Nil by mouth, The Ghost of Christopher Wallace by Jay Electronica (Ft. Diddy)

Nil by mouth is a hospital instruction indicating that a patient should not receive food or drink. Here it means that ringtone rappers will gain nothing (nil) from their sub-par rap skills (by mouth).

There is also a film called Nil By Mouth which came out in 1997, the year Biggie died.

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[Intro] Sucka Nigga by A Tribe Called Quest

These intro/hook vocals are sampled from the Busy Bee vs Rodney Cee routine in the classic old school Hip Hop flick Wild Style.

Hey sucker nigga, whoever you are
You didn’t buy my mink and you didn’t buy my car
So take lots of heed to these words I say
Got cheeba and cocaine and ain’t giving none away

Also used by Black Thought in Common’s “Stolen Moments Pt. II” and by Q-Tip in “Stolen Moments Pt. III”.

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March 9th, 2014

Also used by Jay Z on Versus.

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Supreme, Rap and the 50 that don't rap
Fort Greene, Queens, Long Island wolfpack
Paid In Full posse, hot they was on
U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography of Rakim) by Nas

Supreme Magnetic, his brother Rap, and the original 50 Cent were notorious Fort Greene hustlers who ran with Eric B & Rakim back in the day. Together with Eric and Ra’s boys from Long Island and Queens they made up the Paid In Full Posse, as pictured on the back of the album Paid In Full.

Rap (often mistaken for Supreme) is top left with the blue Fila gear. 50 Cent is bottom right in the red, white and blue Adidas. See Rakim’s photo breakdown for the full line-up.

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And the dumb, deaf and blind'll feel the wrath Wrath of Kane by Big Daddy Kane

The deaf, dumb and blind — variously known as the savages, the uncivilized or the 85% — are those without knowledge of self. Beware any challengers not equipped with this knowledge.

As Rakim put it in “No Competition”

I’m God, G is the seventh letter made
Raining on rappers it’s no parade
So if you ain’t wise then don’t even come
Competition for this and the mixing is none

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Drop science and build with math Wrath of Kane by Big Daddy Kane

Kane shows off his Five Percent credentials with some more fancy terminology.

  • To drop science is to teach the Five Percent lessons to others. Like many Five Percent terms, it eventually became part of general Hip Hop slang.

  • To build is to discuss the lessons with other Five Percenters. Getting together in ciphers and building with other Gods is an important part of the lifestyle.

  • Math is the Supreme Mathematics that underpins much of the philosophy.

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Knowledge of self is being taught here on after
Peace in the name of I Self Lord and Master
Wrath of Kane by Big Daddy Kane

Some Five Percent terminology here. You attain knowledge of self by learning the Five Percent teachings, the so-called 120 Lessons. Once learned it is your duty to pass on this knowledge to the uninitiated.

I Self Lord And Master is the Supreme Alphabet term for Islam. Five Percenters consider Islam a science rather than a religion and believe the black man is God. I, Self, Lord and Master relates Islam to the individual rather than some mystery god.

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Don't make me act like where I come from cause it's brutal I Got a Right Ta by Common

A line from the Ed O.G. song “I Got to Have It”, originally about Ed’s neighbourhood of Roxbury in Boston. Flipped here by Common to refer to his native Chicago.

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"Money's growing like grass with the mass appeal" Mass Appeal by Gang Starr (Ft. DJ Premier & MC Guru)

One of Premier’s signature scratched hooks. Lifted from kiddie crew Da Youngstas and their song “Pass Da Mic”.

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Niggas say I'm nice with metaphors but these are similes 1-9-9-9 by Common (Ft. Sadat X & Talib Kweli) 1

Common is well-known for “I Used to Love H.E.R.”, a song about his relationship with Hip Hop told through the extended metaphor of a woman. But the rhymes he’s kicking here, like the previous line for example, are similes.

More broadly, this is a grammar lesson for all rappers and rap fans who talk about metaphors in rhymes but actually mean similes.

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Before Morpheus and Neo was killing 'em
We was ducking bullets in the hood like Remo Williams
What It Is by Pharoahe Monch

More cinematic allegories for street life. People in the projects have been ducking gunfire for years.

Morpheus and Neo (from 1999’s The Matrix) and Remo Williams (from 1985’s Remo Willams: The Adventure Begins) are all characters known for their ability to dodge bullets.

Here’s a clip of Remo in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh4Kx9IqIZw

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