Troy Davis Lives Forever: A Hip Hop Tribute from Rebel Diaz

by Isaac Steiner

September 26, 2011

On Sunday, the Bronx based hip hop trio Rebel Diaz released this haunting dedication to Troy Davis, who was killed days before by the state of Georgia–and to the movement that fought for his freedom. Formed during the immigrant rights upsurge of 2006, Rebel Diaz is known for their dedication to both art and activism which come together in the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective community center in the South Bronx. They’ve released two full length albums, Otra Guerrillera Vol 1 and Volume 2, as well as other timely tracks like “A Trillion”, about the 2008 bailout of Wall Street.

Rebel Diaz

FREE DOWNLOAD: Rebel Diaz – Troy Davis Lives Forever (prod Agent of Change) by agentofchange

Lyrics, “Troy Davis Lives Forever”

[Sample: “Strange Fruit”, Billie Holiday]


Another lynching has gone down in the U.S.

And it’s 2011

Nothing has changed


What up Troy

I can’t believe they actually did it man

To tell the truth they ain’t never gonna kill you man

You’ll live forever in the hearts of those that fought for you

You fought for us, you gave us strength like a true soldier

I feel the anger, I feel the pain and the rage to show it

I’ll hit the streets and spread the word ’til the world knows it

I’m sorry we ain’t save you, should have been braver

But at times I feel alone when I’m surrounded by these strangers

In 2009 we first spoke, after I met Martina

I got the shirt but since then I haven’t really seen her

Been on the road with these raps, just trying to spread a message

But when I think about her talks they were such a blessing

You was in jail reading your poems on the phone

And all I did was just listen backstage at the show

Then I heard the crazy news about a week ago

That they date had been set, they wanted you to go

Eleven oh eight p.m., September twenty-first

Never forget, my inner being still hurts

Obama stayed quiet like he did for Oscar Grant

Clarence Thomas’ bitch ass never gave you a chance

See, you was innocent, there was too much doubt

Seven of the nine witnesses wanted their testimony out

They were scared of police threats, serious like cancer

But you know it wasn’t true, years later they recanted

I wish I had the answer of what to do next

Gotta do more than tweet, Facebook and send texts

We need freedom, Uhuru, organize like Zulu,

Feel the pain of injustice even though I never knew you

Chorus x 2

They still lynching

From plantations to the prisons

Methods changed, but it’s the same system

White robes used to burn a crucifix

Now black robes sign a death sentence

Instead of Jim Crow and legal segregation

It’s yuppie condos and cuts to education

And I ain’t got to say it, Troy, you said it in your last letter

Thanks to your supporters worldwide for their past efforts

More than half a million signed them petitions

The pope, the archbishop, stars and politicians

A who’s who on Twitter weighing in like Mayweather

But what happens to my boy after the storm let up?

A new day, pray you in a better place

But over here we cope, we try to channel that rage

To abolish the legal lynchings, abolish this broken system

And abolish the need for prisons that would fence in the human spirit

Chorus x 2

Like a true Solider

Troy Davis

Rest in Power