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Didn't take nothing that I didn't need
'Cause they didn't offer classes in what I want to be
They didn't offer manhood, responsibility
Had to learn it the hard way, earned my degree in the street

Graduated from Hard Knocks, got my education
Hard knocks, out in the street

Can't bust through that ceiling without feeling the burn
And I ain't got nothing that I did not earn
Chasing that mighty dollar 'stead of hitting the books
Studying Donny and Stevie, learned to sail the hooks

I graduated from Hard Knocks
The bumps and the bruises to prove it, oh
Hard Knocks, summa c** laude
Hard Knocks, oh
Hard Knocks, c'mon

Had a real good teacher named Mr. Life
Didn't teach no chemistry but he taught me how to fight
Didn't teach biology but I learned it from the birds and the bees
Said stay close to your friends, even closer to your enemies, oh

Hard Knocks
Graduated from Hard Knocks
Bumps and the bruises to prove it, oh!
Hard knocks
Hard Knocks, gotta bring it on down, c'mon

Said these streets keep calling me
Don't know what it is
Is it the thrill that I seek? I don't know!
Is it the night yeah, night yeah? Or the sound of the city?
Whatever it is these streets keep calling me day and night
I can't get 'em off, c'mon

Said they're calling me, calling me, calling me
They're calling me, calling me, calling
Calling me, calling me, calling me
Calling me, calling me, yeah yeah

Calling me, calling me, yeah
Calling me, yeah yeah
Calling me, calling me, calling me
Calling me, yeah yeah

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