Peace before everything, God before anything,
Love before anything, real before everything,
Home before any place, shoot before anything,
Style and state radiate, Love Power slay the hate.

Mos Def, “Priority,” The Ecstatic, 2009

Breathe in…inhale vapors from bright stars that shine,
Breathe out…weed smoke retrace the skyline.

Mos Def, “Respiration,” from Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star, 1998

Yo, it’s 1 universal law but 2 sides to every story,
3 strikes and you be in for life, mandatory.
4 MC’s murdered in the last 4 years,
I ain’t tryin to be the 5th one, the Millennium is here.
Yo, it’s 6 million ways to die, from the 7 deadly thrills,
8-year olds gettin’ found with 9 mill’s.
It’s 10 P.M., where your seeds at? What’s the deal?

Mos Def, “Mathematics,” from Black on Both Sides, 1999

I find it’s distressin’, there’s never no in-between:
We either niggaz or kings,
We either bitches or queens.
The deadly ritual seems immersed in the perverse,
Full of short attention spans, short tempers, and short skirts.

Mos Def, “Thieves in the Night,” from Black Star’s Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star, 1998

Beef is not what Jay said to Nas;
Beef is when the working folks can’t find jobs.

Mos Def, “Beef” 12", 2003

And from the moment that I saw you, I knew you was trouble,
But I disregarded detour signs,
And did not stop til you was mine.
I guess God was like, ‘Aight, fine.’
Careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it in heaps.
Try to give it back, He be like, ‘Nah, that’s yours to keep.’

Mos Def, “Ms. Fat Booty 2,” from Lyricist Lounge 2, 2000

I seen her on the ave, spotted her more than once.
Ass so fat that you could see it from the front…

Mos Def, “Ms. Fat Booty,” Black on Both Sides, 1999

Why did one straw break the camel’s back?
Here’s the secret:
The million other straws underneath it.

Mos Def, “Mathematics,” Black on Both Sides, 1999. More Mos Def quotables…

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

This thing called rhymin’ is no different than coal minin’;
We both on assignment to unearth the diamond.

Mos Def, “Travellin’ Man,” from DJ Honda’s HII, 1998

Consider me the entity within the industry without a history of spitting the epitome of stupidity.

Talib Kweli, “Definition,” from Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, 1998