Brother Ali – Pen to Paper

put pen to paper the first time when I was barely 8 or
maybe nine that was the late 80s Regan time
put in the freshest tape rewind wait, let me take my time
the entire landscape of the blank page was mine

created space to climb inside escape the crazy times
reshaped the climate break it down that was my frame of mind
I thank The Divine Great designing this as my sacred shrine
I made myself a place to shine, wait, let me spray this rhyme

when I was 13 I met KRS
he put me on the stage suggested I read up on Malcolm X y’all know the rest
so much pushing down on my chest both my folks got laid to rest
loved ones wishing me all the best I’m a ball of stress yet I digress

I spit my every hopeless dream and my unspoken secrets
you hear it floating through the speakers on my old releases
my fan base began to grow beneath and crowd around me
I never tip toed round here shy I spit it loud and proudly

The U.S. government profiled me and the sponsors dropped me
some of my listeners felt a way so they no longer got me
I knew that telling that truth is costly no one alive can stop me
I rolled that flag out on the ground and prostrated my body

this is more than music to me
this is ancestors speaking through me at the tomb of Rumi
my mic’s a rifle I’m honor bound to fire my weapon truly
weather they cheer me jeer boo me full salute or shoot me let it be known

my whole life I break that cycle set it in stone
I’d still rather be known as a man that stand on my own
rather than beg at a throne cold
you know I honor my own code that go down to the bone
we just want to get it on shooting at the devil with a megaphone till we dead and gone