Rap is a medium that’s all about lyrics, and any list of 10 famous rap quotes will have slices of acute insight stood alongside bold declarations of sexual prowess, carnal desires, and supreme skill. There’s also silliness, nostalgia, and skewed logic.
- “Fuck the police.” NWA invoked the ire of the FBI with their anthemic rallying cry against police brutality in the build up to the Los Angeles race riots. “Fuck the police” is one of 10 famous rap quotes and was a game changer when it hit the streets in 1988.
- “It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up magazine. Salt n Peppa and Heavy D up in the limousine.” Never has hip-hop nostalgia and the dream of making out of the ghetto been presented more perfectly and more powerfully than in Biggie's Brooklyn anthem "Juicy." In one of 10 famous rap quotes, the big man from NYC offers glimpse into his childhood dream world.
- “Inhale deep like the words of my breath. I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death.” There’s not much to be said about Nas’ “Illmatic” that hasn’t been said before. Suffice it to say some call the record the hip-hop bible. This lyric, taken from opening track “New York State of Mind,” has been repeated time and again by fellow lyricists, and is one of 10 famous rap quotes.
- “Forever. Forever ever. Forever ever.” Outkast came up with so many brilliant songs, insightful couplets, genre bending sounds, and complex concepts it’s somewhat surprising that this silly little line seems to have made the most impact of anything they did. Hell, it’s one of the 10 most famous and repeated rap lyrics of all time.
- “I like big butts.” Everyone knows Six Mix-a-lot’s infamous declaration of love for large posteriors, one of 10 famous rap quotes. It’s a ribald and patently ridiculous exclamation, but one that has been echoed in countless booty anthems since.
- “If you’re having girl problems I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one.” It would be a crime to leave Jigga off a list of 10 famous rap quotes, and the opening salvo of “99 Problems” is pure gold. Jay-Z had beef with Nas, a high profile court case, and scuffles within camp Rocafella, but never has he had a problem with the females.
- “Mo money, mo problems.” Chris Rock once quipped that Biggie’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” was the most popular song most people can’t relate to. True. It’s also a line that’s widely quoted and extremely famous.
- “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothing left.” The opening lines from Coolio’s 1995 mega hit have been oddly prophetic. What happened to the guy? Apparently he took a look at his life a realized there was nothing left after such a huge single. Either way, it’s one of 10 famous rap lyrics.
- “I am whatever you say I am. If I wasn't, then why would you say I am.” While it would be easy to take exception to Eminem’s infuriated sentiment (apparently the guy’s never heard of lying to get ahead, creating a public image, etc…), it’s equally as easy to go along with it, given the conviction the MC spits with. The line is one of 10 famous rap quotes.
- “Fuck bitches, get money.” If we were to put money right here and now on what will be engraved on Lil Wayne’s tombstone, we’d go with “Fuck bitches, get money.” No other line in the scatter brained MC’s oeuvre articulates as precisely and succinctly what his motto for life seems to be.
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