[Verse 1]
Look, long live your idols, may they never be your rivals
Rakim was like Jesus, Chuck D wrote the Bible
G-Rap was God, I learned to punch from Kane
Lived in Queens so on Farmers we would see Todd James
Remember the cover of Black Panther with the fat gold chains
Then Slick Rick had a million of 'em
So I wanted a million of 'em
Yeah, back in my first days
When we ain’t know who was the nicest nigga in 3rd Base
Which emcee was the worst before my emcee search
Some niggas thought Pete Nice, me, I thought MC Serch
This before I ever met Em, way before "Hammer Dance"
This when I was asking Carrie Anne to make me Hammer pants
Smooth B was dope, Greg Nice had character
Before I ever knew image would even matter, bruh
Ice Cube raised me, gotta mention Gang Starr
Me and Premier tight right now, we in the same squad
Always tell me stories on the game and how it changed, y’all
Life don’t always come full circle, I can’t explain, God
Teacher to student
The overlap and the generational gap I’m seeing is prudent
So when I speak of pursuing
What we deemed as mere dreams and illusions
Albeit a nuisance
I’m brewing from eyes that have seen through it
It’s no time for even a body to be reclusive
Execs'll feed you excuses, and if its seasoned, you chew it
We got old ideologies, I think we should renew it
The psychology for some of that reasoning’s even stupid
For me it’s deeper than music, much deeper than music
They stole our musical freedom, up next it’s freedom of music
As a tenth grade drop-out I’m watching the aftermath
Of everything streaming and doing the extremist
This is true shit
Don’t take a genius to see the genius is stewing
Ain't got the reach to do it, so let me reach you can do it
It go

[Hook]
[Verse 2]
Look, look
If you live long you see your idols be your rivals
Hov was like the GOAT, congratulations on Tidal
Salute, you broke through many barriers for us
When we couldn’t move the needle you carried us for us
Look forward, maybe in 30 years they’ll implore us
Push to the back of the red ignore us
I think we nearing that border
Mr. Carter, who gon' fare for the authors?
They only there to extort us
Who gon be there to record us, nigga?
Even deeper who gon' care for our daughters?
And our sons just the vultures
We keep handing them the culture
And the hip-hop that raised this kid is one that spoke up
I’m pessimistic, I won’t even get my hopes us
But if it’s gon' all implode before it blow up
Need more than overcharging for what they did to the Cold Crush
Just a PSA in lieu of the movement
Can’t get a quarter back now, what about future music?
Really

[Hook]

[Verse 3]
So if I’m gone when tomorrow come
The mission for my only-born when tomorrow come
How will we receive songs when tomorrow come?
Here’s my study for understudies to borrow from
New Rage & Machine, nigga, we got this
Is what you hear when label ideas meet a plot twist
Used to be faded from the killer talk
Now we suffocating from the pillow talk
Every verse like, “damn, y’all love chivalry”
They offer me fame as a man, I chose dignity
Guess everything ain’t for everybody
Maybe everybody ain’t for everything
It ain’t a thing, I’m looking through my career
I’m more the long game dude on how I choose to prepare
Not the richest, just the sickest, ask the dudes in your tier
Knew if I made it to the top I’d hate the views from up there
We don’t value the same shit, I spoke through a despair
Stood out before it was cool to be weird, my nigga, you just appear
Before these niggas hit puberty
I was online talking like it’s just you and me
The foolery, but since we hopping like rabbits
Calling everything that’s dropping a classic
With all this modern day practice
Tactics that should rot in the ashes
Some are cut from the same cloth
Some have forgotten the fabric, listen
Raised a nigga that you rather leave at bay
She ain’t walking in naked, she ain’t fashionably late
Have her bring your good shoes so you can dodge around the rumors
In a suit that light the room up like Robert Downey Jr.’s
Fifth to the court tell I did this before
Without a bearing ask Karen, nothing civil in war
It’s civil war, to judging off the shit that I saw
I’m trying to leave it so our kids’ll have more
Tomorrow is bigger than all
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Idols Lyrics

Joe Budden – Idols Lyrics