"WHO WILL SURVIVE IN AMERICA?!" Gil Scott-Heron/Kanye West

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

The new Kanye West album is pretty amazing musically, narcissism and misogyny aside: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

It's pretty phenomenal where West has come artistically in the last 5 years; perhaps, directly related to how fall he seems to fall, personally.




There's a track at the end of the album, featuring spoken word by American poet and activist Gil Scott-Heron:

Us living as we do upside down. 
And the new word to have is revolution. 
People don't even want to hear the preacher spill or spiel because God's whole card has been thoroughly piqued. 
And America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey. 
The youngsters who were programmed to continue fucking up 
woke up one night digging Paul Revere and Nat Turner as the good guys. 
America stripped for bed and we had not all yet closed our eyes. 
The signs of Truth were tattooed across our open ended vagina. 
We learned to our amazement untold tale of scandal. 
Two long centuries buried in the musty vault, 
hosed down daily with a gagging perfume. 
America was a bastard the illegitimate daughter of the mother country 
whose legs were then spread around the world and a rapist known as freedom, 
FREE DOOM. 
Democracy, liberty, and justice were revolutionary code names 
that preceded the bubbling 
bubbling 
bubbling 
bubbling 
bubbling in the mother country's crotch
What does Webster say about soul?
All I want is a good home and a wife
And a children and some food to feed them every night.
After all is said and done build a new route to China if they'll have you.
Who will survive in America?
Who will survive in America?
Who will survive in America?
Who will survive in America? 




But Scott-Heron's lyrics are edited in Kanye's cut.  These are the full verses:



The time is in the street you know. Us living as we do upside down. And the new word to have is revolution. People don't even want to hear the preacher spill or spiel because God's whole card has been thoroughly piqued. And America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey. The youngsters who were programmed to continue fucking up woke up one night digging Paul Revere and Nat Turner as the good guys. America stripped for bed and we had not all yet closed our eyes. The signs of Truth were tattooed across our open ended vagina. We learned to our amazement untold tale of scandal. Two long centuries buried in the musty vault, hosed down daily with a gagging perfume. America was a bastard the illegitimate daughter of the mother country whose legs were then spread around the world and a rapist known as freedom, free doom. Democracy, liberty, and justice were revolutionary code names that preceded the bubbling bubbling bubbling bubbling bubbling in the mother country's crotch and behold a baby girl was born, nurtured by slave holders and whitey racists it grew and grew and grew screwing indiscriminately like mother like daughter everything unplagued by her madame mother. The present mocks us, good Black people with keen memories set fire to the bastards who ask us in a whisper to melt and integrate. Young, very young, teeny bopping revolt on weekend young dig by proxy what a mental ass kicking they receive through institutionalized everything and vomit up slogans to stay out of Vietnam. They seek to hide their relationship with the world's prostitute alienating themselves from everything except dirt and money with long hair, grime, and dope to camo-hide the things that cannot be hidden. They become runaway children to walk the streets downtown with everyday Black people sitting on the curb crying because we know that they will go back home with a clear conscience and a college degree. The irony of it all, of course, is when a pale face SDS motherfucker dares look hurt when I tell him to go find his own revolution. He wonders why I tell him that America's revolution will not be the melting pot but the toilet bowl. He is fighting for legalized smoke, or lower voting age, less lip from his generation gap and fucking in the street. Where is my parallel to that? All I want is a good home and a wife and a children and some food to feed them every night. Back goes pale face to basics. Does Little Orphan Annie have a natural? Do Sluggos kings make him a refugee from Mandingo? What does Webster say about soul? I say you silly chipe motherfucker, your great grandfather tied a ball and chain to my balls and bounced me through a cotton field while I lived in an unflushable toilet bowl and now you want me to help you overthrow what? The only Truth that can be delivered to a four year revolutionary with a whole card i.e. skin is this: fuck up what you can in the name of Piggy Wallace, Dickless Nixon, and Spiro Agnew. Leave brother Cleaver and Brother Malcolm alone please. After all is said and done build a new route to China if they'll have you.

Who will survive in America?
Who will survive in America?
Who will survive in America?
Who will survive in America?

3 comments:

tmamone said...

I'm not a huge hip-hop fan--especially the "bitch and ho" gangsta rap shit--but I thought "My Dark Twisted Fantasy" was awesome!

elly said...

yes... love it. could have something to do with having been a ballerina most of my life, hehe. but more because he's being so honest. i get stuck in that dark cycle, too--so good at finding what i don't like the most...

Peter J Walker said...

Trav, definitely. Although I have a real affinity to some of the hardcore gangster shit, which is generally not about bitches and hos (when it's real hardcore) but about violence, rage, oppression and inequality. Not feel-good stuff, and not always justifiable, but I would argue: important.

Elly! I did about 4 years of ballet (high school and college). I never worked hard enough (or long enough) to be good, but I love it. Dark cycle-yup, I go there too from time to time. He's a narcissist, and I won't even try to defend him, but he's certainly aware of what an ass he is. So maybe that's something...

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