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Paid Dues

This song is by 8Ball & MJG, features Cee Lo Green and appears on the album In Our Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1999).

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Yeah, Yeah...Space Age forever
Niggas and hoes better recognize
Eightball & MJG...been ten toes down in this game
Since we were two young playas in a one horse town
Then hopped to a muthafuckin grasshopper, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout?
Nigga, my life would have been done got cut off
If my dues weren't paid

It's ah, skinnin' lines between wrong and right
Trapped in a trap till the mornin light
Ghetto ain't left me no choices, I had to fight
My mama and daddy was too young to raise me right

Maybe I been made a man from all the mistakes I made
Niggas dead, niggas gone, I still ain't afraid
Ain't too grown to get back on with ghetto games I played
My life would have been done got cut off if the dues weren't paid

In the middle of doin crime (Uggh)
It never stopped me from writin rhymes
It never stopped me from playin music
God, but it didn't mean I had to use it

It was obvious, I had to give up the streets for the beats
Not knowin, but havin' faith on just how long that it would be
Before I made it, before somebody picked up my tape and played it
With a remark like, "Hey, played that instrumental, you cat's got potential."

In the process of doing talent shows, parties and mix tapes
We even put it down on some of our homeboys jail release dates
I can remember in the past closin' down at fast foods
Strictly stickin' to my dreams, but feelin like I'd be the last dude

Who can make it in this rap
I thought that they ain't go see me in Memphis
It was like a time they looked over Tennesseee
Ad didn't know Hip-Hop was in us

To all my vets in the game, I got love, stay on your toes
Cause back in the days, I use to use your 4-5 instrumental to do my shows
And look, I was 17 when I signed my first contract
And about 18 1/2 when I signed my worst contract, we hurt from that

And to this day, they still distributin our first tape
Before Comin Out Hard, now can you feel it?
Be humble and patient with whatever you should choose
'Cause, to get to where I am right now, I don't paid my dues

It's ah, skinnin' lines between wrong and right
Trapped in a trap till the mornin light
Ghetto ain't left me no choices, I had to fight
My mama and daddy was too young to raise me right

Maybe I been made a man from all the mistakes I made
Niggas dead, niggas gone, I still ain't afraid
Ain't too grown to get back on with ghetto games I played
My life would have been done got cut off if the dues weren't paid

A C-note for a concert
I know that sounds preposterous
Nigga, we didn't have a pot to piss
So we got on stage and we rocked the bitch

Fuck the cheese, I love to see
My niggas in the front row
Get buck wild, start a fight
The police make a nigga stop the show

Niggas all in the parkin lot
Bustin' shots, fuckin' with hoes
Box chevy with the spokes and vogues
Niggas didn't know shit about a 20 inch Mo-Mo

Hard head, young nigga don't believe that shit, till I see that shit
See them heavyweight niggas, one day, I'm gonna be that shit
Ok, everybody know everybody done sold dope, ran with a gang
Pimp some hoes, and snorted a little coke, but uh..

I'm space agein and we'll forever be
Eightball, the fat mack, and...M-J fuckin' G
Turn the page, from then to now, and we still grindin
Small clubs and small towns think they bouncin, and we find them

Put them on the guest list
Make them pump their fist and get buck to this
Make one of them weed-smokin', gangsta bitches get fucked to this
Expand, give all my true fans what they demand
Do my part again and a-do my part again
Keep space agein, and we'll forever be...
Eightball, the fat mack, and...M-J fuckin G.

It's ah, skinnin' lines between wrong and right
Trapped in a trap till the mornin light
Ghetto ain't left me no choices, I had to fight
My mama and daddy was too young to raise me right

Maybe I been made a man from all the mistakes I made
Niggas dead, niggas gone, I still ain't afraid
Ain't too grown to get back on with ghetto games I played
My life would have been done got cut off if the dues weren't paid

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