CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?

A HISTORICAL COLLECTION OF SOUNDS, POEMS, AND VOICES CAPTURED DURING THE RESURGENCE OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT FOLLOWING THE EXECUTION OF GEORGE FLOYD BY THE MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT.

"CAN YOU HEAR US NOW ?" was a concept that came to life on the night of June 2, 2020, which you may remember as Blackout Tuesday. Overwhelmed by the protests and media frenzy resulting from the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, I sat down and turned to the one thing that always puts me in better place - songwriting. I ended up writing the majority of the "CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?" project that night, and a week later I made the project available to a select few on Soundcloud. This project was the catalyst that kicked off one of the most powerful journeys I've experienced in my young life and I am beyond blessed to share some of this journey with you. All Black Lives Will Matter Now & Forever.

CANYOUHEARUSNOW? Art Front Final-01.jpg
CANYOUHEARUSNOW? Art Back Final-01.jpg

"All lives cannot matter until black lives matter"

From Kabwasa's Intro

0:38

EXHAUSTED !

 

 

Prod. by Wontel

[Intro: Gianna Floyd & Protesters]

No Justice! No Peace! No Justice! No Peace!         
No Racist! Police! No Justice! No Peace!         
No Justice!         
He did what?         
Daddy changed the world!         
No Justice! No Peace!         


[Hook: Clarence The Kid]

I’m exhausted         
All I really want is         
To feel like a human being despite what the law says         
Why do all the cops just         
Hold our black lives hostage         
It’s time for a revolution, we gon’ keep on marching         
I said we’re exhausted         
         All we really want is         
To feel like some human beings despite what the law says         
Why do all the cops just         
Hold our black lives hostage         
It’s time for a revolution, we gon’ keep on marching         
I said, I said         


[Verse 1: Clarence The Kid]

You ain't really serve and protect (Nope!)         
Why you kneeling on a man’s neck         
What the fuck is you doing? (Derek)         
Why the 12 never show us respect? (Never!)         
Why they always wanna bring death         
Bring death to the movement         
Ain't it crazy how the people linked up? (Like that)         
Everybody out here fighting for a change         
You don't hear us?         
Well I guess in that case we’ll speak up (Speak up)         
Damn right, I’m glad that you motherfuckers fear us         
We don't want none of your problems         

We want justice for all of the fallen         
Sick of seeing disrespect from the forces (Sick of it!)         
Protectors of law acting lawless (What?)         
Ain’t nobody really doing nothing bad (We’re really not)         
Walking peacefully and this is how you act? (Trash)         
Lay a violent hand down, we’re recording that (We see you!)         
Dumb criminals, why you hide behind the badge?         
If you gonna feel for us, then kneel for us         
Not for the photo-op but cuz you're really here for us         
Y’all been faking on us, you don't care for us         
Tear gas choking all of America         
Ain't that some shit, speak up for what's right and you might get hit         
With a rubber bullet or some pepper spray in the face         
Five-0, that is not okay         


[Hook: Clarence The Kid]

Yeah I’m exhausted         
All I really want is         
To feel like a human being despite what the law says         
Why do all the cops just         
Hold our black lives hostage         
It’s time for a revolution, we gon’ keep on marching         
I said we’re exhausted         
All we really want is         
To feel like some human beings despite what the law says         
Why do all the cops just         
Hold our black lives hostage         
It’s time for a revolution, we gon’ keep on marching         
I said, I said --         


[Outro: Unidentified Protester]

I find it disgusting the the LAPD is slaughtering peaceful protesters on the         

streets. I had two friends go to the protest in Beverly Hills a couple days ago and         
the protest was peaceful until the police showed up with their excessive, violent         
force, shooting rubber bullets and throwing tear gas! Is this what you think of         
protecting and serving? Because I think it’s bullshit! Fuck you Michael Moore, I         
refuse to call you an officer or a chief because you don’t deserve those titles. You         
are a disgrace! Suck my dick and choke on it! I yield my time, fuck you!         

Written by Joshua A. Smith.
Produced by Wontel.
Mixed and Mastered by Clarence The Kid.
Additional vocals by Gianna Floyd & unidentified protesters.
Recorded in Clarence The Kid's bedroom in Los Angeles, CA.
Track two of seven.
Run time - 2:15

Kabwasa's Intro

 

 

Prod. by Clarence The Kid

[Intro: Various Protesters]

Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!
Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!
Black Lives Matter!


[Interlude: Kabwasa]

Mike Brown, Stephon Watts, Oscar Grant, Larry Jackson...
Trayvon Martin, Kendrec McDade, Garry Hatches...
George Floyd, Meagan Hockaday, Rekia Boyd, Kian Livingston...
Eric Garner, Yvette Smith, Kimani Gray, Dontre Hamilton...
Timothy Russell, Derek Williams, Patrick Dorismond, Tanisha Anderson...
Shantel Davis, Alan Blueford, Ezell Ford, Sean Bell, Corey Harris...
Jon Ferrell, Victor Steen, Frank Clark, Dane Scott, Shelly Frey...
Terrence Sterling, Maya Hall, Tamir Rice, Gus Rugley...
Eleanor Bumpurs, John Crawford, Phillip Pannel...
Tyre King, Natasha McKenna, Jonny Gammage...
Joshua Beal, Alexia Christian...


[Outro: Protester]

Black lives matter!
All lives cannot matter until black lives matter!
All of these people out here are allies, all of these people out here see that there is a serious fucking problem!
If my mom can die tomorrow for walking out of her house, hell yeah, I’ma be out here!
There’s tear gas over there and it fucking hurts but guess what else hurts?
Having a police officer kneel on your fucking neck for seven minutes while the life drains out of you!
That shit hurts so guess what, I will willingly put myself through pain, so that I can avenge that man’s death and every single black person who has died at the hands of police brutality!
That is why we’re here, black lives fucking matter!

Featuring Kabwasa.

Written by Joshua A. Smith & Etienne Kabwasa Green.

Produced by Clarence The Kid.

Mixed and Mastered by Clarence The Kid.

Additional vocals by an unidentified protester.

Recorded in Clarence The Kid's bedroom in Los Angeles, CA.

Track one of seven.

Run time - 1:17

Big Floyd Speaks

 

 

 

Prod. by Clarence The Kid

[Interlude: George Floyd]

Sup, Big Floyd, man.
Say man, I’m back at it, man
Workout gang, getting back on up, man, you know?
I went through some things, man, had to bounce back, man
I’m just sharing right now, you know what I’m saying?
Cuz man, people quick to count you out, man
But just so strict on counting you in, you know?
One thing ‘bout old Floyd, man, I love the world
I ain’t putting on, ask anybody that know me, then they know me
You know cuz like, people be acting like they be scared to embrace God
Worried about the next man gon’ say and all that
Man, you better get down... Know what I’m saying?
Like I ain’t here to show out and all that
You know, this here just for -- to motivate somebody to --
Who wanna work out that might need it or
Whatever you’re going through, man
Man, don’t let Instagram fool you, man
And get you depressed, looking at what other people doing and all that, man
I love you, man
Big Floyd, Cuney Homes family
I’m ghost

Featuring the voice of George Floyd.
Produced by Clarence The Kid.
Mixed and Mastered by Clarence The Kid.
Recorded in Clarence The Kid's bedroom in Los Angeles, CA.
Track three of seven.
Run time - 0:59

"Is this what you think of protecting and serving?

Because I think it's bullshit"

From EXHAUSTED !

2:02

"One thing 'bout old Floyd, man, I love the world"

From Big Floyd Speaks

0:18

"They ain't never gon' kill our spirit, I'd like to see them try"

From Two Choices

1:07

Two Choices

 

 

Prod. by jmo corleone

Written by Joshua A. Smith.
Produced by jmo corleone.
Mixed and Mastered by Clarence The Kid.
Additional vocals by an unidentified protester.
Recorded in Clarence The Kid's bedroom in Los Angeles, CA.
Track four of seven.
Run time - 1:47

[Intro: Clarence The Kid & George Floyd / Police Officer]
(Stay on your feet and face the car door!)
         
(Please!!)         
If I see one more story like this man...         
It’s the same shit... Y’all not tired of this?         
Fuck         
(Dang man, I’m not that kind of guy)         

[Hook: Clarence The Kid]
Look, I done seen a lot of people die
         
Every single fucking time I’m on my timeline         
It’s upsetting         
I got two choices, do I sit and hide         
Or give piggies a piece of my mind         
Because they don’t get me         
Five-0 hate my life         
Only see me as an evil being capable of crime         
So they try to kill me         
Will I put it all on the line or stay silent?         
Only one choice makes sense to me really         

[Verse 1: Clarence The Kid]
(I can’t breathe, Mr. Officer! Please!! Please! Ahh!)
         
Look, George said he couldn’t breathe         
Eric said he couldn't breathe         
Freddie said it too         
Now we mobbin’ in the streets         
Couple hundred thousand feet         
In each city, march for justice         
Like we oughta do         
Ahmaud got shot, Terence got shot         
Alton got shot, man, Breonna and Philando too         
Why they wanna be so trigger happy         
This ain’t have to happen         
But that's how you motherfuckers chose to move         
This the kind of country that we living in         

Just existing could raise some suspicion then         
You could just be beat into oblivion         
With excuses of being combative or resisting them         
Or threatening when in reality they just want to see you die         
They aint never gon’ kill our spirit, I'd like to see them try         
Who am I? I’m a proud black man, and I stand with my troops         
And you ain't never gonna put us on mute         
Cuz it’s a war we’re fighting         

[Hook: Clarence The Kid]
I done seen a lot of people die
         
Every single fucking time I’m on my timeline         
It’s upsetting         
I got two choices, do I sit and hide         
Or give the piggies a piece of my mind         
Because they don’t get me         
Five-0 hate my life         
Only see me as an evil being capable of crime         
So they try to kill me         
(I wouldn’t do nothing to hurt y’all, Mr. Officer)         
Will I put it all on the line or stay silent?         
Only one choice makes sense to me really         

[Outro: Protester & George Floyd]
All four cops need to be charged
         
(Why y’all doing me like that, Mr. Officer?)         
And also third degree murder?         
Excuse me but what is that?         
(Look man, I’m claustrophobic for real, Mr. Officer)         

"But then I see bullets flying, tear gas, citizens choking

Crowds getting run over, people seizing, I've seen explosions"

From Sirens

2:27

Sirens

 

 

Prod. by jmo corleone

[Verse 1: Clarence The Kid]

Living in downtown Los Angeles
Surrounded by some blacks and hispanics
While I'm walking through a campus full of white folk
DPS texting us with descriptions of the enemy and if you don't know
They all look like me
Entire community being gentrified
I had to train myself not to run and hide or I’ll look suspicious
And so I’ll act like the whites as a disguise
Cuz if I act how I want in public I might be subject to questions
I’ve been taught to code switch for protection
Cause people freak out if you’re acting too ethnic
Never respected, just tolerated for art and our culture
And nothing more so I’m walking lightly
Always be too polite and speak kindly
I feel like a sell out, but that’s how I’ve survived
My colored people targeted every day and every night for being authentic
I go home and I hold my head and I cry
For the families in South Central that’s tired of all the sirens playing

 

[Hook: Clarence The Kid]

I hear sirens out the window, hope the people okay
System always been against us for no reason, I pray
For our safety and I’m hoping maybe one of these days
That things will be much better
I hear sirens out the window, hope the people okay
System always been against us for no reason, I pray

For our safety and I’m hoping maybe one of these days
That things will be much better

 

[Verse 2: Clarence The Kid]

It’s 2am and I’m whipping it through the westside
Quarantine been having me itching to see the outside
Scooped up my homegirl, we driving, blasting the music
When some lights and sirens pop up behind me, so I pull over
And pull the keys out ignition, put em on the roof
Get my license out and place my hands at 10 and 2
Had registration ready so they wouldn’t have to shoot
Because I’m reaching for the glove box and might pull out the tool
Cop gets on the megaphone, says roll your windows down
I comply and see two officers hop out as they start walking to me
I see them take their flashlights off of their belts and
Look all up inside my car before they even started talking to me
Fuck standard procedure, this ain’t no traffic stop
The only thing that's running through my head is “don’t get shot”
Cuz I’ve seen the stories, and I know what can happen
It’s safer to let ‘em have it, that's what it’s like being black in
This country

 

[Hook: Clarence The Kid]

I see sirens out my window, hope that I’ll be okay
System always been against me for no reason, I pray
For my safety and I’m hoping maybe one of these days
That things will be much better, please
I see sirens out my window, hope that I’ll be okay
System always been against me for no reason, I pray
For my safety and I’m hoping maybe one of these days
That things will be much better

 

[Verse 3: Clarence The Kid]

Scrolling through Twitter, I see the protesters’ signs
People fighting for justice, fed up with the pain inside
And it’s beautiful seeing faces of all kinds
Men, women, and children, colored people and allies
But then I see bullets flying, tear gas, citizens choking
Crowds getting run over, people seizing, I’ve seen explosions
Buildings on fire, helicopter blades chopping the air
All to silence something peaceful, why this world so unfair?
Ridiculous

 

[Hook: Clarence The Kid]

I hear sirens out my window, please keep my people safe
System always been against us for no reason, I pray
For our safety and I’m hoping maybe one of these days
That things will be much better... It’s gotta get better...
I hear sirens out the window, please keep my people safe
System always been against us for no reason, I pray
For our safety and I’m hoping maybe one of these days
That things will be much better
Please

 

[Outro: Unidentified NYPD Officers]

-Shoot those motherfuckers!
-Don’t put that over the air
-Can we just start locking people up already?
-No, it doesn’t work like that
-At least I won’t take a knee

Written by Joshua A. Smith.
Produced by jmo corleone.
Mixed and Mastered by Clarence The Kid.
Additional vocals by unidentified police officers of the NYPD.
Recorded in Clarence The Kid's bedroom in Los Angeles, CA.
Track five of seven.
Run time - 3:16

black boys cry

 

 

 

 

Prod. by Khruangbin

black boys cryClarence The Kid
00:00 / 06:35

[Intro: Clarence The Kid]

The world’s so crazy right now...
I feel like every time I look at my phone
Look at the... the news, fucking anywhere
I just see destruction...
And it's really not healthy at all
I feel like as black men we’ve
Always been raised and taught to be tough
That emotion is a sign of weakness but
Shit, with everything that’s happening I...
I don't know man...


[Verse 1: Clarence The Kid]

There’s a lot going on
So much going on
Don’t keep it all in
It’s okay to be alarmed
We were raised to be strong
We were told to speak up
We been forced to act okay
But we’re too hurt to be tough


[Hook: Clarence The Kid]

Please let our black boys cry (Black boys cry, black boys cry)
(I hate the person I see in the mirror because of this shit!
Do you know how traumatizing that shit is?)

It’s okay to let our black boys cry (Black boys cry, black boys cry)
(Every single fucking day I see myself die on my cell phone
Can you comprehend the kind of pain that I’m in?
I’m tired of it, fuck!)

Let it out young king


[Interlude: Protesters]

This brother lost his life and the whole world saw him die
We don’t see white people die on TV by the police
Why do we have to see that?

Why did it have to happen?
I’m angry, I’m frustrated,
I’m personally feeling angry, frustrated, mad
But I’m still trying to peacefully protest


[Verse 2: Clarence The Kid]

It's a war outside
People finally taking notice
We been fighting all our lives
This the only world we’re knowing
It feel like everyone against us
We’ve scrolled through social media
Seen everybody kill us
And it never gets no easier


[Hook: Clarence The Kid]

Let black boys cry (Black boys cry, black boys cry)
(When they pulled me over in my car, I thought I was gonna die.
I thought I was gonna be dead.)

It’s okay to let our black boys cry (Black boys cry, black boys cry)
(The psychological trauma that they’ve pushed on me
And my brothers, and sisters
Why don’t they love me?)

Let it out young king
(What the fuck did I do wrong?)


[Interlude: Protester]

Um, it’s sad, like just seeing police kill black people all the time
It’s, it’s like insane
Like you see it on the news, you see it everywhere
So it’s just - it’s just sad as hell


[Verse 3: Clarence The Kid]

The times have always been hard
Spend most our lives looking for purpose and God
Or something better, from the womb we’ve faced impossible odds
Spend everyday trying to survive at the cost
Of falling victim to a racist tryna give themselves power

Or fucking Karen down the hall calling the cops every hour
Antagonizing then playing victim, surrounded by cowards who
Never wanna leave us be, this world will never be ours
That's how I’m feeling in this...
That's how I’m feeling in this world that really don’t want us in it
No matter what we’ll always carry the image
Of being thugs or someone with bad intentions
I pull my phone out my pocket and they might think it’s a weapon
No second guess, man they just fear for their lives
Just cuz of my appearance, I fear for mine
I seen the news, I’ve seen the countless bodies that's been taken by copper
crimes
I’ve seen the son-less mothers yell and shout and break down and cry
When they get told their baby’s lost in the night
And then be forced to watch the footage over and over and over on every social
Network, black boys exposed to the way that they might just see it all end
With every share and retweet all we do is see it again
It’s never turning off we know the kind of world we live in
And it’s enough to make you
Cry


[Hook: Clarence The Kid]

(Every single fucking day America reminds me of what a monster I am)
Just let our black boys cry (Black boys cry, black boys cry)
(They tell me I’m dangerous, they tell me I’m uneducated,
They tell me I’m worthless
And so after a certain amount of time, guess what the fuck I’m gonna believe?)

It’s okay to let our black boys cry (Black boys cry, black boys cry)
(It’s so much deeper than brutality
It’s systemic, it’s deep rooted, it’s omnipresent in our society)

Let it out young king
(Y’all blame black people for black issues but who caused those issues in the
first place?)


[Outro: Protesters]

Come here, come to me I understand! How old are you?
I’m tired of this shit, man!
How old are you!
I’m forty-five years old!

Forty-five and I’m thirty-one
And I’m tired of seeing this shit, man!
And you the older generation than me and I am too!
Right! And we’ve been standing around as the older ones, taking all this
bullshit! Always hoping for a kumbay-fucking-ya! Always standing around
for a kumbaya, ain’t nobody coming to protect us! We gotta start our own
fucking law!

I understand! But let me tell you something right here. This sixteen year old?
He’s sixteen!

And they gon’ kill him next week!
He’s sixteen!
What we gonna do? What we gonna do?!
You tell me! But this ain’t the way! Cuz they ready to let loose! If the United
States President say if you loot we shoot, then you think doing this gonna help??

I know it! But it’s time to stand up! At this point -
So don’t get into it with him!
At this point, I’m ready to die for what’s going on! That’s the problem that
we got!

Let me tell you something. Let me tell you something.
What you see right now is gon’ happen ten years from now!
And at twenty-six, you gon’ be doing the same thing I’m doing!
You understand that? Ten years! You gon’ be right here too!

But he also gotta stand up for what he gotta stand up for!
So what I need y’all to do right now at sixteen... is come up with a better way
Cuz how we doing it? It aint workin’
He’s angry at forty-six. I’m angry at thirty-one. You angry at sixteen.
You understand me? Putting yourself in harm's way is not the way!

I know it’s not!
You and then all of your counterparts the same age and that have that same
power
Y’all come up with a better way... cuz we ain’t doing it!
And I have a five-year-old son... and it ain’t happening!
I marched four years ago, Keith Lamont Scott
Did the same shit y’all doing! The SAME exact thing night after night after night
It don’t matter!
Come up with a better way
You understand me?
You keep yourself safe.

Written by Joshua A. Smith.
Produced by Khruangbin.
Mixed and Mastered by Clarence The Kid.
Additional vocals by unidentified protesters.
Recorded in Clarence The Kid's bedroom in Los Angeles, CA.
Track seven of seven.
Run time - 6:35

Expendable

 

 

Feat. Jamel

 

Prod. by Marow & Broke Boi.

Featuring Jamel.
Written by Joshua A. Smith & Isaiah Jamel Turner.
Produced by Marow & Broke Boi.
Mixed and Mastered by Clarence The Kid.
Additional vocals by an unidentified protester.
Recorded in Clarence The Kid's bedroom in Los Angeles, CA.
Track six of seven.
Run time - 2:11

[Intro: Protester]
We have been mistreated for more than 300 years!
         
There is blood on these streets, sir!         
Why are we going to continue being peaceful when they are killing my brothers and sisters?         
We are being peaceful, we are on the grass!         
Why are they here? It is because of them why we’re here so why the fuck are they here, sir?         
I’m tired of being peaceful! I have lost three brothers to this sir! Three!!         
This is not alright! I’m hurt!         

[Verse 1: Clarence The Kid]
Am I expendable?
         
Is life contingent on white supremacists with ammo         
Relentlessly killing colored people, if I go outside will I die?         

The answer I do not know, but really it's possible         
Shots with no probable cause and no obstacles         
Shea butter skin give permission to follow you         
Moving in silence is cause for somebody to silence you         
What is the law gon’ do? Besides murder you         
Or let the murderer go with no logical reason why he’s not responsible         
For pulling triggers on innocent black individuals         
It feels impossible, fighting a system that just wants to end your existence         
A human diminished into an image of a criminal with bad intentions         
They pull out their weapons         
Always shoot first and ask second then go play the victim         
And get off with mental illness, self protection, or citizen with suspicion         
Man look how we living         
We on a timer, your life could get took any minute         
And don’t nobody ever really care until it's trending         

 

[Hook: Clarence The Kid & Jamel]
Am I expendable?
         
Damn, this shit is heavy, this shit is heavy         
The answer, I don’t know         
Everyday could be my last         
So I’m praying my present will end up my past not my ending         
I’m so far from finished, but letting me live’s your decision         
I’m begging don’t kill me please         
Where will my people go?         
Damn, this shit is heavy, this shit is heavy         
Trapped by your control         
Don’t know my value cuz I just see         
Media broadcasting images of police         
Shooting up people whose skin looks the same as me         
And it brings pain to me, why do they hate on me?         
Am I expendable?         


[Interlude: Protester]
You don’t see my eyes? I’m hurt!
         


[Verse 2: Clarence The Kid]
Looking for some peace within myself, looking for a break from all this shit
         
When you’re black there’s no vacation time, everyday’s a battle to fit in         
Everybody wanna keep you out, this world ain’t got no love left for us         
This for every Ruby in the south, this for every Rosa on the bus         
This for every Michael, Eric, George, Breonna, Alton, Sandra, Trayvon Martin         
Regardless of what names are said, by being black we’ve been inside the shoes of all them         
The times been tough, the road been hard but best believe that we’ve been steady making progress         

And we will fight, and we won't stop at all until the day our sons and daughters are walking         
Free         

[Outro: Protester]
It’s not okay!
         
America cannot be the land of the free         
Until every fucking life is free!         
Point blank, motherfucking, period!         

"When you're black there's no vacation time

Everyday's a battle to fit in"

From Expendable

1:35

"From the womb we've faced impossible odds"

From black boys cry

2:20

 

"Can You Hear Us Now ?" Promo Video

 

"EXHAUSTED !" Music Video

 

"black boys cry" Music Video