Soul Position’s ‘Things Go Better With RJ And Al’ Turns 10!

blame it on Shake March 14, 2016

Today marks the tenth anniversary of Blueprint and RJD2‘s severely overlooked sophomore effort, Things Go Better With RJ & Al.

Seemingly, always taking the backseat to their critically-acclaimed 2003 debut 8 Million Stories, I always felt Things Go Better never got the proper shine it deserved. Maybe they didn’t expand their horizons as much as their abilities would allow, but why should they? When you’re as dope as Printmatic and RJD2, nothing “extra” needs to be added—dope beats and dope rhymes are enough.

And as much as I would love to list off all the reasons why, time simply won’t allow it. Instead, I will leave you with the audio and lyrics to “Hand-Me-Downs”—which, unfortunately, ten years later, still provides an honest look at how each generation is failing the next.

[audiomack src=””]

[Hook x2]
Come on say it loud

Look what we handin’ down
Don’t it make you proud?

Look what we handin’ down

[Verse 1: Blueprint]
My momma gave me Donny Hathaway “Young, Gifted and Black”
I miss the positivity, I wanna bring it back
But Rap nowadays is by a bunch of ignorant cats

No “Young, Gifted and Black”
Just guns, bitches and crack

I react by turning off BET
And Sambos telling me what blackness is supposed to be
Used to give us world news, now it’s all videos
Replaced Tavis Smiley with reality shows
If you let the TV define what black is

You think ice and violence is all we think that matters
I guess this is what happens when rappers look up to thugs
And kids look up to rappers
To some of y’all if I don’t talk about the gat enough
Or sell crack enough, I ain’t black enough
But I rather be a pro at being myself
Than be an idiot trying to be somebody else, what

[Hook x2]

[Verse 2]
I’m at the bus stop with my bike
Been there for a while
Moms taught me how to catch this route when I was a child
Another kid walks up, freakin’ a Black & Mild
Fifteen, same age I learn shit’s wild
An older lady walks up, greets us with a smile
Asks how we both doing and sits down
She knows what’s it’s like to grow up in the South
Civil Rights when the whites was hosing us down
I started thinking to myself that even though the times were tougher
They still took time out to speak to one another
But look at us, me and this young brother
Acting to proud to break down and speak to each other
So inside I felt ashamed
Not sure of how to but I wanna change
And as long as I’m alive, then the fact remains
That it’s never too late for us to break the chains
Come on, y’all

[Hook x2]

Things is bound to change