". . . school is like a 12-step brainwash camp . . ."

  • Song Found On:
    Let's Get Free
    [explicit lyrics],
    2000
  • Dead Prez's (rapper duo stic.man and M-1) music is usually classified as Hip-Hop and "Lets Get Free" was their freshman album. Their powerful lyrical stance is unapologetically pro-black. Some listeners have felt that the white bashing and profanity contained in their lyrics scare white people away and thus work against solutions to racial problems in schools. Dead Prez would argue that is exactly the point, the white administration and teachers too often don't even see the situation correctly . . . this song intends to set the record straight. Of special interest to us in Ohio is a May 2005 Dead Prez performance in Columbus, Ohio at The National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM). The performance was on Youth Day (a day where many high school students are in attendance) and the convention's executive director says the duo violated a written contract to leave out profanity when they performed. The group was asked to make a public apology to the students who attended the event and the NCBM organization. Hmmmm.

 

'THEY' SCHOOLS
by dead prez


Lyrics:

Why haven't you learned anything?

Man that school stuff is a joke
The same people who control the school system control
The prison system, and the whole social system
Ever since slavery, nawsayin?

I went to school with some redneck crackers
Right around the time
3rd bass dropped the cactus album
But I was readin malcolm
I changed my name in '89 cleaning parts of my brain
Like a baby nine
I took a history class serious
Front row, every day of the week, 3rd period
Messin' with the teachers head, callin em racist
I tried to show them crackers some light,
they couldn't face it
I got my diploma from a school called rickers
Full of, teenage mothers, and drug dealin' niggas
In the hallways, the popo was always present
Searchin through niggas possessions
Lookin for, dope and weapons, get your lessons
That's why my moms kept stressin'
I tried to pay attention but they classes wasn't interestin'
They seemed to only glorify the europeans
Claimin' africans were only three-fifths a human being

Hook:
They schools can't teach us nothin'
My people need freedom, we tryin to get all we can get
All my high school teachers can go to blazes
Tellin' me white man lies
They schools ain't teachin us,
what we need to know to survive
(say what, say what)
They schools don't educate,
all they teach the people is lies

You see dog, you see how quick
these teachers be to like
Be tellin niggas get a diploma so you can get a job
Knowwhatimsayin but they don't never tell you
how the job gonna exploit you every time
Knowwhatimsayin

School is like a 12 step brainwash camp
They make you think if you drop out you ain't got a chance
To advance in life, they try to make you pull your pants up
Students fight the teachers and get took away in handcuffs
And if that wasn't enough, then they expel y'all
Your peoples understand it but to them, you a failure
Observation and participation, my favorite teachers
When they beat us in the head with them books,
it don't reach us
Whether you breakdance or rock suede addidas
Or be in the bathroom with your clique, smokin'
Then you know they math class
ain't important 'less you addin up cash
In multiples, unemployment ain't rewardin'
They may as well teach us extortion
You either get paid or locked up,
the principal is like a warden
In a four year sentence, mad niggas never finish
But that doesn't mean I couldn't be
a doctor or a dentist

Repeat Hook

Cuz for real, a mind is a terrible thing to waste
And all y'all high class niggas with y'all nose up
Cuz we droppin this on this joint
We gon speak for ourselves
Knowhatimsayin?
Cuz see the schools ain't teachin us nothin'
They ain't teachin us nothin
But how to be slaves and hardworkers
For white people to build up themselves
Make they businesses successful while it's exploitin' us
Knowhatimsayin?
And they ain't teachin us nothin related to
Solvin our own problems, knowhatimsayin?
They ain't teachin' us
how to get crack out the ghetto
They ain't teachin' us
how to stop the police from murdering us
And brutalizing us,
they ain't teachin us how to get our rent paid
Knowhatimsayin?
they ain't teachin' our families how to interact
Better with each other,
Knowhatimsayin? they just teachin us
How to build they self up,
Knowhatimsayin? that's why my niggas
Got a problem with this,
that's why niggas be droppin' out
Cuz it don't relate, you go to school the police
Searchin you like this is a military compound
Knowhatimsayin? so school don't even relate to us
Until we have some control the school system
Where we reflect how we gon solve our own problems
Them niggas ain't gon relate to school,
that just how it is
Knowhatimsayin? and I love education, knowhatimsayin?
But if education ain't elevatin me,
then you knowhatimsayin it ain't
Takin me where I need to go,
then I don't need education
Knowhatimsayin? matter of fact my nigga
This whole school system sucks, beeyotch!!
 
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