Shovel (A Rap)

A strong man can’t
Understand the straw man
Or comprehend
When he’s using a hard hand
You built a house of cards
And when it falls in
You tape it back
And call it someone else’s problem
You call it progress
This backwards process
While you’re still taunting
I’m calling it nonsense
And even worse
It’s demonstrably monstrous
You turn on your own
And then call it conscience
And still you’re mad at me
Used to call me family
Now you won’t even
Look me in the face, sadly
You bring me news about
How I got a nephew
Well maybe you can tell the dude
How his uncle’s dead to you
From what I said to you
Man, I’m not scared of you
I told the truth just how it is
And it’s unfair to you
So what do you care to do?
Rotten trees bear the fruit
You’re a thug and a bully
And this rhyme was prepared for you

I’m being real
When I say that I love you
But even still
I have to pick up the shovel
I’m being real
When I say that I love you
But this is how I feel
Got to pick up the shovel

We gather here
On this hallowed ground
In memory of the brothers
That aren’t still around
And the sisters too
Don’t think I’m missing you
You’re the type of people
I didn’t make a difference to
But I’m different dude
Diffident to suit the mood
But now I have a different voice
A mind of a different school
You’re using simple tools
Like a flint striking a rock
My brain’s a flamethrower now
With all the knowledge I’ve got
And it was painful
Not thinking till you say so
You claimed to wear a halo
But now I’m dropping payloads
Because I severed
All these fraudulent ties
I don’t have the time
You hear this?
Well you don’t have a mind
But hey, since you have a Father
That’s fine
Just make sure you ask for his help
Instead of mine

I’m being real
When I say that I love you
But even still
I have to pick up the shovel
I’m being real
When I say that I love you
But this is how I feel
Got to pick up the shovel

You could say
This is disrespectful
But unlike you
I’m not the type that’s forgetful
‘Cause I remember
The derisive laughter
The butt of every joke
And feeling impotent after
Well now it’s done
I’m not here to make fun of
That’s the price you paid
When you made me feel unloved
The funny thing about
Having a lot
Is that it tends to remind you
Of what you never got
And you only pay me mind
When it’s expedient
Could only get a bit of your time
If I’m obedient
And even then
It wasn’t really good enough
Your firstborn earned your scorn
Yet he is loved
I was the sequel
Separate, unequal
In front of your people
You can paint me as evil
You didn’t see
All the struggles at school
You liked all the grades
And I stayed out of trouble too
But you never took the trouble to
Look me in the face everyday
And say, “I love you, dude”
You just wanted a soldier
And a loyalist
And even when I showed you that
You’re busy destroying it
Well, at least you made it clear–
Family’s a regime that is ruled by fear
Know what?
I’m going back to my hovel
Wait a minute–
I forgot to get my shovel…

I’m being real
When I say that I love you
But even still
I have to pick up the shovel
I’m being real
When I say that I love you
But this is how I feel
Got to pick up the shovel

But it’s confusing
And I don’t know what to say
As the shovel picks up dirt
Then piles it on your face
Everybody did their best
With what they had
And the more I think about that
The more it makes me sad
I think about the harm that was done
And I stop, realizing
I was not the only one
You saw your mom shot
And you saw your dad drunk
And you got all the beatings
Whenever there was bad done
And yet you taught me to do good
Tried to be an example
The best that you could
I honestly want to care
And I would
But the pain in my soul
Tells me I never should
‘Cause I’m gone with
A life of my own
And a wife of my own
And some tykes of my own
And thinking ’bout
All the rights I will own
When I’m done with the power
Of my microphone
Who am I kidding?
I’m not very forgiving
I’ve done enough shoveling dirt
It’s time for living
I just hope that you know
I still care
But I’m absent without home
I won’t ever be there

I’m being real
When I say that I love you
But even still
I have to pick up the shovel
I’m being real
When I say that I love you
But this is how I feel
Got to pick up the shovel

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