It’s crazy to think that it’s already been nine years. For those who were in New York City on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and even those who weren’t, the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers will forever register in their minds with distinct clarity. The initial emotions of fear, confusion, and overwhelming sadness didn’t bring New Yorkers completely down, however; incredibly, all of the world, not just America, rallied behind Manhattan’s population, and feelings of hope pushed into the city’s conscience. And nine years after the fact, 9/11 has become a day to both revitalize and flaunt our nation’s pride.

In remembrance of 9/11, XXL wanted to pay tribute in a way that’d be in inspirational taste yet still remain hip-hop to the core. One of the many things that rap music does is provide rallying cries for folks in need of pick-me-ups, which reminded us that many of NYC’s own talent have delivered pure-bred Big Apple anthems. The kinds of records that’ll give the city that never sleeps multiple shots of uplift on this ninth anniversary of one of this country’s darkest days. So, kick back, grab your “I (Heart) New York” T-shirts and enjoy these 26 NYC hip-hop anthems.

Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind"

Ja Rule feat. Fat Joe & Jadakiss "New York"

Busta Rhymes "New York Shit"