It’s that time of year again when Jamaicans get pretty vocal, well apart from the fact that it is an Olympic year, the budget was just read.  Oh how the lungs and airstreams have been cleaned and tuned because Jamaicans are utterly disgusted by the taxes, so much so that someone mentioned the taxing of patty.  My question is this, patties were never taxed before, if not, why was I paying so much for a single patty?  I never thought I would have seen the day when a patty reached $200; guess I was more hoping that it would have never reached that stage.

System Set

By Tarrus Riley

INTRO

Hey there, give I and I a listening ear

Incoming, in a nutshell the Willie Lynch Syndrome

CHORUS

A so dem system set keep di family out there fighting

While di slave master rejoicing

Yet we all are one skin

Dem system set to keep di family out there fighting

And di slave masters rejoicing

Yet we all are one skin

VERSE 1

Hey out in the streets, yute dem hustling and a look food fi eat

And Babylon control dem thinking put one against an other and a sharpen dem teeth

It makes, no sense, a fight fi master wear-out and what-left

Tell me who or what it profits, yooouu, whoao

CHORUS

Dem system set to keep di family out there fighting

While di slave master rejoicing

And we all are one skin

Dem system set to keep di family separated

You plant seeds of war and hatred

Yet we all are one skin

VERSE 2

In the race for a dollar, friends turn sour, even mama gainst dada

And a heard  dat gunshot shower over rice and flour, this we cant allow, now

It makes, no sense, a fight fi food a rather wait till harvest

Tell mi who or what it profits, yoouu, whoao

CHORUS

Dem system set keep di family out there fighting

While di slave master rejoicing

Yet we all are one skin

Dem system set but I could never make a brother a victim

To keep di slave master rejoicing

Yet we all are one skin, whooo

Repeat INTRO

Hey there, give I and I a listening ear

Incoming, in a nutshell the Willie Lynch Syndrome

Repeat VERSE 1

Hey out in the streets, yute a hustle and a look food fi eat

And Babylon control dem thinking put one against an other and a sharpen dem teeth

It makes, no sense, a fight fi master wear-out and what-left

Tell me who or what it profits, yooouu, whoao

CHORUS

Dem system set to keep di family out there fighting

While di slave master rejoicing

Yet we all are one skin

Dem system set but I could never make a brother a victim

To keep di slave master rejoicing

Kaaz we all are one skin, whooo

 

Dem system set to keep di family out there fighting

While di slave master rejoicing

Yet we all are one skin

Dem system set but I could never make a brother a victim

To keep di Willie Lynch dem spiting

Yet we all are one skin, yes

Don’t fall to the system cause a so it set, yeah

Don’t keep the slave master rejoicing no more, no

Dem system set fi keep black people fool but dem kyaa fool I and I, no, no, nooo

Di system set so give I and I a listening ear

Incoming, in a nutshell the Willie Lynch Syndrome

 

(Song ends)

Let me segue into the ideal of this entry, the brutish society in which we live and the stereotypes surrounding individuals trying to survive; welcome to the world of the hustler.  I recently had a lengthy conversation with a professor I was meeting for the first time, one I have heard so many wonderful things about.  I prepared myself to be informed and enlightened since I was in the presence of such of a brilliant mind, however, my hope was never to learn about academics because that is his forte, I was hoping to be told something about life, something I can live by because my motto has always been, ‘street smarts over book smarts’.  In the first five minutes of our conversation I was impressed, he said ‘politicians aren’t our enemies, time is’ and I am in full agreement.  I have always said, given adequate time, any aspiration can be brought to fruition.

Brave Ones

By Ky-Mani Marley

The Message Riddim

INTRO

Nah nah nah nah nah

Mi tired mi tired yeah

Nah nah nah nah nah

Tired a di sufferation, ooohoohhooohooo

Fed up a di badderation, whowyoooa

CHORUS

We need to mek a stop, beg yu some clearance

Why dem a judge mi fi mi rasta appearance

No, dem a seh dem no have no vacancy

And a seh dem a go call so mi fi wait and si

Selassie sons we are the brave ones

Wi no have no time fi go mingle wid Pagans

Trod di right road even if a poverty

Try hold on in dis world of calamity

VERSE 1

Well even though we work so hard still no get no pay

Di thunder rain storm and mama board house blow away

Yow a weh dem did deh when ghetto yutes a try maintain a golden life

And a try fi find a way fi cure di pain

A so much people suffering nobody fi take di blame

Dem wudda love fi leave mi on the ground fi bun up inna flames

Unu nah go get no chance fi si mi snort up no cocaine

Yu mussi mad, yu must be crazy or insane

CHORUS

We need to mek a stop, beg yu some clearance

Why dem a judge mi fi mi rasta appearance

No, dem a seh dem no have no vacancy

And a seh dem a go call so mi fi wait and si

Selassie sons we are the brave ones

Wi no have no time fi go mingle wid Pagans

Trod di right road even if a poverty

Try hold on in dis world of calamity

VERSE 2

A mussi chu dem si di locks pan mi head dem tink am not intelligent

But am here to show dem what is evident

Dem better know I am not a weak fence

And when mi touch di road Jah is my defence

So be real and don’t pretend

And in the righteous book that was written

So call on Jah Jah who made us he will embrace us

Negative people we don’t need them

CHORUS

We need to mek a stop, beg yu some clearance

Why dem a judge mi fi mi rasta appearance

No, dem a seh dem no have no vacancy

And a seh dem a go call so mi fi wait and si

Selassie sons we are the brave ones

Wi no have no time fi go mingle wid Pagans

Trod di right road even if a poverty

Try hold on in dis world of calamity

 

BRIDGE

Hey and you don’t have to judge me

Cause we all Jah Jah children

And if yu brothers hungry

Don’t eat it all, take some and give dem

 

CHORUS

We need to mek a stop, beg yu some clearance

Why dem a judge mi fi mi rasta appearance

No, dem a seh dem no have no vacancy

And a seh dem a go call so mi fi wait and si

Selassie sons we are the brave ones

Wi no have no time fi go mingle wid Pagans

Trod di right road even if a poverty

Try hold on in dis world of calamity

 

We need to mek a stop, beg yu some clearance

Why dem a judge mi fi mi rasta appearance

No, dem a seh dem no have no vacancy

And a seh dem a go call so mi fi wait and si

Selassie sons we are the brave ones

Wi no have no time fi go mingle wid Pagans

Trod di right road even if a poverty

Try hold on in dis world of calamity

And di pollution on di earth is destruction

And mi see nation dropping nuclear pan another nation

When Jah Jah bun dem kyaa call no fire station

(Song ends)

There are many hustlers among us but ignorance of who exactly a hustler is makes you fail to be able to identify them.  A hustler is any individual who performs or participates in activities (mostly as a means of employment) from which a quick financial turnover is possible and does so by stretching the boundaries of what is deemed legal, with the sole aim of survival for him/herself and or others close to him/her.  However, once such activities become illegal there is no longer the presence of a hustle.  The hustlers I know are always being given a run for their money, no pun intended, because they are not those individuals at the top of the corporate or social ladder so they have many odds working against them.  However, they always beat these odds because hustlers have humble demeanors but the minds of machines so they are always a step ahead of any possible obstacle.

My Story

By I-Octane

INTRO

Respect to all who wipe car glass

All when some a hype an pass

Mi love di yutes mi naah hide and talk

A whole heap a road dem walk

Respect to all who sell bag juice

Who sell it fi help dem yute

A whole heap a hell dem go through

Hear mi no Frass

CHORUS

Man a suffer too long, yeah man a suffer too long

Live inna di ghetto too long, man a suffer too loooonnng

Mi kyaa even gi mi madda two grand

Man a suffer too long, yeah man a suffer too long

Live inna di ghetto too long, man a suffer too loooonnng

Hear mi no Frass man a suffer too long

VERSE 1

My life it no easy out deh

When di system a beat wi out deh

How yu fi tell di people easy out deh

Lord God a pear evil out deh

Yow Frass dem no care bout di kids weh wi get

Kaa when a fall tru di zinc mi a wet

Send in mi vote and mi live fi regret

And siit deh, mi no get nutten fi mi sweat

Eh tax man gone with di price yeah

Dem lef flour but dem gone wid di rice

Dem lef a drink but dem gone wid di ice

So pan mi two knee mi a call fi mi Christ, why

CHORUS

Man a suffer too long, yeah man a suffer too long

Live inna di ghetto too long, man a suffer too loooonnng

Mi kyaa even gi mi madda two grand

Man a suffer too long, yeah man a suffer too long

Live inna di ghetto too long, man a suffer too loooonnng

Hear mi no Frass, yow Stashment

VERSE 2

Not even piece a cheese fi di dry bun

Likkle cerosie tea when i(t) boil dung

A whole heap a wata mi yaiy run

But mi still nah go tek weh a no my one

Hey yow mama seh it cheaper fi live more dan die young

Kaa if yu die right now shi kyaah buy rum

But wi still a hold di pressure naah try gun

Just a wait till wi time come

Repeat INTRO

Respect to all who wipe car glass

All when some a hype an pass

Mi love di yutes mi naah hide and talk

A whole heap a road dem walk

Respect to all who sell bag juice

Who sell it fi help dem yute

A whole heap a hell dem go through

Hear mi no Frass

 

CHORUS

Man a suffer too long, yeah man a suffer too long

Live inna di ghetto too long, man a suffer too loooonnng

Mi kyaa even gi mi madda two grand

Man a suffer too long, yeah man a suffer too long

Live inna di ghetto too long, man a suffer too loooonnng

Hear mi no Frass, man a suffer too long

 

Man a suffer too long, yeah man a suffer too long

Live inna di ghetto too long, man a suffer too loooonnng

Mi kyaa even gi mi madda two grand

Man a suffer too long, yeah man a suffer too long

Live inna di ghetto too long, man a suffer too loooonnng

Hear mi no Frass, man a suffer too long

  

(Song ends)

The songs chosen for this entry speak volume of the life of a hustler and the many struggles they face ever so often.  The I-octane speaks of a few of the hustlers that you see on a daily basis, from the bag juice vendor to the yutes cleaning the car glass.  Ky-mani’s ‘Brave Ones’ speaks of the struggles that exist and how an individual’s appearance or even his/her address can be a obstacle in life.  Hustlers are creators of opportunity owing to the fact that they were never given the ones they wanted.

One of the things that always makes me smile is when persons ask, ‘so how unu live pan dat’, the truth is, there is an art to it, one that cannot be taught.  Bounty Killer was spot on when he sang ‘born as a hustler’.  There is what is referred to as hustler’s intuition, the knowledge that allows hustlers to be who they are.  Hustlers do not learn the code and the conventions of Hustlers’ Inc, they are acquired in like manner as native languages.  Some persons even say that hustlers are products of their situation but the reality is that they were exposed to such situations before the critical period which allows them to acquire the basics.

Be Smart

By Ky-Mani Marley

Antique Riddim

INTRO

Neva let, cho, Babylon lead yu di wrong way

Jah Jah

CHORUS

We godda be smart no mek dem trick yu

Never for a minute never think dem with yu

Kaaz if yu leave it to dem alone

Hungry dogs no get no bone

So be smart no mek dem trick yu

Never for a minute never think dem with yu

Kaaz if yu leave it to dem alone

Hungry dogs no get no bone

VERSE 1

Pan mi face dem no waah see no smile

Wi haffi show dem seh fi dem wi nave no time

Dem tek it hard fi even feed the poor child

Hey Mr. Babylon fi yu wi nave no bligh

A so mi tell mi people mi seh doh cry

Jah Jah seh fi call on him everyday so close eye

Hey yow mi feel it inna mi heart it’s a mystical vibes

Sending di prayers to the most high

CHORUS

So godda be smart no mek dem trick yu

Never for a minute never think dem with yu

Kaaz if yu leave it to dem alone

Hungry dogs no get no bone

So be smart no mek dem trick yu

Never for a minute never think dem with yu

Kaaz if yu leave it to dem alone

Hungry dogs no get no bone

VERSE 2

So no mek dem brainwash yu dem wi lead yu inna death

A no everything yu fi believe pan di internet

Dem wi tell yu weh dem feel like one bag a tings weh incorrect

So dem can lock yu up or kill yu, yow, whichever dem select

Kaa dem a fight fi run di world which is so wrong

And di pollution on di earth is destruction

And mi see nation dropping nuclear pan another nation

When Jah Jah bun dem kyaa call no fire station

CHORUS

Be smart no mek dem trick yu

Never for a minute never think dem with yu

Kaaz if yu leave it to dem alone

Hungry dogs no get no bone

So be smart no mek dem trick yu

Never for a minute never think dem with yu

Kaaz if yu leave it to dem alone

Hungry dogs no get no bone

Repeat VERSE 1

Pan mi face dem no waah see no smile

Wi haffi show dem seh fi dem wi nave no time

Dem tek it hard fi even feed the poor child

Hey Mr. Babylon fi yu wi nave no bligh

A so mi tell mi people mi seh doh cry

Jah Jah seh fi call on him everyday so close eye

Hey yow mi feel it inna mi heart it’s a mystical vibes

Sending di prayers to the most high

 

CHORUS

Be smart no mek dem trick yu

Never for a minute never think dem with yu

Kaaz if yu leave it to dem alone

Hungry dogs no get no bone

So be smart no mek dem trick yu

Never for a minute never think dem with yu

Kaaz if yu leave it to dem alone

Hungry dogs no get no bone

 

VERSE 2

So no mek dem brainwash yu dem wi lead yu inna debt

A no everything yu fi believe pan di internet

Dem wi tell yu weh dem feel like one bag a tings weh incorrect

So dem can lock yu up or kill yu, yow, whichever dem select

Kaa dem a fight fi run di world which is so wrong

And di pollution on di earth is destruction

And mi see nation dropping nuclear pan another nation

When Jah Jah bun dem kyaa call no fire station

CHORUS

Be smart no mek dem trick yu

Never for a minute never think dem with yu

Kaaz if yu leave it to dem alone

Hungry dogs no get no bone

So be smart

 

(Song ends)

The next time you see a hustler, just appreciate, remember, hustlers are members of a very large fraternity, the person who signs your cheque may just be a member; be smart!

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