From the recording Cold Streets feat. Thre
"Cold Streets" is a song that explores the reality of life in the inner city on the Southside of Chicago. In 2014 Justin began doing ministry in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago working alongside and eventually on staff with Englewood Family Outreach a Christian non-profit ministry in that neighborhood. While there Justin saw a lot of pain, death, trauma, and hopelessness as he worked with three sets of one historic Chicago gang.
This Song presents three different perspectives of street life. Justin’s verse is first and comes from the perspective of someone not from the streets who has a heart to reach men and women in that life. The second verse features a lyrical heavyweight and brother in the faith Thre; and details his former life in a gang on Chicago's south side and how Jesus saved him out of that. Finally, the last voice on the track is a young man still in a gang in Chicago who is giving his perspective on life and what it is like to be born and raised in that situation.
Cold Streets was Produced by Justin Martyr and is available for free download on his website on justinmartyr305.com/music and on YouTube. The cover art was designed by Andrew Williams. Justin's goal with this song is to present various perspectives of the streets in order to challenge those outside of that life to care and be willing to have compassion and do some work in their closest inner city.
Another goal is to raise awareness of what is going on and to let the streets know that the people of God have a heart to reach them and there is hope for a changed life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The streets need to know that they can change for the better. THRE and many others are living proof that God can save you and deliver you out of gang life and make you one of his soldiers that now can bring others to salvation!
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away; behold, all things are new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
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“Cold Streets” ft. THRE
Written by: Justin Francis and Milton Taylor
Produced by: Justin Martyr for Justin-Credible Productions
Thre: Jus What up bro? Justin: What's Good Thre?
Thre: What’s been up with you man? Justin: I’m out here man.
Thre: No doubt Justin: It’s crazy what I been seeing fam, a lot of
shootings, people dying all around me
Justin: I just want to talk to you about it; about what I been seeing get your thoughts on it
Thre: Absolutely bro talk
So you living that thug life, drug life; gang banging You know what getting hit with a slug’s like
Rough life failing schools and abandoned buildings
Guns and crack all around disadvantaged children
Fam I been around the world ain't a single hood Quite like Southside Chi Englewood
Been doing ministry here for a couple years In Chicago shed more than a couple tears
Racism, segregation causing More stress My first four months here, I seen four deaths (Wow!)
In the trap I wanna see em get the Lord's best
But most churches here steady spewing out more mess
I’m born and raised in the county of Dade Miami, 305 where my foundation was laid
We got gangs in the MIA but it ain't like Chi-Town Over a century sets letting off nine rounds
On their opps, they don't see a need for cops Street justice it seems the cycle will never stop
No good interactions with the Po-lice You tryna live life a vegan, no-beef
But without Christ you got no peace Fronting like we’re strong, in reality we’re so weak
Tell em degrees get you clean money, (who cares I'm satisfied selling weed, xans and loose squares)
Gang banging a way of life for more than 3 generations
Had no other choice you ain't choose your situation
Unplanned Parenthood, lands you In Planned Parenthood
Weight of injustice broke your back You can’t stand like you should
Marriage forget it that’s not even an option No real role models, got you feeling boxed in (straight up)
Your dad’s dead or a dead beat, locked up or he can aim Shoot and let the lead leak
Your brother’s in a gang too it runs in the family This is all you know in life flirting with insanity
Even your mother and your sister claim a set Funeral programs on your wall, you lost count of all the deaths
That u seen; Cold World, it’s a real cold world Tryna hold it down for your baby and old girl
I grew up with both parents both cheering me on, nobody in my life steering me wrong
Two sisters and one brother never lived in the gutta Wealthy home, not from the hood no violence to uncover
Blessed with affluent parents married over 40 years
They introduced me to Christ, I never lived in fear
I don’t know what it’s like to bury a dead homie Never had to run from 12s with Feds on me (never)
It’s Cold in these Streets life’s so tragic But we can find hope in the hy-po-static
-Union I had it wrong, assumed I understood
Gotta listen more than I talk to learn about your hood
(Convo with THRE ensues)
Thre: First let me salute you my dude for being out here doing ministry man that’s needed. I mean I grew up right in the South Shore Community I seen a lot, I was a part of a lot too unfortunately but:
Justin: These cold streets I often think about when I rap
THRE tell em how you got up out of the trap
THRE: Product of my environment I grew up in “Terror Town”
Don’t ride down them blocks slow you’ll get it fanned down
Everyday was a War Zone you’ll see a man down, man found
in back of a building from led rounds
Life goes on your t-shirts made Liquor get poured out on his grave on each birthday
Still blinded to the fact that could be me one day
but didn’t care was in despair could only see one way
Mind set ill, though I was dying yet still Unprepared but wasn’t scared I was dying at will
I knew the outcome excuse without one don't move without guns your shoes can’t out run
I had to learn that quick, words that stick grip something firm that blick to burn that strip
Landed me behind bars where most would find God
I boast on hard times but know that times hard
I caught a felony the streets was telling me that they'd be there for me
but nobody visit or sent mail to me
Or money on the books my eyes open I ain't wanna look
cause I was broke and wasn’t born a crook
But sin had me, kidnapped me, sin trapped me Christ paid the ransom for his kid sadly
Most won't respond he's been sitting there with open arms I gave you the storm before the calm
Hook: Streets are Cold, You Ain't Living in Hell That's Much Worse
Streets are Cold, You're Made in His Image You Got Worth
These Streets are Cold, After Your Life is Done
What Will You Say When You Stand Before Christ the Son
Ending Interlude: The Streets Speak:
I’m still in it man, I been stabbed I been in homicides and all that and my friends got killed I done been there seen it all but.
Yet and still its not even like something that I wanted it was something I was raised on it was something I was around all my life so I didn't do nothing but grasp into it its more to it.
It's like when someone get killed behind it blood done drawn, so that's what brings the violence brings the harm the unsafe you feel me.
We ain't want this for the streets we ain't want to be in the streets more so I gotta protect me I gotta protect my family so and my circle and the people that be around me so I kept a mind of treat people how you wanna be treated in the sense of gang banging