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No Freedom Without Sacrifice

by Homecut

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No Freedom Without Sacrifice (repeated) There is no freedom without sacrifice
Particpant 03:12
… 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 Chorus: 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 Rap: …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) 2. 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
CHORUS: 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) CHORUS 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 CHORUS Sax solo I Don’t Even Know (refrain) ..I hope that it turns out right.
V1. 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… CHORUS Innovative, now you into this The inner-sound system with that instant vintage Innovative, now you into this The Homecut: Live! In the mix Bridge In the heart, in the mind, in the soul V2. 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! CHORUS
City Song 06:22
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... Ch: 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... 2. 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...
V1. 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 Discouragement 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) Bridge 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… Chorus I won’t give up No, no I won’t give up On you V.2 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 Bridge Chorus Chorus (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) Bridge 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) V2.
(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 (Testament) 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) CHORUS: 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… 2. (Testament) 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 (J-Live) 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 CHORUS: 3. (J-Live) 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 (Testament) 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…
Epilogue: 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… CHORUS: (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 CHORUS 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 CHORUS Prologue: 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… Intro: Let’s change the ending (Praying for you…)
V1. 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 RUN! V2. 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.
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 Together Bring it all together
Harmony 03:28
INTRO. 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) VERSE 1. 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 CHORUS VERSE 2. 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…
Chorus 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 1. 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) Chorus 2. 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) Chorus I know there’s something much better Something much more than this.
All For Now 04:10
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


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


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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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