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Billy Woods - Asylum

[Verse 1]
I think Mengistu Haile Mariam is my neighbor
Whoever it is moved in and put an automated gate up
Repainted brick walls atop which now cameras rotated
By eight, the place dark, one light burn later
Razor wire like a slinky
Rumor is parcel bomb took the secretary right eye and pinky
Evenings, he take a snifter of whisky on the veranda
I wonder what he's thinking
In the morning, the maid brings coffee from the kitchen
Some nights strange music plays, I lay in bed and listen
Downstairs I hear my mother breaking dishes, my father trippin'
It's been quite bad lately, high tension
Galvanized steel security fencin'
To get through the day, give myself a mission
Anything what get me out the house a blessin'
His bodyguard chews khat, spits black in the rhododendron
Blacked out Range rumble when he start the engine
Avocado tree hang over the property line
I watch from as high as I can climb
The dog looks up and whines, the hills are alive with land mines
I live in my mind
Not sure what I'm looking for, but I'll know when I find
My mother sent the gardener to look for me, but the sky is a great place to hide
Never told the truth in your life? Can't start now
Ever so slowly, slowly locked up in your own house
Never told the truth in your life? Can't start now
Ever so slowly, slowly locked up in your own house

[Verse 2]
The guests start having doubts, the host nowhere to be found
It's ghosts in the building's bones, so many skeletons in the ground
When everything collapse, he just melt into the crowd
Suitcase packed, melted down the crown
But a haven's only safe as long as they want you around
Tomorrow it's no tellin'
Hollow when you done sellin'

You see how well they treat me? My own courtyard for private strolls. And in my chalet, every possible amenity, not to mention the occasional night visitors
I must confess kabiyesi, this detention seems to look well on you
But, so does captivity look well on a lamb we are fattening up for the feast. Or, perhaps as you say, on a wife we treat with special favor because she is going to bear us a child. What happens when the great day comes and there is only a calabash under the wrapperYou might also like

In “Asylum,” billy woods describes his life as a child in Zimbabwe, in an affluent family that is falling apart, all within the context of the current political turmoil. In the second verse, he eerily describes the situation of Mengistu Haile Mariam, the former dictator of Ethiopia, after having fled to Zimbabwe. The song is wrapped up – and the connection between the two verses is drawn – with a clip from “Kongi’s Harvest” (1970), which describes the darker side of living in a gilded cage.

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