Don’t get me wrong, I’m a funny bastard…
But when it come to money, son, I’m not the one to laugh with.

Big Pun, “Firewater,” Endangered Species, 2001

Time is money, every moment is costly,
So I ration emotion, ‘cause existence exhausts me.

Slug, “They’re All Gonna Laugh @ You,” from Atmosphere’s Lucy Ford: The Atmosphere EPs, 2001

We were at the same table when the chips were checked,
A gamblin’ rebel who inspects the deck.
Just when you thought we would fold our hand,
Against all odds, we raised the bet like we changed the plans.
It was live on air, but in between station breaks,
I was holdin a pair and just made the table stakes.
Split the demos, put insurance on tapes,
A safeguard against the crusaders in capes.
If I double-down, they say the Gods are sharks;
If we win against the house, they thought the cards was marked.
We draw hit after hit from a royal flush menu,
While the dealer promoted the full house venue.
A spade in the club with the heart to wear diamonds,
The high roller who got credit upon signin’.
They look puzzled when I shuffle, most of ‘em stunned by the hustle,
Recourse of bluff game’s your muscle.

GZA, “Back in the Game,” from Wu-Tang Clan’s Iron Flag, 2001

I had a cigarette for breakfast, just for beginners,
Cried for my lunch, and sleep for dinner.

G. Dep, “Everyday,” Child of the Ghetto, 2001

You know the wisdom is reflected in the knowledge when it’s manifested;
If not fed in due time, the mind is anorexic.

Cormega, “American Beauty,” The Realness, 2001

I make chicks consider themselves widows whose husbands ain’t even died yet.

Chino XL, “How It Goes,” I Told You So, 2001

…I’ve never had a dream in my life,
Because a dream is what you wanna do, but still haven’t pursued.
I knew what I wanted, and did it till it was done.
So I’ve been the dream I wanted to be since Day One.

Aesop Rock, “No Regrets,” Labor Days, 2001

I’m somethin’ serious like Crips that bust gats,
Ignorant with it like Bloods that bust back.

Jay Dee, “Y’All Ain’t Ready,” Welcome 2 Detroit (The D), 2001 

The Chinamen built the railroad, the Indians saved the Pilgrim,
And in return, the Pilgrim killed ‘em.
They call it it Thanksgiving, I call your holiday ‘hell-day.’

Nas, “What Goes Around,” Stillmatic, 2001

I don’t wanna dance, baby girl, it’s like my legs is on strike.

Killa Sin, “La Rhumba,” from RZA’s Digital Bullet, 2001

When I die, bury me butt naked and face down in the grass
So I can fuck the world while y’all kiss my ass

Ras Kass, “Bentleys & Bitches,” from Beatminerz Brace 4 Impak, 2001

Eminem • “Renegade” • 2001

…That’s when you start to stare at who’s in the mirror,
And see yourself as a kid again, and you get embarrassed.
And I got nothin’ to do but make you look stupid as parents,
You fuckin’ do-gooders; too bad you couldn’t do good at marriage!

Eminem, “Renegade,” from Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, 2001

They call it Thanksgiving, I call your holiday ‘Hell Day’
Cause I’m from poverty, neglected by the wealthy.

Nas, “What Goes Around,” Stillmatic, 2001. More from Nas…

You see y’all got it all wrong like women in tuxedos,
And comin’ up shorter than five Danny DeVitos.
I’m on a cool ranch…get laid more than Fritos,
With five strippers, four wives and three amigos.
I go scuba divin’ in Bays at Montego,
I find gold links and snatch ‘em like I’m Deebo.
But I’m the light-skindeded version of Mandingo,
I’ve seen more Beatles and Jagged Edges than Ringo,
I used to run numbers in line they called me ‘Bingo.’

Ludacris, “Coming 2 America,” Word of Mouf, 2001. More from Luda…

…That’s when you start to stare at who’s in the mirror,
And see yourself as a kid again, and you get embarrassed.
And I got nothin’ to do but make you look stupid as parents,
You fuckin’ do-gooders; too bad you couldn’t do good at marriage!

Eminem, “Renegade,” from Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, 2001

It was the beauty that caught me and held my soul hostage…
Remember those days? Had you smellin’ my boxers.

Ghostface Killah, “Never Be the Same Again,” Bulletproof Wallets, 2001. More quotes from GFK…

I’m livin’ in times where my daughters are found around
Kids who can’t afford thinking caps…
But always found drinkin’ raps and eatin’ off beats,
Claimin’ laws of the streets. But who made the laws?
Everybody playin’ rebel with no sign of a cause.

Posdnuos, “Held Down,” from De La Soul’s AOI: Bionix, 2001. More from De La Soul…

…I’ve never had a dream in my life,
Because a dream is what you wanna do, but still haven’t pursued.
I knew what I wanted, and did it till it was done.
So I’ve been the dream I wanted to be since Day One.

Aesop Rock, “No Regrets,” Labor Days, 2001. More Aesop Rock quotes…

All I need is one life, one try, one breath, I’m one man.
What I stand for speaks for itself…they don’t understand.

Nas, “One Mic,” Stillmatic, 2001. More from Nas.

Cats be talkin’, “Bobby I ain’t feelin’ ya.”
But I bet if I was peelin’ your cap back with a two-shot Dillinger
Hot lead released from my cylinder,
You’d be talkin’ ‘bout, “Bobby I’m feelin’ ya!”

RZA, “W.W.T. (Worldwide Thugs),” 2001

You thought your shit was fly, but the flight was delayed.

J-Live, “Braggin’ Writes,” The Best Part, 2001

Guns and the sneakers made Jada.
The bitches and the reefer came later
With the money and the haters.

Jadakiss, “Jada’s Got a Gun,” Kiss the Game Goodbye, 2001