Like Cooked Food

"Turn up the Value" - Song Lyrics

Turn up the Value – Song Lyrics

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Enjoy the lyrics for the “Turn Up the Value” song written by our Harlem Hub students during the 2018 Summer Arts Academy. For daily updates from our Summer Arts Academy, go here.

Concept & Elements

“Turn up the Value’s” concept explores achieving social, economic, criminal and health justice by recognizing ourselves and others as valuable – invaluable.

For most of the kids, this was their first time writing and recording lyrics. They’re doing great!

A few unique elements in the song are:

  • the beatbox intro by 9 yr. old Jamia as per her suggestion;
  • the super smooth background vocals by Joshua who sings with a smile and expresses plenty even without a single word;
  • toward the end there is a pen-beat break. Some of the students really enjoyed making beats on tables with pens and other unlikely instruments, so Randy recorded them banging on tables and added it to the beat. These can be great moments to highlight in the video.


Jamia and Anthony:
Turn up the value (x 3)

If you don’t know how then let me show you how to

It ain’t about the money and the fame
But freedom ain’t free
So tell me who’s paying
I look around and there’s no one to blame
Don’t need to be broke to be hoping for change

We need a chance
We don’t need chains
Giving a hand
To help with the pain
We can advance
We can withstand
Any circumstance that comes our way

I’ve made a lot of mistakes I ain’t perfect
It’s like these words are the waves and I’m surfing

I’m worth it
Not perfect
Trying to find
My purpose
Stay grinding
My service
My life is my worship
Nothing new- I heard it
To negativity I’m allergic
I’m somebody – Better ask somebody
Love and respect I deserve it

Turn up the value
Turn down the violence
No need for fighting
The temperature is rising
I got HeART so I ain’t hiding
I got a voice so I can’t be silent

I’m so tired
Of the youth dying
Young mothers
Give up babies
Cause it turned Friday
No hope for the future
So we turn violent
Since trump got
Families tied in
The same wall
That locked us in
Got us all fired
The same news
That call us monster
But we all silent
When one of ours die
It’s like it’s one sided
But lifes a highway
That we all tired

Humble but got to stay poised
Stumble with good , luv and enjoy
Heart cold while hearing a Voice
Integrate making a choice
Climate is changing weather
Confusion just floats with feathers
Value is built under pressure
Hatred is thrown with dem gestures
Many will try to neglect you
Deep down just know
that u special
Power just flows the vessels
Life is hassle but learn how to
Wake up the spirit
On building your mental x2

Benjamin :
Knives in their hand
Live on the cam
They don’t even know who I really am
Like I did wrong
My legacy lives on
Treat life like it matters before what matters is gone

People say the world is great but that’s not what I see
I see people dying depressed instead of flying
I just hope they’ll be okay
And make it out another day
There’s gotta be another way

Big Ran:
Good news to the poor like cooked food
got love for the cop and the crook too
our scars tell a story like a book do
Our wounds are a window we can look
see my hands and side
see I am alive
ain’t come to build a wall
we come to build the mind
We come to heal the blind
freedom that fills the vine (feels divine)
flows to those whom hope has been denied!

Naomi (via Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.):
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable.  Even a superficial look at history reveals that no social advance rolls in on the wheels inevitability.  Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.  Without persistent effort, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social destruction.  This is no time for apathy or complacency.  This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

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