Just because no one can understand how you speak,
Don’t necessarily mean that what you be sayin is deep.

Talib Kweli, “Good Mourning,” from Reflection Eternal’s Train of Thought, 2000

These niggaz ain’t thugs, the real thugs is the government.
Don’t matter if you Independent, Democrat or Republican,
Niggaz politickin’ the street, get into beef,
Start blastin’…now a new cat is executive chief.

Talib Kweli, “Ghetto Afterlife,” from Reflection Eternal’s Train of Thought, 2000

Nowadays rap artists coming half-hearted,
Commercial like pop, or underground like black markets.
Where were you the day hip-hop died?
Is it too early to mourn? Is it too late to ride?

Talib Kweli, “Too Late,” from  Reflection Eternal’s Train of Thought, 2000

We speak the love language, they speak from pain and anguish.
Some don’t love theyselves, so they perception is tainted.

Talib Kweli, “Love Language,” from Reflection Eternal’s Train of Thought, 2000

A flower that grow in the ghetto know more about survival than the one from fresh meadows.

Talib Kweli, “Love Language,” from Reflection Eternal’s Train of Thought, 2000

From open mics to solutions, I got a collage of answers,
And a 10-point program, just like the Black Panthers:

1: First, respect yourself as an artist
If you don’t respect yourself, then your rhymes is garbage.

2: Make sure your crew is as tight as you
Cause when them niggaz fallin off, they gonna bring you down too.

3: Understand the meaning of MC
The power to Move the Crowd like Moses split the seas.

4: Know your shit and don’t ever be blunted
If you don’t know what your words mean, then your rhymes mean nothin.

5: Kick facts in the raps, and curse with clarity
What’s a curse when language is immersed in vulgarity?

6: We gonna fix industrial poli-tricks
Shit, they made an art form out of ridin dicks.

7: We soldiers for God needin new recruits
So if you rhymin for the loot, then you’s a prostitute.

8: Acknowledge that you need food on your plate
In order to say your grace, make sure your business is straight.

9: We buildin black minds with intelligence
And when you freestyle, keep the subject matter relevant.

10: Every MC grab a pen
And write some conscious lyrics to tell the children.

Talib Kweli, “Manifesto,” from Lyricist Lounge, Volume 1, 1998. More Talib Kweli quotes