Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pro-Black Music: Rhymefest The Manual

[contender for longest HFTB rant, just warning ya]

As a melanin-deficient hip-hop connoisseur (had to Google that spelling), I always find it interesting to listen to pro-black music or whatever you choose to call it - black rappers illustrating the struggles inherent in growing up black in America.

Maybe it's I enjoy hearing about people of other ethnicities overcoming life struggles, even if I can't directly relate. Maybe I just love me a true inspirational story, which is part of what attracted me to rap in the first place. It's probably a combination of both.

Still, it's difficult sometimes 'cause of the ways black rappers depic the caucasian persuasian. I don't get really offended by the common terms for white folks used in rap, but it's tough to hear the words sometimes because they group all whites into a common condescending, power-hungry group of inhumane beings.

Perhaps it's a good thing for me to feel ostracized and lonesome just like whites have done for centuries to others, as I gain empathy for and understanding of others' experiences.

Anyways, the inspiration for this post was Chi-town rep Rhymefest's newest digital mixtape The Manual executively produced by Scram Jones. It's got some seriously real rap on it, some songs of the type I'm describing. In fact, the two songs that I like the most ("Pulls Me Back" & "Exodus 5.1") revolve around the collective black experience. I like it simply because it's just real, straight up.

I know I'll never live life as another color, but I appreciate anyone who shares their story of success rising above the racism and prejudices that have held our country down for too long.

Enough ranting, here's The Manual and the lyrics to "Exodus 5.1," one of many gems on this one.

Thanks to the good homie Rizoh for the heads up and Kevin for the link, Enjoy!


Rhymefest - The Manual

Track List:

01. Who is Che? [Intro]
02. Coolness [prod. by Scram Jones]
03. Native Tongue Medley Pt 1 [prod. by Scram Jones]
04. Native Tongue Medley Pt 2 [prod. by Scram Jones]
05. Native Tongue Medley Pt 3 [prod. by Scram Jones]
06. Deal’s A Deal (ft CL Smooth & Haffa) [prod. by Blick & Scram Jones]
07. Rhymefest vs Big Daddy Kane [prod. by Scram Jones]
08. Think About It! (ft Sadat X) [prod. by Scram Jones]
09. Tender Thug (ft Mike Payne) [prod. by Animal House]
10. SuperSonic (Chucky Cheese) [prod. by Scram Jones]
11. Wup Your Ass (Nice Peter) [prod. by Nice Peter]
12. Pulls Me Back [prod. by Matrax]
13. Party 4 Free (ft Gregg Nice) [prod. by Scram Jones]
14. Overpaid Lover [prod. by Scram Jones]
15. Exodus 5.1 [prod. by Animal House]
16. Goin In ( ft Queen Latifah) [prod. by Dub Sonata]
17. Memory Lane (ft. Doo Wop, Scram Jones & Nature) [prod. by Scram Jones]
18. Rhyme Slow, Rhyme Quick (ft Scram Jones) [prod. by Scram Jones]
19. Prove Myself (ft Haffa) [prod. by Scram Jones]
20. RNQ (Rhymefest) [prod. by DJ Premier]

Lyrics to "Exodus 5.1"

What’s the closest you ever been to death?

You ever let your soul levitate over your body and watch you rest?

Or put a gun to your head so you could play roulette?

Or took a whole bottle of pills ‘til you felt no stress?

What’s the closest you ever been to life?

You ever got a felony charge, looked up, the whole jury is white?

Or see a child born on crack cry through the night?

The only only bottle that he want is a pipe

Maaan what’s the closest you’ve ever been to bein rich?

Aspen skiing trips

This the Mafia, how many chicks you want? Three, six?

Bottles floatin’ round the club, the club gets seasick

We feelin’ like the pharaohs of Egypt

We feelin’ like men, feelin’ like kin

Feelin’ like the Hurricane Katrina shoulda never, ever happened again

Feelin’ like I’m traveling home..

(Let’s all turn to Exodus, 5-1)

What’s the closest you’ve ever been to your family?

Your Pops locked up, your Mom beat you so now you live with your Granny

The streets are closer to ya than your Uncle or Auntie

Fuck school, it’s time for Plan B

You know what that is..

Holdin’ the heat, lettin’ it squirt, puttin’ in work

Tryin’ to find a Heaven on Earth

I pray to God and the Devil at church

I’ma worship whoever help me first

What you know about trust?

You ever got locked up and had the prosecutor say ‘you’re in luck?

Tell us who gave you the dough, who gave you the pistol?

Who told you to shoot it? Think smart and your sentence is cut

Yeaaa that’s the same shit that set Fred Hampton up

And that’s the reason that them crackers got the clamps on us

Sell dope lil’ aggin, rap dance for us

I saw the cops beat a shorty when his hands were cuffed

What you know about honor?

What you know about fear?

What you know about the power of the subconscious mind?

And that’s why I’m here

I’m a mountain man

You can’t move me, calm or cool me

I keep the tool right where the jewels be

And keep my money right where the jewels be

I keep the pen next to the loose leaf

With the Qur’an next to the uzi

Look, what’s the closest you’ve ever been to revenge?

Dog, what’s the closest you’ve ever been to your friends?

Aggin, what’s the closest you been to being broke, gettin' evicted again?

Shawty, what’s the closest you’ve ever been to sin?

Man, what’s the closest you’ve been to havin’ a chain flooded with ice?

This is Vegas, so bet your life

And if, and if..

You never been through none of this in your life

What’s the closest you’ve ever been to Christ?


  1. Rhymefest is underrated. The Exodus joint is my favorite joint on it. That Fred Hampton line had me like "WOAHH!!". I did some research on it afterwards and Fred Hamptons story is crazy. Especially the way they had him killed.

  2. I did the same thing. Went right on Wikipedia to read the story.. Cops did him dirty.

  3. "melanin-deficient" I never heard that before lol

  4. Yeah, Im kinda pro-black (Dom Knows it from my 'if he was black it would have been different' rant on the whole swimmer dude smoking from a bong thing.

    IDK Dom, but i do know one thing. You should never accept being ostracized and shit because OTHER white people did black people dirty. Shit even if you had family members who hated blacks and called us niggers, if you dont feel the way they did then you should be more proud of yourself then feeling bad about what other ignorant people did.

    Sometimes us black people do come a little strong with our black power-ness (lol) and we dont stop to think about what other white people who dont hate us might feel because its music. Self expression. Take it for what it is.

    A Person expressing how they feel.

    Much Love Dom!