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No Freedom Without Sacrifice

by Homecut

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Homecut is the creative alter-ego of Testament, an emcee, musician and producer who has been a key part of the British / Northern music scene for the last 10 years. You may have seen him hosting two of the UK'€™s biggest nights: New Bohemia and The Tuesday Club. Or maybe it'€™s from his role in Shlomo'€™s Vocal Orchestra, or perhaps you saw him beatboxing with Ray Parker Junior on TV. Or meeting Desmond Tutu. Or fronting the kidkanevil live show. Or performing live with some of the UK'€™s finest '€“ Jehst, Steve Brown (Cinematic Orchestra), Quantic, The Haggis Horns, Mark Ronson, Andreya Triana, Jarvis Cocker and Klashnekoff (to name but a few). If you haven'€™t come across Homecut, take a listen to these tracks and get to know a man who'€™s as equally influenced by Kurt Vonnegut or The Rockford Files as he is by Public Enemy. This is an album with too many highlights to mention '€“ from the futuristic soul of '€˜Participant'€™ to the highlife hip hop of '€˜Harmony'€™, it'€™s a record bursting with invention, ideas and real music. '€œNo Freedom Without Sacrifise'€ is the essence of a real music scene, with real people and real songwriting. With a lyrical breadth that takes in Persian tea houses, Apartheid, sex lines, Shepherd'€™s Pie and the paintings of Lowry this is no ordinary album. It features an A list guest list including Soweto Kinch (Mercury Music Prize nominee), Corinne Bailey Rae (Grammy Winner), J-Live (Rawkus / BBE), Andreya Triana (Flying Lotus / Bonobo), John Ellis (Cinematic Orchestra), kidkanevil (Stateless) and Ty (Mercury Music Prize Nominee).

"I really love this" The Nextmen
“Inspired” iDJ Magazine
“Unique & refreshing” Hip Hop Connection
"The laidback cool of Guru, the boundary-pushing of Roots Manuva and the conscious lyricism of Common” YEP
"5 Stars - album of the week" Metro


released June 8, 2009


all rights reserved



Homecut Leeds

Homecut is the brainchild of MC/producer Testament. Conscious lyricism, live instrumentation and mix of Soul, Hip-Hop and sonic experimentation mark out Homecut on the UK landscape. The critically acclaimed debut album “NO FREEDOM WITHOUT SACRIFICE” features collaborations with Corinne Bailey Rae, Soweto Kinch, US rap legend J-Live, Andreya Triana and members of the Cinematic Orchesta. ... more

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Track Name: No Freedom Without Sacrifice
No Freedom Without Sacrifice (repeated)
There is no freedom without sacrifice
Track Name: Particpant
… Just trying to work it through

Sometimes it’s kinda hard to get things in order
In order that everything’s in its place
There are many things
Impossible to accomplish
Come what may, I know that God can make it happen right away

This is where we come
This is where we come into it
If we want to live
We got to reach out and be a participant

…Pick up my troubles in my old kit
Part living in this life is to start trying to give a little focus
Partner in the protest before I croak it
I hope to get closer and... (be a participant)
In particular, like the Archbishop sir
Tutu’s not high fives to be more articulate
Defeating past times like apartheid
So no point quitting at half-time, just… (be a participant)
Pardon this, pacifist, I bypass the fist
But fight to free minds from the faux-pharmasist-ance,
Whether or not they listening
We all are significant so... (be a participant)

Sometimes things seem to come quite easy
But quite often easy things, aren’t as cool as they seem
Meaningful things like peace, love and justice
Come with troubles but faith, served with doing something makes them real….

Chorus x2
Track Name: I Don't Even Know ft Corinne Bailey Rae & Soweto Kinch
I don’t even know
How these flowers’ll grow
All on their own…
Maybe you could help me out

I planted seeds long ago
Tended them, even so…
Oh no, oh no
I hope that it turns out right

Verse 1.

One thing I can’t understand, Two I can’t comprehend
Three about something with the… ah its gone again
I was writing glow in the dark songs: an offering
So I can give just a little of bit honesty
You’re in the wrong place if you’re just complacent
But I wouldn’t mind a change from this uphill arrangement
Must be something in the liquidation,
Leaving me dazed like the way between a man and a maiden
Things didn’t happen quite the way that I planned but
Wish it was Superman One I’d send world backwards
I put my hands up, at times I get anxious
Test my loved ones till we fall out like dandruff (uh-oh)
I think I been here more than once,
Like typing the PIN number but still insufficient funds
Struggling with stuff like suffering
God only knows, that why put I trust my Him..
(…‘cause I don’t’ even know)


Verse 2.

How did I get into this fixed up situation?
Missed another payment they could take my whole home as a stipulation
Life’s a sequence of inner stresses and irritations
And a conviction the bank’s tampered with my mini-statements
I don’t even know which way to turn?
Think a vein will burst, ex-girl ain’t concerned
Won’t get these papes returned by April first
Cold approaching broken heater, no dough in the token meter
Too slow to switch it overheated and blown the speakers
Can’t even use the phone either
First day after the postal strike never processed the payment
As an oversight. Overnight the phonebox has broke apart
My overdraft swollen so fast it needs lipo and open heart
I don’t even know, if I’ll ever find this living simple
Find a lady to give to or drift through and hit sixty single
I don’t even know, or if I be the kind of live performer
Who survives a trauma or the type to never find a calling
And die a pauper, Lord help me see more clearly on the road
I drift weary alone but I don’t even know


Sax solo

I Don’t Even Know (refrain)

..I hope that it turns out right.
Track Name: Innovators (Nostalgically Speaking)
Innovating the sound…for your inner ear
The Homecut Directive, beginning it here
Amp myself up, my whole beings involved
As I find equilibrium and EQ my soul
Connect the mic lead into my psyche
Tune-up mental process, so we’re in the right key
Up next, compress these thoughts to speech
Adjustments and last tweaks, til the task is complete
Yes, its scientific but its also spiritual
I breath in analogue and breath out digital
Til it sounds cool, push the level to limits
Trying to give you love but I’ll probly give you tinitis
Quantize heartbeat so life syncopates
Plus a touch of reverb, til you can tell it resonates
Mid, Treble and Bass, speed of sound fleetingly
Trying to master myself, to find God’s frequency
See its…

Innovative, now you into this
The inner-sound system with that instant vintage
Innovative, now you into this
The Homecut: Live! In the mix


In the heart, in the mind, in the soul

Innovating the sound…but no cause for alarm
Inspired the Psalms to get out of my pyjamas
Innovate, with no surgical enhancement
Hardest to find, like the questions to the answers
The crowds’ arms raised up like a riot
I appreciate the feedback
Then it all goes it quiet, you want the beat we’ll supply it
I wanna make new life from death, kind of like Christ did

It’s occurring to me earning a fee
Is not what you certain to see, cos: “Artist meets
Con-artist” is a reoccurring theme
If I’m ahead of my time, then I’m resting in peace
Leave coroners shocked, cos my music’s born to rock from
Cornershops to streets, long after I’m deceased
We could all be sweet or swell like inflammation
Trying to reach cos this music’s like blood donation
Got eternity in the hearts of the populations
From the soul to the beat, to the Alpha and Omega
Peace I pray you find in the cadence of my statements
Sing a little song with innovation
There’s many innovators but still only one Creator!

Track Name: City Song
This is the place where I sleepwalk, then I wake again
A strange home that its residents are strangers in
Its always on the move but it never speaks
And if you never been, I guess you'll never quite get it
The City, the rhythm I'm in step with
Where high-rise kids see with bird's eye perspective
Next to suburbs that they're not connected with
And best mind the gap, cos there lurks the nemesis
We're stuck in boxes like scientific specimens
Working for different ends, but the same city stresses
It's like the smog's an anesthetic
As if we're so afraid to catch something, we forget to catch the message
But don't catch eyes on the pavement where you treading
Cos matters to pressing, to sympathize with the street dwellings
And the smell of it, catches me off guard,
Still I offer a few pennies cos times are hard
I try and ask some questions, get down to brass tacks
I'm like: "Where's your family, mate?" He just laughs back
Honestly, I can't grasp that, but that's the city way
You see trouble just walk at a quicker pace
Cos mankind's got bad credit,
Living by a precipice where adverts are prevalent
Saying: "Be careful who you friendly with"
And now everybody's scared, because we all terrorists
But I see between the decadent and derelict
The heritage and heretic
The self-made man and the self-made menace
Manufactured with a mindset like manic depressive
Its the City...

Where you work, where you eat
Where you hide, where you meet
Where you cry, where you weep
It's the City...

Where you wake, where you sleep
Where you fall, where you reach
Where you're trapped, where you're free
It's the City...

In this City... full of freaks at night they emerge
Streets fade to orange light falls on the curb
I murmour something ...I can't hear myself think above the
Sound of traffic, the City's percussion
As we kick against the snare, snare against the kick,
Meet brares dealing wares on concrete stairs
The case, they plead theirs…
But only God can free them, that’s why I’m writing these street prayers
Cos funny things, happen on the way to the forum
Where someone's story: unexpectedly shortened
They cordon off the area, youths stay dawdling
Ignoring the causes of why the rich stay fortunate
Cos fortune made the city, money built the premises
Promised we'd make it, but then hid all the entrances
Trying to skyscrape takes stirling effort
The City work ethic, will kill you if you let it

Pedestrians look lifeless
My head’s bowed like, a Lowry lifework
Inner City Life: like its Timeless
My Heart-beat, between the silence and the sirens
Migrants facing the racist violence, ignorant mindsets
While kids make strangers visit the off license

From the highest point wisdom and folly calling
And Plod keep plodding like they forgotten Stephen Lawrence

In the Rush Hour, you’re quicker walking
Its Two-thou and still slums house city orphans
Acid rain falls-on, both richest and the poorest
Closed Circuit cameras got us all recorded
Another day ends, in this place I was created in
Where different cultures, faces mix and blend
A love-hate relationship, things keep changing it,
No mistaking it, it’s the people that make it….

In the City…
Where you work, where you eat
Where you hide, where you meet
Where you cry, where you weep
It's the City...

Where you wake, where you sleep
Where you fall, where you reach
Where you're trapped, where you're free
It's the City...
Track Name: Not Far To Go

She was force of nature,
But said her nature forced her
To do things she didn’t really want

She began to see that her actions a had consequences
And questioned if she’d ever would move on

Over some event
Happens all the time, that’s what I said

So be thankful,
Keep in heart, keep your head,
Even if the promise is all that’s left (cos)


I’m just trying’ to live right (ah-ah)
Pray I do not fall (pray I do not fall)
With the dawning of a new light (new light)
The darkness has to go (it has to go)
And may a thousand angels (thousand angels)
Bring a song of hope (la la la la)
Make a way through these troubles (make a way)
Cos there’s not far to go at all…

I won’t give up
No, no
I won’t give up
On you


There were some moments when he
Wasn’t feeling so friendly
And he would long to run away

It all seemed just like accident about happen
When I said: “Hey, hang on a second mate”

If you’re fighting
For something righteous
It can be really tough to hold on

But remember
The strong’ll be weak, the weak’ll be strong
And if you’re sincere, then sing along



(press on section)
Got to press on, press on,
press into truth and love!
Got to press on, we got to press into God)

So people keep on going, dont ya know that…(there’s not far to go)

Best know what you believe in, believe in, believe me …(there’s not far to go)

My people keep on trusting, keep on, trust me that…(there’s not far to go)

Remember what you believe in, believe in, believe me …(there’s not far to go)


I’m just trying to live right, pray I do not fall

With the dawning of a new light, the darkness has to go

May thousand angels bring a song of hope

Make a way through these troubles, oh there’s not far to go (at all)

Track Name: Time Difference ft J-Live
Ay-yo, 6 AM in the ATL
NYC seems miles from here
Like the minute Big Ben being seeing the light
Before I even rolled out of the bed
Jump on a chat for the toll free business
Hands on keys like ears to the ground
Holla at my overseas peoples in an instant
Trade food for thought swaps words for sounds

The sounds at the venue checked, head downtown
‘round ten pm, …chow with my friend
I’m…late turning up and she’s watching the clock
Sharing a cuppa Mint Tea at this Persian spot
Says the “old her’ s” gone, since she’s learnt lot
when a temporary lover, made-her permanent Mum
Now works a sex line to, earn some crust
Mid-conversation,(what?) midnight: I gotta run (cos its time)

Time difference, the difference in time
We trying live in these difficult times
UK to US, LS to NY
Testament, J-Live
Things look different with time
Time difference, the difference in time
We trying live in these difficult times
UK to US, LS to NY
Testament, J-Live
Things look different…

First-hand on 3, weave through second-hand smoke
New Bohemia closed, so I catch a cab home,
Couldn’t properly chat, with my pal at the show
Apologetic text message tapped into ma phone
He’s stand-up bloke, b-boyed when we were younger
Became Policeman, in his London borough
See I thank God for the seasons that we livin’ with
Getting through meantimes, like the Greenwich meridian

Deejay at Greenwich Vilage, today’s mission
Grab a camera full of landscapes and friends
Can’t miss a moment cos you never know when this life might come to an ends
Catch a value of a dollar and it don’t make sense
Now I’m trying to make a punds out of fifteen pense
See I don’t get gas like sight for sound
Contemplating how the modern day cipher sounds


From 3 o’clock to 6 then I get to La Guardia
Two days before I need JFK
Almost missed my flight with a close encounter
From the Biblebelt C cycles here in the A
And it ain’t no different in the Empire State
From forty-one to fifty, the shots hardly miss me
At 8 O’clock reach Harlem according to plan
10 O’clock I start the party with the Settlement jam

Jam on toast, 10 o’clock, I think maybe I changed?
Raised my game and moved on, well, then again maybe I aint?
…The time zones of life jetlag me now
Been undergrad, unemployed now I’m underground
I understand this: “freedom means sacrifice”
Jump online, contact the J-Live
Leave the house, say a prayer, grab my plane ticket
Hear the sound of children, playing in the distance…
Track Name: YKTE ft LeeSun

And how did life turn out like this?
There’s no easy explanation, goes beyond
The flaws in legal representation
Even further back than the crimes committed
The consequence is now, prison where he’s sitting
And from where he’s sitting, sees the web of decisions
Rewinding in his mind, is he a predator or victim?
Closed eyes, tears we shed with him
Now that you know the ending let’s head back to the beginning…

Verse 3:

The cell door slid open, still he seemed resigned
Salt-water rolled up his cheeks into his eyes
Wardens led him up, the corridor to transport
Sat on the van’s floor then down to Crown court
Judge gave sentence, then came the verdict
Barristers argued the case with little sense of purpose
GBH, this case was a circus
Situations worsen, cut to him on his face
Officers remove the cuffs, he turns gives chase?
To the cul-de-sac, lays a Volksvagen Jetta
Engines still running, thinking is this a set-up?
Climbs in front seat, then they pursue the fuzz
You know the ending, but we start where the end does…

(You know the ending)
And in the end, it doesn’t have to be like this

Verse 2:

So he’s outside the club, rage in his veins
28 days early not 28 days late
Looking at this kid, stooped over like he’s hit
But the wounds to his ribs heal up in an instant
As the bat left his torso…
Now seems our friend’s at an awkward crossroads
With one way to go, blend straight home
Replace the bat in its wardrobe, cut to the club
Feeling disrespected, fists coming up
The was kid’s poking fun, only now he doesn’t know
What was said to provoke the blows in the episode
Sneezing out coke with his cousin and bro
The beginning to discover, cos the end you know


Verse 1.

Being a dealer was nice, didn’t graft too hard but
He started on coke, then worked down to marijuana
The years went and came, see its kinda funny
They started giving him weed for money
Departed to do an unfinished B-TEC in design
GCSEs next, street rep in decline
On a mountain bike running packages on the sly
That’s why his kicks were so nice, cut to a filthy room
Staring at a fifty note taken by father substitute
In a nasty crew, finding control of his emotions
Run home after taking cars back to their owners
Not so much results of post codes or skin-tones but
The end he hadn’t chosen, guess he’d never known hope


And from where He’s sitting, sees the web of decisions
Only He knows who’s the predator or victim
Closed eyes, tears He sheds with him
You know He’s the ending, he’s the beginning…

Let’s change the ending
(Praying for you…)
Track Name: Night At The Fair

The Homecut rolls up on the beat
All the fun of the fair, that’s how I'm setting the scene
Time's wasting, we got better places to be
I seen nuff oddities on the street on this odyssey

Not pleased, the night fights spilling out
Louts getting rowdy down obscene amounts
She's got bruised ribs cant feel it now
Til morning comes just a dream and doubt

Question, what's the point? Good question indeed
The way most go about it is depressing to me
I go through situations, remain in the Lord
Hypocrites talk peace while they’re starting a war

That's what I'm here for; bring balance to the force
Challenge carnivores at the carnival
At nightfall, they just tightrope walk
Its Invisible people 's who we fighting for
Find the life source not the...candy floss
Can't stop til the last resort, and we rockin with that
Tongue twist substance fight injustice
Instructin the crowd get up but they just trip

That’s why we gotta walk with a bop our my step
Fair at the fairground? I ain't boppin impressed
Head miles away, from the neon fortress
Sing windows of the world with Dionne Warwick
Strange to me like a foreign tourist
Somebody said this whole generation's adulterous
That's why they unstable like a ride on the waltzers
Telling they children: there's nothing there for us

But I know this... one thing I learnt
Most time you find yourself is when you're down in the dirt
Now its time to work, cos the talk is cheap
My whole being driven, quite inevitably-
Deep with it, feelin' it, keep in it, bleed with it
Just the ticket like we leaving the speed limit


I seen, youth's amazed at amusement arcades
The only bright lights they chase in this dark place
That's life mate, wheelspins out of control
Hope for comfort, but they ain’t comfortable with hope
…Caught up with fairground attractions
Fascinated by the pictures, don't read the captions
The exits expected dialect directive
Setting the mind, soul, heart free and I'm getting
The fear of God, no fear mankind
I take it like an alcoholic one day at a time
And what a nice day for it, stay honest, stay on it
By the grace of God I pray I stay rock solid
Fists clenched in the cold air on short cuts to nowhere
Fairgrounds for lawless men with no cares
This funfair affair ain't meant to last
Gotta put my life into something more than that
Watch out! getting deeper in this fairground
Pay to lose control? - Not even aware now
Nod to the brere, but he just wants a stare out
Roll up for the mystery tour, we all scared now
Articles read, seem carnivalesque,
War with flesh, I feel like starting afresh
The saga we dread, hard times worth every sec
Cos this real life, no games, placing your bets
Yes!…Then the big wheel spins
Refuse to play the ball cos the machine always wins
So roll up? Nah, roll up my sleeves
Cos its a long walk home...
God bless, Peace.
Track Name: Bring It All Together
Please… have mercy on me father
It seems I’m at the end
It seems this world has turned away
And my weakness I hope I’ll find your strength

So many lives are broken
Guess I’m just the same
I just cover my face
So Lord, won’t you help me

Please…have mercy on us father
…I’m afraid
Afraid that I’ve lost my way
But if I can have just have a little faith
I know Jesus told me
He’ll help carry the weight
And he brings peace…

Bring it all together

Please…give courage the children
Scattered through the land
Its strange, the road that some will take
I pray they find rest in your hands

When will we start forgiving?
Turn away from hate?
Bring it all

Bring it all together
Track Name: Harmony
British lions and black stars
UK to ghana, both sets of grandmas
We call for Harmony

CHORUS (sung in the Ga language):

Wafee nyuma bi dzi wa (we are all children of god)
Nymuma suma wa fee (god loves us all)
Nyehaa wafee wabaa (let come together)
Ke gbei kome (in one voice)


The factory worker’s son, the market trader’s daughter
3 thousand miles of land and water can’t stop
What’s important, Accra starts to dance
And so starts the story, give me half a chance I’ll tell it

Way back before I can recollect
Two people met in the shade of an African sunset
Dancing to E.T. Mensa it was meant to be
This African-European love, destiny

They just clicked like african handshakes
Aranna and grape, now she’s talking of taking his name
He knew, she knew, they’re the one
So, fair enough let’s spread the love

The bride and groom soon get hitched but
Some say “ooh, their backgrounds’ too different?”
Cos they’re black and white like Tooting and Mitchum
So let’s change grounds and write a new history, yes!

Celebrate! now its London, UK
Move place from the council flat with new baby
Sibling number one, that’s big bruv
Wasn’t too long before another kid came along
And that was me, Mum and Dad give love
While some bloke chatting bout rivers of blood?
Cos interacial couples were quite rare
Trouble was hold hands and people might stare

I grew up into bro’s hand me downs
Never in any doubts about my heritage, how
Two cultures blended to make us
Brought two sides together like the equator

God had a plan for my mama and my father, see
Praise the lord they call it harmony



Ok, I was talking to my Mum
About racism she saw when raising her sons
She said when Dad was at work and was taking you two
To school and playgroup, we had some racist abuse

At the bus stop, this N.F. poster
Telling the voters to send the darkies homeward
She’d take the poster down, stick in the rubbish then
Next day comeback, and they’d stuck it up again
Everyday this process was repeated
She’d keep on til all those posters were in pieces

These bigots are afraid of what they don’t know
I wonder what they would made living at home
With groundnut soup and shepherds pie on the stove
Osibisa Elephants next to Rubber Soul

I rock St. George socks with Kente cloth
Headnod to highlife while I try and rep God
So the other day went to my bus stop, and guess what?
Still racist slogans in the spot

Take the slogans down and I speak politely
When you see rubbish please keep britain tidy
Depsite these forms that only say “Black Other”
I represent my English dad and my Ga mother
They made sacrifices brought me freedom
To see the deeper meaning
Mixed race dual heritage, half-breed?
We’re more than that, we’re harmony…
Track Name: Breakdown ft Andreya Triana

Between these word and actions
It seems these admonitions
Have been heard a thousand times
And now the twilight is fading
We breakdown, breakdown, breakdown

Between the sound of rain and the scent of bonfires
Dayjob’s kicked in, revolution got tired
Between work and leisure, between the lines read
We’re so consumed, like the feeling of grief
All things possible for those who believe
If I try, could I strength to the weak?
Instead we replace reality, with Reality TV,
Plus if I’m the wrong colour you can’t see me
Seemingly we all got a free-view
But no bank account, and its sorry don’t need you
Cos self-help won’t extend to those
With no sense of self, except senseless logos
Uh…you looking pensive bro
Chasing cheap highs with some expensives lows
yeah, we got products from whatever dot com
Cos we wanna be free, but not sure what from
(when you break it down)


Between bravado and fear, between deaf ears
Words fall, and life disappears
Between the past and the time to come
Between four walls we hide from the son
Afraid to recognise what our soul’s become
Secretly we can’t believe we can overcome
We worship worthless stuff, there we place our trust
Then chose intimacy as opposed love
Proponents of our own downfall,
The meek are seated on street corners
While the proud stand tall
Guess they never read the tale of Babel,
And the way that one day we will be no more
See its strange how a spiritual awakening some call a breakdown
When we face ourselves, and pain is felt,
Pay for help cos there’s much more, than this place and realm
(when we breakdown)


I know there’s something much better
Something much more than this.
Track Name: All For Now
From down south to far north we explore the marvelous
Par for the course just like the Law charges doors,
It’s not like we can’t stop, sometimes we can’t pause
On my knees keep praying til my jeans are part-worn
The last born son with this born-again art form
Praying for peace like they need in Darfur
The dark horse, you get my point like dartboards
While we even got the beat on lock like Dartmoor
Making Hardcore sorts applaud
Make you get loose til your ligaments
Half-torn to your metatarsal
Ask the dance floor why they’re here? (Why you here?)
But they just aren’t sure
When the poor are ignored to score vast oil resource
On foreign shores and the pretext and morals are false
I see red like Darth Maul,
They got applause sound FX set alter your thoughts
Cos there’s a dark force on march assaulting your soul
Testament performs tours not barcrawls, not at all
I’m Homecut - not the cut out cardboard
Not the sort to consort and carry on with caricatures
You say ‘peace’ so what you carrying for?
Port or starboard, what you following the stars for?
Celebrity obsession just another form of class war
Forget the fast talk represent truth til last waltz, last orders
Sending up for the Lord’s last cause til last doors, last call
And that’s all

And that’s all for now

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