"N.Y. State of Mind" as written by Christopher E Martin, William Griffin, Eric Barrier and Nasir Jones....
Rappers I monkey flip em with the funky rhythm I be kicking
Musician, inflicting composition
Of pain I'm like Scarface sniffing cocaine
Holding a M-16, see with the pen I'm extreme, now
Bullet holes left in my peepholes
I'm suited up in street clothes
Hand me a nine and I'll defeat foes
Y'all know my steelo with or without the airplay
I keep some E&J, sitting bent up in the stairway
Or either on the corner betting Grants with the celo champs
Laughing at base-heads, trying to sell some broken amps
G-Packs get off quick, forever niggas talk shit
Reminiscing about the last time the Task Force flipped
Niggas be running through the block shooting
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
Pick the Mac up, told brothers, "Back up," the Mac spit
Lead was hitting niggas one ran, I made him back flip
Heard a few chicks scream my arm shook, couldn't look
Gave another squeeze heard it click yo, my shit is stuck
Try to cock it, it wouldn't shoot now I'm in danger
Finally pulled it back and saw three bullets caught up in the chamber
So now I'm jetting to the building lobby
And it was filled with children probably couldn't see as high as I be
(So what you saying?) It's like the game ain't the same
Got younger niggas pulling the triggers bringing fame to they name
And claim some corners, crews without guns are goners
In broad daylight, stickup kids, they run up on us
Fo'-fives and gauges, Macs in fact
Same niggas'll catch a back to back, snatching yo' cracks in black
There was a snitch on the block getting niggas knocked
So hold your stash until the coke price drop
I know this crackhead, who said she gotta smoke nice rock
And if it's good she'll bring ya customers in measuring pots, but yo
You gotta slide on a vacation
Inside information keeps large niggas erasing and they 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
New York state of mind
New York state of mind

Be having dreams that I'ma gangster, drinking Moets, holding Tecs
Making sure the cash came correct then I stepped
Investments in stocks, sewing up the blocks
To sell rocks, winning gunfights with mega cops
But just a nigga, walking 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 testing
Give me a Smith and Wessun I'll have niggas undressing
Thinking of cash flow, Buddha and shelter
Whenever frustrated I'ma hijack Delta
In the P.J.'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 living 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, homes
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, blaming 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 dice
I'm taking rappers to a new plateau, through rap slow
My rhyming is a vitamin, Hell 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 villians and creeps
That's where I learned to do my hustle had to scuffle with freaks
I'ma addict for sneakers, twenties 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
New York state of mind
New York state of mind

Nasty Nas


Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

"N.Y. State of Mind" as written by William Griffin Christopher E Martin

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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N.Y. State of Mind song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentamazing song...why arent you talking about this. its not hard to interpret i guess though. one of the best rap songs ever. i tell you ive never gone through the stuff nas talks about in this song but this song puts you in that NY state of mind just listening to it...
    jpgretzky15on February 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is so dope...simple NY beat with Nas displaying for the first time to the world his unreal flow as this was the first track on his debut classic "Illmatic"
    A sign of the respect Nas has earned - this song appears in the Norton Anthology of African American Literature, the textbook for ENGL 260 at U of I.
    MrMojoRisin5552on August 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of Nas' greatest. He rhymes on the trials and tribulations of New York life. Gotta be one of the greatest hip-hop storytellers.
    Sireneon August 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe simplistic beat gives Nas a change to show off his amazing lyrical skills. He totally submerges you into the short story of an experience in new york. Great song.
    ricardo_5733on March 31, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I'm suited up with street clothes, give me a nine and I'll defeat foes."

    Nasty nas
    graveyard roseson June 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFavorite NaS song. Def dope. Spits about how to live and survive in NY you gotta think a certain way. NY stand up!
    unbel13vabulllon November 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfreakin amazing..
    Rappers I monkey flip em with the funky rhythm I be kickin"it started and you knew this guy was gonna be awesome.
    salilsinghnlujon March 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm taking rappers to a new plateau, through rap slow, my rhymin is a vitamin, hell without a capsule!

    Damn one of Nas' dopest songs. It's a song you can listen to when you're angry.

    I never sleep cuz sleep is the cousin of death, that seems pretty factual to me. Nas is a scholar. lol
    Wack_Stringson July 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFire
    A Lloydon August 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe best New York City poet since Bob Dylan. A mix of fiction and truth, complete with great alliteration ("it drops deep like it does in my breath"), similies ("sleep is the cousin of death" "life is parallel to hell") and rhyme schemes (the first lines from "rappers" to "extreme"). I can't get over Nas' flow on this track.

    This really sets the tone for the album; dark and moody. The production sounds like an alarm clock going off, signifying the time is now to wake up. A classic piece of literature, no doubt.
    Shep420on June 10, 2006   Link

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