crime

Caught Up

A country boy who was raised in them city lights.
Many fights got my heart right.
And plenty nights, momma stayed up;
worried about me, prayed up.
Could’ve been laid up in them streets
sprayed up.
Back in the day, I lost my way
I tried to creep light.
No one cared about my nightmares, couldn’t sleep tight.
I tell you man, that Boogeyman was a doozy man.
Had me drownin’ in my liquor, I was woozy man.
PCP and THC, lost in a clouded daze.
Them corners and blocks was nuthin’ but a crowded maze.
Callin’ plays from the stoop…
The hood quarterback, clique thick.
Youngin’s wanna be part of that shit.
But eventually I’d see the penitentiary.
A bunch of lonely days and lonely nights.
Pain, stress and misery; was about that life.
Now I’m sittin’ in this cell with strife.
Cuttin’ through my mortal soul, like a butcher knife.
Don’t worry though, because I promise I’ma make it up.
Fight the system until the Governor comes and breaks it up.
Change it up and be the man I was supposed to be.
Stay tuned because I promise there’s more to see…

– Jah Soul

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Our Delight in One’s Misery

As I was watching the movie, The Grinch, I was intrigued by the change of heart the Grinch displayed due to the unwavering faith that Cindy Lou Who had in him. I began to think as that movie played out in front of me about how we make and watch movies which display the total change of heart in a person or how we think of a person but yet it doesn’t seem to happen in real life? Why do we believe that once a person displays a certain type of characteristic, that he or she will stay that way? Why is it we can believe in hatred but it seems hard for us to believe in change? Why do we say we welcome enlightenment, but yet we close our minds to it?
I was recently informed there is a show that has been replaying a particular episode which tells the story of the case in which I was involved with. It has played many times over the past six months. The show has portrayed me in such a way that if I was on the outside watching that show, I would be ready to lock that man up and throw away the key as well. I guess what concerns me is that this incident happened 14 years ago, but yet this show failed to research what happened to all the people involved now. The show failed to inform the viewers about how I have matured, the issues I was experiencing at the time and how I have recovered from them. The show failed to expose the growth in my spirituality and the man I have become today. The show cannot possibly display the remorse I feel regarding any involvement in this situation that I will continue to carry for a lifetime. This show just continues to portray me as a monster without even trying to understand the man…all for the sake of entertainment.
So yes, it burns me a little that people will create and watch feel good movies about a lost soul finding redemption. About discovering the beauty of love, kindness and helping our fellow man but we don’t look for that feel good story in reality. The movies are great in concept but not great enough to live it. We refuse to allow our fellow man the opportunity to show redemption and enlightenment in real life. You can’t possibly imagine how many feel good movies are behind these prison walls. People can and do change even in prison, but hey, who’s watching us?

– Jah Soul

Where you at?

Excuse me, Kings and Kweens, but there’s something that I need to speak on that has been weighing heavy on my heart. I’ve been watching the events unfold in Ferguson, Missouri, as most of you probably have. If you’re out of the loop, allow Jah to catch you up.
A young black man, Michael Brown, was shot and killed after a confrontation with a police officer. This is a highly sensitive matter due to the previous deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Oscar Grant and Sean Bell. They were all shot and killed by Caucasian men, some being police officers. Ferguson was the first city to respond to the killings by protesting and rioting in the streets, but I have some feelings about all of this that I would like to share with all of you.
I agree that the deaths of these young men are horrible, but the truth is that young black men kill each other in greater numbers, at a much higher rate, and also for far less reasons than these travesties I’ve just mentioned. What has me vexed about all of this is that no one riots or organizes marches in protest of these senseless murders. So, I ask all of these people that are currently standing against these crimes committed by white men, where you at?
Black men riddled a young six-year-old girl in Kansas City, Missouri with bullets when she was coming out of a store with her father. Where you at? A week later, a 10 year-old girl was killed while sitting in her living room watching television. It is believed that a person of color, driving down the street shooting up homes, caused the murder. Where you at? In Fort Worth, Texas, a grandmother and her five-year-old granddaughter was killed when a black man walked up to the granddaughters party and opened fire. Where you at? A 17-year-old high school student in Dallas, Texas was beaten and stomped to death in his front yard by a group of black men. One of perpetrators was said to be a friend of the victim. He was beat down over a petty argument. Where you at?
We seem to complain when someone of another color murders one of our own, but, we become mute and invisible when we kill one another. We must take the plank out of our own eye before taking it out of another’s eye. Meaning, we must show a concern and interest in the Black on Black violence that is decimating our communities before we complain, speak on, and protest the violence coming from outside of us. No matter how you justify it, murder is murder. We must concentrate on saving ourselves instead of killing ourselves.

Peace and Blessings,
Jah Soul

Texas, It Is Time For Change…

In the State of Texas, jail is a big business and the great state loves to lock people up…and for a long time, I might add. Many people that are serving life sentences are first-time offenders. It has been said that young people, especially males, do not reach a full level of maturity until they are at least 25 years old. Look at car insurance companies; the rates are higher until you reach 25, right? Is it possible this is because these young people have more accidents? Could it be that these young people do not demonstrate responsibility? Although these emerging adults make poor decisions, most of the time, they mature and learn to make conscious decisions. A United States Department of Justice report states, “Many juvenile offenders do not continue their law-violating behaviors into adulthood”. This statement alone, proves that young people are not mentally mature enough to make sound decisions, but as they get older, they change.
Ms. Edna Watts is a concerned mother of a son who is currently incarcerated. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison for aggravated robbery when he was 19 and this was his first offense. Although he has matured, is a Christian mentor to his fellow inmates and is a certified paralegal, he is not eligible to apply for parole until he has served at least half of his sentence. Texas does not consider good conduct time, work time and flat time credit for 3-G (aggravated sentence) offenders. These offenders can show signs of maturity and rehabilitation and the state will not allow them to apply for parole.
Ms. Watts started three online petitions asking the State of Texas to reconsider these rules. Her goal is to collect over 50,000 signatures from people in the “free-world” so she can lobby city and state legislators to adopt each of the petitions as bills. Although these petitions are being directed to legislators in the State of Texas, she is asking everybody in the United States to participate. We believe that once Texas recognizes the need to change some of their policies, other states will follow suit.
It is our sincere wish that our followers will consider learning more about these petitions, sign them and pass the information on to family and friends. We pray that these petitions can help inmates, like Ms. Watts son, be able to apply for parole and be an asset to society instead of our tax dollars being spent to keep them behind bars.

Below are the websites with more information about the petitions:

http://freeinmates2014.wix.com/texasinmatesmercy

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/mandatory-short-way-release

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/reduce-the-parole-eligibilit

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/mandatory-short-way-release-1

No More Complaining ~ Part 1

STOP! I’m tired of this! We’re steadily blaming the whites for our loses. When are we going to start blaming ourselves? We had a choice in everything that has happened in our history, so let’s quit playing this game.
Let’s quit saying “ I hate these white folks because they locked me up”. Hold up, no one told you to pick up that gun and blast that man for his car. No one made you sell the crack, heroin, or the weed you were caught with. It wasn’t a white person who came asking you to join a gang, start robbing, stealing and killing causing you to get knocked for organized crime.
We say the black man doesn’t fly the plane to bring the dope in to the United States, oh, but when it gets here we have no problem distributing it and poisoning our communities. We have destroyed our hoods with drugs, guns and petty violence. Then we have the nerve to scream “Black Pride, fight the power”. What power? We are the only power holding US back. Stopping progress, we are our own worse enemy.
We are so negative that a positive becomes a negative. We keep ourselves in black boxes with no escape. We can see a child acting up and what do we do? Nothing! We will say, “that ain’t my child, so why worry?” Better yet, we don’t even give the child a chance because we have a habit of telling them “ you’re going to be like you’re daddy” (who’s likely in prison), “she’s going to be like her momma” (maybe on assistance), or “they’re going to be like their no-good uncle such and such” (perhaps dead) and so on.
If we see this, we must try to correct it. Black men and black women, NOW is the time to make a change! We are a family, not just a color or race. It takes a village to raise a child, why are we not helping? We are only dysfunctional because we diss each other instead of helping to solve the problem. We need to start being our brother’s keeper instead of his reaper. Hating ourselves will not help to elevate us…

– Thomas D. Payne

A Dirty Game

My homies eyes turned red as he bled from the gunshot.

Two blinks, one tear and then his heart stopped.

On the wings of an angel did his soul leave.

Time slowed down and then I felt a cold breeze.

As he bled, his blood spread like an oil spill.

Eighteen and he’s killed… now, that’s a raw deal.

Another son gunned down, another brother lost.

He balled hard on these suckas, then he paid the cost.

He couldn’t see the jealousy inside their eyes though.

My little homie lived fast but he died slow.

The irony is telling me that I should pump the brakes

but hateful thoughts begin to overtake.

I wanna up the stakes, take them to full throttle.

Pour the gas on, hang the gas out this ‘Lac

and get my smash on.

I could retaliate, but this cycle will never cease.

Immortal enemies, so we will never kill the beast.

That’s what they want; violence, destruction and blood shed

and won’t be satisfied until we’re laying all dead.

So I hold my head and keep it movin’ just the same.

Trying to keep my hands clean but it’s a dirty game.

– Jah Soul

 

Shots Fired

Man, many are going to hate this, many might feel me. Some will applaud me, some may want to kill me.

Being I never beat around the bush, always speak absolute. I’ve met a few good men in this,

even they can’t stand the truth.

Crippin’ been over for me, so long ago. I was finished trippin’ back in ’92,

my love for the set had diminished.

Though I thought I’d stay down the course for most of my life, had a change of heart

with children and a wife.

I’ve seen a Corrupted Regressive Ignorant Purpose that served me to no end.

Understanding then; those who put me down, didn’t really love me or wasn’t really friends

or kin, to set me up for misery and tears.

Destroying the small progress I’d made; set me back at least ten years.

But what made my ass set off in a new direction other than left, was the vision I had to find my true self.

Who I was and who I am are two different beings, that’s what you get when illumination

transpires before your eyes, truly open seeing.

To all I put down, please know I’m sorry; I sincerely apologize for leading you down a dead-end street

filled with pretense and lies.

Hilltop, I’m sorry. Courtney, I’m sorry. Phil, I’m sorry.

To my brothers, Vinnie T. and Jay, I say I’m sorry.

Jay, it made you go try the other side, a brighter hue.

To my son, Taelor, I didn’t understand then; I’m sorry it affected you too.

Like crack, this was a poison spread through the hood, an epidemic.

Crack, I shouldn’t have sold, the gang never got in it.

But when you are young and dumb, full of verve with nerves to try whatever.

You feel invincible, never seeing the trap pulling the lever.

So to all my ex-set, definitely my big homies. I say today in finality,

ain’t no love between us, y’all phonies.

When you told me back then that the set didn’t travel, slowly but surely the false mechanism

began to unravel.

Now I stand with a new purpose, as I write these verses, a Consciously Responsible Inspired Person.

Until there’s a Community Revolution In Progress; never, ever call on me.

Miss me with that mess.

I know, I know… y’all laughing at me, calling me a mark-ass-nigga.

Only because, I’ve grown to be a M.A.N, something you’re not; go figure…

– Thomas D. Payne