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Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

The Crown



Composer * Stevie Wonder & Gary Byrd
Produced & Arranged * Stevie Wonder
Musicians * Benjamin Bridges: Electric Guitar; Earl DeRouen: Timbales and Cabasa; James Allen: Claves; Stevie Wonder: Piano, Drums, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synthesizer, Wood Block, Tambourine; Andrae Crouch, James Allen, Josie James, Shirley Brewer, Syreeta Wright, Tammy Gibson, Teena Marie, Windy Barnes: Background vocals; Crystal Blake, Gary Byrd and Stevie Wonder: Lead vocals

Video

The Crown is one of those songs whose rhythm is embedded in your head and pinches you so that you can not remain still. The song was composed by Stevie Wonder and Gary Byrd, a well-known and respected creator, musical collaborator, and executive producer of The GBE (The Gary Byrd Experience). A revolutionary and popular radio program with the longest spread of black radio in the history of New York City. Both collaborated in the decade of the 70'S for the incredible album Songs In The Key Of Life, giving form to songs like Village Ghetto Land and Black Man. Later, in the decade of the 80'S, he participated in the song Dark 'n' Lovely from the Characters album. They reunited again in 2000 for a Spike Lee movie titled Bamboozled in the song Misrepresented People.
Gary Byrd Experience & Stevie Wonder
Produced and arranged by Stevie Wonder, the song was added to the UK Singles Chart on July 23, 1983. His more than 10 minutesmaking it one of the longest tracks ever to chart, remaining on them for 9 weeks. It was released under the label Motown as Gary Byrd and the GB Experience, in the US on Stevie Wonder's short-lived Wondirection label. In the song of funky style, sung and raped, narrate us a historical vision of human progress, from the ancient Egyptians to the arrival of modern civilization; A tribute to the Alkebus, the Romans, the ancient Greeks, Neffertiti, Tutankhamun, the Sphinx, Cleopatra, Alex Haley, Muhammad Ali, Ella Fitzgerald, or Malcolm X. A history class, but with musicality and in rap format. Byrd described the song at the time thus: "The idea is not that black, white or anyone is better, but that we all have our place. We've all made contributions, and mistakes too. Wearing the crown is reaching the top of your potential. You could be a writer or you could be a mechanic, but you can still wear the crown."






The Crown

Lyrics

People of the world wherever you be
Welcome to Cosmic YOUniversity
Where life is the journey and love is the trip
And the study of them will make you hip

I'm professor of the rap and when I speak
I guarantee that my lines will not be weak
They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste
That's why I'm here and on the case

Rapping up every mind with a special degree
In socio-psycholo G.B.E
The Gary Byrd Experience is my course
When you take my class you will feel the force
'Cause I know the roots that the rap is from
When I speak to you I am not dumb
Hear my rap and begin to dance
And I promise you this you will advance

You may have seen the Raiders of the Lost Ark
But you still left the theatre in the dark
So clap your hands to the beat as the Wonder sound
And the G.B.E. shine on the Crown

Chorus (Background)

You wear the Crown
I wear the Crown
So proud to say that we all wear the Crown, the Crown

I said a once upon a time in Alkebu
Lived the kings and queens who looked like you
It was a land of sun with a golden shine
A place that once was yours and mine

Home of many great dynasties
Who created science and astronomy
Where the Romans came to study math
And the Greeks found out about the path

In case you wonder what else they did
The Alkebu-lans created the pyramids
And before Napoleon could even blink
In Alkebu there stood a giant Sphinx

Some say they came from outer space
But they are a part of the human race
If you know the place where they can be found
You may be the one who can wear the Crown

Chorus (Background)

You wear the Crown
I wear the Crown
So proud to say that we all wear the Crown, the Crown

I wear the Crown
You wear the Crown
So proud to say that we all wear the Crown, get down

We wear the Crown (Crystal Blake)
We wear the Crown (Stevie Wonder)

Not the greatest dancer with the baddest shoe
Not the slickest rapper that you ever knew
Have worn the Crown though they wanted to
But they'll want to until they die
Not a man of science with a Ph.D
Not a lady of law Masters' Degree
Will wear the Crown unless they can see
A unique reality

You see when you say you wear the Crown
Make sure you know it is profound
In case it sounds like a mystery
I'm talking about our story
It can make Akhnaton nod to you
It can make Nefertiti beckon you
With the Crown you will begin to glow
When its secret you begin to know

Next time you feel like you're in a rut
Go see the mighty kingdom of King Tut
It will blow your mind no doubt it's true
'Cause guess what King Tut looks just like you

You were Cleopatra Queen of the Nile
The sun would wink when it saw you smile
You were the Hannibal of the history book
And the earth would tremble at your very look

You were the builders of the pyramids
You were the face upon the Sphynx
You rode on the Nile in grace and style
Look at yourself today and think

See the hieroglyphics upon the wall
Like the dancers on the floor they will not fall
If you take one look it will astound
And then you will see who wears the Crown

Chorus (Background)

You wear the Crown
I wear the Crown
So proud to say that we all wear the Crown, the Crown

I wear the Crown
You wear the Crown
So proud to say that we all wear the Crown, get down

(repeat chorus 2 more times)
I do recall so very well
When I was just a little boy
I used to hurry home from school
I used to always feel so blue
Because there was no mention in the books we read about my heritage
So therefore any information that I got was education
Bums, hobos at depot stations
I would listen with much patience
Or to relatives who told the tales that they were told to pass ahead
And then one day from someone old
I heard a story never told
Of all the kingdoms of my people
And then how we fought for our freedom
All about the many things we have unto the world contributed
You wear the Crown

We wear the Crown (Crystal Blake)
We wear the Crown (Stevie Wonder)

It's not Star Wars, it's not Superman
It's not the story of the Ku Klux Klan
The Crown will appear in the G.B.E
But it's never seen on your T.V

It's in black and white in your gold mine
A picture so old it defies time
Alex Haley drew it in his book
It's what Kunta kept in his other foot

Ghana Songhay and old Mali
They are the roots of your own family tree
Kingdoms so vast and knowledge wise
They removed cataracts from human eyes
And yet today some refuse to see
And live in fear of their discovery
Now in fourteen hundred and ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean...true
But years before in Alkebu
A ship set sail with a chocolate crew
2,000 years before Columbo came
The Olmecs paid tribute to their fame

Stone heads with faces eight feet high
That the Hulk could not lift to his thigh
Though the facts historians avoid
First to arrive was the Africoid

It may shock the House and Shockley, too
And if you're not prepared it may shock you
While some had doubts that the world was round
In America guess who wore the Crown

Chorus (Background)

You wear the Crown
I wear the Crown
So proud to say that we all wear the Crown, the Crown

I wear the Crown
You wear the Crown
So proud to say that we all wear the Crown, get down

When you wear the Crown you will not need
To smoke, to coke, to dust or speed
With the Crown you can become the high
And you will make it if you try

But don't you ever forget what it will take
To wear the Crown you cannot fake
If you gonna lead you got to be a king
And give the world your everything

Or be a man like Malcolm X
And demand for all the very best
Or conduct a railroad like Harriet
We all owe her a lifetime debt

If you gonna fight don't do it free
Make 'em pay to see just like Ali
Or sing like Ella and make them guess
Is it you or is it Memorex

If you play a sport become number one
Like Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson
Make Doctor "J" your shining star
Shoot like Magic, dunk with Jabbar

Or if you can write then write some books
Like Langston Hughes or Our Miss Brooks
And if you think you're smart
Don't deceive us be an Imhotep, be a genuis

And don't let anybody confuse the fact
You don't wear the crown just because you're black
Everybody in the world has a Crown and place
That becomes their culture and their face

And so it is, we will not deny
Our history or buy the lie
We have no claim to be renowned
When we were first to wear the Crown

Chorus (Background)

You wear the Crown
I wear the Crown
So proud to say that we all wear the Crown, the Crown
I wear the Crown
You wear the Crown
So proud to say that we all wear the Crown, get down
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