American Skin

by Charles Duke

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credits

released July 21, 2015

All songs written by Charles Duke

Produced and mixed by Charles Duke with the exception of "Everybody Wants To Feel Loved" mixed by Abhita Austin

"Stop & Frisk" features Yurie on vocals

Mastered by Abhita Austin at Hidden Chapel Studios, NY

(c) 2015 The Tune 123 (SESAC)

All artwork and graphics by Rachel Natalie Rawlins

Special Thanks to my Harlem and Bronx, NY community for your support and love. Discover more information on www.charlesdukemusic.com

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Track Name: Before The Blue (Lily's Tune)
the light waves and sunshades were sharing the day
and passing time recalling the calm before the blue was born
young souls listened as old souls whispered like little children
peculiar wrinkles on raisin skin a gift to kin.

there was wisdom flowing in spoken stories and crickets chirping
and worries slept way beyond the riverbed, friendship abound instead
precious prairies of green and orange, the carrot mood
and Sweet Pea hummed as hummingbirds do,
momma Lily’s tune.

congregations of generations all rich in hues
and pleasantries of old wives tales and love before the blue
happiness invited happy friends who brought their blissful too
the major chord of the human song chiming just before the blue.
Track Name: Suspect
if the hypocrisies' religious thieves of kingdom come,
I hid it in the basement underneath the pavement.
architects and demagogues all will concur
the truth is like a black hole,
dangerous like the ghetto.

silver blood and greenbacks
silver blood and greenbacks, cop that.
silver blood and greenbacks
I am the silver blood and greenbacks’ suspect.

philosophers and modern skeptics diss-respect.
persistent with their patience and wrong in all their statements.
Oumnivincentamoure the neighborhood.
no guns inside the gutters;
no steel houses for shelter.

silver blood and greenbacks
silver blood and greenbacks, suspect.
silver blood and greenbacks
I am the silver blood and greenback’s suspect.

jack embezzled I.P.O. funds in bean stock land.
greed in corporations, like weeds, it’s out of hand.
justice is an ancient women with cataracts.
sometimes she walks in straight lines,
sometimes she can’t see Jack.

silver blood and greenbacks
silver blood and greenbacks, cop that.
silver blood and greenbacks.
I am the silver blood and greenbacks’ suspect.
Track Name: Spider
take what’s not profound, turn it around
make it sound like it is.
it’s just like the news, lies become the truth
just because they say so.

there’s a spider on the tree outside
there’s a spider on the tree outside
there’s a spider on the tree
there’s a spider on the
a spider on the
Spider on the tree outside.
(dance)

take a simple phrase, you can create a craze
you make the public believe.
black men locked in jails because the news folk say
that they’re responsible for all the crime.

someone’s programmed the youth, made them think it is cool
to disrespect each other.
glamorized ghettos, make them think they won’t grow old
don’t need no knowledge cuz they’re going pro.

take what’s not the truth, put it in reality shows
if they see it they’ll believe.
all just an excuse to withhold the truth
that that life is fiction.

chorus

with the use of image, they rewrite history
to make it look so pretty
they market they facades, put it up on movies screens
to make the public believe.

but some people know the truth
and when they try to spread it through
it seems the others try and stop them.
shoot down their videos, saying we don’t need to know
if you don’t speak it then it won’t exist.

take what’s not profound, turn it around
make it seem like it is.
it’s just like the news, lies become the truth
just because they say so.

there’s no spider on the tree outside
there’s no spider on the tree outside
there’s no spider on the tree
there’s no spider on the
no spider on the
Spider on the tree outside.
(dance)
Track Name: Stop & Frisk feat. Yurie
do you want me for my skin?
do you want me for my eyes?

do you hunt me for the weapon in my pants, forbidden fruit you’ll never have?

do I accentuate your manhood?
do I keep you up at night?

would you blind the statue of liberty just to get your hands around me?

if you stop me frisk me right
deny me justice take my rights
hold me hostage as your secret in the night
get to know me better, change my life.

do you trust me for my suit?
do you hate me for my hair?

do you respect the way the badge shines bright in the amber glow of streetlights?

do you want to go downtown?
(well) do you know my name by now?

does it matter?
who will miss you when you go?

this city’s for the rich not poor.

if you stop me frisk me right
deny me justice take my rights
hold me hostage as your secret in the night
get to know me better, change my life.

get to know me better. Better.
get to know me better.
(oh) scrutinize me.
get to know me better.
scru-tinize me.
get to know me better!

if you stop me frisk me right
deny me justice take my rights
hold me hostage as your secret in the night.
get to know me better, Take my…

(Yurie? Charlie??
Yurie? Charlie??
hello?….)
Track Name: Shame
shame shame shame
there’s slander in the headlines again

stockpiling your artillery
gunning for anything that seems different to you
garnered the wings of eagles, you descend like vultures
you evil creatures.
carving out your stories and sharpening your knives
the history you sculpt’s full of fiction and lies
and life, tattered in the newsroom in lights

but you say: you don’t own a gun
but you have a tongue.
you see I don’t yet have my wings
but I have inner peace.
how do you sleep at night?

chorus

desperate for attention you raise you hand
you point out your finger towards that man
you think because you are the media he’ll understand
his privacy is gone you’re on air again
you whip out your words and construct your cross
you crucify his name for the gods of talk
and now his music’s ended you pause and think
how to spin the story, you’re back in 3.
but now you don’t own a gun
but you have a tongue
pre-chorus
chorus

how does it feel to know you can kill things?
how does it feel to know that you’re living? (2)
speak easy.

you don't own a gun, but you have a tongue.
I don't yet have my wings, but I have inner peace.
how do you sleep at night?

shame shame shame
there’s slander in the headlines again
Track Name: Four Black Men
Each story ends the same.
Although the names, they change.

Before I begin:
Do Southern trees sprout like weeds?
Is JUSTICE just E x t i n c t?

He’s only twenty-three:

Come to America—- land of the Brave and Free.
An immigrant from Ginea, he sends money back home supporting his family.
February the fourth,
No weapon, no record, 41 shots ago…

Amadou Diallo.

I’m gonna get all sad & then
I’m gonna talk about it.
I’m gonna go to church & there

There’s gonna be a sermon.
I’m gonna march a rally where
There’s gonna be a prayer &
I’m gonna feel okay & there may even be some changes.
So I’m gonna go to bed like this thing never happened…

___________
He’s only seventeen
walking home inside his gated community.
A high school student, this teen,
Wearing his hoodie, clothing his hopes and dreams.


February Twenty-sixth,
No weapon, what record?
Suspicion aims again.

Trayvon Martin.

I’m gonna get all sad & then
I’m gonna blog about it
I’m gonna wear a hoodie then
I’m gonna post a selfie

I’m gonna log on twitter and
there’s gonna be a hashtag
I’m gonna feel okay & there may even be some changes
So, I’m gonna go to bed like this thing never happened…
_________________
He’s only forty-three
A Father of 6 children treading water just to breathe.

Recently out on bond,

The struggle gets real when the cops will not leave you alone.
July seventeenth, no more
He raises his hands, the camera does the best it can.

Eric Garner.
I’m gonna get all sad & then
I’m gonna talk about it.
I’m gonna go to church & there

There’s gonna be a sermon.
I’m gonna march a rally where
There’s gonna be a prayer &
I’m gonna feel okay & there may even be some changes.
So I’m gonna go to bed like this thing never happened…
___________________
He is only eighteen, the son of proud parents
He goes off to college this week.

Eyeing America’s dream,
Peer pressure, pop-cultured finding his own two feet.

August ninth, this time.
Deja vu.
Is this new?
No weapon, hands up don’t shoot.

Michael Brown.

I’m gonna get all sad & then
I’m gonna blog about it.
I’m gonna place my hands up then
I’m gonna take a selfie.

I’m gonna log of twitter &
There’s gonna be a hashtags
I’m gonna feel okay & there may even be some changes
So I’m gonna go to bed like this thing never happened?

We gotta change the movement now.

We need to find the answers now.

Injustice has to stop right now.

We gotta change our tactics now.

We need a change of guards right now.

We gotta ask real questions now.

We gotta do much more right now.

We gotta change the movement now.
Track Name: Everybody Wants To Feel Loved
Everybody Wants To Feel Loved (c) 2015

everybody wants to feel loved
everybody wants to be treated like they’re someone
everybody wants to be happy, safe, and secure in the arms of the one they love

don’t we all deserve to have peace?
war’s the last thing we all need
but there’s conflict to my left and my right
tension’s high on every side.

meanwhile, everybody wants to feel loved.

we have prison’s in our schools signing deeds
but the church is more concerned with where I sow my seed.
mothers, daughters shot like big game
and the newspapers can barely seem to say her name.

so yes everybody wants to feel loved
everybody wants to be treated like they’re someone,
teach me how to heal.

what if we could make a deal…
just treat me how you wish to feel,
and yes everybody wants to feel loved.

we suffer from a love deficiency.
love comes from listening to one another, hearing what we really need
our differences are smaller than they seem,
but the world has a different way of showing it to make the small things look extreme.

everybody wants to feel loved.
everybody wants to feel loved.
everybody wants to feel happy and safe and secure in the arms of the one they love.

don’t we all deserve to have peace?
war’s the last thing we all need.

but there’s conflict to my left and my right-
tensions high on every side.

meanwhile everybody wants to feel loved.