12 Inspirational Lyrics from Hip-Hop

photo by Lisa Liang

photo by Lisa Liang

When it comes to music, hip-hop gets a bad rap (pun intended).  The stereotype is that all rap songs are about money, drugs, and/or women.  And while that’s true for a lot of the songs that make it to the radio and the clubs, there are a number songs that can be inspiring and motivating.

Below are lyrics from 12 rap songs to get inspired, motivated, and pumped up.  If you don’t usually listen to rap, suspend your preconceived notions and actually read the lyrics, you may be surprised at the poignancy of the words.

Note: Rap and hip-hop are two different, albeit similar, genres.  For purposes of this post, I’m grouping them together.

12 Inspirational Rap Lyrics

1. Sky is the Limit by Notorious BIG [Listen]

Sky is the limit and you know that you keep on,
Just keep on pressin on.
Sky is the limit and you know that you can have
what you want, be what you want.

2. Beautiful by Eminem [Listen]

Don’t let them say you ain’t beautiful
They can all get f—–, just stay true to you

3. Keep Ya Head Up by Tupac [Listen]

But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up
Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up

4. Amazing by Kanye West [Listen]

I’m a monster, I’m a maven,
I know this world is changin’.
Never gave in, never gave up,
I’m the only thing I’m afraid of.

5. Superstar by Lupe Fiasco [Listen]

If you are what you say you are
A superstar
Then have no fear
The camera’s is here
and the microphones and they wanna know
Oh oh oh oh yeah
If you are what you say you are
Then have no fear

6. U Don’t Know by Jay Z [Listen, explicit]

Put me anywhere on God’s green earth, I’ll triple my worth.
Motherf—–. I, will, not, lose.

7. Live Your Life by T.I. [Listen]

Nevermind what haters say,
ignore them ’til they fade away.

8. Be by Common [Listen]

Never looking back or too far in front of me.
The present is a gift, and I just wanna BE.

9. Child of the Night by Ludacris [Listen]

Life is short if you don’t notice it’ll pass you by,
That’s why my head is in the clouds trying to pass the sky.

10. Everything is Everything by Lauryn Hill [Listen]

Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually

11. I Can by Nas [Listen]

If the truth is told, the youth can grow
Then learn to survive until they gain control
Nobody says you have to be gangstas, hoes
Read more learn more, change the globe

12. B.O.B. by Outkast [Listen]

Make a business for yourself, boy, set some goals
Make a fat diamond out of dusty coals

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Mike "Ambassador" Bruny January 7, 2010, 1:41 am

    Nice blog Drew:
    I thought you might find my blog (www.hiphopaffirmations.wordpress.com) and book, “Move the Crowd: 30 Days of Hip Hop Affirmations to Change Your Life,” of interest. Are there others like us? :)

    Run the Point; from where you are, with what you have!

    Your Ambassador,
    My booksite: http://tinyurl.com/movethecrowd

  • Drew January 12, 2010, 2:51 pm

    M.Bruny–I checked out your site and it looks like some great information, thanks for sharing!

  • Mike "Ambassador" Bruny January 12, 2010, 5:09 pm

    Thanks for the support, it is much appreciated.

    Your Ambassador,
    Mike Bruny

  • Joe Delfano November 26, 2011, 9:20 pm

    cool post – I am a big fan of hip hop music. Motivational lyrics like that help you to keep your eye on prize… thanks

  • nhlaka June 19, 2012, 9:32 am

    Tupac is a mastermind of inspirational quotes

  • charles Ezikiel November 13, 2012, 3:43 am

    kanye west and jay z own’s the quotes

  • Black mamba 75 July 26, 2013, 6:01 pm

    Guys! You`ve been missing out. There`s a network full of artists spreading poetry about life, love stress and setbacks. Check out atmosphere, guante+ big cats, eyedea, brother ali, looptroop, aesop rock, etc etc.

    “What is it about women that brings out my venom. Thought it was a peach, it tasted like a lemon. I ate it anyway, can’t help it’s my natural, from one extreme to another, no room for practical”- Slug of atmosphere.

  • Avhatakali August 1, 2013, 5:18 pm


  • Vitalis Q October 17, 2013, 3:16 pm

    Hiphop is life,keep it rollin…

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