Talib Kweli Hi Tek - Respiration Lyrics

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Artist: Talib Kweli Hi Tek
Song Title: Respiration
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F/ Mos Def, Common



"What'd you do last night?"

"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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