From the recording The Doc Is In

Nas- NY State of Mind 2 on the "I AM" LP


In the southeast where folk spit hate out they mouthpiece
Tell lies about me, I just want to shout peace
hard to scream without sleep, how do you couch grief
show love or think everybody’s talking bout me
my energy on survive, don’t feel like I arrived
feeling that’s common among us feel left behind
no wonder we got fat behinds I ain’t talkin bout they thick
talking bout jelly butts swoll off cakes pies and grits
Makes me throw fits cause we die at fifty six
fight to look good with weave new nails and fresh kicks
That’s the new drug game, got product for sell
New clothes, and nice jewelry goes kind of well
with a gold casket I guess we ready to die we fascist
Who got the power not the ones that look ratchet
I used to want ice cream to feel love in the hood
it escalated to haircut nothing wrong we barefoot
Next it was I needed some new shoes, pants kind of raggedy
Shirt was old school now the pants look fashionably
Nice, needed a gold rope shirt became name brand
Got the gold rope and the ring on my hand
On the pinkie now what else is wrong with me
I look like everyone now, but they still don’t get me
Skin like brownies and the world trying to eat me
Grades were looking good, but my folks trying to beat me
So when you fight your whole existence I know what’s up
We all got to stay down no one else can come up
So if black was hated and nigger is what they said
Black gets elevated now being gay got us up fed

We can talk Jesus Christ all day and about faith
But faith ain’t strong when you surrounded by hate
If God brought me out, then why did He bring me in
To feel worse about my past present and my sin
Sunday to me is such a waste….oh just in case
You want to tell me about Heaven and God’s grace
Help me understand the pain in that baby girl’s face
Or why this mom working three jobs never feels safe
Or this brother stressed out cause he on the paper chase
pursued by servants that protect he feel like he chased
that’s whether he got the black face or came cross the border
mopping floors, cutting grass or he mixing mortar
to see all this is torture I’m sensitive admission
the lighter kids is getting racism forgiven?
this still a capital prison and I’m the maze runner
killing for food and power, but yet I’m not the hunter
I’m the hunted, call me America’s most wanted
Insidious how I don’t need Halloween to feel haunted
Speaking the truth makes me defiant, now I need a gauntlet
No matter how peaceful I try to be, promise you don’t want this
Test me if you want to and I don’t make threats
I’m intimidating as they come I’m not the one without stress
I’m the one that recognizes to have protection vilifies me
Drive a nice car dressed up easier to recognize me
Smarter I get and articulate better to despise me
If I don’t carry the community on my shoulders you’ll just decry me
Hard being a black man, I’m either sexist or I’m weak
So when do I come up when I make it off the streets
Streets just off the ground floating by skyscrapers
This just one of those times I want to be with my savior
And this the state of mind I see so what do I believe in
There will always be a struggle as long as I’m breathin’