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Don Trip And Starlito Shine A Light On Bullying In “Leash On Life”

Don Trip & Starlito “Leash On Life”

Verse One (Starlito)
They shooting up movies
They shooting up schools
Young black fools
Ain’t the only ones that suit up with tools
Exercising my 2nd amendment and pleading the fifth
With A fifth
This my second this Remy
I drink, I don’t sip
And the reason is this
It’s fucked up out here
So we out here fucked up
If you make it out then you lucked up
Trying to save ourselves coming from
What we raised ourselves
Stuck between a rock and a hard place with the razor and scale
Turn wine back to grapes and its raising hell
Breaking down bales
Just to make bail
Catching sells off a cell until you in a cell
I’m just trying to prevail
But only time will tell
Well, niggas telling over time
It ain’t no telling
I ain’t lying
Ain’t trying to go out like my homies did
I keep that on me and I put that on my homies kid
Wonder if I gonna be missed
If I did a lonely bid
Got homies in the pen who only focus keeping a phone hid

Hook (Kevin Gates)
I respect the time I keep my sneaks on tight
Head-on collision can hope he see me right through
Might be locked up tomorrow but we free tonight
Praying to god I get a leash on life
Leash on tight
Only right that we know
And please don’t judge us for the path we chose
Looking up to heaven; no one sending me signs
Only if this was a movie I would press the rewind

Verse Two (Don Trip)
He got that strap in his bag
See he get bullied at school
Young nigga shot dead in his class
He put his school on the news
Now put yourself in his shoes
Walking away didn’t help
He got no friends to defend him
He got to fend for his self
And he to skinny to fight
Running away just ain’t cutting it
His daddy ain’t home
His momma still struggling
She juggle three jobs
And get no help from the government
You don’t know nothing about him
But you trying to sucker him
Heart of a giant
I’m sorry he will never back down
And they gonna keep pick on him till one day he blacks out
And reach in that book bag and he pull that mag out
Now he get the last laugh and you’re just the class clown
Tool on deck
Yes I can’t help that
When momma was stressing
I hit my block like a tailback
See we trying to make it don’t got no suits
Just got cases
And I need more than this dope money to leave to my babies

XXL: What inspired the both of you to write this song and treat the video in this way?
Don Trip: As far as the video, actually, the whole process of that record after we created the record, we both sat down and we decided that we wanted the video to premiere before you could have access to the song. So, your first time hearing the record, it would be seeing the video. It would be more like watching a TV show and hearing the soundtrack. With the “Leash On Life” record, it’s a record that we felt to show how common our lives are to other demographics. It’s not just black people going through adversity. We are not the only people that have situations where we struggle through. When we sat down and create the record, Lito had his verse already recorded. I don’t really know what mindframe he was in when he recorded his verse. But, when it came time for me, I pretty much just followed his lead. He already steered the ship where he needed to be. I felt like he was in a great path with it. When I heard his verse, I felt like in order for me to contribute to this record, I can give it this perspective. I took advantage of that. I felt like the contents of my verse are the things we overlook the most. We don’t really know the next person’s struggle. You can’t tell by shaking so-and-so’s hand or walking pass so-and-so. I felt like me giving that, I didn’t want to just say so-and-so did this, and so-and-so did that. I wanted to break it down, I wanted to take you through it.

Lito you say, “They shooting up movies/They shooting up schools/Young black fools aren’t the only ones to suit up with tools”. Why did you open with that?
Starlito: There’s a part of what we do where we are the journalist for our environment. I really have a hard time watching the news because it is kind of scary. It is kind of sad. There’s not good news on the news. Considering where I come from … all my life I either end up dead or in jail. By 25, that was the cliche stat. As that shit echoes in your mind, as you flip through the channels, its to the point where a school shooting, a public tragedy of some sort, or a movie shooting, there’s mass killings going monthly. It’s almost like clockwork. It was just in a front of my mind, I’m not sure from when I recorded that or something just happened. It’s like Trip said, I recorded my verse after a show. We had a show together and we went to the studio afterwards.

It was like 4 in the morning when I heard that beat. It reminded me, it put me in the mindframe of Boyz n the Hood. The closing scene where Ice Cube’s character disappears, when Doughboy disappears. Tragic ending. Because that beat make me think about that, I was thinking about the hood. I was thinking about the untold story. I was thinking about where I am. I am from the hood and I making my way out of the that mindframe and everything else. But, I just thought about how often I am stereotyped. How often people operate what is clear and present to them. I heard Scarface say how you start your verse is the most important part of a song. That comes in the opening line.

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