“Hard Times” – New Youth Music Explores Incarceration, Discrimination

Song to be a featured part of Zoom In: Episode 34 – Is This Justice?, examining juvenile justice, incarceration, and the role of community

This semester, four Bay Area youth in BAYCAT’s Music Production class wrote, performed and produced this song as part of a bigger piece exploring incarceration in the US from a youth perspective, to be released later this month. They were mentored through the process by Jason “Trackademicks” Valerio. The song is a reaction to recent attention on violence against young people of color in this country. Hear the song and read the lyrics below.

If you’re in the Bay Area, you can see the premiere of the entire piece, including the music video for this song, at the World Premiere of Zoom In: Episode 34 – Is This Justice? on December 8th at Z Space in San Francisco.

Youth Explore Hard Times


BAYCAT MUSIC PRODUCTION CLASS

FALL 2015

“Hard Times” feat. Angela, Amir, Zevonte, & Isaiah (Palindrome).
Produced by Palindrome

LYRICS:

Intro
(Angela)
I wear hoodies when I want, I eat Skittles when I want
I can breathe when I want, I can breathe, I can breathe

Verse 1
(Amir)
Have you heard of a kid with the mindset of a grown up, well sho ‘nuff,
I’m livin’ proof, so upchuck. I’ve thought of things that you need and about things like why do I breathe
To see another one of me get thrown in jail or left to bleed? (You see?)
I’m giving you food for thought so feast, At least
I’m not one of the peeps who stuck fighting a war that’s worth a penny
Have you seen these cops? They like wild packs of dogs
Killing anything that’s brown and walk
It’s been kept a secret
But now we see it, but now is the hard part

Chorus
(Angela)
In these hard times, you have to know that it’s gon’ be all right
And even when things go wrong, you have to know to just stay strong

Post Chorus
(Angela)
I wear hoodies when I want, I eat Skittles when I want
I can breathe when I want, I can breathe, I can breathe

Verse 2
(ZeVonte)
I ain’t playing these games, ain’t playing these games
Discrimination and hate they all feel the same
Get some money in your pocket and the whole game change
Stop putting down, ever thought that for a change?
Cause I do what I do, never stop it for what
Typing on a computer acting hard because
You can’t see the real me being fake for what
I think that’s crazy swearing up and down that you a thug
Like its so F.A.K.E. — fake
Barbie and Ken on aisle 8 I live on the block that never changed
I got my pride can you say the same?

Chorus
(Angela)
In these hard times, you have to know that it’s gon be all right
And even when things go wrong, you have to know to just stay strong

Verse 3
(Isaiah)
Do not take me to jail, I don’t know nothing
I just wanna a good life to be worth something
Help me please, help me please, I can not breathe
Shoot me down or bring me up, it won’t phase me
21st up next, you know we is the best
You gave me life cause I’m young and I made a lil’ wreck
Get it, that’s young and reckless, I’m in my zone so please respect it
I got hit with a baton, why don’t you get it
Boom boom bang bang making videos
Said 1 min but it was 11 yo, oh oh
Heart full of gold, dead on the streets 4 hours really yo
Y’all real crazy fire shots
Dat don’t amaze me
Reppin’ 21st and this record
And y’all squad going crazy
Palindrome on this beat, no guns no clips
So much heat, more danger than my scripts

Jason helps Nailah find her sound.

Alex works on his beats.