Hip Hop

Toki Wright – By the Time I Get to Arizona 2010

blame it on Shake April 29, 2010

In light of the Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070) that was recently signed into law in the state of Arizona — which basically legalizes “racial profiling” — Toki Wright took some time out to rework the Public Enemy classic. Hit the jump for a full letter from the Rhymesayers emcee, explaining what is what.

DOWNLOAD: Toki Wright – By the Time I Get to Arizona 2010 | Mediafire

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday at approximately 1:30pm I was having a conversation with my community organizer/poet friend Emmanuel Ortiz about the Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070) that recently was signed into law in the state of Arizona. The bill says that “all immigrants must carry documentation verifying their immigration status. It also stipulates that police officers have the authority to ask to see the information from any individual that is deemed “suspicious” or when there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person may not be legally in the country.” This new bill signed into law in a nutshell legalizes racial profiling. If you “look like an immigrant” you can get hauled off to jail. Emmanuel says, “somebody needs to redo By The Time I Get To Arizona” by Public Enemy. Arizona is that same state the didn’t want to recognize Martin Luther King Day when Chuck D originally wrote the song. For years I wanted to write a “By The Time I Get To Minnesota” version but never got around to it. I started doing more research on the new bill and was outraged. By 2:30 I contacted BK-One to locate the instrumental that he used elements of in Brother Ali’s old set. BK was on the road and said that I would have to piece it together from the original Mandrill and Jackson 5 songs. Not having any luck finding quality versions of either I went in a did some Frankenstein
cut and paste work to the original PE version.

By 4PM I was done piecing together the beat. By 7pm I rewrote the song with updated information. I wanted to follow Chuck D’s exact cadence so I had to go back in line by line. By 8pm I was listening to a rough vocal. By 10:00pm I was in the studio with Reggie Reg. The process included going in and listening to Chuck, trying to match his scheme, and recording my version. Wash, rinse, repeat. By midnight the vocals were recorded. By 3am we added all the bells and whistles and here is the finished product.

All day I’ve been saying “hell…I’m going to get in trouble for this one.” But you know what? The truth needs to be told. Biting your tongue only makes you hungry and your mouth hurt. Hope you enjoy it. Pass it along.

In Solidarity,

Toki Wright

PREVIOUS: Toki Wright – Say Something Freestyle

  • gill

    im staying the fuck outta arizona haha

  • shut up fuck up with eminem shit,b.o.b. shit max b shit or drake shit or currensy shit on here.

    real hip hop is in this post,c’mon
    lost in tokyo was a amazing track for me,and with this,10 points for toki wright

  • rizzle

    i campaigned for obama and he didn’t renew my effin visa, now im wastin my life in a third world countryyyy!!!!

  • mozz

    This is shit. The instrumental by itself is doper than with this cat on it. Sounds like Nat the Cat 20 years later. Why does he think he’s going to get in trouble? He is “no threat to no one.”

    I get he was mimicing chuck, but he just made this awful. I need to listen to the original to clean out my ears. He would been better off doing his own song and just writing his feeling. Maybe this will prompt Chuck to do something new though – like By the Time I get to Arizona part II or something.

  • Kelly Erickson

    Love the sound/song…powerful message. Thanks for sharing the process of your version, you lit up some minds and now we need to burn that law! Peace to you Toki.

  • veed

    props for being politically relevant. i can respect it

  • fuck arizona

  • good looking toki!!! next pe remake – burn arizona burn.

  • Mr. Wright

    Mozz, thanks for the input. Dick. hahaha.
    Toki Wright

  • Mr. Wright

    To everyone showing love much appreciated. For anybody that thinks it sounds choppy ITS BECAUSE ITS CHOPPY. I put it together top to bottom in 12 hours. Research, concept, chopping the beat out of the original song because there isn’t an instrumental, building a studio, matching Chucks patterns, recording, and mixing. Its not about being perfect its about fighting legalized racial profiling. And people need to know now. Not now but RIGHT NOW. So I could give a fuck what you talkin bout. hahahaha. PEOPLE PEOPLE STAND UP. hahahaha.


    In the letter that CHUCK D wrote a couple days ago,
    this TOKI joint is just what he wants!!


    STAND UP!!


    whats wrong with kicking illegals out? jsut pay taxes muthafucka and you’re strait dont pay taxes and get a handout is fuckin bullshit. there’s nothing wrong with the bill at all

  • I’m sayin though, as a white male I’d be perfectly fine with police officers stopping EVERYONE they see, white black asian hispanic arab, just to get the illegals out. So a few people gonna get pulled over and not be illegal… but chances are if you’re posted up on a home depot you gonna be talked to. fuck a illegal immigrant.

  • @chuuuch
    u can say that cause no one is gonna stop ur white ass thinking u are here illegal.
    that was so fucking ignorant

  • Wise

    Dope track bro. Even if it is a bit choppy, gets the message across & that is what matters. I definitely want to see this live though. I’m sure it’ll be dope, knowing that you already have a dope live set. Rally-type event or something, maybe?

  • stashcash

    Hey Meka I didn’t know you rap!

  • Rio$

    too bad the indians werent full of hate to kick the the first illegals out then none of us would be here arguing. so when did human rights stop or is it just for select people at select times? much respect toki atleast u stand up for you beliefs

  • Kno

    I fucks with it.

  • Emilio

    This is dope. Props to Toki. This is coming from a Mexican. FUCK ARIZONA!

  • Dope Chuck D tribute, reminds me of when Edan did Critical Beatdown era Kool Keith. Who else has recorded tracks like this, anyone know?

    Even in Minnesota I’ve been told to “Go back to Mexico”, glad I ain’t livin’ Arizona.

  • Aaron Wagner


  • Haha I’m bumpin this shit from AZ haha…
    Bullshit ass police!

  • dapluva!

    damn near sound like chuck

  • YayoTheGreat

    Feelin this. Which Public Enemy track used this sample?

  • Virginia_Rhymer

    @DAROCKNESSMONSTAH – cause it’s motherfuckin’ racist, you know goddamn well they are going to aiming for all the latinos in the area cause you know majority of illegal immigrants are hispanic. you know want to know how to crack down on illegal immigration? crack down on the people hiring illegals to work, cause im pretty sure that’s against the law, yet it still happens and is underminded and the latinos in the area get persecuted more the employers. Fuck you and Joe Arpaio, bitch

  • Virginia_Rhymer

    *persecuted more than the employers. Granted, they are illegal but there are other ways to stop illegal immigration. Pretty much stop giving them jobs and they will stop coming! the whole purpose for them coming is to find jobs since they do not have any back home, it’s not like you would see our unemployed make to move to El Salvador or Mexico. Racial profiling is fucked up along with your ignorant-ass statements. But back to the music, very dope, great hip hop music with a strong statement. But fuck you once again.

  • FrankTalkDC

    Tall props!
    @stashcash – he do kinda look like Mek. hahaa


    @ everyone hatin on me

    im not hatin on any certain race, im hatin on illegals as a whole. you sneak into america then try to get govt hand outs and not pay taxes. the fuck? im not tryin to work for some fuckin guy fresh off the boat from ethiopia to get a welfare check, jsut take your citizens classes and pay your taxes and we strait. illegals dont pay taxes becuase thye aint registered too pay taxes…

  • I feel you on this topic. Music is great for talking about social issues. I did an anti SB 1070 song myself which can be found at the following link. Let me know what you think.


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