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.

Kanye West, “This Way,” from Dilated Peoples’ Neighborhood Watch, 2004

My limo driver’s white, my attorney black…
‘Show me some love’ like I’m Bernie Mac.

Masta Ace, “Good Ol Love,” Long Hot Summer, 2004

You know that one auntie, you don’t wanna be rude,
…But every holiday, nobody eatin’ her food.

Kanye West, “Family Business,” The College Dropout, 2004

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

You could either ignore this advice, or take it from me:
Be too nice, and people take you for a dummy.

MF Doom, “Deep Fried Frenz,” MM.. Food, 2004

This country of ours was built on violence;
If your ass got in the way, you was killed in silence.
And these been the ways since back in the days:
Just ask the Indians or the African slaves.

Masta Ace, “The Ways,” A Long Hot Summer, 2004

Nah, I don’t really have to spit nothin’ too complex,
I just rep for my hood, and it sound correct.

Cappadonna, “Pass the Mic,” from Theodore Unit’s 718, 2004

I’m not enthused by these rap dudes.
All in they videos, posin’ half nude, with all of them tattoos,
Til I blacken they eyes and have them lookin’ like raccoons.

Trife Da God, “Pass The Mic,” from Theodore Unit’s 718, 2004 (via @onedrunkboy)

Kanye West • “All Falls Down” • 2004

It seems we living the American Dream,
But the people highest up got the lowest self-esteem.
The prettiest people do the ugliest things
For the road to riches and diamond rings.

Kanye West, “All Falls Down,” The College Dropout, 2004

Dead Prez • “Hell Yeah (Pimp the System)” • 2004

I’m not the one to kiss ass for the top position,
I take mine off the top like a politician.
Where I’m from, doin dirt is a part of livin…
I got mouths to feed, I gots to get it.

– Dead Prez, “Hell Yeah (Pimp the System),” RBG: Revolutionary But Gangsta, 2004

You know that one auntie, you don’t wanna be rude,
…But every holiday, nobody eatin’ her food.

Kanye West, “Family Business,” The College Dropout, 2004. More from Kanye…

Thought kissin’ ass was in my blood type? Oh, negative.

Phonte, “Raw Life,” from Foreign Exchange’s Connected, 2004. More from Phonte…

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…

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…

First I snatched the streets, then I snatched the charts.
First I had they ear, now I have their heart.
Rappers came and went…I’ve been here from the start.
I seen them put it together, watched them take it apart.

Jay-Z, “Never Let Me Down,” from Kanye West’s The College Dropout, 2004

What if somebody from the Chi that was ill got a deal on the hottest rap label around?
But he wasn’t talking ‘bout coke and birds, it was more like spoken word,
Except he’s really puttin’ it down.

Kanye West, “Through the Wire,” The College Dropout, 2004. The highly influential debut album was released 10 years ago, on February 10, 2004. More Kanye West Quotes…

If I upset you, don’t stress. Never forget
That God isn’t finished with me yet.
I feel His hand on my brain…
When I write rhymes, I go blind and let the Lord do His thang.

2Pac, “Ghetto Gospel,” Loyal to the Game, 2004. More 2Pac quotes…

I wish I didn’t get searched when I come through customs.
I wish Christians stop beefin’ with Muslims,
Wish the poor didn’t have to take welfare,
Wish America had universal health care…
Cause ain’t no help here.

Edo G., “Wishing,” My Own Worst Enemy, 2004

Though the meek shall inherit the earth, but don’t forget:
The poor are the ones who inherit the debt.

Posdnuos, “The Grind Date,” from De La Soul’s The Grind Date, 2004

I’m only trying to show you how black niggas live,
But you don’t want your little ones acting like this.
Lil Amy told Becky, Becky told Jenny,
And now they all know the skinny.
Lil Joey got his durag on,
Driving down the street blasting Tupac’s song.

Jay-Z, “Hell Yeah (Pimp the System) (Remix)”, from Revolutionary But Gangsta, 2004