Whenever I received too much praise, it just didn't feel right to me -- ever.
No temporary chaos is worth your sanity. Just knowing that whatever happens, it happens to the best of them too.
I pledge allegiance to the fair and balanced truth. Not the biased truth, Not the liest truth, But the highest truth.
Street's disciple, my raps are trifle. I shoot slugs from my brain just like a rifle.
Beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined.
The flaws, the mistakes I make that's the real me.
There was a side of me that knew I was gonna change the game, but I didn't know how many people would respect it.
'Life Is Good' represents the most beautiful, dramatic and heavy moments in my life.
When I say 'hip-hop is dead,' basically, America is dead. There is no political voice. Music is dead.
I see N.Y. hip-hop like I see N.Y. streets. N.Y. streets are grimy; it's a grind. N.Y. rappers are hustlers -- whatever sound is in, we can adapt to that; there's nothing wrong with that.
N.Y. hip-hop is ok, but we gotta become brave again; we have to be brave enough and do something new -- that's what New York is about... New.
People have stopped battling in hip hop, in the primitive sense, and the focus of the competitive element has shifted to the music. It's less about bragging and more about being the best lyrically and poetically.
I'm never gonna die, never heard of death, energy can never be destroyed only the flesh, so when you try to murder me with bullets to the head this is why you can't kill me niggaz, I'm already dead.
I'm capable of anything, my imagination can give me wings.
I'm a reader, so when I go to bookstores I need (stuff) that's going to help me. There a big emptiness there and I want to help fill that through song.
I used to keep a dictionary and work with it and then I realized there are more words that exist in the English language than there are in this dictionary.
I guess entertainment means blatantly lyin'
There was a lot of negative that was put on rappers for using the word, and I feel like we're just misunderstood. Most of us are; some of us is just plain wack.
Whats up with your motto? Will you lead? Will you follow?
Life is short is what some niggaz said; not if you measure life -- by how one lives and what he did.
Play it cool, that's the old school rule man.
God gushed me out his nuts, the devil swallowed me up and I burnt a hole in his guts.
I'm inspired by people like Nelson Mandela. Can you imagine -- you know how racist America was back then -- imagine how racism was in South Africa when he had to stand up and say what he had to say. That's bravery beyond comprehension.
I pledge allegiance to the fair and balanced truth.
Not the biased truth,
Not the liest truth,
But the highest truth.
I just appreciate what Andre 3000 has done musically -- just the bravery. I think Andre 3000 may be one of the bravest artists in rap music.
With rap music, because it's all so on the street, you get treated like a street cat: All right, you've been eatin' enough, you're fat, get out of the way now and let somebody else come by.
When I write a story, I just wanna tell you what's in my head. It can come from real life and then turn into fantasy, stuff just rhyming. And write about what you know. I just like to tell stories that have not been told or told from my perspective.
Hip-hop ain't died because of the South, that's retarded.
Hip-hop ain't died because of the South, that's retarded. When I named the album originally, I thought I bit off more than I could chew but you'd be an idiot to think I'm talking about how the South killed hip-hop or how New York isn't where it should be or where it once was. It was like, "Damn, I need to explain this?" But I thought, "Nah, the proof is right there. We should know what it is." I expect the hip-hop audience to be avant garde. I want them to be where I'm at or beyond where I'm at.
Don't speak to fools, they scorn the wisdom of your words.
Used to ride with him to Brooklyn, Lewis and Halsey, co chocolate thai, vernon style and burn it down.
If you scared to take chances, you'll never have the answers.
You only have one first chance to make one first impression that lasts a lifetime.
It's not just hip-hop that's dead. Mostly every form of American music is dead. It's been dead. RandB isn't really good.
You are who you associate with. Look around at your five closest friends and that's who you are. If you don't want to be that person, you know what you gotta do.
On the reals, all these crab niggaz know the deal,
When we start the revolution, all they'll probably do is squeal.
GaGa is one of my favourites. Her voice is incredible and she's fearless and she's ahead of the game. She's ahead of the entire game, and I admire that.
Every great person educates themselves.
I expect the hip-hop audience to be avant garde. I want them to be where I'm at or beyond where I'm at.
If you really believe in yourself and your music that much, you're gonna do your thing, regardless what people say.
When your so focused on what people say, how can your really be focused on the music? If you're concerned with what someone says, you aren't working on a real record. You're working on something that's just for now, to please people this very second... because you don't believe in yourself.
Born alone, die alone, no crew to keep my crown or throne.
Don't ever give up on yourself. Keep pushing because the change of guards is what life's all about.
The whole thing is, do as much as you can, when you possibly can, and don't stress.
In the past I had to deal with issues that hit me as a younger man. As a man who wasn't married who didn't really have the experience that I have now. Today I'm a different guy.
Every time I get in the studio, I feel like I wanna have some fun. My fun is not doing the easy work. My fun is doing what's me.
Business, endorsements and things of that nature, I got into it kinda naturally. Those ventures materialised as a direct result of things that I was actually doing; all the partnerships have been organic and not necessarily etched out plans for monetary gain.
Failure is not an option, and I always felt like I'm a man who doesn't have regrets, and I don't live with excuses. I can't take excuses.
Respect all fear none my pride is everything.
So many affluent men are faced with finding love problems. I'm sure beautiful, affluent women are faced with the same things sometimes.
I talk about Africa and its meaning, being the birthplace of man and all that great history that's been erased and even hidden. I think it's my duty to be proud and to bring about the conversation that allows us to talk about the great history of my people.
Divorce can be crazy. Man, if you're happy... Love is a beast, man. Hold on. Be prepared for any way it may go, and be honest.
Speak what I want, I don't care what y'all feel. 'Cause I'm my own master, my Pop told me be your own boss. Keep integrity at every cost.
That buck that bought a bottle could have struck the lotto.
I rap for listeners, blunt heads, fly ladies and prisoners.
Vocabulary spills I'm ill.
To me, it's an honour to be accepted as a hip hop artist, it gives me a lot of opportunity to express myself.
I'm just flowing through, when I see things, I talk about 'em. And it's cool. I don't want any title. I just say what I say, and hopefully somebody gets it. I'm not perfect, and I'm just here and trying to make a dollar, and being real at the same time.
When I made Illmatic, I was trying to make the perfect album. It comes from the days of Wild Style. I was trying to make you experience my life. I wanted you to look at hip-hop differently. I wanted you to feel that hip-hop was changing and becoming something more real.
Hip-hop artist, especially the older ones, are the ones who new hip-hop was a worldwide phenomenon before the mainstream caught on, so hip-hop artists are forward thinkers. We want to stay with the new.
At one point, the old school club retires and you're next up to bat, but if you stop before your time, you will see someone else live your dream.
True in the game, as long as blood is blue in my veins
I pour my Heineken brew to my deceased crew on memory lane.
Never stop. Never settle. I believe in this message.
No idea is original, there's nothing new under the sun, it's never what you do, but how it's done.
I've met a lot of people and happened to inspire a lot of people who I'm in conversation with about business. It's just how things are going for me and it's great, but music is always going to be number one for me.
Аll I need is one life, one try, one breath, I'm one man.
What I stand for speaks for itself...they don't understand.
It's a thin line between paper and hate,
Friends and snakes, nine millis and thirty-eights,
Hell or the pearly gates...I was destined to come,
Predicted, blame God, He blew breath in my lungs.
You got a handful of great guys -- Ne-Yo, R. Kelly, Usher. You have a handful of great female artists. But for the most part the music world's changing and change is good. You have to make adjustments if you want to survive in that world.
I'm a storyteller and the Bible is a bunch of stories about life and things that took place here on planet earth. It's a great example to use and a great reason to be happy about being a storyteller because the lessons of the land are always in stories.
Rule No. 1 is you can't be fake. If you're fake, you become a gimmick and you're selling a gimmick; a little gimmick is cool, this is entertainment. But when you base your stuff on mostly real stuff, you never run out of it because every day is a different adventure.
I'm a firm believer that we all meet up in eternity
Just hope the big man show me some courtesy.
Just sitting in silence is one of the best things a man can do.
I'm over dey heads like a bulemic on a seesaw.
I don't meditate. Silence is golden though.
Mind's in another world thinking how can we exist through the facts.
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.
Through the lights cameras and action, glamour glitters and gold I unfold the scroll, plant seeds to stampede the globe.
Love the skinny model chicks but I prefer the thickness.
I got the opportunity to meet people all over the world. Brilliant women, tall women, short women, slim women, thick women, you name it. But, I don't meet them. I have the opportunities to and it's a little bit -- I'm a little shy, so I don't meet them and I don't know who's right for me.
Hip-hop is such an amazing thing that kids still want to do it. They're not saying, Ugh, that's the old people's music. No, they're younger than they've ever been that want to get into hip-hop music.
You ni**az get me sick, wannabe soundin like you know my arithmetic... but we don't sound alike.
The reason I want to be alone, is I'm tired of all the things that went wrong that would've went right if I had did 'em on my own.
If the virgin Mary had an abortion, I'd still be carried in a chariot of stampeding horses.
Whose world is this? The world is yours.
I sip the Dom P watching Gandhi til I'm charged -- writing in my book of rhymes, all the words past the margin.
Marley is someone before his time, man. He's -- he's almost -- he's like a deity, like almost, you know what I mean? I just talk about what's going on, but of course, you know, Bob, before rappers, was already laying that kind of thing down.
America is a melting pot for all different groups of people, historically. And it's rare that the story of all of these people will be told in the history books. So I always felt I had to find out my history for myself and research my roots.
My skin is an art gallery right, with paintings and crucifixes hoping to save me from all the dangers in the music business.
No Ideas original -- there is nothing new under the sun.
I lay puzzle as I backtrack to earlier times, Nothing's equivalent to the New York state of mind.
All I need is one mic . All I need is one life, one try, one breath, I'm one man.
Always observe, watch, and talk to older people.
Me and hip-hop have a relationship that has nothing to do with no other rapper, no matter where you from or nothing. Every n*gga got his own personal relationship with hip-hop and this is mine.
I wanted to say what wasn't being said. I wanted to give people a real story. I wanted people to know people like me exist in the world.
You know, rap is sort of like a form of talking, right? So it's like you can hear, you know, the slaves doing it. You can hear, like, you know, Africans and Jamaicans doing it just kind of as, like, a rhythmic, poetic conversation, you know, to a rhythm.
My record company had to beg me to stop filmin' music videos in the projects. No matter what the song was about, I had 'em out there.
I'm proud to be an American, no matter what. But Amercian culture is stale, you know wha I'm saying ? We keep regurgitating the same sh*t. And it ain't exciting. I seen it from when I was a kid watching the whole sh*t. The sh*t was exciting to me.
Africa has been going through so much for so many years; it's time that it stands up the way other nations are standing up.
I'm the young city bandit, hold myself down singlehanded
For murder raps, I kick my thoughts alone, get remanded
Born alone, die alone, no crew to keep my crown or throne
I'm deep by sound alone, caved inside in a thousand miles from home.
The hardest thing is to forgive, but God does, even if you murdered or robbed, ya it's wrong, but God loves, take one step toward him he'll take two toward you, even when all else fails, God'll support you.
It's never been seen that a street artist go as far as I've gone -- keep consistent without wanting to do a bunch of ventures outside of music to keep my face out there.
My duration's infinite, money-wise or physiology.
And the stuff that I write, is even tougher than dykes.
You're supposed to be who you are. You're supposed to make music that is true to you.
Calling Michelle 'Obama Barack's baby mama?' Tell me, is that acceptable? But the Obamas aren't the only targets. Fox's pattern of race-baiting and fear-mongering regularly focuses on black leaders, black institutions and ordinary black people.
Everything will eventually come to an end,
So try to savor the moment, cause time flies, don't it?
The beauty of life, you gotta make it last for the better,
Cause nothin' lasts forever.
What you base your happiness around?
Material, women, and large paper?
That means you inferior, not major.
Some seek fame cause they need validation,
Some say hating is confused admiration.
Niggas hate what they can't understand, fear what they can't conquer.
My earliest memories of rap music was mixed with my earliest memories of reggae music. They were big sounds around the way, heavy bass lines, strong messages, definitely.
You lose money chasing women, never lose women chasing money.
I know you think my life is good 'cause my diamond piece,
But my life been good since I started finding peace.
I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.
I don't kill soloists only kill squads.
In hip hop no one cares. No one stands up for it and it's a mess. We need order so we can all follow the tradition of where we came from. We need to keep referring to the pioneers.
Sunlight and seeing something that was a thought become a thing and materialize -- that makes me come alive.
If the truth is told, the youth can grow
Then learn to survive until they gain control
Nobody says you have to be gangstas, hoes
Read more learn more, change the globe.
I've been called everything. Gangsta rap. I've been called conscious rap. You know, everything. Whoever feels like calling it whatever they want to call it, that's on them.
Life's a bitch and then you die; that's why we get high
Cause you never know when you're gonna go.
Props is a true thug's wife.
Jamaican music can be aggressive, soulful, smooth and exciting all at once -- just like hip-hop. At the same time, there's nothing like Jamaica in the United States. Jamaica is its own thing.
You know the block was ill as a youngster
Every night it was like a, cop would get killed body found in the dumpster.
Big up to Flex. Stop taking so much cizock in his mizouth.
Let the music diffuse all the tension.
Some people say I'm conscious, some say I'm a gangsta rapper -- it's just me doing me. I'm stomping in my own lane. I'm doing what I do.
I had been through, of course, the divorce and I had been hit with some taxes that really showed me to be careful who's working with you and your money, and you have to be the one that is responsible for your money -- you can't trust anyone and I did and I ran into a problem.
My success symbolizes loyalty, great friends, Dedication, hard work, routine builds character. In a world full of snakes, rats and scavengers.
I never stood for any president in my life, never voted, before Barack Obama. It changed my life to vote. It starts there with me. I never cared for politics before Barack Obama. I never thought it mattered to people like me.
I think marriage is a beautiful thing. I'm still a supporter of it.
All fatherhood is very important because single mothers shouldn't have to raise sons or daughters; they need that help.
I think I've had the longest career of strength, focus, and still being able to sell records. I think I'm that guy. I'm still blessed with the opportunity to make music and pass out a message like, 'Life is good,' to the world.
Hip-hop is bigger than the South; hip-hop is bigger than New York.
To me, creatively challenging myself is my version of owning the Nets.
I like the way hip-hop is now. It's grown up enough so that it can get involved with politics if it feels like it.
I love PBS! I grew up on it. If I had to say which channels were good, I'd say, you got your PBS, your History Channel, your Discovery.
Anybody I'm dating, I don't want them to talk about my music. I don't talk about my music to them.
Man, me and Biggie were the biggest artists in New York. When he passed, I was so messed up. My attitude was messed up about him dying. There was an East-West thing back then, and I was in war mode.
I'll always love rap, no matter what's going on.
Let's not forget, art can sell. You ain't gotta front all the time on your records.
I can't control what people think. They know who I am.
Hip-hop is really standoffish. It's really competitive and it's really about who's number one all the time. Sometimes it gets out of hand.
Hip-hop is making a lot of noise. It should get some more spotlight.
I had a pretty public divorce. They're not easy -- divorces -- and it took me a long time to really get through.
I think the fact that I made enough noise in the world that I might be remembered is an amazing achievement. You can't ask for more than that.
I have no tattoos that I regret -- I have had some that I have had changed according to how my life was.
'Stillmatic' is the rebirth of 'Illmatic,' my first debut album to come out in 1994. 'Stillmatic' is me coming full circle in my career and with everything, and just bringing pure hip-hop back.
I think hip-hop could help rebuild America, once hip-hoppers own hip-hop... We are our own politicians, our own government, we have something to say. We're warriors. Soldiers.
I wish the music business was a much easier thing, but you know what? Nothing easy is worth anything. So it is what it is. There comes a time when things can work out and everybody can be happy. And that's what it's all about in the end -- everybody being happy and working it out.
Unfortunately, man, a lot of places in America have to deal with unnecessary violence. Somebody like me who knows it firsthand and could relate... I had a best friend killed, plenty other friends killed. I been through it. I seen it.
DJs play a big responsibility of what hip-hop is doing... At the end of the day, it's up to us to control and to own hip-hop. DJs need to challenge us rappers. They got so much power, they need to challenge us.
Hip-hop lasted and survived all these years that you have to give it credit. Even though it's not up to people's expectations anymore, its still here, and that's says a lot.
When you have a daughter, you want to protect her from the things that I've seen out there, you know, the things that's out there that ain't good for her. It's a crazy world we live in.
No matter who you are, black, white, green, there's going to be things in your way, you know what I mean?
We're all Africans, everyone -- black, white, yellow.
I think the hip-hop purists are purists through and through. They're here to criticize all of us. That's just how it is. We as MC's criticize each other. That's the nature of hip-hop.
No one's promised anything. You could have the biggest record on radio and sell no records.
I'm just little me, an American who wants to see his country do better.
I don't get jealousy, I don't get how people hate each other -- I never did.
I don't want any title. I just say what I say, and hopefully somebody gets it, man. I'm not perfect, and I'm just here and trying to make a dollar, and being real at the same time, you know?
I'm not talking about Russia in my music. I've never been to Russia. I'm not talking about Africa, Switzerland, China. I'm talking about me being American and growing up in a crazy world and helping to reflect all different sides of life.
Every generation witnesses atrocities. People in power try to fulfill prophecy.
With age comes common sense and wisdom.
When you're a teenager, you want to meet a lot of girls -- you want to get the most girls. You don't know anything about respect; you don't know anything about being faithful and loyal to your girlfriend.
Working with great people makes you great; you learn a lot and it also gives you the experience and confidence to move on with your own career.
Once you make it to your point of making it, you'll appreciate the struggle.
I want to have fun. It's a beautiful life. You learn, you win, you lose, but you get up.
I want to sound like an instrument. I want my voice and my words to marry the beat. I go with the rhythm of it and the words start to come to my mind and those words could be based on things that's been on my mind for the past year, the past month, the past week, whatever; I write it.
I love the art world, I love art galleries, I love what it means -- I love art.
I just enjoy life now. I just enjoy every morning I get to wake up.
The flaws, the mistakes I make -- that's the real me.
Hip-hop is the streets. Hip-hop is a couple of elements that it comes from back in the days... that feel of music with urgency that speaks to you. It speaks to your livelihood and it's not compromised. It's blunt. It's raw, straight off the street -- from the beat to the voice to the words.
I don't go out unless I'm working. My quality time is when I'm doing nothing.
Your look reflects what's happening in your mind. You gotta have some swag to you.
You can't please everybody. You'd be crazy if you're trying to. So take some time out to do some things for yourself.
Anybody can be a rapper, but not anybody can be a classical artist.
The sound of the '90s, to me, is a combination of soul and street -- it's a feeling.