Mos Def

Mos Def - Respiration

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"We did umm, two whole cars
 It was me, Dez, and Main Three right?
 And on the first car in small letters it said
 'All you see is..' and then you know
 big, big, you know some block silver letters
 that said '..crime in the city' right?"
 "It just took up the whole car?"
 "Yeah yeah, it was a whole car and shit..."

 [spanish speaking woman] Escuchela.. la ciudad respirando
 (translation of spanish: Listen to it.. the city breathing)

 * woman repeats 3X *

 [spanish speaking woman] Escuchela..

 [Mos Def]
 The new moon rode high in the crown of the metropolis
 Shinin, like who on top of this?
 People was tusslin, arguin and bustlin
 Gangstaz of Gotham hardcore hustlin
 I'm wrestlin with words and ideas
 My ears is picky, seekin what will transmit
 the scribes can apply to transcript, yo
 This ain't no time where the usual is suitable
 Tonight alive, let's describe the inscrutable
 The indisputable, we New York the narcotic
 Strength in metal and fiber optics
 where mercenaries is paid to trade hot stock tips
 for profits, thirsty criminals take pockets
 Hard knuckles on the second hands of workin class watches
 Skyscrapers is collosus, the cost of living
 is preposterous, stay alive, you play or die, no options
 No Batman and Robin, can't tell between
 the cops and the robbers, they both partners, they all heartless
 With no conscience, back streets stay darkened
 Where unbeliever hearts stay hardened
 My eagle talons STAY sharpened, like city lights stay throbbin
 You either make a way or stay sobbin, the Shiny Apple
 is bruised but sweet and if you choose to eat
 You could lose your teeth, many crews retreat
 Nightly news repeat, who got shot down and locked down
 Spotlight to savages, NASDAQ averages
 My narrative, rose to explain this existance
 Amidst the harbor lights which remain in the distance

 So much on my mind that I can't recline
 Blastin holes in the night til she bled sunshine
 Breathe in, inhale vapors from bright stars that shine
 Breathe out, weed smoke retrace the skyline
 Heard the bass ride out like an ancient mating call
 I can't take it y'all, I can feel the city breathin
 Chest heavin, against the flesh of the evening
 Sigh before we die like the last train leaving

 [Talib Kweli]
 Breathin in deep city breaths, sittin on shitty steps
 we stoop to new lows, hell froze the night the city slept
 The beast crept through concrete jungles
 communicatin with one another
 And ghetto birds where waters fall
 from the hydrants to the gutters
 The beast walk the beats, but the beats we be makin
 You on the wrong side of the track, lookin visibly shaken
 Taken them plungers, plungin to death that's painted by the numbers
 with crime unapplied pressure, cats is playin God
 but havin children by a lesser baby mother but fuck it
 we played against each other like puppets, swearin you got pull
 when the only pull you got is the wool over your eyes
 Gettin knowledge in jail like a blessing in disguise
 Look in the skies for God, what you see besides the smog
 is broken dreams flying away on the wings of the obscene
 Thoughts that people put in the air
 Places where you could get murdered over a glare
 But everything is fair
 It's a paradox we call reality
 So keepin it real will make you casualty of abnormal normality
 Killers Born Naturally like, Mickey and Mallory
 Not knowing the ways'll get you capped like an NBA salary
 Some cats be emceeing to illustrate what we be seeing
 Hard to be a spiritual being when shit is shakin what you believe in
 For trees to grow in Brooklyn, seeds need to be planted
 I'm asking if y'all feel me AND THE CROWD LEFT ME STRANDED
 My blood pressure boiled and rose, cause New York niggaz
 actin spoiled at shows, to the winners the spoils go
 I take the L, transfer to the 2, head to the gates
 New York life type trife the Roman Empire state

 [Mos Def and crew]
 So much on my mind I just can't recline
 Blastin holes in the night til she bled sunshine
 Breathe in, inhale vapors from bright stars that shine
 Breathe out, weed smoke retrace the skyline
 Yo don't the bass ride out like an ancient mating call
 I can't take it y'all, I can feel the city breathin
 Chest heavin, against the flesh of the evening
 Sigh before we die like the last train leaving

 [spanish speaking woman] Escuchela.. respirando ??

 [Common]
 Yo...on The Amen, Corner I stood lookin at my former hood
 Felt the spirit in the wind, knew my friend was gone for good
 Threw dirt on the casket, the hurt, I couldn't mask it
 Mixin down emotions, struggle I hadn't mastered
 I coreograph seven steps to heaven
 And hell, waiting to exhale and make the bread leavened
 Veteran of a cold war It's Chica-I-go for
 What I know or, what's known
 So some days I take the bus home, just to touch home
 From the crib I spend months gone
 Sat by the window with a clutched dome listenin to shorties cuss long
 Young girls with weak minds, but they butt strong
 Tried to call, or at least beep the Lord, but didn't have a touch-tone
 It's a dog-eat-dog world, you gotta mush on
 Some of this land I must own
 Outta the city, they want us gone
 Tearin down the 'jects creatin plush homes
 My circumstance is between Cabrini and Love Jones
 Surrounded by hate, yet I love home
 Ask my God how he thought travellin the world sound
 Found it hard to imagine he hadn't been past downtown
 It's deep, I heard the city breathe in its sleep
 Of reality I touch, but for me it's hard to keep
 Deep, I heard my man breathe in his sleep
 Of reality I touch, but for me it's hard to keep

 [Mos Def and crew]
 So much on my mind I just can't recline
 Blastin holes in the night til she bled sunshine
 Breathe in, inhale vapors from bright stars that shine
 Breathe out, weed smoke retrace the skyline
 Yo how the bass ride out like an ancient mating call
 I can't take it y'all, I can feel the city breathing
 Chest heavin, against the flesh of the evening
 Kiss the Ide's goodbye, I'm on the last train leaving
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Language: English

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