16/01/2018

'By The Time I Get To Arizona' / 'Like a King' / 'Dear Friend'


I write about music because music is one of the most beautiful expression of life, of struggle, of mix of pain and joy transfigured, because music is the soundtrack of our life, through different eras, because music speaks to everyone, in different countries, people speaking different language, from different background and social class...

I write about music, the music I hear as the breath of change...


Public Enemy - 'By The Time I Get To Arizona'







"By The Time I Get To Arizona" was written by Public Enemy's Chuck D in 1991 as a direct reply to Arizona officials, including John McCain and Fife Symington, for rejecting the federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

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And January 15th is Martin Luther King Jr.'s day. In America. A land of struggle and sufferance of a vast majority for the comfort of a selfish, materialistic and fear-obsessed minority. 

Nowadays especially, the United States are expunging their mistakes. And we can only hope that their people end up learning a lesson and stopped repeating, over and over, the same kind of mistakes.

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Ben Harper - 'Like a King'





This track off Ben Harper's 1994 debut Welcome to the Cruel World is a rootsy folk tune, the allure of which lies in its stalwart political stance. 
'Like a King' draws parallels between MLK and Rodney King, a victim in the early-'90s L.A.P.D. police brutality cases. Harper's stance on the matter is easily discernible -- "Martin's dream," he avers, "has become Rodney's worst nightmare."

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Common Feat. Will I Am - 'I have a dream'




Sampling Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have A Dream" speech, Will.i.am and Common joined forces for a track that appeared on the soundtrack for "Freedom Writers." "My dream is to be free," Will.i.am sings on the chorus, while Common shares verses about struggle, pain and hope. Even the rap generation respected Dr. King's struggle.

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Massive Attack feat. James Massiah - Dear Friend





Massive Attack Featuring James Messiah
Produced By Euan Dickinson & Robert Del Naja


Lyrics:

Dear friend, look at you now
All tied up in knots and starting to rot
Thought it was alright in the light but now it's dark and it looks wrong
But what'd you expect?
That's what you get from worshipping moon gods
False deities living off reflected glory, like our colonisers
Queens and kings reaping the royalties from someone else's story
But let's return to yours, you, the author of your own destiny
Escaping the demons and bastards of a past life
Arm in arm with your wife, a highland type
With a big heart and a wise mind
It's gonna help you to escape the long arm of the swine
Which helps, seeming as you've been tired of, and trying to escape the wildlife
Which now bores the young man with the family from the horn
Lands wartorn, new allegiance sworn, you're part of the swarm
Survive the storm, now withering

Raised with worthy morals by an upright mother
And a father who slaved days and days to make a wage
Chewing cats will alleviate the pain and pressure
That came with the career in a country that saw you as a cancer and a casualty
Alienated on the way up to a higher education
That you were lucky enough to catch
Smart and working hard enough to keep
You were caught in criminality
The catalyst for your change
And plenty of it came from the ketamine, the weed and cocaine for the customer
Middle class kids on campus were burdens to bear
Each of them facing oppression of their own
Victims of a different kind of prejudice
Their condition: psychosis, mania, suicidal thoughts, sexual inadequacy
Academic underachievement, social separation and a desire to fit in
The madness of youth that you've medicated
All the while dedicated to serving your god
When the deities of this life would allow you to
Driving through the town, you approach the road to Damascus
Blue lights that flash and leave you blind
Bound by a belief that the god of your father set you free
Weeds plucked, wife covered, 5 times a day, a proud slave
Praying for proof that you picked the right way
Seeing that your sister's changed, your brother's enraged, on route to a cage
You're gonna need more than faith in this day and age
You don't need friends, you need facts
Don't need poems, you need raps
Don't need peace, you need war, and defeat, and a grave to bury your doubts
You've got love and a spouse, now you need space
A chance to breathe, and time away
In time, you'll remember this day
When you're 50 years old, thinking of all the fickle things that you would fret over
But you're not 50 yet, so take the right steps
Unless you wanna be down when you get there
This is my prayer for you, my friend, so fly away
Be unbound by the ropes and the chains
Be set free and escape
The demons of your past become the demons of your present
Old habits stick, what you learn as a young gun becomes hard to kick
Clutch gets stuck and hard to shift
Automatically return to the ways of days gone by
A bullet in the mind, a beam in the eye
And a bitch, yeah, that's life
Ignorance is bliss, but wisdom's nice
Hopefully it comes with age, 'cause you don't live twice
And then you can't live it again, I'm afraid
So fly now, be free, make your own way
My dear friend


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