And through our travels we get separated, never forget:
In order to survive, got to learn to live with regrets.

Jay Z, “Regrets,” Reasonable Doubt, 1996

Picked up the yoga, put down the soda.
My healthy mind…that’s what’s gon’ help me over.
Life of a stoner (if you still concerned),
I never lose, I only win or learn;
It’s all about your state of mind.

Dizzy Wright, “State of Mind,” State of Mind EP, 2014

Tell ‘em the truth and they call you a traitor,
Talk to ’em honestly and they call you a hater.

Immortal Technique, “Eye in the Sky,” from The Martyr, 2011

Most rappers these days is actors,
And I can’t keep watching the same movie.

Mick Jenkins, “Jazz,” The Water[s], 2014

I had a church girl, quiet girl…one girl was rich.
The most memorable girl was a Gangsta Bitch.
We went out a lot, sometimes we dressed the same,
Lickin’ shots in the park and had pet names:
I called her ‘Dollars’ cause that’s what she liked to spend;
She called me ‘Diamond’ cause my dick was her best friend.

Apache, “Gangsta Bitch,” Apache Ain’t Shit, 1993

We could fight the fuss till we get like friends,
Or somebody bite the dust and we split like ends.
Even in our wildest moments, girl, I’m on it cause you’re worth it.
Practice makes perfect, so we fightin’ for a purpose.

A$AP Rocky, “Wildest Moments (Remix),” from Jessie Ware’s Devotion, 2013

Fuck the Febreze, I’m stinkin’ like that Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
That’s that Wu and Mobb shit; don’t turn it up…blast it.

Ghostface Killah, “Dirt (Remix),” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous Mobb Deep, 2014. More from Ghost >

This is business: they don’t care about your lyrics;
The better you sell, the better future for their children.
Controversy sells, so they support conflict,
Makes more progress, means more profit.
An artist gets killed, they say they’re ‘so sorry,’
Meanwhile, they tell you the date of his next project.
What a life…death made them more profit:
Record companies get paid for your drama.

Cormega, “Industry,” Mega Philosophy, 2014. More wisdom from ‘Mega…

You see, if you ever wanted to ever be anything,
There’d always be somebody that shoot down any dream.
There’ll always be haters, that’s the way it is:
Hater niggas marry hater bitches, and have hater kids.

Kanye West, “Bring Me Down,” Late Registration, 2005. More gems from ‘Ye

Rappers hate each other, not the labels that got rich,
Don’t care about culture, they only want profit.
If your album sell slow, bet you’ll get dropped quick;
Q-Tip warned us: the industry’s toxic.
For reference, check out BDP’s Sex and Violence.

Cormega, “Industry,” Mega Philosophy, 2014

I’ve been out there 3 days and I got shot at 3 times,
Felt like every bullet hit me when they flew out each 9.
I’ll be happy when I wake up and I have a free mind.

Lil Herb, “The Neighborhood,” from Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, 2014

Different day, same shit, ain’t nothing good in the hood,
I’d run away from this bitch and never come back, if I could.

50 Cent, “Hate It or Love It,” from The Game’s The Documentary, 2005. More lyrics from 50…

Now who done passed you a diaper and got you thinkin’ you the shit?

Mad Skillz, “The Jam,” From Where???, 1996

Damn it’s a shame you’re the mighty queen of vials,
With a wide-eyed look and a rotten-toothed smile.
Used to walk with a swagger, now you simply stagger
From one spot on, to the next spot on, to the next spot on, to the next…

Derek X (now known as Sadat X), “Slow Down,” from Brand Nubian’s One For All, 1990

See, it really ain’t about if you eatin’ or not eatin’.
It’s freedom or not freedom. Breathin’ or not breathin’.
Another day, another way, another dollar spent;
Gotta make a revolution out of fifteen cent.

Dead Prez, “The Grind,” from Erykah Badu’s Worldwide Underground, 2008. Read more Dead Prez quotes…

I say ‘cuz’ around Bloods, and I say ‘blood’ around Crips…I’m twisted.
Got Mary, got Lucy, got Molly: that’s wifey, girlfriend and mistress.

Ab-Soul, “Gods Reign,” These Days…, 2014

Squeeze 7cc’s so I could see the seven seas,
And CC all my friends so they could see what I was seeing…
But what they saw was a despicable human being;
So, I guess they just wasn’t seeing what I was seeing.

Pharoahe Monch, “Broken Again,” PTSD, 2014. More quotes from Pharoahe Monch…

We knew we’d be together, we didn’t know when,
But long distance love, never thought it would end.
The feelings never changed until the call came…
You were engaged, I was in pain.
It was such a shame: the timing, it just wasn’t right.
So I say, ‘Good luck,’ and then I say, ‘Good night.’

Murs, “Dance With Me,” from Murs & 9th Wonder’s The Final Adventure, 2012. More Murs >

The Nets’ a stone throw from where I used to throw bricks
…So it’s only right I’m still tossing ‘round Knicks.

Jay Z, “Seen It All,” from Jeezy’s Seen It All, 2014

You named them: hustlers, killers, fiends, ex-cons.
I called them: cousins, aunts, pops, moms.
To you? Hoodlums, crackheads, gunmens.
To me? Just neighbors, classmates, young friends.

Ka, “To Hull and Back,” 1200 B.C. EP, 2014. More bars from Ka…

Girls, don’t run that shit that beauty’s only skin deep,
Cause I don’t want no girl with a Brillo face,
Or the type that’ll leave Jheri Curl juice on my pillow case.

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

My life is a blunt to the head, a prayer for the dead,
Run around hustlin…scared of the feds.
They said death is eternal sleep,
But the only thing is you ain’t really sure if you prepared for the bed.

Styles P, “My Life,” A Gangster and a Gentleman, 2002

Love is love, love is real, love is great.
But when it isn’t reciprocated, it could become hate.

Apathy, “It’s Only Hip-Hop,” Honkey Kong, 2011

I said, ‘What you wanna be?’ She said, ‘Alive.’
It made me think for a minute, then looked in her eyes
…I coulda died.

Andre 3000, “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Part 1),” from Outkast’s Aquemini, 1998. More from Outkast…

We still wading in the water…
Cocaine, blunts, marinating in the water.
Lean and took a puff, and then she gave it to my father,
Used to take the bullets out so I could play with the revolver.
Satan serenading ever since I was a toddler,
Tell ‘em talk is cheap…niggas living for the dollar.

Vince Staples, “Kingdom,” from Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, 2014

There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s gotta handle up on his own.
Can’t depend on friends to help you in a squeeze,
Please…they got problems of their own.

Slim Kid Tre, “Runnin’”, from Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia, 1995. More Pharcyde quotes…

I got a smile that’ll make the mirror crack,
And I seem to stay under clouds that’s pitch black.
So when it rains, it pours, and when it pours, I’m soaked.
I contracted lung cancer from third hand smoke,
And I’m like the frog that’s dying to be a prince,
The boy who cried wolf and no one was convinced.
The man who hit lotto and lost his ticket,
In a rainstorm…and struck by lightning trying to get it.

GZA, “Life Is a Movie,” Pro Tools, 2008. More brilliant lyrics from The GZA…

Abraham Lincoln got shot and died,
Freed the slaves so they put him on the five.

Too $hort, “Money In The Ghetto,” Get In Where You Fit In, 1993

They say it’s lonely at the top, in whatever you do,
You always gotta watch motherfuckers around you.
Nobody’s invincible, no plan is foolproof,
We all must meet our Moment of Truth.

Guru, “Moment of Truth,” from Gang Starr’s Moment of Truth, 1998

Life is real, reality is not a dream.
Those who chose to sleep…I wake em up,
Cause you’re sleepin with your mouth open hummin deez nuts.

King Sun, “Humm Deez Nuts,” Strictly Ghetto EP, 1994. More King Sun quotes…

Shorty, let me tell you about my only vice:
It has to do with lots of lovin’, and it ain’t nuttin’ nice.

Q-Tip, “Electric Relaxation,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders, 1993. More from the Tribe…

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

Through the fame, through the fire and the flames,
I adapt to the pain, real niggas do the same.
And though we homies and we no longer hang
You know you know me, and that love still remains.

AZ, “Never Change,” A.W.O.L., 2005

Save your wack rhymes, hold your female.
Pass the Old Gold, trash the ale.
Cash your food stamps, get the WIC out the mail.
Love to eat shrimps, but I never eat snail,
Eat a whole fish except for the tail.
Keep food in the fridge so it don’t get stale,
And when there’s nothing to eat…I bite my nails.

Big Daddy Kane, “On the Bugged Tip,” Long Live the Kane, 1988. More ill quotes from the King Asiatic Nobody’s Equal…

A thug changes, and love changes,
And best friends become strangers.

Nas, “The Message,” It Was Written, 1996

Haters wanna ball, let me tighten up my draw string.
Wrong sport, boy, you know you’re as soft as a lacrosse team.

Jay-Z, “They Don’t Love You No More,” from DJ Khaled’s I Changed A Lot, 2014. Another Drake jab from Hov, ha.

Working hard may help you maintain,
To learn to overcome the heartaches and pain.

Inspectah Deck, “C.R.E.A.M.,” from Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993. Many more lyrics from The Wu…

Tried to put shame in my game to make a name,
I’mma put it on a bullet…put it in your brain.

Rakim, “Know the Ledge,” from Eric B. and Rakim’s Don’t Sweat the Technique, 1992. Read more lyrics from Rakim Allah…

I’m livin’ in times where my daughters are found around
Kids who can’t afford thinking caps…
But always found drinkin’ raps and eatin’ off beats,
Claimin’ laws of the streets. But who made the laws?
Everybody playin’ rebel with no sign of a cause.

Posdnuos, “Held Down,” from De La Soul’s AOI: Bionix, 2001. More from De La Soul…

Once I slapped a rapper with mace,
Then I spit acid in his face, after he rinsed his eyes, no wait…
I actually grew five times my size, grabbed Ma$e by the thigh and slapped a rapper with him.

Pharoahe Monch, “Rapid Eye Movement,” PTSD, 2014. More Pharoahe Monch quotes…

Somebody gotta tell you this:
Cancer kills way more Americans than any Arabic terrorist.
We use more money to fight them than finding a cure,
So a little kid sits there with his chemo-therapist.
Hair falling out while his vital signs weaken…
He’ll be dead while his parent are in debt for his treatment.

Crooked I, “Never Been,” 2008

These days you can’t see who’s in cahoots,
Cause now the KKK wears three-piece suits.

Chuck D., “Rebirth,” from Public Enemy’s Apocalypse ‘91…The Enemy Strikes Black, 1991. Baseball legend Hank Aaron has been flooded with hate mail after his comments about racism in America last week. "We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country,“ said Aaron. "The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

I’m on some tax-free shit by any means,
Whether bound to hit scheme or some counterfeit C.R.E.A.M.

GZA, “4th Chamber,” Liquid Swords, 1995. More dope GZA quotes…

Cocaine trafficking, your boy’s back again,
Moving bricks like I got a degree in scaffolding.
Fucking with some cats from Newark…half of them Jewish,
Cool white boys riding around, blasting my music,
And I’m taxin’ them like Jackson-Hewitt.

Ghostface Killah, “Cocaine Trafficking,” Put it on the Line, 2005. More quotes from Ghostface Killah…

The IRS’ll never sweat me or even put up a fight…
Cause I’m sure I’ve paid more in taxes than you’ve made in yo’ life!

Ludacris, “Large Amounts,” The Red Light District, 2004. More Ludacris quotes…

You wanna stop the X? Try your best,
I’m still fuckin with your pockets like the IRS.

Xzibit, “Loud and Clear,” Restless, 2000. More Xzibit quotes…

Hip-hop started on the block;
I fell asleep at the wheel, the shit crashed into Pop.

Sticky Fingaz, “Wakedafucup,” from Onyx’s #WAKEDAFUCUP, 2014

It’s like I’m married to the silencer,
Until I file for divorce and release my ex-calibers.
Do art with your arteries, place that for my adversaries,
Put your snap back cap back, cap your capillaries.

Pharoahe Monch, “Rapid Eye Movement,” PTSD, 2014. More Pharoahe Monch quotes…

I got a problem with spending before I get it…
We all self-conscious, I’m just the first to admit it.

Kanye West, “All Falls Down,” The College Dropout, 2004. More Kanye West quotes…

Could hate a person, but in fact it’s not worth it.
Never know how long you’ve got on this earth, kid.

Large Professor, “In the Sun,” First Class, 2002

Question religion, question it all,
Question existence until them questions are solved.

Jay-Z, “Heaven,” Magna Carta Holy Grail, 2013. More Jay-Z quotes…

There’s four sides to every story…
If these walls could talk, they’d probably still ignore me.

Viktor Vaughn, aka MF Doom, “Lickupon,” Vaudeville Villain, 2003. More MF Doom quotes…

And I’m not sure why I’m infatuated with death,
My imagination is surely an aggravation of threats…
Maybe cause I’m a dreamer, and sleep is the cousin of death,
Really stuck in the scheme of wondering when I’mma rest.

Kendrick Lamar, “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst," good kid, m.A.A.d city, 2012. More Kendrick Lamar quotes…

You don’t really get why I’m so pissed?
Understand this:
I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit.

Tech N9ne, “Fragile,” Something Else, 2013

Brooklyn: the home of the black and the beautiful.
For a rough rap sound, ain’t a place more suitable.

Guru, “The Place Where We Dwell,” from Gang Starr’s Daily Operation, 1992. More lyrics from Guru…

If you ain’t using all the talents God provided you with
For the betterment of Man, understand,
You ain’t nothing but a waste.

Talib Kweli, “State of Grace,” Gravitas, 2013. More Talib Kweli quotes…

Whatcha gonna do to this?
You may be older than me, but you’re new to this.
Cause I been out there, queen of MC’s,
When your man was walkin’ round in mocknecks and Lee’s.
While you were over here perpetratin’ a fraud,
I was overseas on the charts with Boy George.
You’re the beginner, Shante’s the winner,
Havin’ other competition for dinner.
Sit you on the table with a plate and cup,
Say grace…and then eat your ass up.

Roxanne Shanté, “Go On Girl,” from Colors Soundtrack, 1988

Sorry, Mrs. Drizzy, for so much art talk;
Silly me rappin’ ‘bout shit that I really bought.
While these rappers rap about guns they ain’t shot,
And a bunch of other silly shit that they ain’t got.

Jay-Z, “We Made It,” 2014

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. More Kool G. Rap quotes…

My feet might fail me, my heart might ail me,
The synagogues of Satan might accuse or jail me,
Strip, crown, nail me, brimstone hail me…
They might defeat the flesh but they could never ever kill me.
They might feel the music but could never ever feel me.

Jay Electronica, “Better In Tune With the Infinite,” 2014

I never boned a honey that I didn’t like,
I never saw a mile that I couldn’t hike.
I never had a spliff to make me choke,
I never had a pocket that was broke.

Dres, “Flavor of the Month,” from Black Sheep’s A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing, 1991

Bitch, I’m coming live from the trunk and I thrive on the funk;
Cause I’d rather die like a man than survive like a punk.

Bun B, “Re-Akshon (Remix),” from Killer Mike’s Monster, 2003

Run from the police, picture that,
Nigga I’m too fat…
I fuck around and catch a asthma attack.

Notorious B.I.G., “Runnin’ (Dying to Live)”, from Tupac Resurrection soundtrack, 2003, RIP Biggie Smalls

Rappers can’t sleep, need sleepin’,
B.I.G. keep creepin’,
Bullets heat-seekin’,
Casualties need treatin’,
Dumb rappers need teachin’.

Notorious B.I.G., “Unbelievable,” Ready To Die, 1994

I know how it feels to wake up fucked up,
Pockets broke as hell, another rock to sell.
People look at you like you’s the user,
Selling drugs to all the losers, mad buddha abuser.
But they don’t know about the stress-filled day…
Baby on the way, mad bills to pay,
That’s why you drink Tanqueray,
So you can reminisce and wish
You wasn’t living so devilish, shit.

Notorious B.I.G., “Everyday Struggle,” Ready to Die, 1994

Damn right I like the life I live,
Cause I went from negative to positive.

Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy,” Ready to Die, 1994

Back in the days, our parents used to take care of us.
Look at ‘em now…they even fuckin’ scared of us.

Notorious B.I.G., “Things Done Changed,” Ready to Die, 1994

If I wasn’t in the rap game,
I’d probably have a key knee-deep in the crack game.
Because the streets is a short stop:
Either you’re slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot.

The Notorious B.I.G., “Things Done Changed,” Ready to Die, 1994

You and your friends…always together,
No time for the B-I-G, so I’m O-U-T.
The sex was great, but the headaches I can’t take.
I think I made a very big mistake.

Notorious B.I.G., “Buddy X (Remix),” from Neneh Cherry’s Homebrew, 1992

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

There’s gonna be a lot of slow singing and flower bringing
If my burglar alarm starts ringing

The Notorious B.I.G., “Warning,” Ready to Die, 1994

…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.

Canibus, “Second Round K.O.,” Can-I-Bus, 1998. RIP Christopher George Latore Wallace, best known as The Notorious B.I.G., born May 21, 1972, died March 9, 1997 at the age of 24.

Unpredictable, liable to flip my lid…
My moms dropped me on my head when I was a kid.
Back then I lost all my marbles, today I lost my job,
So in essence, it’s Armageddon, somebody’s bound to get robbed!

Sticky Fingaz, “Shiftee,” from Onyx’s Bacdafucup, 1993. More Onyx quotes…

Real niggaz represent and don’t die,
Never dead, like I said, all we fuckin’ do is multiply.

Buckshot Shorty, “Black Smif-n-Wessun,” from Black Moon’s Enta Da Stage, 1993. More Black Moon lyrics…

It seems to me like all these people claim to be the victim,
Acting like the whole entire world is out to get them.
Stand up on your own,
And prove that you are grown,
Because the life that you save may be your own.

Lee Majors, “Maybe,” from Da Bush Babees’ Gravity, 1996

Why is the world round?
Why do the suckas bite?
Why do the freaks come out at night?
Why they paint Jesus white?
I sit and wonder why we breakin hip-hop laws,
Doing videos in houses that we know ain’t yours.

Lee Majors, “S.O.S.,” from Da Bush Babees’ Gravity, 1996

How can they say feeling good is an addiction?
But the world is full of shit, so I don’t listen,
In fact, ‘we livin’ to die’ is a contradiction.

ScHoolboy Q, “Oxymoron,” Oxymoron, 2014

On the real, fuck your opinion.
I made it this far, and you broke.

Troy Ave, “Classic Feel,” New York City: The Album, 2013

I be tossin’, enforcin’, my style is awesome.
I’m causin’ more Family Feuds than Richard Dawson.
And the survey said: “You’re dead.”
Fatal Flying Guillotine chops off your fuckin’ head!

RZA, “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit,” from Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993. More RZA quotes…

I met a gypsy and she hipped me to some life game,
To stimulate, then activate the left and right brain.
Said, ‘Baby boy, you only funky as your last cut.
You focus on the past, your ass’ll be a has-what.’
That’s one to live by, or either that’s one to die to.

Andre 3000, “Rosa Parks,” from Outkast’s Aquemini, 1998. More Outkast quotes…