Life’s a bitch and then you die.
That’s why we get high,
Cause you never know when you’re gonna go.
AZ, “Life’s a Bitch,” Illmatic, 1994. More from AZ…
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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.
Stop walking through life as if you were blind,
You should reach for your goal cause I’m reaching for mine.
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.
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.
I never sleep, ‘cause sleep is the cousin of death.
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.
What you base your happiness around?
Material, women, and large paper?
That means you inferior, not major.
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.
I know you think my life is good ‘cause my diamond piece,
But my life been good since I started finding peace.
Inhale deep like the words of my breath,
I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.
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.
…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.
Party’s over, tell the rest of the crew.
If rhyme is a crime, my mic is my co-defendant.
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.
You know the wisdom is reflected in the knowledge when it’s manifested;
If not fed in due time, the mind is anorexic.
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!
Laugh now, cry later: this is the karma.
Hip-hop never died, it’s just sick of the drama.
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.
When I need bread, I grab the toaster and stick niggas for they crumbs.
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.
These ante meridiem cats, insomniacs…
Four in the mornin’ we throwin back some Cognac juice.
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.
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.
Take these words home and think it through;
Or the next rhyme I write might be about you.
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.
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.
I’m only 19 but my mind is older…
When things get for real, my warm heart turns cold.
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.
‘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.