Tell Me Who Profits | 93 'til Infinity (1993) | Souls Of Mischief
A fantastic track from classic Hip-Hop group, Souls Of Mischief, finds Tajai, Opio, A-Plus and Phesto Dee trading bars back and forth across the song. They have a conversation about the ineffective school system and allure of the streets, while pondering who truly profits from their struggle. A true showcase of their ability to work together as a group to create true works of rhyme.
"He's seventy-six, getting senile/ If we live past 2-4 we're due for a stay in the penile/ So see now, we polish our Berettas/ But there's no boats or 'caine fields nowhere in the ghetto" - Tajai
High all the Time | Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003) | 50 Cent
50 Cent, one of the most influential rappers of the last 20 years, pulled no punches on his 2003 debut Get Rich or Die Tryin. Every song on the album is a hit and "High all the Time" is no different. 50 carries his confidence and swagger with ease across the Sha Money XL, Eminem and DJ Rad production.
"I don't smoke to calm my nerves, but I got beef/ Finna crush my enemies like I crush the hashish/ If you love me, tell me you love me, don't stare at me, man/ I'd hate to be in the pen for clapping one of my fans" - 50 Cent
Thieves in the Night | Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star (1998) | Black Star
What happens when two of Hip-Hop's most lyrically gifted emcees come together? We get a classic album, as can be seen when Mos Def and Talib Kweli became Black Star and gave us one of the most consciously created, lyrical rap albums of the past 20 years. No song exemplifies their ability on the mic better than "Thieves in the Night" as we get to listen to them discuss the illusion of fame and self-perception.
"Get yours first, them other niggas secondary/ That type of illing that be filling up the cemetery/ This life is temporary but the soul is eternal/ Separate the real from the lie, let me learn you" - Mos Def