This morning, the world learned of the sad news of the passing of the great Dr. Maya Angelou, a legendary author and poet who was easily one of the best and brightest voices of her generation. As influential as she was lauded, Angelou won countless awards throughout her career, and stood tall as a voice for women and the African-American community. With such a wide reach, it's no surprise that her name has popped up in its fair share of hip-hop lyrics, particularly among the Common's, Wale's and Lupe Fiasco's of the rap world—those who strive to make a change through their art, much like Angelou did through hers. XXL compiled 15 hip-hop songs that reference Angelou. RIP to one of the all-time greats.

maya angelou

"The Dreamer"

Artist: Common featuring Maya Angelou
Lyric: "Once you find your shoulders dropping/And your speech gets slow and hazy/You better change your way of being/Before you found your brain got lazy/You can build a better future when you join the winning team/If you desire a bright tomorrow, you must build a brighter dream" —Maya Angelou


"The Artistic Integrity"

Artist: Wale
Lyric: "Maya Angelou spawn/Abandoned and raised by Nas/Raised by the sharks but I'm swimming with the prawns/I found my own lane/Meet Mr. Folarin"


"Pac Blood"

Artist: Danny Brown
Lyric: "Langston Hughes with a blew fuse and a screw loose/Maya Angelou abused child with her notebook/Spitting like Kipling with a tooth missing/Tongue bring torture to men, women and children"

danny brown

"I'm Beamin'"

Artist: Lupe Fiasco
Lyric: "Mix Melissa Ford/With Maya Angelou/Become a top model/And Sojourner too"

Lupe Fiasco

"Killin' Em"

Artist: Jean Grae featuring Pharoahe Monch
Lyric: "Word evangelist/Diabolical vandalist/Infamous/Maya Angelou with Marlon Brando shit" —Jean Grae

jean grae

"The Session (Longest Posse Cut In History)"

Artist: The Roots
Lyric: "So okey-dokey folks/Most provoke me I'll choke ya so hold your oats/Was rollin' 'cause I'm strollin' with the quotes/Like Shakespeare, Mark Twain, or Edgar Allan Poe/But since I'm a negro, I flows like Maya Angelou" —Malik Blunt

the roots

"Ballin' Like A Bitch"

Artist: Ace Hood
Lyric: "Ridin in the phantom ghost/Yellow bone camel toe/Jewelry on tropicals/Call it Maya Angelou"

ace hood

"Olde English"

Artist: Dilated Peoples featuring Defari
Lyric: "I'm on that Richard Pryor, Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali/Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Salvador Dali/Now we rap Langston Hughes and Maya Angelous/Out the disco Xanadu/Hip-hop for the streets" —Rakaa Iriscience

Dilated Peoples

"Hey Mama"

Artist: Kanye West
Lyric: "Can't you see?/You're like a book of poetry/Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni/Turn one page and there's my mommy"

kanye west runaway

"6 Minutes Of Death"

Artist: Cassidy featuring Lil Wayne and Fabolous
Lyric: "I spit like Maya's poems, palming chromers/For the buyers' chromosomes I got soma's/I got Vicodins, Valiums I ain't stopping/Got powder, heroin, ex, oxycontin" —Lil Wayne

lil wayne

"The Makings Of A Perfect Bitch"

Artist: Nas
Lyric: "Gimme Sade's mystique, she gotta know her way in the streets/Like Billie Holiday in Harlem/Body from Ki Toy Johnson and Kenya Moore and Apple Bottoms/Maya Angelou's brain and some groove from Terry McMillan"


"Get By (Remix)"

Artist: Talib Kweli featuring Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Mos Def and Jay Z
Lyric: "It's something about that Nina Simone piano flow/It's like a Michaelangelo painted a portrait of Maya Angelou/And gave it to a sick poet for they antidote/If music get's you choked up this is the tree and a rope" —Kanye West

talib kweli

"The Bum-Bitch Ballad"

Artist: J-Zone
Lyric: "But if you know you ain't a bitch, then you wouldn't get mad/You'se a fake Maya Angelou, stunt, get a job"


"Woman Pt. II"

Artist: Akrobatik
Lyric: "Yo, she was like Rosario Dawson and Claudette Ortiz/With a little Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie/When she spoke it was like Lauryn Hill or Maya Angelou/All of those brains and body too hot to handle, too"


"Self Made"

Artist: Wale featuring Meek Mill, Pill, Rick Ross and Teedra Moses
Lyric: "Picture me rollin', young, handsome and focused/Got that vision of 'Pac although I'm branded as Oprah/Michelangelo portrait meet Maya Angelou notebook/Michael Jordan performance nigga I'm picturing all of it" —Wale

wale mmg

Previously: Twitter Reacts To The Death Of Maya Angelou
Common to Honor Dr. Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou Upset With Common’s Use of N-Word on “The Dreamer” Song