Surviving the Times
by Nas

Album: Greatest Hits (2007)
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  • But that's the whole tragic point, my friends
    What would I do if I could suddenly feel?
    And to know once again that what I feel is real?
    I could cry, I could smile
    I might lay back for a while
    Tell me what (what) what would I do
    If I could feel?

    I was young, I was surviving the times
    Waiting for my moment, I was destined to shine
    Little Ray had an NXX, I was hoping I'm next
    Wanting bracelets, never had a rope on my neck

    Unless I was holding Taiyeh chain, Rest In Peace
    Even though that night you flipped on us
    You warned us
    If you came back and we still on the corners,

    We goners, moving on to
    Move your arm in your watch
    To another time on the block
    'Cause this 40 Side Where they said Shorty rhyme

    Tragedy, he used to come through all the time
    I'm talking Juice Crew, not what the word define
    He had a sister named Erin, for sure was fine
    That was my first crush, I bought my first mic

    I wrote my first verse, I was about nine
    I was about mine, fantasize house-buying
    Met Paul, he wore some big glasses
    Him and Melquan took me where G Rap lived

    I was happy, just getting some answers
    I ain't even know what a record advance was
    I'm seeing hoes sex in the studio bathroom
    With rap dudes, thinking wow she moved me

    Same girl then, right now's a groupie
    Back then, she was like the star in the movie
    Large jewelry and expensive Gucci
    Next stop, Paid In Full posse recruits me

    Knew they were some millionaires, their ropes were dookie
    Eric B man looking like touch-it-he-shoot-me
    You see, every time Ra didn't show
    I get to record demos at attempts to blow

    I wonder could they tell, how did they know
    Sixteen years later, here I go

    [Chorus: x 4]
    What would I do?

    I'm with Akinyele in the street, trying to get us a deal
    G Rap tried to get us to sign to Cold Chill
    But Fly Ty didn't have the contract we wanted
    Clark Kent just signed Das, he didn't want us

    Russell said I sounded like G, the nigga fronted
    Reef and Matty C offered me a little money
    Shit a little funny, feel a little laughter
    Rebel of Hip-Hop coming through a white rapper

    My boy MC Serch nevertheless
    Took me to Columbia, back then CBS
    Chris Schwartz, RuffHouse, he was the best man
    Now bugging because the label had just dropped Def Jam

    Could you picture Russell needing a check, man
    But he smart, he plotted a plan for Polygram
    Life is ill, again life's a movie
    Then, the roster's: Cypress Hill, Nas, and Fugees

    Before I sold records, no promotion
    The rap world like, what's all this commotion
    Went plat', mad bottles I'm toasting
    20/20 hindsight, but how did they know then


    Invincible, lyrical, miracle man, huh
    But back to the matter at hand
    'Cause ten years ago we all strived to be twenty-five
    Some cats didn't make it alive

    Dated some stars but respect their privacy
    Copped mad cars, laying back in the driver's seat
    Held myself down, just steering the wheel
    Here I am, completed my whole record deal


    What would I do?
    If I could reach inside of me?
    And to know how it feels to say
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind


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