Arrested Development (group)

American alternative hip hop group

Arrested Development is an American hip hop group that formed in Atlanta in 1988. It was founded by Speech and Headliner as a positive, Afrocentric alternative to the gangsta rap popular in the late 1980s.

Arrested Development, live in Munich (2006)

Song lyrics


All lyrics written by Speech, except as noted.

  • I told the niggas please let us pass, friend.
    I said please 'cause I don't like killin' Africans.
    But he wouldn't stop and I ain't Ice Cube.
    But I had to take the brother out for being rude.
    And like I said before I was mad by then.
    It took three or four cops to pull me off of him.
    But that's the story y'all of a black man,
    Actin' like a nigga and get stomped by an African.
    You see

    I am everyday people.
    You see, I am everyday people.
  • Mr. Wendal has freedom,
    A free that you and I think is dumb.
    Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society.
    For Mr. Wendal's a bum.
    His only worries are sickness
    And an occasional harassment by the police and their chase.
    Uncivilized we call him.
    But I just saw him eat off the food we waste.
    Civilization, are we really civilized, yes or no?
    Who are we to judge
    When thousands of innocent men could be brutally enslaved
    And killed over a racist grudge?
    Mr. Wendal has tried to warn us about our ways,
    But we don't hear him talk.
  • Lately I've been in a life like limbo,
    Looking out of a smudged up window.
    We're not sure where our lives are going.
    Friends, it's summer outside but yet we're snowed in.
    Don't know where our next dollar's coming from,
    Living the life of a poor musician.
    Headliner's strong so he keeps his 9 to 5,
    Cutting brothers' hair as a means of staying alive.
    If it wasn't for the rhythm,
    I think we would have given up by now.
    This system has gotten the best of me,
    Now I pray for God to invest in me
    My dignity, invest his glory.
    Give me the strength so I can finish the story.
    Keep on searching for the right way to go out,
    Coz going out is what it's all about.
    Huh! You can't be passive, gotta be active.
    • "Give a Man a Fish", written by Speech and Headliner
  • Lord it's obvious we got a relationship,
    Talkin' to each other every night and day.
    Although you're superior over me,
    We talk to each other in a friendship way.
    Then outta nowhere you tell me to break
    Outta the country and into more country,
    Past Dyesburg and Ripley
    Where the ghost of childhood haunts me.
    Walk the roads my forefathers walked,
    Climb the trees my forefathers hung from.
    Ask those trees for all their wisdom,
    They tell me my ears are so young (Home).
    Go back, from whence you came (Home).
    My family tree, my family name (Home).
    For some strange reason it had to be (Home)
    He guided me to Tennessee (Home).
  • Take me to another place, take me to another land,
    Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan.
    Take me to another place, take me to another land,
    Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan.
    • "Tennessee"
  • Now I see the importance of history,
    Why my people be in the mess that they be.
    Many journeys to freedom made in vain
    By brothers on the corner playin' ghetto games.
    I ask you, Lord why you enlightened me
    Without the enlightenment of all my folks.
    He said, cuz I set myself on a quest for truth
    And he was there to quench my thirst,
    But I am still thirsty.
    The Lord allowed me to drink some more.
    He said what I am searching for are
    The answers to all which are in front of me.
    The ultimate truth started to get blurry.
    For some strange reason it had to be,
    It was all a dream about Tennessee.
    • "Tennessee"
  • I say, "Are you doing as much as you can for the struggle?" (no)
    "Am I doing as much as I can for the struggle? (no)

    Then why do I cry when
    My people are in trouble (yo)
    My ancestors slapped me
    In the face and said (go)

    Harriet Tubman
    Told me to get on up.
    Marcus Garvey said the negro,
    You get on up.

    My brother Malcolm X...
    Need I name more?
    It ain't like we never
    Seen blood before.

    Come on, let's talk
    Revolution, now (revolution).
    All my people say (revolution).
    All my brothers say (revolution).
    All my sisters say (revolution).
    • "Revolution"