I never sleep, ‘cause sleep is the cousin of death.
Nas, “N.Y. State of Mind,” Illmatic, 1994
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I never sleep, ‘cause sleep is the cousin of death.
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.
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.
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.
Inhale deep like the words of my breath,
I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.
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.
I’m givin’ more flat lines to niggas than loose-leaf.
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
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.
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…
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.
A simple right or left can mean life or death,
Epic fail or nice success,
Days of pleasure or nights of stress.
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!
They say the good die young, so the bad die old.
Guess we somewhere in the middle, so just pray for my soul.
I’d rather die enormous than live dormant.
If I should die this very day,
Don’t cry…cause on Earth
We wasn’t meant to stay.
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.
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.
If I should fall asleep and death takes me away,
Don’t be surprised son, I wasn’t put here to stay.
Life’s a bitch, but God forbid the bitch divorce me…
When the slugs penetrate, you feel a burning sensation,
Gettin closer to God in a tight situation.
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?
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.
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.
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’.
Don’t mourn me when I’m gone, celebrate my travels;
Whenever you need me, just take a plane to the astral zones.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Never we sleep, a thug doesn’t rest,
Cause a wise man said: it was a cousin of death.
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.
They say sleep is the cousin of death, guess we related…
Cause I’m the most slept on, and the most hated.
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.