Who need a hero? (Hero)<br> You need a hero, look in the mirror, there go your hero<br> Who on the front lines at ground zero? (Hero)
― The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar – Pray For Me

And I know that we have asked for change<br> Don't be scared to put the fears to shame
― Jorja Smith – I Am

Tell me what you gon' do to me<br> Confrontation ain't nothin' new to me<br> You can bring a bullet, bring a sword, bring a morgue<br> But you can't bring the truth to me<br> Fuck you and all your expectations<br> I don't even want your congratulations<br> I recognize your false confidence<br> And calculated promises all in your conversation
― Kendrick Lamar & SZA – All The Stars (Album Version)

Just in case my faith go, I live by my own law<br> I live by my own law, I live by my own<br> Just in case my faith go, I live by my own law<br> I live by my own law, I live by my own
― The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar – Pray For Me

I wish a nigga would<br> I wish a nigga would, I wish a nigga would<br> I wish a nigga would<br> I wish a nigga would, I wish a nigga would<br> I wish a bitch would<br> I wish a bitch would, I wish a bitch would<br> I wish a nigga would<br> I wish a nigga would, I wish a nigga would
― SOB x RBE – Paramedic!

Opps on the radar (you're dead to me)<br> How you wanna play ball? (you're dead to me)<br> [*Winner*] takes all (you're dead to me)<br> (You're dead to me, you're dead to me)<br> You know what zone I'm in (you're dead to me)<br> Don't care who you with (you're dead to me)<br> Watch me do my shit (you're dead to me)<br> (You're dead to me)
― Vince Staples & Yugen Blakrok – Opps

Look, I feel heartless, often off this<br> Feelin' of fallin', of fallin' apart with<br> Darkest hours, lost it<br> Fillin' the void of bein' employed with ballin'
― Kendrick Lamar – FEEL.

You plead the fifth<br> I read the Fifth Amendment<br> We both criminals with bad intentions
― Kendrick Lamar – ​untitled 08 | 09.06.2014.

I feel niggas been out of pocket<br> I feel niggas tappin' they pockets<br> I feel like debatin' on who the greatest can stop it
― Kendrick Lamar – FEEL

Wouldn't you know<br> We been hurt, been down before<br> Nigga, when our pride was low<br> Lookin' at the world like, "Where do we go?"
― Kendrick Lamar – Alright

Kendrick Lamar's third studio album
― Genius – An Exegetical Study of "To Pimp A Butterfly"

[2Pac]<br> I think that niggas is tired of grabbin' shit out the stores and next time it’s a riot there’s gonna be, like, uh, bloodshed for real. I don’t think America know that. I think American think we was just playing and it’s gonna be some more playing but it ain’t gonna be no playing. It’s gonna be murder, you know what I’m saying, it’s gonna be like Nat Turner, 1831, up in this muthafucka. You know what I’m saying, it’s gonna happen
― Kendrick Lamar – Mortal Man

Niggas sending threats but I Keep something with me<br> Sound like dooka-dooka-dooka when I'm shootin'
― CyHi The Prynce – Mandela

Mr. Shakur, can you please explain the meaning<br> Behind your violent lyrics?
― 2Pac – Souljah's Revenge

I've been trapped since birth, cautious ‘cause I'm cursed<br> And fantasies of my family in a hearse<br> And they say it's the White man I should fear<br> But it's my own kind doin' all the killin' here<br> I can't lie, ain't no love for the other side<br> Jealousy inside, make 'em wish I died<br> Oh my Lord, tell me what I'm livin' for<br> Everybody's droppin', got me knockin' on Heaven's door
― 2Pac (Ft. Rappin' 4-Tay) – Only God Can Judge Me

They finally pulled me over and I laughed<br> Remember Rodney King and I blast on his punk ass (I hear ya!)
― 2Pac – Souljah's Revenge

Let me give you the same outcome, separate shooting<br> A white man kill a black we holla persecution
― CyHi The Prynce – Weak People

Why God move the sun without burning his shoulders?
― Flatbush Zombies – Ascension

I'm cold brah, venomous cobra<br> Clutch on my weapon raise from waist to shoulder
― Flatbush Zombies – Ascension

At the age of nineteen I had the coupe no ceiling<br> Selling fruit while I'm bumping number two Lord Willin
― CyHi The Prynce – Cydel Young

I spark willingly, with a Dillinger in the dark, diligently
― Eminem (Ft. D12) – When the Music Stops

I feel like Larenz Tate in the pool hall<br> Right before Terrance Howard lit the Newport
― CyHi The Prynce – Mandela

Cops on my tail, so I bail 'til I dodge 'em<br> They finally pull me over and I laugh<br> "Remember Rodney King?" and I blast on his punk ass<br> Now I got a murder case...
― 2Pac – Soulja's Story

The jewel runners, top tag team for two summers
― Run the Jewels – Jeopardy

My verses are like Leviticus to the underprivileged<br> I make music for the world<br> You make music for a stripper-bitch-nigga
― CyHi The Prynce (Ft. King Louie) – Huey



Roots traverse

The water table and the sky

Life eats life

Survival and violence

Grafted here in copulation

Convexed in a condition

Of pure exhibition

© Joseph Osel, 2017
'Life Eats Life' was first published by The Commonline Journal (#35)