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.

Jay Rock, “Money Trees,” from Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city, 2012

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…

Andre 3000, “13th Floor/Growing Old,” from Outkast’s ATLiens, 1996

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?

Killer Mike, “Untitled,” R.A.P. Music, 2012

Love comes in every color, but the fact is…
I never needed 50 Shades of Grey,
Just turn the lights down low and give me every shade of blackness.

Phonte, “Afro Blue (9th Wonder’s Blue Light Basement Remix)”, from Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP, 2012

Let bygones be bygones…but where I’m from,
We buy guns and more guns, to give to the young.

Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart Pt. 2,” from O(verly) D(edicated), 2010

Dear Mama, don’t cry, your baby boy’s doin’ good,
Tell the homies I’m in heaven, and they ain’t got hoods.
Seen a show with Marvin Gaye last night, it had me shook,
Drippin’ peppermint Schnapps, with Jackie Wilson, and Sam Cooke…

2Pac, “Thugz Mansion,” Better Dayz, 2002

Footballs, basketballs, microphones, gas and grass…
Just some of the few things that J-Ro likes to pass.

J-Ro of Tha Alkaholiks, “Freestyle Ghetto,” from King Tee’s IV Life, 1995

Everything has a price…
No matter if it’s fortune, fame or your life.
I understood later that it’s all about paper,
Everything has a fee in the land of the free.

O.C., “Land of the Free,” from Show & A.G.’s Live Hard, 2007

Now there she goes again, the dopest Ethiopian,
And now the world around me be gets movin in slow motion
Whenever she happens to walk by, why does the apple of my eye
Overlook and disregard my feelings no matter how much I try?

Fat Lip, “Passin’ Me By,” from The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, 1992

Your new CD is a weed plate, nothin’ but love songs,
100% pure garbage, just something to break up buds on.

Jadakiss, “Checkmate,” 12", 2005

Ghostface, catch the blast of a hype verse,
My glock bursts, leave in a hearse, I did worse.
I come rough, tough like an elephant tusk,
Ya head rush, fly like Egyptian musk.

Ghostface Killah, “Bring Da Ruckus,” from Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993

The God’s tropical…ladies call me ‘Black Fruit Punch.’

Ghostface Killah, “Ice Water,” from Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, 1995

38-24-37…
You and me, hun, we’re a match made in heaven.
I like to kiss ya where some brothers won’t…
I like to tell ya things some brothers don’t.

Q-Tip, “Bonita Applebum,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, 1990

You’re too light to fight, plus you’re too thin to win.
Who ya gonna call when I break your glass chin?

Tek, “Wrektime,” from Smif-N-Wessun’s Dah Shinin’, 1993

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

We were beginners in the hood as 5 Percenters,
But somethin’ must’ve got in us, cause all of us turned to sinners.

AZ, “Life’s a Bitch,” from Nas’ Illmatic, 1994

Hip-Hop got turned into Hit Pop,
The second a record was number one on the pop charts.
But don’t skip on the heart, it gotta start in the ghetto,
Let no one forget about the hard part.

MC Serch, “Pop Goes the Weasel,” from 3rd Bass’ Derelicts of Dialect, 1994

I ain’t never gave a fuck, I never did and never will.
Live my life on principle: keep it true, keep it real.
Better said, I keep it TRILL and no matter who don’t like it,
Homie, that just it how it is, naked truth
Like that stripper that’s in front of me,
And I keep a blunt, and a Bible, and a gun on me.

Killer Mike, “Untitled,” R.A.P. Music, 2012

There’s a million ways to live on this thing called a planet,
I’mma live everyday, I ain’t takin’ nothing for granted.

Sadat X, “The Next Spot,” from High School High soundtrack, 1996

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you
Without a strong rhyme to step to.
Think of how many weak shows you slept through…
Time’s up, I’m sorry I kept you.

Rakim, “I Know You Got Soul,” from Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid In Full, 1987

Fuck a stray bullet, I take aim when the gun draws,
For everlasting fame, I will maim those who change the gun laws.
Cause post-traumatic stress disorder, ask any vet I’ve worked with.
My purpose? Catching bodies like safety nets at the circus.

Pharoahe Monch, “Damage,” from PTSD, 2012

I bumped into Loon, he like ‘Well, As Salaam-Alaikum.’
You know I ain’t Muslim, my nigga, I’m about my bacon!

Ma$e, “Higher,” from Kanye West Presents G.O.O.D. Music: Cruel Summer, 2012

I scored 1.1 on my SAT,
And still push a whip with a right and left AC.

Redman, “Blackout,” from Method Man and Redman’s Blackout!, 1999

You’re a trivial part in a trivia game.
Now what’s your aim? A presidential campaign?
Like Ross Perot? He lost it though…
But he got a billion in tha bank fo’ sho’!

Aceyalone, “All Balls Don’t Bounce,” from All Balls Don’t Bounce, 1995

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 judge wisely…as if nothin ever surprise me,
Loungin, between two pillars of ivory.
I’m lively, my dome piece is like buildin stones in Greece.
My poems are deep, from ancient thrones I speak.

Killah Priest, “4th Chamber,” from Genius/GZA’s Liquid Swords, 1995

You can’t fool all the people all of the time,
But if you fool the right ones, the rest will fall behind.

Dead Prez, “Propaganda,” Let’s Get Free, 2000

Now what Clan you know with lines this ill?
Bust shots at Big Ben, like we got time to kill.

Method Man, “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off),” from Wu-Tang Clan’s The W, 2000

They use the simple back and forth, the same, old rhythm
That a baby can pick up, and join, right with ‘em.
But their rhymes are pathetic, they think they copacetic
Using nursery terms, at least not poetic…

Kool Keith, “Ego Trippin,” from Ultramagnetic MC’s Critical Beatdown, 1988

You’s a nigga everybody diss, cause you can’t bust this,
You got a bad name like Dick Butkus.

J-Ro, “The Next Level,” from Tha Alkaholiks’ Coast II Coast, 1995

Cause the boyz in the hood are always hard,
You come talkin’ that trash, we’ll pull your card.
Knowin’ nothin’ in life but to be legit,
Don’t quote me boy, cause I ain’t sayin’ shit.

Eazy-E, “Boyz-N-The-Hood,” from N.W.A. & The Posse, 1987. Eric “Eazy-E” Lynn Wright (September 7, 1963 – March 26, 1995) (via upnorthtrips)

We got it on lock like Barack got the nomination

Masta Ace, “Pass the Mic,” from Masta Ace & Edo G’s Arts and Entertainment, 2009

Putting styles on lock, and making beats by the bundle,
Scooping more props than Bryant Gumbel…and staying humble.

Pete Rock, “Escape,” from Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s The Main Ingredient, 1994

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

You’re mad cause my style you’re admiring…
Don’t be mad, UPS is hiring.

The Notorious B.I.G., “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix),” 12", 1994

Catch a throatful from the fire vocal
Ashing and molten glass like Eyjafjallajökull.

MF Doom, “Guv’nor,” from JJ Doom’s Key to the Kuffs, 2012

Let’s advance the game:
How many times can we rhyme about cars and chains?
How many bricks can a nigga really sell?
How many times can a nigga really go to jail?
How many murders can you do on one album?
Put ‘em together, must of did about a thousand.
I’m just saying, let’s change it up.
If not, nigga, hang it up.

Lord Jamar, “Advance the Game,” The 5% Album, 2006

Battling me is some deadly shit,
So come equipped with rhymes, guns and two extra clips.
Aim for the head, ‘cause you don’t wear a vest there,
Bullet makes a window, your brain needing fresh air.

MF Grimm, “Emotions,” Scars & Memories, 2005

Next time you see a brother down
Stop and pick him up,
Cause you might be the next one stuck.

Grand Puba, “Mind Your Business,” Ya Know How It Goes 12", 1992

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.
Never forget where you from; someone will remind you.

DMX, “It’s On,” from DJ Clue’s The Professional, 1998

Rappers spit rhymes that are mostly illegal,
MC’s spit rhymes to uplift their people.

KRS-One, “Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been),” 2007

I will endanger your species like an ostrich,
Hold you hostage, and crazy feed you swine sausage!

Busta Rhymes, “Do My Thing,” The Coming, 1996

I don’t like thugs, I don’t like nerds,
I don’t like myself and I hate bein’ disturbed.

Sean Price, “Critically Acclaimed,” from Statik Selektah’s 100 Proof (The Hangover), 2010

Wouldn’t it be nice if life was sort of like a dream,
And everything wasn’t really what it seemed?
What if everything you ever wished for was in reach,
And you could learn everything your school didn’t teach?
Wouldn’t it be nice if the banks didn’t fuck up the loans,
And people ain’t have to move out they homes?
With no GM or AIG…and for that matter no cancer or A-I-D?

Bun B, “So Close, So Far,” from Statik Selektah’s 100 Proof (The Hangover), 2010

Braniac dumb-dumbs, bust the scientifical,
Approach to the course and the force is centrifugal.
Can you find your way through the lyrics that be catchin’ ‘em?
Throw another rhyme across the room, they be fetchin’ ’em.

Masta Ace, “Jeep Ass Niguh,” Slaughtahouse, 1993

6’n the mornin’ police at my door,
Fresh Adidas squeak across the bathroom floor.
Out the back window I make a escape,
Don’t even get a chance to grab my old school tape…

Ice-T, “6’N the Mornin’,” Rhyme Pays, 1987

Alright, it’s getting really close to the election day.
I’m voting; please don’t cut off my Section 8.
As soon as pastor pass the collection plate,
I’m like, ‘Shit, I’m trying to stack for a Escalade!’

Casual, “It’s Like That,” from Handsome Boy Modeling School’s White People, 2004

Telling my business to kids I don’t even know,
You’re like a daytime talk show…and that’s low.

Guru, “Take it Personal,” from Gang Starr’s Daily Operation, 1992

How far must you go to gain respect? Um…
Well, it’s kind of simple: just remain your own.
Or you’ll be crazy sad and alone.

Q-Tip, “Check the Rhime,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory, 1991

I want a girl with extensions in her hair,
Bamboo earrings, at least two pair,
A Fendi bag and a bad attitude,
That’s all I need to get me in a good mood.
She can walk with a switch and talk with street slang,
I love it when a woman ain’t scared to do her thing.

LL Cool J, “Around the Way Girl,” Mama Said Knock You Out, 1990

I left my Phillie at home,
Do you have another?
I wanna get blunted, my brother.

Smooth B, “DWYCK,” from Gang Starr’s Hard to Earn, 1994

Some seek fame cause they need validation,
Some say hating is confused admiration.

Nas, “Stay,” Life is Good, 2012 

Once in awhile, I’mma cheat and get dome,
But best believe that I’mma always come home.
Shorty, I luv you.

Meyhem Lauren, “Let’s Hold Hands,” Respect The Fly Shit, 2012

Type to tote the glock and use gats…
You the type to vote Barack cause dude’s black.

Sean P, “Grown Man Palettes,” from Meyhem Lauren’s Respect The Fly Shit, 2012

Your reign on the top was short like leprechauns,
As I crush so-called Willies, thugs, and rapper-dons.

The Notorious B.I.G., “Kick in the Door,” Life After Death, 1997

Why’s my name the Large Professor?
Cause I milked your cow, in other words I hit your heifer.

Large Professor, “Live at the Barbecue,” from Main Source’s Breaking Atoms, 1991

I’m no slave to a rhythm, I whip it,
Then I take its name and change its religion,
Then I chop the foot off the fuckin’ beat
For trying to escape the track, now it’s obsolete.

Pharoahe Monch, “Thirteen,” from Organized Konfusion’s Stress: The Extinction Agenda, 1994

Scared of a bunch of water? Then get out the rain.
Order a rapper for lunch, and spit out the chain.

MF Doom, “Sofa King,” from Danger Doom’s The Mouse and the Mask, 2005

Shoot eagles on the Jack Nicklaus course,
Porsche with the triple exhaust,
Seats soft like a midget’s cough…

Action Bronson, “Midget Cough,” from Mick Boogie’s Represent the Stripes, 2012

And when I smiled, ‘Bing!’ I almost blinded her.
She said, ‘Great Scot, are you a thief?
Seems like you have a mouth full of gold teeth!’
Hahahaha, had to find that funny,
So I said, ‘No child, I work hard for the money.
And calling me a thief? Please…don’t even try it,
Sit down, eat your slice of pizza, and be quiet.’

Slick Rick, “Mona Lisa,” The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, 1988

Music just ain’t what it used to;
We used to have songs that you could shoplift or boost to.

Jadakiss, “Hip-Hop (Remix),” from Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack, 2008

You’ve got to realize that the world’s a test,
You can only do your best and let Him do the rest.
You’ve got your life, and got your health,
So quit procrastinating and push it yourself.

Cee-Lo, “In Due Time,” from Soul Food Soundtrack, 1997

I wonder, who do you believe in? I know it ain’t me,
I hope it ain’t a priest, or who you seen on TV.
I hope it ain’t your poppa, potna, he only raised you.
And I know it ain’t your mom, even though that’s who you came through…

Blu, “A Man,” from Blu & Exile’s Maybe One Day, 2012

I got a ill gift, I’m real swift
They be like, ‘Damn, he’s still rich.’
When I send my Men in Black,
Listen, none of them niggas named Will Smith.

Cam’ron, “60 Rackz (Remix)”, 2012

Hood forever, I just act like I’m civilized.
Really what’s in my mind is organizing a billion Black motherfuckers
To take over JP Morgan, Goldman and Sachs
And teach the world facts and give Saudi they oil back.

Nas, “No Introduction,” Life is Good, 2012

Ronald Reagan was an actor. Not at all a factor,
Just an employee of the country’s real masters.
Just like the Bushes, Clinton and Obama,
Just another talkin’ head tellin’ lies on teleprompters.
If you don’t believe the theory, then argue with this logic:
Why did Reagan and Obama both go after Gaddafi?
We invaded sovereign soil, goin’ after oil
Takin’ countries as a hobby paid for by the oil lobby,
Same as Iraq and Afghanistan.
And Ahmadinejad sayin’ they comin’ for Iran…

Killer Mike, “Reagan,” R.A.P. Music, 2012

I show more blind rage than Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles wrestling in a steel cage.

Chino XL, “Freestyle Rhymes,” Here to Save You All, 1996

If rhyme is a crime, my mic is my co-defendant.

Cormega, “Focused Up,” from Large Professor’s Professor @ Large, 2012

So why you pushin’ it? Why you lyin’ for? I know where you live,
I know your folks, you was a sucka as a kid.
Your persona’s drama that you acquired in high school in actin’ class,
Your whole aura is plexiglass.
What’s-her-face told me you shot this kid last week in the park;
That’s a lie, you was in church with your moms.

O.C., “Time’s Up,” Word…Life, 1994

I had a cigarette for breakfast, just for beginners,
Cried for my lunch, and sleep for dinner.

G. Dep, “Everyday,” Child of the Ghetto, 2001

I don’t like a girl that be hanging with a slut crew,
I can’t sport a female who’s crossed-eyed with a buck tooth.
I need a female I can sport when I’m outdoors.
I’m not choosy…I got a rep to look out for.

Lord Finesse, “I Like My Girls With a Boom,” Return of the Funky Man, 1992

It’s a thin line between paper and hate,
Friends and snakes, nine millis and thirty-eights,
Hell or the pearly gates…I was destined to come,
Predicted, blame God, He blew breath in my lungs.

Nas, “Hate Me Now,” I Am…, 1999

EPMD in effect, I’m clockin’ mad green
Like Kermit the Frog, sloppy like Boss Hog,
Girl was runnin’ wild…ate her like a corn dog.

Parrish Smith, “Chill,” from EPMD’s Business Never Personal, 1992

For underground metaphors, you can scrape an inch below the turf.
For what it’s worth, my style’s been developed in the core of the Earth.
The exhale’s volcanic, the inhale is seismic…

J-Live, “Braggin’ Writes,” 12", 1995

Sunny days wouldn’t be special…if it wasn’t for rain.
Joy wouldn’t feel so good…if it wasn’t for pain.
Death gotta be easy, ‘cause life is hard,
It’ll leave you physically, mentally, and emotionally scarred.

50 Cent, “Many Men (Wish Death),” Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 2003

It’s ninety-six degrees in the shade…
Before I catch blood on my blade.

Keith Murray, “Hostile,” from Erick Sermon’s No Pressure, 1993

The route to all evil…daily I chase it.
Blow it on weed and drink, and hustle to replace it.

Eight Ball, “Where Ya From,” from Mobb Deep’s Murda Muzik, 1999

I put the great Mother Nature on a pedestal.
She always fly, but today, she’s exceptional.

Dead Prez, “Happiness,” Let’s Get Free, 2000

On the square…I’m not riffin’ like Andy Griffith,
Just fed up, goin’ head up, with competition.

Positive K, “Step Up Front,” 12", 1988. Legendary television actor Andy Griffith died of natural causes today at the age of 86.

Went from most hated to the Champion God Flow,
I guess that’s a feelin’ only me and LeBron know.

Kanye West, “New God Flow,” Cruel Summer, 2012

If you ain’t never been to the ghetto,
Don’t ever come to the ghetto,
‘Cause you wouldn’t understand the ghetto,
So stay the fuck out of the ghetto.

Treach, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright (Ghetto Bastard),” from Naughty By Nature’s Naughty By Nature, 1991

Keep my planets in orbit,
Never forfeit or quit,
Move forward…
I talk with the awkward slang,
I walk with the Wu-Tang.

RZA, “Tragedy,” from Rhyme & Reason soundtrack, 1997

Fuck a blog, dog, cause one day we gon’ meet.

Rick Ross, “Ima Boss,” from Maybach Music Group’s Self Made Vol. 1, 2011

This generation lacks true knowledge of how the past has trapped you with psychological lassos over Adam’s apples.

Reks, “Unlearn,” REBELutionary, 2012

The D’s for doin it all of the time.
M is for the rhymes, that are all mine,
C’s for cool, cool as can be,
And why you wear those glasses? So I can see!

D.M.C., “Here We Go,” Run-D.M.C., 1983

Bass! How low can you go?
Death row…what a brother know.
Once again, back is the incredible,
The rhyme animal, the uncannable “D!”
Public Enemy Number One.
Five-O said, “Freeze!” and I got numb.
Can I tell ‘em that I really never had a gun?
But it’s the wax that the Terminator X spun.

Chuck D., “Bring the Noise,” from Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, 1988

When you say you love me, it doesn’t matter.
It goes into my head as just chit-chatter.
You may think it’s egotistical or just worry-free,
But what you say, I take none of it seriously.

MC Lyte, “Paper Thin,” Lyte as a Rock, 1988

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

Ayo, the arm bone connected to the hand bone,
Nigga, the hand bone connected to the damn chrome!

Sean P, “Don’t You Cross the Line,” from Boot Camp Clik’s The Last Stand, 2006

Fuck the car, I do a muthafuckin’ walk-by.

Eazy-E, “The Grand Finale,” from The D.O.C.’s No One Can Do It Better, 1989

Like my man Muhammad from Afghanistan:
Grew up in Iran, the nigga runs a neighborhood newsstand.
A wild Middle Eastern…bomb specialist,
Initiated at eleven to be a terrorist.
He set bombs in bottles of champagne
And when niggaz popped the cork, niggaz lost half they brains.

The Genius/GZA, “Killa Hills 10304,” Liquid Swords, 1995

Fuck a medic, we gon’ call yo ass a taxi cab,
Bleedin’ so hard you need a life-size maxi pad.

Ludacris, “We Got,” Chicken-N-Beer, 2003 

I’m Ready to Die without a Reasonable Doubt
Smoke Chronic and hit it Doggystyle before I go out.
Until they sign my Death Certificate, All Eyez on Me
I’m still at it, Illmatic, and that’s The Documentary.

The Game, “The Documentary,” The Documentary, 2005

You know the wisdom is reflected in the knowledge when it’s manifested;
If not fed in due time, the mind is anorexic.

Cormega, “American Beauty,” The Realness, 2001

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

So you think that hip-hop had its start out in Queensbridge?
If you popped that junk up in the Bronx, you might not live!

KRS-One, “South Bronx,” from Boogie Down Productions’ Criminal Minded, 1987

You’re insecure and need a blanket like Linus.

King Sun, “It’s a Heat Up,” XL, 1989

A rap villain: chillin’ and I don’t give a fuck about a killin’ cause I’m still in effect when you’re illin’.

Kool G. Rap, “Jive Talk,” from Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo’s Wanted: Dead or Alive, 1990