When I drink a brew for you, I pour some on the block, son.
You might be gone, but you damn sure ain’t forgotten.

Big Mike, “6 Feet Under,” from The Geto Boys’ Till Death Do Us Part, 1993

It’s like every step bring me close to destiny,
And every breath I get closer to the death of me.
I’m just tryna carry out my own legacy,
But the place I call home ain’t lettin’ me.

Joey Bada$$, “Like Me,” B4.DA.$$, 2015

I never asked to be born, and death’s no question.
The sun’s still shining off the same old lessons,
Then why does life feel like an educated guess?
And my thoughts are like meals…I’m a sucker for the seconds.

Oddisee, “Own Appeal,” Tangible Dream, 2013. More from Oddisee…

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

And I’m not sure why I’m infatuated with death,
My imagination is surely an aggravation of threats…
Maybe cause I’m a dreamer, and sleep is the cousin of death,
Really stuck in the scheme of wondering when I’mma rest.

Kendrick Lamar, “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst," good kid, m.A.A.d city, 2012. More Kendrick Lamar quotes…

Never we sleep, a thug doesn’t rest,
Cause a wise man said: it was a cousin of death.

Big Pun, “Who Is a Thug,” from Whiteboys soundtrack, 1999

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

They say sleep is the cousin of death, guess we related…
Cause I’m the most slept on, and the most hated.

The Game, “Sleep When I’m Gone,” from DJ Khaled’s We the Best Forever, 2011

If sleep is the cousin of death, then death is the cousin of sadness;
Murder’s the cousin of madness, love is the cousin of that bitch.

Ill Bill, “Secrets Worth Dying For,” from DJ Muggs & Ill Bill’s Kill Devil Hills, 2010

I never sleep, ‘cause sleep is the cousin of death.

Nas, “N.Y. State of Mind,” Illmatic, 1994

My days getting shorter, my nights getting longer,
My cell getting smaller, my son getting taller.
I exercise my mind, my body getting stronger,
But my blood getting colder, heart getting harder.
My chances for appeal getting slimmer,
My skin getting brighter, my hair getting thinner.
See, when you stressed out, you could age fast in here,
I done seen weak niggas not last a year.
So before lights out, I write my kids every night,
Kiss the stamp on the kite,
And say a prayer…I hope it lands safe in these flights,
I pray they sleep safe through the night.
Try to teach my son right, give him some jewels,
But it’s hard to raise my boy from this visiting room.
Many cells turned to prisoner’s tombs,
I just pray I don’t die in here,
And last night I almost cried a tear.

Beanie Sigel, “Have Mercy,” from Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, 2009

The first lady in my life, but now you’re gone,
I learned through the years to keep carrying on.
Your picture brings me tears and memories,
The way things could be…and they should be, but they’re not.

Afrika Baby Bam, “All I Think About Is You,” from Jungle Brothers’ J. Beez Wit The Remedy, 1993

If you love someone, you should say it often,
You never know when they’ll be layin’ in a coffin.
Wake up, it’s important that you know that
No one on Earth is promised tomorrow.

MC Lyte, “Poor Georgie,” Act Like You Know, 1991

Inhale deep like the words of my breath,
I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.

Nas, “New York State of Mind,” Illmatic, 1994

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

I’m givin’ more flat lines to niggas than loose-leaf.

Kool G. Rap, “Go For Your Guns,” from Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo’s Live and Let Die, 1992

I live this life at a pace that anyone can go.
Know your place, and dedicate your role
…To the faith that you’ll die alone

Kendrick Lamar, “See No Evil,” from Game’s Jesus Piece, 2012

The purpose of life is a life with a purpose;
So I’d rather die for a cause than live a life that is worthless.

Immortal Technique, “The Martyr,” The Martyr, 2011

Eminem • “Rock Bottom” • 1999

My life is full of empty promises and broken dreams…
I’m hopin’ things look up; but there ain’t no job openings.
I feel discouraged, hungry and malnourished,
Living in this house with no furnace, unfurnished.
And I’m sick of workin’ dead end jobs with lame pay,
And I’m tired of bein’ hired and fired the same day.
But fuck it, if you know the rules to the game play,
Cause when we die, we know we all going the same way.

Eminem, “Rock Bottom,” Slim Shady LP, 1999

Dear Mama, don’t cry, your baby boy’s doin’ good,
Tell the homies I’m in heaven, and they ain’t got hoods.
Seen a show with Marvin Gaye last night, it had me shook,
Drippin’ peppermint Schnapps, with Jackie Wilson, and Sam Cooke…

2Pac, “Thugz Mansion,” Better Dayz, 2002

Sunny days wouldn’t be special…if it wasn’t for rain.
Joy wouldn’t feel so good…if it wasn’t for pain.
Death gotta be easy, ‘cause life is hard,
It’ll leave you physically, mentally, and emotionally scarred.

50 Cent, “Many Men (Wish Death),” Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 2003

A simple right or left can mean life or death,
Epic fail or nice success,
Days of pleasure or nights of stress.

Ka, “Decisions,” Grief Pedigree, 2012

So lovers of life, don’t keep your hopes up high.
Why? Cause it’s just a matter of time before it’s your turn to die.
But until then, when you stop breathin’,
It’s time to stand up and fight for what you believe in!

Sticky Fingaz, “2 Wrongz,” from Onyx’s All We Got Iz Us,  1995

They say the good die young, so the bad die old.
Guess we somewhere in the middle, so just pray for my soul.

Jon Connor, “Broken Mirrors,” Salvation, 2011

I’d rather die enormous than live dormant.

Jay-Z, “Can I Live,” Reasonable Doubt, 1996

If I should die this very day,
Don’t cry…cause on Earth
We wasn’t meant to stay.

Whitney Houston, “My Love Is Your Love,” My Love Is Your Love, 1998. A rare R&B quote exception dedicated to Whitney Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012), who has finally found peace.

God damn! Drug dealers dealin’ to the kiddies,
Livin’ in the city ain’t no pity on the itty-bitty.
We try to cry, but still they all die,
I try to speak to the youth, and the truth is: they all high.

2Pac, “Wassup Wit The Luv?,” from Digital Underground’s The Body-Hat Syndrome, 1993

I don’t see the world as you see it.
I see it as a game, and my aim is to complete it.
What you live for is what you die for:
To make a little name, grab some fame and the high score.

Murs, “Ice Cream Mountain,” from McKenzie Eddy’s Slow Your Horse Down, Son, 2011

If I should fall asleep and death takes me away,
Don’t be surprised son, I wasn’t put here to stay.

Lauryn Hill, “Family Business,” from The Fugees’ The Score, 1996

Life’s a bitch, but God forbid the bitch divorce me…

Nas, “Affirmative Action,” It Was Written, 1996

When the slugs penetrate, you feel a burning sensation,
Gettin closer to God in a tight situation.

Prodigy, “Shook Ones Pt. II,” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous,  1995

So let me explain the game,
Break it down a couple of levels like Tetris:
These young uns kill they own blood for a necklace,
Leave ya slumped over the wheel of ya Lexus,
Smoke kush, wake up and eat breakfast…
…what the fuck you expect?

Pharoahe Monch, “Black Hand Side,” W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), 2011

I would trade my existence to give you breath,
Guess the only guarantees in this life is death.
As I look around seein’ I’m the last one left,
And the things I can’t change I just gotta accept.

Tragedy, “Permanently Scarred,” Against All Odds, 1997

Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) • “Black Spasmodic” • 2016

Rip every stage with grace, look right dead in they face,
Live the Tribe principle of havin’ impeccable taste.
Enjoy that breath like that one was your last one left,
If you don’t believe me, there’s truly life after death.

– Q-Tip, “Black Spasmodic,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got It from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service, 2016

I cause disasters, I am the master,
Turning little bastards into fucking Casper.
So put your name on a tombstone…
Cause when you try to kill me, I refuse to die alone.

MF Grimm, “Crumbsnatchers,” Scars & Memories, 2005. More grim quotes from Grimm…

Another day, another burial,
Got you wondering ’bout the day when they bury you.
Tear drops stain the Wally’s that you rockin’,
On the block, candles burn, guns poppin’.

Tek, “Memorial,” from Cocoa Brovaz’ (aka Smif N Wessun) The Rude Awakening, 1998.

Don’t mourn me when I’m gone, celebrate my travels;
Whenever you need me, just take a plane to the astral zones.

Joey BADA$$, “On and On,” B4.DA.$$, 2015.