I live this life at a pace that anyone can go.
Know your place, and dedicate your role
…To the faith that you’ll die alone

Kendrick Lamar, “See No Evil,” from Game’s Jesus Piece, 2012

I don’t get pat down, you know what’s on the waist,
I don’t mean Jazz when I say I “count base.”
Fly Louis sneakers, Purple Tape coming out the speakers,
Bumped into my high school teachers,
They said I wouldn’t be nothing, sitting on the bleachers.
Now I’m sitting in the Phantom, trynna figure out the features.
I’m a big fish now, I watch for the leeches.

Sheek Louch, “Pour tha Martini,” from Wu-Block, 2012

Man gave us laws, and God gave us time,
It’s the art of storytelling and I’m only telling mine.

A$AP Rocky, “Lines,” from Big Boi’s Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors, 2012

Niggas is too scared to hustle, but too cool to work,
So they walk around broke like a motherfuckin jerk.

Meyhem Lauren, “Brand Name Marijuana,” Mandatory Brunch Meetings, 2012

Wake up: all of that ‘crack in the street’ talk?
It’s made up, like ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’

Sean Price, “Pyrex,” Mic Tyson, 2012

There’s a very big difference between what’s rap and what’s real,
When those worlds collide, that’s when rappers get killed.
Trappers, they go to jail, die without leaving a will,
There’s a very big difference between what’s rap and what’s real.

Saigon, “Rap Vs. Real,” The Greatest Story Never Told 2: Bread and Circuses, 2012

City lights shine bright on my complexion,
Self-reflection…red hairs flashing at the intersection.
Life is a green light, one star, no script,
Supporting actors…fresh peaches, no pit.

Action Bronson, “Randy The Musical,” Rare Chandeliers, 2012

If you’re having world problems, I feel bad for you son,
I got 99 problems, but a Mitt ain’t one.

Jay-Z, “99 Problems,” from Barack Obama campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio, 2012. Voter Info (Google)

Yes I’m highly explosive, yes I’m something ferocious,
Niggas fuckin with my nerves like multiple sclerosis.

Lil’ Fame, “Black Out,” from The Man With the Iron Fists Soundtrack, 2012

Look inside my soul and you can find gold and maybe get rich.
Look inside of your soul and you can find out it never exists…

Kendrick Lamar, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” good kid, m.A.A.d. city, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reks, “Unlearn,” REBELutionary, 2012

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

I remember when I fell from my first bike:
There were no ‘Are you okays?’ and rarely ‘Are you alrights?’
Just dirt in my pockets, handful of gravel…
That’s when I realized that getting up is only half the battle.

Big K.R.I.T., “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” Live from the Underground, 2012

This is jazz, this is funk, this is soul, this is gospel
This is sanctified sick, this is player Pentecostal.
This is church front pew, Amen, pulpit,
What my people need and the opposite of bullshit.

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

We brag on havin’ bread, but none of us are bakers.
We all talk havin’ greens, but none of us on acres.
If none of us on acres, and none of us grow wheat,
Then who will feed our people when our people need to eat?
So it seems our people starve from lack of understandin’
Cause all we seem to give them is some ballin’ and some dancin’,
And some talkin’ about our car and imaginary mansions.
We should be indicted for bullshit we inciting,
Havin’ children deaf and pretendin’ it’s exciting.
We are advertisements for agony and pain.
We exploit the youth. We tell them to join a gang.
We tell them dope stories, introduced them to the game.

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

I own the night…the heat’s my receipt.

Ka, “Cold Facts,” Grief Pedigree, 2012

Friends: how many have ‘em?
How long before they split like atoms?
Don’t ask me, but what I do stand behind
Is someone havin’ your back seems hard to find.

Posdnous, “The Book of Life,” from De La Soul’s Plug 1 and Plug 2, First Serve, 2012

We can’t complain for this borrowed time;
So don’t misuse yours, cause you can’t borrow mine.

Big K.R.I.T., “Wake Up,” 4Eva N A Day, 2012

We live in an era where it ain’t about dope rhymes.
When beef is online, and how big is your co-sign…

Jon Connor, “Hova Mojo,” The Blue Album, 2012

Tell ya mama to stop flirtin’ boy, I’m not a good step-pop.
I interrupt your little session…and wreck shop.

Bumpy Knuckles, “GrEaTnEsS,” from DJ Premier and Bumpy Knuckles’ KoleXXXion, 2012

There ain’t no time to be wasted, the world is going under…
Nowadays, can’t tell Fall from Spring, and Winter from Summer.

Big K.R.I.T., “As Small as a Giant,” K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, 2012

…Not to mention, I take authority horribly.
Fuck a job, nigga, that conversation just bores me.

Obie Trice, “Growing Up in the Hood,” Bottoms Up, 2012

Fuck a moment of silence…I need a moment of violence.

Immortal Technique, “Toast to the Dead,” The Martyr, 2011

Layin niggas so flat, homies think you plankin’,
Only realize you dead when the corpse start stankin’.

Ras Kass, “Holes in the Ozone,” F.I.L.A. (Fuck It, Lose It All), 2012

Killer Mike • “Reagan” • 2012

Thanks to Reaganomics, prisons turned to profits,
Cause free labor is the cornerstone of US economics.
Slavery was abolished, unless you are in prison,
You think I am bullshitting? Then read the 13th Amendment.
Involuntary servitude and slavery it prohibits,
That’s why they giving drug offenders time in double digits.

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

Kendrick Lamar • “Sherane” • 2012

It’s deep-rooted, the music of being young and dumb,
It’s never muted, in fact, it’s much louder where I’m from.

Kendrick Lamar, “Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter’s Daughter,” good kid, m.A.A.d city, 2012

Never was hot, never was Pop,
But I never, ever stopped that real Hip Hop.
Got no paparazzi, got no company that got me;
Walking alone in the ‘hood, so it’s easy to spot me.

Chuck D, “Everything,” from Public Enemy’s The Evil Empire of Everything, 2012. More from Chuck D…

Wake up: all of that ‘crack in the street’ talk?
It’s made up, like ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’

Sean Price, “Pyrex,” Mic Tyson, 2012. R.I.P!

The way mothers feel for they sons, how fathers feel for they daughters;
When he date, he straight, chip off his own papa.
When she date, we wait behind the door with the sawed off,
Cause we think no one is good enough for our daughters.

Nas, “Daughters,” Life is Good, 2012. More from Nas…

I was a dreamer, life was a gamble;
Born in a casino, but God never give burdens you can’t handle.
Music is my ammo…I’m ready for battle.

K’naan, “Better,” Country, God, or the Girl, 2012

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 >

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

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…

I’m living three dreams:
Biggie Smalls’, Dr. King, Rodney King’s.
Cause we can’t get along, no resolution?
‘Til we drown all these haters…
Rest in peace to Whitney Houston

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

Up against Goliath, to bring butter home.
I’m David on pavement, sling another stone.

Ka, “Up Against Goliath,” Grief Pedigree, 2012

I hate The Police so much I’d probably assassinate Sting,
My System of a Down Rages Against the Machine.
Tie you up in a Slipknot and hold Alice In Chains inside her dreams.

Chino XL, “90 Bars of Intervention,” RICANStruction, 2012

This game is lame, the music comes second
So you can save that stupidness for all them artists you checkin.
Popularity don’t last long, I’m in it for classics,
Cause the other side of the biz is fake and it’s plastic.

Craig G., “Classic Personified,” Ramblings of an Angry Old Man, 2012

Every time I write these words they become a taboo,
Making sure my punctuation curve, every letter here’s true,
Living my life in the margin, and that metaphor was proof.

Kendrick Lamar, “Poetic Justice,” good kid, m.A.A.d city, 2012

In time, you’ll see a thin line between friend and rival.
Between you and me: stupidity and men’s bravado.

Ka, “Iron Age,” Grief Pedigree, 2012

I know you think my life is good ‘cause my diamond piece,
But my life been good since I started finding peace.

Nas, “Loco-Motive,” Life Is Good, 2012