"N.Y. State Of Mind (Live)" lyrics - NAS

"N.Y. State Of Mind (Live)"
feat. The National Symphony Orchestra

[Spoken: Nas]
Twenty years in the making
What was I thinking?
1992, wow
I wasn't sure how to get into the rap game
The incredible rap game
It's all a dream
It's time, and when that time came
I took it

[Verse 1: Nas]
Rappers, I monkey flip 'em, with the funky rhythm I be kickin'
Musician, inflictin' composition of pain
I'm like Scarface sniffin' cocaine
Holdin' an M16, see with the pen I'm extreme
Now, bullet holes left in my peepholes
I'm suited up in street clothes, hand me a 9 and I'll defeat foes
Y'all know my steelo, with or without the airplay
I keep some E&J, sittin' bent up in the stairway
Or either on the corner bettin' Grants with the cee-lo champs
Laughin' at baseheads tryna sell some broken amps
G-packs get off quick, forever niggas talk
Reminiscin' about the last time the task force flipped
Niggas be runnin' through the block shootin'
Time to start the revolution, catch a body, head for Houston
Once they caught us off-guard, the MAC-10 was in the grass and
I ran like a cheetah, with thoughts of an assassin
Picked the MAC up, told brothers, "Back up!" - the MAC spit
Lead was hittin' niggas, one ran, I made him backflip
Heard a few chicks scream, my arm shook, couldn't look
Gave another squeeze, heard it click, "Yo, my shit is stuck!"
It wouldn't shoot, now I'm in danger
Pulled my shit back and saw three bullets caught up in the chamber
Now I'm runnin' to the building lobby
And it was full of children prob'ly, couldn't see as high as I be
(So what you sayin'?) It's like the game ain't the same
Got younger niggas pullin' the triggers, bringin' fame to their name
Claim some corners, crews without guns are goners
In broad daylight, stick-up kids, they run up on us
45's and gauges, MAC's in fact
Same niggas will catch you back-to-back, snatchin' your cracks
In black, there was a snitch on the block gettin' niggas knocked
So hold your stash 'til the coke price drop
I know this crackhead who said she got to smoke nice rock
And if it's good, she'll bring you customers in measuring pots
But yo, you gotta slide on a vacation
Inside information keeps large niggas erasin' and their wives basin'
It drops deep as it does in my breath
I never sleep-'cause sleep is the cousin of death
Beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined
I think of crime when I'm in a New York state of mind

"New York state of mind"
"New York state of mind"
Where I live, where I'm at
"New York state of mind"
"New York state of mind"

[Verse 2: Nas]
Be havin' dreams that I'm a gangsta
Drinkin' Moets, holdin' TEC's
Makin' sure the cash came correct, then I stepped
Investments in stocks, sewin' up the blocks to sell rocks
Winnin' gunfights with mega-cops
But just a nigga walkin' with his finger on the trigger
Make enough figures until my pockets get bigger
I ain't the type of brother made for you to start testin'
Give me a Smith & Wesson, I have brothers undressin'
Thinkin' of cash flow, buddha and shelter
Whenever frustrated, I'm a hijack Delta
In the PJ's, my blend tape plays, bullets are strays
Young bitches is grazed, each block is like a maze
Full of black rats trapped plus the Island is packed
From what I hear in all the stories when my peoples come back
Black, I'm livin' where the nights is jet-black
The fiends fight to get crack
I just max, I dream I can sit back
And lamp like Capone, with drug scripts sewn
Or the legal luxury life, rings flooded with stones, holmes
I got so many rhymes, I don't think I'm too sane
Life is parallel to Hell, but I must maintain
And be prosperous, though we live dangerous
Cops could just arrest me, blamin' us: we're held like hostages
It's only right that I was born to use mics
And the stuff that I write is even tougher than dykes
I've taken rappers to a new plateau
Through rap slow, my rhymin' is a vitamin held without a capsule
The smooth criminal on beat breaks
Never put me in your box if your shit eats tapes
The city never sleeps, full of villains and creeps
That's where I learned to do my hustle, had to scuffle with freaks
I'm an addict for sneakers
20's of buddha and bitches with beepers
In the streets I can greet ya, about blunts I teach ya
Inhale deep like the words of my breath
I never sleep-'cause sleep is the cousin of death
I lay puzzle as I backtrack to earlier times
Nothing's equivalent to the New York state of mind

"New York state of mind"
"New York state of mind"
Where I live, where I'm at
"New York state of mind"
"New York state of mind"

But tonight, tonight
In the D.C state of mind
Yeah, yeah
Detonize, come on
Detonize what
Detonize all

[Spoken: Nas]
Thank you
20 years ago, I was writing that rhyme in a small apartment, in a small room, inside that small apartment. Just living in a world that I knew, talking about the things that I see and live man. You know, teenagers' mind is wild