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Dres (Black Sheep) • “Black with N.V.” • 1991

Now, harmony is a total love of things
For those who are inclined or better yet like to sing.
But piece of mind it is my right for the spark will ignite
Till I can catch a cab at the town at midnight,
Till I can be myself and not be thought as worse,
Till I can buy a slice from Howard Beach to the ‘Hurst.
Till I can get the pill without fear of eject,
And occupations which I seek I can have if I select.
Now, if I so select and reach out to make touch
How can you say that I ask for too much?

Dres, “Black with N.V.,” from Black Sheep’s A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, 1991

They been calling me a criminal for so damn long,
Start to believe they right…and they gon’ make me do something wrong.
You see me in the hood, you think I’m trynna rob you.
I’m just talking to you when you think I’m trynna con you?
No matter what, they gon’ call me a crook.
So you think I give a fuck if I look like a motherfuckin’ criminal?
Sticky Fingaz, “Look Like a Criminal,” from Onyx’s Against All Authority, 2015. More from Sticky…
They said he was dangerous, well, I’m concerned…
How could he be so dangerous with his back turned?
They said, “Freeze! Halt!” The brother stopped
Threw his hands in the air, yeah, and still he got shot.
They said he had a shiny object in his hand,
So they killed the man.
And is this justice? No way, José.
He didn’t get arrested, he was suspended with pay.
Talk about armed and dangerous, accounted…
How come I never heard nothin else about it?
I’m dead up, I’m goin head up, see, the buck stops
Here. I’m sick and tired of corrupt cops.
I gotta drop, cause I don’t think it will ever stop
My brain is a Tec-9 and it’s kept cocked.
And it’s got just a few more rounds to go,
They’re goin pound for pound, blow for blow.
You want peace? Let the unjust stuff cease:
If we don’t have justice, there’ll be no peace.
Lakim Shabazz, “No Justice No Peace,” The Lost Tribe of Shabazz, 1990
These days you can’t see who’s in cahoots,
Cause now the KKK wears three-piece suits.
Chuck D., “Rebirth,” from Public Enemy’s Apocalypse ‘91…The Enemy Strikes Black, 1991. Baseball legend Hank Aaron has been flooded with hate mail after his comments about racism in America last week. "We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country,“ said Aaron. "The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”