You can see the weakness of a man right through his iris.
RZA, “4th Chamber,” from GZA’s Liquid Swords, 1995. More jewels from RZA…
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This ain’t the world we thought it was when we as in pre-school.
Sometimes it’s hard to be cool, sometimes I feel like I’m see-through.
Sometimes I really wish…I wish that I could be you.
Make peace not war, make babies some more, Keep a smile when you travel from shore to shore.
It’s like every step bring me close to destiny,
And every breath I get closer to the death of me.
I’m just tryna carry out my own legacy,
But the place I call home ain’t lettin’ me.
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.
…That’s when you start to stare at who’s in the mirror,
And see yourself as a kid again, and you get embarrassed.
And I got nothin’ to do but make you look stupid as parents,
You fuckin’ do-gooders; too bad you couldn’t do good at marriage!
I’mma tell you a little somethin about this chick around my way,
She was a dime with a brown skin complexion…
She looked so good you’d think you wouldn’t need protection,
Girlfriend was top choice selection, around in every section.
They got twisted, she said “No condom,” so he risked it,
Caught in the mix and now you sick kid.
Word is bond, I thought by now you learned your lesson:
Fucking around with no protection.
Think you figured it out, but you don’t have a clue.
Think you on top of the world, but the world on top of you.
God really exists, I tell you like this:
It resides inside.
And anybody tell you different,
Just selling you religion,
Tryin’ to keep your ass in line.
Different day, same shit, same script, different plate
This the way of the world, and I’m just tryin’ ta fit in place.
The world is full of bullshitters,
Liars, and triers and quitters,
Coulda-beens, wannabe’s, thought-I-was, isn’t-I-is’s…
And everybody in your business.
They say ‘Love Jesus’ and ‘Listen to your pastor,’
But Jesus told the truth, and the pastor’s a lying bastard.
All he talk about is economic elevation,
And all Jesus talked about was soul salvation.
Jesus sat with the sick and he walked with the poor,
If He gave blood for our sins, why we giving more?
I got some Gangster Disciples at church with me tonight,
With five dollars worth of gas, and a matchbook to light.
Picked up the yoga, put down the soda.
My healthy mind…that’s what’s gon’ help me over.
Life of a stoner (if you still concerned),
I never lose, I only win or learn;
It’s all about your state of mind.
You named them: hustlers, killers, fiends, ex-cons.
I called them: cousins, aunts, pops, moms.
To you? Hoodlums, crackheads, gunmens.
To me? Just neighbors, classmates, young friends.
Love is love, love is real, love is great.
But when it isn’t reciprocated, it could become hate.
I said, ‘What you wanna be?’ She said, ‘Alive.’
It made me think for a minute, then looked in her eyes
…I coulda died.
We still wading in the water…
Cocaine, blunts, marinating in the water.
Lean and took a puff, and then she gave it to my father,
Used to take the bullets out so I could play with the revolver.
Satan serenading ever since I was a toddler,
Tell ‘em talk is cheap…niggas living for the dollar.
Truth brings light, light refracts off the mirror,
Visions of yourself and error could never be clearer.
The truth is that you ugly…
Not on the outside, but in the inside;
On the outside, you frontin’ you lovely.
Don’t clock anybody, let them all clock you,
Don’t be down with anybody, let them all be down with you.
Stay self-managed, self-kept, self-taught,
Be your own man; don’t be borrowed, don’t be bought.
Nobody put the crack into the pipe,
Nobody made you smoke off your life.
You thought that you could do dope and still stay cool?
Fool…you played yourself.
People ask for God, ‘till the day He comes,
See God’s face…turn around and run.
God sees the face of a man,
Shaking his head, says “He’ll never understand.”
Working hard may help you maintain,
To learn to overcome the heartaches and pain.
I’m livin’ in times where my daughters are found around
Kids who can’t afford thinking caps…
But always found drinkin’ raps and eatin’ off beats,
Claimin’ laws of the streets. But who made the laws?
Everybody playin’ rebel with no sign of a cause.
Could hate a person, but in fact it’s not worth it.
Never know how long you’ve got on this earth, kid.
My feet might fail me, my heart might ail me,
The synagogues of Satan might accuse or jail me,
Strip, crown, nail me, brimstone hail me…
They might defeat the flesh but they could never ever kill me.
They might feel the music but could never ever feel me.
It seems to me like all these people claim to be the victim,
Acting like the whole entire world is out to get them.
Stand up on your own,
And prove that you are grown,
Because the life that you save may be your own.
I met a gypsy and she hipped me to some life game,
To stimulate, then activate the left and right brain.
Said, ‘Baby boy, you only funky as your last cut.
You focus on the past, your ass’ll be a has-what.’
That’s one to live by, or either that’s one to die to.
I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
Is urging me to be myself, but never follow someone else
Because opinions are like voices, we all have a different kind.
Can’t live with them…can’t live without them.
But I love a whole lot more than I hate about them.
They look good, feel good, and smell even better,
So why you acting like your mama didn’t use that leather?
‘B word’ this, ‘H bomb’ that.
In the midst all of this, I wonder: ‘Where your moms at?’
Cause if she ain’t one, then tell me where the hate from?
You just calm down, and maybe you can date one.
Buy some flowers, open up some doors.
She needs some tampons? Homie, go to the store.
Vitamin Water, a bottle of Motrin,
Teddy bear, candy bar, something, a token
Of affection, a step in that direction,
…Cause love is about progress, not perfection.
Life is something you can’t borrow and give back;
Here today and gone tomorrow…just like that.
My old soul remains forever young…
I’ve done it all, and still I’m doing shit that I ain’t ever done.
See, it depends on your definition of winning;
I ain’t started from the bottom, I started from the beginning.
You can take back all the things you give,
But you can’t take back the days you live.
Life is to some people who’ve been on earth
Livin’ every single day for what it’s worth.
I live life just how I please,
Satisfy one person I know: that’s me.
If I upset you, don’t stress. Never forget
That God isn’t finished with me yet.
I feel His hand on my brain…
When I write rhymes, I go blind and let the Lord do His thang.
Life is full of stress and it wrecks my brain,
So I puff the buddha bless and destroy the pain.
Even through the unseen, I know that God watches,
From one King’s dream, he was able to Barack us.
Now I don’t want to be a dopeman, listen:
I didn’t have a dime, a nickel, penny, a pot to piss in.
See, all my clothes had holes and they fit tight,
Pray to God cause it’s hard trying to live right.
Waiting on the train, can’t hang with the street gangs,
Making me insane, putting rain on my whole brain.
But the train means change to better thangs;
Can’t live with the negative and ghetto pains.
Can’t be late, can’t wait to get to where we’re going,
Almost ten to four and I’m sure that the train is showing.
But I ain’t sure where it goes, I don’t really know it,
But I got faith, that’s all it takes to get to where we’re going.
If you don’t got endz, you won’t be gettin’ no skinz,
And if you don’t got money, you won’t scoop a honey.
If you don’t got cash, you won’t be gettin’ no ass,
And if you don’t got loot, you won’t be knockin’ no boots.
I got a head full of headaches, a heart that’s full of woes.
I’m constantly singin’ them down home blues, and not many people knows
That leaves me with a twisted view of the whole wide world as I know it…
And I guess I got no choice but to be a poet.
Back when Fresh was the word, and “Raw” was on Prism,
Marley on the boards, plus Kane was Long Livin’.
G Rap and Ace spittin’ murderous,
Bought Long Live the Kane, sat down, and learned every word of it.
Sneakin’ my Walkman in the homeroom playin’ it,
Listen for punchlines, delivery, and cadences.
But nowadays, it’s like niggas wanna play with it;
They hear some good shit, but don’t stop to savor it.