Thursday, November 19, 2015

from "Act Too . . . The Love of My Life" by The Roots

from Act Too . . . The Love of My Life

[Black Thought]
The anticipation arose as time froze
I stared off the stage with my eyes closed and dove
Into the deep cosmos, the impact pushed back
The first five rows, but before the raw live shows
I remember I’se a little snot-nosed
Rockin Gazelle, goggles and Izod clothes
Learnin the ropes of ghetto survival
Peepin out the situation I had to slide through
Had to watch my back, my front, plus my sides, too
When it came to gettin mine I ain’t trying to argue
Sometimes I would’nta made it if it wasn’t for you
Hip-hop, you the love of my life and that’s true
When I was handlin the shit I had to do
It was all for you, from the door for you
Speak through you, gettin paper on tour for you
From the start, Thought was down by law for you
Used to hit up every corner store wall for you
We ripped shit and kept it hardcore for you
I remember late nights, steady rocking the mic
Hip-hop, you the love of my life

So tell the people like that y’all (That, y’all)
And it sounds so nice
Hip-hop, you the love of my life
We ‘bout to take it to the top . . .

I was speakin to my guy ‘Riq and
How she was desperately seekin to Organize in a Konfusion
Usin no protection, told H.E.R. on Resurrection
Caught up in the Hype Williams, and lost H.E.R. direction
Gettin ate in sections where I wouldn’t eat H.E.R
An under-the-counter love, so silently I treat H.E.R
Her daddy’ll beat H.E.R., eyes all puffed
In the mix on tape, niggas had her in the buff
When we touch, it was more than just ta fuck
The police, in her I found peace (Like who?)
Like Malcolm in the East
Seen H.E.R. on the streets of New York, trickin off
Tried to make a hit with H.E.R. but my dick went soft
Movin weight, losin weight, not picky with who she choose to date
Too confused to hate, with her struggle I relate
Close to thirty, most of the niggas she know is dirty
Havin more babies than Lauryn, she started showin early
As of late I realized that this is H.E.R. fate
Or destiny that brings the best of me
It’s like God is testing me
In retrospect I see she brought life and death to me
Peace to us collectively, live and direct when we perform
It’s just coffee shop chicks and white dudes
Over H.E.R. I got into it with that nigga Ice Cube
Now the fight moved to in life, makin the right moves
Besides God and family, you my life’s jewel
Like that y’all

Hip-hop . . . [echoes]

Source of the text – The Anthology of Rap, edited by Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois.  New Haven: The Yale University Press, 2010, p. 493-495.

TJB: Izod rock. The 1st verse is straight-up love rap about rap; the 2nd, a Blakean extended metaphor for rap-as-lover & gansta rap as bad daddy.

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