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"Fine Print" a Hip Hop Song by Social Justice Artist Lonnie Ray Atkinson

Audio: 
Credits: 

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson

Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Narration Sample: Ralph Nader
Music Track: Instrumental (Becca Fine) by Anitek (Anitek – 10-becca-fine) (@anitek)

Special Thanks to Theresa Amato.

Lyrics: 

(Narration sample from Ralph Nader)

VERSE ONE:
Yeah it's true, cash is still ill
But it's more than the dollar dollar bill, y'all
You gotta know what the cream boils down to
Contracts rule everything around you

Everything you do, everything you own
From your credit cards to your cellphone
Car, home, job, bank account, healthcare
every time you hear 'em say sign right there

Think about your life, think about the impact
Ain't a minute in the day you ain't under contract
Think about the terms, are they yours are they theirs
this is your economy, you think this is fair

Think about freedom, the freedom that they reppin’
Free to agree or else you get to steppin’
But that ain't freedom, freedom means choice
The right to participate, the right to a voice

The power to negotiate at the point of signing
power to enforce the dotted line (and)
A level playing field where everything's see through
And you can understand what you just agreed to

If you ain't got that, then you ain't got freedom
Contracts shouldn't make you weep when you read 'em
From your economy to your government
you better check who's writing the fine print

Chorus One:
- your commitments, who's writing the fine print
your restrictions, who's writing the fine print
every time you sign, who's writing the fine print
who's writing the fine print, are you writing the fine print
- before you x that, who’s writing the fine print
peel the text back, who’s writing the fine print
it’s more than just your name, who’s writing the fine print
who’s writing the fine print, are you writing the fine print

VERSE TWO:

So what's the point of even having a contract
If they can turn around tomorrow and take it all back
rewrite the terms, put in whatever they see fit
and it's all legit, just check the fine print

What's the point of even signing your name right
If they can breach each and every the term the same night
And never worry, they got you signing in such a hurry
Gave up your access to a judge or jury

they got you signing civil liability waivers – “Whoa!
Even if the negligence is gross?”
I'm talking even if the harm's intentional
that legal wording got 'em feeling invincible

And them arbitrators, yeah they industry paid
The when where and the how, well that's industry made
And if they can privatize the judicial parade
Imagine all the other ways you getting played, player

Could you imagine a contract offering the choice
To sign away the First Amendment, silence your voice
But sho nuff, Gag clauses got folks nervous
To speak on a sh-sh-shady product or service

Just samples of what we sign every day
hidden fees, waivers of warranties, it's cliché
What the crooks do when it's illegal to price fix
oh look, it's still legal to fix the fine print

Chorus Two:
- your commitments, who's writing the fine print
your restrictions, who's writing the fine print
every time you sign, who's writing the fine print
who's writing the fine print, are you writing the fine print
- before you x that, who’s writing the fine print
peel the text back, who’s writing the fine print
it’s more than just your name, who’s writing the fine print
who’s writing the fine print, are you writing the fine print

VERSE THREE:
What does it mean it the land of the free to click agree
We click because it's quick, plus the terms'll make you sick
They got us dooming, assuming that we'll never have power
for them, the best consumer is a coward

Yo, but we aint going out like that
CitizenWorks fighting for a fair contract
take it back to every first year law school
When they tell you fine print ain’t the gospel

And your Johnny Hancock ain’t the last word
‘cause your inalienables can’t be transferred
Or waived away or just let roll like shot dice
As long as there’s a constitution, you got rights

So fight – it ain’t gonna be this way forever
Taking what we get ‘cause we don’t know no better
Instead of a consumer waiting to get bit again
I think I’d rather be an economic citizen

But that means we ain’t playing the same hand
Fair Contracts Project got the game plan
Where in order to achieve real mutual consent
the goal’s gotta be to get rid of the fine print

Chorus Three:
- your commitments, who's writing the fine print
your restrictions, who's writing the fine print
every time you sign, who's writing the fine print
who's writing the fine print, are you writing the fine print
- before you x that, who’s writing the fine print
peel the text back, who’s writing the fine print
it’s more than just your name, who’s writing the fine print
who’s writing the fine print, are you writing the fine print

- regulations, who's writing the fine print
legislation, who's writing the fine print
your democracy, who's writing the fine print
I said the goal's gotta be to get rid of the fine print
- before you x that, who’s writing the fine print
peel the text back, who’s writing the fine print
we talking about your life, who’s writing the fine print
ain't no freedom if we aint free of the fine print

(Narration sample from Ralph Nader)

Outro:
See, they count on you blaming yourself and giving up.
They count on you living with terms that the courts would find
unconscionable.
But we’re saying forget all that.
If you ready to fight back against this whole contract industrial complex,
then check out faircontracts.org and add your voice to the growing chorus
([of citizens] singing)
ain’t no freedom if we ain’t free of the fine print

Please visit http://www.lonnierayatkinson.com for more information about social justice artist Lonnie Ray Atkinson