Die Jim Crow EP

by Die Jim Crow

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    Designed by Fury Young
    Drawings by Mark B. Springer

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05:02
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Artists listed below. Click the individual tracks for full credits, lyrics, and background info.

MY NAME BE JIM CROW — Mark B. Springer
TIRED AND WEARY — Anthony "Big Ant" McKinney
FIRST IMPRESSIONS — Charles "C-Will" Williams and B.L. Shirelle
A215-162 — Mark B. Springer, Sedrick Franklin, Alonzo Freeman Jr.
PLASTIC BAG — Carl Dukes and Apostle Heloise
HEADED TO THE STREETS — B.L. Shirelle and Anthony McKinney

DIE JIM CROW EP
A revolutionsound Record

Die Jim Crow EP is a six-song album recorded at Warren Correctional Institution (a close-security state prison in Lebanon, Ohio) and with formerly incarcerated artists in Philadelphia and New York. Additional instrumentation provided by musicians in New Orleans LA, Boston MA, Los Angeles CA, and Brooklyn NY.

Die Jim Crow EP is a precursor to the Die Jim Crow LP, which will be out in 2018. Die Jim Crow is a concept album about racism in the U.S. prison system written and performed by formerly and currently incarcerated black musicians and writers from across the country.

credits

released May 1, 2016

Produced by Fury Young
Co-producer/Engineer: dr. Israel

Recorded by dr. Israel at Warren Correctional Institution (Lebanon, OH) and revolutionsound (Brooklyn, NY). Additional recordings otherwise noted.
Mixed by dr. Israel
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at TurtleTone Studio NYC
Project Assistant: Eli Cohen
Studio Assistant: Dexter Nurse

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Die Jim Crow Brooklyn, New York

Die Jim Crow is a concept album about racism in the US prison system written and performed by formerly and currently incarcerated black musicians and writers from across the country.

The Die Jim Crow EP is available now. The full length concept album will be released in 2018.

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Track Name: My Name Be Jim Crow
My Name be Jim Crow
lyrics by Mark B. Springer and Fury Young

Howdy folks!
My name be Jim Crow!
and I’m fiena’ take y’all on a history lesson!
Hear me crow this jingo jango!

I’m not a man or woman
I’se a wall-a-be cracker!
I come from ol’ Brit’iny
I’se a European’s Jimmy!

Firs I kill de Indy’s
An den I slave de blackies
Dey call me ol’ Jim Crow
Because I base upon blacky!

I row-a’-row for whitey
Upon de stage so fun’ly
N’ when ol’ Jim get off de stage
Dey laugh so-oh outloudly!

Now some dey call me Jimmy
Some call me o’ racis’
Da smart ones call me smarty
Because I right, de blacks are naughty!

My name be ol’ Jim Crow
And dis’ be yo’ history lesson!
Track Name: Tired and Weary
Tired and Weary
lyrics by Anthony "Big Ant" McKinney

Dead man walkin’ in those penitentiary shoes
I ain’t kill no damn body
They put me on the news
Charge me for a body
I damn near cried the blues
Gave me 28 to life
I got everything to lose

He lost his soul
I lost my life
I ain’t do it
They said that ain’t right
Lock him up
Put him in a cell
28 to life
Penitentiary is hell bound
I’m in a cell now
What I’ma do now

Chillin’ at the spot with my girl
Heard ‘bout 7 shots in my hood
All you hear is shouts
Mickey ran up out the house
He said “Somebody shot!”
I just can’t believe
I just can’t believe
They said that it was me
They said that it was me
The police can’t ID
Their witness from the scene
No positive ID

Boy you better pray
Boy you better pray
When there ain’t no way out
Boy you better stay out
Cuz I really wanna break out
Girl you better pray
Girl you better pray
When there ain’t no way out
Girl you better stay out
Cuz I really wanna

All white all white all white
No jury of my peers
Lookin’ at me like a deer in headlights
And I can’t fight
18 against one
12 jurors 1 judge 1 prosecutor 1 defense counsel 2 state witness
Victim’s family all on the same team
Shackled down from head to toe
Chain gang?
Hell no!
Locomotive
Train track
No grease
It’s a railroad
And I know
Standing in the courtroom ain’t got no friends
Feel like I been
Sippin’ on Hen
Drunk and I bent
When the jury verdict came in like

No matter what the state say
No matter how them robes rule
I do what I gotta do
They say they’re right I’m wrong
Then they’re through with you, oh yeah
They misinterpret all the rules

So what am I supposed to do?
FIGHT
They’ll hold you down til you’re through
WORK
There’s so many things you can do
FAITH
Make you believe there’s not nothing left
You got life there’s no second chance
LIFE

They say they’re right, I’m wrong
Then they’re through with you
They misinterpret all the rules
So what am I supposed to do?
Track Name: First Impressions
First Impressions
lyrics by Charles "C-Will" Williams and B.L. Shirelle

I gotta be honest, this my confession
I ain’t know what was gon’ happen when I got arrested
Thought I was gonna be mistreated cuz my skin complexion
I gotta get up outta here, that was my first impression
My first impression, my first impression
Gotta join a gang so I can gain protection
Or get accepted
Man you get the message
Drop on my knees like “lord, I learned my lesson”

Shackled and chained I get off the bus
Fist in a ball, a wrist full a’ cuffs
So tight they leave a cut cross my vein
Subliminal message - telling me to just slit it up
They telling me to strip off my clothes - cough while I squat
Girl next to me menstruals on - out drops a clot
They telling me to wiggle my toes - all while they watch
The word degrading
Can’t define this situation
As I walk to my unit, loathing and shameful
Holes in my state shoes
Snow to my ankles
They call it DCC where they do the testing
They poking and prodding asking all of these questions like
How many times you been arrested?
Are you a lesbian?
How many times you been molested?
It’s wretched
I wonder is this a curse or a blessing
This hurts I’m stressing
That’s my first impression

Bitterness live here, it stay up on me
Can’t shake it off like a sweater with lint on it
Just seen a pissy shower wanted to turn around
Imagining an alleyway when I look at the ground
Help - I need somebody and
Not just anybody and
This food - why it got no seasoning?
And this water look like Hennessey in it
Man it’s light brown, it’s crazy on the compound
Outta ten people, just one smile
Probably ain’t one smile, so they wilin’ out
No money on the phone, can’t call mama house
Look - I’m intimidated, frustrated
Wanna do right but I don’t feel obligated
My cellie just got his food took, confiscated
He don’t know what to do, he layin’ in his bed shaking
Tryna keep my patience in this situation
Don’t wanna get stabbed, left open like a conversation
Gotta keep my patience in this situation
Don’t wanna get stabbed, left open like a conversation

I got to be honest, this is my confession
Un-ID’ed specimen in corners of the edifice
Lifers pessimists they never gonna exodus
Racism prevalent
My first impression, my first impression
C.O.s don’t give a fuck like they celibate
Gotta get a girlfriend to mess with
Bitches starin’ hard lord god don’t let me get aggressive
My first impression
Track Name: A215-162
A215-162
lyrics by Mark B. Springer and Sedrick Franklin

A410-907
That’s the number they gave me
When I walked through the prison door
They tell me I’m a ward of the state
They tell me I’m a ward of the state
I don’t wanna be a ward of the state no more
I wanna go home.

You’re a ward of the state
You’re a ward of the state
You’re a ward of the state
You’re a ward of the state

A215-162.
This is your number.
Remember it.
This is how I’ll identify you.
This is not up for debate.
Strip.
You will wear what I tell you.
Spread your legs.
Squat.
Cough.
Get dressed.
I’m responsible for your life.
You will eat, drink, and lockdown when I say so.
Do you understand me?
Yes sir.
Now what is your number, convict?
A215-162.
Track Name: Plastic Bag
Plastic Bag
lyrics by Carl Dukes

You know, this is a drag. Dragging around this heavy plastic bag... With every damn thing I own...

P.O. promised me
A three quarter house
This brace on my neck
Now they tellin’ me I’m denied denied

Back in this city
Which way
What street
Train stop
Bus stop
I might be lost

Off to Bedford and Atlantic
To stand in line for four hours
Just to get to the window
And it went something like this
“What bed you in?”
“I’m here to get a bed”
“Where you from Bellevue shelter?”
“No I’m here to get a bed”
“You gotta go to Bellevue”
Denied again.
Denied denied.

Exhausted
Beat
Hungry
But not broken.

Finally get to Bellevue
Fucking homeless shelter
Now the man is tellin’ me
“You can stay for the night
You gotta leave by morning
You got another shelter to go”
So they sent me off to Ward’s Island

Exhausted
Beat
Hungry
But not broken.

This Ward’s Island’s a breeding ground
To return to the street
And back down that rabbit hole
To the penitentiary
The penitentiary

P.O. promised me
A three quarter house
Now this Ward’s Island’s sayin’
“You’re not in the system.”
So they tellin’ me I’m denied
Denied again.

Back in this city
Which way
What street
Train stop
Bus stop
I might be lost
But I’m homeless
Yes I’m homeless
I’m homeless...

Train stop
Bus stop
I’m lost
What stop

They could throw me away
They could throw me away
Like a plastic bag
They could throw me away
Like a plastic bag

P.O. promised me a three quarter house
Now they’re telliing me denied.
They could just throw me away.
Like a plastic bag.

Denied.
Denied.
Denied.
Denied...
Track Name: Headed to the Streets
Headed to the Streets
lyrics by B.L. Shirelle

I wake up sweatin’ sweatin’
I be sweatin’ in my sheets
Everytime I go to sleep
I be headed to the streets
I be diggin’ findin’ searchin’ for whoever got it cheap
I be rippin’ robbin’ murkin’ tryna settle all my beef
I had a dream like Martin Luther
It was killed by Freddie Krueger
Gotta live to find my purpose
Not accepting this defeat
I wake up sweating in my sheets
Everytime I go to sleep
I be headed to the streets

Another day another hope for a dolla’ I hit the pavement
Been filling out 20 applications
A day since I got out
I see my old niggas and they shout out
They like “What you need? I got you”
They pull they knots out
We start reminiscing
The good times get my attention
Gotta admit this shit is hard
I’m getting tempted
LIke fuck these hungry nights
Fuck these fried bologna nights
This shit is a lonely life
Lonely night
Lonely night

Without a call back I’ll make a little wealth
If I gotta chop a tree down make the paper myself
As I chop a key down I’m truly truly hating myself
Then out of a nightmare
I awaken myself

Give me my dreams or give me ya fiends
I’m haunted by the penitentiary screams
VICTIMIZED
Shiesty bitches with schemes
INSTITUTIONALIZED
I carry razors in the slits of my jeans
Hidden in seams
Tell me what this liberty means
Now that I’m out can I live and be free?
Can I work for a company that pays more than minimally?
Will I give up before I get to see what’s in it for me?
This ain’t about material
It’s about looking in the mirror seein’ inferior
Society don’t trust you – they couldn’t get any learier
I’m tired from my struggle – I couldn’t get any wearier
I’m happy, I’m sad, anxious, angry, plain hysteria
Mixed with terror
New territory – always scarier
I killed my old habits
Drug ‘em to a wooded area
But couldn’t seem to bury ‘em
Bag of bones I carry ‘em
Sick as fuck I cherish ‘em

I wake up wake up wake up
I wake up
I be sweatin’ in my sheets
Everytime I go to sleep
I be headed to the streets
I be diggin’ findin’ searchin’ for whoever got it cheap
I be rippin’ robbin’ murkin’ tryna settle all my beef
I had dream like Martin Luther it was killed by Freddie Krueger Gotta live to find my purpose not acceptin’ this defeat

BUT –
I WAKE UP
SWEATIN’ IN MY SHEETS
EVERYTIME I GO TO SLEEP
I BE HEADED TO THE –