I thank the Lord for every morning he allows me to rise,
And though the sun is shining, there’s a cloud in the sky
Lettin’ me know that at any moment there could be rain.
And as beautiful as life is, there still can be pain.
Down the park, I hear the sirens, just screamin’ away,
And then the inevitable happens, the end of them days,
As sad as it sounds, but that’s the price we all gotta pay.
And the whole world knows God giveth, and will taketh away.
I live and I learn, I sit and watch my cigarette burn
Down to the ash. It reminds me of the now and the past.
I say a little prayer, cause eventually I’ll stand in the path
Of the souls and dark rows that lead to rest.

Scarface, “What Can I Do?,” The Fix, 2002

My mama didn’t see it comin, my daddy was there.
What’s my excuse? Cartoons were the root.
Started with Yosemite Sam
With the gun in the palm of the hand,
What couldn’t I demand?

Pusha T, “Young Boy,” from The Clipse’s Lord Willin’, 2002

The line between playing to win and sin is thin,
But I walk it with grace and I talk it with taste.
I am that raw, simply put, and I rest my case.

Cee-Lo, “One for the Road,” Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, 2002

I don’t respect killers, I respect O.G. knowledge,
Codes of the streets got new rules, but no guidance.
Lessons, detrimental to a young disciple;
Folks, take care of your brothers, niggas do as I do.
Keep your enemies close, where they can see you.
It’s not your enemy who get you, it’s always your own people.

Nas, “In Between Us,” from Scarface’s The Fix, 2002

Why is it a honey act like she don’t want to be bothered?
But after the tappin’, she yappin’ like she want her children fathered?

Breeze Brewin’, “Sex Type Thang,” from Juggaknots’ Clear Blue Skies (Re-Release), 2002

I committed crimes of passion and my soul was suspected,
But it was thrown out of court because of course the Creator and I connected.
He told me, “Fear not for thou art protected. Your life is being requested,
And you are being tested, so make every attempt you can to expect the unexpected.”

Cee-Lo, “Big Ole Words (Damn),” Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, 2002

…I got over there real cool and picked her up, all good.
But half-way to the hotel, smoke start coming up from the hood.
Me and the bitch had to push, and she didn’t even get mad at me,
Figured out the problem: made her go steal me a battery.

Devin the Dude, “Lacville ‘79,” Just Tryin Ta Live, 2002

I’m an animal thug, I grew up eatin’ animal cookies

Akinyele, “Akinyele,” Large Professor’s 1st Class, 2002

Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out,
Till my legs give out, can’t shut my mouth,
Till the smoke clears out – am I high? Perhaps.
Imma rip this shit, till my bones collapse.

Nate Dogg, “‘Till I Collapse,” from Eminem’s The Eminem Show, 2002, RIP Nate Dogg, in the hip-hop chorus hall of fame, without a doubt. He will be missed.

I didn’t get turned on, I just got turned.
I wasn’t as aroused as I was concerned.

Slug, “The Woman with the Tattooed Hands,” from Atmosphere’s Lucy Ford, 2002

MURS • “18 w/a Bullet” • 2002

See my life is like a song, I just don’t know the words,

So as I try to hum along people say that I’m disturbed.

Stare and call me a loon, say I’m singin’ out of tune,

But my musics’ got direction so I know what I’m doin’.

Don’t know where I’m goin’ but I got to keep movin’,

Even if my next step is obscured by the present…

Gotta find the next rung on the stairway to heaven.

– MURS, “18 w/a Bullet,” …The End of the Beginning, 2002.

Eminem • “Love Me” • 2002

There’s a certain mystique when I speak that you notice,
‘Cause that’s sort of unique…’cause you know it’s me.
My poetry’s deep, and I’m Stillmatic the way I flow to this beat.
You can’t sit still; it’s like trying to smoke crack and go to sleep.

– Eminem, “Love Me,” from 8 Mile Soundtrack, 2002

I will show you all you need to know.

You must hold on to anyone that wants you,

And I will love you through simple and the struggle.

But girl…you got to understand: the modern man must hustle.

Slug, “Modern Man’s Hustle,” from Atmosphere’s God Loves Ugly, 2002. More from Atmosphere…

I didn’t get turned on, I just got turned.
I wasn’t as aroused as I was concerned.

Slug, “The Woman with the Tattooed Hands,” from Atmosphere’s Lucy Ford, 2002

The rich act poor, and the poor claim rich,
Whatever sounds cool’ll make the weaker mind switch.
If you on a major label or an indie 12-inch:
When you fronting on the mic, you still the industry’s bitch.

J-Live, “Sub Level,” from Rob Swift’s Sound Event, 2002

My life is a blunt to the head, a prayer for the dead,
Run around hustlin…scared of the feds.
They said death is eternal sleep,
But the only thing is you ain’t really sure if you prepared for the bed.

Styles P, “My Life,” A Gangster and a Gentleman, 2002

Could hate a person, but in fact it’s not worth it.
Never know how long you’ve got on this earth, kid.

Large Professor, “In the Sun,” First Class, 2002

Death is the cousin of sleep,
Just close your eyes, count sheep and breathe deep.
Think about the sound of relief that surrounds you,
You were already gone before I found you.

Slug, “Bleed Slow,” from Atmosphere’s Godlovesugly, 2002

Life’s not a bitch, life is a beautiful woman…
You only call her a bitch because she won’t let you get that pussy.
Maybe she didn’t feel y’all shared any similar interests,
Or maybe you’re just an asshole who couldn’t sweet talk the princess.

Aesop Rock, “Daylight,” Daylight EP, 2002

What you base your happiness around?
Material, women, and large paper?
That means you inferior, not major.

Nas, “No Idea’s Original,” The Lost Tapes, 2002

I wanna just take this time out to be perfectly honest;
Cause there’s a lotta shit I keep bottled that hurts deep inside of my soul,
And just know that I grow colder the older I grow.
This boulder on my shoulder gets heavy and harder to hold,
And this load is like the weight of the world and I think my neck is breaking,
Should I just give up or try to live up to these expectations?

Eminem, “Hailie’s Song,” The Eminem Show, 2002

Know the shit I don’t write be the illest shit that’s ever been recited in the game,
Word to the hyphen in my name!

Jay Z, “The Watcher 2,” The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse, 2002. Jay Z dropped the hyphen today.

Nowadays, the game is all bugged out,
Phony, like back when Hammer tried to come thugged out.

MF Doom, “Foolish,“ from MF Grimm’s Downfall of Ibliys: A Ghetto Opera, 2002

Everything will eventually come to an end,
So try to savor the moment, cause time flies, don’t it?
The beauty of life, you gotta make it last for the better,
Cause nothin’ lasts forever.

Nas, “Nothing Lasts Forever,” The Lost Tapes, 2002

You dudes is noodles, I got more ziti to bake.
You dudes is cake, I keep two biscuits on the waist.
Razor blades under the tongue, I will eat your face,
Appetite for destruction, I am starvin’ today.
Got a money hungry lawyer that’ll eat the case,
And that’s just food for thought, don’t let it go to waste.

Jay-Z, “U Don’t Know (Remix),” The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse, 2002