Empire State Of Mind: Hip-Hop & 9/11

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 9/11/2009

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Ten years ago today four commercial airliners were hijacked and used to coordinate one of the deadliest attacks on American soil in  the nation’s history.The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners (American Airlines Flight 11 and United Flight 175) into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing everyone on board and many others working in the buildings. Both buildings collapsed within two hours.

The Terrorist hijackers crashed a third airliner (American Airlines Flight 77) into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. The fourth plane (United Airlines Flight 93) crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania, after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C. There were no survivors from any of the flights.

In total 2,993 people (click to read their names), including the hijackers, died in the attacks.

The first attack on the Towers in 1993 had been immortalized in rhyme (“Time to get paid, blow up like the World Trade“–Biggie, “Juicy”) but this time it was  different. It was more than a punchline, it was personal.

Almost immediately theories began swirling about the nature, motivation, and execution of the attacks and many hip-hop artists were at the forefront voicing skepticism, pain and in some cases pride. There was no consensus of thought or action. While some artists like Immortal Technique were one of the most outspoken skeptics,  rap crew The Dipset  inexplicably nicknamed themselves “The Taliban” after Al-Qaeda, the group that claimed responsibility for the attacks.

So today we’ve picked just a few from the vast array of reference to the 9/11 attacks that have appeared in rap lyrics over the years.

What do you remember about that day? Let us know in the comments.

Now ask yourself who’s the one with the most to gain (Bush)
‘Fore 911 motherfuckas couldn’t stand his name (Bush)
Now even niggas waivin’ flags like they lost they mind
Everybody got opinions but don’t know the time

‘Cause America’s been took – it’s plain to see
The oldest trick in the book is MAKE an enemy
Of phony evil so the government can do it’s dirt
And take away ya freedom lock and load, beat and search

Paris, “What Would You Do?”

Who the f*ck knocked our buildings down? Who the man behind the World Trade massacres, step up now/Where the four planes at huh is you insane bitch? Fly that shit over my hood and get blown to bits!/No disrespect, that’s where I rest my head I understand you gotta rest yours true, nigga my people’s dead America, together we stand, divided we fall Mr. Bush sit down, I’m in charge of the war!
Ghostface Killah, “Rules”

It’s the home of 9-11, the place of the lost towers We still banging, we never lost power, tell em Welcome to New York City, welcome to New York City Y’all fuckin with BK’s banger and Harlem’s own gangster Now that’s danger, there’s nothing left to say but Welcome to New York City, welcome to New York City
Juelz Santa on Jay-Z and Cam’ron’s “Welcome to New York City”

I think about it in a weed session /They said better technology, all I see is regressin /blew up our buildings in fact [blow us all up] but if they live under the sun then them children is black
Styles P, “Listen”

Why would niggaz push pounds and powder/Why did bush knock down the towers?
Jadakiss, “Why”

Bootleggers bombin Bin Laden, I’m still crackin I will not lose/ I simply refuse/ I dropped the same date as the Twin Towers/I show power/ Still I show compassion for others send money and flowers
Jay-Z, 911 Freestyle (2001)

I was gon’ 9/11 ‘em, but they didn’t need the help
And they did a good job them boys is talented as hell
Cuz not only did they brick they put a building up as well
They ran a plane into that building and when that building fell
Ran to the crash site with no masks and inhaled
Toxins deep inside their lungs until both of them was filled
Blew a cloud out like a L into a jar then took a smell
Cuz they heard that second hand smoke kills
Niggas thought they was ill found out they was…ILL
And it’s like you knew exactly how I wanted you to feel

Jay-Z “Thank You” (2009)


Shady Records was 80 seconds
Away from the towers
Them cowards fucked with the wrong building
They meant to hit ours…”

Eminem, “Patiently Waiting

They funded Al-Qaeda, and now they blame the Muslim religion
Even though Bin Laden, was a CIA tactician
They gave him billions of dollars, and they funded his purpose
Fahrenheit 9/11, that’s just scratchin’ the surface

Immortal Technique, Bin Laden

Draft me, you ain’t even gotta ask me, I’m ready
With the Rambo machete, using tactics that’s deadly
Draft me, I swear to God, we ready for the Taliban
Drop the bomb, and huddle with some nuclear laws, come on!

Canibus, “Draft Me”

RELATED POSTS:

“The Legacy of Bin Laden” By Immortal Technique

The 11 Most Compelling 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

Uncle Luke Says The Muslims Are Taking Our “Kindness As A Weakness”

The 10 Most Ignorant Things Athletes Have Ever Said

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