Tag Archives: Lyrics

Profound Hip Hop Quote: Week #3

22 Jan

“Life ain’t meant to come around twice. Yeah, that’s why I gotta get it right!
They say I got it honest; now I gotta give it light. But sleep on it; that’s why God give you night!”

—Lupe Fiasco, “Real”

It was about four years ago that I heard Lupe Fiasco’s CD Food & Liquor. I was enlightened and found many of his lyrics to be thought-provoking. Specifically, “Real” encompasses so many profound lines, but the ones I resonated with the most were about life and God’s role in our lives.  Regardless of your religion, if you believe in heaven, hell, or reincarnation, you are who you are in this life for a distinctive reason.  Actually, I don’t know the reason why I am who I am or why I am here; perhaps you don’t either. Nevertheless, we must all make wise choices and be cognizant in our day-to-day actions. Nobody is perfect, including me of course. But I am constantly thinking about how my decisions and actions not only impact my life but the lives of others and try to conduct myself accordingly, which is not always the easiest feat.  Do you think before you speak or act?  Do you consider how what you are doing today may not just impact your tomorrow but may impact your next week or possibly next year or even the next week or next year of someone else’s life?

Lupe Fiasco also addresses what he “got honest” from God and sharing it with others by giving “it light.” Do you think about the gifts God has blessed you with and how you are utilizing them for the greater good?  Think about it…today only comes around once…bringing us all one day closer to the end of our lives on Earth.  I want to make sure that I am sharing my gifts and talents with the world  and hope to leave it better than when I first got here.  How about you?

Life is a journey for us all, and as much as we would like to get it right, we might have some missteps along the way.  Perhaps what we consider to be missteps are actually leading us in the right direction.  Wow, that’s something to ponder!  Regardless of where you are presently, all hope is not lost; focus on the positive as the story and journey of your life unfolds.  I’m right there with you on my journey too.  As Lupe Fiasco says, “But sleep on it; that’s why God gives you night!”

Please feel free to share your thoughts


Bonus English Lesson:

Lupe Fiasco’s line “That’s why God give you night” is an example of incorrect subject verb agreement. It actually should be “God gives…”Oftentimes in rap lyrics and in many types of creative writing, the writer may employ grammatical errors because it is the vernacular of the writer or the persona or it has a better flow or sound because of the syllables or meter in the line.  Keep in mind that many rappers who are well-versed and considered lyricists tend to familiarize themselves with the standard grammar rules prior to breaking the rules in their lyrics.

Profound Hip Hop Quote: Week #2

15 Jan

“Swallow your pride before you choke on your issues.”
—Murs, “Everything”

How often do you say, “My pride won’t allow me to do ‘X’ or ‘Y’ even if it might be the appropriate action to take? Maybe ‘X’ it is forgiving a person who wronged you, or ‘Y’ is accepting help from someone when you really need it.  This line from Murs’ (If you’ve never heard of him, he’s released a few top notch CDs with Ninth Wonder) rap song really struck a chord with me. Even though I do make a conscious effort to practice forgiveness and do not consider myself to be prideful, I do often struggle with swallowing my pride when it comes to asking for help.  I convince myself that I can do it all alone or sometimes feel too ashamed to ask for help or that I am having difficulties if I underestimated how much work something would take because I brought it all on myself.

To use an analogy derived from Murs’ line, perhaps I struggle with reaching out for help because I hear my mother’s voice  from childhood saying, “You asked for all of that food, and you’re not going to leave this table until you’ve cleaned your plate!”   We’ve all got to eat to survive, but it most instances it is the swallowing of the food with the proper nutrients, not the junk, that sustains us.  As an adult, I have learned that forcing myself to eat because I can’t admit that I put too much on my plate  may not only cause me to choke but may also make me sick on the stomach resulting in everything else I enjoyed or managed to eat to come right back up.  This is a scene I don’t want to envision for myself nor for my family and friends who may be in a similar predicament.

Do you struggle with pride?  Has it hindered you, the progress of your relationships or success in anyway?  I know it has for me occasionally and probably will in the future. Sometimes it is best to swallow our pride…isn’t it?

Please feel free to share your thoughts


Bonus English Lesson:

Murs’ line is an example of an idiom because it is a common phrase made up of words that cannot be understood by their literal meaning.  People cannot really swallow their pride…can they?

Profound Hip Hop Quote: Week #1

8 Jan

“Never lookin’ back or too far in front of me
The present is a gift, and I just wanna be…”
—Common, “Be (Intro)”

How often do you dwell too much on the past or focus too relentlessly on the future without acknowledging what is going on presently? This is something that I have constantly struggled with until I heard Common put it so simple yet so eloquently.  Of course, it is important to evaluate my past to avoid making the same mistakes again.  Yes, considering future goals and aspirations is necessary in order to establish a game plan and be successful.  However, I know that I must take time to live in the moment and appreciate my present accomplishments.

Where are you presently?  Is it where you want to be?  If not, then it might be pertinent to examine what you have done in the recent past and plan to do in the near future so that everyday will be a present or gift for that matter.  Were you inspired by the same line or a different line in this song?  Please feel free to share.


Bonus English Lesson:

Even though Common does not utilize the word  “present”  in an indelicate way, it is a good example of  a double entendre because present presents some ambiguity with two meanings: “a gift” and “related to time.”