10 Rap Lyrics Nelson Mandela Would Have Lived By

NEW YORK - 1989: (L-R) Rapper Flavor Flav, director Spike Lee and Chuck D of the rap group 'Public Enemy' film a video for their song 'Fight The Power' directed by Spike Lee in 1989 in New York, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

10 Rap Lyrics Nelson Mandela Would Have Lived By

For all the times you couldn't put your feelings into words, rappers were there to help.

Published February 1, 2017

  1. 'Self Destruction' by Stop the Violence Movement

    "Well, today's topic, self destruction
    It really ain't the rap audience that's buggin'
    It's one or two suckas, ignorant brothers
    Trying to rob and steal from one another
    You get caught in the mid
    So to crush the stereotype here's what we did
    We got ourselves together."

  2. 'Fight The Power' by public enemy

    "Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
    We've got to fight the powers that be."

  3. 'Changes' by Tupac

    "I got love for my brothers but we can never go nowhere
    Unless we share with each other
    We gotta start makin' changes."

  4. 'Jesus Walks' by Kanye West

    "God show me the way because the devil's tryin' to break me down
    The only thing that I pray is that my feet don't fail me now
    And I don't think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
    I want to talk to God, but I'm afraid because we ain't spoke in so long, so long."

  5. 'A Dream' by Common

    “Hold the same fight that made Martin Luther the King,
    I ain’t usin’ it for the right thing,
    In between Lean and the fiends, hustle and the schemes,
    I put together pieces of a dream.”

  6. 'Be Free' by J. Cole

    "Are we all alone fighting on our own
    Please give me a chance
    I don't wanna dance
    Something's got me down
    I will stand my ground,
    Don't just stand around
    Don't just stand around."

  7. 'A better tomorrow' by Wu Tang Clan

    "Yo, in the housing, thousands seen early graves 
    Victims of worldly ways, memories stays engraved 
    All my live brothers is locked down with high numbers 
    The young hunger, blind to these lies, they die younger 
    In this New World the order slaughter men, women and children 
    Ten-feet gates surround the building keep us sealed in." 

  8. 'America' by Nas

    "Assassinations
    Diplomatic relations
    Killed indigenous people
    Built a new nation."

  9. 'Why' by Jadakiss

    "All that I been givin'
    Is this thing that I've been living
    They got me in the system
    Why they gotta do me like that
    Try'd to make it my way
    But got sent up on the highway
    Why, oh why
    Why they gotta do me like that."

  10. 'Police State' by Dead Prez

    "You have the emergence in human society 
    Of this thing that's called the State
    What is the State? The State is this organized bureaucracy
    It is the police department. It is the Army, the Navy
    It is the prison system, the courts and what have you
    This is the State it is a repressive organization."

Written by BET Staff

(Photo from top: WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

COMMENTS

Latest in shows