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A Time Like This

by Micah Bournes

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1.
It happened last night but I’m shook this mornin’ A Zimmerman wanna-be almost Trayvoned me The rage and sadness, I’m afraid my blackness Though beautiful might put me in a grave wit’ maggots But maybe that’s the only way I rest in peace Gotta hide from the internet and TV screens ‘Cause I’m gettin’ overwhelmed with the way we bleed And the hate that radiates straight from DC I been through enough and I’m ready to quit I don’t wanna explain my pain to no prick No mic no stage I’m ready to stay hid But when I go to run away the fire gets lit Deep within my skeleton I’m yellin’ at the heavens I am not a prophet why you givin’ me these visions Wounds is still healin’ I ain’t ready for the mission But none of my excuses extinguishes the conviction Maybe all the agony that couldn’t destroy me prepared me for the battle that is set before me Maybe there’s a reason I’m young Black and pissed Maybe that’s exactly what we need in a time like this Made for a time like this Made for a time like this Made for a time Maybe there’s a reason I was made for a time like this Made for a time like this Made for a time like this Made for a time Maybe there’s a reason I was made… We sprayed dat champagne Obama in ‘08 Progress is never permanent workin’ to maintain A brotha in the office but they murdered Trayvon Martin Sandra Bland and Eric Garner We got out on the corner Marchin’ and protestin’ like Washington 63 Or Donald Trump’s America 2017 Man this here is discouragin’ I’m in need of some nourishment ‘Cause my faith isn’t flourishin’ Maybe this is a test Maybe I fear Goliath but David’s a better bet Maybe I be forgettin’ the Spirit of God lives inside of this carcass with power to resurrect Maybe I’m Queen Esther May I never forget I live and die with my people I was made for a time like this Made for a time like this Made for a time like this Made for a time Maybe there’s a reason I was made for a time like this Made for a time like this Made for a time like this Made for a time Maybe there’s a reason I was made for a time like this
2.
Too Much? 03:53
Forever feel like we on a treadmill Sweatin’ buckets runnin’ hard but stuck in the same spot My God we been faithful in squalor and grief Such a miracle our people’s stubborn hope and belief They murder us in the street They murder us in the pew We show you the way of Jesus Forgivin’ you Dylan Roofs But still so many treat us like a stereotype Y’all don’t wanna see the truth It could cost you ya life Or maybe just your position A stain on your reputation A smidget of inconvenience But really only your privilege It’s like they so afraid of power equality But we don’t want revenge, we only wanna be free Ain’t tryin’ to rape your daughters or throw your sons into prison Don’t want your babies trapped in the ghetto and malnutritioned Don’t want you to feel ugly for bein’ a different color And neither do we want it for our sistas and our brothas No we ain’t never marched for diamonds And never would demand your love Just the air to breathe The space to be Equality, is that too much? No we ain’t never marched for diamonds And never would demand your love Just the air to breathe The space to be Equality, is that too much to want Is that too much to want? Is that too much to want? Is that too much that too much Is that too much to want? They call us lazy now Just like the massa back in the day And promise fewer beatings if we cower and obey Ain’t tryin’ to get promoted from field to house slave I wanna get out wit’ Moses on dat underground train Done lost my way if I rise to the top of an exploitive system unjust and corrupt I seen what American Dreamin’ do to ya soul Don’t let me be sedated by the power and the gold Too many revolutionaries make a little dough Then forget all of the people they was advocatin’ fo’ I’m livin’ in the kingdom where meek run the show Great clean the feet of the weak and the po’ I swear we never wanted what you think we comin’ fo’ We see it isn’t workin’ so we take another road No we ain’t never marched for diamonds And never would demand your love Just the air to breathe The space to be Equality, is that too much? No we ain’t never marched for diamonds And never would demand your love Just the air to breathe The space to be Equality, is that too much to want Is that too much to want? Is that too much to want? Is that too much that too much Is that too much to want? To be silent in an age of corruption Is to be violent towards those the system is stacked against To be silent in an age of corruption is to be violent against myself Which is somethin’ I will not do I will be disruptive I am not too loud I am not too angry I am not too Black I don’t want too much I am not too much I am not too much I am not too much My people be feisty Don’t tell us to ask nicely Only demandin’ what belongs to us rightly Many Whites be frontin’ like they want peace But they just want us quiet when we murdered by police What if we handled beef like our commander in chief Droppin’ Tomahawk missiles on LAPD Sent some revolutionaries to invade DC Kill a corrupt King with his entire regime Then counted all their babies as civilian casualties Tell their widows that we did it in the name of peace You only make war wit’ big bombs and guns If you livin’ by the sword you gon’ die by one You don’t gotta get deployed if you POC Everybody from the hood got PTSD Every color folk ever been the sole representative in a classroom At a church, at our binesses We know how to flip a warzone to a feast How to inhale hate exhale with peace
3.
By the end of this verse You gon’ need antiseptic These words slice nerves Hope you know that it’s bless-ed Be the wounds of friends over enemy kisses Can’t schmooze and front after all these offenses I been educatin’ with inspirational truth But times like this I spit straight rebukes Religious hypocrites white american pastors Spoke of integrity, purity when they blasted President Bill Clinton Back in 90 and 8 But support a chauvinistic prideful bigot today I wonder what they would say if Donald J. was a Democrat Moral compass point to where the power and the money at Whitewashed tombs only fools could ignore How the very same Lord that you claim to adore Reserved the harsh words for people just like you Who quoted all the scripture but was blind to the truth Travelin’ overseas and you proselytize Just to raise up mini me-s twice as evil inside Tokenizin’ the prophets like Dr. Martin the King When your fathers were the mockers tellin’ him not to dream You evil brood of vipers shed the blood of the righteous You should fear the wrath of God but you talkin’ bout ISIS The house of prayer should be inviting to every nation But you filled it with thieves Time to turn these tables I’m sorry if this come as a surprise I was never here to give you what you like I was never here to tickle your ears And make you feel all kinda warm fuzzy inside I pray I never do this for applause And neither do I try to piss ‘em off I’m committed to the truth If they love it or they boo I don’t pay no mind I answer to the Lord Messiah tried to warn us on God Said they blind even though they got eyes ‘Cause they threw him a parade then a couple more days they was cryin’ for him to be crucified Guarantee we gonna see a lot of hate if we followin’ the leader of The Way And we prolly see it most from the very same folks who say Glory Hallelujah all day My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail Oh well ‘cause the truth I’m gon’ tell My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail Oh well Oh well [PROPAGANDA’S VERSE] Gotta remember who you answer to Who you write the anthems to Who you raise ya hands to Who dat Propaganda dude Who be curing cancer Who carry the answers Who can unlock the dancers Who be givin’ stanzas Came to scorch the ground and make vegetation spring I ain’t scared of hate mail The conqueror sings I ain’t made of paper mâché I fortified my brain I ain’t scared of pain I understand my lane Gadfly Agitator Underrated Under radar Under miner Underling Under the anointing I ‘ont check my DMs I answer to a deity Ain’t worried ‘bout no per diem Call it like I see ‘em My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail Oh well ‘cause the truth I’m gon’ tell My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail My fan mail is turnin’ to hate mail Oh well Oh well Separation of the Church and state is written in our laws with the freedom of religion Plus you claim that our nation has biblical foundations Fascinating, let me ask you somethin’ Christian If you think a Muslim is your enemy and your Savior say to love your enemies then you ain’t got no excuse and I really am confused why you wanna ban Islamic Refugees If the Bible say you s’pose to love your neighbor And to be hospitable even to strangers tell me why most of your friends go the very same skin you don’t even know the people you afraid of The crazy thing about it all to me Jesus was a middle-eastern refugee Mama Africa embraced him but America so racist baby Jesus woulda been a casualty, Oh well Woah Micah woah Woah Micah woah We we liked you better when you wasn’t so bold Laugh Micah laugh Laugh Micah laugh We we liked you better when you wasn’t so mad Chill Micah chill Chill Micah chill We we liked you better when you wasn’t so real Rap Micah rap But not about that We we liked you better when you wasn’t so BLACK
4.
Top of the food chain american white male walks into a concert Unleashes the hell brewing inside his ruinous mind body and soul Got bodies hittin the floor Pandemonium broke Under investigation Seemingly unprovoked No religious affiliation rhyme reason or motive Everybody cryin’ and wonderin how and why But if we keepin’ it real it’s happening all the time Top of the food chain american white male walks into a Church, theatre, school, mall, or crowd In the name of nothin’ he unleashes the hell brewing inside his privilege pride and prejudice Media call him crazy but really it’s curious Mental illness exists everywhere on the globe But only in America is every 24 hours another mass shooting Now we havin’ mass Light a candle Thoughts and prayers But God is not gassed Prayin’ but hold fast to gun rights and cash You made off the goose who lays golden gats Glorified war and self-defense myths A culture of violence A cycle of death But nothin’s gone change if the tickets still sell ‘Cause everybody loves an Al Capone tale, From Hollywood films to these military planes flying over the field at an NFL game Murder is a patriot as red white and blue Apple pie all American and lucrative too Big stick politics What you gon’ do Top of the food chain and the only way to stay is to have a bigger gun and be unafraid to spray Trickle down from the white house To the mind of an everyday American with murder in his eye Paranoid when you be the king of the hill Do they kill because they crazy or crazy because they kill Top of the food chain american white male gas gained the whole world and lost his own POOOOWWWWWW
5.
Live by the sword Die by the sword Say you want peace But forever make war Freedom ain’t free Better aim for the core But freedom ain’t freedom If you killin’ the poor (2x) Would you die for what you believed at 18? Do you trust your teenage perception of complexities Of self Of God Of Good and evil Right and wrong Truth Love Global Economy Foreign Relations Just War Theory Did you even know what those terms meant back then? Armed forces recruits youth to fight wars of cowardly men Three years too young to be trusted with a margarita but Uncle Sam handin’ teenagers guns Children deployed to front lines at the command of a commander in chief they were too young to vote for Killin’ poor folk they do not know over conflicts they do not understand And when they die we thank them for their service Drape patriotism over their casket and claim they sacrificed for freedom’s sake I for one am not grateful I grieve for the loss of life But they ain’t die for my freedom If you die for America, you die for a nation that still treats me sub-human Fallen soldiers are victims, not heroes Victims of a government that sends their young and poor to early graves All because old men are stuck in their ways Willing to sacrifice other people’s lives to maintain power and privilege Running to war as a first resort Not creative enough to dream up other forms of conflict resolution Unless of course THEY are the terrorists The White knights lynching the innocent Police brutalizing the citizens Then they prefer peaceful protest Then they believe nonviolent resistance to evil is effective Sometimes I wonder if these wars were domestic Would they think twice about bombing enemy lairs in residential areas in Beverly Hills, in Time Square? If civilian casualties were their own wives and children would they be eager to wage warfare? Would they get better at diplomacy? Learn how to compromise? De-escalate tensions? Learn to fight fire with water War with peace Stop spending billions on defense And pour resource into foreign aid education and disaster relief Make friends out of would-be enemies Fight evil with poetry Appoint Rappers as foreign ambassadors ‘Cause hip hop already united the atlas Middle-eastern kids bumpin’ Chance and Kendrick There is another way No disrespect to vets with post-traumatic stress or soldiers who lost their life But no one is a hero just ‘cause they fight I am not grateful your service I don’t know what you did on tour Even aside from possible war crimes I’m not sure if I believe in this war But I am grateful you made it back alive I do pray you find peace for your war-torn mind I do pray you put down your weapon and realize You can fight for freedom without killing for it You can die for freedom without killing for it That’s the only kind of freedom worth fighting for Worth dying for Worth living for But if you live by the sword… Live by the sword Die by the sword Say you want peace But forever make war Freedom ain’t free Better aim for the core But freedom ain’t freedom If you killin’ the poor (3x)
6.
Ally Anthem 03:14
For hip hop heads who don’t wanna be black Who love black people more than they love rap For all the real friends who grieve for Black lives ‘steada diggin’ up dirt and tryin’ to justify For all the white folks with the ears to hear who don’t make black pain all about your guilt Don’t make black rage all about your fear Who never stay quiet when verdicts is unfair Who join us in the fire stead’a stayin’ in the clear ‘Cause they know they ain’t free till we all get there This the ally anthem Rule number one Make sure this track is not your favorite song Gratitude to activists of every hue Especially if you woke without havin’ a black boo Ya do it ‘cause it’s right And ya do it ‘cause it’s true And ya do it ‘cause you love Fresh Prince and soul food Ya do it ‘cause you think that my people is beautiful So glad you do, y’all pretty fly too Wit’ our boots to the ground Fist in the air We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there Wit’ our boots to the ground Fist in the air We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there For Daddys wit’ all daughters Who ain’t wishin’ for sons For sons brothers and fathers Who love who they come from For lovers of strong women Who never intimidated But celebrating their ladies Like my baby the greatest! For the male womanist Killin’ their inner chauvinist Never lookin’ for credit For doin’ what should be obvious Gender equality ain’t a noble belief It’s basic humanity Be glad that you ain’t a beast Unafraid to release emotion because you see compassion and sympathy is strength, don’t be weak No man is free if just men are free We fight for her rights but she take the lead Wit’ our boots to the ground Fist in the air We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there Wit’ our boots to the ground Fist in the air We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there We ain’t gon’ stop ‘till we all get there
7.
Educatin’ my mind Keep my tongue on a leash Disciplinin’ my passion to listen before I speak It’s been hot for a minute and I been feelin’ the heat Trying to speak with love but patience is growin’ weak Evil is growin’ strong And every word is a bomb And even when I be careful the haters be sayin’ WRONG OK, I guess we fightin’ I was tryin’ to be civil but you comin’ at me crooked I’m about to keep it rizzle Won’t make it any better but it’s gonna feel great when I flex my intellect and put your stupid on display Oh Laaawd I need to pray Venom in my poetry Death and life is in the tongue Oratin’ a killin’ spree I’m heavy with the speech Always been my greatest skill I’m heavy with the speech Always my Achilles heel I’m ready for the beef I’ll roast all ya bull But the wise stay quiet in the presence of a fool Let ‘em talk The foolish run they mouth all night all noon all day Let ‘em talk Be wise and tune them out, just close your eyes and pray Let ‘em talk Be slow to speak and when you do, don’t be afraid Let ‘em talk The simple truth will cut through hate like razor blade Like razor blade I don’t believe my actions speak louder than my words With hand-crafted diction entire sentence is a verb In other words, our words are actions too Will you speak the truth or react and spew Gotta choose when to stay quiet and swallow your pride When to yell like a fool that the roof is on fire Best believe there’s a time when you gotta do both Don’t argue with disbelievers who deny the smoke Betta ring the alarm for the ones who don’t know I’ma scream out the truth till I got a sore throat Hold my tongue when we win Jesus don’t let me gloat ‘Cause my God get no pleasure in the death of a fool Let ‘em talk The foolish run they mouth all night all noon all day Let ‘em talk Be wise and tune them out just close your eyes and pray Let ‘em talk Be slow to speak and when you do don’t be afraid Let ‘em talk The simple truth will cut through hate like razor blade Like razor blade
8.
I get around this rock Mad homies on the block In a whole lotta cities I know Got fam in Youngstown Many friends up in Bend And I fell in love with Chicago But when I’m on this road And I spit these poems And they wanna know a little ‘bout me My home be Be the City of Long Beach My home be Be the City of Long Beach Minutes from da coast Never go to the sand If you isn’t from my home Then you won’t understand Meet a Long Beach grown I don’t care what you do Only thing I wanna know Where you went to high school? I’m a scholar and a champ, green and golden I bleed Classroom lookin’ like a coalition of peace Black, White, Cambodian, Polynesian, and Brown All tight like a fist that be fightin’ the power Sup foo, aye cuz, dudes ladies and bros Hands high for the city, dubs up for the coast I’m Kappernickin’ the flag but Cali until I croak No matter how far I go Long Beach on my dome I get around this rock Mad homies on the block In a whole lotta cities I know Got fam in Youngstown Many friends up in Bend And I fell in love with Chicago But when I’m on this road And I spit these poems And they wanna know a little ‘bout me My home be Be the City of Long Beach My home be (My home be the city by the sea) Be the City of Long Beach (My home be the LB, LBC) Cousin I’m glad that gangsta rap died Bad for ya mind but ya boy can’t lie The G Funk ride Whenever I hear ‘em play Snoop, Dre Warren, Nate I’m ready to regulate on my enemies though I never load clips If you raised in the beach you an honorary Crip What makes a young church boy wanna dip to songs about indo sippin on gin Really one word I just wanted respect Black since birth I was born wit’ a hex Thug or thug-not they treated me like a threat So I might as well strut wit’ my little bird chest Feelin’ like a King when I saw how they feared me Swagger so clean even privilege envies Tables got turned now White kids they yearn to have what we got but this is our burden Our stories finally gettin’ heard From the ghettos of America to the ends of the earth Whole world wishin’ they was Black like us But it ain’t dope to live po’ and oppressed Oh no my people don’t be pimpin’ your pain Romanticizing the madness to make you some change If you reppin’ for your hood hope you rappin’ for change Do not gentrify, transform hearts and brains I get around this rock Mad homies on the block In a whole lotta cities I know Got fam in Youngstown Many friends up in Bend And I fell in love with Chicago But when I’m on this road And I spit these poems And they wanna know a little ‘bout me My home be Be the City of Long Beach My home be Be the City of Long Beach My home be (My home be the city by the sea) Be the City of Long Beach (My home be the LBC) My home be (My home be the city by the sea) Be the City of Long Beach (My home be the LB, LBC) Ronnie B from the LBC Class of Nineteen Seventy Three I know you You know me Hey I’m still the same but one thing has changed I now proclaim Jesus name I used roll on my Schwinn after dark Meet the fellas up at King Park Ride the bridge to the westide ‘Cause it all was Long Beach pride Met up at the P,O,L,Y All green and gold inside I used to hang out with D Dub Kenny, Kelly and J Dub, Sed, Lee, and Ricky G Junior Lee, Anthony, Louie, and Big D All representing the LBC I get around this rock Mad homies on the block In a whole lotta cities I know Got fam in Youngstown Many friends up in Bend And I fell in love with Chicago But when I’m on this road And I spit these poems And they wanna know a little ‘bout me My home be Be the City of Long Beach My home be Be the City of Long Beach My home be (My home be the city by the sea) Be the City of Long Beach (My home be the LBC) My home be (My home be the city by the sea) Be the City of Long Beach (My home be the LB, LBC)
9.
(Lucee’s Verse) My mother wants the best for me I know she’s so sincere But somewhere in our history Her wisdom bowed down to fear She taught me only fall in love with beauty that was fair My seeds will grow in ground my roots could never bear Fear sunk deep into my soul And I’ll face the fire Turn my love to gold I’ll teach my child to love I’ll teach my child to love herself I’ll teach my child to love Since we’re kissed by the sun (2x) If I get blessed wit’ a dark daughter Bet that she’ll never be afraid of water Hair not pressed so nuthin’ to mess up Fro so fresh everybody wanna touch No princess, no Cinderella We gon’ read about Assata Shakur and Coretta Civil disobedience, peaceful protest Before she gets slapped wit’ alternative facts Gotta fight back with the truth, we plant that seed in the youth, please pray that it grow deep roots So they know what not to believe at school See, might be the teacher might be the text Might be the mean girls or the cool kids Came home sad ‘cause her lips so fat And her hair so coarse and her skin so Black Child ain’t dang thang wrong wit’ that Matta fact Dad thinks you da bomb for that All praise to the most high God for that Put ya fist in the sky give the sun some dap I’ll teach my child to love I’ll teach my child to love herself I’ll teach my child to love Since we’re kissed by the sun (2x) White supremacy Is the enemy In the inner me Even centuries After slavery Still we tend to think Light skinned girls finer than ebony Ain’t no merit in talkin’ proper Hair ain’t good ‘cause it’s straight and longer Name ain’t bad because it’s complex I bet Beyoncé got teased at recess Can’t you see how they stole our minds Made us hate on our very own kind Why we think after all their crimes Everything’s better if it’s almost White? Rock your puffs and talk yo slang Be proud dat you got a unique name Love your Black like it’s the new thang Treat yo’self like it’s ya birthday I’ll teach my child to love I’ll teach my child to love herself I’ll teach my child to love Since we’re kissed by the sun (2x)
10.
Micah: I been livin’ I been doin’ my thang I been livin’ I been killin’ this game I don’t need it but I want it If you bout it let me know and baby maybe I could be your boo thang Lauren: I been livin’ I been doin’ my thang I been livin’ I been killin’ this game I don’t need it but I want it If you bout it let me know and baby maybe I could be your boo thang Both: You could be my boo thang boo thang Micah: Girl Lauren: Boy Both: Baby maybe we could try a new thang Micah: I want a woke love Lauren: A partner in hope love Micah: A make ya feel rich when ya flat broke love Lauren: A generous rather give than accept love Micah: We livin’ on less even if we come up Lauren: I want a bold love Micah: A never conform love Lauren: A white picket fence is never the goal love Micah: A push ya to ya limits and helping ya grow love Lauren: A do what we thought was impossible befo’ love Micah: I want a real love Lauren: A say how you feel love Micah: Honest and patient no manipulation here love Lauren: This ain’t a game love Micah: No shifting the blame love Both: I’m sorry please forgive me when I cause you pain love Lauren: I want a young love Micah: A silly and dumb love Lauren: A never get too grown to have us some fun love Both: A you get on my nerves Micah: But you still the one love Lauren: Never my fate Micah: Choose you every single day love Lauren: I been livin’ I been doin’ my thang I been livin’ I been killin’ this game I don’t need it but I want it If you bout it let me know and baby maybe I could be your boo thang Micah: I been livin’ I been doin’ my thang I been livin’ I been killin’ this game I don’t need it but I want it If you bout it let me know and baby maybe I could be your boo thang Micah: Ain’t nobody walkin’ round with half of a heart If you ain’t got you a partner better love who you are Steady mopin’ feelin’ lonely thinkin’ love is the fix Guarantee you little homie you ain’t ready for it If you sad independent, you gone be sad hitched How you finna be in love if you don’t got it to give? Fall in love with a deli Fall in love with a park Fall in love with a novel Music poetry art Fall in love with the God Who created it all So if you ever fall in love You can share who you are You’ll never find your other half in someone else’s arms Completed in Jesus since I put my faith in the Lord Romance is nice but life is much more Single, married divorced keep loving and march forth Romance is nice but life is much more Single married divorced, keep lovin… keep livin’ Both: I been livin’ I been doin’ my thang I been livin’ I been killin’ this game I don’t need it but I want it If you bout it let me know and baby maybe I could be your boo thang I been livin’ I been doin’ my thang I been livin’ I been killin’ this game I don’t need it but I want it If you bout it let me know and baby maybe I could be your boo thang You could be my boo thang boo thang Micah: Girl Lauren: Boy Both: Baby maybe we could try a new thang Micah: If I ever find love I been lettin’ it burn So I ain’t no Don Juan but I’m eager to learn Will you please let me know how I can please you If at first we don’t succeed we can re-do Baby you intellectual I’m a sapiosexual Eat you up like a vegetable ‘cause you healthy for me This is pure matrimony Even our nasty is holy So ain’t no shame in the mornin’ You want two waffles or three? Yo it’s lovely to dream But if it never come true Yeah I’ll be disappointed but I got livin’ to do I got a bachelor savior who came to show me the way Turn that water into wine Lovin’ life every day Micah: I been I been I been thinkin’ that you fly girl I been I been I been thinkin’ that you fly girl I been watchin’ I been scopin’ I been prayin’ I been hopin’ that one day Mmm mmm mmm maybe you be my girl Lauren: I been I been I been thinkin’ that you fly guy I been I been I been thinkin’ that you fly guy I been watchin’ I been scopin’ I been prayin’ I been hopin’ that one day Mmm mmm mmm maybe you be my guy Both: But If you ain’t about it Ima be okay Ima be okay Micah: ‘Cause I been livin’ I been doin’ my thang I been livin’ I been killin’ this game Lauren: I been livin’ I been doin’ my thang I been livin’ I been killin’ this game Micah: Romance I don’t need it but I want it Romance I don’t need it but I want it But if it never come my way Lauren: Ima be okay Ima be okay Ima be okay
11.
BOTH: Before I left for college, my mom told me Beth: Study hard Micah: Read ya Bible Beth: Don’t get pregnant Micah: Don’t you bring home no White girl… She was joking Beth: Of course she was joking Micah: It’s not like moms is racist or nothin’ Beth Before I left for college my dad told me Don’t fall in love with anyone you’re ashamed to introduce to your parents I remember my dad sinking into the couch to watch local news He said “Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization” He said he was joking Micah: Was he joking? Both: Don’t fall in love with anyone you’re ashamed to introduce to your parents Micah: The freedom to fall in love with whoever I fall in love with would be nice But every time I’m attracted to a light-skinned woman I have to check my self-hatred Would I fall for a darker version of her too? Light complexion is not a virtue Should not be a plus Beth: Every time I’m attracted to a man with dark skin I have to check my self hatred Do I have a fetish? Because I do want to touch his hair My skin feels like a ghost under the sheets my ancestors wore Micah: Then one of my Black homies said, “bruh, if you keep talkin’ all this pro-Black stuff And marry a White girl, you lose all credibility ” Beth: Then one of my White friends said, “girl, you could never love a Black man while your understanding of Blackness is just a hypothesis.” Both: And I knew they were wrong And I knew they were right Micah: But love is a hill worth dying on And If I date a White woman She needs to understand I will never lecture Black women for feeling abandoned For hoping someone outside of themselves would love them For expecting those someones to be the sons they gave life And if my White girlfriend can’t tell the difference between My heartbroken mother and her racist father She was never gonna last anyway She was bound to leave when she realized my penis wasn’t any bigger And her fantasies were just that If you wanna date Black don’t expect applause Beth: But love is a hill worth dying on I know an interracial relationship is not going to cure racism Not even internally I’m screaming Black is beautiful I’m really just screaming I’m not racist Just so everyone knows I’m not racist I’m not racist BUT What if I am? What if I don’t say the right thing? What if I actually say the wrong thing? Because it’s tradition to say I don’t, but I do see color And I’m trying to see it better If I fall in love with a Black guy I hope he understands I’m trying Both: Because it’s love that makes me want to understand our differences, not erase them Beth: But I forgot this isn’t a love poem Micah: This isn’t a love poem This is all hypothetical Love is a hill worth dying on But there’s a gap between theory and practice Both: I might chicken out Micah: I might accidently-on-purpose stop holdin’ your hand in a room full of Blackness Beth: I might not introduce you to my parents... not now, not yet Both: I might let racism and its effects keep me from loving you right But I could never be ashamed of you I’ll be ashamed of myself
12.
Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme five on the Blackhand side Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme five on the Blackhand side Bbq’n chicken on da charcoal fire Sumthin’ in da kitchen and it smell so nice Grandma Harrell made the pretzel jello cream pie Gimme Gimme five on the Blackhand side Cookie say she comin Auntie Ann outside Even uncle Larry said he finna stop by Afros corn rows everybody fly Gimme Gimme five on the Blackhand side Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme five on the Blackhand side Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme five on the Blackhand side All the nephews is hoopin’ Nieces is jumpin’ rope Old Folks gettin’ loud slappin’ down bones Gene and Uncle Polk out back wit’ a smoke Uncle Lin is sippin’ on somethin’ and crackin’ jokes Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme five on the Blackhand side Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme five on the Blackhand side Bottles in the sky Pour it to the ground Remember the joy, the happiness and the smiles Remember to love the ones that are still around Gimme Gimme shuga like it’s goin’ out of style Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme five on the Blackhand side Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme shuga Gimme Gimme five Gimme Gimme five Gimme my roses while I’m still alive, yeah I said Gimme my roses while I’m still alive, yeah I said Gimme my roses while I’m still alive, yeah Rest in peace Grandma Harrell Rest in peace Cousin Cookie Rest in peace Auntie Anne Uncle Larry Grandma Gene Uncle Polk Rip Uncle Lin If you love your peoples Betta let ‘em know while you still can I said Gimme my roses while I’m still alive
13.
I Got Joy 03:35
Money stay low Rock second hand clothes And I’m dippin’ in a whip bout 20 years Wear the same shoes ‘till them boys got holes 5 years deep tryin’ slang these poems Still aint got the cheese just to make these hits Had to run Kickstarter for “A Time Like This” Momma said Boy why you beggin for bread Need to quit Need to quit it and get you a real gig Very next week went to spit some poetry At open mic at Fox Coffee in Long Beach A sister said brotha, ya poetry changed me A brotha said brotha you speaking my story Molested by a priest when I was a lil boy Freakshow gonna help me to grow and move forward Sold a couple discs made a few pesos But I’m feelin like I’m swimmin’ in Oprah Queso Everybody get it when I drop a new jawn Free download at my name dot com I don’t want ya money I just wanna give life ‘Cause I got da joy dat money cannot buy I Got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money can’t buy I Got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money can’t buy I got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money can’t buy I got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money Joy dat da money can’t buy I’m the brokest one of all of my squad But I’m happy as can be and they be hatin’ they jobs Got a salary and benefits a car and a dog Feelin hollow but they followed all the wisdom they got Gotta go into debt if you ever wanna be rich Don’t think about it just listen I’m tellin you what it is Went to college had to borrows from the capitalists Now instead of dreaming big they worried bout pay checks To pay off they school debt then pick up a mortgage Making them six figs but feel like some poor kids Cause they livin’ on the edge of they means But life is more than comfort and havin’ some nice things Lord I’m a good man But my soul lean Life so bland What does all this mean? Follow God give your wealth to the poor Bet you walk away sad, you don’t want this joy I Got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money can’t buy I got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money can’t buy I got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money can’t buy I got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money Joy dat da money can’t buy Been broke But we neva lose hope Singin bout joy since whips and lynch ropes Eyes on the prize since days of Jim Crow Remixed our pain to Blues and Gospel Faith in the Christ who favors poor folks Ears to the cries that rise from ghettos Not many wise or wealthy get chose God gives the light to despised and low Poor find pride and the proud humbled Weak made strong and the shy made bold Joy so full everybody wanna know Where it come from so we gotta let ‘em know We got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money can’t buy We got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money can’t buy We got joy Got joy Got joy dat da money can’t buy We got joy Got joy Got joy from Da Lord Joy from Da Lord on high
14.
Used to dream of leather jackets and black berets Black fist raised wishin’ I was back in the day With the courage of Tubman I’d be conductin’ a train Bet I sit with Rosa Bet I march with King Bet I wouldn’t take nothin’ from the KKK Bet I BPP Bet I Stokley C Bet I Bobby, bet I Huey Bet I fight for we Bet I need to snap back, reality check I ain’t been to near one BLM protest Yeah I post a lotta talk ‘cause I’m so upset But it’s kinda complicated and I’m not the best at time management I gotta lotta stuff to do I can’t officially join but I support the crew Too broke to donate, Ima pray for you But the shirt so dope, Ima cop me two Stop modelin’ y’all We got work to do All hands on deck Get on board ‘Cause this ain’t politics anymore We need all hands on deck Get on board ‘Cause this ain’t politics anymore We need all hands on deck (Izzi Ray) I’m an independent woman And a fighter and a lover And a singer and a writer and A whole lotta other All of the foremothers been runnin’ a marathon Carried the flame far Now they passin’ it on Don’t forget how they died Don’t forget how they lived Don’t forget what they gave Everybody that did what they do You don’t gotta be a Martin Luther King What if Sojourner never said a truthful thing What if Frida never painted and Nina she never sang What if everyone despised what they had to bring To the table don’t you ever think it isn’t enough ‘Cause the party isn’t catered this joint is a potluck You got to show up laced ready and set No half-steppin’ ‘cause this battle gonna take All hands on deck All hands on deck Get on board ‘Cause this ain’t politics anymore We need all hands on deck Get on board ‘Cause this ain’t politics anymore We need all hands on deck (Jackie Miclau) What’s crackelin’ peeps It’s young Jacquelyn, peace To my squad, Rip city to Romanian streets I’m the daughter of some immigrants Tired of the ignorance People are people and that should be the end of it But I know it isn’t so I got to play Woman of few words with a lot to say Don’t speak Just listen as I tap the keys Cause every revolution need a symphony Sumthin’ to march to while fightin’ the good fight My fingers do the talkin’ I don’t ever need a mic But since they gave it to me girl you know I gotta slay High heel revolutionary faith all day (Liz Vice) Liz Vice checkin’ in on the mic I’m a west coast kid wit’ an east coast life Moved to NY to find peace of mind and maybe a nice guy unafraid of my shine My ladies don’t hesitate to be all that you was made to be because you afraid that you might intimidate a dude I promise you Your strength is beautiful To all who really know the God Who created you Love to the haters And the ity bity boys Afraid to see the ladies Makin joyful noise We gave you all life We hold half the sky Too fly to be shy Come dance wit’ me bruh (Lucee) L, U, C, Double E J, A, Double Z Used to be embarrassed that my hair so cuddly Then I got woke and broke my hot comb Now I’m rockin’ shows full blown afro Finally I see the beauty in my own soul Singin’ love songs for those with low hope Rebel with a cause Rebel with a guitar Dominicana you don’t wanna step to my bars But on the dance floor you can step to my bars Bachata if ya gotta Shout out to DR L. Jazz bringin’ light and sass I’m a brand new woman with a broken past But I know I been forgiven so my hope is phat for the future and the present You can toast to that
15.
Some Drunk Poet was singing of God and his mercies Quietly sipping his gin Painting a picture Words from a portrait of Jesus but coming again And oh sing oh Lord oh grace And oh sing oh Lord oh grace Never dismiss the visions of madmen Wisdom can be gathered from anyone who sees what others cannot Drunk men tell no tales Poets cannot lie Poets cannot lie Because we do not divide fact from fiction There’s often more truth in our fantasy worlds and metaphors than human courts where liars swear to speak honestly in the name of laws they break In the name of gods they disobey The prayers of the proud will never reach heaven But God hears the slurred words of the stumbling prophets And all will be cursed who mock them It is not an easy task to plead with the world To grieve for the world Especially since God often speaks through those most broken The picture we paint in our minds is a far cry from the reality of heaven When the saints go marching in it will not be a parade of the almost perfect God does not reserve grace for those who only need a little bit The healthy are in no need of a doctor The Healer is for the sick Heaven will be a freakshow Promiscuous young men will embrace the virgin priests who molested them and their hearts will both be pure How amazing, is grace The street corner preacher will be greeted by thousands of people she thought were not listening “Thank you for enduring the times we mocked you Your sidewalk sermons are why we know God” How amazing, is grace Aborted children will tug the spotless robes of young women and say “hello mother, I’m so glad to finally meet you” The former master will see the lashed back of his no longer slave and say “you taught me the love of the Savior” The suicide bomber who prayed for forgiveness during the millisecond between pressing the detonator and standing before the throne of God The guilty thief hanging next to Jesus on the cross The madman who spoke to invisible beings will stand between Michael and Gabriel with a grin as wide as an angel’s wingspan and scream I KNEW I WASN’T CRAZY! The Mrs. and the mistress The victim and the rapist The foreign and racists The bullies and the geeks All of those who somewhere along the way believed Whose sins were forgiven and strength was given to love their enemies So many we swore there is no way in hell we would see them in heaven But they will be there We will be there with a song our lips and our eyes full of faith and we’ll sing How amazing, is grace Some Drunk Poet was singing of God and his mercies Quietly sipping his gin Painting a picture Words from a portrait of Jesus but coming again And oh sing oh lord oh grace And oh sing oh lord oh grace
16.
We are proud to be storytellers But there was a time when we were considered fools When only birds could fly And the earth was flat When hip hop and jazz were not considered music When Black and Brown were not considered human When humans could not walk on the moon When pictures could not move When women could not vote When we could not share a meal unless we shared a skin tone Yes, we were there way back then being mocked and dismissed by most but we never were ashamed We never stayed quiet We were there telling stories of a day when impossible things would be daily routines Today’s common sense was yesterday’s absurdity Yet, here we are Here we are today Here we are Flying on airplanes Walking on moons Watching moving pictures in multiple dimensions Voting FOR women Listening to MCs flow rivers of words over jazz beats Having meals and children with lovers from other cultures Yes, here we are Still considered fools being mocked and dismissed by most but we never are ashamed We never stay quiet Here we are Telling stories of a day when impossible things will be daily routines Today’s absurdity will be tomorrow’s common sense And we’ll be there With more stories to be told more voices to be heard More never(s) becoming every days We’ll be there When creative things are not considered electives but core to the education of human beings When developing your creativity is a responsible thing and working a passionless job to get rich is a silly dream We’ll be there When art is taken down from its ivory tower consumed less like caviar and more like bread and water We’ll be there when artists are not starving When humans are not starving When being White is not a privilege and being Black is not a curse When we love Mother Earth like a mother instead of only taking from her We’ll be there When our fantasies become common sense And even then We will speak of impossible things The only hope we have are the stories we tell Stories not bound by what is possible By what is dead We walk on water We resurrect They laughed us to death But here we are Humming fools Unashamed of hope Our stories are future Our stories are foolish Only until tomorrow Until tomorrow Until tomorrow Here we are today Here we are today Until tomorrow Until tomorrow Here we are today Here we are today Until tomorrow Maybe we were born Until tomorrow Maybe we were raised Until tomorrow Maybe there’s a reason we were made for a time like this Until tomorrow Maybe we were born Until tomorrow Maybe we were raised Until tomorrow Maybe there’s a reason we were made for a time like this Until tomorrow Until tomorrow Here we are today Here we are today

about

This album was made possible by

WorldRelief.org
VirtueInTheWasteland.com

Design + Art Direction by Chris Cambell Creative
www.chriscambell.com

Cover Mosaic by Lilian Broca
www.lilianbroca.com

credits

released January 11, 2018

Blaine Stark - producer, guitars, bass, keys, moog, piano, drum programming, percussion
Thomas Drayton - bass (9,10,13) background vocals (12,16)
Michael Fash - piano (11,12,16)
Jesse Nason - synthesizer (6)
Paul Doyle - drums and percussion (2,7,9,14)
David Manuel - background vocals (12,16)
Vernon Caraway - background vocals (12,16)
Hannah Bournes - background vocals (12)
Izzi Ray - background vocals (16)

Lyrics by Micah Bournes and
Jason Petty (3)
Ronald Bournes (8)
Jasmine Rodriguez (9)
Beth May (11)
Kevin & Anya Looper (15)

Produced and mixed by Blaine Stark
Additional production by
Ron Sararana (DJ Efechto) (4)
Aisea Taimani (7)
Anthony Salvatore (13)

Engineered by Blaine Stark
Additional engineering by Tom Brooks at Master Recording Studios
Recorded at La Cucina, Master Recording Studios
Mastered by Hans Dekline
www.blainestark.com

Design + Art Direction by Chris Cambell Creative
www.chriscambell.com

Cover Mosaic by Lilian Broca
www.lilianbroca.com

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Micah Bournes Long Beach, California

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