Marcus J: What may come off as a dis song, is really anything but… for me anyway. It is more an attempt by me to reprioritize people that are important to me.
To make a long story exactly the length it should be… I’ll start by stating that my two favorite female artists of all time are Erykah Badu and Jean Grae. I have other favorites, but sometimes they disappoint me. I don’t think Erykah or Jean has ever disappointed me artistically. I don’t know if that’s really real or if I’m just blinded by the “love” I have for them and what they do. I will explain the “love” in quotation marks later, as that is the true point of this song. Anyway I used profess my “love” of these women obnoxiously to anyone that would listen. C-Doc and I actually tried to get Jean on this album. As C-Doc said, “Jean is our kind of weird.”, and she really is. That would have been great, but it didn’t happen. After I wrote this song I thought about asking her again to appear on it, but I never did.
June 28th, 2014… I’m in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with my daughter Mari, C-Doc, his wife Maura, and son Davy… along with Public Enemy, at the 25th anniversary of the movie “Do The Right Thing”. I could go on and on, but for the point of this story, I’m on stage, turn around and there is Erykah Badu. My only goal in life at that moment is to meet her and get a picture. That didn’t exactly happen as I was busy taking pictures of Erykah and other people. But ultimately what I’m getting at is, it was a great weekend... and the best part was I got to share it with Mari.
Now even though that weekend was filled with amazing happenings…, what did I want to talk about? Erykah and Jean. I wish we could have got Jean on the album. She’s great. I was on stage with Erykah. She great. Etc. You get the idea. I was professing my love for women I had no reason to “love”… I merely admired them and their artistic works… but “love” is just easier to say I guess. Easier to say to strangers that will never know it, or return it, than it is to say it to people you actually do love. And don’t get me wrong this is no fault of Erykah or Jean… it’s a fault in me… and I think it’s a fault in a lot of people. But I digress…
It was an amazing trip. One of the many amazing Impossebulls trips, that always see to turn out better, or at least more eventful, then I ever imagine when they start. We’re driving to Pittsburgh from New York… we are maybe an hour outside Pittsburgh and I’m happy. And it’s that real happy… it’s that this is what life is supposed to be happy… as we talk about the past weekend and our upcoming album.
And then Mari gets a phone call… I watched as she listened… I watched as her eyes got wet… I watched, and asked “What? What? What’s wrong?”… She says “Butch died.” I went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in the span of two words. Butch was a former basketball coach of Mari’s, and a longtime friend of mine. Mari and his daughter were friends. For the last decade our lives were all intertwined by sports.
I was on stage with Public Enemy, Spike Lee, Mos Def and Erykah Badu… having the time of my life… as my friend was dying. And I didn’t even know. That just felt so wrong. When I finally got home, I wrote and recorded this song in a day. That’s probably all the explanation this song needs.
Butch would sometimes write “rap” songs and try to get me to record them. I said I would… but I never did. Mostly because everything he wrote was all about questioning other basketball coaches methods and motives in a way only Butch could do. So Butch I never recorded one of your songs, but you were the inspiration for this one… I hope that is good enough.
Also, as I was proof reading this I realized that maybe I should have called this song, “Erykah & Jean & Sade”.
Marcus J: To Erykah and Jean and all my loves in between
I apologize cause that ain’t really what I mean
I mean hip-hop… you the love of my life
But the word loses meaning when you lose a life
It’s sad it takes death to teach love to some
I’m ashamed to admit now that I was one
But please can’t you see that I understand now
You can stop taking people that I care about
I’ma be selective when the word comes out
And save it for those this song is truly about
I’ma bite my tongue before the word comes out
And save it for those this song is truly about
Those’ll be the sad ones when I’m gone
And one day they’ll push play and hear this song
And I’ma tell my loves to me just what they mean
Instead of wasting love on Erykah and Jean
C-Doc: It's like-
Everybody wants what they cannot get, and now
Everybody talks like they full of spit- and with a
Finger on the trigger playin Russian roulette- with an
Automatic with a full clip, bullshit- Yo...
...Told those two chicks it doesn't really matter cause we
Couldn't hear em talkin over all of the laughter- and
If they try to tell me that I'm just a silly cracker- Imma
Tell em I'm an actor- wait, I mean a rapper- wait
I mean I am but that's not even the point- in this
25th Hour like the Spike Lee joint- I'mma
Do the Right Thing or I'm bound to disappoint- all the
People come to see me with the mics I anoint- I mean
Bless... And not a breath goes to waste- when I
Open up the magazine I'm lookin at their face- there were
Erykah & Jean pics all over the place- now
Replaced by my people who cannot be replaced...
DefBeat Posse Productions, ID!Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Collective of emcees founded by Public Enemy's Chuck D. Spearheaded by producer / emcee C-Doc, The Impossebulls were
nicknamed "the world's first virtual rap squad" as they would collaborate virtually with anyone at anytime. They recorded their self titled debut in 2001 and are set to celebrate their 20th year in 2021....more