Child Rebel Soldier (CRS) – Us Placers

Posted: August 7, 2007 in creativity
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The video has been around on YouTube since the and of May and was also posted on the CSR blog at the beginning of June – but I only heard Us Placers yesterday on the radio – by chance. Child Rebel Soldier (not so sure about why they chose THAT name; seems a bit our of place) is a project by three successful rappers: Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West and Pharrell. Us Placers is sung over a sample of Thom Yorke’s The Eraser; the song was released by Kanye amongst other tracks in a mixtape (entitled “Can’t Tell Me Nothing (The Official Mixtape Mixed By Plain Pat)“) to promote his next album, Graduation.

I think Us Placers is great for a couple of reasons. First, it seems to take Hip Hop to a different and maybe new dimension, certainly with the piano in the sample and the calm and almost smooth voices (including Thom Yorke’s in the sample); it’s also a move away from catchy beats and in-your-face sound effects. Second: the lyrics are great; they have depth and meaning. Those three rappers pose the old question whether being rich and famous makes happy, they point to the short-term of fame in today’s superficial, ruthless and restless world of ever-new sensations, a world where dreams are being made and shattered overnight, and they move on to reflect on the state of the world at large, from greenhouse gases to campus killing. It’s a song that invites to reflection, to thinking about taking things for granted (including being alive) and about our value systems that are so much based around materialism and success and care very little for the pain and suffering they cause in their wake. Awesome piece of music! (By the way: Kanye’s mixtape album is a top effort too – Us Placers fits in perfectly!)

LYRICS
(Lupe Fiasco)

Yeah, Just a lil bit (just a lil bit) And it goes
Lifestyles of the rich and famous
Bought a big house and a whole lot of rangers
A fresh new couch and a whole lot of trainers
A closet full of clothes and some brand new dangers
And
Some Mexican floral arrangers
A great big TV that’ll entertain us
Some colorful commissions for some high paid painters
Someone to take the wrap so that I stay stainless
And
A new relationship with a banker
Two pinky rings for my manicured fingers
A trained German Shepard that bark when it’s angered
To watch my possessions and look out for strangers
And
A 50 foot yacht with an anchor
Young supermodel that shall remain nameless
Ups and the downs, the sames and the changes
All the money in the world don’t make it painless (no)

(Chorus)
(But they love it and they love it)
The more you try to erase me
(And they love it and they love it)
The more that I appear, oh
(and they love it and they love it)
The more, the more you try to erase her
The more that You appear

(Kanye West)
(Plain Pat what up?)
Lifestyles of the broke and famous
Let you know how crazy this game is
Look at all the new beautiful faces
At home supermodel, myspaces
Long for their shot on the TV screens
American Idol never seen these dreams
Just last week they want to see ID
Now they got you in VIP, huh?
How many people almost famous
You almost remember what they name is
Like “Hey, didn’t you play in..? No it couldn’t be, quit playin”
I try to keep that balance
After MTV that’s a Real World Challenge
[Us Placers lyrics on http://www.metrolyrics.com%5D

Back on that train
Never to be heard from again…

(Chorus)
(But they love it and they love it)
The more you try to erase me
(And they love it and they love it)
The more that I appear, oh
(and they love it and they love it)
The more, the more you try to erase her
The more that You appear

(Pharrell)
G.R.I.P P.I.M.P
I, any spelling bitch come on that’s me
I bring a burning sensation to the urban eye
Like an eye-drop of Turpentine
You can listen to the serpent, fine
But the earth got gas once it burps its fine
Someone around me they talk about the grease
Not G.H.G, how to cook a quarter ki
Talking all nasal, he aint over that cold
No glove scrub, Manny just over that stove
Perfect paradigm
Wrong place wrong time
Should have been Phizer, GlaxoSmithKline
Number one chemist
Look at him no blemish
Egg shell off white like a DuPont finish
Young, dumb, high strung, who could handle us
I wonder how Gods gon’ paint today’s canvasses
Cause who knew that day that man would just
Go to VA with a Tec and spray campuses
What a way to see the cover of Time
I know that nigger wish he was standing in line
To see it….As if he didn’t do it.

(Chorus)
(But they love it and they love it)
The more you try to erase me
(And they love it and they love it)
The more that I appear, oh
(and they love it and they love it)
The more, the more you try to erase her
The more that You app

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