The 25 Best Eight-Bar Verses in Rap History

15. Raekwon on "Motherless Child" (1996)

"Rich man, poor man, read the headlines/
Nigga getting murdered for spot and bigger dimes/
Jobs and drug wars, living by gun law/
Jail cats come home and want to take yours/
As the young one, growing up broke me and my people/
Had to sell coke, huh, I guess we all in the same boat/
Think it, plus drinkin' that 90-proof/
Playin' on the roof sayin' 'We need a next man to shoot'/


Many Wu-Tang tracks felt like cinematic experiences but usually they were based on kung-fu flicks, or in the case of Ghostface's debut, blaxploitation films. However, "Motherless Child" feels more like Wu's take on Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets with Lex Diamonds transforming into Johnny Boy "shooting out the light in the Empire State Building." Rae's vignette had us "all in the same boat" like we were taking the ferry to the rugged lands of Shaolin. In a few bars, Rae paints a grimey portrait of the urban living that breeds the type of knuckleheads Ghost raps about in his verse. —Insanul Ahmed

Tags: raekwon
blog comments powered by Disqus