I wonder if these wack niggas realize they wack,
And they the reason that my people say they tired of rap.

Common, “Chi-City,” Be, 2005

Never looking back or too far in front of me,
The present is a gift, and I just want to Be.

Common, “Be,” Be, 2005

Time is real, we can’t rewind it…
Out of everybody I met, who told the truth?
Time did.

Common, “The Truth,” from Pharoahe Monch’s Internal Affairs, 1999

I love black thighs, you sisters better realize
That real hair and real eyes get real guys.
So before you makeup your face, you better make up your mind…

Common, “In My Own World (Check the Method),” Resurrection, 1994

Put this in your CD-ROM:
www dot Canibus dot com.
You can find me on the Internet, talkin’ to chicks
That was sweatin’ me off the ‘Music Makes Me High’ remix.
I be talkin’ mad trash, tryin to get ’em to laugh.
See, if I click and drag long enough I’ll get the ass…

Canibus, “Making a Name For Ourselves,” from Common’s One Day It’ll All Make Sense, 1998

‘You Hollywood.’ Nah, nigga, I’m Chicago.
So I cracked his head with a muthafuckin bottle.

Common, “Raw (How You Like It),” The Dreamer, The Believer, 2011

I am to hip-hop what Obama is to politics

Common, “Sweet,” The Dreamer, The Believer, 2011

I met this girl when I was ten years old,
And what I loved most she had so much soul.
She was old school, when I was just a shorty
Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me.

Common, “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” from Resurrection, 1994

Burn a Bush cause for peace he no push no button.
Killing over oil and grease, no weapons of destruction,
How can we follow a leader when this a corrupt one?

Common, “A Letter to the Law,” from Def Poetry Jam, 2007

Sean Hannity’s latest race-baiting “controversy” stems from the invitation that First Lady Michelle Obama extended to Common for a White House poetry event tonight. Up next, a complementary quote from Nas’ “Sly Fox.”

I believe in heaven more than hell, lessons more than jail.
In the ghetto, let love prevail with a story to tell.
My eyes see the glory, and well,
The world waiting for me to yell, “I Have A Dream!”

Common, “A Dream,” from Freedom Writers Soundtrack, 2007

Q-Tip • “The Remedy” • 1996

There’s divinity within because we come from the divine,
A force that’s not seen, but you feel it every time:
When the wind blows, and the world turns,
And the rain drops, and the baby cries,
And the bird flies, and the ground quake,
And the stars gleam.

Q-Tip, “The Remedy,” from Get on the Bus Soundtrack, 1996

Common • “Letter to the Free” • 2016

We staring in the face of hate again…
The same hate they say will “Make America Great Again.”
No consolation prize for the dehumanized,
For America to rise, it’s a matter of Black Lives.

– Common, “Letter to the Free,” Black America Again, 2016

I just want to innovate and stimulate minds,

Travel the world and penetrate the times,

Escape through rhythms,

In search of peace and wisdom.

Common, “The 6th Sense,” Like Water for Chocolate, 2000. More from Comm…

I believe in heaven more than hell, lessons more than jail.
In the ghetto, let love prevail with a story to tell.
My eyes see the glory, and well,
The world waiting for me to yell, “I Have A Dream!”

Common, “A Dream,” from Freedom Writers Soundtrack, 2007. More from Com Sense…

They say signs of the end is near;
I wonder…can I walk a righteous path holding a beer?

Common, “Resurrection,” Resurrection, 1994. More from Com…

I start thinking:
How many souls hip-hop has affected?
How many dead folks this art resurrected?
How many nations this culture connected?
Who am I to judge one’s perspective?

Common, “6th Sense,” Like Water for Chocolate, 2000. More from Common…

I’ve been out there 3 days and I got shot at 3 times,
Felt like every bullet hit me when they flew out each 9.
I’ll be happy when I wake up and I have a free mind.

Lil Herb, “The Neighborhood,” from Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, 2014

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.

Vince Staples, “Kingdom,” from Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, 2014

I be with broads that got they shit together;
Even if it ain’t meant forever, still smoke the spliff together.
The essence of the herbs, the presence of the words…
Yeah you got a chest, but I’m treasurin’ your curves.

Common, “Made in Black America,” Nobody Smiling, 2014

Even through the unseen, I know that God watches,
From one King’s dream, he was able to Barack us.

Common, “The Believer,” The Dreamer/The Believer, 2011

I believe in heaven more than hell, lessons more than jail.
In the ghetto, let love prevail with a story to tell.
My eyes see the glory, and well,
The world waiting for me to yell, “I Have A Dream!”

Common, “A Dream,” from Freedom Writers Soundtrack, 2007

Why do I need ID to get ID?
If I had ID, I wouldn’t need ID.

Mos Def, “The Questions,” from Common’s Like Water for Chocolate, 2000