Thief's Theme

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"Thief's Theme"
Single by Nas
from the album Street's Disciple
Released June 29, 2004
Format CD
Genre Hip hop
Length 2:59
Label Ill Will, Columbia
Writer(s) Nasir Jones
Producer(s) Salaam Remi
Nas singles chronology
"Get Down"
"Thief's Theme"
"Bridging the Gap"

"Thief's Theme" is a single from Nas' double album Street's Disciple. The single contains vocals from Nas' song "The World Is Yours" from his first album Illmatic:

The song featured an interpolation of the famous riff from Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" performed by Incredible Bongo Band. Nas would again use the same sample on the 2006 single "Hip Hop is Dead".

Nas sponsored a contest in the United Kingdom in 2004, encouraging entrants to record a verse using the instrumental version of the song. The winner would perform a verse on the song, which appears on the UK version of Street's Disciple. Rising Son won the competition.

The song was featured in Martin Scorsese's Academy Award winning film The Departed but was not featured on the soundtrack.

Music video[edit]

The video follows three men wearing black ski masks who are headed to a warehouse where Nas is rapping. On their way, other individuals are seen wearing ski masks as well; be they seemingly ordinary citizens, criminals, or law enforcers. This undiscriminating adornment of a ski mask is used to ironically reveal who in society is easily identified as a thief and who is not. The crew stops at a convenience store where a little boy is shown wearing the ski mask, symbolizing the child's gradual robbery of his parent's hard earned money. They visit a strip club where a stripper is seen wearing a ski mask as she dances on a pole, symbolizing her robbery upon her customers. They pass by a street vendor wearing a ski mask and selling wide catalogue of bootlegged CDs, symbolizing his robbery from artists and filmmakers. A scantily clad young woman in the street is seen wearing a ski mask while being cuddled by her supposed lover (she is also seen wearing a necklace with a small shovel-shaped pendant attached to it that has the engravement "Gold Digger" on it); this symbolizes her robbery of the man that is holding her. The ski mask symbol starts to gain more weight as it is seen worn by two police officers in a patrol car. A group of white-collared office workers are carrying their intoxicated friend home, symbolizing their robbery of their fellow employee (peer pressured drug abuse). Lastly, in a newspaper article that is being read by a Catholic priest (also wearing a mask), shows two CEOs merging their corporation while both of them are wearing ski masks, symbolizing their robbery of their numerous subordinates who probably lost jobs due to the merger. At the end of the music video, Nas joins the group, himself putting on a ski mask to represent that indeed he will take on the 'thief's theme'. The music video had fair rotation on MTV.

Track listing[edit]


  1. "Thief's Theme" (Clean Album Version) (3:00)
  2. "Thief's Theme" (Explicit Album Version) (3:10)
  3. "Thief's Theme" (Instrumental) (2:59)


  1. "You Know My Style" (Clean Album Version) (2:54)
  2. "You Know My Style" (Explicit Album Version) (2:54)
  3. "You Know My Style" (Instrumental) (2:49)

External links[edit]