Truth brings light, light refracts off the mirror,
Visions of yourself and error could never be clearer.
The truth is that you ugly…
Not on the outside, but in the inside;
On the outside, you frontin’ you lovely.

Pharoahe Monch, “The Truth,” Internal Affairs, 1999. More Pharoahe Monch quotes >

A simple right or left can mean life or death,
Epic fail or nice success,
Days of pleasure or nights of stress.

Ka, “Decisions,” Grief Pedigree, 2012

Don’t clock anybody, let them all clock you,
Don’t be down with anybody, let them all be down with you.
Stay self-managed, self-kept, self-taught,
Be your own man; don’t be borrowed, don’t be bought.

Heavy D, “We Got Our Own Thang,” Heavy D & The Boyz’ Big Tyme, 1989

Nobody put the crack into the pipe,
Nobody made you smoke off your life.
You thought that you could do dope and still stay cool?
Fool…you played yourself.

Ice-T, “You Played Yourself,” The Iceberg: Freedom of Speech…Just Watch What You Say, 1989

Either she love me or she hate me…either way, she crazy.

Blu, “Well Fare,” It’s Good To Be Home, 2014

What the fuck happened to reality-spitting rhyme sayers?
These days, everybody trying to be a thug or a player.
Where did all the real motherfuckers go in the game?
Bring back the breakdancers and graffiti writers with fame.

Immortal Technique, “Revolutionary,” Revolutionary Vol. 1, 2001. More from Immortal Technique >

You don’t know about hell unless you walk through it;
Can’t recognize the devil’s face unless you talk to it.

Apathy, “School for Scoundrels,” 2012

I switched my motto:
Instead of sayin’ ‘Fuck tomorrow,’
That buck that bought a bottle
Coulda struck the Lotto.

Nas, “Life’s a Bitch,” Illmatic, 1994. Plenty more Nas quotes >

It was the beauty that caught me and held my soul hostage…
Remember those days? Had you smellin’ my boxers.

Ghostface Killah, “Never Be the Same Again,” Bulletproof Wallets, 2001. More quotes from GFK…

People ask for God, ‘till the day He comes,
See God’s face…turn around and run.
God sees the face of a man,
Shaking his head, says “He’ll never understand.”

Dice Raw, “Understand,” from The Roots’ …and then you shoot your cousin, 2014. More lyrics by The Legendary Roots Crew…

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…

This is for my bitches in the shelters that don’t need shelter, you just doin’ that shit for a crib.
And all my bad little bitches, when your baby father hits you, stick a ice cold knife in his ribs.
And all my bitches pimp the system, get your WIC, tell your workers, “Fuck that,” you gon’ have more kids.
And you ain’t have ‘em cause you need ’em, but now you gotta feed em, so you figure that your ass gon’ strip.

Panchi, “Stretch Marks and Cigarette Burns,” from Blaq Poet’s The Blaqprint, 2009

I’d rather make one righteous dollar on my level
Than make a million dollars spittin’ rhymes for the devil.

KRS-One, “True School,” from DJ Jean Maron’s True School, 2014