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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.
Jay Electronica, “Better In Tune With the Infinite,” 2014
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.
Murs, “Love & Appreciate 2," Murs for President, 2008. More Murs quotes…
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.
2Pac, “The D-Flo Shuttle,” from Digital Underground’s Sons of the P, 1991. More 2Pac Quotes.
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.
Phonte, “The Listening,” from Little Brother’s The Listening, 2003. More Phonte quotes
I know the feelin, when you feelin like a villain,
You be havin good thoughts but the evils be revealin’.
And the stresses of life can take you off the right path,
Jealousy and envy tends to infiltrate your staff…
We gotta hold it down so we can move on past
All adversities, so we can get through fast.
Q-Tip, “Stressed Out,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes & Life, 1996
My days getting shorter, my nights getting longer,
My cell getting smaller, my son getting taller.
I exercise my mind, my body getting stronger,
But my blood getting colder, heart getting harder.
My chances for appeal getting slimmer,
My skin getting brighter, my hair getting thinner.
See, when you stressed out, you could age fast in here,
I done seen weak niggas not last a year.
So before lights out, I write my kids every night,
Kiss the stamp on the kite,
And say a prayer…I hope it lands safe in these flights,
I pray they sleep safe through the night.
Try to teach my son right, give him some jewels,
But it’s hard to raise my boy from this visiting room.
Many cells turned to prisoner’s tombs,
I just pray I don’t die in here,
And last night I almost cried a tear.
Beanie Sigel, “Have Mercy,” from Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, 2009
You know them days you just got the blues,
All stressed and depressed from just watchin’ the news?
No matter what good you do, it seems you always get screwed.
Got you caught up in your feelings, now you off in the mood.
Shake that attitude and do what you can,
Set a couple goals, follow through with your plans.
Time waits for no man and tomorrow’s not promised,
So if she’s still alive, shoot a call to your mama.
Cause the fighting and the drama, it’s just not worth it,
Nobody’s perfect, ain’t none of us worthless.
We all got a place, and we all got a purpose.
Murs, “Yesterday & Today,” Murray’s Revenge, 2006
Now I’m not the type that gets upset,
Try to disrespect folks just to earn respect.
But learn this fact: whether white or black,
I can’t be conquered in my style of rap.
For jealousy and envy are dumb ones’ tools,
So Ricky says nothing, he keeps his cool.
Revenge is not a mission that the Ruler’s on,
Just forgiveness required for the wrong that’s done.
Slick Rick, “The Ruler’s Back,” The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, 1988