"Thieves In The Night" as written by and Dante Smith Talib Kweli Greene....
"Give me the fortune, keep the fame," said my man Louis
I agreed, know what he mean because we live the truest lie
I asked him why we follow the law of the bluest eye
He looked at me, he thought about it, was like, "I'm clueless, why?"
The question was rhetorical, the answer is horrible
Our morals are out of place and got our lives full of sorrow
And so tomorrow coming later than usual
Waiting on someone to pity us while we finding beauty in the hideous
They say money's the root of all evil but I can't tell
You know what I mean, pesos, francs, yens, cowrie shells, dollar bills
Or is it the mindstate that's ill?
Creating crime rates to fill the new prisons they build
Over money and religion there's more blood to spill
The wounds of slaves in cotton fields that never heal, what's the deal?
A lot of cats who buy records are straight broke
But my language universal they be reciting my quotes
While R&B singers hit bad notes, we rock the boat of thought
That my man Louis' statements just provoked
Caught up, in conversations of our personal worth
Brought up, through endangered species status on the planet Earth
Survival tactics means, busting gats to prove you hard
Your firearms are too short to box with God
Without faith, all of that is illusionary
Raise my son, no vindication of manhood necessary

Not strong (Only aggressive)
Not free (We only licensed)
Not compassionate, only polite (Now who the nicest?)
Not good but well behaved
(Chasing after death, so we can call ourselves brave?)
Still living like mental slaves
Hiding like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis making you look twice
Hiding like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis making you look twice

Yo, I'm sure that everybody out listening agree
That everything you see ain't really how it be
A lot of jokers out running in place, chasing the style
Be a lot going on beneath the empty smile
Most cats in my area be loving the hysteria
Synthesized surface conceals the interior
America, land of opportunity, mirages and camouflages
More than usually, speaking loudly
Saying nothing, you confusing me, you losing me
Your game is twisted, want me enlisted in your usury
Foolishly, most men join the ranks cluelessly
Buffoonishly accept the deception, believe the perception
Reflection rarely seen across the surface of the looking glass
Walking the street, wondering who they be looking past
Looking gassed with them imported designer shades on
Stars shine bright, but the light rarely stays on
Same song, just remixed, different arrangement
Put you on a yacht but they won't call it a slave ship
Strangeness, you don't control this, you barely hold this
Screaming "brand new", when they just sanitized the old shit
Suppose it's, just another clever Jedi mind trick
That they been running across stars through all the time with
I find it's distressing, there's never no in-between
We either niggas or Kings, we either bitches or Queens
The deadly ritual seems immersed in the perverse
Full of short attention spans, short tempers, and short skirts
Long barrel automatics released in short bursts
The length of black life is treated with short worth
Get yours first, them other niggas secondary
That type of illing that be filling up the cemetery
This life is temporary but the soul is eternal
Separate the real from the lie, let me learn you
Not strong, only aggressive cause the power ain't directed
That's why we are subjected to the will of the oppressive
Not free, we only licensed, not live, we just exciting
Cause the captors own the masters to what we writing
Not compassionate, only polite, we well trained
Our sincerity's rehearsed in stage, it's just a game
Not good, but well behaved cause the camera survey
Most of the things that we think, do or say
We chasing after death just to call ourselves brave
But everyday, next man meet with the grave/Great
I give a damn if any fan recall my legacy
I'm trying to live life in the sight of God's memory like that y'all

A lot of people don't understand the true criteria of things
Can't just accept the appearance, have to get the true essence
(They ain't looking around)

Not strong (Only aggressive)
Not free (We only licensed)
Not compassionate, only polite (Now who the nicest?)
Not good but well behaved
(Chasing after death, so we can call ourselves brave?)
Still living like mental slaves
Hiding like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis making you look twice
Hiding like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis making you look twice

Stop hiding, stop hiding, stop hiding yo' face
Stop hiding, stop hiding, cause ain't no hiding place


Lyrics submitted by nsxdriven

"Thieves in the Night" as written by Dante Smith Charles Njapa

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Thieves In The Night song meanings
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20 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentMy FAVORITE hip hop song ever. By far two of the best MCs ever, Mos and Talib can write the best lyrics, very great stuff. This song is basically about how the African culture is slowly transcending into a white one without realizing it, "Not strong, only aggressive, cause the power ain't directed
    That's why, we are subjected to the will of the oppressive" "Cause the captors.. own the masters.. to what we writin
    Not compassionate, only polite, we well trained
    Our sincerity's rehearsed in stage, it's just a game " Also about how rap/hip hop nowadays is controlled by white CEO-industry type people who use the rappers such as Chingy as their pawns, which gives rap the bad name. Rap has so much potential I think and if Mainstream America will realize it then they will see the true meaning, not this "Get Low" Crap, and people like Mos Def and Talib are bringing it to a wider audience.
    JoE][BoXeRon November 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBlackStar keep shinin'. This song (and album) is fucking sweet.
    endwhereyoubeginon January 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree - this is the finest song on the album. If you like this I strongly recommend "Expansion Outro" off of Talib's album, Reflection Eternal. It's mostly about the struggles of black women in America. I'm a comfortably off white boy so I can't say I relate yet it's real poetry.
    gmunkon May 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe inspiration of the song is this book:

    amazon.com/Bluest-Eye-Oprahs-Book-Club/dp/…
    Brian Khouwon November 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthese are some amazing lyrics. Talib and Mos are pure genius. Unfortunately, most people won't even hear this because of low and crank that and trash like that. i'm a white teenager and even though i cant really relate, the lyrics are still amazing
    immortal critiqueon July 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnyone who heard this and it has touched a note has related/understood it to some degree. Be it any race it doesnt matter the powers that be has us all confused to chase lies and illusions for thier gain...
    Lucas7Clauson April 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIf you read the book The Bluest Eye and listen to this song, it's clear that all three writers (Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Toni Morrison) are bemoaning the fact that black people are so negatively framed by white society that they internalize the framing. Perception is reality, and we allow "the bluest eye" to be the one we all want to look through. So they build the prisons for us and we obligingly commit the crimes. It's not really true that a black person can't be strong, or good, or compassionate, or (in the case of the "ugly little girl" in the book) beautiful. Of course as individuals we can be and already are all of those things. Physically we may be free, but our minds, souls, and talents are licensed.
    DameAutouron October 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, very :-D. My fav song on the album, I really wish they'd make a follow-up and that more people would hear and comment on this song.
    JoE][BoXeRon January 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentamazing
    red_chordson April 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentreally good song,
    black star is real hip hop.
    roc_elleon June 25, 2005   Link

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