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James Brown-King Heroin " King Heroin narrative style forerunner of rap."

James Brown-King Heroin

"King Heroin" is an anti-drug song by James Brown, David Matthews, Manny Rosen, and Charles Bobbit. Brown recorded this poem set to music at a studio in New York with session musicians in January 1972 and released it as a single in March.

The poem was originally written by Rosen, who worked at the Stage Delicatessen on Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan. It was written from the point of view of the drug, and explained in graphic detail by first-person narrative the effects heroin addiction has on people who use it, from fashion models neglecting their looks, to "the most virile of men losing their sex," to committing murder, to cold turkey withdrawal. Rosen's poem was then set to music by Brown, his arranger David Matthews, and Brown's manager Charles Bobbit.

His narrative style on this song is also considered to be a forerunner of rap music. This song is ageless and as you can see back then like today drugs still possess a demonic addictive hold on humans.

Lyrics
Ladies and gentlemen
Fellow Americans
Lady Americans
This is James Brown
I wanna talk to you about one of our
Most deadly, killers in the country today
I had a dream the other night, and I
Was sittin' in my living room
Dozed off to sleep
So I start to dreamin'
I dreamed I walked in a place and
I saw a real strange, weird object
Standin' up talkin' to the people
And I found out it was heroin
That deadly drug that go in your veins
He says
I came to this country without a passport
Ever since then I've been hunted and sought
My little white grains are nothin' but waste
Soft and deadly and bitter to taste
I'm a world of power and all know it's true
Use me once and you'll know it, too
I can make a mere schoolboy forget his books
I can make a world-famous beauty neglect her looks
I can make a good man forsake his wife
Send a greedy man to prison for the rest of his life
I can make a man forsake his country and flag
Make a girl sell her body for a five-dollar bag
Some think my adventure's a joy and a thrill
But I'll put a gun in your hand and make you kill
In cellophane bags, I've found my way
To heads of state and children at play
I'm financed in China, ran in Japan
I'm respected in Turkey and I'm legal in Siam
I take my addicts and make 'em steal, borrow, beg
Then they search for a vein in their arm or their leg
So, be you Italian, Jewish, Black or Mex
I can make the most virile of men forget their sex
So now, no, my man, you must, you know, do your best
To keep up your habit until your arrest
Now the police have taken you from under my wing
Do you think they dare defy me, I who am king
Now, you must lie in that county jail
Where I can't get to you by visit or mail
So squirm, with discomfort, wiggle and cough
Six days of madness, you might throw me off
Curse me in name, defy me in speech
But you'd pick me up right no if I were in your reach
All through your sentence you've become resolved to your fate
Hear now young man and woman, I'll be waitin' at the gate
And don't be afraid, don't run, I'm not chased
Sure my name is Heroin, you'll be back for a taste
Behold, you're hooked, your foot is in the stirrup
And make, haste, mount the steed and ride him well
For the white horse of heroin will ride you to Hell, to Hell
Will ride you to Hell until you are dead
Dead, brother, dead
This is a revolution of the mind
Get your mind together
And get away from drugs
That's the man
Back, back


This post first appeared on X URBAN MUSIC MAG, please read the originial post: here

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James Brown-King Heroin " King Heroin narrative style forerunner of rap."

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