop had its start out in Queensbridge?
If you popped that junk up in the Bronx, you might not live!
KRS-One, “South Bronx,” from Boogie Down Productions’ Criminal Minded, 1987
Laugh now, cry later: this is the karma.
Hip-hop never died, it’s just sick of the drama.
Cormega, “Journey,” Born and Raised, 2009
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
When I need bread, I grab the toaster and stick niggas for they crumbs.
Akinyele, “The Robbery Song,” Put It in Your Mouth EP, 1996
Your simple words just don’t move me…
You’re minor, we major.
You all up in the game and don’t deserve to be a player.
Prodigy, “Shook Ones Pt II,” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 1995
These ante meridiem cats, insomniacs…
Four in the mornin’ we throwin back some Cognac juice.
Prodigy, “Give It Up Fast,” from Mobb Deep’s Hell On Earth, 1996
I used to be in love with this bitch named E&J,
Don’t fuck with her no more, now I fuck with Tanqueray.
Tanqueray introduced me to her first cousin Gold,
Last name was English and the first name Olde.
Prodigy, “Drink Away the Pain (Situations),” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 1995
You not cut from the same cloth, you chinchilla soft,
I’m Brillo Pad coarse…take your skin off.
You rub me the wrong way,
You a suit and tie nigga…P hoodie all day.
Prodigy, “The Life,” H.N.I.C. 2, 2013
Take these words home and think it through;
Or the next rhyme I write might be about you.
Prodigy, “Shook Ones, Pt II”, from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 1995
I got lots of love for my crew, that is;
No love for them other crews and rival kids.
All them out-of-town niggas know what time it is,
And if they don’t? They need to buy a watch, word up.
Prodigy, “Just Step,” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 1995. More from Mobb Deep.
What’s poppin? My gun on ya head, nigga.
What’s crackin? The bones in ya head, nigga.
What’s really good? Nothin but the doe.
What’s really hood? You already know.
Prodigy, “You Already Know,” Mobb Deep & 50 Cent’s G-Unit Radio, Pt. 17: Best In The Business, 2006. More lyrics from P…
I’m only 19 but my mind is older…
When things get for real, my warm heart turns cold.
Prodigy, “Shook Ones Part II,” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 1995