So I’m from a stock
that pitch cocktail bombs and hand grenades.
We pour cayenne pepper around the perimeter of a building
to keep the police dogs at bay.
I’m the Panther Party
in the Desire Housing Projects in New Orleans.
I’m nigga turning the gun on the National Guards.
Take a long, long look.
I’m a cook in the kitchen
asking the missus to taste the dinner
take a long, long sip,
‘cuz death ain’t always this good.
It’s eyes popping out they sockets.
It’s a lifeless body rocking backwards and forwards.
It’s a boy stabbed forty-seven times
in front the church house.
It’s a man forty-three years old,
stuffing his penis in a nine-year-old girl’s mouth,
naw, death don’t always taste good
just don’t sound like something I want to eat often.
I hear them say
it was like a train came through the room
left mama so depressed she was unable to move
until this one day.
It was like a few months after the hurricane.
Husband and child found the trinity bloody in bed.
His wife, his son, his other daughter was dead,
and on the end table there was a letter that read,
it said, “I couldn’t stay here,
not for one minute longer,
and it made no sense for me to leave here alone,
’cause who would take care of my babies
with they mama gone?”
I’m telling you, death ain’t always good.
It’ll leave you fending for water and food.
It’ll riddle up your body in the Audubon Ballroom
They’ll El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz you,
crown you king, then dethrone you in a Lorraine Hotel.
They’ll disfigure your body to where folks can’t tell
if you Emmett Till or not,
tell the mama, “Keep that casket open,
let all the world see it ain’t just burning in Mississippi.”
Hell, it’s hot wherever you be,
from the rooftop to the cell block,
step on up to the auction block,
and bend over,
touch your toes,
son, show your teeth,
lift her titties,
examine his balls,
now, this damn near sound like a hip-hop song,
but it’s slavery at its peak,
a circus for all the freaks.
They’ll warn you, “Caution when you speak,”
can’t afford the truth to leak,
but will say “Blessed are the meek
and are the ones who make peace
and are the ones who are persecuted
for the sake of righteousness,”
for we say theirs is the kingdom,
earth is their inheritance.
So no matter how treacherous,
they’ll try to trap us in them trenches,
and they’ll dig deeper ditches,
but all that matters is this.
Which side will we pick,
which path will we choose.
either win or lose,
‘cuz death don’t come in vain,
not for us to remain enslaved
or our spirits to remain in cages.
It comes so we might be courageous
to fulfill our obligation to our God and all creation,
and stand in determination,
able to look death right in the face
and say we made it,
we made it,
we made it,
we made it.