I got tired of the Ramones around the time I quit and I really got into rap. I thought it was the new punk rock. LL Cool J was my biggest idol.

Dee Dee Ramone

When I got into rap I didn't exactly win any popularity contests. I called myself Dee Dee King, after B.B. King, to the total dismay of my fellow Ramones.

Dee Dee Ramone

Billboard called my solo album, 'Standing In The Spotlight,' a great party album and even said that my raps put the Beastie Boys to shame.

Dee Dee Ramone

And if I die before I wake
I pray the lord my soul to take
But please don't cry
Just know that I have made these songs for you.

Kid Cudi

So with the freestyles, I just do it for fun. If I hear something that I like, I'm rapping on it.

Kid Cudi

The Nets' a stone throw from where I used to throw bricks
...So it's only right I'm still tossing 'round Knicks.

Jay-Z

My life after childhood has two main stories: the story of the hustler and the story of the rapper, and the two overlap as much as they diverge. I was on the streets for more than half of my life from the time I was thirteen years old. People sometimes say that now I'm so far away from that life - now that I've got businesses and Grammys and magazine covers - that I have no right to rap about it. But how distant is the story of your own life ever going to be? The feelings I had during that part of my life were burned into me like a brand. It was life during wartime.

Jay-Z

If skills sold truth be told
I'd probably be lyrically Talib Kweli
Truthfully I want to rhyme like Common Sense (But I did five Mil)
I ain't been rhyming like Common since.

Jay-Z

And through our travels we get separated, never forget:
In order to survive, got to learn to live with regrets.

Jay-Z

They say a midget standing on a giant's shoulders can see much further than the giant. So I got the whole rap world on my shoulders, they trying to see further than I am.

Jay-Z

Cough up a lung where I'm from marcy son, aint nothin nice

Jay-Z

Rap has been a path between cultures in the best tradition of popular music.

Jay-Z

The average rap life is two or three albums. You're lucky to get to your second album in rap!

Jay-Z

Racism is taught in the home. We agree on that? Well, it's very hard to teach racism to a teenager who's listening to rap music and who idolizes, say, Snoop Dogg. It's hard to say, 'That guy is less than you.' The kid is like, 'I like that guy, he's cool. How is he less than me?

Jay-Z

I got this black chick, she don't know how to act
Always talkin' out her neck, makin' her fingers snap
She like, "Listen Jigga Man, I don't care if you rap
You better - R-E-S-P-E-C-T me

Jay-Z

You could name practically any problem in the hood and there'd be a rap song for you.

Jay-Z

Stop screamin', you know the demon said it's best to die, And even if Jehovah witness, bet he'll never testify, D'Evils.

Jay-Z

But this is one of the things that makes rap at its best so human. It doesn't force you to pretend to be only one thing or another, to be a saint or a sinner. It recognizes that you can be true to yourself and still have unexpected dimensions and opposing ideas. Having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other is the most common thing in the world. The real bullshit is when you act like you don't have contradictions inside you, that you're so dull and unimaginative that your mind never changes or wanders into strange, unexpected places.

Jay-Z

Which is the other reason hip-hop is controversial: People don't bother trying to get it. The problem isn't in the rap or the rapper or the culture. The problem is that so many people don't even know how to listen to the music.

Jay-Z

Well I'm not just gon' go and do rap songs. I wanna touch, and maybe help, and see what I can do in these areas.' As I start looking around me, looking at things in ways that I can become helpful, starting at the first thing, water. Something as simple as water.

Jay-Z

We create music to express ourselves and when the world relates, that's a beautiful thing. We're all trading off each other's culture, so no matter what lines you put--country indie rock, rap, we're all somehow gonna find a way to come together.

Jay-Z