Ill Street Blues

Kool G Rap, Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez

About Ill Street Blues

"Ill Street Blues" is the first single from American hip hop duo Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's 1992 album Live and Let Die. Released with "Fuck U Man" as a B-side, it was later also featured on the compilation albums Killer Kuts (1994), The Best of Cold Chillin' (2000) and Greatest Hits (2002).


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Aw yeah word up word to mother. Here comes G. Rap with another one why'all. 
 We going to swing it like this... 
 I'm right in front of my front steps thinking of a plan 
 Looking like Raggedy Ann no dough in hand kicking a can 
 Thinking of a plot to pull some bank in 
 Because I'm dead and stinking 
 Soles on my shoes winking t shirt is shrinking 
 Soon I see some ties and my eyes open wide quick 
 Who's that with you, chick? Bill Blass my sidekick 
 What's up, black? Give his hand a smack 
 Up pulls a Cadillac, yo baby we'll be back 
 Jumped right on inside, not too many people saw us 
 Thinking about who gotta get robbed because the mob got a job for us 
 The drove us down to the sober section 
 Of town where the clowns don't be paying for protection 
 The want us to send a message to Jimmy the bartender 
 Lend a friend the money next you're ripping off his car fenders 
 He's coming up short cause he snorts 
 Coke, dope, nope, and hope he don't get caught 
 He owes some Benjamin Franklins, every last bit of em 
 But Jimmy's pockets are empty, so now we gotta get rid of him 
 But Jimmy's wife is with him and they don't want to involve her 
 Hopped out the back seat they gave me a revolver 
 Blass, you distract him while I go and whack him 
 Entered through the back side of the bar and then attacked him 
 He's screaming for his life, reaching for his wife 
 Shot him in the back of the head and shanked him with a knife 
 And that goes for anybody who's gotta pay they dues 
 You lose, cause I got the Ill Street Blues 
 You lose, cause I got the Ill Street Blues (repeat 4x) 
 Suckers I clobber, because my town is full of cops and robbers 
 You're not promised tomorrow in this Little Shop of Horrors 
 So I got to get with the business of hit quick 
 Moneygrip's pocket's looking thick so I stick Slick 
 Hold it right here, hands in the air, I know you got the loot 
 Or better yet, face down on the ground, empty your pockets troop 
 Hit the deck I got the Tech right on your neck 
 And I expect to make a buck to heck with a traveller's check 
 But if a vic' tries to choke me 
 I'll have to smoke him like I'm Smokey the Bear, so okie dokie 
 Goodbye, or bon voyage, have a good journey 
 Don't even try begging for your life, that don't concern me 
 So to the next weasel that freezes 
 Your begging and your pleases only getting your closer to meeting Jesus 
 Yeah, I shake a schmuck just to make a buck 
 Then I break a duck and if the duck gotta get bucked then I don't give a f*ck 
 Hyper as a sniper piping niggas like a plumber 
 Cold vicking and sticking up the ones that run the numbers 
 Or even a bigger score, the lady in the liquor store 
 Go inside and kick in the door, pull her then I'm stickin her for 
 Money or your life, honey hurry and choose 
 You lose, because I got the Ill Street Blues 
 Extra extra read all about it in the papers 
 The boss tried to rape us, so we tossed him off the skyscraper 
 Because he pulled some other people to try and hit us 
 Get us, but none of them did us, he must be trying to kid us 
 But that's dead, I'll thank God in the red, 'cross the bread borders 
 So nobody can short us, he fled down to headquarters 
 Ready to put some work in, we're not a lazy crew, we'll do a job or two 
 But yo, the man can't even stick me with some Crazy Glue 
 Ready to tore him even more because she saw him 
 We took out all the lookouts in the front and kicked his door in 
 What's up snake, why'd you violate? 
 Because I'm a hossa (What's that?) 
 Yo, that's a pig that don't fly straight 
 Getting ready to jab him, I grabbed him by the necktie 
 Homie tried to get fly, and swing I gave him a decked eye 
 You know the evil that men do, hell is where the men go 
 We snatched him by his hands and feet and threw him out the window 
 Up, up, and away cause I don't play, clown 
 Buck, buck, buck, take that with you on the way down 
 I'm hoping you got springs and wings on your shoes 
 But you lose, because I got the Ill Street Blues 

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Kool G Rap

Nathaniel Thomas Wilson (born July 20, 1968), better known by his stage names Kool G Rap (or simply G Rap, and originally Kool Genius of Rap) is an American rapper. He hails from the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York City. He began his career in the mid-1980s as one half of the group Kool G Rap & DJ Polo and as a member of the Juice Crew. He is often cited as one of the most influential and skilled MCs of all time as he is a pioneer of mafioso rap/street/hardcore content and multisyllabic rhyming. On his album The Giancana Story, he stated that the "G" in his name stands for "Giancana" (after the mobster Sam Giancana), but on other occasions he's stated that it stands for "Genius". more »

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Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Publication History
"Ill Street Blues" was released in 1992 by American rapper Kool G Rap, whose real name is Nathaniel Thomas Wilson. The track is part of his album "Live and Let Die."
The song was produced alongside the renowned producer Sir Jinx, who has produced for other hip-hop big names such as Ice Cube.
The song is heavily based on criminal thinking and street life, a consistent theme across many of Kool G Rap's songs, marking him as an influential figure in gangsta rap.
Music Video
The music video for "Ill Street Blues" features Kool G Rap and his crew hanging around on the street, showcasing everyday life in the 90's urban New York City, giving fans a visual representation of the story told in the song.
Sound Design
"Ill Street Blues" is marked by a boombap beat with a jazz sample, exemplifying the East Coast hip-hop style.
Chart performance
Despite its significant cultural impact, "Ill Street Blues" did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, although it reached the top 10 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.
Artist Influence
Kool G Rap is cited as a major influence for many successful rappers like The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, and Nas, who often reference "Ill Street Blues" as a foundational song in hardcore hip-hop.
Sample Use
"Ill Street Blues" extensively samples the song "Go Stetsa I" by Stetsasonic, an American hip hop band from Brooklyn, New York City.
Use in Media
“Ill Street Blues” is also used in several video games and films, such as "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" via playback on a fictional radio station.
Reaction to Controversy
Despite its glorification of gangsta lifestyle, Kool G Rap noted that the song was meant to provide a 'street documentary,' offering a view into the realities of inner-city life, rather than to glamorize violence and crime.

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