Black Star - Thieves In The Night Lyrics

[Talib Kweli]
Yo Dee (What?)
Come on (Yeah..)
What? What? Come on

"Give me the fortune, keep the fame," said my man Louis
I agreed, know what he mean because we live the truest lie
I asked him why we follow the law of the bluest eye
He looked at me, he thought about it
Was like, "I'm clueless, why?"
The question was rhetorical, the answer is horrible
Our morals are out of place and got our lives full of sorrow
And so tomorrow comin' later than usual
Waitin' on someone to pity us
While we findin' beauty in the hideous
They say money's the root of all evil but I can't tell
You know what I mean, pesos, francs, yens, cowrie shells, dollar bills
Or is it the mindstate that's ill?
Creating crime rates to fill the new prisons they build
Over money and religion there's more blood to spill
The wounds of slaves in cotton fields that never heal
What's the deal?
A lot of cats who buy records are straight broke
But my language universal they be recitin' my quotes
While R&B singers hit bad notes, we rock the boat
of thought, that my man Louis' statements just provoked
Caught up, in conversations of our personal worth
Brought up, through endangered species status on the planet Earth
Survival tactics means, bustin' gats to prove you hard
Your firearms are too short to box with God
Without faith, all of that is illusionary
Raise my son, no vindication of manhood necessary

[M.D.] Not strong
[T.K.] Only aggressive
[M.D.] Not free
[T.K.] We only licensed
[M.D.] Not compassionate, only polite
[T.K.] Now who the nicest?
[M.D.] Not good but well behaved
[T.K.] Chasin' after death
so we can call ourselves brave?
[M.D.] Still livin' like mental slaves
[both] Hidin' like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis makin' you look twice
[both] Hidin' like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis makin' you look twice

[Mos Def]
Yo, I'm sure that everybody out listenin' agree
That everything you see ain't really how it be
A lot of jokers out runnin' in place, chasin the style
Be a lot goin' on beneath the empty smile
Most cats in my area be lovin' the hysteria
Synthesized surface conceals the interior
America, land of opportunity, mirages and camouflages
More than usually -- speakin' loudly, sayin' nothin'
You confusin' me, you losin' me
Your game is twisted, want me enlisted -- in your usary
Foolishly, most men join the ranks cluelessly
Buffoonishly accept the deception, believe the perception
Reflection rarely seen across the surface of the lookin' glass
Walkin' the street, wonderin' who they be lookin' past
Lookin' gassed with them imported designer shades on
Stars shine bright, but the light -- rarely stays on
Same song, just remixed, different arrangement
Put you on a yacht but they won't call it a slave ship
Strangeness, you don't control this, you barely hold this
Screamin' brand new, when they just sanitized the old shit
Suppose it's, just another clever Jedi mind trick
That they been runnin' across stars through all the time with
I find it's distressin', there's never no in-between
We either niggaz or Kings
We either bitches or Queens
The deadly ritual seems immersed, in the perverse
Full of short attention spans, short tempers, and short skirts
Long barrel automatics released in short bursts
The length of black life is treated with short worth
Get yours first, them other niggaz secondary
That type of illin' that be fillin' up the cemetery
This life is temporary but the soul is eternal
Separate the real from the lie, let me learn you
Not strong, only aggressive, cause the power ain't directed
That's why, we are subjected to the will of the oppressive
Not free, we only licensed
Not live, we just excitin'
Cause the captors.. own the masters.. to what we writin'
Not compassionate, only polite, we well trained
Our sincerity's rehearsed in stage, it's just a game
Not good, but well behaved cause the ca-me-ra survey
most of the things that we think, do, or say
We chasin' after death just to call ourselves brave
But everyday, next man meet with the grave
I give a damn if any fan recall my legacy
I'm tryin' to live life in the sight of God's memory
Like that y'all

[Mos Def]
A lot of people don't understand the true criteria of things
Can't just accept the appearance
Have to get the true essence

[Talib Kweli]
They ain't lookin' around

[M.D.] Not strong
[T.K.] Only aggressive
[M.D.] Not free
[T.K.] We only licensed
[M.D.] Not compassionate, only polite
[T.K.] Now who the nicest?
[M.D.] Not good but well behaved
[T.K.] Chasin' after death
so we can call ourselves brave?
[M.D.] Still livin' like mental slaves
[both] Hidin' like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis makin' you look twice
[both] Hidin' like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis makin' you look twice
[both] Hidin' like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis makin' you look twice
[both] Hidin' like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis makin' you look twice

[Mos Def (singing)]
Stop hidin', stop hidin', stop hidin' yo' face
Stop hidin', stop hidin', 'cause ain't no hidin' place

Other Lyrics by Artist

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Black Star Thieves In The Night Comments
  1. Ellis Merrick

    2020 and for me this masterpiece of music still reigns as the greatest hip-hop song ever made

  2. Surfboard Jerry

    Whats the sample at the last few seconds? "Are you drifting or can you jump aboard the rifraf"

  3. Angie Hall-Witherspoon

    Pure FACTS ON FACTS !!! ✊🏾

  4. Abraham Herrera

    2020 in this bitch still teaching me lessons throught the lyrics

  5. 7brandonc

    2020... Who else is tryin to catch up and stay ahead

  6. 埼玉Saitama

    "Your fireARMS are too short to box with God." That's a fine wine line.

  7. mohammed elshalwe

    Its 2020 and im still bumping this.

  8. Martin Staton

    Rings me back to high school days. Before I left for job corps. Miss this type of hip hop...real.....and relatable to everyone. Its gonna come back to this one day. Peace

  9. karppine eero

    One Of The Greatest Songs Ever Made.

  10. Monk Morgan

    This song is legendary and Mos Def verse was classic. December 2019

  11. Kevin Frazier


  12. David Belle

    Love the comments

  13. ashley x

    "Your firearms are too short to box with God" Shhhheeeiiiitttt!

  14. Phethani53 Madzivhandila

    New black star is coming 😭😭😍😍😍

    egie oruyi

    Reallyy ??? Tell me more

  15. Caleb Manger

    Thank you uploader

  16. Eric Anderson


  17. Shhhmoke

    Realest shit ive heard

  18. Austin Edwards

    These brothas were ahead of their time man word up Black Starr Foundation Forever 💯💯💯💯💯💯💯🎧🎧🎤🎤🎶🎶🎵🎧🎹

  19. Black Shades Johnny Cage

    Mos def verse is better than this whole new era on my mama a top 5 verse in hip hop history

  20. buckbiro

    Sitting in a 1986 honda civic, house speaker in the backseat. Broken cassette case under the emergency break with an stale french fry on the liner notes. Friend smoking a Swisher. I say, "This the new Mos..." Its quiet for a second, "Looord a'mercy..."

  21. Mic Smith

    Who would hit dislike??!??

  22. Jay Taylor

    This album saved my mindset. Respect eternal

  23. keon burris,sr.

    LOVED THIS THE YR. 1999!

  24. Drogas Coppin

    Get yours first
    Them other niggas secondary
    That's the type of illin that be fillin up the cemetary

  25. CJ LlewoP

    Nobody has dropped more knowledge in a single career than Mos Def has dropped in too many singular tracks

  26. Steve Zero

    Hood up, eyes closed for this one. Pure class

  27. Jay

    "Not compassionate only polite we well trained our sincerity's rehearsed on a stage it's just a game"

  28. Mirror Man!

    Ain't no hidin place

  29. James Robbins

    Um I don't care about any other songs anymore masterpiece thank god we are allowed to listen

  30. Mf Tripz

    Haha wow, incase anyone wants to know his message read upon a book named “The Bluest Eye”

  31. jamille daniel

    “Let me learn you” 2019

  32. Patty Dean

    Who love being black!!!!!!!!🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️

  33. Deandre Crosby

    Mos def snapped, So underrated! SMH!

  34. King Charger

    2019 is here

    jamille daniel

    I just ordered CD on Amazon as a collector's item

    Cameron Smith

    @jamille daniel good guy supporting good artists +1

  35. blu diaz

    My man 88keys produced this

  36. Shanyah Hazel


  37. Menik

    This song makes me sad. And that's a good thing.

  38. Oakwood Pulaski

    Just heard this for the first time at 22 and I shed tears. In this week swat, fbi, Sheriff’s and cops hit my neighbors door. Single mother with three kids and now her 19- year old is charged with attempted murder of a police officer , attempted murder and 3 counts of robbery. This happened within a months time in this order. Shot and robbed a teenager in the projects for the attempted murder and a robbery , robbed two other guys, and got into a high speed chase in a stolen Dodge Challenger which led to a shootout with police at 1a.m. Bailed from the car after the spike strips, then he and a 15 year old ran off. He was able to make it back to his house on foot and they got him late that afternoon. So sad that he’s a month or two from 20 and his sentence will probably be longer than he has lived. He also leaves behind a 1-years old. I know his mom and two 14 year old brothers must be in pain over this, and 14 is an age that can send you down a dark path if your heads in a bad place. I almost feel some guilt since they’ve lived next door for 6 years since the 19 year old was 13 and never tried to give him advice when He was going down that path. Always thought it either wasn’t my problem or thought I’d come across as a lick for offering help. Then again , I was a teen then and not as mentality strong as I am now and might’ve added to the problem. Neighborhoods have to start communicating and helping each other out. We always say it’s not our problem, but we sit and watch it unfold until this happens.

  39. nero augustus

    I miss this hip hop....they addressed the problems in black culture as opposed to amplifying them

    Thep Jup

    really this goes well and far beyond black culture. this applies to every one. it did then, and it does now and most likely will in the future.

  40. Jason Bawilu

    ''I give a damn, if any fan, recall my legacy, i'm tryna live life, in the sight of God's memory like that y'all" That line is So Powerful.

  41. EleFantMonty

    At first, I didn’t really care for this song, but then it kind of outgrew me and I eventually realized that this is actually a really really great song.

  42. norakat

    One of their deepest songs.

  43. irrelevance personified

    It's been said a lot already here but, you can't underestimate how powerful in all facets Mos Def's verse is. I shiver everytime I hear it.

  44. Kaio Lima

    Dope mos def bangs

  45. Kyle Broussard

    I think this is actually the greatest song I have ever heard (with words) across all genres of music. Such presents, Insight, honesty, and knowledge of self. Not a single word was wasted on this track.

  46. Kevin Antonio

    Even in 2019 (20 years later) i still find myself listening to this classic song

    Kaboo Jackson

    Mannnn therapeutic !!! Timeless music fasho fasho

  47. Kenneth Mitcham

    Mos Def's verse should be in inner city school books. Supreme being level

  48. Abstract Phase

    One of my favorite hiphop songs ever!

  49. Z0mbi3 M!dg3t

    This is one of 5 albums across ALL forms of music that I put on and listen from beginning to end.

  50. Alexander Hong

    Bought this album in high school 2006. This song is beautiful and grimy and jazzy with perfect lyrics. Takes me back

  51. Unnatural09

    Greatest rap song ever.

  52. ttitschinger

    I gave these lyrics to one of my professors and he was jaw dropped

  53. cato the younger

    When Mos Def mentions usury... You know who he's talking about

  54. J V


  55. Chad Alpha

    I'm not anti white I'm pro black and of you can't see the difference than you are a racist

  56. GOD HOUR

    Mos Def's verse goes down as one of my favorite verses if all time. I really mean that.

  57. Biggie Mac

    Survival tactics means, busting gats to prove you hard
    Your firearms are too short to box with God

  58. Khalil Siddeeq

    2:53 to 3:27
    Go here every time you need chills to run down your spine

  59. Leon Kavallerie

    This song is completely made from genius minds.

  60. Eseoghene Ojoma

    Mos Def was talking Master's ownership decades before most rappers started catching on, truly a timeless verse

  61. Thabo Theko

    Mighty Mos Def. Enough said!

  62. Michael Beale

    2019 and lyrics still relevant

  63. Austin Edwards

    Black Starr Forever

  64. Biggie Mac

    every line is a banger.

    literally every line is packed with meaning

  65. Biggie Mac

    A lot of cats who buy records are straight broke
    But my language universal they be reciting my quote

  66. Maurício Amendola

    RIP Toni Morrison

  67. Iam Rich

    You can't rap better than this!!! Ever

  68. Opioid Keeper

    Going back to my roots

  69. Jay Mac

    Education over a dope beat...what more could you want....

  70. Isaac Velez

    Timeless... one of my FAV HIP HOP SONG EVER

  71. Tainã Ramos


  72. Chris Mansouri

    Thank you

  73. valenciae271

    My dying wish would include this song.

  74. 7brandonc

    Someone recommend me some discography from Mos def & his best associated acts plz

  75. Chenoa


  76. Kian Lemons

    Mos Def's vocals, vocabulary, wisdom,mind, patience,and political and reaseing, science,with pyscology, to give you a heads up when, you have a ear for the syfa that he has at that moment in time at that moment, for you,if you miss it, then you must be down with Tiny brain, I'ma give you some advice dictionary and thesourese one

  77. Chris Edwards

    This should have more views

  78. Don Jeter

    Listening to this, on top of whats on the radio and apps. 🤦🏽‍♂️ We fell beyond far off.

  79. Joshua Jackson

    Conscious rap this is true rap not degrading women talking about clothes and materialistic things good lyrics and message makes you think.

  80. Andy Aguirre

    they go together like lamb and tuna fish

  81. Kenneth Goree

    Take me back to '07

  82. charera Mazuwa

    we either niggaz or kings or bitches or queens. now let it simmer

  83. Brian Kemet

    The Earthly God's will probably never be together again but what a Blble they left us Thanku My Brooklyn Brothers !!!!!!!

  84. Sol gryn

    This sample is the one of the biggest mystery of the man kind.
    Which sample did hi tek used?

    Thabo Theko

    88 keys is on production. He probably played the chords himself.

    Sol gryn

    @Thabo Thekooops, it was 88 keys. My mistake. Btw if this song was not sampled than it would be a huge pilot twist man....

  85. wolfbabe

    This life is temporary but the (soul is eternal)

  86. LaChele

    Lawd, I haven't heard this gem in years. I'm a lil' rusty on them lyrics, but I know that beat from anywhere. They put it down so tough on this gem. And it's still all good.

  87. Anthony Dinish

    2019 and what Mos sayin here means even more now than when he said it

  88. Shay Jauregui

    I do not know how I met this song only today.Very fuck.💕

  89. Fanni Fanni

    came from Lauren?

  90. Driver Motor

    great song




    Who’s here in 2019 and Infinitely?🦉🌌🌟

    Trane Crowley


  93. Jaymee Vega

    Praise God and thank him for blessing us with niggas most deff and talib kwali

  94. Jaymee Vega

    We ain't free only LICENSED!!!