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We livin’ this ‘til the day that we die
Survival of the fit, only the strong survive

There’s a war goin’ on outside no man is safe from
You can run but you can’t hide forever
If you come to my block, you’ll see some territoriality
A place where kill or be killed is the mentality
But get it straight, it’s just a necessary strategy
You gotta play the hand you’re dealt; you can’t magically
Escape from the habitat that you was born in
Three homicides in my neighbourhood this mornin’
Cops came and kicked the crooked door in, with no warnin’
And started roughin’ up my young cousin
She’s only seventeen and got a bun in the oven
Plus a concussion, but she ain’t done nothin’
So keep your mouth shut and don’t jump to judgment
On the lives we’re livin’ – just close your eyes and listen
While I break down some homicide statistics
If you’re thinkin’ the criminal mind is just vacant
You’re mistaken, this is calculated risk takin’
We’re livin’ in a situation with a low
Life-expectancy, and a major discrepancy
Between the haves and have-nots, and you wonder
Why the padlock on every cash box is smashed off
C’mon, you can’t call it “pathological”
Naw, that’s illogical; you can try to understand it
But you can’t stop it though, not unless you address
The root causes, the conscious and unconscious
Decisions to discount future prospects
C’mon, it’s obvious – the beat keeps bouncing
The homicide rate keeps mounting, which leads
To steep discounting, and a lot of violence
But it’s not a virus; it’s a rational response
To high risk environments and short time horizons
With high stakes and highly visible prizes
And you wonder why we’re criminal-minded
Hey, you can’t say we’ll get satisfaction if we’re patient
With self-control and delayed gratification
When the only job that pays is casket-makin’
And death is the ultimate plan cancellation
So check the facts and recent data releasin’
You’ll see a pattern of increasin’ competition
A bunch of young guys all stugglin’ and status seekin’
And causin’ the crimes that make the social fabric weaken
And life expectancy also predicts teen pregnancy
The need to leave a legacy genetically
Will never be completely controlled contraceptively
Yeah, that’s transparent – imagine if your kids
Would never meet their grandparents, unless you followed
The Bristol Palen plan for parenthood
And then they say, “Ooh, these young girls are so damn careless
Getting’ pregnant before marriage; it’s such a tragedy”
Apparently it’s also a reproductive strategy,
Especially when you can see them adjusting actively
When their circumstances change; in both the cases
Of the young ladies with babies and the male risk-takers
You see people adapting to their situations
And it’s the same in different places and with different races
This is not about ethical justifications
It’s evolutionary psych, and it’s just the basics
And still people call this behaviour “maladaptive”
Because of our reaction when violence happens
But if we really want to change the outcome
Then maybe we should just start questioning how it’s adaptive
And the bottom line is that inequity and life
Expectancy are the ultimate causes of crime
And the results of crime; to me that’s true
The two combine together in a feedback loop
But I got some moves to make, so I’ll be back soon
Just don’t ask me what I’m about to do
‘Cause I can’t say, so it’s left to untold fact
Until my death, my ghost will stay alive
Survival of the fit, only the strong survive

We livin’ this ‘til the day that we die
Survival of the fit, only the strong survive


from The Rap Guide to Evolution (Original Version), released August 1, 2009


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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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