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[Hook:]
"You love to hear the story"
"How it all, how it all, got started, got started"
(Repeat x3)
Start it off, start it off, start it off
"Back when, back when, back when, back when
Back when, back when, back when, back when"

[Verse 1: Nas]
The I'll reminisce and think about the fly days
Nothing like them 80s summer ny days
Hop on the nb5 days
Mopeds, Pro Keds, city split five ways
How it all started, fifth floor apartment
A jigsaw puzzle aerial view of the projects
A kid saw struggle, buried a few of his partners
Now I chill in resorts, enjoying massages
Check out the oracle bred from city housing
Nas, I arise the dead by thousands
I remember seeing Shan chilling near his Audi
Hollis Ave, Run and them, but I proudly
Put a poster up of Shan and Marley, that was art, kid
You love to hear the story how it started
The bubbly I'm pouring wasn't popped yet
Before there was a audience to watch us
I assure you, there was a process

[Verse 2: Nas]
To call them fake today is hate, real n****s extinct
Pac left me inside a rap world with n****s that wink
At other rappers, undercover n****s spit every way
Won't be surprised if all their rides have federal plates
Let alone their wardrobes and Studio 4 flow
It was real when I appeared, it would've been some jaws broke
Nas, my real name, stage name, same thing
How could you let these lames claim king? I'm so ashamed, man
I light a L for Vernon, for n****s who would burn in Hell
For Vernon; 10th Street, 12th Street, Nightmare on Elm Street
Pimps creep, delve deep inside the editorials
Of the ghetto queens, kings, stories true
Who possesses the testicular fortitude
To blow away myths that's a hindrance to all of you?
You blame your own shortcomings on s** and race
The mafia, homosexuals and all the Jews
It's hogwash point of views, stereotypical
Anti-Semitic like the foul words Gibson spewed
And it's pathetic
I don't get the credit I deserve
That's why I hate doing interviews
But I don't sweat it, study long, study raw
My man Dion said "Nas over-think the songs he writing"
I'm not a wack performer standing near a corny hype man
I got the Donism
I'm here to enlighten

[Hook:]



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/n/nas/back_when.html

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