First Impressions

from by Die Jim Crow

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First Impressions began with the lyrics of Charles "C-Will" Williams, whose visceral first-hand experience of entering prison lay the groundwork for the collaboration between him and B.L. Shirelle. When DJC producer Fury Young began writing B.L. (at this point she was incarcerated at Muncy SCI), he knew her style would compliment the words of C-Will, so Fury sent B.L. the song to add her story to.

C-Will's vocals and the core musical elements (percussion and guitar) were recorded at Warren Correctional Institution in November 2015. When B.L. was released in December 2015, Fury and dr. Israel recorded her parts in Philly, PA.


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


from Die Jim Crow EP, released May 1, 2016
Lyrics by Charles “C-Will” Williams and B.L. Shirelle
Music by Fury Young
Guitar: Anthony “Big Ant” McKinney
Guitar, bass: gHSTS & gUITARS
Percussion: Mark B. Springer
Trumpet: Dexter Nurse
Organ: dr. Israel

C-will’s vocal, guitar, and percussion recorded by dr. Israel at Warren Correctional Institution, Lebanon OH.
B.L. Shirelle’s vocal recorded by dr. Israel at Woo Woo Studios, Philadelphia PA.
Bass, additional guitar, organ, and trumpet recorded by dr. Israel at revolutionsound, Brooklyn NY.

Produced by Fury Young
Co-producer/Engineer: dr. Israel
Mixed by dr. Israel
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at TurtleTone Studio NYC



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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.
facebook, twitter, instagram: /diejimcrow
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