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My Mind on My Money…

Wear this tee while you are rolling down the street, smokin indo, and/or sippin on gin & juice. Or just to work, school, wherever.

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I call my brother ‘Sun’ cause he shine like one.
Method Man, “Wu-Gambinos,” from Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, 1995
Americanomics works, and I won’t argue that is true.
But if the economy is getting better, getting better for who?
Well, if you ask me, I’m doing much worse than before,
With the welfare cuts, I don’t eat no more.
So if I did wanna go out, I couldn’t go nowhere,
Cause I ate every last one of them reindeer.
Rudolph first, I went down the list,
I got so hungry, I just couldn’t resist.
I ate Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Dixon,
Fried them up and then started to mix them.
And before you knew it, they were all gone,
I wonder what y’all gonna do about my reindeer song!
Kool Moe Dee, “Santa’s Rap,” from Beat Street, 1984
The place I’m from, Santa don’t leave gifts.
In my house, Santa only shoplifts.
Holidays in the hood ain’t no motherfuckin joke,
When people all around you is starving and broke.
Cause if you black and poor, it’s hell;
You only hear gunshots, you never hear bells.
So if you got a way out, then go
Cause it ain’t no fun with Christmas in the ghetto.
TRU, “Christmas In Da Ghetto,” West Coast Bad Boyz: High of Xmas, 1992
Now on the first day of Christmas, my homeboy gave to me
A sack of the krazy glue and told me to smoke it up slowly.
Now on the second day of Christmas, my homeboy gave to me
A fifth of Hendog and told me to take my mind off that weed.
Now by the third day of Christmas, my big homeboy gave to me
A whole lot of everything, and it wasn’t nuthin’ but game to me.
Snoop Dogg, “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto,” from Christmas on Death Row, 1996
It was December 24th on Hollis Ave. in the dark,
When I see a man chilling with his dog in the park.
I approached very slowly with my heart full of fear,
Looked at his dog, oh my God, an ill reindeer!
But then I was illin’ because the man had a beard,
And a bag full of goodies, 12 o’clock had neared.
So I turned my head a second and the man had gone,
But he left his driver’s wallet smack dead on the lawn.
I picked the wallet up, then I took a pause…
Took out the license and it cold said ‘Santa Claus!’
Run, “Christmas in Hollis,” from A Very Special Christmas, 1987
I said ‘Whoa, little hottie,
I’m not DeLorean, Gambino or Gotti.
I don’t deal coke,
And furthermore you’re making me broke.
I’ll put you in a rehab and I won’t tell your folks.’
And what do you know,
In 18 months she came home,
And I let her back in…
And now she’s sniffing again.
Smooth B., “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow,” from Nice & Smooth’s Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed, 1991.
Back when Fresh was the word, and “Raw” was on Prism,
Marley on the boards, plus Kane was Long Livin’.
G Rap and Ace spittin’ murderous,
Bought Long Live the Kane, sat down, and learned every word of it.
Sneakin’ my Walkman in the homeroom playin’ it,
Listen for punchlines, delivery, and cadences.
But nowadays, it’s like niggas wanna play with it;
They hear some good shit, but don’t stop to savor it.
Phonte, “The Listening,” from Little Brother’s The Listening, 2003. More Phonte quotes

From open mics to solutions, I got a collage of answers,
And a 10-point program, just like the Black Panthers:

1: First, respect yourself as an artist
If you don’t respect yourself, then your rhymes is garbage.

2: Make sure your crew is as tight as you
Cause when them niggaz fallin off, they gonna bring you down too.

3: Understand the meaning of MC
The power to Move the Crowd like Moses split the seas.

4: Know your shit and don’t ever be blunted
If you don’t know what your words mean, then your rhymes mean nothin.

5: Kick facts in the raps, and curse with clarity
What’s a curse when language is immersed in vulgarity?

6: We gonna fix industrial poli-tricks
Shit, they made an art form out of ridin dicks.

7: We soldiers for God needin new recruits
So if you rhymin for the loot, then you’s a prostitute.

8: Acknowledge that you need food on your plate
In order to say your grace, make sure your business is straight.

9: We buildin black minds with intelligence
And when you freestyle, keep the subject matter relevant.

10: Every MC grab a pen
And write some conscious lyrics to tell the children.

Talib Kweli, “Manifesto,” from Lyricist Lounge, Volume 1, 1998. More Talib Kweli quotes
I only drink Cristal, or Imperial Moet,
No more weak ass Rose, that’s why the game too sweet.
We don’t wear tight ass clothes, we don’t do down South beats,
That ain’t New York–I restore our identification,
‘Cause dick-riding never been a form of transportation.
Troy Ave, “Cigar Smoke,” New York City, 2013
I start to think, and then I sink
Into the paper…like I was ink.
When I’m writing I’m trapped in between the lines,
I escape when I finish the rhyme…
I got soul.
Rakim, “I Know I Got Soul”, Paid in Full, 1987
You download it for free, we get charged back for it.
I know you’re saying, “They won’t know, they won’t miss it,
Besides, I ain’t a thief, they won’t pay me a visit.”
So, if I come to your job, take your corn on the cob,
And take a couple kernels off it, that would be alright with you?
Andre 3000, “What a Job,” from Devin the Dude’s Waitin to Inhale, 2007
Life is like a box of chocolates, you fill your body with toxins,
And amoxicillin and penicillin to cure your illness.
But in realness? These medical companies will get you monthly
Prescribing me pills that make me ill, just to comfort me.
Termanology, “100 More Jewelz,” G.O.Y.A. (Gunz Or Yay Available), 2013