Smooth as Andre, The One in Front of The Garage by Shad

Andre 3000, half of the legendary hip-hop duo OutKast, is known for his smooth, playa personality. He displays this both in and out of his songs with his charisma and Southern charm.

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Yo, they say "I heard you gave up rap music to be a grad student," The One in Front of The Garage by Shad

People criticize Shad for not focusing on music, believing that Shad can’t get a degree and make music at the same time.

Apparently not, Shad can accomplish both. NBD.

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Yeah. I just gotta get out of my bed again.
Look out my window. See through a better lens.
Look up to the sky. Look up to better men.
Outta My Head by Shad + Skratch Bastid

Shad is in a very negative mood when he’s isolated for so long. He needs to get himself into the world; look at life from a happier point of view. Taking in nature and those he respects helps ground himself again.

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Another message from the east
I only hope we hear it loud
The Times by Apollo Brown (Ft. Oddisee)

At the point this song was released, mid-2011, there were many revolutions and uprisings in the Eastern part of the world, specifically Africa and the Middle East. Examples include Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.

The reason that they broke out in such a short time period was that the oppressed realized that other people in a similar situation were able to fight for their freedom, and realizing that they could as well. Oddisee hopes that anyone who is oppressed should fight for their freedom, using the revolutions in the East as examples that they do work.

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Progressive acting vocalist
Close the lips of those who only wish to keep on holding whips
The Times by Apollo Brown (Ft. Oddisee)

People are beginning to stand up for themselves; protesters and activists are fighting back against tyrants. Their goal: bring power and rights to the deserving citizens.

The oppressive are characterized as those holding the whips, and using them to keep the less powerful in line. Nowadays, the rulers have armies instead of whips, using fear as a weapon to control the people.

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Stolen chips are given back, what be that, Sherwood The Times by Apollo Brown (Ft. Oddisee)

An allusion to Robin Hood, the heroic outlaw of Sherwood Forest who stole from the rich and gave his spoils to the poor. While this is just a fairytale, the ideals of Robin Hood are becoming more and more common in real life, as the people are finally starting to stand up for themselves against the tyrants that held them down. Chips here are used as a form of currency.

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This is how we disembowel
The belly of beast
The Times by Apollo Brown (Ft. Oddisee)

“Belly of the Beast” is an idiom meaning in a very bad situation, like being swallowed by a large animal. The metaphorical beast is being disemboweled, having its guts removed and freeing all those trapped within it.

The literal meaning is showing that an upbringing of people have the power to save people in bad situations, and overthrow those who put them there.

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Head of my class egg head with glasses
Leaving these heads with a classic,
Stylin by Shad (Ft. Saukrates)

Shad is ahead of his metaphorical class, or above the competition. When you put this into school terms, the one who is usually the smartest one in the class is the nerd, or the “egghead”. He then leaves “Hip-Hop Heads”, or rap fans with very high expectations and understandings of the hip hop genre, with a certified classic piece of music.

Shad uses a stereotype, noting that many of these class nerds wear glasses. Also an interesting play on words with the many uses of “head”.

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Cuz niggas is scared
Hoping I don't let it blow in they ribs
Dogs of War by Ghostface Killah (Ft. Cappadonna, Raekwon, Sun God & Trife Da God)

People are worried that Sun God might shoot them in the chest.

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Ya'll still paying the mob? Dogs of War by Ghostface Killah (Ft. Cappadonna, Raekwon, Sun God & Trife Da God)

Ghost stopped paying the mafia for hits years ago, once he realized its easier, and definitely more fun, to do it himself.

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