Rap to Live By: Positive Rap for Kids on Love, Friendship, Self-Esteem, School, Money, Sex, and much more.

Rap to Live By: Positive Rap for Kids on Love, Friendship, Self-Esteem, School, Money, Sex, and much more.

by Don Roberts

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Rap is an art form and a language all its own. Combining rhyme with a beat, read out loud, it is a powerful method of communication that kids relate to in increasing numbers. Rap can also be used to convey a positive message about such things as self-esteem, careers, friendship, love, relationships, school, money, drugs, sex, and many other concerns that kids have growing up in a sometimes confusing and dangerous world. Here in book form are tested, uplifting, positive raps that adults can use to teach their children, and kids can use to learn in writing their own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612833057
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/1993
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
File size: 3 MB

Read an Excerpt


By Don Roberts

Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.

Copyright © 1993 Don Roberts
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61283-305-7


Serious Stuff


    What is unique about you ... Are you one of a kind?
    Of the billions in this world, only one of you to find?

    Check your hand, your finger, look at the print.
    It's special to you—every one is different.

    Your face, your hair, skin color and size ...
    Even twins are different ... and it's no surprise.

    But are you different for a reason ... do you have a gift?
    Is there something about you that you might have missed?

    A talent for music, piano or voice?
    Or medicine, mechanics, or all—your choice.

    Or maybe it's something on another scale ...
    The ability to teach, to serve or to nail?

    If you know what your talent is—then get busy!
    If you don't, keep looking 'til your search makes you dizzy.

    Your talent makes you different from all the rest ...
    Can't find it? Search on! Put yourself to the test.

    It's a gift from God ... He expects you to use it.
    Let your talent blossom or it'll die—you'll lose it.

    It's meant to be shared ... That's part of the deal.
    It makes you special ... Your talent is real.

    So later, when you die, God may ask you ...
    "What did you do with the talent I gave you?"

    Will you say—"Gee, I didn't know, not much ... "
    Or will you say- "See all the people I've touched?"


    I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
    The extra special thing happens at a date—time—and season.

    Your challenge is to recognize it and figure out what it means.
    And learn from the experience—let it help you realize your dreams.


    From the time you wake up ... until you go to bed
    You hear these "little voices"—rumbling 'round in your head—

    "Do this" or "do that" ... Or—what should you wear?
    From the food you want to eat ... To how to style your hair.

    You make hundreds of "choices"—every day of your life.
    Some of them are automatic ... others can cause you strife.

    You may "sweat"—when choosing—to "do the 'right' thing."
    Or if you choose what's wrong—consequences it'll bring.

    Some "choices" are made for you ... at least until you're grown.
    Others are left up to you ... you've gotta make 'em on your own.

    And, as you grow older, you'll have to make more ...
    Of the "choices" for now ... Through life's final score.

    So, it's very important that you learn something now ...
    To help with the "basics" ... deciding "what" ... and "how" ...

    And "who with" and "why" ... You're gonna do what you do.
    Because whatever happens, you have to answer to you.

    Among your many choices ... Whether to join the "party crowd."
    Those guys have good times—much fun—and they can get loud.

    It can be hard to study, when your friends are "chillin',"
    But when the test comes around, will you also be "illin"'?

    Those "zero's" can hurt, and you could have scored an "ace"?
    And doin' less than your best—is stupid, let's face (it).

    Sorry—life ain't easy ... It can be tough for teens.
    The pressure is high ... and often more than it seems.

    Take the clothes you wear ... Got to have those "B-K's" ...
    At 90 dollars a pop? And you expect mom to pay?

    The baggy shorts and the jeans ... You think you need to be cool?
    Stop and think for a minute ... Who really made this rule?

    You can choose for yourself on how "down" you will be ...
    Just know that threads cover up the real person you don't see.

    When I was a teen ... not too long ago ...
    Almost 20 years now—whoa, 20 years? I think so.

    Ten dollars was a lot for shoes that fit!
    Those "Jack Percells" were nice! You might call them "zits."

    But I still had fun ... made friends, and played sports ...
    Didn't worry 'bout shoes ... and the jokes I'd ignore.

    Pop said don't worry 'bout small things like shoes.
    We were buying a house to end the apartment blues.

    Pop chose to own real estate over having a big car.
    It meant pinching pennies but it's the best choice by far.

    That meant tough times then ... for a reward to come later.
    He said "the harder you work will make the reward much greater."

    At first I thought, "Yeah, dad must be crazy ... "
    Stay home and work, when I could run with the ladies?

    I had chores to do ... A lot of washing and scrubbing;
    They called me "momma's boy" 'cause I didn't go clubbin'.

    I missed of lot of dances with all the "fine babes" ...
    'Cause I had to do homework ... I felt like a slave.

    Pop told me to think ... "Girls will always be there!"
    He said I had to be strong, learn a skill, to prepare ...
    For the future

    In the heat of the moment, and you're thinking about sex!
    When the moment is right ... you can't wait for what's next.

    You'll make a choice that could result in ... maybe:
    The responsibility of caring for a baby.

    It goes back to choices ... You gotta know what to choose.
    And if you choose to wait on sex, how you can't lose.

    And when you want to escape it all and take a flight,
    Light up some "herb" or crack—get high tonight ...

    It'll be your choice ... well, at least the first time ...
    'Cause if you get hooked, it'll take control of your mind.

    If "just saying 'no'" is corny, then just say yes ...
    To life, and health ... and simply being your best.

    You have the power. And you'll want to choose well.
    'Cause when you do it right it's easier to excel.

    YOUNG (Too young to die)

    I can run a mile and not get winded.
    Party all night if they extend it.

    Dodge the traffic—and not get hit
    Sing with "the boys" 'cause my tenor will fit.

    I can eat anything and not get fat.
    Drink 'til I'm blue and be done with that.

    If I get sick—it won't last long.
    Never broke a bone 'cause my body is strong.

    I don't have a worry—not even about cash.
    If I need some, I'll check mom's stash.

    Life is great and I'm not trying
    So I'm not entertaining any thoughts about dying.

    I'm too young to die ... I haven't lived yet.
    What can happen to me? Nothing, I'll bet.

    It seems nothing bad ever happens to me.
    If I'm sick early—I'm better by three.

    That's why I can't understand Joey.
    He caught some illness and he was slowly—

    Wasting away in a hospital room—
    I kept reminding myself—I've got to visit him soon.

    A little while ago we were shooting b-ball.
    He blocked my shot and I wanted the "call."

    And then he felt weak—and he couldn't breathe.
    He was sweating hard and weak in the knees.

    Not too long after that, my friend Joey died.
    My best buddy—gone! Of course I cried.

    I couldn't believe it. He was just like me.
    Livin' the life. Havin' fun—no worry.

    Joey caught AIDS from messin' round with a girl ...
    He wasn't careful while she "rocked his world."

    He didn't think it could ever happen to him.
    But it did ... and now he's gone.

    So suddenly I don't feel so invincible.
    I'm not taking chances but it's the principle.

    If it happened to him—could it happen to me?
    And I thought we'd live forever—

    (It's "cool" to be curious)

    Everything starts
    With an idea.
    Somebody says, "Can I do that?"
    It doesn't matter
    Whatever it is ...
    Skyscrapers or even knickknacks.

    Did you ever
    Look at a bridge
    And wonder how it holds the weight?
    Somebody saw a
    Serious need. And
    Their effort to fill it was great.

    Are you amazed
    By personal computers?
    And how they store information?
    Whoever thought
    Of combining the chips
    And plastic had a great revelation.

    How is it that
    You take a pill ...
    To ease some pain in your head?
    What causes the spark
    That is life? And
    Why, when you lose it, you are dead?

    It's cool to be
    Curious, my friend ...
    'Cause learning stuff can be much fun.
    Feel free to ask
    Any questions 'cause
    When you don't, that's so dumb.

    How 'bout the car
    That you came in ...
    Who or what put it together?
    The clothes you wear—
    Just stop and think ...
    How do they make polyester?
    How does a telephone
    Carry your voice
    From one place to another?
    And why are we
    Born live and not
    In an egg—from your mother?

    Crystal clear glass—
    From where does it come?
    And the stone they call a diamond?
    And why are they
    So valuable? Gee—
    I wish that I could find one.

    Questions, Questions!
    They seem so tough.
    Are the answers that complicated?
    Don't be surprised
    To learn it can be
    Understood by the uninitiated.

    Yes it's okay
    To poke your nose
    Inside a book—maybe two.
    If you have a question,
    Don't let it hang.
    Find the answer—you need 'booboo.

    It's cool to be
    Curious, my friend,
    'Cause learning stuff can be much fun.
    Feel free to ask
    Any questions, 'cause
    When you don't that is so dumb.

    Sure you have to
    Go through the process
    And take it one step at a time.
    You cannot solve
    The problems of the world
    Overnight, or just in your mind.

    Just keep asking
    All your questions
    And don't stop 'til you find "why" ...
    And don't be afraid
    To ask "what" and "where"
    And "who," "how," and "when"—then try ...

    To make something
    On your own, and
    Make it something we all need.
    Something that
    Can help the poor
    Live better, like bounty from a seed.
    An electric car
    That doesn't pollute ...
    Now that is a winning idea.
    Or how 'bout a wa
y     To turn trash to cash
    Legally?—You've got a career!

    What good is your talent
    If all you want
    Is to make a trip to the bank.
    Ease someone's pain,
    Help the hungry
    Find peace! And we'll have you to thank.

    Whatever you do,
    Please don't stop
    Asking questions and learning what's new.
    Forget the dummies
    And all the fools
    'Cause with knowledge they can't touch you.

    It's cool to be
    Curious, my friend ...
    'Cause learning stuff can be much fun.
    Feel free to ask
    Any questions, 'caus
e     When you don't, that is so dumb.


    Be a Doctor, heal the sick.
    Use my skill and get rich quick.

    Be a Lawyer, take 'em to court.
    Sue their pants off—just for sport.

    How 'bout hoops? Play Basketball?
    Tennis or golf could be my call.

    Be a Teacher—help kids learn.
    Do it for love, not for what I'll earn.

    Every day it's what I hear.
    "Got to think about a career!"

    Mom says when I go to school no more,
    I'll be moving out the door.

    A-ten-hut! The Military?
    Macho man? It is very—

    Tough to hang with all the travel.
    Good career—if I can handle (it).

    Hear the call to preach the Word?
    Want to inspire—Help out, serve?

    I don't know what I want to do.
    Soon enough I'll get a clue.

    Gotta be something to pay the bills
    And let me use all my skills.

    Don't like school? Skipping class?
    Keep that up. I'll pump some gas.

    With no hope for the future.
    Nickel jobs will only suit 'cha.

    Everyday it's what I hear!
    "Got to think about a career!"

    Mom says when I go to school no more
    I'll be moving out that door.

    And of course I gotta have the cash!
    Enough to live well—don't need it to flash.

    I just hope that whatever I do
    Will make me happy and productive too.


Excerpted from RAP TO LIVE BY by Don Roberts. Copyright © 1993 Don Roberts. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents



Part I Serious Stuff,

Part II Knuckleheads,

Part III Funnin',

Part IV Cashin' In,

Part V Special People,

Part VI The "Deal",

Part VII Black History Play for a Class or Group,

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