by Ronald Thomas
I am a 28-year-old Black man from Troy, Alabama, locked down at Holman Maximum Security Prison in Atmore, Alabama. While in segregation (lock up), a brotha gave me a stack of Bay View newspapers. I was not much of a reader – especially not Black liberation material – but now I am.
I was so angry after reading about all the slayings of young Black people that I wanted to do some slaying myself. The picture of Kenneth Harding trying to raise himself up out of a pool of his own blood after the cops shot him really haunts my mental images.
I’m also a rapper and while I previously wrote songs only about ballin’ and other trivial garbage, I now see that there must be a place for some REAL shit too.
I’m still angry, and while there’s not much I can do at the moment I decided to write a song that I plan on recording in the next couple of months. The following is Part One of a two-part song along with commentary: The artist is Most Hated, the song, “Crooked, Part One,” and the label CNB.
Hook: Crooked laws, crooked cops – they all need 2 be stopped. It’s a shame, a shame how they getting away wit’ murder, wit’ no blame. Crooked law, crooked cops – they all need 2 be stopped. It’s a shame, a shame how they killin’ our kids like they was high risk.
Verse 1: Police aim their weapons at bystanders so Kenneth couldn’t receive no help. If da shoe was on da other foot, they would want help, but instead they rather watch a Black child bleed 2 death.
White man commit a krime, he gets a praying hand, but a Black man commit a krime, he gets a LIFE sentence when he hit da stand.
Denika Chatman, I know it’s hard on you when Kenneth left. He took a part of you. Late nite cries ‘n memories make you feel like there is no tomorrow, but if I could bring him back I would give him life 2 borrow. Denika, we love you from da heart. Black people stickin’ together: Dat’s where it gotta start. Police killin’ our kids, we ain’t cool wit’ dat; it’s time 2 stand up and say we ain’t havin’ dat.
Hook: Crooked laws, crooked cops they all need 2 be stopped. It’s a shame, a shame how they getting’ away wit’ murder, wit’ no blame. Crooked laws, crooked cops – they all need 2 be stopped. It’s a shame, a shame.
Verse 2: James Earl Rivera is no longer breathin’. Gregory, Eric ‘n John (cops) is da reason. Y’all took a young innocent child’s life. You need 2 be swept off da streets ‘n sentenced 2 LIFE.
White man commit a krime, he see another day. But a Black man commit a krime, they put us far away. White people no better than Black people. We all bleed ‘n breathe. We all equal.
What’s goin’ on in da Bayview: crooked laws, crooked cops. Yeah, they racists from my point of view. It’s like I had a stroke when I felt da pain of da Smiths, ma. I’m so mad right now I plead the Fifth. Every time James cross my mind I cry a tear.
RIP Kenneth Harding, James Earl Rivera, Derrick Gaines, Oscar Grant, Alan Blueford, Jason Smith, Kendrec McDade, Christian Gomez and all the brothas and sistas who have lost their precious lives to this rotten system and their minions. You are not forgotten.
Send our brother some love and light: Ronald Thomas, 235080, M-24, 3700 Holman, Atmore, AL 36503. Ronald ends his cover letter with this note: “Thanks for showing me all the beautiful Black people in your paper. It really makes me feel good.”