Battle physically, conquer mentally.
CL Smooth, “Take You There,” from Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s The Main Ingredient, 1994
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Battle physically, conquer mentally.
If you can’t live, you dying,
You give or you buy in.
Keep it real or keep it moving,
Keep grinding, keep shining.
The thing that men and women need to do is stick together,
Progressions can’t be made if we’re separate forever.
I guess nobody told you a little knowledge is dangerous,
It can’t be mixed, diluted, it can’t be changed or switched.
Here’s a lesson if you’re guessing and borrowing:
Hurry, hurry step right up and keep following the leader.
You say you wanna be my leader?
I think you wanna be my God.
You say you on the side of the righteous?
I say I’m gonna hang with the wrong.
There’s truth where the filth is,
There’s lies in the law.
You want a whore with a white dress,
I want a wife in a thong.
Talk…well I heard talk is cheap.
But like beauty, talk is just skin deep.
And when you lie and you talk a lot,
People tell you to step off a lot.
It’s the message in the song that makes you rock on,
Some people go to places where they don’t belong.
Whether wrong or right, a lot of people fight,
But I’m here to bless this mic, aight?
In my heart, though, I do believe:
If you put out more love than you receive,
It’s bound to come back around, eventually.
The moral of the story is: Keep your mouth shut.
Cause everybody’s listenin’; speak and you fucked up.
I tell you like them old cats say:
Get what you get, and get your ass out the way.
Cause greed’ll get you 35 tight,
You 27…that’s the rest of your life, right?
You won’t get a harvest if you don’t sow seeds,
Ill-gained wealth brings stress from dirty deeds.
The choices that you make will fulfill your needs,
But the shit you go through will be hard to believe.
Let me break it down for you again,
You know I only say it because I’m truly genuine:
Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem.
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.
I was a dreamer, life was a gamble;
Born in a casino, but God never give burdens you can’t handle.
Music is my ammo…I’m ready for battle.
Been tested, ain’t fail: I’m tried and true.
When it’s all falling apart, my pride’s the glue.
I felt at times worthless…
Pulled shifts with shifty crime merchants,
Stained hearts, brainwashed by mind serpents.
The fact I’m still here, it’s clear it’s divine purpose.
I ain’t the captain of the yacht, but I’m on the boat;
I ain’t acting what I’m not, knowing that I don’t.
You niggaz acting like you will, but I know you won’t.
Man, I read between the lines of the eyes of your brows,
Your handshake ain’t matchin your smile…
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.”