And I wrote my way out (I wrote my way out)
When the world turned its back on me
I picked up a pen
I picked up the pen like Hamilton
I was up against the wall
My pops tried in vain to get me to fight back

No friends and no family to catch my fall
Picked up the pen like Hamilton
Came right back, trappin’ off couches, watchin’ for mouses
Diadora was my favorite, the Mark Buchanans
[Spoken: Nas & Lin-Manuel Miranda]
I’m the architect like I wrote the code to Waze app
[Hook: Aloe Blacc and Lin-Manuel Miranda]
Know what I mean?
Cause I wrote my way out
No political power, just lyrical power
My mind is where the wild things are, Maurice Sendak
Mama couldn’t afford them, I learned everythin’ on the border

So it’s up to me to draw blood with this pen, hit an artery

This Puerto Rican’s brains are leakin’ through the speakers
Competition near, I’m a Spartan without the spear
No friends and no family to catch my fall
I wrote my way out of the
Oversensitive, defenseless, I made sense of it, I pencil in
I thought that I would represent for my neighborhood and tell their story, be their voice, in a way that nobody has done it
Sister tapped my brains, said, pssh, you’ll get ’em right back
Running on empty, with nothing left in me but doubt

[Verse 2: Dave East]

My man awaitin’ trial, misdemeanors we younger
Running on empty, there was nothing left in me but doubt
Three hundred rhymes, it was written before I wrote it
[Verse 3: Lin-Manuel Miranda]
Never had wrote a rhyme in my life, what was a sixteen?
I had no foundation
These sentences are endless, so what if they leave me friendless?
No lovin’ arms to keep me warm
[Outro: Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda]

This hurricane in my brain is the burden I bear
I had no foundation
And if he can be the shinin’ beacon this side of the G.W.B and
[Hook: Aloe Blacc and Lin-Manuel Miranda]
I picked up a pen
Y’all, I caught my first beatin’ from the other kids when I was caught readin’
I picked up the pen like Hamilton
I can do without, I’m here (I’m here)
[Verse 1: Nas]
Develop relationships with fiends, I know they miss me
In withdrawal, I want it all, please give me that pen back
This poetry in motion, I’m a poet
Really, I saw like a hole in the rap game, so if I wanted to put my little two cents in the game, then it would be from a different perspective

When the world turned its back on me
[Bridge: Aloe Blacc and Lin-Manuel Miranda]
I know Abuela’s never really gonna win the lottery
Sickenin’, the mice crawl all night long
I wrote my way out
At sixteen, arrested in housin’, trips to the mountains
I’m driven, black Elohim from the streets of Queens
Start bleedin’" Blah! "Oh, you think you smart?
Wrote-wrote my way out of the projects
The hate is just confusion, pay attention how them jokes switch
And wrote my way out (I wrote my way out)
Before the metrocards, it was tokens, I did the ten speed
Street analyst, now I write words that try to channel ’em
I wrote my way out
No friends and no family to catch my fall
The lengths to which I’d go to learn my strengths and knock ’em senseless
Writin’ songs about rights and wrongs and bails bonds

Master bedroom, bigger than the crib that I was raised at

I was up against the wall
Tell the real story
Oh, I was born in the eye of a storm
I had no foundation
Opportunity knockin’, might miss it, that window closin’
That’s a big 8, Clicquot parties with private dancers with no mixtape
I really wrote my way up out of 6E
I wrote my way out
I wrote my way out
When the world turned its back on me
Runnin’ out of time like I’m Jonathan Larson’s rent check
Flickerin’ lights inside my project hall
I picked up a pen
I wrote my way out
Shine a light when it’s gray out
And ’87 Reaganism, many pages I’ve written on

I was up against the wall
Picked up the pen like Hamilton
Sittin’ on a crate on a corner, sippin’ for hours
I persevered, composition, I kept it close
Running on empty, there was nothing left in me but doubt
I wrote my way out of the projects
(I wrote my way out)
Schemin’ on a come up, from evening’to sun up
Wrote-wrote my way out of the projects
Courtroom prejudice, insufficient evidence
Damn, you got no chill, fuckin’ right I’m relentless
Bumble Bee Tuna, now we could get steak
Only tools we was posed with, had a spot, smoke lit
The definition of what It Was Written means
[Hook: Aloe Blacc and Lin-Manuel Miranda]
Jailhouse lawyers, these images still relevant
High speed, dubbin’ these rhymes in my dual cassette deck
I wrote my way out of the
(I wrote my way out)
And wrote my way out (I wrote my way out)