Protest 100: Cro-Mags – ‘We Gotta Know’

Artist:          Cro-Mags

Song:           We Gotta Know

Album:        The Age of Quarrel

Producer:    Chris Williamson

Label:          Profile

Year:           1986

Notes:
Cro-Mags came out swinging, ‘We Gotta Know’ being the first track on the band’s debut album, ‘The Age of Quarrel.’ The album’s title is derived from the Hindu expression for the current age, Kali Yuga (the final age before the annihilation of the universes), and even back in 1986 the call was out for us to use our brains and see through the lies perpetrated from above. “You’ve got young people that are confused, making mistakes and looking for the truth, looking for answers,” bass player Harley Flanagan said in his autobiography ‘Hard-Core: Life of My Own’ regarding the lyrics he and vocalist John Joseph wrote for Cro-Mags’ debut.

Go to the bottom of the post to see Refused feat. Joseph performing ‘We Gotta Know’ and Bad Brains’ ‘Attitude’.

Excerpt from ‘Unreality’  —
“I know. I know, Captain. Ain’t a goddamn word of truth to any of it. But you buggin’ out freaked those muthafuckas down below. And we gotta give them something.”

Lyrics
Strugglin’ in the streets just trying to survive
Searchin’ for the truth is just keepin’ us alive
Gotta break these shackles gotta break these chains
Said the only way we’ll do it is if we use our brains
Said there’s gotta be some meaning to the purpose of life
I know there must be more than the struggle and strife
Cause I’m looking for the answers and I need a clue
Cause my mind’s so disturbed now what do I do?

Notice everywhere there’s mass confusion and packs of lies
We gotta know!
We’re starin’ down our enemies in the eyes
We gotta know!
These are the days of the cheaters and the cheated
We gotta know!
But we’re not gonna bend you know we won’t be defeated
We gotta know!

Strugglin’ in the streets just trying to survive
Searchin’ for the truth is just keepin’ us alive
Gotta break these shackles gotta break these chain
Said the only way we’ll do it is if we use our brains
Said there’s gotta be some meaning to the purpose of life
I know there must be more than the struggle and strife
Cause I’m looking for the answers and I need a clue
Cause my mind’s so disturbed now what do I do?
Cause my minds so disturbed now
What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?

This planet’s turnin’ into a hell
And I figured out that things don’t really look too well
Reactions coming they’re already starting to show
But the question is who’ll go with the flow
You know there’s gonna, be a fight!
Cause somebody’s always tryin’ to keep ya
From doing the right
There’s always gonna be somebody
Comin’ no matter where you go
So now you know why we gotta know
We gotta 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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