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    The Roots f/ Amiri Baraka
    Something in the Way of Things (In Town)

    In town x3

    Something in the way of things
    Something that will quit and won't start
    Something you know but can't stand
    Can't know get along with
    Like death
    Riding on top of the car peering through the windshield for his cue
    Something entirely fictitious and true
    That creeps across your path hallowing your evil ways
    Like they were yourself passing yourself not smiling
    The dead guy you saw me talking to is your boss
    I tried to put a spell on him but his spirit is illiterate

    I know things you know and nothing you don't know
    'cept I saw something in the way of things
    Something grinning at me and I wanted to know, was it funny?
    Was it so funny it followed me down the street
    Greeting everybody like the good humor man
    But an they got the taste of good humor but no ice cream
    It was like dat
    Me talking across people into the houses
    And not seeing the beings crowding around me with ice picks
    You could see them
    But they looked like important Negroes on the way to your funeral
    Looked like important jiggaboos on the way to your auction
    And let them chant the number and use an ivory pointer to count your teeth
    Remember Steppen Fetchit
    Remember Steppen Fetchit how we laughed
    An all your Sunday school images giving flesh and giggling
    With the ice pick high off his head
    Made ya laugh anyway

    I can see something in the way of our selves
    I can see something in the way of our selves
    That's why I say the things I do, you know it
    But its something else to you
    Like that job
    This morning when you got there and it was quiet
    And the machines were yearning soft behind you
    Yearning for that nigga to come and give up his life
    Standin' there bein' dissed and broke and troubled

    My mistake is I kept sayin' "that was proof that God didn't exist"
    And you told me, "nah, it was proof that the devil do"
    But still, its like I see something I hear things
    I saw words in the white boy's lying rag
    said he was gonna die poor and frustrated
    That them dreams walk which you 'cross town
    S'gonna die from over work
    There's garbage on the street that's tellin' you you ain't shit
    And you almost believe it
    Broke and mistaken all the time
    You know some of the words but they ain't the right ones
    Your cable back on but ain't nothin' you can see
    But I see something in the way of things
    Something to make us stumble
    Something get us drunk from noise and addicted to sadness
    I see something and feel something stalking us
    Like and ugly thing floating at our back calling us names
    You see it and hear it too
    But you say it got a right to exist just like you and if God made it
    But then we got to argue
    And the light gon' come down around us
    Even though we remember where the (light or mic??) is
    Remember the Negro squinting at us through the cage
    You seen what I see too?
    The smile that ain't a smile but teeth flying against our necks
    You see something too but can't call its name

    Ain't it too bad y'all said
    Ain't it too bad, such a nice boy always kind to his motha
    Always say good morning to everybody on his way to work
    But that last time before he got locked up and hurt, real bad
    I seen him walkin' toward his house and he wasn't smiling
    And he didn't even say hello
    But I knew he'd seen something
    Something in the way of things that it worked on him like it do in will
    And he kept marching faster and faster away from us
    And never even muttered a word
    Then the next day he was gone
    You wanna know what
    You wanna know what I'm talkin' about
    Sayin' "I seen something in the way of things"
    And how the boys face looked that day just before they took him away
    The is? in that face and remember now, remember all them other faces
    And all the many places you've seen him or the sister with his child
    Wandering up the street
    Remember what you seen in your own mirror and didn't for a second recognize
    The face, your own face
    Straining to get out from behind the glass
    Open your mouth like you was gon' say somethin'
    Close your eyes and remember what you saw and what it made you feel like
    Now, don't you see something else
    Something cold and ugly
    Not invisible but blended with the shadow criss-crossing the old man
    Squatting by the drug store at the corner
    With is head resting uneasily on his folded arms
    And the boy that smiled and the girl he went with

    And in my eyes too
    A waving craziness splitting them into the jet stream of a black bird
    Wit his ass on fire
    Or the solomNOTness of where we go to know we gonna be happy

    I seen something
    I SEEN something
    And you seen it too
    You seen it too
    You just can't call it's name name name name name name name

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