Microphone Mathematics: Lyrics To Go (Singles/Albums With Lyrics Included!)

September 20, 2012 5 min read

In yesterdays post about the trials and tribulations of transcribing lyrics [READ HERE] I concluded that the ultimate solution is that artists, particularly those with something important, clever, or intriguing to say, should include the lyrics with their releases in some shape, form or fashion. That helps us moving forward, but what about the past? Call me a dreamer, but I fantasize about someone taking on the task(s) of getting with the lyrical pioneers and compiling their lyrics and doing the ultimate lyric site, with the words straight from the source. For some of the more prolific and gifted writers I envision a book series of lyrics. It's shocking enough that some artists never released the lyrics with their albums, so now is as good a time as any to make it right. Specifically, I still can't believe that printed lyrics never came with albums from Rakim, KRS One, Organized Konfusion. The Genius a.k.a GZA, Ghostface, Wu-tang Clan, De La Soul, LL Cool J, Micranots, Outkast, Slick Rick, Redman, Poor Righteous Teachers, Nas, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Freestyle Fellowship, Chubb Rock (he only did it for the one album), Aceyalone, Third Bass, Black Sheep, Ultramagnetic MCs, Hieroglyphics, Juggaknots, Killah Priest, Labtekwon, Kool G Rap*, etc... Those are all artists who highly celebrated the importance of lyrics. Of course, some of those artists were on indie or small labels and/or they didn't boast a lot of record sales, so budgets could have been an issue. However, it's a mystery in cases such as Rakim, KRS, and GZA, who were all on major labels that invested at least decent money into their projects...

That is just a list of who I consider the obvious choices. There are also plenty of other artists who I'd like to see their lyrics printed as well; Crash Crew, Treacherous Three, Funkytown Pros, Queen Mother Rage, Godfather Don, Rubberoom, Mantronix (MC Tee and Bryce Luvah), UBC, Soul Sonic Force, Fearless Four, Black By Demand, Chill Rob G, The D.O.C, Masta Killa, Nice & Smooth, W.I.S.E Guyz, C.P.O, Company Flow, Scaramanga, Chief Kamachi(he only did lyrics for "Cult Status"), Open Mike Eagle, Jay Electronica, Masai Bey, etc...

Interestingly enough, yesterday I noticed on Facebook that Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers is about to release a book of his lyrics. He just showed a picture of the book, but didn't give much info, so I'm not sure what all is included but it sounds intriguing and I'm hoping it contains all the classics + plus some unheard gems as well! Then I'd love to see some of the artists follow suit....in a magical world they all would...

Here's a list below of the Singles and Albums that I know have lyrics. I focused more on the older stuff and I'm still going thru the more recent albums, but it's a decent start. Please comment with any ones you know I'm missing!!! Who would you like to see lyrics from?



Kurtis Blow-Kurtis Blow


Kurtis Blow-Deuce


Kurtis Blow-Tough


Kurtis Blow-Party Time

Fearless 4-Problems Of The World 12”

Gary Byrd-The Crown 12”



D.st-Mean Machine 12”

Kurtis Blow-Ego Trip


Doug E Fresh-Oh My God

Boogie Boys-Survival Of The Freshest (only the song “Colorblind”!)


Public Enemy-Yo! Bumrush The Show

Ice T-Rhyme Pays

T La Rock-Back To Burn 12”

Grandmaster Flash-Ba Dop Boom Bang



Public Enemy-It Takes A Nation Of Millions

DJ Los & EZ B-Untouchable

Ice T-Power

King Tee-Act Fool

Kool G Rap-Road To The Riches (reissue)

K-9 Posse-Self Titled

Mantronix-In Full Effect

Afrika Bambaataa & Family-The Light

Doug E Fresh-The World’s Greatest Entertainer

Numarx-Our Time Has Come



Divine Styler-Word Power

Beastie Boys-Pauls Boutique

Jungle Brothers-Done By The Forces Of Nature

Ice Cream Tee-Can’t Hold Back

Kool Moe Dee-Knowledge is King

Three Times Dope-Orginal Stylin’

Kaos & Mystro-Outcast Vol 1

The Jaz-Word To The Jaz

Bobcat-Cat Got Ya Tongue

Stop The Violence Movement-Self Destruction 12”

B.R.O.T.H.E.R-Beyond The 16th Parallel 12”

Black Radical MKII-Monsoon 12”



MC Shan-Play It Again Shan

Groove B Chill-Starting From Zero

Public Enemy-Fear Of A Black Planet

The Jaz-To The Soul

2 Deep-Honey, That’s Showbiz

MC Mell’O’-Thoughts Released



Hijack-Horns Of Jericho

Def Jef-Soul Food

Genius-Words From The Genius

Ice T-O.G.

Public Enemy-Apocalypse ‘’91

Royal Flush-976 Dope

Silver Bullet-Bring Down The Walls…

Katch 22-Diary Of A Blackman Living In The Land Of The Lost

Black Radical MK II-The Undiluted Truth

Cash Crew-Will It My Brown Eyes Blue?



Chubb Rock-I Gotta Get mine Yo (Book Of Rhymes)

Hardknocks-School Of Hardknocks

Tung Twista-Runn Of At Da Mouth

Goats-Tricks OF The Shade

Donald D-Let The Horns Blow

Gang Starr-Daily Operation

Sister Souljah-360 Degrees Of Power

Arrested Development-2 Years, 5 Months, & 2 Days In The Life Of



Leaders Of The New School-T.I.M.E

Greg Osby-3D Lifestyles

Young Disciple-Road To Freedom

Stony Island-Stony Island (Cassette)

Blade-The Lion Goes From Strength To Strength

Katch 22-Dark Tales From Two Cities



Saafir-Boxcar Sessions


1995 (??)




Stony Island-Slowly On The Southside (Tape)

Stony Island-Supertransfer EP (Vinyl)

Keith Murray-Enigma



Psycho Realm-The Psycho Realm

Sacred Hoop-Retired

Latryx-The Album



The Coup-Steal This Album

Public Enemy-He Got Game

All Natural-All Additives, No Preservatives (Fresh Air Book Bonus)



Haiku D’Etat-Haiku D’Etat

Task Force-New Mic Order




Braintax-Biro Funk

The Coup-Party Music

SO Called Artists

Promoe-Governement Music



Cee Lo-…..And His Perfect Imperfections

Cage-Movies For The Blind



Jehst-Falling Down



Chief Kamachi-Cult Status

Insight-The Blast Radius


Saul Williams-Self Titled

Promoe-The Long Distance Runner



Aesop Rock-Fast Cars

Blood Of Abraham-EyeDollarTree

Busdriver-Fear of A Black Tangent

Blackalicious-The Craft

Danger Doom-Mouse & The Mask

Sage Francis-A Healthy Distrust

Atmosphere-You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having



Busdriver-Roadkill Overcoat



Brother Ali-The Undisputed Truth + DVD



Atmosphere-Lemons (+DVD)

LoopTroop Rockers-Good Things



Brother Ali-US



Freeway & Jake One-Stimulus Package

Eastern Sunz-Corroded Utopia



Blueprint-Adventures In Counter-Culture

Atmosphere-The Family Sign



Ill Chemistry-Ill Chemistry

Billy Woods-History Will Absolve Me

Carnage-Respect The Name

Aesop Rock-Skelethon

Brother Ali-Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color

Written, Researched, and Theorized By Kevin Beacham

-Editor's Note:

*The Kool G Rap Deluxe CD reissues include the lyrics. 

**Shout out to Kurtis Blow,who appears to be a pioneer of printing lyrics in Hip Hop... You'll also note the clear increase of printed lyrics in '88 and '89, when there was a bit of a lyrical innovation renaissance...

***Featured Image: Billy Woods "History WIll Absolve Me" is an album that dropped early this year and has the lyrics included.This album is living proof of the power of providing the lyrics, reading along increases the impact and drives the message home...

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