10 Best Rap Music Lyrics
In order to fully comprehend the 10 best rap music lyrics, you’ve got to understand the context. Rap music offers uncensored glimpses into the lives of modern street poets. The words may come off as indistinct gibberish to some, but these lyrics are full of deep metaphor and poetic aptitude.
- “I’m tired of being poor and even worse I’m black / My stomach hurts so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch” from “Changes” by Tupac Shakur. Tupac was adept at eloquently describing street life. In this lyric from his 1998 greatest hits album, he offers insight on the motivations of a criminal.
- “One of the few who’s been accused and abused of the crime of poisoning young minds / But you don’t know shit ‘til you’ve been in my shoes” from “100 Miles and Runnin” by NWA. As one of the first rap music groups to be labeled “gangsta,” NWA was an early target of conservative backlash. This lyric from their 1990 EP attempts to explain their point of view.
- “Puttin’ brothers to rest like Eliot Ness / ‘Cause I don’t like stress” from “Juice (Know the Ledge)” by Eric B. and Rakim. This 1992 single was prominently featured in the movie “Juice.” Its lyrics tell the story of a street hustler on his way to a bloody end.
- “This chicken got me diggin’ her moves ‘cause she smooth / Win or lose, whoever she choose, it’s the dues” from “How’s It Goin’ Down” by DMX. This song's lyrics contain a bittersweet love story at their core. It fits in alongside the collection of abrasive rap music on DMX’s debut album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot.”
- “And when I’m gone just carry on, don’t mourn / Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice” from “When I’m Gone” by Eminem. Eminem has many works that could be considered one of the ten best rap music lyrics. “When I’m Gone” is a heartfelt and personal death letter to his loved ones.
- “What’s runnin’ through my mind comes through in my walk / True feelings are shown from the way that I talk” from “Pass the Mike” by The Beastie Boys. Since 1982, The Beastie Boys have consistently penned some of the best rap music lyrics. These lines from their 1992 album “Check Your Head” show a self-confidence that is very much deserved.
- “And you talk kinda clean and you lick your lips / But I can’t fall for you ‘cause I stick to the script” from “Earthquake” by Lil Wayne. Lil Wayne definitely deserves a spot on the ten best rap music lyrics. His 2004 album “Tha Carter” contains these lyrics, a cautionary tale against falling for the wrong woman.
- “Don’t push me ‘cause I’m close / To the streets, to the beach, the bitches, the niggas, the women, the children, the workers, the killers, the addicts, the dealers, the quiet, the livest, the realest” from “Close Edge” by Mos Def The speed at which Mos Def relays these rap music lyrics is near mind-boggling. On the 2004 album “The New Danger,” he references a mouthful of street life scenery without taking a breath.
- “When I wake up, people take up mostly all of my time / I’m not singin’ phone keep ringin’ ‘cause I make up a rhyme” from “It’s Tricky” by Run DMC. As the first “rock stars” of rap music, Run DMC were in unfamiliar territory on their 1987 album “Raising Hell.” These lyrics convey their confusion.
- “The ink of a scholar is worth a thousand times more than the blood of a martyr” from “American Terrorist” by Lupe Fiasco. This lyrical gem is from the 2006 album “Food & Liquor.” In perhaps the most poignant of the ten best rap music lyrics, Lupe Fiasco tells us he’d rather be the educator of a cause than the victim of it.