a tree never grown lyrics – mos def

“1, 2, 3, 4” 10x

[88 keys]
yo, this is 88…
this is for amadou diallo
rest in peace, you still here

yo, i’m in a brownstone singin like brownstone
bird’s eye view wit the bodega
know omega like rakim
thinkin about brother diallo
i find it hard to swallow
cuz 41 is a hard act to follow
who is it, it can happen tomorrow
goes down all the time in some african community
this one just hit closer to home
cuz it happen it in our backyard
this that *sh*t* bring us closer to home
they ask “what you writin fo’? what you writin on that
paper fo’?”
don’t ask me nuttin, just tell me
how is safer got me safe, that’s why my raps sour
my peoples screamin “black power!” and la razah
from the bronx, police bustin, it’s redemption time

now in the squad car, cpr’s supposed to be the motto
but in they minds, they be like “yo, i’ma do diallo”
i guess master’s noose was a bitter pill to swallow
cuz nowadays, tips ain’t the only things that’s hollow
const*tution, 41 more holes in it
and cops swingin sticks like they tryin to win the
and stickin sticks places where they ashamed to admit
but that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back
they gon’ get it!!

possessed by a nervous twitch and itchy writin finger
41 strokes through the barrel of pen for amadou
more than a few of my personal friends
since the beginning, it seems like it never ends
the story, ancient as lyrical allegory and it’s all
the little shop of city hall horrors
who bakes infiltrate, agent, provocator mission
*ss*ssinate the senate candidate, heavenly mandate

[chorus: mos def]
we proceeded on a country road
his mother’s eyes withered swoll
her child was never comin home
said a prayer for his soul
as the coffin had closed, committed to the earth below
first seed she would sew, would be a tree never grown
shade that was never known
who controls the terrordome, the member hearts made of
who love only what they own

stay on your toes for a true bruise description
match blue suits, walkin round wit a stick and *edit*
ready to blast wit the wrath of a hollow tip
and the fact is my task is a scholarship
i feel it in my chest cavit*ty
the only death’s apathy, so i change it for who’s next
after me
and that’s the fullest reward
keep the face of the lost on my bulletin board

yo yo, it’s blue uniform, sirens, names, and badge
clubs, walkie-talkies, recipies for bad summers
frisked, p*ssed after i tuck in my stuff
i really think they just like touchin my *nuts*
what’s real stain they thoughts
swear, but they won’t say it in court
all they do is change the report
riots, tryin to keep the crowd under control
they even got shows, cops, lapd, highway patrol yo yo

from the cradle to the grave, they made you a slave
brainwash to kill each other, that’s the plague that
they made
i search em like readin scripts that could save you
white is right, black is wrong, that’s the label they
fryin in h*ll, applyin jails, they got you dyin in
triple six in the mix, levine to ?spell?
prepare for the worst, and try to hope for the best
i take a stare at the he*rs*, can we cope wit the

[kofi taha]
i live in the land of punches
illegal chokeholds and excessive gunshots
where there’s one millionaire for every billion empty
and adolf guily think we static but he’s in for a shock
they come wit automatics but we flip it
use the one, create the four glocks and while stocks
get washed
while school doors get locked and when jobs get blocked
the confi-dence get’s rock
and when the welfares drop into the jails we stock now
after amadou wrestlin wit freedom tacks my mind into a
but *f*ck* h&r, i’m a true cat
refundin power back to our blocks


[tame one]
good life, you can bubble or struggle
use your brain muscle if you hustle
don’t let n*body touch you
don’t even trust the ones that trust you
cuz the ones you showin love to might bust
seekin as a cancer, my man got shot by haitians or
? wit confrontations and school my mind’s racin
i pride these sensations over this, now i’m hopin this
we shine for, i never got a chance to rhyme for
my role models sold bottles and stole cars
and when they got locked, i accepted all the phone
that’s when *n*gg*s* was real
back before i had a deal
back when people called villsburg hooterville

[jane doe]
my mind wonders on melodic jams
an exotic bird, caged wit the rage and the violence of
my words
the same things i down i turn around and do
the white cops say *f*ck you* but i say *f*ck you too!*
truth be totally hypocrites
and materialistic society, spirituality shunned or
while young kinds get gunned on
hibernatin in projects, which you project-ing
the pigs is crucifyin but africans is resurrectin, jane

battacky, sends cops to come and catch me
he better send a runnin back to run and track me
when i’m runnin through the back streets
the rat teeth of beast lovin to black me
eatin brothers like a picinic color cuz that’s sweet
to lock a man up in prison, the standard of livin
thinkin they make a better bred of man
than the man when he went in
rub up a man for sinnin
handcuff his hands to the system, banned from his
wit insanity in him, his mind roams wit like a cyclone
damagin victim, his eyes hold savage within him
wrath wit the venom, poison his life
no ointment to boisten the might
if it’s on the left, walk to the right
until death, do your part do your life
like a boyfriend and wife, because the day times
shorter than night
you know?


[88 keys]
yo, black is fragile remember that
cherish everyday
live life to the fullest, aight?

/ mos def lyrics