Protest 100: Public Enemy – ‘Can’t Truss It’

Artist:          Public Enemy

Song:           Can’t Truss It

Album:        Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black

Producer:    Gary G-Wiz, The Bomb Squad

Label:          Def Jam/Columbia

Year:           1991

Notes:
Don’t believe what anyone in power tells you. You might get sold into slavery. Or find someone trying to help you out of it, but only for their own purposes. And good luck getting money together when you start off at the bottom. As Chuck D told Melody Maker in 1991: “’Can’t Truss It’ is about how the corporate world of today is just a different kind of slavery. We don’t control what we create. And because of the media, we don’t control the way we think or run our lives. We’ve got to limit working for a situation that’s other than ours. We have no ownership of anything. If you don’t own business, then you don’t have jobs. White people have jobs because they have business. They have institutions that teach them how to live in America. Black people don’t have institutions that teach them how to deal with s–t. The Number One institution that teaches you how to deal is the family, but slavery f–ked that up. So the song is about the ongoing cost of the holocaust. There was a Jewish holocaust, but there’s a black holocaust that people still choose to ignore.”

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
It wouldn’t be too long before they’d start wondering anew about each other, trying in vain to figure out who could and could not be trusted. The entire circle would be made whole again; rival schools trying to outdo each other rather than face a common problem.

Lyrics
[Intro: Chuck D (& Flavor Flav)]
(Confusion)
Here come the drums
Alright, alright, yeah, yeah
Alright, alright
Here come the drums
Alright, alright, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Alright, alright

[Chuck D]
Bass in your face, not an eight track
Gettin’ it good to the wood
So the people give you some of that reactin’ to the facts
That I kick and it stick and it stay around
Pointin’ to the joint, put the Buddha down
Goin, goin, deep to the roots
Ain’t givin’ it up, so turn me loose
But then again I got a story that’s harder than the hardcore
Cost of the holocaust, I’m talkin’ ’bout the one still goin’ on
I know where I’m from, not dum diddie dum
From the base motherland, the place of the drum
Invaded by the wack diddie wack
And fooled the black, and left us faded
King and chief, probably had a big beef
Because of that now I grit my teeth
So here’s a song to the strong
‘Bout the shake of the snake and the smile went along
With that, can’t truss it

[Break: Flavor Flav]
You can’t truss it
Let them know
You can’t truss it
Yo, let them know
You can’t truss it
Let them know

[Chuck D]
Kickin’ wicked rhymes like a fortune teller
Cause the wickedness done by Jack
Where everybody at divided and sold
For liquor and the gold
Smacked in the back for the other man to mack

[Break: Flavor Flav]
What?
Wicked man, wicked man
Get back, step back, kick it man

[Chuck D]
Now the story that I’m kickin’ is gory
Little Rock where they be dockin’ this boat
No hope, I’m shackled, oh plus, gang tackled
By the other hand swingin’ the rope “god damn”
Wearin’ red, white and blue, Jack and his crew
The guy’s authorized beat down for the brown
Man to the man, each one, so I teach one
Born to terrorize sisters and every brother
One love who said it, I know Whodini sang it
But the hater taught hate that’s why we gang bang it
Beware of the hand when it’s comin’ from the left
I ain’t trippin, just watch your step
Can’t truss it

[Break: Flavor Flav]
Can’t truss it
Yo, let them know
Can’t truss it
Yo, let them know
Can’t truss it
Yo, let them know
Can’t truss it, can’t truss it
Can’t truss it, can’t truss it
Can’t truss it, can’t truss it

[Chuck D]
And I’ll judge everyone, one by the one
Look here comes the judge, watch it here he come now
(Don’t sentence me judge, I ain’t did nothin’ to nobody)
I can only guess what’s happenin’
Years ago he woulda been the ship’s captain
Gettin’ me bruised on a cruise, what I got to lose
Lost all contact, got me layin’ on my back
Ugh, rollin’ in my own leftover
When I roll over, I roll over in somebody else
90 damn days on a slave ship
Count them fallin’ off 1, 2, 3, 4 hundred at a time
Blood in the wood and it’s mine
I’m chokin’ on, spit, feelin’ pain
Like my brain bein’ chained
Still gotta give it what I got
But it’s hot in the day, it’s cold in the night
But I thrive to survive, I pray to god to stay alive
Attitude boils up inside
And that ain’t it, you think I ever quit
Still I plan to get my hands around the neck of the man with the whip
3 months passed, they brand a label on my ass
To signify our owned, I’m on the microphone
Sayin’ 1555, how I’m livin’
We been livin’ here, livin’ ain’t the word, I been givin’
Haven’t got, classify us in the have-nots
Fightin’ haves cause it’s all about money “damn”
When it comes to Armageddon mean I’m getting mine
Here I am turn it over Sam
427 to the year, do you understand
That’s why it’s hard for the black to love the land

[Chuck D]
Once again, bass in your face, not an eight track
Gettin’ it good to the wood
So the people give you some of that reactin’ to the facts
That I kick and it stick and it stay around
Pointin’ to the joint, put the Buddha down
Goin, goin, gettin’ to the roots
Ain’t givin’ it up, so turn me loose
But then again I got a story that’s harder than the hardcore
Cost of the holocaust, I’m talkin’ ’bout the one still goin’ on
I know where I’m from, not dum diddie dum
From the base motherland, the place of the drum
Invaded by the wack diddie wack
And fooled the black, and left us faded
King and chief, probably had a big beef
Because of that now I grit my teeth
So here’s a song to the strong
Bout the shake of the snake and the smile went along
With that, can’t truss it

[Outro: Flavor Flav]
Can’t truss it, can’t truss it
You can’t truss it, you can’t truss it
You can’t truss it, you can’t truss it
You can’t truss it, you can’t truss it
You can’t truss it, you can’t truss it

[Chuck D]
Watch him, here he comes now
Watch him, here he comes now

‘Protest 100’s mission is two-fold: dispelling the myth that heavy metal is a brainless, socially unaware music genre, and raising awareness of the issues facing our country in the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The path won’t be exclusively metal—some punk and rap and other stuff will be in here too, including the classics—and is not a ranking. All songs are songs I’ve heard while putting this list together, ordered in a manner designed to entertain and educate.

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