Inhale deep like the words of my breath,
I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.

Nas, “New York State of Mind,” Illmatic, 1994

Real, rough and rugged, shine like a gold nugget,
Every time I pick up the microphone, I drug it.

Jeru The Damaja, “Come Clean,” The Sun Rises in the East, 1994

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.

Apache, “Gangsta Bitch,” Apache Ain’t Shit, 1994

…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.

Nas, “One Love,” Illmatic, 1994

Switchin’ speeds like Bruce Lee ridin’ up Fuji in a movie.

Redman, “Can’t Wait,” Dare Iz a Darkside, 1994

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.

Keith Murray, “The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World," The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World, 1994 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fake MC’s – they always act hard
But won’t walk the streets without their bodyguards.

Guru, “Suckas Need Bodyguards,” from Gang Starr’s Hard To Earn, 1994

Niggas is decaf, I stick ‘em for the C.R.E.A.M.

Method Man, “Bring the Pain,” Tical, 1994

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’m like an eclipse on a Friday the 13th,
With black cats and Haley’s Comet,
Blazin’ blunts in my driveway…

Redman, “Cosmic Slop,” Dare Iz a Darkside, 1994

Lemonade was a popular drink and it still is;
I get more props and stunts than Bruce Willis.

Guru, “DWYCK,” from Gang Starr featuring Nice & Smooth DWYCK 12", 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

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

A born terror, a rebel without a pause…
Ain’t never had a good Christmas, so who is Santa Claus?

Shyheim, “On and On,” Shyheim a.k.a. The Rugged Child, 1994 (via egotripland & babylonfalling)

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

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

See, seventy percent of the world’s underwater,
Seventy percent of your body’s underwater,
Seventy percent of what we live is out of range,
We rearrange this order, but niggaz think it’s strange.

Boogiemonsters, “Strange,” Riders of the Storm: The Underwater Album, 1994 

Keepin’ this effervescent street ghetto essence inside us
Cause it provides us with the proper insight to guide us

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

Dwellin’ in the Rotten Apple, you get tackled.
Or caught by the devil’s lasso…shit is a hassle.

Nas, “The World Is Yours,” Illmatic, 1994

The more emotion I put into it, the harder I rock.

O.C., “Time’s Up,” Word…Life, 1994

I met this girl when I was ten years old,
And what I loved most she had so much soul.
She was old school, when I was just a shorty
Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me.

Common, “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” from Resurrection, 1994

I’m a addict for sneakers, twenties of buddah and bitches with beepers.

Nas, “N.Y. State of Mind,” Illmatic, 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

Visualizin’ the realism of life and actuality,
Fuck who’s the baddest, a person’s status depends on salary.

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

On the reals, all these crab niggaz know the deal,
When we start the revolution, all they’ll probably do is squeal.

Nas, “One Love,” Illmatic, 1994

Peep what I wrote;
You bit so hard, I thought your shit was a quote.

Casual, “That’s How It Is,” Fear Itself, 1994

Imagine peace on this earth when there’s no grief,
Imagine grief on this earth when there’s no peace.

Scarface, “I Seen a Man Die,” The Diary, 1994

I never let the worst things in life get the best of me.
So take these testes and, ummm…open sesame.

King Sun, “Humm Deez Nuts,” Strictly Ghetto EP, 1994

There are few things that’s forever, my lady.
We can make war or make babies.

Method Man, “All I Need,” Tical, 1994

(Peace!) Piece of what?
You can’t mean P-E-A-C-E
Cause I’ve seen people on the streets
Shoot the next man and turn around and say ‘peace.’
But that’s leaving people in pieces
It’s not what the meaning of peace is.

Large Professor, “Peace Is Not the Word to Play,” Main Source’s Breaking Atoms, 1994

Battle physically, conquer mentally.

CL Smooth, “Take You There,” from Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s The Main Ingredient, 1994

Lyrically def and connecting, complete mic-wrecking…
No double-checking, vocals kill like weapons.

Guru, “Mass Appeal,” from Gang Starr’s Hard To Earn, 1994. More from Guru…

I know the price, know the risk, know the wrongs and the rights;
Still my blood flows ice…it’s just my life.

Jay-Z, “In My Lifetime (Remix),” 12", 1994. More from Hov…

Life’s a bitch and then you die.
That’s why we get high,
Cause you never know when you’re gonna go.

AZ, “Life’s a Bitch,” Illmatic, 1994. More from AZ…

Fuck the world, don’t ask me for shit,
Everything you get you gotta work hard for it.
Honeys shake your hips, you don’t stop,
And niggas pack the clips, keep on…

Notorious B.I.G. & Method Man, “The What,” Ready to Die, 1994. More from Biggie, more from Meth.

They say signs of the end is near;
I wonder…can I walk a righteous path holding a beer?

Common, “Resurrection,” Resurrection, 1994. More from Com…

I’m a true master, you can check my credentials
Cause I choose to use my infinite potential.

Jeru tha Damaja, “Come Clean,” The Sun Rises in the East, 1994

It’s for real though, let’s connect, politic…ditto!
We could trade places, get lifted in the staircases,
Word up, peace, incarcerated scarfaces.

Raekwon, “Incarcerated Scarfaces,” Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, 1994. More from Rae and The Wu…

You need to git up, git out and git something…
How will you make it if you never even try?

Outkast, “Git Up, Git Out,” Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, 1994. More from Andre and Big Boi…

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…

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 >

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

I got a lot of things to do, a lot of money to make;
I got no time for you and all the moves you fake.

JuJu, “Props Over Here,” from The Beatnuts’ Street Level, 1994

Life is full of stress and it wrecks my brain,
So I puff the buddha bless and destroy the pain.

JuJu, “Props Over Here,” from The Beatnuts’ Street Level, 1994

I write raps, and when niggas bite, I clap.
Cause their shit sounds better now.

Casual, “That’s How It Is,” Fear Itself, 1994

I can’t relate to livin’ less than great.

Large Professor, “Stress (Extra P Remix),” from Organized Konfusion’s Stress 12", 1994

My motto is: the bigger they are, the more politics involved,
And I revolve at a rate to make your occipital skull plate dissolve.
Techniques delve deep, soooo…don’t sleep, ock, I rock phonics
That got you holdin my dick like your name was Lorena Bobbit.

Ras Kass, “Remain Anonymous,” 12", 1994. More Ras Kass quotes.

Alright I might…
Have had a little glare when I stared at ya ho.
But I didn’t know she was like that,
She stared right back!

Casual, “I Didn’t Mean To,” Fear Itself, 1994

I’ve been to college, but to be truthfully frank:
Weed is knowledge, cause it makes me think.

Keith Murray, “Get Lifted,” The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World, 1994. More from Keith Murray.

A born terror, a rebel without a pause…
Ain’t never had a good Christmas, so who is Santa Claus?

Shyheim, “On and On,” Shyheim a.k.a. The Rugged Child, 1994

I never sleep, ‘cause sleep is the cousin of death.

Nas, “N.Y. State of Mind,” Illmatic, 1994

A lot of rappers be like one time wonders,
Couldn’t say a fly rhyme if there was one right under their noses…
I hate those motherfuckin posers.

Guru, “Mass Appeal,” from Gang Starr’s Hard to Earn, 1994 (via ninetynow)

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

I drop styles on ears…the public bite ‘em.
Not many went to school, so the dummies wouldn’t write ’em.
They say, “Yo Keith! You’re Kool, you usin’ big words!”
I went to college, I’m even more stupid, herb.

Kool Keith, “Raise It Up,” from Ultramagnetic M.C.’s The Four Horsemen, 1993

I’m complexicated like a Rubik’s Cube puzzle,
Who said I drink? I don’t drink, I guzzle.

Subroc, “Sweet Premium Wine,” from K.M.D.’s Black Bastards, 1994