Since I was young, I have always been fascinated with rap music. Yup… a fat, white, middle class Texan kid bangin’ 2pac. Go figure. I was the kid that didn’t wear thuggish clothes or anything… didn’t have chains, an occasional crooked hat. I just had a love for the music. So as I am grown now, you would think it would have wore off… but that is not the case.
Rap music is in my soul and if nothing else it has tought me lessons in life. These are the 9 rap songs I choose to live by and my reasons for doing so.
1. Gin & Juice (Snoop Doggy Dogg) – How could you not know & love this song if you were young in the 90’s? I remember being young, maybe early teens and spitting out the lyrics like I was your everday hoodlum….
“Now, that, I got me some Seagrams gin. Everybody got they cups, but they aint chipped in. Now this types of !@#$, happens all the time. You got to get yours but fool I gotta get mine.” – watch video
Snoop was right. There is always some fool tryin’ to get something for free. Never chippin’ in. Letting someone else take care of the tab, while they freeload. Everybody got they cup but they ain’t chipped in… damn right. Get your own gin !@#$%.
2. One Mic (Nas) – Nas dropped some knowledge on us all when he hit the scene, making everyone think about the music instead of just bob your head. One mic taught us all that all you needed in this world was one mic… ok maybe a few other things…
“Only if I had one gun, one girl, and one crib. One God to show me how to do things his son did. Pure, like a cup of virgin blood mixed with one-fifty-one.” – watch video
Indeed… all you need is one mic, like the title states. Oh yeah, and one gun… one girl… one crib… one God… one prayer… one car… one million dollars. Just one of everything will do. You should always have one good version of everything in your life. A good knife, a good dog (ok maybe two, but still…); you get the idea. When it all comes down to it, less is more. Quality is always better than quantity.
3. It Was A Good Day (Ice Cube) – I remember the video where he gets ready in the morning and goes into the kitchen and there is food being cooked. He walks outside and the sun is shining. The start of a good day…
“Today was like one of those fly dreams didn’t even see a berry flashing those high beams. No helicopter looking for a murder. Two in the morning got the fat burger. Even saw the lights of the Goodyear blimp and it read ice cubes a pimp.” – watch video
Indeed… it was a good day. Any day you didn’t have to use your A.K. – has to be a good day. Seriously, some days are good… some bad. One day you wake up and its sunshine & eggs for breakfast, the next day your stepping in dog crap and having to use your A.K. – not a good day. When a good day comes along, don’t take it for granted. If your lucky, there will be a big blimp that reads “YOUR NAME HERE is a PIMP”. The defining moment of a good day.
4. Juicy (Notorious B.I.G.) – With a title like that… how could it not teach you something. Think about all the good things that are juicy. Big juicy orange, big juicy burger… big juicy kiss – so what does it mean as the title? Living juicy.. big, nice – fat. The first words of the song are spoken and he dedicates the album to the people that thought he wouldn’t amount anything and those people who called the cops on him when he was younger selling drugs. Get ready for life lessons.
“Phone bill about two G’s flat. No need to worry, my accountant handles that. And my whole crew is loungin’. Celebratin’ every day, no more public housin’. Thinkin’ back on my one-room shack. Now my mom pimps a Ac’ with minks on her back .” – watch video
We all dream of 2,000$ phone bills don’t we? Or the fact that we need not worry – our accountant will handle it. We dream of the day when money will not be an issue, our friends by our side laughing about our meager beginnings. Juicy teaches you to dream and believe that you can do it. Like Biggie – besides the dying part.
5. C.R.E.A.M. (Wu Tang Clan) – Sadly, money tends to be a hot topic amongst friends – bills, plans, savings, debt… just everything seems to revolve around it. Like it or not. Wu Tang told us this long ago with verses describing it all in detail, we should have listed then. Imagine the headstart.
“Cash rules everything around me – C.R.E.A.M. Get the money – dollar, dollar bill y’all.” Still does. Just took a while to realize it. Wu Tang taught me to stay on the grind, keep working at it – it will all come together. Stick with it and you will get your C.R.E.A.M. Kind’a sounds gay. what… wait a second ewwwf
5. Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems (Notorious B.I.G.) – I know back-to-back Biggie’s songs, but this dude was like the professor of rap. BIG taught the scriptures of rap, if you will. Each telling you a secret to overcoming odds and how to deal with it when you got there. Plus we needed one to teach you about money, C.R.E.A.M. didn’t get it done. This is actually Ma$e from the Biggie song – Mo’ Money, Mo Problems.
“To the tube sock, the same ol’ pimp, Mase, you know ain’t nuttin’ change but my limp. Can’t stop till I see my name on a blimp. Guarantee a million sales pullin’ all the love. You don’t believe in harlem world nigga double up.” – watch video
Another blimp reference, do you remember what that meant last time? It was a good day. Well and the fact that your a big enough pimp to have a blimp rolling around with your name on the side. Teaches us no matter how much money you get – still the same ol’ pimp. Keep your head level and be humble – with a pimp blimp. Don’t forget the pimp blimp… a humble pimp blimp.
6. Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thing (Snoop Doggy Dogg) – Snoop makes his second appearance on the list – the guy used to be the shiznit, now when you hear your Grandpa say… “For shizzle my nizzle” you shake your head and gently pull the plug. No love for the new Snoop… no life lessons there. Snoop Dogg used to drop some thoughtful lyrics on your dome, like…
“Never let me slip, cause if I slip, then Im slippin’. But if I got my nina, then you know I’m straight trippin’. And I’m-a continue to put the rap down, put the mack down and if your !@#$%^ talk !@#$, I have ta put the smack down.” – watch video
Stay on point. Don’t sleep on anyone or anything. If you do not stay on the top of your game, you will be watching as someone else runs the show. Don’t slip, trip, dip or you will get the rap down, mack down and your !@#$%^ talks !@#$, she will definitely will get the smack down.
7. 1st Of Tha Month (Bone Thugz-N-Harmony) – Honestly, this one is a bit different. This song you just need to listen and learn and comprehend. Use context clues, remember those? Try that. Every slang term that any kid could tell you ever in life is in the song. No longer will you be that outkast at hip young parties, you can spit slang with any gangsta or professional thug.
“Rushin’ to the block cause I wanna get faded. Lookin’ all wild cause I’m getting me hair braided. We heavy off into this game, true to the 1st just call me that pro-slang. Them nickels and dimes and 20’s and 50’s – the 1st be the day for the dopeman.” – watch video
What could you possibly learn from that? You just learned about 50 slang terms. Good work. Now use context clues and figure them out. After you make it to the end of the song and have retained it all, you will have quite the dictionary to make it in the real world. When your kids are talking about being faded or pickin’ up a 20 or 50… you will be like… “KID! Bone thugs told me that was bad.” “Now go to your room while daddy drinks his medicine.”
8. Boyz In The Hood (Eazy E) – They are always hard is the moral of this one. The is the a spoiler. Hell, I had a pretty good feeling they were hard when I saw the “z” instead of the usual “s” on
boys boyz. But the entire song teaches you valuable lessons…
“Cuz the boys in the hood are always hard, come talkin’ that trash, we’ll pull your card. Knowin’ nothin’ in life but to be legit… don’t quote me boy, cuz I ain’t said shit.” – watch video
You have to know that when you are cruisin’ through the hood – its pretty hardcore. I don’t live in the hood myself, but I hear its pretty bad some places. First off, be legit when you find your self hood-winked. Also, don’t talk trash and lastly do not ever quote anyone. Simple as pie.
9. Dear Mama (2pac) – A rap songs to live by list… and no 2pac, no way. Best for last boyzzzz (cuz they are hard – note the “z”). 2pac taught the world to rap, he was the spokesperson for a generation of young kids wanting to grow up and shoot guns, spit on cops, go to jail and produce some of the best rap songs ever. 2pac showed everyone that he had a heart when he put out songs like Keep Your Head Up, I Ain’t Mad At Cha &
Wonder Why They Call You !@#$%^ and Dear Mama.
“I reminisce on the stress I caused, it was hell. Huggin’ on my mama from a jail cell… and who’d think in elementary? Heeey! I’d see the penitentiary, one daaaaay. And runnin’ from the police, that’s right. Mama catch me, put a whoopin’ to my backside.” – watch video
Your mom will not take !@#$ from you EVER. If you are grown she will still put you in your place. No matter what the circumstances – she would do anything for you, and you would take it for granted. You can’t take all the crap back, but you can let her know you appreciate it. So go hug your mom. Gangsta.
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I am too slow to listen to the rap music. I know what you mean though as I still like the whinning and wineing of classic country. Willie, Waylon, Webb and the boys. Sat last night and just leaned back and listened. XM radio has been a good medicine for me.
Well anyone who knows me – they know I listen to everything under the sun in regards to music. However, growing up – I guess rap music taught me more than I thought.
Might not be the best things to learn, however it makes for good comedy.
I’m always for some Willie, Waylon & the boys.
Great post James,
You really have me thinking. Oh and – even though I am a little behind on the rap scene – I am the proud owner of many of those tunes.
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James, I discovered your blog while searching for tips on the proper smoking of ribs. I saw this post and remember listening to each and every one of these songs…on repeat over and over again. Good stuff.
lol safe gangsta sik songs g i like them alll bruva ya get i izzz 4 life dogggg
Generation Lost- B.o.B. is a great song now. talks about how people care more about being like everyone else than being an individual
Sounds like me, love this kind of music, by looking at me you would never guess I listen to rap