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Greed is the root of all evil

In the days…
Before violence was senseless and counterproductive
There were three young friends, who were not to be fucked with
Inner city thugs, what? Rough riders!
Vancouver-after-losing-the-Stanley-Cup rioters
Thriving on chaos, anarchistic
Hedonistic, auto-cannibalistic
Like a wolf lickin’ a blade stuck in the ice
Thinkin’ it’s gettin’ a taste, life blood slippin’ away
I’m talkin’ Bad Boys, throwin’ dice in the ghetto
Drinkin’ liquor like it was a sacrifice to the devil
Dancin’, gamblin’, gettin’ money illegally
Through nothin’ but extortion and thievery
I mean, these guys were bad-asses; women would bat lashes
At ‘em, but mostly only for cash transactions
Yeah, that happens; you can hate it or love it
But if you hate it then you’re probably not acquainted with thuggin’
I’m not sayin’ it’s right; I’m just sayin’ it’s real
If you’re chasin’ a thrill, it’s probably makin’ you feel
Good, like takin’ a pill, and these guys were thrill-seekin’
Just three friends gettin’ ill every weekend
Now I know what you’re thinking! Typical gangster rappers
But these guys were Belgians, from medieval Flanders
Think Boyz in the Hood; think Menace to Society
Just, from the Middle Ages, of the Flemish variety
That’s a human universal, groups of aggressive men
We get it from Adam and Eve, from original sin
That’s why people have these appetites, and that’s why Christ
Had to be sacrificed, because of Adam’s apple bites
Tragic, right? Jesus’ body torn to pieces
Just ‘cause Adam and Eve were so naughty

Kayne: Jesus walks with me!

But too much preaching will leave you actively snoring
So I’ll keep things moving and we’ll go back to the story
It starts at a tavern one morning, where those three thugs
Were still havin’ a stab at a party, three sheets drunk
I mean, decent people were workin’; they’re still out drinkin’
Outside they heard the sound of a church bell ringing
And saw a hearse bringin’ a fresh corpse for a funeral
The bartender saw it too, and that’s when the news broke
“It’s someone you know!” The bartender told them
“It must have been a bad batch of somethin’ someone sold him
‘Cause yesterday he was here, just like, havin’ a beer
And death took him while he sat in his chair, fuckin’ weird!
I guess death is the only unbeatable enemy
So we all better be ready to meet him eventually”
The main thug took a swill of a bottle, full of bravado
And went all Robert Rodriguez, Desperado
Like, “That’s disrespect! I’m sick of death!
You rock a bulletproof vest, shit, he’ll get you for cigarettes!
I’m frickin’ vexed! You say I’ll never defeat him?
I say let’s go find him – fuck it – I’m ready to meet him!
The violence in me, reflect the violence that surrounds me
So I say if death wants beef, he found beef!”

Biggie: I’d rather go toe to toe with all of y’all
Runnin’ ain’t in my protocol

I guess he thought “death” was a person, silly thug
People get some funny ideas when they’re really drunk
The other two guys were like, “An eye for an eye
We in this together, son, your beef is mine!”
And that was it, three drunk angry men
Stumbled out the door, lookin’ to capture death
But they didn’t get far; they met this old guy in the forest
Who looked like he was reppin’ the dark side of the force
On the death star, I mean bags under his bloodshot eyes
Like Charlie Sheen after hittin’ the meth hard
Cracked skin like leather, frail and decrepit
His whole body wrapped in dirty rags like a leper
The old man waved and said, “Hey, what’s the word?
You guys look kinda lost – can I help you get somewhere?”
The main thug answered back, like: “Don’t touch me!
You’re covered in crusty scabs! It’s disgusting!
I think you’d better tell us how you’re even still alive”
And the old man replied “Hey, I’m ready to die
I’ve been knockin’ on heaven’s door since I was seventy-five
I guess death just isn’t ready to let me inside!”
That’s when the second thug stepped in like “Shut up!
Death is your friend and you’re tryin’ to protect him from us!
I can smell a set-up, so tell us where he is!
Either you’re with us or you’re with the terrorist!”
The old man laughed, like: “What? You’re lookin’ for death?
Heh heh, well then that’s what you’ll get
Death is right over there, really, go see
I just left him like two minutes ago, under that oak tree”

The thugs ran full speed, and when they arrive
At the tree, they just stared, with bulging eyes
Death wasn’t there, just a bag full of money
Stacks of fifties and hundreds, and handfuls of twenties
Suddenly lookin’ for death was forgotten,
The main thug started schemin’ and plottin’ and slick talkin’
He said, “Listen, I’m a clever man, aight? I hatch plots
And I can tell you, this much money attracts cops
We need to get it back to a stash spot, you feelin’ me?
But transporting this, by day? Liability!
So let’s do this right y’all – we wait for nightfall
And then we bring it home, and split it up with the lights off
After that we can spend it, but for now we just chill
So we need some booze, right? We got hours to kill
Let’s draw straws, two of us can stand guard
And we’ll send the third man off to get a bottle of cab sauv!”
The plan sounded damn suave, the youngest
Pulled the bad straw and ran off, and as soon as he was gone
The main thug went on, like: “Aight, listen up
I’m about to get you paid – what would you say
If I told you we could split this up two ways,
Are you game?” The second thug said “Okay
But hold up, wait; what about our friend?
What are we supposed to tell him? Know what I’m sayin’?”
“We don’t say nothin,’” said the first, “we play rough and
Straight rush him and stick a knife in his side – I ain’t bluffin’
If we can bring him down, and then we’ll be kingpins
And never have to think about income again.”
The second thug shrugged, like: “An eye for an eye
We in this together, son, your beef is mine.”
While in the meantime, the youngest was walkin’ back
Thinkin’ “God damn, I want all that cash
If I split it with those chumps, all I get is a third of it
Nah, I’m gonna murder those two fuckin’ invertebrates
This isn’t a game; this is a blood sport!”
So first he hit the liquor store, then he hit the drugstore
And told the pharmacist, “I got some rats in my basement
I need some poison so I can set some traps and waste ‘em!”
And pretty soon, he was walking back to the money tree
With three bottles of wine, two poisoned and one clean

And what happened next? Exactly what I said
His two back-stabbing friends stabbed him to death
Without a shred of remorse; the main thug said
“Ay-yo, let’s have a quick drink before we get rid of the corpse!”
And he grabbed a bottle, and he took a long swallow
And he passed it over to the second thug to follow
And it was all over, they went from boastin’ and braggin’
To drinkin’ rat poison cocktails, chokin’ and gaggin’
And no one was left standing – they all died
Triple homicide, like a Biggie Smalls rhyme
Three friends, lookin’ for death, headstrong
Murder one another for cash, dead wrong
Get rich or die trying – ask 50, he knows
Like several different plot-lines of Quentin Tarantino’s
Get the c-notes, the G’s, yo, the Benjamins
That street ethos you get from medieval Belgians
See, people don’t change, you’re all corrupted
Fallen, that’s why y’all need spiritual sustenance
Guidance, you know, like the kind I provide
A ticket to heaven for $9.95
You like sex and violence? Just buy my record
It provides the whole essence of the bible’s message
Just like Kanye West, Jesus Walks with him
That’s a multi-platinum gangster gospel record!
See, you feed your soul and your bank balance replenishes
So open your wallets up for heaven’s representatives!
That’s why I wrote this rap, to help you get your soul back
In return for cold cash, so don’t hold back
Don’t even hold back one cent
That’s the only way to avoid becoming part of the “one percent”
Look, I know you’re lost, and all you want is redemption
Well you can have it, for a small cost
By accepting a pardoner’s blessing

So step forward
Money ready, and accept the blessing
God told me it’s my destiny to be rich
Just like pastor Rick Warren
Or like Deepak Chopra
Or like that chick who wrote The Secret
Look, you’re takin’ a risk either way
Either you risk a few dollars
Or you risk your soul
You can’t afford to risk your soul
Just ask Pascal
So hand your money over
To me


from The Canterbury Tales Remixed, released April 15, 2012
Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Mr. Simmonds
Cello: Rubin Kodheli
Violin: Sarah Whitney


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Baba Brinkman New York, New York

Science rapper and inventor of several novel hip-hop variants. Canadian transplant to New York. Pathological optimist.

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