URGH! A Music Blog

Getting Arrested Don’t Make Me Guilty

Posted in Hip-Hop by M on May 22, 2006

An AP photo of DMX

If this was the year 1999, and you said that DMX was going to guest on a track by the guy who did “Return of the Mack”, I’d believe you. Back then, DMX was a notorious track-whore, second only to a pre-Osbournes Ozzy.* Producers knew to have those dog barks on cue, just in case they were graced by the presence of Mr. X.

But the “Return of the Mack” guy—Mark Morrison—had something else on his mind in 1999: endless legal battles! Now free of any outstanding warrants, Morrison is back with a song about his troubles: “Innocent Man (Not Guilty)”.

My favorite mix of “Innocent Man”—the Moto Blanco Vocal Mix—omits our good friend X, but it’s still good for Morrison that he’s sharing the main track with a man who has a legal history as colorful as his own.

And DMX brings along a message—of social justice! But does Morrison’s primarily European audience even know about felon voting rights in America? Mr. X does his best to set the record straight:

You see I’m rehabilitated.
But I still can’t vote.
You see I paid my debt.
But I still can’t vote.
Gotta pay taxes?
But I still can’t vote.
Come on, dog, the state’s trying to keep a nigger broke.
You just as crooked as us—you trying to say?
Cause once I pay that dough, the charges go away.
Forget about it; it’s OK.
Cause I’ma walk over here
Let the Lord pave my way, a’ight?

* BONUS TRACK WHORING: The unavoidable collision of DMX and Ozzy Osbourne came in 1998 for “Nowhere to Run,” a song off the South Park Chef Aid album.

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