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Notes: I love cities. | I’ve mainly spent most of my life in three cities (London, Manchester and Leeds). Although the UK is relatively small, each city has got such distinctive character. I just wanted to share snapshots from some of my experiences growing up in them. | Some days I find this habitat is hypnotic. It can give us identity and make us anonymous simultaneously. Maybe it’s a little weird, but I find beauty even in the grit, grimaces and light pollution that they give us. | I love cities. Did I mention that already?
Piano part came about as John Ellis was listening to the track in an adjacent room and started playing along.


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...


from No Freedom Without Sacrifice, released June 8, 2009
[A. Brooks]
Drums: Cousin J
Additional Bass: Kenny Higgins
Guitar: Ben Barker
Rhodes: Aaron Jackman
Piano: John Ellis
City cry: Shaheen
Vocal: Testament
Additional Production: Testament & Steve Brown



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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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