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01
The Beginning (Interlude)

The Beginning (Interlude)

I feel like history on the turntables
Old school to new school
Like nothing ever been realer
On the history of the turntables
I'm the mystery of what's inside the speaker cables
I'm Nina Simone in the park and Harlem in the dark
I'm the musical to the project fables
I'm the words scratched out on the record label
I'm the wind when the record spins
I'm the dramatic static before the song begins
I'm the erratic energy that gets in your skin
And if you don't let me in
I'm the shot in the air when the party ends

02
The Gospel

The Gospel

[Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface:]
Oh yeah, coming through with my Shaolin crew
Two cent for a case, gimme St. Ide's brew
In the midst of broken bottles and crushed up cans
Methtical's in a jam, oh how dry I am
With St. Ides in my system
Crack another I'm blessed, let's go get the next one
And get over, the object is to stay sober
Lay on the sofa, better yet, dial my chauffeur
Call me the Wallabee Champ, stretched out, could never be Son
Ricochet daily hit the deli for a cold one
Naturally blessed, yes, my rap is like a laser beam
Laser beam, laser beam, laser beam...

[Alicia Keys:]
Uh, yeah, okay
Sing

So we all got children, products of the ghetto
Momma cooked us soup, daddy did the yelling
Uncle was a drunk, cousin was a felon
When he got pitched, he told them he wasn't tellin'
Auntie was a cook, her husband was a crook
Cause every job he had they be payin' him off the books
Ghetto university, knowledge is all it took
In a tenement I was listenin' to the hook
Change gon' come, the spirit of Sam Cook
When the feds comin', everybody get shook
Now we doin' life like Eddie Murphy and Martin
On the chain gang, I was singing into the coffin

The roaches and the rats, heroin and the cracks
Couldn't blame me, I'm just giving the facts
Tryna hit the top, the bottom ain't where it's at
Everybody got a past but you can never go back

Sing
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (yeah)...

Tellin' you like it is, how we ever gon' live?
If we ain't gettin' money, how we feedin' the kids?
It's a revolving door, where brothers be doin' bids
I know it sound wrong but the door will be what it is
Survival of the fittest, this poor girl the illest
Broke parents and black cats give me heebie-geebies
Life seems hard but nothin' ever comes easy
Whatever's in the dark, can always become the light
If you ain't in a battle, how you gon' win the fight?
Gotta speak the truth when I'm up in the booth
The streets be flyin' birds but they don't be on the roof
Poverty is a pain like you pullin' a tooth
Told the streets don't let me go like I'm Bishop in Juice

The roaches and the rats, heroin and the cracks
Couldn't blame me, I'm just giving the facts
Tryna hit the top, the bottom ain't where it's at
Everybody got a past but you can never go back

Sing
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (yeah)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (yeah)
(Gotta sing)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (yeah)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (yeah)

(She's a king)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (yeah)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (yeah)
Let me hear you say, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...

03
Pawn It All

Pawn It All

Yeah, ah
Yeah, ah
Yeah, ah
Yeah, ah

I will pawn you my watch
I will pawn you my chain
I will pawn you this gold and diamond ring
'Cause I need it so bad
I would give you everything
Just so I could start my life over again

Sometimes you gotta let it go
Just to make it possible
Sometimes you gotta do it
Be willing to lose it
Freedom has no price, you know
Thinking how we gonna make it now
How we gonna feed the babies now
We gonna make it through it
God gonna see to it
Just get up and do it now

I will pawn you my watch
I will pawn you my chain
I will pawn you this gold and diamond ring
'Cause I need it so bad
I would give you everything
Just so I could start my life over again

Get on up (hey)
Get on up (hey)
Get on up (hey)
Get on up (hey)
Get on up

See, I learned the hard way
Now I'm doing it my way
'Cause life is too short to fall in New York
Can't get up and get away
So I gotta let it all go
Start back from zero
'Cause I've give it up, I don't give a fuck
As long is my hero

I will pawn you my watch
I will pawn you my chain
I will pawn you this gold and diamond ring
'Cause I need it so bad
I would give you everything
Just so I could start my life over again

I will pawn you my watch
I will pawn you my chain
I will pawn you this gold and diamond ring
'Cause I need it so bad
I would give you everything
Just so I could start my life over again

Get on up (hey)
Get on up (hey)
Get on up (hey)
Get on up (hey)
Get on up

04
Elaine Brown (Interlude)

Elaine Brown (Interlude)

Okay, can I do one more? It's really quick.
So he said, "Blow black mother, black mother."
He always announce the title and say, "black mother."
This is rap, this is hip hop, this is all that, from the street.
Poetry from the street

Black mother, I must confess that I still breathe
Though you are not yet free
What could justify my prying?
Stop forgive my coward's heart
But blame me not for sheepish needs
While we sleeping in a deep-deep sleep
And I be hazed and dazed and
Fight especially for my hair
Black mother, I curse your drudging years
Your rapes, heart aches, sweat, and tears
But I swear on siege night
Dark and gloom
A rose I wear to honor you
And when I fall, a rose in hand
You will be free and amen for slave of [?]
Can't balance out the two damn flies
I'd rather be without the shame
A bullet lodged within my brain, black mother

05
Kill Your Mama

Kill Your Mama

Shame on us, on your sons and your daughters
Dig all your gold and we poisoned all your waters
Every piece of our soul is for sale
Now they bought us
Think we know it all
Then look where it got us

Oh, mama, mama
Oh, mama, mama
You're crying to the wind

Trying to play God
People fucking with genetics
All that you have given and we only disrespected
The rate that we’re going premature Armageddon
That's what gonna happen if we let it

Oh, mama, mama
Oh, mama, mama
You're crying to the wind

Is there any savin' us
We've become so dangerous
Is there any change in us
Even for the sake of love
How you gonna kill your mama
When only mama is gonna love you to the grave

Killing our selves
Falling down with the sickness
Money is the king
It's a dirty bloody business
There will be no trial
But the child will always witness
If we are in love with hell
Why the hell would heaven visit

Oh, mama, mama
Oh, mama, mama
You're crying to the wind

When mama gets the belt you gon' wish you didn't do it
Had your chance for redemption
But you fucking blew it
Now the weather is changing it and the hurricane is moving
Right in your direction
What direction are you choosing

Oh, mama, mama
Oh, mama, mama
Forgive us for your pain

Is there any savin' us
We've become so dangerous
Is there any change in us
Even for the sake of love
How you gonna kill your mama
When only mama is gonna love you to the grave

How you gonna kill your mama
How you gonna kill your mama

06
She Don't Really Care_1 Luv

She Don't Really Care_1 Luv

She grew up in Brooklyn
She grew up in Harlem
She grew up in Bronx
She know she was a queen
She lived in Queens
Oh yeah, oh yeah
But she don't really care
She don't really care
She throw them diamonds in the air
Diamonds in the air
Oh yeah, oh yeah

She lived in Somalia
Her parents from Egypt
She was a queen in Cairo
I see y'all, I see y'all
(Oh yeah, oh yeah)

But she don't really care
She don't really care
She throw them diamonds in the air
Diamonds in the air
Oh yeah, oh yeah

She picking all the wrong ones
And she's looking for the right one in the wrong place
You remember her face? The prettiest face, prettiest face
(Oh yeah, oh yeah)
She looking for fulfillment
You would think she was looking for love, searching for love
She just looking to be taken care of
(Oh yeah, oh yeah)
You can find her in Harlem or Brooklyn
You can find her Brixton or Kingston
She's a queen, know what I mean?
(Oh yeah, oh yeah)
She think she want a baby and she do it with the wrong one
Cause she's looking for something but he don't really care
He don't really care
And life just isn't fair

She grew up in Brooklyn (Uh-huh)
She grew up in Harlem (Harlem)
She grew up in Bronx
She know she was a queen (A queen)
She lived in Queens (Uh-huh)
Oh yeah, oh yeah
She don't really care
She don't really care
(She throw them diamonds in the air)
Diamonds in the air, yeah
(Oh yeah, oh yeah)

She lived in Somalia, talk about it
(Her parents from Egypt) Egypt
(She was a queen in Cairo)
She's a queen, yeah
(Oh yeah, oh yeah)
But she don't really care
She don't really care
(She throw them diamonds in the air)
Diamonds in the air
(Oh yeah, oh yeah)

(Oh yeah, oh yeah)
(Oh yeah, oh yeah)
She lived in Somalia
Her parents from Egypt
She was a queen in Cairo
She's a queen, yeah
But she don't really care
She don't really care
She throw them diamonds in the...
Diamonds in the air

07
Elevate (Interlude)

Elevate (Interlude)

[Nas:]
I already know how to touch you, I already know. Because you gotta always add on, you can't bring, can't just do what was done. You gotta always add on, we always build, we always grow, we elevate. It's by elevation, so, the way I touch this now, it's just gotta be like.. like the gods is like, yeah

[Alicia:]
Yeah, they're like oh! He blew my mind!

[Nas:]
Yeah

[Alicia:]
Wow I think that's a really ill perspective

[Nas:]
She was like when I was telling her stuff, oh I can go on too...

08
Illusion Of Bliss

Illusion Of Bliss

You know, right now I miss someone that I love
Or fell in love with
I don't wanna cry or nothing but
I'mma just get straight to the story
I'm a 29 year old addict

What would you know?
What would you do?
If you had no control over what you pursue?
Talk yourself, tell yourself, baby
"I'm better than this"
All that I'm fighting
I'm the one who resist

And so I persist
Like a bottomless kiss
An illusion of bliss
An illusion of bliss
And so I persist
Like a bottomless kiss
An illusion of bliss
An iIllusion of bliss

Hey, living in prison of blood and flesh
An easy way out is this high, I confess
So watcha lookin' at?
What do you wanna see?
You can't save me, baby
I don't want it no way

And so I persist
Like a bottomless kiss
An illusion of bliss
An illusion of bliss
And so I persist
Like a bottomless kiss
An illusion of bliss

Is it my life ain't no easy road
I don't know which way to go
Won't somebody see me when I can't see myself
Won't somebody listen before I need help
I'm sick of being judged, sick of being sick
Tell me where's the love, tired being tricked
Sick of being high, sick of being low
Sick of all the lies putting on the show
And so I persist
And so I persist
Like a bottomless kiss
An illusion of bliss
An illusion of bliss

I, I don't wanna be a fallen angel
I, I don't wanna be a fallen angel
Don't say I'm gone, gone
I don't wanna be a fallen angel
Don't say I'm lost, lost
I don't wanna be a fallen angel
Don't say I'm gone, gone
I don't wanna be a fallen angel
Don't say I'm lost, lost
I don't wanna be a fallen angel

09
Blended Family (What You Do For Love) feat. A$AP Rocky

Blended Family (What You Do For Love) feat. A$AP Rocky

[Alicia Keys:]
Hey I might not really be your mother
But that don't mean that I don't really love ya
And even though I married your father
That's not the only reason I'm here for ya

I think you're beautiful
I think you're perfect
I know how hard it gets
But I swear it's worth it, worth it

Cause what you do, what you do, what you do, what you do for love
There ain't nothing, there ain't nothing, there ain't nothing I won't do for us
It may not be easy, this blended family, but baby
Cause what you do, what you do, what you do, what you do for love, love

I know it started with a little drama
I hate you had to read it in the paper
But everything's over with me being your mama
Baby everybody here you know adores ya

And I think it's beautiful
I think it's perfect
I know how hard it gets
But I swear it's worth it, worth it

Cause what you do, what you do, what you do, what you do for love
There ain't nothing, there ain't nothing, there ain't nothing I won't do for us
It may not be easy, this blended family, but baby
Cause what you do, what you do, what you do, what you do for love, love

[A$AP Rocky & Alicia Keys:]
For love, for love
Are you this real, my true love?
Cause you're my baby, rejoice daily
I believe love could bring us closer than blood

[A$AP Rocky:]
I remember having four step moms at nine
Loved Christmas time and birthday was fly
Ate at my sisters just for dinner cause the cookin' was bomb
Her mother's supper made me love her like she took me to prom (uh)
And shoutout to my sisters on welfare
Flacko care, nobody else care
And shoutout to the step sisters and the step brothers
And god-sisters, who eventually slept with us

[A$AP Rocky & Alicia Keys:]
Real love, but you did it alright, alright
I'm here for you
Everything is alright, alright

[Alicia Keys:]
Cause what you do, what you do, what you do, what you do for love (yes, just what you do)
There ain't nothing, there ain't nothing, there ain't nothing I won't do for us (for you, baby)
It may not be easy, this blended family, but baby
Cause what you do, what you do, what you do, what you do for love, love

That's just what you do, yeah (for love)
For love of the babies (for love)
We're a blended family (for love)
And it's alright (for love)
Said it's alright!

10
Work On It

Work On It

Work on it, work on it
Work on it, baby

Oh baby, some may think that we moved too fast
But I know you and you know me
Baby, that's what makes it last
Darling, so many lies were spread about us
Oh, that's the heartache, that's the heartache
That makes us build all the trust

I know some people like to say
That the easiest way is to fake it
We gonna make it if we try
Gotta promise not to abuse it
If you use it, don't lose it or break it
'Cause we gonna make it
You and I

When they see us coming they'll say
When they see us coming they'll say

Some days are hard
There ain't no easy way
No matter how we try
Nobody is perfect
But if we just love each other through it all
Baby, now that makes it worth it

I know some people try to say that
The easiest way is to fake it
We gonna make it if we try
Gotta promise not to abuse it
If you use it, don't lose it or break it
We gonna make it
You and I

When they hear us coming they'll say
When they hear us coming they'll say

When they feel us coming they'll say
When they feel us coming they'll say

Oh, we gonna work on it, baby
Me and you, we gonna work on it, baby

11
Cocoa Butter (Cross & Pic Interlude)

Cocoa Butter (Cross & Pic Interlude)

[Man 1:] ...You're supposed to put cocoa butter on your whole body

[Man 2:] Listen I'm talking to remove something that you're insecure about. But listen man, are you insecure about anything on you? No. But there's women that's insecure about stretch mark

[Alicia:] You insecure about something, what you insecure about? Now you gon' have to share

[Man 2:] My chipped tooth. I'm insecure about this bunion I got on my foot. Women are insecure about stretch marks, that's why they hide 'em. That's why they say stretch marks are your beauty scars. You just say, you wanna hit someone. Is you gonna hit, the joint you put me on one time was beautiful. Which joint I put you on? listen but her stomach was a prune but I still kissed her

[Man 1:] Hold up, listen, listen. This is the thing. If you kissed her stomach and you cut your lip...

12
Girl Can't Be Herself

Girl Can't Be Herself

When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world
When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world

In the morning from the minute that I wake up
What if I don't want to put on all that make up?
Who says I must conceal what I'm made of?
Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem
Whose job is it to straighten out my curves?
I'm so tired of that image, that's my word
What if today I don't feel like putting heels on?
Who are you to criticize when beauty's only in the eyes...
Of the beholder, so behold her
Sing, sing, sing, why, oh, oh, oh, why, oh?

When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world
When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world

Uh, uh, I'm so secure with insecurities
Why is being unique such an impurity?
Why are the numbers on the scale like a God to me?
All of these indifferences are based on our appearances
We please to be appeased
The truest pleasure is the fact that we can breathe
Think it into existence, do it, then achieve
A fairy tale reality, beauty was with a beast
Uh, uh, uh, you're the image of my reflection
Ah, ah, ah, I'm the image of your reflection
Sing, sing, sing, why, oh, oh, oh, why, oh?

When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world
When a girl can't be herself no more
I just wanna cry, I just wanna cry for the world

13
You Glow (Interlude)

You Glow (Interlude)

I heard this lil girl in PS257 yelled out one day to the teacher and said "that shit is whack" and she stood up in the classroom and walked up from the back and stood in front of the classroom where her history was attacked and said, "You are not niggers, as a matter of fact you are not really even black, I'll prove it to you, I'll put every last one of y'all in a row, put some Vasoline and baby oil in your face and look in the mirror. Look my beloved, you glow.

14
More Than We Know

More Than We Know

Uh come on, yes
(What y'all know about that?...shit's hard)

If I could breathe underwater
Every fish would walk on land
If I could fly in the sky baby
Then wings would be on me
If words could move mountains
If I could swim the ocean without drownin'
If there was pain without hurtin'
Then the impossible has been found

'Cause baby we can do more than we know, more than we know
And baby, baby, oh, there's more than we know, more than we know

Yeah, yeah, if I could moonwalk on the moon
I would glide to you baby
I'd go to war like a platoon
I'd be right there on the front lines
No broken promises in the Promised Land
Let's let freedom set us free again

'Cause baby we can do more than we know, more than we know
And baby, baby, oh, there's more than we know, more than we know

Uh, yeah, uh
See if we just stayed on the ground
Then we would never see the stars
And if you're too afraid to walk in faith
Then you will never know your heart
And if we just stayed on the corner
Then we would never see the world
'Cause baby there's no fate that you can't create

'Cause baby we can do more than we know, more than we know
And baby, baby, oh, there's more than we know, more than we know
Baby we can do more than we know, more than we know
(Yeah darlin')
'Cause baby, baby, oh, there's more than we know, more than we know

If we can believe baby
Do you believe it baby
Do you believe in me darlin'?
(More than we know)
Do you trust in me baby?
When I tell you we can do it
Let me show you we can do it
We can go
(More than we know)
Oh, oh, oh, oh
(More than we know)
Woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo, woo-hoo
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Hey, hey, hey, put 'em back up around
Hey, hey, hey
More than we know
'Cause baby we can do more than we know

15
Where Do We Begin Now

Where Do We Begin Now

What they're gonna do 'cause we're the same sex?
And we're spending all this time
This could be the love we ain't made yet
Even though it's on my mind
We ain't even had a conversation
But do you wanna testify?

How will I know this love is strong?
How would it tells when it goes wrong, goes wrong?

Oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh
Where do we begin now?
Oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh
Where do we begin now?
What will we tell our friends now?

I had a dream about you last night
Then it kinda blow my mind
All I really know is that it feels right
And I gotta live my life
We ain't even had a conversation
Let me be the first to testify

How will I know this love is strong?
How would it tells when it goes wrong, goes wrong?

Oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh
Where do we begin now?
Oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh
Where do we begin now?
What will we tell our friends now?

I'm gonna let you know, I'm gonna let you know
I'm gonna let you know, oh oh oh
I'm gonna let you know, I'm gonna let you know
I'm gonna let you know, oh oh oh
I'm gonna let you know, I'm gonna let you know
I'm gonna let you know, oh oh oh
I'm gonna let you know, I'm gonna let you know
I'm gonna let you know, oh oh oh

16
Holy War

Holy War

If war is holy and sex is obscene
We've got it twisted in this lucid dream
Baptized in boundaries, schooled in sin
Divided by difference, sexuality and skin

Oh so we can hate each other and fear each other
We can build these walls between each other
Baby, blow by blow and brick by brick
Keep yourself locked in, yourself locked in
Yeah we can hate each other and fear each other
We can build these walls between each other
Baby, blow by blow and brick by brick
Keep yourself locked in, yourself locked

Oh maybe we should love somebody
Oh maybe we could care a little more
So maybe we should love somebody
Instead of polishing the bombs of holy war

What if sex was holy and war was obscene
And it wasn't twisted, what a wonderful dream
Living for love, unafraid of the end
Forgiveness is the only real revenge

Oh so we can heal each other and fill each other
We can break these walls between each other
Baby, blow by blow and brick by brick
Keep yourself open, yourself open
Yeah we can heal each other and fill each other
We can break these walls between each other
Baby, blow by blow and brick by brick
Keep yourself open, you're open

So maybe we should love somebody
Maybe we could care a little more
So maybe we should love somebody
Instead of polishing the bombs of holy war

What if love was holy and hate obscene
We should give life to this beautiful dream
Cause peace and love ain't so far
If we nurse our wounds before they scar
Nurse our wounds before they scar