I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem,
Or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams.
I use it as my gas, so they say that I’m gassed,
But without it I’d be last, so I ought to laugh…
‘You claim to be the man, you want me for a lover,
So you can do my girlfriends and my sister and my mother?’
I said, ‘You’re very blunt,’ with quickness to the cue,
‘So whassup with your mother, does she look as good as you?’
I thank the Lord for every morning he allows me to rise,
And though the sun is shining, there’s a cloud in the sky
Lettin’ me know that at any moment there could be rain.
And as beautiful as life is, there still can be pain.
Down the park, I hear the sirens, just screamin’ away,
And then the inevitable happens, the end of them days,
As sad as it sounds, but that’s the price we all gotta pay.
And the whole world knows God giveth, and will taketh away.
I live and I learn, I sit and watch my cigarette burn
Down to the ash. It reminds me of the now and the past.
I say a little prayer, cause eventually I’ll stand in the path
Of the souls and dark rows that lead to rest.
Never looking back or too far in front of me,
The present is a gift, and I just want to Be.
Cloned chickens walking around without heads,
The food is contaminated, the water got lead in it.
Population control, make the babies sick,
All these RFID chips, RU-486…
This is a war against consciousness,
Controlling your soul, sort of a psychological dictatorship.
And we are on the front lines,
Guilty as charged if intellect is a crime.
My mama didn’t see it comin, my daddy was there.
What’s my excuse? Cartoons were the root.
Started with Yosemite Sam
With the gun in the palm of the hand,
What couldn’t I demand?
Actions have reactions, don’t be quick to judge,
You may not know the hardships people don’t speak of.
It’s best to step back, and observe with couth,
For we all must meet our Moment of Truth.
I’m your idol, the highest title, Numero Uno,
I’m not a Puerto Rican, but I’m speakin so that you know,
And understand, I got the gift of speech,
And it’s a blessin, so listen to the lesson I preach…
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.
You keepin it real, but ain’t got a clue what reality really be;
See, the diameter of your knowledge is the circumference of your activity.
Every coast gotta know, I’m the most with the flow,
No joke I’m a pro, I’m like The Pope on the low.
I don’t know what’s better: getting laid or getting paid.
I just know when I’m getting one, the other’s getting away.
They love the fact you made it, but hate the fact you got it.
The stairway to heaven is packed…I’m in the lobby.
Too scared to go to sleep, cause most times I often doubt my dreams.
Long as I live large, life will be luxury,
Ladies in Lamborghinis…love is like luck to me.
…The greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th.
God bless his soul, rest in peace, kid.
It’s because of him now at least I know what beef is.
You know it ain’t no stoppin’
All the doggs I’m droppin’
It’s Friday night, so everything is poppin.
You stackin cheddar cause you working at the burger place.
What is the meaning of C.R.I.M.E.?
Is it Criminals Robbin’ Innocent Muthafuckaz Everytime?
You can tell by the rhyme it’s my time to shine;
Let’s eat, motherfucker, I don’t dine on swine.
I don’t beef with turkeys, I told you the God’ll fold you,
Hard to digest: I suggest that you take tofu.
The business of beauty isn’t a natural model;
It’s built to be the opposite of the cultures we topple.
These magazines got you caught in a hustle,
Cause when you starve yourself, your body doesn’t burn fat, it burns muscles.
God’s the seamstress that tailor-fitted my pain.
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.
Mix me with violence, blend me with peace,
Combine me with hate, and I can’t face defeat.
Music business hates me cause the industry ain’t make me,
Hustlers and boosters embrace me and the music I be makin.
I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars…
They criticized me for it, yet they all yell ‘HOLLA!’
If skills sold, truth be told, I’d probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli.
Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense,
But I did five mil…I ain’t been rhymin like Common since.
Why give you the cure when the disease makes money?
Real, rough and rugged, shine like a gold nugget,
Every time I pick up the microphone, I drug it.
She’s got charm, a firearm to match mine,
Goin to the movies packin his and her nine’s.
Wearin Carhartt and leather, motherfuck the weather,
On Valentine’s Day doin stick-ups together.
No one to blame, no shame in her game,
And when we fuck, she makes me scream out her name.
Consider youself lucky, that’s what friends say.
Cause I leave more heads touched, son, than Ash Wednesday.
…Shorty’s laugh was cold-blooded as he spoke so foul,
Only twelve tryin to tell me that he liked my style.
Then I rose, wiping the blunt’s ash from my clothes,
Then froze, only to blow the herb smoke through my nose.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a funny bastard…
But when it come to money, son, I’m not the one to laugh with.
What’s when you rap and don’t appreciate the art?
What’s when you sell out just to get a start?
What’s when you make bullshit just for the charts?
What’s when you rap, but it’s not from the heart?
What’s when you’re hardcore, then you turn pop?
When you steal ideas to get props?
When you sell out to be on top?
What’s when you front like you’re hard, but you’re not?
That’s a gimmick.
Couldn’t you see me and you stretched out in a bikini on the beach in Tahiti?
See, me, I’m very selective even though I could be greedy;
My main objective is to write our names together in graffiti.
Love and hate, black and white,
Right or wrong, who is right?
Some smoke joints to anoint their brain
To the vanishing point…so they won’t go insane.
Remember when friends was friends, and LL had a Benz?
And cell phones and beepers was the new trends?
When Koch was the Mayor and Reagan was the Pres?
Some of you been trying to write rhymes for years,
But weak ideas irritate my ears.
Is this the best that you can make?
Cause if not, and you got more…I’ll wait.
I’m givin’ more flat lines to niggas than loose-leaf.
My sense of self and my mental health
Is much more powerful than any hint of wealth.
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.
I live this life at a pace that anyone can go.
Know your place, and dedicate your role
…To the faith that you’ll die alone
Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet?
Why did Judas rat to the Romans while Jesus slept?
I wanna live like Arnold, Willis and Mr. Drummond…
And keep my paper sturdy, big birds and tight herbs.
I don’t get pat down, you know what’s on the waist,
I don’t mean Jazz when I say I “count base.”
Fly Louis sneakers, Purple Tape coming out the speakers,
Bumped into my high school teachers,
They said I wouldn’t be nothing, sitting on the bleachers.
Now I’m sitting in the Phantom, trynna figure out the features.
I’m a big fish now, I watch for the leeches.
You got game like me? I doubt it.
They say pimping ain’t easy…what’s so hard about it?
I thought I’d probably die in prison, expensive taste in women,
Ain’t have no pot to piss in, now my kitchen full of dishes.
Nose bloody from that sniffin’, your heroin addiction
Trigger finger itchin’, fuck parental supervision…
Purple sippin’, finger twistin’, teeth glisten like it’s Memphis
A bunch of hypocritic Christians, the land of no religion.
Take a look at the police and how they treat you,
Take a look at these corporations that cheat you.
Democrats and Republicans are all see-through.
Now we votin for the lesser of two evils…
Man, don’t let ‘em deceive you.
This is an autocracy, not a democracy,
But to call this a democracy without mock interest
In the laws of society? That’s called hypocrisy.
All we want in this life is peace, prosperity and a little paper.
Back as kids we used to kiss when we played truth or dare,
Now she’s more sophisticated, highly edu-ma-cated
Not at all over-rated…I think I need a prayer
To get in her boots, and it looks rather dry,
I guess a twinkle in her eye is just a twinkle in her eye.
Although she’s crazy steppin’, I’ll try to stop her stride,
‘Cause I won’t have no more of this passin’ me by.
Switchin’ speeds like Bruce Lee ridin’ up Fuji in a movie.
Man gave us laws, and God gave us time,
It’s the art of storytelling and I’m only telling mine.
Niggas is too scared to hustle, but too cool to work,
So they walk around broke like a motherfuckin jerk.
Party’s over, tell the rest of the crew.
Just because no one can understand how you speak,
Don’t necessarily mean that what you be sayin is deep.
Even when I say nothing, it’s a beautiful use of negative space.
New York, New York is where we live and we’re thorough,
Never taking shorts, ‘cause Brooklyn’s the borough.
Peace to Uptown, to Queens and The Bronx,
Long Island and Jersey get as fly as they want.
But I must tell you, where we rest is no joke…
So let me break it down to sections for you slow pokes:
Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy, Flatbush, Brownsville,
Crown Heights and East New York will be down till,
Medina takes respect for the styles we bring,
‘Cause in Brooklyn we be into our own thing.
Time is money, every moment is costly,
So I ration emotion, ‘cause existence exhausts me.
My radio’s loud like a fire alarm:
The floor vibrates, the walls cave in,
The bass makes my eardrums seem thin.
Def sounds in my ride, yes the front and back…
You would think it was a party, not a Cadillac!
I refuse to abuse my savings and loans,
So if you want some ends, baby, you best go get your own.
Now I said it once before, and I’m a say it again:
Best believe you won’t receive no dividends.
My limo driver’s white, my attorney black…
‘Show me some love’ like I’m Bernie Mac.
We got to stay awake for all these lizards and snakes;
Some of them come as friends, some of them come as Jakes.
Picture yourself crushin’ Xzibit with your tough talk?
That’s like Christopher Reeve doing the crip walk.
I throw raps that attack like the Japs on Pearl Harbor.
MC’s be out like bank robbers,
Fleeing the scene, to be a sole survivor;
DJ…the getaway driver.
Time is real, we can’t rewind it…
Out of everybody I met, who told the truth?
Wake up: all of that ‘crack in the street’ talk?
It’s made up, like ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’
Props is a true thug’s wife.
It’s like a cycle: niggas come home, some’ll go in,
Do a bullet, come back, do the same shit again.
From the womb to the tomb, presume the unpredictable,
Guns salute life, rapidly, that’s the ritual.
The purpose of life is a life with a purpose;
So I’d rather die for a cause than live a life that is worthless.
Put your hands where I can see ‘em, so they look like 12 PM
On the dot, see this Glock? Don’t make me give these shells freedom.
Breathe in…inhale vapors from bright stars that shine,
Breathe out…weed smoke retrace the skyline.
Times are hard in the ghetto, I gotta steal for a living;
Eating turkey-flavored Now & Laters for Thanksgiving.
You better duck, and pray for good luck, Chuck, cause you’re stuck.
You’re like a Thanksgiving turkey and it’s time to be plucked.
You know that one auntie, you don’t wanna be rude,
…But every holiday, nobody eatin’ her food.
Age ain’t nothing but a number, that’s what Chi-Ali said.
OK, then why don’t you get that through the judge’s head?
We were at the same table when the chips were checked,
A gamblin’ rebel who inspects the deck.
Just when you thought we would fold our hand,
Against all odds, we raised the bet like we changed the plans.
It was live on air, but in between station breaks,
I was holdin a pair and just made the table stakes.
Split the demos, put insurance on tapes,
A safeguard against the crusaders in capes.
If I double-down, they say the Gods are sharks;
If we win against the house, they thought the cards was marked.
We draw hit after hit from a royal flush menu,
While the dealer promoted the full house venue.
A spade in the club with the heart to wear diamonds,
The high roller who got credit upon signin’.
They look puzzled when I shuffle, most of ‘em stunned by the hustle,
Recourse of bluff game’s your muscle.
There’s a very big difference between what’s rap and what’s real,
When those worlds collide, that’s when rappers get killed.
Trappers, they go to jail, die without leaving a will,
There’s a very big difference between what’s rap and what’s real.
My life is full of empty promises and broken dreams…
I’m hopin’ things look up; but there ain’t no job openings.
I feel discouraged, hungry and malnourished,
Living in this house with no furnace, unfurnished.
And I’m sick of workin’ dead end jobs with lame pay,
And I’m tired of bein’ hired and fired the same day.
But fuck it, if you know the rules to the game play,
Cause when we die, we know we all going the same way.
Eminem, “Rock Bottom,” Slim Shady LP, 1999
City lights shine bright on my complexion,
Self-reflection…red hairs flashing at the intersection.
Life is a green light, one star, no script,
Supporting actors…fresh peaches, no pit.
In my world, even sure bets are not certain;
‘Cause you’ll get the picture, then find out it’s the cropped version.
I know the game, it’s old and lame:
You’re holdin’ a flame for my name and my fame.
Livin’ like Givens schemin’ on Tyson,
But she got lucky ‘cause he was a nice one.
But I ain’t nice and I don’t play that,
If it ain’t tax, I don’t pay that.
You can do all them push-ups to pump up your chest,
I got a 12 gauge Mossberg to pump up your chest,
Have you gasping for air after that shell hit your vest.
Fear me like you fear God, ‘cause I bring death.
Put a quarter in your ass, ‘cause ya played yourself.
I get atomic, hypo-galactical…
Word to mom, I’m in my own world.
Galaxy rays? Powerful.
Y’all mythological niggas is comical,
The astronomical is comin’ thru like tha flu bombin’ you…
And embalmin’ in your crew, too.
With the musical, mystical, magical, you know how I do.
If you’re having world problems, I feel bad for you son,
I got 99 problems, but a Mitt ain’t one.
How could you possibly stop the apocalypse when I’m atomic bombin’ the populace?
Little brats yellin ‘Trick or Treat’ all through my screen door,
When y’all should be at home sleep,
Instead of at my front porch 15 deep.
The jack o’ lantern came in handy…
I can turn my porch light out like I ain’t got no candy.
But ain’t that somethin?
You buy a Halloween costume and a pumpkin,
Almost gave your children a heart attack.
It’s a tradition, but who the hell started that?
You never know: rain, sleet, hail, snow,
See you gotta accept that’s how things go.
Prepare for the rainy day, or the sun’s glow,
But there’s clouds movin’ in and the clouds gonna blow.
Yes I’m highly explosive, yes I’m something ferocious,
Niggas fuckin with my nerves like multiple sclerosis.
Success is what you make it, take it how it come.
A half a mil in twenties, like a billion where I’m from.
An arrogant drug dealer, the legend I become,
CNN said I’d be dead by 21.
Blackjack…I just pulled an ace,
As you looking at the king in his face.
People say, ‘Grimm, you’ve been shot like 50.
So why don’t you just rhyme like 50?
Then, you could get the money like 50,
Otherwise, before you see success…you’ll be 50.’
Back when I was younger,
Very ambitious, but often blinded by my hunger.
Some say I dream too big,
And my dream gon’ take me under.
Won’t cha…picture life as my wife, just think:
Full length mink, fat X and O links,
Bracelets to match, conversation was all that,
Showed you the safe combinations and all that.
Guess you could say you’s the one I trusted…
Who would ever think that you would spread like mustard?
All I want is peace and love on this planet.
Ain’t that how God planned it?
It’s weak to speak and blame somebody else
…When you destroy yourself.
Look inside my soul and you can find gold and maybe get rich.
Look inside of your soul and you can find out it never exists…
Imagine Rock up in the projects where them niggas pick your pockets,
Santa Claus don’t miss them stockings, liquor spilling, pistols popping,
Baking soda Yola whipping, ain’t no turkey on Thanksgiving,
My homeboy just domed a nigga, I just hope the Lord forgive him.
I bet you never heard of a playa with no game,
Told the truth to get what I want, but shot it with no shame.
Take this music dead serious while others entertain.
I see they makin’ they paper so I guess I can’t complain…or can I?
I feel they disrespectin’ the whole thang.
Them hooks like sellin’ dope to black folks,
And I choke when the food they serve ain’t tastin’ right,
My stomach can’t digest it even when I bless it…
Will I die slain like my King by a terrorist?
Will my woman be Coretta, take my name and cherish it?
Or will she Jackie O., drop the Kennedy, remarry it?