"Mind Playing Tricks On Me" as written by Isaac Hayes, Brad Jordan, Willie Dennis and Doug King....
I sit alone in my four-cornered room staring at candles
Oh that shit is on? Heh
Let me drop some shit like this here, real smooth

At night I can't sleep, I toss and turn
Candle sticks in the dark, visions of bodies bein' burned
Four walls just starin' at a nigga
I'm paranoid, sleepin' with my finger on the trigger
My mother's always stressin' I ain't livin' right
But I ain't going out without a fight
See, everytime my eyes close
I start sweatin', and blood starts comin' out my nose
It's somebody watchin' the Ak'
But I don't know who it is, so I'm watchin' my back
I can see him when I'm deep in the covers
When I awake I don't see the motherfucker
He owns a black hat like I own
A black suit and a cane like my own
Some might say, Take a chill, be
But fuck that shit! There's a nigga trying to kill me
I'm poppin' in the clip when the wind blows
Every twenty seconds got me peepin out my window
Investigatin' the joint for traps
Checkin' my telephone for taps
I'm starin' at the woman on the corner
It's fucked up when your mind is playin' tricks on ya

I make big money, I drive big cars
Everybody know me, it's like I'm a movie star
But late at night, somethin' ain't right
I feel I'm being tailed by the same sucker's head lights
Is it that fool that I ran off the block?
Or is it that nigga last week that I shot?
Or is it the one I beat for five thousand dollars
Thought he had 'caine but it was Gold Medal Flour
Reach under my seat, grabbed my popper for the suckers
Ain't no use to me lyin', I was scareder than a motherfucker
Hooked a left into Popeye's and bailed out quick
If it's goin' down let's get this shit over with
Here they come, just like I figured
I got my hand on the motherfuckin' trigger
What I saw'll make your ass start gigglin'
Three black, crippled and crazy senior citizens
I live by the sword
I take my boys everywhere I go, because I'm paranoid
I keep lookin' over my shoulder and peepin' around corners
My mind is playin' tricks on me

Day by day it's more impossible to cope
I feel like I'm the one that's doing dope
Can't keep a steady hand because I'm nervous
Every Sunday mornin' I'm in service
Prayin' for forgiveness
And tryin' to find an exit out the business
I know the Lord is lookin' at me
But yet and still it's hard for me to feel happy
I often drift while I drive
Havin' fatal thoughts of suicide
Bang and get it over with
And then I'm worry-free, but that's bullshit
I got a little boy to look after
And if I died then my child would be a bastard
I had a woman down with me
But to me it seemed like she was down to get me
She helped me out in this shit
But to me she was just another bitch
Now she's back with her mother
Now I'm realizing that I love her
Now I'm feelin' lonely
My mind is playin' tricks on me

This year Halloween fell on a weekend
Me and Geto Boys are trick-or-treatin'
Robbin little kids for bags
Till an old man got behind our ass
So we speeded up the pace
Took a look back, and he was right before our face
He'd be in for a squabble no doubt
So I swung and hit the nigga in his mouth
He was goin' down, we figured
But this was no ordinary nigga
He stood about six or seven feet
Now, that's the nigga I'd be seein in my sleep
So we triple-teamed on him
Droppin' them motherfuckin' be 's on him
The more I swung the more blood flew
Then he disappeared and my boys disappeared, too
Then I felt just like a fiend
It wasn't even close to Halloween
It was dark as fuck on the streets
My hands were all bloody, from punchin' on the concrete
God damn, homie
My mind is playin' tricks on me

Lyrics submitted by Shaun2oo3, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Mind Playing Tricks on Me" as written by Brad Jordan Isaac Hayes

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Mind Playing Tricks On Me song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI can see that perhaps the narrative is from the perspective of a dealer who has started snorting his profits (and he's in deep guano now), which doubtless could bring on such paranoia. But then again there could be a million reasons a dealer/gangster/whatever would be paranoid and anxious. The Geto Boys don't say, and that's smart. The best way to ruin any character is to get too much into "the story behind it all."

    While this whole song kicks fucking ass, the first and last verses stand out to me. Consider the first verse. It all takes place in the consciousness of the speaker while he's "staring at a woman on the corner." He's lying awake at night, all alone, and he's confronted with the gravity of his own being. Like whenever you're a child and you were put to bed early, and it was dark and you tried to make yourself go to sleep, but you can never do that. It is inescapable and horrible insomnia. That is what this character (as well as Richard III and Macbeth, I might add) experience.

    More generally, this song isn't about addiction as such. It just isn't. That might play a part in it, but there is something far deeper at work. It's about a gangster (or three different ones - the fourth is a Geto Boy, I assume) who is coming to terms with his lifestyle. All the people he's beat the shit out of ("thought he had cane, but it was Gold Medal flour"), killed, or left (the woman who he realizes he loves). And the narrator knows he is more and more alone, with more and more enemies each day. I don't know much about this lifestyle. But the Geto Boys have, intentionally or otherwise, incorporated the philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Henri Bergson, as well as the stunning psychological realism of Shakespearean tragedy.

    So, to me, this song is the major esthetic achievement of rap, and indeed, songwriting in general. The beat is sick. The narrative is amazing. Nuff said.
    RKLengon February 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is a GREAT song!

    But in the Second Verse shouldn't the lyrics be:
    ..is it the move that I ran up the block..
    ..Reached under my seat, grabbed my pump'r for the suckers
    Ain't no use to be lying, I was mo' scared than a motherfucker
    Pulled a left in the Pow Pine’s and better die quick..
    McPhlipon December 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Kottonmouth Kings cover is my favorite, but this is damn good as well.
    kmk_natashaon January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpop eyes is a place for fried chicken. it would make sense that willie d, a black male from texas, would pull into popeyes and say he was doing so in a rap song because a lot of people can relate to popeyes who listen to rap... not to be stereotypical hehe but black people have been known to enjoy fried chicken
    cidon May 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is called song meanings,post some meanings,alot of people i know say this is about meth,a dealer and a dude on it,makes sense
    possessedpathon June 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds like coke to me. Blood starts coming from my nose. But meth could probably do that to you to. The specific drug doesn't really matter though, It's an awsome song either way.
    Bman89on September 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis and other songs in the nineties were the unheeded warning to our white community of the trouble to come especially in LA (though these lads are from the "bloody fifth" of Dallas). Police brutality no opportunities and the drug war. And under Son of a Bush it's happening all over again.
    drpoundsignon March 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe song is an effective first person narrative of a drug dealer living a gangster life. It highlights the hopelessness of this individuals circumstances as he struggles with internal guilt over violent acts committed (he prays for forgiveness) & broken relationships.

    "But to me she was just another bitch"

    Then later.

    "Now I'm realizing that I love her "

    He has a young son. Contrasted with the need to make money, care for his son and strong desire to exit the drug dealing business the stress causes acute paranoia & depression.

    The paranoia effects him physically; he sweats, shakes & has nose bleeds. Although the nose bleeds could be attributed to him using the cocaine that he sells he denies this, "I feel like I'm the one that's doin' dope". He is also a successful drug dealer, so it's unlikely that he is using his own drugs.

    Towards the end of the story he starts hallucinating and would probably be diagnosed as paranoid-schizophrenic. Typical of a person suffering the multiple realities of schizophrenia, he fights enemies on the street with his friends "I take my boys everywhere I go", neither of which exist.

    'Mind Playin Tricks On Me' is an eloquent warning to those inside & outside impoverished neighbourhoods that poor decisions & opportunities coupled with the passing of time can trap people in the world described by the central character.
    mpb2010on October 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf Shakespeare was an Elizabethan Rapper, Macbeth would sound like THIS song.

    The hesitation before killing King Duncan, the whacking of his former friend Banquo (and being haunted by his ghost)

    it's all THERE, folks.

    Of course Lady Macbeth actually led him down the garden path and there is no Macduff in the rap.

    "Life's a Jungle" by the Furious Five and Eminem's "Nathan" are in the pantheon of Great Rap, too but THIS track belongs
    at Numero UNO
    drpoundsignon September 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRKLeng gives the most cogent explanation of this song. Bottom line, the narrator(s) is haunted by his own conscience.
    tiki187on March 17, 2012   Link

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