Michael Franti & Spearhead Crime To Be Broke In America Lyrics

I take the needle off the record

And shove it in my arm

Whenever I feel life is

Comin’ on too strong

They left me in a clinic fulla

Cynical motha fuckin’ bureaucrats

And other kinda ding bats

Livin on the tracks

The tracks in my arm said

It all depends which side the tracks your on.

Tellin’ me what to wear

Tellin me cut my hair

And tryin to convince me that they

Really really care

All about my health and about my wealth

But still they built the Stealth

’cause everybody’s

Just lookin out for they self

So then I ask ’em

Can I have a clean needle

“Hell no that’s illegal!”


‘Cause it’s a crime to be broke in America!

And it’s a crime to smoke dank in America!


“Yeah hit those drums now”

They lockin’ brother’s in the poorhouse

Who can’t afford Moorhouse

Politicians nervous

It’s the only free service they provide

You wanna go inside

There’s a hot meal waitin’ for ya

A deal we can score ya

On a bed for a night or two

Or three or four months.

They say they lockin’ us up in cells

To protect us from ourselves

It smells like they got anotha

Plan in store house

Or should I say warehouse

Fulla niggas and other misfits

That couldn’t turn tricks in the courthouse

It’s a justice whorehouse


It’s a crime to be broke in America!

And it’s a crime to be Black in America!

But there’s a mutiny on the bounty

In ever single county

We remember Attica

But don’t forget to pat a few

Other on the back as a matter of fact

Sister Asatta Shakur and Geronimo Pratt

’cause Amnesty international

Is fightin’ for political

But if your analytical

You know it’s much more critical than that

Percentages black is really, really whack

Can I kick a few facts yes?

Sx percent in college

From livin on the block

Twenty five percent in prison

The school of hard knocks

Fifty percent in poverty

Is livin on the rocks

Five hundred brothas on a death row box

The punishment is capital

For those who lack in capital

Because a public defender

Can’t remember the last time

That a brother wasn’t treated like an animal.

They say they blame it on a song

When someone kills a cop

What music did they listen to

When they bombed Iraq?

Give me one example so I can take a sample

No need to play it backwards

If you wanna hear the devil

Cause music’s not the problem

It didn’t cause the bombin’

But maybe they should listen

To the songs of people starving..


‘Cause it’s a Crime to be broke in America!

It’s a crime to smoke dank in America!

It’s a crime to be black in America!

It’s a crime to be black in America!

It’s a crime to be Puerto Rican


Native American

Asian Hatian

A Woman