Tired and Weary

from by Die Jim Crow

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Tired and Weary is the true story of Anthony McKinney, who has been incarcerated since 2005 for a murder he did not commit. Every lyric is a real life experience (aside from the "all white" jury, which was based on the trial of DJC artist Spoon Jackson, whose all white jury sentenced him to life without parole), and the courtroom dialogue is identical to the transcript. Anthony has been fighting for his release the entire time of his incarceration.

Tired and Weary was recorded at Warren Correctional Institution with Anthony singing, playing guitar, and drumming. The background vocalists (aside from vocal coach Lauren Kelly Benson), recorded at revolutionsound in Brooklyn NY, are all formerly incarcerated women.


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!
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?
They’ll hold you down til you’re through
There’s so many things you can do
Make you believe there’s not nothing left
You got life there’s no second chance

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?


from Die Jim Crow EP, released May 1, 2016
Lyrics by Anthony “Big Ant” McKinney
Music by Anthony McKinney
Vocals, guitar, drums: Anthony McKinney
Organ: Ben Pagano
Bass: Josh Werner
Saxophone: Elliot “Stackman” Callier
Judge: Harold Spivack
Background vocals: Pastor Anna Smith, Apostle Heloise, Ezette Edouard, Lauren Kelly Benson

Vocals, drums, and guitar recorded by dr. Israel at Warren Correctional Institution, Lebanon OH.
Background vocals and organ recorded by dr. Israel at revolutionsound, Brooklyn NY.
Bass recorded by Josh Werner at home studio, Brooklyn NY.
Saxophone recorded by MJWB at Titty Pink Studios, New Orleans LA.
Judge recorded by Fury Young at Zayde Studios, Long Island 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.

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