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System of a Down - Prison Song

"They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison,

Following the rights movements
You clamped down with your iron fists,
Drugs became conveniently
Available for all the kids,
Following the rights movements
You clamped down with your iron fists,
Drugs became conveniently
Available for all the kids,

I buy my crack, my smack, my bitch,
Right here in Hollywood,

Nearly 2 million Americans are incarcerated
In the prison system, prison system
Prison system of the you. S.

They're trying to build a prison

They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison, (for you and me to live in)
Another prison system,
Another prison system,
Another prison system. (for you and me)

Minor drug offenders fill your prisons
You don't even flinch
All our taxes paying for your wars
Against the new non-rich,
Minor drug offenders fill your prisons
You don't even flinch
All our taxes paying for your wars
Against the new non-rich,

I buy my crack, my smack, my bitch,
Right here in Hollywood,

The percentage of Americans in the prison system, prison system
Prison system, has doubled since 1985

They're trying to build a prison

They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison,
Another prison system,
Another prison system,
Another prison system.
For you and I, for you and I, for you and I.

They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison,
For you and me,
Oh baby, you and me.

All research and successful drug policy shows
That treatment should be increased,
And law enforcement decreased,
While abolishing mandatory minimum sentences,
All research and successful drug policy shows
That treatment should be increased,
And law enforcement decreased,
While abolishing mandatory minimum sentences.

Utilizing drugs to pay for secret wars around the world,
Drugs are now your global policy,
Now you police the globe,

I buy my crack, my smack, my bitch,
Right here in Hollywood,

Drug money is used to rig elections,
And train brutal corporate sponsored
Dictators around the world.

They're trying to build a prison

They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison, (for you and me to live in)
Another prison system,
Another prison system,
Another prison system. (for you and me)
For you and I, for you and I, for you and I.
They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison,
They're trying to build a prison,
For you and me,
Oh baby, you and me.

"Prison Song" is the opening track to System of a Down's 2001 album Toxicity. The song was released as an unofficial airplay-only single, and a promotional live video of the song was released. Written by Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian, the lyrics are about the United States prison industrial complex, the world's largest. The song expresses the belief that the government is partially responsible for the spread of the use of illegal drugs and thus somewhat responsible for the fact that more than half of the inmates in American federal prisons are there for drug-related charges. Though the song is mostly sung by lead vocalist, Tankian, a few lines preceding the chorus are sung by Malakian, who mocks, "I buy my crack, my smack, my bitch, right here in Hollywood". The "...right here in Hollywood" verse has been changed in concerts depending where it is performed, such as Vancouver, L.A., Chicago. Some lines that stand out are: "All research and successful drug policies show that treatment should be increased/ And law enforcement decreased/ while abolishing mandatory minimum sentences," "Utilizing drugs to pay for secret wars around the world/ Drugs are now your global policy now you police the globe... drug money is used to rig elections/ And train brutal corporate sponsored dictators/ Around the world" "Minor drug offenders fill your prisons/You don't even flinch..." This is one of the few songs on "Toxicity" to utilize Serj's infamous death grunt. There was a CD with the demo version of the song released by System of a Down called Beno's Copy. The song was featured in the Visions: All Areas Volume 19, Underskin Promo, Kerrang! Life Is Loud - Noise Annoys Vol. 1, Oorgasm Vol. 6 and Metal Hammer 2001 compilations.

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