"What'd you do last night?"
"We did umm, two whole cars
It was me, these, 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..."

[Repeat: x3]
Escuchela, la ciudad respirando
[Listen to it, the city breathing]

Escuchela

[Mos Def]
The new moon rode high in the crown of the metropolis
Shining, like who on top of this?
People was hustling, arguing and bustling
Gangsters of Gotham hardcore hustling
I'm wrestling with words and ideas
My ears is picky, seeking 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 working class watches
Skyscrapers is colossus, 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 throbbing
You either make a way or stay sobbing, 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 existence
Amidst the harbor lights which remain in the distance

So much on my mind that it can't recline
Blasting 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 breathing
Chest heaving, against the flesh of the evening
Sigh before we die like the last train leaving

[Talib Kweli]
Breathing in deep city breaths, sitting on shitty steps
We stoop to new lows, hell froze the night the city slept
The beast crept through concrete jungles
Communicating 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 making
You on the wrong side of the track, looking visibly shaken
Taken them plungers, plunging to death that's painted by the numbers
With crime unapplied pressure, cats is playing God
But having children by a lesser baby mother but fuck it
We played against each other like puppets, swearing you got pull
When the only pull you got is the wool over your eyes
Getting 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 keeping it real will make you casualty of abnormal normality
Killers Born Naturally like, Micky 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]
So much on my mind I just can't recline
Blasting 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 heaving, against the flesh of the evening
Sigh before we die like the last train leaving

Escuchela, respirando ?

[Common]
Yo, on The Amen, Corner I stood looking 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
Mixing down emotions, struggle I hadn't mastered
I choreograph 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 listening 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
Tearing down the 'jects creating plush homes
My circumstance is between Cabrini and Love Jones
Surrounded by hate, yet I love home
Ask my God how he thought traveling 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]
So much on my mind I just can't recline
Blasting 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 heaving, against the flesh of the evening
Kiss the Ide's goodbye, I'm on the last train leaving
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Respiration Lyrics

Black Star – Respiration Lyrics

Songwriters: LYNN, LONNIE RASHID / COTTRELL, TONY L. / KWELI, TALIB / SMITH, DANTE
Respiration lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing, WINDSWEPT HOLDINGS LLC

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