SONG OF THE DAY: Common – Testify

SONG OF THE DAY

Common

Testify

“Testify” was the fourth single from Common’s album Be and received four Grammy nominations in 2006, including Best Rap Solo Performance. This incredible piece of hip-hop storytelling was recorded in 2005 and was produced and co-written by Kanye West. West sampled vocals from “Innocent Til Proven Guilty” by Honey Cone for the chorus.

 SONG OF THE DAY  Common  Testify

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(Credit: Wikipedia)

 

Just as impressive as the track, the music video starred Taraji P. Henson, Bill Duke, Steve Harris and Wood Harris and was promoted as a “mini-movie”. The director Anthony Mandler took creative inspiration from the film The Usual Suspects.

 SONG OF THE DAY  Common  Testify 2

(Credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, rapper Common has been making a number of appearances on film. He is rumored to appear with the all-star cast of Suicide Squad, Warner Brothers action supervillian movie. Currently Common is on screen with Liam Neeson for the thriller Run All Night and was part of the cast for acclaimed civil rights movie Selma. For the latter he won an Oscar for best original song, which he shared with John Legend.

 SONG OF THE DAY  Common  Testify 3

(Credit: Wikipedia)

Check out Common’s 2006 mini-movie for “Testify” a track that painted a picture of the life of crime and deceit:

Lyrics:

[Common:]
She walked in the court her knees buckled
Saying “For a man to survive he need hustle”
Seen and been through struggle her whole life
Made a transition from being his hoe to his wife
Stifling; that night upend the ATF bust in
Her daddy was a hustla so she love them
Looked at the jury, how can they judge him?
She screamed

[Chorus:]
Before you lock my love away, before you lock my love away
Before you lock my love away, before you lock my love away
Please let me testify

[Common:]
Fear in her chest, her face in tears,
Had her man’s back. He was facin’ years
In her name, though the place was his
They tryna to take everything except the kids
For years she been through scufflin’ fights
While he tryna to hustle that white
Up all night wonderin’ if he’s alive
Seeing him tried she bubbled inside and screamed

[Chorus:]
Before you lock my love away, before you lock my love away
Before you lock my love away, before you lock my love away
Please, let me testify

[Common:]
The judge yelled for order
Court reporter makin’ her words shorter
His lawyer sat next to him, she could see how the trial was affectin’ him
It hurt for her eyes to connect with him
Using her lies for protectin’ him
They arrested him for murder, and gun possession
As they read back her confession she screamed

[Chorus:]
Before you lock my love away, before you lock my love away
Before you lock my love away, before you lock my love away
Please, let me testify

[Common:]
The court awaited as the foreman got the verdict from the bailiff
Emotional outbursts tears and smeared makeup
He stated, he was guilty on all charges
She shakin’ like she took it the hardest
A spin artist, she brought her face up laughin’
That’s when the prosecutor realized what happened
All that speaking her mind, testifyin’ and cryin’
When this bitch did the crime: The Queenpin…

[Chorus:]
Before you lock my love away, before you lock my love away
Before you lock my love away, before you lock my love away
Please, let me testify

You accuse me of a, you accuse me of a, you accuse
Please let me testify, please let me testify
You accuse me of a, you accuse me of a, you accuse
Please let me testify, please let me testify

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