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(soft music)

White justice in a black robe

And I pray the Lord have mercy on my black soul

And I'm so tired of getting back door

And I'd be rich if I had a dollar

For every door that got closed

- It's still a surreal feeling.

It's almost like I'm in a dream state.

(soft music)

(sirens wailing)

The anxiety level was through the roof.

Will my past come back to haunt me?

Everything that destroyed me is right there.

You know I pray that I'm ready.

Hey what's going on, brother?

Alright.

It's a maze over there, man,

of just death, hell, and destruction.

Used to be a bench over there.

I was sitting on it one time waiting on this guy

to bring me some weed out the building.

A white Bonneville pulled up.

A guy got out with a revolver and shot him in his head.

I'll never forget feeling blood just splatter on my face

and I couldn't hear because my ears were ringing

and I remember walking back to Duval Street

where my daddy house was covered in blood

and my daddy told me I had to make a decision then.

Either you was gonna be a wolf or a sheep.

And if I was gonna be a sheep, clean myself up,

and go stay with my mama.

If I'ma be a wolf, lick the blood off and stay with him.

I was about maybe 15 years old.

I got addicted to crack out here.

Heroin.

Pain pills.

I just medicated myself to deal

with a lot of the stuff I seen.

Once I started getting high, I couldn't sell drugs no more

because I did 'em all so I'll just sit and let you sell 'em

and then come take everything.

At one time it was either give it to me or give it to God

and God don't want it.

And that's how I was.

Just wild.

Any robberies, home invasions,

chasing people down the street with guns.

I feel guilt.

I feel a little shame.

At the same time I feel empowered

because I feel like if I could change, anybody could.

When I came to the Richmond City Jail,

I was feeling helpless, lost.

(bright music)

I walked in the pod.

Initially I was apprehensive

like I'm not going in no damn program.

- There's no gangstas up here, fellas.

It's about changing attitudes and behavior.

You have to do something different.

You have to, fellas.

(bright music)

- I believe in the debt.

Second chances, they deserve it and I'm gon' give it to 'em.

- [Woman] Let's just look this over.

- [Man] Yes ma'am.

- [Woman] It says which he then took place

before the decoration.

- Man, if heroin is the answer, what is the question?

- [Man] Man, I'm not going in no program,

but I love music so I went.

(gentle music)

- [Woman] Walk on through.

- Where is it at?

It's in a secret pocket.

- No secret in the pockets.

Arms out to the side.

Alright.

- Thank you.

- So this is one of our male program pods.

So right now we have about 65 men on here.

Everybody you see on here has volunteered

to be apart of the program.

So they're here for however long they want based on behavior

or until we remove them possibly.

(audience clapping)

- What's up brothers?

How y'all doing?

My name is Speech.

And I'm from the hip hop crew Arrested Development.

We call our music life music,

which means that we appreciate this journey of life.

We heard about what the sheriff was doing here

and how unique it was and I personally wanted

to come here and get immersed into it all and help out.

So I'm gonna be here for the next almost two weeks

and we're gonna be writing some music.

So maybe I'll get to see y'all again at some point,

but thanks y'all for having me.

(audience clapping)

So if y'all don't mind I'd like

to do a little something for you.

Is that cool?

Lord I've really been real stressed

Down and out

Losing ground

Although I am black and proud

Problems got me pessimistic

Brothers and sisters keep messing up

Why does it have to be so darn tough

I don't know where I can go

To let these ghosts out of my skull

My band Arrested Development has always

wanted to address issues that are affecting our community

and I'm still just as passionate

about that as I ever was.

Even right now, it's essential to who I am.

To be my God enforcing truth

For some strange reason it had to be

He guided me to Tennessee

Take me to another place

Take me to another land

Make me forget all that hurts me

Let me understand your plan

Take me to another

I know we have this issue of incarceration

and it's a huge problem in our country.

We have the largest prison population in the planet earth.

- [Man] Five second noise level check.

- [Group] Five second noise level check.

- [Man] Here's your cell break.

Please get ready for lunch.

Thanks for letting me share.

- [Group] Thank you sir.

- In some states, one in four black males

are gonna spend time in prison.

That's a lot.

And I know that we don't necessarily have all the solutions.

We're also not asking the people on the inside

why they're actually there.

These are our people.

It's people from our community

and they have things that they need

to be able to say to all of us

and I wanna help to bring that out through music.

- [Man] Yes sir.

- And then I got the speakers off.

I'ma get a level on your--

- Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo.

Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo.

I ain't gonna be that loud though.

That's too loud.

Yo.

Yo.

Well I got some spoken word.

I got some different things.

- Okay, let's try it.

So I think I got a level.

- So what you're gonna do is record this

before you make the beat?

- Exactly.

- Oh you're a professional.

- I'm a professional.

That is true (laughs).

That is true.

Here go.

One, two, three.

I was just a nomad

Yeah the pain up in my past

Yeah the is just so sad

Man, one more time, Speech.

My bad.

Only things that I did even

Ah.

Only things that I did even being a kid

The pain of blessings I'ma make it

Even though I'm messed up

It ain't.

That ain't.

The pain is blessings

The pain is blessings

I'ma make it even though I'm messed up

- I love that right there.

The pain is blessings

I'ma make it even though I'm messed up

- [Speech] Here we go.

- Alright.

The pain is blessings

I'ma make it

Ah man, I can't rap slow like that, man.

I rap fast talking about money and drugs and stuff.

It's hard, man.

It actually irritates me

because I'm trying to change so much, man.

Talking about this positivity is very hard to do.

- [Speech] Well see, brother.

- You know what I mean?

I been in this joint so long.

Repetitiveness so much.

If you put me on a freestyle,

give me a blunt and a bottle, I could just rip it.

- I totally get you.

You're putting it down on wax,

so it's supposed to take time.

So don't be frustrated.

It's good.

I'm just curious and I don't know

if you wanna share this or not, but what's your story?

Like how did you even end up here?

- I'm learning something in here.

Something called trauma.

And all of these things that I'm going through now

started back then without me knowing it.

This is what confused me and I think messed my life up.

Right here this moment.

One day, my stepdad beat the breaks out of my mother.

My mom lip was swole, her eye was closed,

and she could barely see out the other eye and I came home.

I called the police officers.

Police came to the door.

My mother answered the door and the police officer said,

ma'am what's wrong with your face?

Are you alright?

Is this man hitting you?

And she said no, I fell.

They could not take Travis.

They couldn't take him because she said that.

So that point, I didn't understand what life was made of.

I didn't know what it was about

because he just beat the bricks off you, mom.

I tried to help you and save you and you know he left.

When the police left, Travis beat the breaks off me.

He was whooping me for so long,

my legs was swollen and purple

and I remember that he told me the next day.

It was summertime.

The next day he told me that I better wear

these Wrangler jeans so the people don't see my legs.

Look I started with nothing

Ain't no pain, no discussion

Need to change my direction

Or just gon' cause an eruption

I think I'm way too explosive

Think it's too much destruction

I got some pain up on my name

And it's waiting to crush me

I been dancing with devils

Up on way higher levels

I need the ax and the shovel

Just to clear out the rubble

Went through 13 different foster homes.

Seven different group homes.

I ran away from everyone.

Started playing with guns.

I started smoking weed everyday.

Then when I got older and progressed,

I started sipping lean and I was drinking so much yellow

and green promethazine that I started having seizures.

Then I was popping pills and then I was sniffing dope

because I was selling dope.

I became the plug.

That's where I ended up at, man.

That's how I ended up here, man.

You know what I mean? - Wow.

- I don't have no one.

I been homeless for the last like two years.

I wrote the truth so y'all can have something to listen to

Hopefully I get it through

All the dreams I didn't do

I remember being in my cell while I'm missing you

Missing you

- [Speech] We got it.

We're good.

Anthony.

- Yeah.

- [Speech] Dude.

That was my pleasure.

- That's what's up, man.

I appreciate you taking time out of your day

to come see people that's locked up, man,

and speak in numbers, man, 'cause you can be at home

with cucumbers over your eyes.

You know what I mean?

Drinking a daiquiri.

- That's exactly what I usually do.

- You know what I'm saying?

- Little daiquiri with my pinky up.

- You put the cucumbers on your eyes?

- [Speech] I do.

I put the cucumbers.

- Word.

- I do that on a daily.

- Word.

I only seen it on movies but right now I would've ate 'em.

Little bit of ranch.

- [Man] Yo.

(bright music)

How you feel?

- I tell my story.

When I was doing heroin, I OD'd 15, 16 times,

but when I do, when I go back out there,

I go back out there looking for some more.

That's the sickness of the disease.

So I got to change my thinking.

- A jail is a short term holding facility.

People are only here for on average four to five months.

Whether they are to be released back into the community

or shipped to prison.

Everybody is in some sort of transition.

It's our job as a programming department

to make sure that they have that transformation

that they need so they don't get out

and continue to do the same thing.

Thus leading back to incarceration.

- Eventually you know what happened

'cause that demon is just laying there dormant.

Laying there dormant waiting for the opportunity to arrive.

- [Sarah] Not everybody's gonna change.

Not everybody's gonna make it.

We have lost I wanna say nine people have gotten out

and overdosed and died.

- [Garland] Hey yeah hey.

Five second noise level check.

- [Group] Five second noise level check.

- My name is Garland and we'll hey alright.

We'll close this out with the serenity prayer.

Alright.

Who can count all the little hairs on your head?

- [Group] God, grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Just for today amen.

- You know any time I've ever broke the law,

it's been because I'm doing drugs.

You know what I mean?

You know I don't think I was ever a threat

to anybody when I wasn't drugs.

Truth is, man, seems like when I am, all bets are off.

You know?

(guitar music)

I was torn to pieces

For you charged me at the door

Found my smoking numbers

Scrape me off of the floor

Smoky black lit cabaret

Stir something in my soul

The DJ showing the spotlight now

And you swung around the pole

Wearing six inch heels

Please relieve me of my dollar bills

I thought I had the blues

Then I saw you in them shoes

And it changed the way I feel

All six inch heels

The Webster defines a desperado as a reckless criminal.

At the time I was, you know, I was embracing that.

I don't guess I had much of a plan.

My dream was to be a bouncer at a strip club.

Sweet scent and rhythm with a slipper made of glass

Wearing six inch heels

- If I can ask, what are you in for in the first place?

- Man, heroin has been my demise.

I started doing dope at about 20.

I think I was high on dope on my 22nd birthday.

It's a little over 10 years ago.

I was a white kid that took a wrong turn

after culinary school, you know.

Finding my way into quite a bit of trouble real quick.

Couple of grand larcenies in the name of drugs.

And then came home.

Did good for awhile.

About a year.

And then started doing dope again

and then went back for a bank robbery.

Did seven years for that.

And then lasted like nine months, man, unfortunately.

Locked back up again.

- This is now?

- Yes.

Now the hours upon me

To settle up my tab so

Give a goodnight kiss and pour me in a cab

I don't know how much longer I'm gonna be here,

but I wanna get out and I really feel like I need

to fulfill my destiny and it has a great deal

to do with playing music.

Wearing six inch heels

I think I'll get one more shot though.

I think it'll be my last one.

All six inch heels

(phone ringing)

- [Yolanda] Hello?

- My queen.

- [Yolanda] Hey baby.

- Hey.

You know I was nervous as you well know.

You know coming and just like how am I gonna be used?

And what's my point?

What's my purpose?

Already my wheels are turning.

As far as songs I wanna write.

- [Yolanda] You know I was praying for you this morning

and I was just praying that your eyes will be open.

- Yeah, yeah.

It's one thing to just be in a jail

and know that there's a problem.

It's another to start seeing people trapped in a cycle.

They're striving to overcome demons

that are just simply hard to overcome.

- Good morning.

- [Teddy] Good morning, how you doing?

- Alright.

How can I help you today?

- I'm here to see Sarah.

Doctor Scarborough.

- You have anything in your pockets?

Cell phones, the rest, liters.

Take it out and put it in here.

- [Teddy] I been out a little over a month.

I'm supposed to be working with Sarah

to help me to get a job.

- [Sarah] Is it like is it surreal

that this is happening like?

You're in the jail as a guest, as a civilian.

- Yes, it's strange.

I don't know.

I feel better.

(gentle music)

Was at juvenile detention center

and I'm sitting back looking like,

man I went from there to over here.

I been coming back and forth to jail

since I was 10 years old, man.

I made a career out of that.

You know what I'm saying like?

It's wack, man.

It's in the way, man.

- [Speech] What's up, bro?

- [Teddy] What's going on, Speech?

- [Speech] I'm good, man.

How are you?

- [Teddy] Aw making it, man.

Feeling good.

How 'bout you, brother?

- I'm doing real good.

- I can't believe I'm sitting in a room with you.

I was watching you on Yo MTV Raps.

- (laughs) Yeah man.

- For real.

I knew music was part of my life

because when I got older I hear stories about me.

Like some of my family would call me Teddy Rock or Rock Head

because when I was younger they said

any time somebody cut music on, I'll stop,

and I'll start rocking my head.

So they call me Teddy Rock.

- [Speech] Definitely wanna do some recording today.

- [Teddy] Yeah.

It's like fire in my bones.

I just wanna record.

I just need this space to create.

That's what I need.

(bright music)

- [Speech] Teddy got out of jail before we started filming.

When I heard his demo, I asked Sarah if he can come back

so that I can record with him.

- Okay, I'm ready.

- Okay, I'm almost ready, too.

Let me do something right quick.

Here we go.

(bright music)

And it go.

White justice in a black robe

And I pray the Lord have mercy on my black soul

And I'm so tired of getting backdoor

And I'd be rich if I had a dollar

For every door that got closed

CNN broadcast the footage

Unknown black man in his early 20s

Filled up with bullets

And I don't know another way to put it

But that's messed up

I cover up my head with Trayvon hoodie

From Charlotte to Tulsa to Cleveland

They can't justify how we die for no reason

Just guilty for speeding

They pull us over

Next minute you bleeding

Naw don't talk about freedom

Just look how they did the king

They kill all our leaders

Lock a dog in a cage and mistreat 'em

Then what you think gon' happen once you release 'em

Instead of putting money in the school system

They take money and build a new prison

And guess who going in it

Prison industrial complexes

A one way ticket because of my complexion

And by any means I'ma protect what y'all threaten

That's why we ride with pistols up under them arm rests

♪ 'Cause we civilly unrested

And because I'm black I might get arrested

We lost one

- De'vonte is a very, very, very positive person.

I mean, I was really shocked when he started like,

you know, living the street life

because that wasn't him like growing up.

Growing up he was like a gamer.

He skateboard.

He wrote poems.

(guitar music)

I really don't know like what happened.

(guitar music)

- There certainly were other options,

but you know how I grew up,

my mother she was like a queen pin.

You know, she was really, really successful.

She had like this notoriety around this area.

Really all of Richmond.

You know hustling.

Being out late night.

So I just kinda embraced that and fell into her footsteps

and I thought that maybe it was my destiny

to do this as well unfortunately.

(guitar music)

I started playing guitar when I was 12 years old.

I was really into it.

You know I played in a band

and you know we were doing really good,

and then my band mates, they got strung out on heroin

and I was selling them.

I started selling them heroin, too.

I'm not in here for drugs, you know.

That was just how I even had the gun, you know,

because I was selling drugs.

I needed to protect myself.

(guitar music)

Me being in here has kinda made my mama

to change her way of living as well.

- Hey.

- Hey.

- Hey.

Yesterday you was like you was shocked

that I was you know.

- [De'vonte] On time.

- [Crystal] You know on time.

- [De'vonte] Yeah, I can't lie.

I was.

I'm used to kind of, you know.

Procrastinating a bit.

- Well that kind of hurt my feelings, but it's all good.

- [De'vonte] I know you been doing good though.

Like I appreciate it.

Ma, I got three weeks left.

- [Crystal] Three weeks?

- [De'vonte] Yeah.

Now I'm in this like job preparation program.

Pretty much preparing me for, you know, the next step.

I just wanna do something positive with myself, man.

- We are creating a resume and I really want you

to think well who you are?

Are you diligent?

Are you always on time?

Are you punctual?

Are you hard working?

I want you to choose words that describe you

and will set your resume, set you apart.

Let's see.

This needs to be reworked.

Okay, so how we doing here?

- So how do I answer?

What's a good way I can answer the question

when they ask me oh I see you have a lot

of gaps in your job history?

- [Woman] If they ask you that question, you say yes.

I would like the opportunity to explain.

- Here we go.

(gentle music)

You know I'm still trying to get adjusted to life out here.

The world is moving so fast and I'm so far behind.

Yeah man, if I get this job, man.

Hey man, you ready?

Yeah you know it's a toll?

How much is it?

- $4.

- Four?

It's been awhile since I even went to a real interview.

I mean literally like 18 years ago.

Chaspo Ice Company.

It was cold.

It was an ice factory.

Yeah.

I ain't keep it long.

I end up going to prison for eight years.

One is an issue right now.

Especially coming out, you need you know things

to survive out here.

It's not a good feeling to have to go to your mother

or your girlfriend at 37 and have to ask them

to buy me underclothes.

God I pray that you would show favor

when I go in here for this interview.

Just be with me.

In your name I pray.

Amen.

That was fast.

He just asked me about my job history.

I don't have one.

I just gotta be patient, man.

Not get frustrated when I gotta wait.

In the past, you know me not wanted to deal

with the frustration when I have

to go through certain processes,

that's when I you know I almost go backwards.

You know I make a bad decision.

You know what I'm saying?

But failure's not an option so I'm not going backwards.

I just don't wanna be in nobody's trauma unit

or come back in no institution as an inmate.

I ain't with it, man.

Coming back and forth to jail

I'm too used to this

Being locked down in my cell

I'm too used to this

Holding pain behind my eyes

I'm too used to this

Yeah

I'm too used to this

I'm 21 now.

I was born in 1995.

You know what I mean?

Like I just became a man, you know.

Even though age does not really make a man.

I've always had an aggressive nature.

Started getting locked up from age 17.

I would come home, get a job.

You know do good, do well, and get locked back up,

you know due to my character defects.

It's a very high chance that you know,

someone like me can just say oh I'm doing this

and doing that and when the judge releases me,

I go out there and start doing things again.

You know what I mean?

So I'm not saying that I'm perfect.

I'm not saying that I won't come back.

I'm saying that I don't wanna come back.

But I'm too tired of struggling

My life so filled with tries

And this time I'm gon' get it 'cause I opened up my eyes

- Anthony's a young guy.

He has his whole life ahead of him and when he gets out,

he will either take the path unknown,

which is this new path of redemption,

or he will take the path that he's become more used to.

To be honest with you I don't know

which one society's gonna meet

because he's been really going back and forth

with even just being in the program itself.

I mean I was expecting to get with him

and I didn't see him for a long time.

It was because he got in some type

of confrontation with a guard.

- Each time you break a rule in the program,

you get what we call a sanction,

and Anthony got three sanctions between yesterday and today

and so it's an automatic 24 hour lockdown,

but we haven't removed him from the program yet

because he is trying.

- [Anthony] So just because it's not lengthy,

does not mean I didn't put my all into it.

Took me like four hours to complete this

and actually be honest about it

'cause I know you weren't gonna play no games with it.

- Alright, so read me the awesome Anthony pieces.

- It says I am intelligent, giving, athletic, a good dad.

I should've put a decent dad and a cook.

- [Sarah] That's some good stuff.

- Yeah, that's what I was.

Those are things that I was.

Things I wanna change.

Says I wanna change my attitude, coming to jail,

committing crimes, lying, fighting, doing drugs,

my angry personality, and my quick response.

- Alright so tell me why do you think

your reactions are always like instant bad?

- I mean can work on it.

- Every time somebody tells you something,

you automatically think there's malicious,

bad intention to you.

Right?

And so your head is already always

going at they're against me.

They're waiting for me to fail.

They hate me.

Instead of thinking how can this actually help me?

You got a lot to lose right now.

You are going back to population if anything else happens

and you understand when you go back to population,

that cuts everything.

The program, education, music, the recording studio.

Need to see progress every single day.

I need to see a step forward and not a step backwards.

- Y'all gonna have to find some tools

to release the anxiety, the depression, the anger.

All of that stuff.

So find something.

You got time like to change your mind.

If you wanna do what you always did,

then do what you always did,

and you gonna get the same thing you always got.

Is it uncomfortable?

Hell yeah.

I'm not gonna tell you that it's gon' be easy.

I'm not gon' tell you that.

It's not gon' be easy.

But when you lay down in here at night.

When you lay down in here at night,

you can't tell me you don't think about the person you hurt.

You can't tell me you don't think about it.

- It's a lot of stuff.

I just keep it in this box.

It's like my little safe haven.

I'm gonna save like his last cigarette,

which is kinda crazy, right?

When he went back and I have like all of his deodorant

and like things that he gets in the mail.

Like silly you know coupons for cigarettes.

It just would not feel right to like throw it away.

Just different things.

Letters that he sent.

I get a lot.

I visit Garland every weekend.

I don't miss a weekend.

I can't imagine missing a weekend.

We actually went to school together since middle school.

So since like 13.

My family and my friends were like

what the hell are you thinking, you know?

And they just kept telling me like when he got out,

that he would go back to his old ways and all this

and I was really, really.

I'm not a naive person.

I was like really, really sure of it all.

That he would be good and he was changed.

You know, he swore to me up and down

that he would never do drugs again and I believed him.

I mean that's like six and a half

almost seven years in prison.

Bam next thing you know.

Just a couple months out and he was on drugs again.

And then I found out that he was doing drugs in prison.

When Garland walks into a room,

he catches everyone's attention with his smile,

with like brightness, the shine in his eyes.

It's amazing.

When he's on drugs, that's all gone.

It's just gone.

It's wiped from his face.

I couldn't have been more wrong, I guess,

with thinking that he was never gonna use drugs.

So I'm not for sure.

I'll never say I'm for sure 'cause the worst thing

in the world was when I was so for sure

and I was so wrong and it's hard not knowing

when he's gonna be back.

And it could be a long time.

- Hey, there she is.

What's up?

You look beautiful.

- [Kelly] Thanks babe.

- Let me get a kiss.

What's that?

What you got on?

- [Kelly] What?

- No, is that that black and white dress thing or is that--

- [Kelly] It's the one I wore to court one time.

- Oh okay.

You look pretty, babe.

- [Kelly] Thanks.

You still didn't write your grandparents, did you?

- No, I've been a bad boy.

I have not done that.

- [Kelly] You need to write 'em.

- I know.

Believe me, I know.

- Like one of the things I think

that's gonna is like your biggest struggle

is like facing things and like owning it.

You know what I mean?

It has you laugh.

Go figure.

That's the thing.

It's like sometimes I get upset when you laugh stuff off

because when you were in prison

and you were like telling me like,

oh you know I'm totally different.

I knew then that you were like

how you were looking at things was not realistic.

That's you know a big reason you are on a video screen

in front of me right now.

- [Garland] Yeah.

- And thinking like you know my head's where it needs to be.

You know a month later, here we are again.

- [Garland] I know it's true but I don't like hearing it.

I don't know.

- It's like it hurts your pride or something.

- [Garland] I don't know what it does.

- I know but it doesn't give me like a lot of help

that like you are getting what I'm saying.

- What should give you help is I'm being honest about it.

I'm just letting you know.

I understand it to be true.

I'm gonna heed it.

That's all.

End of story.

Alright?

- Yup.

- [Garland] But you win.

- I'm not trying to win.

Alright enough okay seriously.

- I don't know.

I can't speculate about tomorrow.

There it goes.

And you don't get a warning.

(gentle music)

Tied of twisting like a tornado

Shake off a shiver when the cold wind blows

I've grown weary of the pouring rain

But I heard a story 'bout a midnight train

- In my experience, people like a Garland,

who has that charisma and that charm,

sometimes it can be your greatest gift

and your greatest curse.

It's easy for you to fall back

thinking you got it under control and you don't

and all of a sudden you're right back to where you were.

So come on train yeah, yeah

Shine a light on me

- Somewhere in there.

That's a lower note.

- [Garland] Yeah.

- You're doing.

So hit that note.

Come on train yeah, yeah

Yeah, yeah

- Exactly.

Shine a light on me

Yeah, yeah

Something like that, man.

- [Speech] I like that.

I like that.

- Alright, let's try that.

I heard a whisper that it's glory bound

And there'll be a crowd if the word gets round

But I step on out in the dark of night

Sweet salvation by a steam train line

If it's true what the story say

Ghost train carry me far away

Shine a light on me

Shine a light on me

I been dreaming of the days that I'd be free

So won't you save me from the struggle

♪ 'Cause I been waiting patiently

So come on train and shine a light on me

So come on train and shine a light on me

So come on train yeah, yeah

Shine a light on me

Yeah, yeah

- [Woman] Asparagus.

Have you had it before?

- I probably don't remember.

- Oh, it's really good.

Alright, so everybody get a piece of fish, okay.

You can look.

Just squeeze it out like that.

You don't even have to touch it.

- REAL is an acronym for recovering

from everyday addictive lifestyles.

So, this recovery house, it's a way of helping,

you know addicts kind of just find a way in society.

- You got drug free zone on the front of the house.

So it attracts a lot of people.

You always have to be mindful

and you always have to be vigilant about things, right?

There's gonna be people trying to get you off of your game

and it's almost like a competition.

It's like oh Antonio's clean?

Who's the first one out here who can get him high?

Who's the first one that can do this?

So y'all need to be on your game at all times.

- I can't lie, man.

I'm a little nervous about getting out, you know.

A little nervous, you know.

Anxious.

A little anxiety there as well.

Just because you know I've already got messages

on my Facebook where people who knew me from my past,

you know asking me different things like yo.

You still smoking?

Do you know where to smoke, you know?

Like little stupid shit like that.

Streets calling me, man, you know.

My old life is just calling me.

- [Man] Hey.

(upbeat music)

Okay we see you, baby.

We see you.

- Yeah.

This what it is, man.

My family, man.

How you doing, man?

Happy Mother's Day.

I'm really just trying to find a job and just stay free.

You know what I mean?

Stay out the way.

I just found out you know the guy

who brought me into the game,

you know his brother back there?

- That brought you into the game?

- Yeah, his brother back there, Face.

- Okay.

- Yeah, so it's kinda like I see the fight

because I didn't expect that.

- Yeah, but there's certain things that you can do yourself

to remove yourself from somebody.

Like removing that tattoo.

- That's how real it is.

If he was to see me getting this removed,

it could possibly spiral into something else.

- There gonna be obstacles, but you can overcome that.

Look at the obstacles you've overcome.

You're still here.

- Yeah.

Yeah.

- This is the first Mother's Day

that I've shared with you and Erica together

in what maybe eight years?

- [Teddy] I thought it was five so that's even worse.

I'm sorry, baby.

- Yeah.

- [Teddy] I'm sorry.

- [Mother] Don't let it happen anymore.

- [Teddy] I'm sorry, baby.

- He's here to tell his story.

So make what you been through count.

(gentle music)

This base right here is a lot of things I collected

as an interior designer and have like a eclectic taste.

(gentle music)

This is visiting Teddy in.

I don't remember what facility this was but this is 2006.

This is my brother, myself.

Teddy and Erica, his sister.

He's been in psychiatric facilities

maybe eight, nine times for the earliest

when he was maybe like nine.

He was suicidal and homicidal at nine.

He was going to therapy.

We went to family counseling.

In one of the counseling sessions,

it came out that their father was abusing him

and I had no knowledge because he was doing it

when I wasn't there and he was threatening them.

If you tell your mom, then I'm gonna kill you,

your sister, and your mom.

So he had started self-medicating I guess like 12.

His own father got him started smoking crack

and selling drugs.

You know the good that's in a person that you love

and this other person you don't know who they really are,

what they're capable of.

I've had like fear of safety.

When your child steals from you

and you give them all that you can give 'em

and you try to always be there, it hurts.

So I know he has greatness in him,

but he also has demons in him, too.

This is Teddy's little puppet that my mother bought for him

when I first gave birth to him.

Teddy was maybe a couple hours old.

His name is Teddy as well and I've kept him 37 years.

I've moved 100 times but I still have that teddy bear.

(piano music)

- Just listening.

(piano music)

So many things have been revealed

over these last few days for me.

Teddy's own father started him off selling crack.

De'vonte's whole family selling drugs

and just how easy it is to get caught up.

What are these generational curses that we carry?

I didn't come from a family that sold drugs,

but what would I have been if I came

from that type of reality?

What choices would I have made?

I did come from a family where my dad

was unfaithful to my mom and I ended up

imitating those very things early in my marriage.

I have to live with the consequences of cheating on my wife.

I have to live with it.

She has to live with that.

But if I had to sit in a cell

for a decision I made 20 years ago,

could I bare that weight?

Could I bare the weight of that mistake?

I hear this a lot from the people in here.

Yo, I made a bad decision.

Not to mention when they get out,

they still have a stain on them.

That doesn't feel right either.

So on many levels it just feels like an injustice.

- Wind blowing.

But yeah this the store right here

I got the eight years for robbing.

When I was 20 years old, I made a bad decision

in the store man and then it's altered the course of my life

and my children, my family.

That's a long time to be locked, man.

It's a long time to be locked up.

Richmond's finest.

It go back to the power of decisions, man.

Like you make the wrong choice, it's over.

(gentle music)

- Found out that Anthony was locked in this morning

and I was concerned because we already talked about

helping him several times.

He's had several different opportunities

make a change in his behavior and now he's been disruptive.

This has been a constant thing with him.

We been pretty much you know trying to support him,

you know staff wide for awhile.

We have to do something pretty decisive.

- I'm trying to come out to go to the studio

and the deputy is just like no, you're not on the list,

and I'm just like who are you talking to, bruh?

In just that right there can be considered as aggressive.

It's nothing that I can do and I don't get caught.

- 24 sanctions.

Look at me.

Turn the other cheek.

Walk away.

Shut your mouth.

Got to pick it up.

I can't keep giving you these passes.

This is it.

If you're gonna stay in the program right now,

you're gonna get it together

'cause if you go downstairs to population,

you're gonna be eaten up and you are come out way worse.

That's no question.

(upbeat music)

It's the truth

Yeah I'm from the dungeon

Where things happen for no reason

People getting high as ever and OD'ing

They overseeing they own demons

And then they start crying when they lungs stop breathing

Our mind's bleeding

- He's a good kid but he's got

a self-defense mechanism built up.

He's crushed from things that haven't gone his way

and he's had to be faithful

without having a lot of proof of his worth.

God take the lead so I can follow

Just so I can make it 'til tomorrow huh

Take the lead so I can follow

Just so I can make it 'til tomorrow huh

- There's a lyric that he said that hit me like a rock.

Time is like a deadly weapon

that's just waiting to mess you up.

Listen sometimes I think it's for a reason

But I swear it ain't

I can't even afford to breath

Can't afford to think

Yeah

Or I might just lose a second

♪ 'Cause honestly to me time is just a deadly weapon

Waiting for you to slip up

Waiting for you to give up

The pain will never leave

♪ 'Cause it's trained with your dilemma

And understand a bubbly saint can turn to a sinner

Plus everybody's struggling

Go 'head and cry me a river

- Time for most of us is the thing

that equalizes all of our wrongdoings.

It makes everything alright.

Time, you know we'll have more time.

I can get it straight later.

He didn't have that way of thinking.

He felt like if I have more time,

that's more chance that I'll mess it up.

(upbeat music)

- You know he got more chances than probably anybody,

but there's just a point in time

when we had to put down our foot

and remove him from the program.

So we transferred him back downstairs into population.

(upbeat music)

None of you all are owed the REAL program.

You're not owed the recording studio.

You are owed two meals a day and one hour of rec a week.

That's it.

That is the only thing by law that any of y'all are owed.

You are still in custody.

You are still an inmate and there are still rules.

Whether you like it or not, whether it's deserved or not.

Tired of recidivism

I'm tired of being in the system

Tired of recidivism

I'm tired of being in the system

Tired of recidivism

I'm tired of being in the system

Yeah

I really should've listened

Dead in the water

I went wrong

I been drifting way too long

I wonder sometimes why I'm still.

I'm just drawn to these things that I'm not supposed to do.

But there's a change in the weather coming

The sunset's red

Two fronts collide inside of my head

I think I just nurtured this extreme selfishness.

I wish I could blame other people with my upbringing,

but there's nobody to blame but me.

Like a draft through a window

You gotta filter through the cracks

I just liked the way that a shot of dope felt that much

that I was able to block out what it did to anybody else.

I'm down here in the bed rock on my back

Not being able to go to my little brother's wedding.

He sent me a picture of the engagement ring

that he was gonna give his wife

and he was like you're the first person I've told.

And he was like I'm gonna wait.

This is crazy.

I don't think I've ever cried,

but he couldn't wait you know.

So they had the wedding.

(guitar music)

Things that you missed that you can't get back,

you just try to forgive yourself for it,

but you don't really ever.

I know I'm getting stronger

And I can't wait much longer

I ain't got no time to waste

Freedom wind blow me away

I don't feel so free today

And I know that it won't be long

♪ 'Til I sail again

I'm just waiting on ya freedom wind

Hey everybody, I'm Garland.

- [Group] Hey Garland.

- As a young man in his 20s faced

with the better part of a decade in prison,

I said I'm gonna read a bunch of books,

I'm gonna get fully tattooed,

and I'm gonna lift a bunch of weights and I'm gonna get big,

and I did those three things,

and I was stuck in that convict mentality,

like I was some kind of outlaw or something.

People call me Truck.

And I built this whole facade around that.

You know like my mom named me Garland Thomas Carr, you know,

and she gave me that name for a reason.

You know and some people still call me Truck.

You do it because that's how you met me,

but don't do that anymore please.

It took me 34 years to be the person

that I don't wanna be anymore.

You know what I mean?

And I know that there are much better things

out there for me and I want those things.

So I'm willing to do whatever I gotta do to get 'em.

Thanks for letting me share.

(audience clapping)

- [Group] Grant the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom.

- [Man] Can you open the door, please?

- I'm getting out and I'm going home.

My lawyer came to see me and told me

that the Commonwealth said that my case is too complicated.

They don't feel like dealing with it

and they'll be willing to give me time served.

- Wow.

Okay so that expedites things a lot.

- I do need some help.

I don't have any housing.

My family ain't accepting me.

The family that I do have still live in the projects

and the ones that would might accept me,

I don't even wanna go there.

It's just straight in the projects.

I might as well go back and pick up a gun and some drugs.

Might as well.

I really don't have no idea what is exactly gonna happen

when I walk out of the door.

You know, all I literally know is I'm going down that street

to the 14th Street Bridge, crossing it,

and from there I don't know.

- Everything they told us was some bullshit.

I couldn't even get a fucking job.

I'm going everywhere trying to get jobs, man,

and can't get no job.

That shit stressed me the fuck out, man,

and I started fucking getting high, man.

Driving and I don't got no fucking license, man.

I'm drunk, man.

I don't know what to do, man.

I ain't trying to go back, man,

but they trying to send me back.

They drug me.

You know violence and now I got this fucking driving charge.

- [Teddy] Come here, homie.

- Shit hurt me.

- I'ma see you, man.

I'ma see you before I leave, man.

- That shit hurt, man.

I ain't trying to go back in here with that shit, man.

Ain't nobody helping me, man.

- You know, man.

Love you bro, man.

Take your time over here.

I was in prison with him.

He just did 32 years straight.

He came home and that's.

That's how real it is.

Up until this point of my life,

the only thing I did good that I did a lot of was raw

and now I realize I got a gift to make music.

So it kind of fuels me that maybe somebody

may hear the song and it may inspire them

to at least look at life different.

- Here it go.

One, two.

To the gang banger that's cripping

To the young black girl stripping

But she stripping for tuition

Don't pass judgment, uplift 'em

Single mother got evicted

Had a cashier job at Wendy's

Now she four bedroom house living

Kept her faith and her ambition

You can be Muslim or Christian

It don't make a difference

Join your hands and lift 'em

♪ 'Cause God don't like division

See the vision, feed the children

♪ 'Cause to raise 'em take a village

Educate 'em 'bout the system

That's designed to keep 'em prisoned

We the healing

- Wow bro.

That's nice.

Okay so now.

That's all the verses?

- Yup.

All we need is the chorus.

- Now we got the chorus.

Do you hear children singing it or how do you--

- See that's what I--

- [Speech] I hear children personally.

- I heard children, too.

- You know I feel like that's the thing.

- I heard children, too, man.

- Like a chorus of children.

You know what I'm saying, dog?

Aw that'll be crazy.

God saved me and that's my story

- [Speech] Yeah, yeah.

Inspire me

God saved me and that's my story

- People see Teddy as an example of their salvation.

He sees there's a way out.

And now he's at a place in his life

where he has this faith to try to overcome

and the question is is he gonna be able to walk on water?

Is he gonna be able to walk on water

on top of all of those waves, all of that reality?

Is he gonna be able to stand

on top of it all and actually walk?

- Hey baby.

You running.

You run from me.

(gentle music)

You coming?

Come on.

Come over here.

You ready?

Oh, I got you, girl.

You been drinking?

She busy.

(gentle music)

Just the breeze.

Just feeling the breeze, enjoying the breeze.

Thinking about when I was in prison looking out the window.

Wishing I could feel it.

Just peaceful.

(gentle music)

You know to hear kids laughing and playing.

You know to hear life.

(gentle music)

(phone ringing)

- [Loretta] Hello.

- [Sarah] Hey Loretta, it's Sarah.

How you doing?

- [Loretta] I'm hanging in here.

- So what do you think is going on?

Yeah.

I would not give up calling him

because you never know when you're calling

at the right time.

You never know when he might pick up, you know?

Ask him what he is willing to do.

Don't tell him what to do but ask him,

what are you willing to do?

Are you willing to get help?

(gentle music)

- He had gotten a job and actually his first day

was supposed to be yesterday.

So I went out and I bought a backpack and thermal

so when he ride to work you know he'll have that,

but I couldn't reach him but that's strange

because I been talking to him everyday

and he finally did respond and he was apologetic.

He was feeling at a low place

and he was saying that he just couldn't

go on like this anymore.

He said he just wanted to give up.

I told him that I loved him.

I asked him was he safe.

Picked him up and we went straight to the hospital.

Last night, he was in such turmoil

that he just started

just beating with his fists on the sofa.

I'm tired of going through these psychiatric hospitals

and I said when you harboring something,

you holding stuff in.

You gotta speak your truth.

That's what gonna free you.

Whatever's making you the root of your anger,

your anguish, speak it, and then let it go.

Lock a dog in a cage and mistreat 'em

Then what you think gon' happen once you release 'em

Yeah how much more, we're human being

And this can't be true what I'm seeing

But it is and it is what it is

And they miseducating our kids

It's time that we face all our fears

And erase all our tears

And boycott the Malt liquor beers

You won't sell that Malt liquor here

Old English was a slave ship

We getting minimized, dying of genocide in the same sip

We lost one

- [Man] Let me get your shoes and your jumper.

Thank you, sir.

- [Sarah] Hey Charlie, it's Sarah.

So do you know a guy that was in the program.

Anthony Johnston?

- [Charlie] No, I mean.

- Okay well basically he's had a fucked up life.

He hasn't earned the privilege to go

to the REAL house to be honest,

but he like he literally has nowhere to go.

He's gonna be homeless when he gets out.

He has nowhere to go.

So I told him he has one chance

and if he blows it, he's done, he's out,

and he will sleep on the streets.

End of story.

- Up until 20 minutes ago I wasn't sure

if I was gonna have a place to stay,

but Sarah's giving me an opportunity

and I know that that's God.

Nothing but God.

I'm appreciative of that.

It's hot outside?

- [Man] Yes.

- It is?

- What the fuck?

What am I doing?

Freedom.

Damn, I don't need this damn hat.

Know that much.

Got damn.

Home sweet home.

Some dirt in my mouth.

- You can put that in the backseat.

Is there enough room?

- [Anthony] Yes ma'am, soccer mom.

- [Sarah] Just put it right there.

That's fine.

- I really appreciate all the help

you've helped me with though, Sarah.

I just wanna tell you that because I feel like

you saw something in me or something

that no one has ever seen anything in me.

All I've done is destroy.

Take and destroy.

Steal and destroy.

Steal and destroy.

You know what I mean?

Burn bridges.

That's all I've done.

- [Sarah] You're gonna make mistakes.

You just have to be honest with me

and the people in the house,

so that we can you get through it.

- I knock right?

- [Sarah] No, this is your house.

- They just leave the door open.

- [Sarah] Well I mean, I told him we were coming so.

Hello?

Hello?

- Family, he's home.

- [Sarah] And then make a list of like the clothes

and sizes that you need and text it to me.

You or Charlie text it to me.

Okay.

- God, this is freaky.

Real bed.

- [Man] Cut the AC on, ma'am, push please?

- [Sarah] I'd be happy to.

- [Man] Thank you.

- Alright so read today or tonight some time

all of the rules.

Your house community meeting every week.

Your house family meal on Sundays.

The classes, alumni meetings, and phase work.

- Yeah, pretty much don't be in a rush

'cause that's what guys do when they get out.

They try to catch up.

Don't try to catch up.

Blend in.

You seen the house, room by now.

The program comes first.

- I'm scared a little bit.

Scared of might doing drugs.

I'm scared of reality.

Reality, man.

That's what I'm scared of.

Reality.

- Two things are happening.

I got court and I turn 35.

It is my birthday.

35.

Supposed to be a jury trial,

but I am just gonna plead guilty because I'm guilty.

We're just gonna move to go through a sentencing.

When I just think about going in there

and being like look man, I'm sorry.

You know what I mean?

I get a better feeling.

You know what I mean?

I'm asking for mercy.

(group humming)

Concrete barriers cold in grave

Good Lord carry my soul away

Rage and pain bearing down on me

Been so long since I been free

I wanna lay my burdens down

(group humming)

- It could be anywhere from two and a half

to like eight years.

I mean, I'm optimistic even about the outcome.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

You know what I mean?

But I don't think it's gonna be all that bad.

- I can't focus on anything.

It's just nerveracking.

It's extremely nerveracking.

Try to zone it out and act like it's not bothering me,

but inside it's like slowly killing me.

Like having a cancer and not even knowing.

You know you used to always kind of wanna like avoid reality

and you know kind of tiptoe around things,

but the fact that he chose himself to plead guilty.

Nobody swayed him.

His lawyer didn't sway him.

I didn't sway him.

I think that says a lot about where he's at mentally

and I think that shows a lot of growth.

I just hope he doesn't regret that.

(gentle music)

- You know you get the right of allocution.

You get to say something.

You get to speak up for yourself.

I would just say when I came home from prison in 2015,

I didn't give myself a chance.

I was using drugs the whole time I was in prison.

I kept using 'em when I got out.

It wasn't long before I committed a few more crimes.

It looks like I got a pattern

and by all rights I could be sent back

to prison for a long time.

(gentle music)

I can't say like I'm not supposed to be here.

Like this isn't.

It's not that.

It's that I know I have something more to offer the world.

I know I do.

And this is the first time I've ever

really even thought like that.

(gentle music)

So you know please don't lock me up and throw away the key.

- Seven years and six months.

Altogether it's like.

I don't know.

It's a long time.

It's a long time.

They felt like he had already had too many opportunities

and took advantage of 'em.

Yeah.

It's a long time.

(group humming)

If I could go back to when I was young

I'd undo the things I've done. ♪

And give myself a good piece of advice

Listen now son you better think twice

I wanna lay my burdens down

- I do believe in redemption with everybody, with anybody.

No matter what they've done.

It's very comfortable to believe

that everyone who goes to jail, that's where they're going,

and now we've rid ourselves of that particular pill,

but if they're not actually being reformed,

then what's the point?

Is it just to move people out the way?

When we don't reform them,

we don't understand what we're missing.

It's plain to see I'm singing now

But if I could turn this ship around

- [Speech] Garland's to me a great example of that.

Ain't no win to the lengths I'd go

- [Speech] A superstar that may never be

because he's behind bars.

Sweet chariots don't swing this low

I wanna lay my burdens down

Lord I got to lay it down

I wanna lay my burdens down

No I can't carry it all

I wanna lay my burdens down

Lord I'm tired

I wanna lay my burdens down

I wanna lay my

Burdens

Down, down, down, down, down, down, down

(group clapping)

- [Garland] Thank you very much.

- Alright, this is your probation.

This form right here and we'll get you in release.

You got 30 cents petty cash.

That's what's left.

Alright.

You got all your property.

You got your boots, shoes, laces, everything.

- [Crystal] He's out.

- [De'vonte] Hey bro.

Love you too, bro.

- How do you feel?

- It feels good.

- I mean to be like spring but you know you serve--

- It's kinda like it doesn't really seem realistic yet.

- Mike is on the phone.

Mike, D came home today.

- [De'vonte] I don't really have a whole lot of time

to kind of kick it now.

- [Man] Oh you don't.

- [Mike] Hey welcome home, man.

- What's up, Mike?

Thanks man.

How you doing?

- [Mike] Doing good.

- [De'vonte] They told me like don't try

to do everything at once 'cause that could lead me back

to my old lifestyle.

- [Mike] You know, just stay positive.

If a motherfucker ain't doing what you trying to do,

you gotta leave those people alone, man.

- Yeah, I just can't really say anything against that

'cause I feel like I'm on that same mindset right now.

You know?

And this isn't no program talk.

I mean this to my heart like.

I'm ready to break that cycle.

So yeah, from here on out, man, I'ma live by that.

Try my best to get to where I wanna be.

- [Mike] It's time to be selfish.

You got to be selfish.

- [Crystal] So you gotta go back right now?

- Pretty much.

- I guess you so happy to be free.

- I just wanna kind of just do something I never did

to get something I never had, you know,

and that's a good life, you know.

(engine revving)

(soft music)

This is day one.

This is day one.

The world counted me out

Thinking I'm just another black man

Looking for just another handout

I'm a prove 'em wrong and succeed

The power lies in me to be

What my son needs me to be as a father

It's time to build it before your life is over

With so many people just fighting to stay sober

They're slaves to a drug

Their lives are now roller coasters

Their lives are now roller coasters

So listen to these words

When you feeling like life is over

I said listen to these words

When you feeling like life is over hold up

(gentle music)

- There's a scripture in the Bible.

It says when an unclean spirit leaves a man,

it goes around seeking rest and when it finds none,

it goes back to the house that it came out of

and they dwell there and the end is worse.

Well I ended up using and I said man I need to get away.

I need to be away from that.

I came here.

This is where I'm living at right now.

Everything I own is under that blanket.

People on the outside that's looking

at you destroy yourself, to them it don't make no sense.

Like why would he do that?

Why would he?

But to the addict, it makes sense.

It's like I'm so used to a system

and when I get in the world I don't know

how to feel normal.

I'm just gonna go through what I gotta go through.

It's part of my testimony.

You know?

(gentle music)

- I spent a lot of time in prayer

for Teddy, for Garland, for Anthony, and for De'vonte,

and I've thought a lot about what can I do further?

How can I reach these brothers?

It's some kids in here.

Hi, how you guys doing?

Good.

- [Woman] That's Mister Speech.

- [Speech] Hi my name is Speech.

This is my house.

- Hi.

- Hi.

Hi, how are you?

Can I shake your hand?

- Sure.

- [Speech] How you doing?

- All my little ones in the front okay.

Repeat after me.

La

La

- [Woman] Stop.

Take a deep breath.

- [Speech] When I started this, I really had no clue

what was gonna happen.

La, la, la, la, la

- [Woman] Very good.

- But as I've gotten into this,

I realized that this is way bigger

than what I initially thought and I'm making an album.

People are gonna have a chance to hear these recordings.

Okay, so do you guys know

what this project is about already?

- [Kids] No.

- So I went to Richmond, Virginia.

I met a lot of very amazing people there

and they were inmates and one artist that I met,

his name is Teddy Kane and Teddy Kane I mean,

he's had a very hard life in many ways.

Part of his dream was to have you guys,

the future, sing this song.

And the words you're gonna sing are,

this is my pain, my glory.

Inspire me.

God saved me.

This is my story.

Inspire me.

This is my pain, my glory

Inspire me

God saved me, that's my story

Inspire me

- [Speech] This music is capturing this moment

in time in our country.

This is my pain, my glory

- These are men that are behind bars,

but they still have voices.

There's something there that needs to be said to the world.

And I wanna help to bring that out.

- You can do this.

We got this.

- I wrote this to inspire.

I pray that it do.

I wrote this to inspire if you tired of the lying

And the bias and the violence

Gotta stand on top of that giant

Like King David and Goliath

For the fellas that can't get hire

Ever since Obama left the White House

Seem like the White House done got whiter

In the air where we hold our lighters

For the convicts locked on Rikers

And the lifers

And they mama that's hooked on crack

Selling her kid diapers

To the young black man indicted

Could've been a draft pick for the Vikings

Got pulled over, he ain't gotta license

Caught with some crack in a scale and a rifle

Time never wasted, mind elevated

Raised in the 80s, could've went crazy

But God showed favor, your soul he can save it

Baby with a baby, you can still make it

Child support with EBT

Raise your kids on BET

Stack their paychecks week to week

Now ain't no gunshots when they sleeping

Now I know God watch over me, over me, over me

Inspire me

God saved me, this my story

Inspire me

This is my pain, my glory

Inspire me

God saved me, this my story

Inspire me

To the gang banger that's cripping

To the young black girls stripping

But she stripping for tuition

Don't pass judgment, uplift 'em

Single mother got evicted

Had a cashier job at Wendy's

Now she four bedroom house living

Kept her faith and her ambition

You can be Muslim or Christian

It don't make a difference

Join your hands and lift 'em

♪ 'Cause God don't like division

See the vision, feed the children

♪ 'Cause to raise 'em take a village

Educate 'em 'bout the system

That's the designed to keep 'em prisoned

We the healing

This is my pain, my glory

Inspire me

God saved me, this my story

Inspire me

This is my pain, my glory

Inspire me

God saved me, this my story

Inspire me

Oh

Oh

Oh

Oh, oh, oh

Oh

Oh, oh

Oh

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, this is my pain, my glory

Inspire me

Oh, God saved me, this my story

Inspire me

(bright music)

Always stopped by the police

Treated like a foreign enemy

The visible barrier, segregated areas

Deep seated anger, spoon fed hatred

Walking time bombs up in my slums

No respect is given so dudes is taken some

400 years and we shall overcome

There's no wonder that many brothers haven't overcame

Beasts, animals in the streets

Police turning up major heat

Deferred wishes, goods with no assistance

Girls become women, women become bitches

Broke men with young boy fixes

Become a dependent on an evil system

At least 150 revolts planned

All was squelched by some black snitches trauma

Trauma

Trauma

Trauma

Living everyday in trauma

Trauma

Trauma

Trauma

Yeah

Whatever you say to me

You don't know, you don't know, you don't know

Whatever you think you know about me

You don't know, you don't know, you don't know

Whatever they're saying in the papers

You don't know, you don't know, you don't know

If whatever they say is really true

You don't know, you don't know, you don't know

Trauma

America home of the free

Except that didn't include me

Exceptionalism to describe this system

The truly exceptional are the ones resisting

Middle passage, millions transition

Those that arrive wish they had died swimming

To survive Africans killed the pride within 'em

Now they wanna ask us where is our pride

Trauma

How can I begin to describe

What it feels like to be dead alive

And every time we strive then we still strive

Self-sufficiency for us is to them a crime

Black Wall Street, Rosewood huh

Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson huh

Cops buy burgers for white mass murderers

No protection for us

No one serving us

Trauma

Trauma

Trauma

Living everyday in trauma

Trauma

Trauma

Trauma

Trauma

Yeah

Whatever you say to me

You don't know, you don't know, you don't know

Whatever you think you know

You don't know, you don't know, you don't know

Whatever they're saying in the papers

You don't know, you don't know, you don't know

The Description of 16 Bars