To Mock A Killingbird

by Kris "Odub" Hampton

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about

This concept has long been ricocheting restlessly inside my mind. Ill Poetic delivered the brilliant beats to me 10 years ago, built upon samples from the soundtrack to the film "To Kill A Mockingbird", based on a rough outline I provided. The idea was always to vaguely mirror the themes and moral stories from the Harper Lee masterpiece, but from a more urban viewpoint. That was harder than I expected. Several songs were written, scrapped, rewritten, and scrapped again. Like Boo Radley, the songs that scared and eluded me for the longest became my favorites. When they finally came to me, new life was breathed into "To Mock A Killingbird", and finally, it's done.

We were all Jem and Scout. We are still only 2 generations away from Tom Robinson... and sometimes it seems even less. Most blocks have a Boo Radley, and we all hope to be like Atticus someday.

Thanks for listening.

"Remember, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." -Atticus Finch

credits

released March 23, 2015

Beats by Ill Poetic.
Scratches by Tobotius.
Featuring Jarmaine Tubbs and Desirae Tubbs.
Cover Photo of Comet the Golden Eagle by Becca Skinner.
Written, Performed, Produced, Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Kris Hampton.
Inspiration by Harper Lee and Atticus Finch.

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Kris "Odub" Hampton Cincinnati, Ohio

Hiphop head since 1984. Bboy since 1985. Hiphop maker since 1990. The rest is history.

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Track Name: Part Of You Now (featuring Jarmaine Tubbs)
[intro]
Yeah
Come here
Take my hand
Walk with me

[verse 1]
Can you look further, past the grimy veneer?
This patina has seen a lotta bad years
Sadness, tears, madness, fears
Lets scrape it all clear, see what's under here
I'm at 2nd and Evans, it only stretches 7
Blocks (It's the whole world to me)
Like directly from heaven, a gift I was given
It's dirty (It looks like a pearl to me)
And certainly, I'm not alone
There's 14 of us at the bus stop call this home
So no matter where the bus drops me today
Back here is where I find my way. (C'mon follow me)

[hook]
No matter where you stop when you leave this block
You not gonna forget how hard you fought
Even when it makes you proud of what you not
It's part of you now

And no matter what you keep when you leave these streets
You'll take victory, you'll take defeat
You've heard and seen everything you need
It's part of you now

[verse 2]
There's somethin about this place it must just be the spirit
Listen close, maybe you could hear it
In the rhythm of the kickball game goin on in the street
Neighborhood hide em and go seek
1st Street part, basketball courts
Girl you're a lil young to be wearin those shorts
Watch your back around the dudes hangin by the corner store
The gang who ain't sure what they still bangin for
Old man Dan-Dan, the pop bottle man, he's harmless
He's just tryin his hardest, still he's homeless
And I don't know if it's dope he's on but he's hard not to notice
You could probably find that size kicks you been watchin for
At Laswell's, that what he goes to the auction for
So he could sell you a pair of shoes for 50 cent
Make you proud of how your money was spent, now

[hook]

[bridge]
It's the park, the lights
The dark, the nights
We start the fights
With heart despite
What's wrong, what's right?
This song just might
Belong, if I could get my mind just right.

It's the park, the lights
The dark, the nights
We start the fights
With heart despite
What's wrong, what's right?
This song just might
Belong, if I could get my mind just right.

[verse 3]
They say it ain't where you from it's where you at
I say it ain't what you wear, it's what's under your hat
And when you start with facts and then your sun went black
Use the spark of imagination to counteract
You bouncin back, in the 88 Regal, bumpin
Trunk on rattle tryin to show these people somethin
6 Vanillaroma trees on the rearview
Usin what you left behind you to steer you.

[hook]
Track Name: Build
[intro]
Build.
Let's build it up.
Yeah. C'mon and help me, help me build it up.
Uh. Let's build it up.
Let's build. Yeah.

[verse 1]
Now when I say build it up I don't mean to make it larger
What I hope is that you'll raise it like a daughter
Take it further, stretch it farther
Yeah I'm askin you to act like a father
Not a martyr.
Pardon me while I excise the excess fears that you harbor
Tears are just the start of
Somethin smarter
The art of tryin to understand what you're part of

[verse 2}
I wrote a letter to my future self
Thanking him for all his help
He gave me something to leap toward
A bigger goal than the me of old ever would have reached for
And so I seek more
Wonderin what these wings are for?
They're so I can soar
I know I have to leave where my nest is
It's the only way to see what my best is
You wanna test this?
Shit, just try and hold me back next time I feel restless
Bring you best six men to restrain me
There's not a cage strong enough to contain me
This confidence may cause you to stare
But I'm not on the fence about the double dog dare
Not gonna mince any truth that I share
I'm building myself, put it all out there.

[verse 3]
This is not a song that was written to convince you
It's anecdotal evidence meant to uplift you
The antidote to all the shit that you been through
Been abused, been bruised, I'm here to defend you
Atticus Finch you,
Anne Frank in the attic, safest place that you been to
Black, white or jew I'll befriend you
And any other color bird, sing a song, be a friend true
But if your song don't hold up to scrutiny
And your words just don't ring truthfully
I'm a give you one chance to undo it free
I suggest that you sing carefully
Then if your song still just ain't movin me
And your words just don't ring truthfully
It don't matter if you once meant the moon to me
Just assume that there won't be no you and me.

[verse 4]
See my man Ill Poetic stretched and primed the canvas
I'm just here to question the answers
I'm questin for answers, contestin the lessons, no guessin
This could be the answer to your questions
Now you can't see a broken life through illegal window tint
Shattered glass, lost innocence
In a sense I was standin on the fence
Where my life would end up, Where my life would end
So it begins with a look back
Concrete callin through those sidewalk cracks
It's voice familiar, trapped in my memory
A much younger me askin "Do you remember me?"
"And even though I'm still in my infancy,
I was hopin you would grant me clemency."
I said "You aren't just part of me, you were the start of me
Your feet in these streets is the heart of our artistry.
Track Name: I Would Like To Live
[verse 1]
Tell me why would you want to kill a mockingbird,
When all it ever did for you was sing?
Any reason that you've got's absurd
Like a cracked bell lettin freedom ring
You can feel the sting, A little honest introspection
Window never clearer, thoughts of insurrection
Peer into the mirror, question your direction
Maybe it's a King that you see in your reflection
Now feel for a connection
I have a dream that our dreams are your protection
Then I awoke to a world full of hope
One black president, still a long way to go
And it's a hard row to hoe
Take a dark, lonely road
On a train full of seasoned writers
Trained to be freedom fighters
Pen in hand and ready to roll

[hook x2]
We would
Like to live, can't be moved
We would
Like to give you a chance to choose
Pick a target or flee the fight
We gon kick at the darkness until it bleeds light

[verse 2]
Tell me why would you want to mock a killingbird
When it all it ever does is destroy?
Any reason that you've got's absurd
Like a campaign promise that's more than just noise
From King to Fred Hampton
Killingbird anthem
Dampen the spirit and tamp down expansion
It's a cancer. Necromancer.
Come to take over the souls who have answers
We will not be moved
I'd like to give you a chance to choose
Pick a target or flee the fight
We gon kick at the darkness until it bleeds light

[hook x1]
Track Name: Self Deception
[intro]
You could scout (Scout) for gems (Jems), never find your jewels
In the attic is (Atticus) where the punishment is due
You all about your boo (Boo), better prime your troops
Gonna panic when the guns are pointed at you.

[hook]
We all got a little bit of evil inside us
We all feel fear even if we can hide it
You see your own reflection when you stand beside it
But is it really you or is your mind just lyin?

Yeah, We all got a little bit of evil inside us
We all feel fear even if we can hide it
You see your own reflection when you stand beside it
But is it really you or is your mind just lyin?

[verse 1]
Has your mind been lyin?
Your lies been tryin to hold it back?
Bought your image, sold it back?
Can't withold the facts, your cold feet ain't quick enough to react
You're a civilian on a soldier track
Now how is it that every emcee in the street
Sold crack so he could make ends meet?
When half of you rappers are actors
Actually cleanin floors at Burger King
And never so much as even seen a murder scene
You heard of me. I'm in the shadows lurkin
Don't sleep 'cause I'm always workin
It takes a certain version of person to raise the curtains
Make halfway gangsters feel so uncertain, but
If the truths a burden and your back is hurtin
From this load you shouldered
You should roll away the boulder
Fold the shame
Or just roll in the flames till your soul is smolderin.

[hook]

[verse 2]
That puzzle piece didn't quite fit,
It's a tight fit, not the right fit
So you forced it and flaunted it
Not that you needed it, only that you wanted it
Never that you lived it, only that you fronted it
Lies are a cunning bitch and you must be the son of it
Running but the brunt of it will hit you like a ton of bricks
You're not your bank account, you are not your crystal candlesticks
Live for what you're crossin from your bucket list,
Fuck your shit
Why you burden us with this? Tyler Durden duckin fists
Fuckin up the upper crust who judgin on some sucker shit
Not just make a buck or quit, I do this for the love of it
Thought that you could block it but persistence always circumvents
I heard that you were murderous, not really concerned with it
In spite of all the turbulence, I can see your nervousness
I'm certain it's nothing more than being purposeless
Expose your insecurities, eternally a journalist

[hook]
Track Name: Choose Big Shoes
[intro]
Check, check
Check 1, check 2

He's not with you

Buckle up, tight lace, knuckle up, fight face
Often need to kick to create a little leg space

Choose big shoes

[verse 1]
He's not with you, wadin in the water
You got issues, blame it on your father
See what the kids do, make it teeter totter
Only you can convince you to take it like a martyr

Or take it like a man and stand for your ideals
Choose big shoes put your foot down right here
Speak with conviction, brass knuckle diction
Brock jaws don't talk, now they gotta listen

He went and dissed you, albeit it indirectly
Did he hit or miss you? I find it interesting
That you need a tissue, all that puff chesting
Slice like a ginsu right through your nesting

Or you could build your nest so it can't be brought down
Choose big shoes put your foot down right now
Transition, segue way
Opposition make way
Often need to kick to create a little leg space

[hook x2]
Yeah the one-two punch haymaker lays waste
Often need to kick to create leg space
Buckle up, tight lace
Knuckle up, fight face
Often need to kick to create a little leg space

Yeah the one-two punch haymaker lays waste
Often need to kick to create leg space
Buckle up, tight lace
Knuckle up, fight face
Often need to kick to create a little leg space

Stick to your

[bridge]
Stick to your guns, finger flexed on the trigger
Never pick up and run when you're pressed to be bigger
Bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger
When you're pressed to be bigger

Yeah, Stick to your guns, finger flexed on the trigger
Never pick up and run when you're pressed to be bigger
Bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger
When you're pressed to be bigger

[hook x2]

[verse 2]
Now who did you think you were foolin when you acted?
Knew it would leave you to ruin but you backed it
Do what you doin, but when it's that attractive
You gotta see through it, automatic tactics

Box full of matchsticks, maybe you should strike one
Explosive plastics, maybe just ignite one
You could cock the hammer back, tell em that the fights done
Choose big shoes, two roads, take the high one

Please stay seated while the coasters in motion
It gets a little heated when the drama's unfoldin
Like bombs are explodin all around the foxhole
Sellin you an escape, hero so you're not sold

Never gonna fold no matter what the hand you hit
Success isn't guaranteed, people gonna up and quit
Stronger and focused, built a little different
Choose big shoes even when they say they'll never fit

[hook x1]
Track Name: Simpler
[intro]
Uh
Let me talk to 'em.

[verse 1]
I don't recall when I saw the hatred
My block was never not segregated
White kids was all I had to play with
So I came up just a little bit jaded
Uh, now they aggravated
Got some lil threats when my head got faded
But if you stop now, take a look around
It's all hiphop, see what I created?
Yeah, it's like I fornicated
With somebody else on that '88 shit
Had a whole bunch of them lil be-be kids
We don't die, we multiply
And so do I, know why?
'Cause I'm dedicated
To gettin back to where I was in the '80's
Back before the whole world seemed so crazy
Lets have some fun like when we was young

[hook]
I said Life, is a little bit different
Seen through the eyes of the children
And we could gain a thing or two
If we'd only pay attention to the way they do

Yes Life, is a little bit simpler
Seen through the eyes of the children
And we could gain a thing or two
If we'd only pay attention to the way they do
Word life

[scratch break]

[hook]
Track Name: They Never See (featuring Desirae Tubbs)
[verse 1]

I saw her fly
Yeah, I saw her fly

I saw her fly on wings of sheet music
And when she sings she'll keep your feet movin
Truth is I was watchin long before this
She opened those wings, I heard that chorus
Her voice, it caressed my soul
And I could tell from her tone she had nowhere to go
Wasn't even sure where it was she'd been
But we were both alone and we both needed a friend
So I spoke up, "How can it be
That no other man noticed you but me
Is it possible no one else saw what I've seen?"
She smiled, continued to sing

That's when I noticed she was dressed in rags
Pushed an old cart that was stuffed with bags, and
Her only home is in the ears of believers
The world walks on, they never even see her.

[hook]

Different lives, different times, different reasons to believe.

[verse 2]

He walks miles.
Yeah, he walks miles.

He walks miles, feet never touch the ground
He's all smiles, face never forms a frown
Motions me over, "Come here son"
I lend him an ear, he drops me some wisdom
His words, almost prophetic
Asks for no payment still I feel indebted
Came outta nowhere, doesn't know where he's headed
On appearance alone you won't believe that he said it
And I wonder why no one stops to listen
Feet keep movin, completely indifferent
Am I the only one who is seein this vision?
He winks, tips his hat, floats away, whistlin

That's when I notice that he has no shoes
And he's holdin a sign says will work for food
His only home is in the ears of believers
The world walks on, we never even see him.

[hook]

[verse 3]

Yeah. I saw her heal a man.
Uh huh. I saw her heal a man.

I saw her heal a man with just her words
Mend his spirit, fill his heart with courage
She watched him go, turned her head smilin
Sat there alone, and took in the silence
Her tone, and she speaks with this rhythm
Says we all can be strong but its our choice to live it
In that very moment, I made my decision
In hopes she could cure my heartbroken condition
And what she said to me changed my world
"You're exactly the one I've been waiting for
It's what they made me for, to make you whole
Speak to your heart, and heal your soul"

That's when I noticed that her hands made her words
And she was readin lips, not a sound she'd heard
Her only home is in the ears of believers,
The world walks on, we never even see her.

[hook]

They Never See
Track Name: Hands In The Sky
[intro]
Yeah
Put your hands in the sky
Put your hands in the sky
Put em up

[hook x2]
Put your hands in the sky, this is not a stick up
Believe that you can fly and your kicks might lift up
Hands in the sky
Hands in the sky
Hands in the sky
Put your hands in the sky

[verse 1]
Up where the air is rare I'm reachin for the clouds
Tear my hair out in the mirror if I fear I've let you down
Reflect upon the wrongs I've done, the rights I might, whats left?
And then I realize the glass reversed the way I see myself
I need reminded that it's best for me to float
But the criticism's sharp enough to cause a leaky boat
So I takeover on the motor to ensure I won't be burned
Floatin in the ether so the water's no concern
I reapply conviction, me a knife, a deep incision
Self Inflicted but a stitch in time will save my contradictions
Quick decisions, I don't waffle man, I break fast
Friction in the kitchen and the oven loves to break glass
I've been the pot, I've called the kettle black
This world is cast in plastic, bring the metal (mettle) back
It's meltin, call a Medevac
Healthy, I'm the head of that, and I'll peddle that
On pedal bikes, with metal spikes, in the dead of night
But instead of fight, I'll settle that

[hook x2]

[verse 2]
We will weave a web of walkways through your catacombs
Alleviate the dark days, leave you there alone
The shine of the sun might blind if it's done right
And I've got the gun right here in my palm
Loaded with ink, it's like I told you what to think
Wheels are turning, mind is spinnin, disco ball, skating rink
I think the words and epic verses worm their way through epidermis
Evidently epinephrine in your chest has left you nervous
I see you heavin, heavy breathin, steady fiendin
Loss of oxygen to breathe in, thoughts are dropped in sequence
Atop your wobbly knees the stuffings coming out the seams
It seems you've reached the feature's end, it don't justify the means
And now the venomous adrenaline is enterin your system
And it's limitless, you're spinnin it's the dizziness
Your visions nearly imageless, I fear the fear is imminent
My sentiments, no sissyness, just roll the boulder up the hill again
Sisyphus

[hook x2]

[verse 3]
Hands high, block the flames
Battle cry, Bangarang!
Lost boy, what a shame
Neverland, never change
Shadow walked, fakin claims
Hook wins, play the game
Skip the fist to battle this like Atticus
Bangarang!
No need to raise a hand to drop the hammer
You could raise your voice, raise the ante,
Raise the bar and raise a family
Raisin In The Sun, Younger, underneath the bucket
You could take a razor, tuck it, Unseen, and raise a Ruckus
Utterly dark if you refuse to open eyes
You could flood it with a spark if you choose to open minds
Peekin through the blinds, hopin nobody can see you
But that wall you hide behind is built with bricks that are see through
But the mortar's the important part
Supportive when it's poured with heart
With horribly contorted proportions if you ignore the art
Of course it's more than sorta strong
Sauron forged in Mordor's halls
Absorb the roars of those before
Absorb the roars of those before

[hook x4]