Back to the previous page

Artist: Public Enemy
Album:  It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Song:   Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos

        I got a letter from the government
        The other day
        I opened and read it
        It said they were suckers
        They wanted me for their army or whatever
        Picture me given' a damn - I said never
        Here is a land that never gave a damn
        About a brother like me and myself
        Because they never did
        I wasn't wit' it, but just that very minute...
        It occured to me
        The suckers had authority
        Cold sweatin' as I dwell in my cell
        How long has it been?
        They got me sittin' in the state pen
        I gotta get out - but that thought was thought before
        I contemplated a plan on the cell floor
        I'm not a fugitive on the run
        But a brother like me begun - to be another one
        Public enemy servin' time - they drew the line y'all
        To criticize me some crime - never the less
        They could not understand that I'm a Black man
        And I could never be a veteran
        On the strength, the situation's unreal
        I got a raw deal, so I'm goin' for the steel

        They got me rottin' in the time that I'm servin'
        Tellin' you what happened the same time they're throwin'
        4 of us packed in a cell like slaves - oh well
        The same motherfucker got us livin' is his hell
        You have to realize - what its a form of slavery
        Organized under a swarm of devils
        Straight up - word'em up on the level
        The reasons are several, most of them federal
        Here is my plan anyway and I say
        I got gusto, but only some I can trust - yo
        Some do a bid from 1 to 10
        And I never did, and plus I never been
        I'm on a tier where no tears should ever fall
        Cell block and locked - I never clock it y'all
        'Cause time and time again time
        They got me servin' to those and to them
        I'm not a citizen
        But ever when I catch a C-O
        Sleepin' on the job - my plan is on go-ahead
        On the strength, I'ma tell you the deal
        I got nothin' to lose
        'Cause I'm goin' for the steel

        You know I caught a C-O
        Fallin' asleep on death row
        I grabbed his gun - then he did what I said so
        And everyman's got served
        Along with the time they served
        Decency was deserved
        To understand my demands
        I gave a warnin' - I wanted the governor, y'all
        And plus the warden to know
        That I was innocent -
        Because I'm militant
        Posing a threat, you bet it's fuckin' up the government
        My plan said I had to get out and break north
        Just like with Oliver's neck
        I had to get off - my boys had the feds in check
        They couldn't do nuthin'
        We had a force to instigate a prison riot
        This is what it takes for peace
        So I just took the piece
        Black for Black inside time to cut the leash
        Freedom to get out - to the ghetto - no sell out
        6 C-Os we got we ought to put their head out
        But I'll give 'em a chance, cause I'm civilized
        As for the rest of the world, they can't realize
        A cell is hell - I'm a rebel so I rebel
        Between bars, got me thinkin' like an animal
        Got a woman C-O to call me a copter
        She tried to get away, and I popped her
        Twice, right
        Now who wanna get nice?
        I had 6 C-Os, now it's 5 to go
        And I'm serious - call me delirious
        But I'm still a captive
        I gotta rap this
        Time to break as time grows intense
        I got the steel in my right hand
        Now I'm lookin' for the fence

        I ventured into the courtyard
        Followed by 52 brothers
        Bruised, battered, and scarred but hard
        Goin' out with a bang
        Ready to bang out
        But power from the sky
        And from the tower shots rang out
        A high number of dose - yes
        And some came close
        Figure I trigger my steel
        Stand and hold my post
        This is what I mean - an anti-nigger machine
        If I come out alive and then they won't - come clean
        And then I threw up my steel bullets - flew up
        Blew up, who shot...
        What, who, the bazooka was who
        And to my rescue, it was the S1Ws
        Secured my getaway, so I just gotaway
        The joint broke, from the black smoke
        Then they saw it was rougher thatn the average bluffer
        'Cause the steel was black, the attitude exact
        Now the chase is on tellin' you to c'mon
        53 brothers on the run, and we are gone