Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found

N.Y. State of Mind
Nas Lyrics

Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴

Yeah, yeah
Ayo, Black, it's time
Word, word, it's time, man
It's time, man
Aight, man, begin
Yeah, straight out the fuckin' dungeons of rap
Where fake niggas don't make it back
I don't know how to start this shit, yo, now

Rappers I monkey flip 'em with the funky rhythm I be kickin'
Musician, inflictin' composition, of pain
I'm like Scarface sniffin' cocaine
Holdin' a 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 nine 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 base-heads, tryna sell some broken amps
G-packs get off quick, forever niggas talk shit
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 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 jettin' to the buildin' lobby
And it was full with children, probably 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 they name
And claim some corners, crews without guns are goners
In broad daylight, stickup kids, they run up on us
.45's and gauges, MAC's in fact
Same niggas'll catch a 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 gotta smoke nice rock
And if it's good, she'll bring ya customers and measuring pots, but yo
You gotta slide on a vacation
Inside information keeps large niggas erasin' 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 havin' dreams that I'm a gangsta, drinkin' Moรซts, 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'll have niggas undressin'
Thinkin' of cash flow, Buddha and shelter
Whenever frustrated, I'ma 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, 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, 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'm takin' rappers to a new plateau, through rap slow
My rhymin' 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 puzzled 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
Nasty Nas
Nasty Nas
Nasty Nas
Nasty Nas
Nasty Nas
Nasty Nas
Nasty Nas
Nasty Nas
Nasty Nas

Overall Meaning

The first verse of Nas's song N.Y. State Of Mind is a descriptive illustration of Nas's experience growing up in New York City, specifically Queensbridge housing projects. The song opens with a conversation between Nas and his friend, Black, as they prepare to begin rapping about their experiences. Nas goes on to describe the harsh and violent environment he grew up in, using vivid imagery to paint a picture for the listener. The opening lines, "Yeah, straight out the fuckin' dungeons of rap, where fake niggas don't make it back," set the tone for the rest of the song. Nas raps about his experiences with violence, drugs, and crime, painting a bleak picture of life in New York City during the 80s and 90s.

The chorus of the song reinforces Nas's love for his hometown and his identity as a New Yorker. He emphasizes that living in other places is just not the same as being in New York, and reflects on the unique energy and life that the city offers. Nas's verses seem to suggest that his experience growing up in New York was raw and real, but also formative and central to his identity as an artist.

Overall, N.Y. State Of Mind stands as one of the most iconic rap songs of all time, showcasing Nas's raw ability to create vivid imagery through his lyrics and his unique storytelling perspective. The song perfectly captures the unapologetic tone and gritty energy of New York rap during the 90s.

Lyrics ยฉ Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: Eric Barrier, William Griffin, Nasir Jones, Christopher E. Martin

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Comments from YouTube:


This song brings back non existent memories of me hustling on the streets of nyc


Your name and logo make this comment 100 times better




You stole this from a comment on the music video cream


James Hermanson why would you care thou


@@riteshbharti4291 Hysterical, spiritual lyrics like the holy Qu'Ran

547 More Replies...


"I don't know how to start this shit Yo "
One of the biggest lie in the history of mankind






It wasn't planned, he actually said that in the recording session and they kept it.

More Comments

More Versions