[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
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
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?