"Who We Be" as written by Mickey R. Davis and Earl Simmons....
Uh, yeah
Another one of those
(This is for my nigga Q)
Down to earth joints
(Rest in peace, baby
You know how we roll)

They don't know who we be
They don't know who we be

What they don't know is
The bullshit, the drama (uh), the guns, the armor (what!)
The city, the farmer, the babies, the mama (what!)
The projects, the drugs (uh!), the children, the thugs (Uh!)
The tears, the hugs, the love, the slugs (c'mon!)
The funerals, the wakes, the churches, the coffins (uh!)
The heartbroken mothers - it happens too often (why?)
The problems, the things we use to solve 'em (what!)
Yonkers, the Bronx (uh!), Brooklyn, Harlem (c'mon!)
The hurt, the pain, the dirt, the rain (uh!)
The jerk, the fame, the work, the game (uh!)
The friends, the foes, the Benz, the hos (what!)
The studios, the shows, comes and it goes (c'mon!)
The jealousy, the envy, the phony, the friendly (uh-huh!)
The one that gave 'em the slugs, the one that put 'em in me (woo!)
The snakes, the grass too long to see (uh, uh!)
The lawnmower sittin' right next to the tree (c'mon!)

They don't know who we be
They don't know who we be

They don't know who we be
They don't know who we be

What we seeing is
The streets, the cops, the system, harassment (uh-huh)
The options, get shot, go to jail, or getcha ass kicked (a'ight)
The lawyers, the part they are of the puzzle (uh-huh)
The release, the warning, "Try not, to get in trouble." (Damn!)
The snitches, the odds (uh), probation, parole (what!)
The new charge, the bail, the warrant, the hole (damn!)
The cell, the bus, the ride up North (uh-huh)
The greens, the boots, the yard, the court (uh!)
The fightin', the stabbin', the pullin', the grabbin' (what!)
The riot squad with the captain, nobody knows what happened (what!)
The two years in a box, revenge, the plots (uh!)
The twenty-three hours that's locked, the one hour that's not (uh!)
The silence, the dark, the mind so fragile (a'ight!)
The wish that the streets would have took you when they had you (damn!)
The days, the months, the years, despair
One night on my knees, here it comes: the prayer

They don't know who we be
They don't know who we be

They don't know who we be
They don't know who we be

This here is all about
My wife, my kids (uh-huh), the life that I live (uh-huh)
Through the night I was his (uh-huh), it was right what I did (uh-huh)
My ups and downs (uh), my slips, my falls (uh)
My trials and tribulations (uh), my heart, my balls (uh)
My mother, my father - I love 'em, I hate 'em (uh!)
Wish God, I didn't have 'em, but I'm glad that he made 'em (uh!)
The roaches, the rats, the strays, the cats (what, what!)
The guns, knives and bats, every time we scrap
The hustlin', the dealin', the robbin', the stealin' (uh!)
The shit hit the ceilin', little boy with no feelin's (damn)
The frustration, rage, trapped inside a cage
The beatings till the age I carried a twelve gauge (a'ight!)
Somebody stop me (please!), somebody come and get me (what!)
Little did I know that the Lord was ridin' with me
The dark, the light (uh), my heart (uh), the fight (uh)
The wrong (uh!), the right (uh!), it's gone (uh!), a'ight!

They don't know who we be
They don't know who we be

They don't know who we be
They don't know who we be

They don't know who we be
They don't know who we be

They don't know who we be
They don't know who we be


Lyrics submitted by ker xox

"Who We Be" as written by Earl Simmons Mickey Davis

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Who We Be song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentsometimes, the fewest words speak volumes. i particularly enjoy this song because DMX states facts and feelings with little gratuitous embellishment.

    he just tells it like it is.
    roger wilcoon May 20, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy favorite song by DMX...he just threads a bunch of words together to make a heavy statement. The video shows him without bling, I wish more rappers would do that.
    OpinionHeadon December 21, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think McShine is partly right... in that its an indictment of the system which X feels victimised by... and is based on the reasoning behind the crimes. However, there is more to it. If you look at certain segments, you see deeper connotations.

    For example, the end of the first verse... I think thats one of two things... firstly it could be a reference to certain guys on the street (snakes in the grass), where things are so difficult (grass too long), people dont realise that there is another way out (the lawnmower). Or possibly it could be a reference to the system itself. the snakes being the corrupt people within it, the long grass being a reference to the seemingly never-ending slew of crime and criminals, while the lawnmower is the obvious answer - change the system. I can't be sure though because the lines before suggest its the first, and the lines after suggest its the second...

    Other parts, I think, are references to X's personal struggles. The comments about his parents are an obvious one. The last six lines of the second verse are perhaps a reference to how he "found God" while in jail. I'm not sure if he did, just speculating. But it sounds like he was imprisoned, and it was driving him crazy when he found that prayer gave him relief. Putting it in the song seems to be a kind of "yeah to you im just a criminal, but im trying... i have problems of my own" in a sort of extension of the first verse.

    The end of the third verse is interesting too. More religious overtones and references to salvation. It all kind of adds to the whole 'you judge me, but you dont know me. who are you to judge me? to judge us?' attitude. There are many instances in the song where X uncovers harsh truths from the streets that those who run the system are unaware of. I think the point of the track is that he wants them to know who we are so they can react accordingly, and the system can work better... rather than lock guys up and release them later with only "try not to get in trouble" for help.


    ...maybe
    kayoson January 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentme 2 plus he doesn't go into detail about what he's talking about so it leaves to the imagination just exactly what he's talking about.
    psycochicon June 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is rad
    HxChrison August 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about how while the system may put a lot of people like him in prison they don't know what drove them to comitt the crime (it sounds here like he's been caught shoplifting for his family cause he's broke)
    McShineon September 16, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is an ill song i think, and i think it's a deep song just like CROSSROADS (bone thugs) or 6 FEET DEEP (geto boys) but he just takes a different approach.
    PoLaK_4_LiFeon July 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the best songs by DMX.

    This song tells life how it really is...
    Noël 1991on October 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMost underrated rap song, ever.
    kstoneson April 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not a fan of DMX - I don't even like rap that much. But this song is awesome.
    TheMonolithon December 22, 2008   Link

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