“Life After Death” – The Notorious B.I.G.

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Oh, Christopher Wallace, how I adore thee. Y’all were selling dope as a kid, and you moved up to millionaire status with your music. You kept a realistic self-image and stayed honest. You left us too soon, bud.

 

This is good business/life advice, dealer or not.

Number 3, never trust no-bo-dy
Your moms’ll set that ass up, properly gassed up
Hoodied and masked up, shit, for that fast buck
She be laying in the bushes to light that ass up

Number 6, that goddamn credit? Dead it
You think a crackhead paying you back, shit forget it!

Niggas bleed just like us
Picture me bein’ scared of a nigga that breathe the same air as me
Niggas bleed just like us
Picture me bein’ shook
We can both pull burners, make the muthafuckin’ beef cook
Niggas bleed just like us
Picture a nigga hidin’
My life in that man hands, while he jus’ decidin’
Niggas bleed just like us
I’d rather go toe to toe with all of y’all
Runnin’ ain’t in my protocol

Err…actually, my entire in real life protocol is based around runnin’…But I can dream, can’t I?

“Men at Forty” – Donald Justice

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Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.

At rest on a stair landing,
They feel it
Moving beneath them now like the deck of a ship,
Though the swell is gentle.

And deep in mirrors
They rediscover
The face of the boy as he practices tying
His father’s tie there in secret

And the face of that father,
Still warm with the mystery of lather.
They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something

That is like the twilight sound
Of the crickets, immense,
Filling the woods at the foot of the slope
Behind their mortgaged houses.

“Another Drunk Tellin’ Lies and Stories” – Ziggy Pockets

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Ziggy Pockets is a low-key, bluesy country artist from West Virginia with songs referring to drugs, love, and sadness.

I woke up in the dumpster with cats all over me,

I was walking that old mad dog.

I can’t see twenty/twenty,

but I can see that old mad dog…

(You know of Mad Dog 20/20, right? Cheap wine…)

 

God bless West Virginia,

and all the hillbillies hooked on pills.

There’s a new generation,

running wild through the hollers and the hills.

Most folks done gone crazy,

and they’re cooking methamphetamines,

that they started cooking for their habits,

now its money for the rent and things…

Well, it’s almost heaven, but it’s West Virginia,

Lord, but the devil, the devil’s done moved on in…

Hell’s done broke loose all through the mountains

and they ain’t ever coming back again.