Gil Scott-Heron Lyrics

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Message to the Rappers Lyrics

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Hey, yeah, we the same brothas from a long time ago
We was talkin about television and doin it on the radio
What we did was to help our generation realize
They had to get out there and get busy cause it wasnt gonna be televised
We got respect for you rappers and the way they be free-weighin
But if youre gon be teachin folks things, make sure you know what youre sayin
Older folks in our neighborhood got plenty of know-how
Remember if it wasnt for them, you wouldnt be out here now
And I aint comin at you with no disrespect
All Im sayin is that you damn well got to be correct
Because if youre gonna be speakin for a whole generation
And you know enough to try and handle their education
Make sure you know the real deal about past situations
It aint just repeatin what you heard on the local TV stations
Sometimes they tell lies and put em in a truthful disguise
But the truth is thats why we said it wouldnt be televised
They dont know what to say to our young folks, but they know that you do
And if they really knew the truthwhy would they tell you?
The first sign is peace, tell all them gun totin young brothas
That the man is glad to see us out there killin one another
We raised too much hell when they was shootin us down
So they started poisoning our minds tryin to jerk us all around
And they tell us they got to come in and control our situation
They want half of us on dope and the other half in incarceration
If the ones they want dead aint killed by what they instigated
They put some dope on a brothas body and claim it was drug related
Tell them drug related means there dont need to be no investigation
Or at least thats the way theyre gon play it on the local TV stations
All your 9-millimeter brothasgive them somthin to think about
Tell them you heard that this is the new word, they got to work that stuff out
But somehow they feel in the wrong way with a gun in their hands
They feel real independentbut they just pullin contracts for the man
Five and five will tell you its hopeless out there on the avenue
But if they really knew the truthwhy would they tell you?
And if they look at you like youre insane
And they start callin you scarecrow and say you aint got no brain
Or start tellin folks that you suddenly gone lame
Or that white folks had finally co-opted your game
Or worse yet implying that you dont really know
Thats the same thing they said about usa long time ago
Young rappers, one more suggestion before I get out of your way
But I appreciate the respect you give me and what you got to say
Im sayin protect your community and spread that respect around
Tell brothas and sistas they gotta calm that bullshit down
Cause were terrorizin our old folks and brought fear into our homes
And they aint got to hang out with the senior citizens
Just tell them, Dammitleave the old folks alone
And we know who rippin off the neighborhood, tell them, That BS has got to stop!
Tell them youre sorry they cant handle it out there
But they got to take the crime off the block
And if they look at you like youre insane
And they start callin you scarecrow and say you aint got no brain
Or start tellin folks that you suddenly gone lame
Or that white folks had finally co-opted your game
Or worse yet saying that you really dont know
Thats the same thing they said about me a long time ago
And if they tell folks that you finally lost your nerve
Thats the same thing they said about us, when we said, Johannesburg
But I think the young folks need to know, that things dont go both ways
You cant talk respect of every other song or just every other day
What Im speakin on now is the raps about the women folks
On one song shes your African Queen on the next one shes a joke
And you aint said no words that I havent heard, but that aint no compliment
It only insults eight people out of ten and questions your intelligence
Four letter words or four syllable words wont make you important
Itll only magnify how shallow you are and let everybody know it
And if they look at you like they think you insane
Or they call you scarecrow thinkin you aint got no brain
Or start tellin folks that you suddenly gone lame
Or that white folks have finally co-opted your game
Or you really dont knowThey said that about me a long time ago
If they finally start to tell people that you lost your nerve
Thats what they said about Johannesburg
You aint insaneyou have got a brain
You havent gone lame; you have got your game
Rememberkeep the nerve
Keep the nerve
Keep the nerve
Keep the nerve
Im talkin about peace

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