Plastic Bag

from Die Jim Crow EP by Various Artists

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about

"Plastic Bag" is the true story of Carl Dukes, who spent 31 years in the New York State prison system only to return to the streets homeless, shuffling from shelter to shelter. Though he would eventually secure quality housing, his first three months in society are vividly depicted in "Plastic Bag." Apostle Heloise, who spent four years in the NYS prison system, contributes a powerful rendition of Carl's words. For both Carl and Heloise this was their first time being professionally recorded.

lyrics

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 Wards Island

Exhausted
Beat
Hungry
But not broken.

This Wards 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...

credits

from Die Jim Crow EP, released May 1, 2016
Lyrics by Carl Dukes
Music by Carl Dukes and Ben Pagano
Vocal 1: Carl Dukes
Vocal 2: Apostle Heloise
Keyboard: Ben Pagano
Saxophone: Elliot “Stackman” Callier
Upright bass: David Conrad
Homeless guy: Tyree “Poem Da Rap” Wigfall

Vocals, keys, and upright bass recorded by dr. Israel at revolutionsound, Brooklyn NY.
Saxophone recorded by MJWB at Titty Pink Studios, New Orleans LA.
Sound effects recorded by Fury Young on the streets of New York.

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 Records Brooklyn, New York

DJC Records is a non-profit record label for formerly and currently incarcerated musicians.

We provide our artists a high-quality platform for their voices to be heard.

Brooklyn/Philly based.
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