We got to stay awake for all these lizards and snakes;
Some of them come as friends, some of them come as Jakes.

Q-Tip, “Ill Vibe,” from Busta Rhymes’ The Coming, 1996

Next time you see a brother down
Stop and pick him up,
Cause you might be the next one stuck.

Grand Puba, “Mind Your Business,” Ya Know How It Goes 12", 1992

Friends: how many have ‘em?
How long before they split like atoms?
Don’t ask me, but what I do stand behind
Is someone havin’ your back seems hard to find.

Posdnous, “The Book of Life,” from De La Soul’s Plug 1 and Plug 2, First Serve, 2012

They smile in my face, behind my back they talk trash,
Mad and stuff because they don’t have cash.

Erick Sermon, “Strictly Business,” from EPMD’s Strictly Business, 1988

Golly, he’s just a pest and your worst best friend,
Who mend and rip space-time fabric like polyester blend.

MF Doom, “Biochemical Equation,” from Wu-Tang Meets Indie Culture, 2005

There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s gotta handle up on his own.
Can’t depend on friends to help you in a squeeze,
Please…they got problems of their own.

Slim Kid Tre, “Runnin’”, from Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia, 1995

Kendrick Lamar • “FEEL.” • 2017

I feel like friends been overrated,
I feel like the family been faking,
I feel like the feelings are changing,
Feel like my daughter compromised and jaded,
Feel like you wanna scrutinize how I made it.

Kendrick Lamar, “FEEL.,” DAMN, 2017

I never had real friends ‘til now…
I never had to steal ends cause that’s foul.
I walk the streets with the baseball bat feelin’ secure,
But I try not to incite fights–that’s immature.

Del the Funky Homosapien, “Eye Examination,” from the Dr. Bombay 12″, 1992. More from D-E-L…

I ain’t the captain of the yacht, but I’m on the boat;
I ain’t acting what I’m not, knowing that I don’t.
You niggaz acting like you will, but I know you won’t.
Man, I read between the lines of the eyes of your brows,
Your handshake ain’t matchin your smile…

Beanie Sigel, “Feel it in the Air,” The B. Coming, 2005

I used to want a Beemer, I used to want a Benz.
One thing that I never wanted was fake friends in the end.

Buckshot, “Duress,” from Black Moon’s War Zone, 1999. More from Buckshot Shorty…

They’d rather see me fail than succeed,
That’s why I’m alone on my own with no team.
Don’t need no green, though I got some to spend;
In the end…all I really need is a friend.

Bishop Nehru, “So Alone,” from Bishop Nehru + MF DOOM’s NehurvianDOOM, 2014

There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s gotta handle up on his own.
Can’t depend on friends to help you in a squeeze,
Please…they got problems of their own.

Slim Kid Tre, “Runnin’”, from Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia, 1995. More Pharcyde quotes…

A thug changes, and love changes,
And best friends become strangers.

Nas, “The Message,” It Was Written, 1996

In time, you’ll see a thin line between friend and rival.
Between you and me: stupidity and men’s bravado.

Ka, “Iron Age,” Grief Pedigree, 2012

We made plans, but we’ll never be able to fulfill ‘em.
This is shit we put together since we was little…
Every time we had dreams, you found a way you could kill ’em.

Kurupt, “Keep it Moving,” from Hi-Tek’s Hi-Teknology 2: The Chip, 2006

I’m down for you, so ride with me.
My enemies your enemies,
Cause you ain’t ever had a friend like me.

2Pac, “Never Had a Friend Like Me,” from Gridlock’d Soundtrack, 1997