I know I will
Become the best I can
9 Years old, my momma and daddy already divorced years ago Now it's just me her and joe Joe is her boyfriend that wishes mom was a different race Cuz with his fist he put red all over her face Beat the breaks off her I say something he'd beat me too I said a lot he beat me often Took his fist and punched me dead in the jaw He told me to tell my teachers I'm clumsy and I often fall One dayI had enough and I called 911 I could have went from 9 to eleven by the time the police would come They rang the bell of this living hell My momma ran to the door BEFORE i could myself And what I saw would forever create a scar Momma bruised and scared told him that nothing was wrong And it would be from then on I went to the streets got me a peace and earned some RESPECT c'mon
I took on everything in my life head on Even if it's fights My fuse was easy to light And I was literally a stick of dynamite My good times was nights of bloody faces from victims I beat from not not looking at me right walking the streets the flashing lights They got me Drugs in the car and an unregistered gun on my body Back to the prison it's a party I got more friends there than out here sad Hardly But it's been years if recidivism What used to be black and white has become a full color prism And now I got a daughter and she needs my wisdom I had become the same Joe that made my own home a prison There's a half way house I wanna enlist in I've been sober I did a lot of emotional heavy lifting But I know i have a gift and a heavenly mission So I'ma get a new life by living life totally different
This is a mean world to try to live in
Glory glory glory hallelujah
I will become a true inshallah East African name for father is baba I will not be an average Joe No not by far I named my beautiful baby daughter Baha That's Arabic for splendid glory I tell her, we all can make our own end to our story Our intro is just our entrance it's chapter one And we can make a clean cut like when an actors done. Forward ever run
Legendary. 2 Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Rap Single (Tennessee), 2 MTV awards, a Soul Train Music Award, & the NAACP Image Award. Rolling Stone mag named them Band of The Year (1992), VH-1 named AD one of the greatest Hip-hop artists of all time! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named AD's smash “Tennessee” one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. The definition of legends.
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT The multi-platinum, Grammy Award Winning group Arrested Development delivers an onstage energy to thirsty audiences looking to quench their soul! It’s been more than twenty years since a new group called Arrested Development slammed the gangsta dominated world of hip hop with defiant lyrics of hope. Apparently the world was ready for the change as AD became the first ever hip-hop artist to receive the “best new artist” Grammy, (a distinction it still maintains today in that category). In addition, the group also received a Grammy award for “best rap single” for their anthemic prayer-like hit song, Tennessee. The song has gone on to be named as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in the top 100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s by VH1 Money came in but not for precious stones and big cars. Instead, these pioneers of the conscious rap game took one big step for mankind by giving back and becoming the first African American artists to donate money to Nelson Mandela and the ANC. They used their voices and their status to the benefit of many underprivileged brothers and sisters around the world. With the success of the single Mr Wendal, Arrested Development brought the issue of homelessness to the forefront. The group donated half of the royalty earnings from Mr Wendal to the National Coalition of the Homeless. Awards, chart success and accolades continued to follow. One of the highlights was being asked to write a song for Spike Lee’s movie about minister and human rights activist, Malcom X. The movie, X, went on to become one of Spike Lee’s most highly acclaimed works. The Arrested Development song, Revolution, would forever be associated with one of the most important movies in black culture. (Eighteen years later, the response that comes whenever the group performs this song is inspiring. Their album, 3 years, 5 months and 2 days In The Life of…, sold over 4 million units, with singles from that maiden voyage playing like a soundtrack in the lives’ of so many people world wide Their sophomore release Zingalamaduni was a critics’ favorite. Although the album was well received and garnered another Grammy nomination, it failed to reach the same heights as the previous album. Nonetheless, it reached sales in excess of 500,000 copies. Just as it seemed that positive hip hop had found a way of being embraced by the mainstream, a new wave of negative hip hop artists, demeaning women, glorifying drugs and promoting criminality, came along and energized the base at the corporate record companies, prompting record executives to inject more and more money to get these negative stereotypes into the minds and hearts of young people, of whom many, were desperately searching for their path and identity in life. The move proved to be an enormous success for these artists, while making corporations billions of dollars. With the pressures of the music industry weighing heavily, and inner turmoil striking within the group, it was time for Arrested Development to take a break and redefine their individual and collective purpose. For some members, it was time to take a hiatus from the industry, for a few, it was time to start a family, while other members delved into new musical projects and collaborations. In the year 2000, Arrested Development re emerged with a new lineup and a new album called “Heroes of the harvest” This time the inner turmoil was replaced by inner peace, the pressures of the industry were lifted, and one of hip hop’s best, was back rocking stages. For the last twenty years, Arrested Development has performed sold-out concerts in literally every part of the world. In September, 2019, the band was given an award at the Black Music Honors Awards. This award acknowledges Artists who have made a significant contribution to African American Music. The band continue to release new music and find new success in different corners of the globe. Their shows are a celebration of life. Experiencing an Arrested Development concert is an uplifting and spiritual event wrapped into one big party. They continue to release new music (Craft & Optics) and Speech has released two documentaries. "The Nigga Factory" (mini doc) featuring Chuck D, David Banner, Dr. Umar Johnson and more! "The N Factory" is hailed as a MUST SEE by Boyce Watkins (Your Black World) and the powerful full length doc "16 Bars" where Speech goes into a jail for 10 days to write music with inmates has won numerous film festival awards!
“I wish the energy in the room could have been bottled.”- John's London
"The levels of energy being pushed out from the stage didn’t let up for one minute" - Steve Muscutt MusoMuso
"they delivered a glorious show that wowed the hungry and patient World Café Live crowd".
Chris Sikich Time Out Philadelphia
"I found myself with an awareness so clear I was covered with goosebumps"
Live in The CLE.
Speech – Vocals/Sampler
JJ Boogie – Guitar
Will Montgomery - Drums
Fareedah Aleem - Dance/Vocals
April Allen - Vocals/Dance 1
Love - Vocals / Sampler
STREAM IT/BUY IT
official arrested development
“One of the greatest hip-hop acts
of all time” – VH1
“Songs that shaped Rock and Roll” –
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
“I wish the energy in the room could have been bottled” – John’s London Music Reviews
“The levels of energy being pushed out from the stage didn’t let up for one minute” - Steve Muscutt, MusicMuso
“I found myself with an awareness so clear I was covered with goosebumps” – Live in the CLE
“This crowd was lit up.” - Gigcity
The link up between esteemed British producer Configa and legendary Arrested Development front-man Speech came about purely by chance. Speech had checked out the sensational “Forward Future” project that Configa put out with Enemy Radio’s Jahi in March, because of his own personal association with Jahi. He was entirely blown away by the soundscapes and production values crafted by Configa. Contact was then made between the pair on social media and the plan was to initially do one song. Because of their shared hip-hop sensibilities and vision work rapidly picked up pace, various ideas were thus shared back and forth, and several songs were created instead with Configa on production and Speech on mic duty, as well as them both artists joining forces to Executive Produce the entire album. With one critically acclaimed, future classic album under their belts, this is only the beginning for Arrested Development’s Renaissance...
Configa has been an influential force in shaping hip-hop culture for more than two decades, producing some of the most iconic beats in the underground scene. He started out early as a young MC and quickly rose through the ranks as a battle rapper, producing and releasing his own debut album in 2000.
In 2001 he was signed to Rap Junkie Records, a Los Angeles based record label owned by B. Down. While with Rap Junkie, Configa was featured on two mixtapes and in 2002, released a mostly self-produced album that garnered favorable reviews and received solid exposure in both the United Kingdom and the United States, most notably on MTV.com. In 2003, Configa shifted his focus toward production and in 2004, formed the crew Slept On Fam, along with Wargasms, Arsenal and C-Gully. Their album ‘Audio Crack’ was released in late 2006 to the delight of music aficionados and fans alike, winning awards and accolades and achieving cult status.
A lifelong hip-hop head and intellectual thinker, Configa took a break from making music to obtain his PhD, where he wrote his Doctoral thesis on the intersection of hip-hop culture and ethnicity - exploring the hip-hop scene in his home region. In 2010, Configa released a critically acclaimed 2Pac remix album entitled ‘Configa Presents...Pac To The Essence Vol. 1’ to mark the 14th year of Tupac Shakur’s passing. That same year he also founded his own independent record label Configaration Records.
Configa released the classic ‘Configa Presents: Calm Before The Storm’ in 2011 - a 20-track collection featuring the U.S. and U.K. underground’s finest MC’s delivering intricately laced lyrics over his boom bap driven beats. Since then, Configa has produced stellar tracks for underground and mainstream artists alike. In 2014 he teamed up with underground rapper HaStyle to create two EPs (‘The Calm Before Hastility’ and
‘A Good Combination’) as well as a powerhouse conceptual album, ‘Hastility (H1)’, over the course of two years. He has also contributed music to documentaries and films, such as Nick Light’s documentary ‘Hip Hop is Dead’, and the Tim Roth-led feature film ‘The Liability’ as well as James DeMarco’s film, ‘The Stagg Do’.Currently aligned with Chuck D’s SLAMjamz Records, as well as his own true-school hip-hop imprint, Configaration Records, Configa stays focused on producing and releasing exceptional music, as well as scouting for talent across the globe.
In late 2017 Configa released ‘Configaration Volume 1’ on Slam Jamz, carrying the listener on a sublime audio voyage through deep, rich, shifting soundscapes, intricately laced samples, booming percussion and intelligently layered beat structures. It featured some of the most revered voices in hip hop including Chuck D, Craig G, Reks and the 'Godfather of Rap' Spoonie Gee, UK stalwarts Skriblah, Genesis Elijah and Si Phili, plus worldwide exclusives from the late, great Sean P and John Vietnam, amongst many others.With no signs of slowing down, Configa is passionately dedicated to his craft, his fans, and the growth of his worldwide #ConfigArmy movement – representing the best qualities of real hip-hop past and present.
“True-school means that it can’t be classified as 'old school' OR contemporary. It’s not old, it’s not new. It’s true. It is about a feeling more than any image or sub-genre specifications. It’s music that maintains and represents its true spirit and essence. When I hear music today I don’t get a ‘feeling’, music should ALWAYS evoke some kind of visceral response. True-school is music free of any outside corruption, artists that can express themselves exactly how they desire without pandering to the
Speech – Vocals / Sampler / Turntables / Percussion BioLeader of the 2x Grammy Award winning hip-hop collective, Arrested Development.A ground-breaking force inHip-hop culture since 91.
3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of...” (EMI), soldover 4 million albums, earned them 2 Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Rap Single (Tennessee), 2 MTV awards, (People Everyday), a Soul Train Music Award and the coveted NAACP Image Award. Rolling Stone magazine named AD Band ofThe Year (92), while VH-1 named AD one of the greatestHip-hop artists
of all time!
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even named the AD smash “Tennessee” one of the
500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
Speech has continued to be a trailblazer with the group and as a solo artist sharing stages with Nelson Mandela, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Hilary Rodham Clinton andBarack Obama, he is the categorical definition of legendary.
Speech was born Todd Thomas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The youngest of parents Robert & Patricia Thomas. He grew up on two sides of life: the ghetto of Milwaukee (one of the nation’s roughest cities for African Americans) and (Wauwatosa) Milwaukee's suburbia. Speech learned how to draw from the pains and beauty of both. He would absorb the plights of his people and the retreat of a middle class Black boy in a primarily white neighborhood. He lost his grandmother to a heart attack and his older brother, Terrence Thomas to an Asthma attack within the same week, and through spirituality, learned to recalibrate his inner anger through dynamic music. To celebrate the lives of those he lost, he coined his sound “life music”. Speech wrote the hit song Tennessee as a dedication to his grandmother and brother. In the early nineties Speech and his mother started the Terrence Thomas Scholarship and to date, the scholarship has raised over a million dollars helping young black students further their educations. Speech started and produced the hip-hop group, Arrested Development. Based in Georgia, from humble and rural beginnings; they became a pioneering force in the music world. Arrested Development received two Grammy Awards (Best new artists & Best rap single 1993) for the album, 3 years, 5 months and 2 days in the life of..." Their second album "Zingalamaduni" was met with critical acclaim and was also nominated for a Grammy award.
In 1995, the group disbanded and Speech signed a solo record deal with EMI. His first single "Like Marvin Gaye Said" shot to #1 on the Japanese Tokio 100 charts for 7 consecutive weeks. Speech has released 5 solo albums since, all of which have spawned Top 10 hit singles in Japan. His album “1998 Hoopla” and Spiritual People" (2000) were certified gold. “Spiritual People” was awarded the Best black music album of the year 2000 by the acclaimed ADLIB magazine. Speech supported each album with sold out tours. Speech has also toured as a solo performer with United States Vice President Al Gore, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Youssou N'dour, James Brown, Parliament - Funkadelic, Jason Mraz, Hootie & the Blowfish and The Roots. In 2000, Arrested Development reunited and began recording and touring sold out shows worldwide. In 2005 Speech became an ordained minister with the Churches of Christ.. Speech says, "My most proud achievement is my my faith in Jesus Christ, my marriage to Yolanda, (25 years), and our two children Jahi and Zoe Renee. In 2007 Speech and two partners started a church catered towards artists. The church started a yearly Arts and Entertainment conference (A&E) which had over 700 attendees. In addition, Speech and his wife own and operate Robby’s Roasted Corn, Yogi Juice Bar and Victory Spot Arts School. Speech also helps his mother Patricia run the largest Black paper in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Community Journal. Speech and Arrested Development were featured on the TV One hit show "Unsung" in 2012, garnering one of the highest ratings for that series in that year. Speech (2015) did the acclaimed TEDx talk in Portland to a record crowd called Your Sacred Serial Number | Speech | TEDxPortland In, (2018) Arrested Development performed to a standing ovation at the 26th annual Bounce Trumpet Awards and in September 2019, at the Black Music Honors Awards, the group was crowned Hip-Hop Icons. Speech in that same year released the viral documentary "The Nigga Factory" (mini doc series) featuring many artists including: Chuck D and David Banner, hailed as a “MUST SEE” by Dr. Boyce Watkins (Your Black World) available on YouTube. In 2020 Speech partnered with Resonant Pictures and Pipeline Entertainment to release the full length documentary "16 Bars" where Speech goes into a maximum security jail to write music with inmates. This stirring documentary has won numerous film festival awards and is now available through Lightyear Entertainment on streaming platforms worldwide. Speech will release a brand new solo project called EXPANSION in summer 2020 and is very excited about the new musical places he’s exploring.
The Nigga Factory is a powerful 3 part
mini - docu series, exposing a 400 year White Supremacist marketing campaign that purposely perverted the Black diaspora’s image worldwide! Powerful and pernicious, see how this thorough assault continues even today to where there’s beginning to be more “niggas” than
MUSIC VIDEO COLLABS:
SA-ROC JAHI & CONFIGA INDER PAUL SANDHU TROUBLE IN THE STREETS KONCEPT Feat. Royce DA 5'9 CRASH ADAMS CONCEPTZ Broke Royals Sareem Poems TOO MANY T's JANOS CAYUCAS LITTLE BROTHER ELI THE IVY WALLS Feat. Chris pine HIP VIDEO PROMO DOOBIE 'DUKE' SIMS FOREST ROBOTS Version 5 JOHN DEFEO LENN LEMZI YUNG SMILEZ
THE BONNEVILLES JOE FIN RAGMANS DAUGHTER The Hollow Roots FAULKNER FEAT. RZA LIVINGMORE SOULEYE Feat. Alanis morissette WITTERQUICK THE NATIVE HOWL VARICK I KEPT THE WOLVES AWAY SWAIN LEVY call upon the sovereign WESLYNN SIMON ALEXANDER GOLDEN CURTAIN DOGTOOTH heavy rapids winachi tribe feat. Tommy Flanagan 20 watt tombstone overlord MAKO DC THE WRECKS BURNING TRAIL DAREN TODD I AM WARFACE KICK THE ROBOT SHINOBI NINJA ARK & OCEAN CONFIGA LETS TALK DAGGERS HONEY BEARD Hannah Clive SPEX matto rules BROOMFILLER Paper Planes
KOSHA DILLZ FEAT. MATISYAHU hidden hospitals DERRIERES frankenstein bolts Luna Kiss Zach Alwin Andrew Dawson Proph3cy sly antics the matthews wylder BYSTS Royal Holland MOTHLIGHT The NOLAS J0NATHAN EMILE fEAt. Kendrick Lamar Buckshot & murs AIRPORT IMPRESSIONS REDRAY FRAZIER CEE FALSE HEADS MICCOLI MORGAN GANEM CUDLINO SUN CIRCUS UNTIL BEN CALL OF ALL YUNG DUB SAQ DUDE the hippy
THE BIG BOSS EVERYDAY RITUAL
IAN HALSAL KIRKBY GABE KUBANDA EPIC PROPORTIONS TOUR LFTD MIKE POYNTE EVERLit THE DAFNEYS SHELLSHOCK LULLABY WD-HAN SO LONG STORYLAND SUZERAIN Versus Me fEAt.Craig MabbitT SAMURAI SHOTGUN BREAK THE SILENCE THE SOUTHERN COMPANION
MUSIC VIDEO COLLABS
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