J.Lee the Producer “Datgum (feat. Adam L)”

Datgum by J.Lee the Producer and Adam L

Datgum is a protest song written to reflect the current struggle of Black people and people of color in America against white supremacy. The term “Datgum” itself is a euphemism that is used to express anger or shock. Despite being born into a country cloaked in white supremacy, and raised in full awareness of it – I am always freshly surprised at how easy, if not downright profitable it is to kill us in full view with the whole world watching. The surprise I feel over this is what causes the anger and out comes the expression “Datgum!” to stand in for feelings for which there aren’t words. Those feelings can be distilled into a mix of anger, despair, sadness, and confusion.

The song was largely inspired by the protest of Colin Kaepernick refusing to observe the national anthem during the NFL games for which he was playing. The simple act was poignant and accompanied by a very concise and thoughtful explanation for his choice. My goal was to give greater context to the issue of racism to show that not only does it still exist but it is just as widespread as any other point in this nation’s history. The opening line is “Slaves on a ship, frays on a whip, chains on a hip, gangs on a strip, names on a list“. This short list documents the metamorphosis of the institution of racism. First we were bought as cattle (slaves on a ship) then we were tortured to destroy our minds (frays on a whip). When slavery was deemed illegal then Jim Crow laws were put into place to make sure we remained target and the prison yard became the new plantation (chains on a hip). Gangs originally developed as a means of protection against racism (gangs on a strip) but devolved into another beast entirely once The Black Panther Party and other like-minded pro-black groups were destroyed. In 2017 it is apparent we still have no recourse when an officer decides to end our lives for any apparent reason (names on a list). The officers actions are always justified by mainstream white society and the victims are always posthumously villainized. “Did he comply?”

Produced by J.Lee the Producer. Lyrics by Adam L.

Video: Datgum

Audio: Datgum

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Stream: Apple Music // Soundcloud // Spotify

Lyrics: Datgum

Slaves on a ship.
Frays on a whip.
Chains on a hip.
Gangs on a strip.
Names on a list.
Based on our history this repeats.
Ain’t none of this new, can’t none of this prove hate don’t exist.
Ain’t none of us never escaped from it, ain’t none of us safe from it.
They gunnin’ us down – gettin’ paid from it.
They runnin’ up town where they safe from us when we say something like…
“Don’t shoot” “I can’t breathe” or “black lives matter!”
Sold to white man, beat and black hide gathered.
Boat crew’s white hand seized our capsized matter.
Choke noose tied and swings as black minds shatter.
Ropes do bind and leaves us wrapped, I’d rather
go through life and see than half-blind as a choice
and cede an eased mind in these times to sing lies
with deep pride and that’s why Kaepernick has to sit.
Has to passively resist savages
packing badges and a clip (hazardous)
as the masses clap as if flags have kids.
Thats a bit backwards isn’t it?
Isn’t the vision different than this?
Indivisible with liberty isn’t this.
When is resistance against this fiction sufficient?
When does conviction get emphasis?
If its a lie – never!
They could deny every right ever prescribed ever.
They could devise cleverly why every life that’ll be swiped threatened their white ledger.
Meth in a pipe.
Getting a Sprite in the dead of the night.
Ran a red light.
Questioning why.
Hands in the sky.
Hands at our side.
Hands to protect from the pepper in eyes.
Every time – did he comply?
Theft of a life. Did he comply?
Left him to die, bled on the side. Did he comply?
Weapon obliged, ain’t read him his rights. Did he comply? Did he comply?
Severed his spine. Every time – did he comply?
Stretcher arrived. Did he comply?
Dead on the site. Seventy strikes. Did he comply?
Breathless and quiet. Did he comply?
Every time – did he comply?
Let them decide and rest for tonight’s success on your side!
Philando and Terrence can’t go on errands for caps in their side, yeah.
And we got these Rambos as sheriffs, ammo to spare so they practice it live, yeah.
And since our anthem’s so cherished, stand or disparage the masses who died, yeah.
But they all got on camo when swearin’, ramblin’ bout heritage, fairness and pride, yeah.
So we scavenge the mines for signs from the times of the founding fathers.
For whom browns could offer nothing by which to ever be bound or bothered.
How do y’all even begin to reconcile your reckless style of quoting King, your crowning martyr
and now regard his script as disrespect, kiss a vet and hit the deck in dowdy armor.
Badges and pageantry.
Assassin’s academy.
Casual savagery.
Rap sheet repacking.
Re-hashing their past.
Distract from the tragedy.
Kaepernick’s salary.
These claps for cavalry keep black screams practically absent.
These bad dreams actually happened.
These black teens capped in the back and these flags beamed as a reaction.
We’ve had strings cracking our back since we last seen Africa.
That’s the legacy!
That’s the lesson we never seem to address in the sessions of screaming “Let ’em leave!”
“Whoever thinks its better had better be steppin’, bet they second guess which grass is evergreen.
Yeah, I bet you that in a second or less they’d step n’ fetch it to the land of free.
Home of brave.
No more slaves.
Don’t complain.
Oh, behave.
Step, repeat.
Freedom ain’t a thing if we don’t even claim freedom ain’t a thing in this datgum thing.
We became everything that we disdain when we agreed to feign freedom in the place of the datgum thing.
To complain. Freedom to arraign. Freedom to explain freedom ain’t a thing in this datgum thing.
Freedom ain’t a thing if we don’t even claim freedom ain’t a thing in this datgum thing.
We became everything that we disdain when we agreed to feign freedom in the place of the datgum thing.
To complain. Freedom to arraign. Freedom to explain freedom ain’t a thing in this datgum thing.