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MC 900 FT Jesus — The City Sleeps
Album: Welcome To My Dream
Avg rating:
6.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1682









Released: 1991
Length: 5:20
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Stealing down an ally on a cold dark night
I see a halo in the rain around the street light
I stop and look, and listen to the sound
As the raindrops penetrate the silence all around
Alone, I gaze into the glistening street
The distant thunder echoing my heartbeat
Urging me on to a secret goal
Away from the light from this lamp on a pole
So I turn, slip away into the rain
Drifting like a spirit through the shadows in the lane
Clutching the tools of my trade in my hand
An old box of matches and a gasoline can
Darkness envelopes the scene like a shroud
A veil of emptiness hangs from the clouds
Filling up the cracks in this desolate place
Cradled by the night in an icy embrace

Moving to the town like a ghost in the rain
A dim reflection in a dark window pane
Blackness beckons from every side
Creeping all around like an incoming tide
A broken window in an empty house
I slip inside and begin to douse
The whole place with the fuel that will feed the fire
And push back the night, taking me higher
On out of the darkness in a defeaning roar
The match in my hand is the key to the door
A simple turn of the wrist will suffice
To open a passage to paradise
I pause, I think about the past and the gloom
The smell of gasoline permiates the room
Everyone has a little secret he keeps
I light the fires while the city sleeps

(Like the 4th of July)

The match makes a graceful auk to the floor
And time stands still as I turn for the door
Which expoldes in a fireball and throws me to the street
I hit the ground running with the flames at my feet
Reaching for the night which encoils in the fire
The raindrops hiss like a devilish choir
Dying in the flames with a terrible sound
Calling all the names of the sleepers all around
But then in the arms of the night, they lay
Their dreams sprout wings and fly away
Out of the houses in a gathering flock
Swarming overhead as I hurry down the block
I make my escape with the greatest of ease
And savor the darkness, drop to my knees
And the lightless window, my hand on the latch
I reach in my pocket, and pull out a match

(Like the 4th of July)
Comments (289)add comment
I can count all the rap songs that I find to be well written/melodic/artistic on 1 hand.  Just my opinion, don't judge.  And this is one of them.  Good music, slick lyrics, great production. 
 Redpoint wrote:
Oh my... RP Just jumped through the roof of cool with this MC 900 FT Jesus track. Still makes a regular appearance on my late night playlist. excellent stuff. Shame it's only a 6.2 but there you go.
 
9+
NOW we're talkin'!
29 years ago
Fuckin A
 doobes wrote:
Let's just suffice it to say this is DEFINITELY not my thing....
 

OK.  It's definitely mine.
Let's just suffice it to say this is DEFINITELY not my thing....

 ziggytrix wrote:


It is exactly as deranged as "Firestarter" by "Prodigy" tho. 
 
 VH1 wrote:

This is no more deranged than "Smack my bitch up"by "Prodigy"! {#Whistle}

I think it is simply great! {#Clap}{#Notworthy}{#Clap}
 

It is exactly as deranged as "Firestarter" by "Prodigy" tho. 
I remember being entranced by this when it first came out - it was interesting, different, and fresh in it's own way. Certainly beat the likes of Jesus Jones....
Back  in the day when The City Sleeps was getting a lot of radio play, I recall a DJ saying ' my neighbor really really likes this song, and he's a fireman'.
loving this
Sneaker Pimps was my guess, thank you RP for another gem
its got that groove thing goi'n on
Love hearing this song in the mix. 
 cely wrote:
People complain about this being "white rap" as something necessarily bad.  That just seems like some weird prejudice to me.  No, it's probably inspired by, but not too much similar to, rap or hip hop.  It's closer to a lot of spoken lyric rock like Butthole Surfers or Cake.  And the lyrics have to do with the crazy psychology behind the wacko social problem of arson.  It's just an interesting song.  It doesn't need to break down your boundaries betwees us and them.  No one needs to freak out about who owns what kind of music.  Get along people. 
 
Whatever you call it, this sucks.
 Jelani wrote:

sfyi2001 - Can you tell me who the author of this painting is? Please? Thanks!
 
The artist was a painter named Harry Anderson.  It was painted around 1961.

People complain about this being "white rap" as something necessarily bad.  That just seems like some weird prejudice to me.  No, it's probably inspired by, but not too much similar to, rap or hip hop.  It's closer to a lot of spoken lyric rock like Butthole Surfers or Cake.  And the lyrics have to do with the crazy psychology behind the wacko social problem of arson.  It's just an interesting song.  It doesn't need to break down your boundaries betwees us and them.  No one needs to freak out about who owns what kind of music.  Get along people. 
 sfyi2001 wrote:


 
sfyi2001 - Can you tell me who the author of this painting is? Please? Thanks!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
What's next, Vanilla Ice?
I honestly don't get the hate.  This song is 27 years old.  It was an absolute mind trip back then, and is at least as pithy as current electronica.
Awsome lyrics!! Love this egotrip!
This is a brilliant musical arrangement!!!...A modern version of the compositions that came out of The Classic Period.
The guy has a scary face.

Does he live in a hot place? 

Spray pepper, not mace.

My suit fit no case. 

Nice...underwear made of lace. 

Oooh, just got to third base. 

I'm a song writing genius!   Now where's my mutha !@$%^& check? 
Oh my... RP Just jumped through the roof of cool with this MC 900 FT Jesus track. Still makes a regular appearance on my late night playlist. excellent stuff. Shame it's only a 6.2 but there you go.

Is it just me? 

I'm scared by a bee.

Shucks. I need to be free.

Ow, I banged my knee.

Too much coffee, I gotta pee. 

If its big, can it be wee?

I'm a song writing genius!!!

Now where's my mutha @(*&%% check?  


Thanks for dusting this one off for me! I forgot I was listening to RP for a second and thought my player uncovered one of my favorite old tracks. Keep 'em coming!
 idiot_wind wrote:
I stub my toe.

Uh, oh, oh, oh.

Is this the Kokomo?

Coffee, Joe?

Curly...there's Moe.

A boat, now row.

Just go with the flow.
I'm a song writing genius!!!!

Now where's my mutha $%8!) check!
 

 
Read the lyrics to this.  A little deeper than most, yours included.


surprised by the low rating...pretty groovy song!
https://img.cache.vevo.com/thumb/cms/aae8d1eba1d26dd4657e74416c5f8d8d.jpg?xx=220
So cool you play this one Bill - always loved this track....!  Cheers to RP!
I stub my toe.

Uh, oh, oh, oh.

Is this the Kokomo?

Coffee, Joe?

Curly...there's Moe.

A boat, now row.

Just go with the flow.


I'm a song writing genius!!!!

Now where's my mutha $%8!) check!
 
Yeah, hard to believe this was '91... But then again, Talking Heads had done World Music/ Rap/ Electronica since late '70s early '80s...
Fantastisch!!!
 jimtyrrell wrote:
Going for a 10 cause my nine's on fire.
I ve always loved the groove and the singer s rap on this song  but not till today when I read the lyrics did I know the song is about the deranged mind of a pyromaniac.
Sick but I love it.

 
This is no more deranged than "Smack my bitch up"by "Prodigy"! {#Whistle}

I think it is simply great! {#Clap}{#Notworthy}{#Clap}
 thewiseking wrote:
This makes Vanilla Ice sound ok by comparison.
Y'all want white rappers, Ole Skool, gotta be 3'd Bass, House of Pain or, of course, The Beastie Boys. That's all,  folks.  

 
Ha, say that the other way around and you'd be haunted by a whole lot of activist groups - 'black rap matters' {#Wink}.

Me, I'm no fan of rap in general but sometimes it works. This one is passable, it still follows the annoying tendency of rappers to glorify criminal behaviour but at least he's not poppin' any caps or some such.
Going for a 10 cause my nine's on fire.
I ve always loved the groove and the singer s rap on this song  but not till today when I read the lyrics did I know the song is about the deranged mind of a pyromaniac.
Sick but I love it.
This makes Vanilla Ice sound ok by comparison.
Y'all want white rappers, Ole Skool, gotta be 3'd Bass, House of Pain or, of course, The Beastie Boys. That's all,  folks.  
Not 900 but 125, still pretty tall
Great groove—I've been enjoying it since I first heard it on RP 12 years ago.

I was working in Oakland City Centre back when, commuting every day by rail from the Sierra foothills. When I hear this, I picture myself schlepping R. Crumb-style from the BART station to the CA government building, buds in and volume UP!
MC 900 Foot Jesus! What a great call back!
 
Cool groove..I think I'd like it more without the lyrics...or maybe just a sprinkle here and there 
WOW  - what a blast from the past! I've not heard this since living in Missoula and listening to KBGA.

I swear Bill - it's like we've lived the same lives in music! 
{#Clap}Most excellent!{#Clap}{#Clap}
For some reason, I like this guy.
the love started years ago when he did a tune that sampled Miles Davis "On the Corner"
 
Good old Kentucky Boy
Good live version on this CD: https://www.amazon.com/Sessions-KCRWs-Morning-Becomes-Eclectic/dp/B000004AX0
...whoah, i haven't heard MC 900 FT jesus since, like, 1992!..
Not bad!
 unclehud wrote:

I really like this, and vote it 8.  Lyrics are cool, and it is spoken poetry, like rap, and really not that far conceptually from Dylan's early spoken songs.  I like trance, too, so maybe that influences my 8-vote here. 

Most of the rap-haters are hating on hip-hop, which contains all the violent and misogynistic crapamundo.



 
Just noticed your signature—welcome to back to the States! 

This isn't bad—amazed that it was recorded back in '91, according to another RPer. I know incredibly little about rap. It has a lot of potential power but often seems shackled by limited themes and rhyme schemes. I'm sure others said the same things about the blues, though.  
This tune still really holds up - remember this was in 1991.  It was especially cool then.  I would expect a 6 or 7 from most, an 8 for me.

I really like this, and vote it 8.  Lyrics are cool, and it is spoken poetry, like rap, and really not that far conceptually from Dylan's early spoken songs.  I like trance, too, so maybe that influences my 8-vote here. 

Most of the rap-haters are hating on hip-hop, which contains all the violent and misogynistic crapamundo.



Don't know about the "Remix" resemblance, but R.E.M.'s "The Outsiders" seems to borrow quite a bit from this tune.

rtrt wrote:

There's something about this that reminds me of a song on REM Remix - cant remember which one though. Obviously this came first, just that I heard the REM first

 


NO.
I listen to RP bcs, for the most part, this musical genre is avoided.
At least there is PSD.
Edit:  Even  the "name my band" thread in the forum couldn't come w/a name this bad.
There's something about this that reminds me of a song on REM Remix - cant remember which one though. Obviously this came first, just that I heard the REM first
Weird to see so much antagonism against hip-hop and rap here. I rated this a 6, because there's much better to be found if you go looking.

At some point, Oral Roberts saw a 400 ft Jesus, if I correctly recall, looming over the city skyline. Don't recall what city, probably Tulsa. 

zepher wrote:

900ft Jesus - That's Huge, The world's tallest man-made structure is the 829.8 m (2,722 ft) - So maybe a 900m Jesus is in order.... Taking donations now....


 oldsaxon wrote:

It's not really rap, though is it. Just some spoken poetry over a nice hip hop beat. I like it.

 
Heh, that's what rap/hip hop is. 
I like it - cool and poetic...{#Cheers}
 Piscador wrote:
I'm relatively new to RP, but I don't recall seeing so many '1' votes for a song. Rap just doesn't ring my chimes, I'm afraid.

 
It's not really rap, though is it. Just some spoken poetry over a nice hip hop beat. I like it.
Brings back memories. I used to have this on cassette tape and play it in my car. Very progressive for his time. thanks!
Brilliant song!

But maybe not for everybody i guess...
I'm relatively new to RP, but I don't recall seeing so many '1' votes for a song. Rap just doesn't ring my chimes, I'm afraid.

900ft Jesus - That's Huge, The world's tallest man-made structure is the 829.8 m (2,722 ft) - So maybe a 900m Jesus is in order.... Taking donations now....

Christ the Redeemer (Portuguese: Cristo Redentor, standard Brazilian Portuguese: , local dialect: ) is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world. It is 30 metres (98 ft) tall, not including its 8 metres (26 ft) pedestal, and its arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide. It weighs 635 tonnes (625 long, 700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. A symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1926 and 1931.


 Biscobret wrote:

Wow - that's a lot of overgeneralizing there!  That's like saying that "rock music is made by drug addicts" or "jazz is just too crazy & unstructured."

A whole genre of music that you obviously know little about described in a sentence.  Shame.  Why is rap the one genre that is still so maligned by good people who claim to "know good music?"  There is a lot of poetry in a rap - even in those "macho ranting"s that you don't care for - a lot.

I'm sure that you dad, or grandfather depending on your age, said that rock music wasn't really even music.  Of course we know that this is a stupid statement - same goes for rap.

Public Enemy are being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, BTW.  Grandmaster Flash & Run DMC are already there.

 
I've wondered why Bill hasn't embraced much rap or hip hop.  It can be a limiting factor here.
I've been missing this for 22 years. My luck just ran out.
Does this guy live in Detroit?
Magical.
This is outstanding! On so many levels.
Came in to say "WOW!!!  I haven't heard this in 20 years!  Thanks, Bill...  once again you blow my mind with your diverse tastes and knowledge.!!!

{#Dancingbanana_2}
 fredriley wrote:

Yep, I'll second that. I can't bear rap normally (learn to feckin' sing, guys!) but this is intriguing. Perhaps what rap should be, poetry with music, not macho ranting with aggressive backbeats and mandatory misogyny.

 
Wow - that's a lot of overgeneralizing there!  That's like saying that "rock music is made by drug addicts" or "jazz is just too crazy & unstructured."

A whole genre of music that you obviously know little about described in a sentence.  Shame.  Why is rap the one genre that is still so maligned by good people who claim to "know good music?"  There is a lot of poetry in a rap - even in those "macho ranting"s that you don't care for - a lot.

I'm sure that you dad, or grandfather depending on your age, said that rock music wasn't really even music.  Of course we know that this is a stupid statement - same goes for rap.

Public Enemy are being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, BTW.  Grandmaster Flash & Run DMC are already there.
 mostling wrote:
the 900 footer was way ahead of his time. Way before Linkin park.
Reminds me of Paul Hardcastle's "19" and later Butthole Surfers
 
Yeah, no kidding. I'm surprised to see it goes back to 1991. I thought for sure it was influenced by Portishead and Beck.I totally see where you're coming from with Butthole Surfers too.
such a cool track.  been a while since i heard these guys last.
Heard of them, but never really gave them a good listen. I like...
the 900 footer was way ahead of his time. Way before Linkin park.
Reminds me of Paul Hardcastle's "19" and later Butthole Surfers

 bh1 wrote:
Much as I dislike rap, I find this kind of interesting. I like the trance music aspect, the vocal not so sure, but not the vocal effects. Still, something different  every now and then is good even if it is not something I like. after all I tune in here for non mainstream music so I shouldn't complain. And at least it isn't Liki Li.
 
Yep, I'll second that. I can't bear rap normally (learn to feckin' sing, guys!) but this is intriguing. Perhaps what rap should be, poetry with music, not macho ranting with aggressive backbeats and mandatory misogyny.
Always liked this album - one of the better tunes from it.
Much as I dislike rap, I find this kind of interesting. I like the trance music aspect, the vocal not so sure, but not the vocal effects. Still, something different  every now and then is good even if it is not something I like. after all I tune in here for non mainstream music so I shouldn't complain. And at least it isn't Liki Li.
Elevator muzac. Let me out.
Now, just try to imagine this song sung from the perspective of a fireman...
Great to hear this! This guy put out some really great music in the 90s.
 Valley_Boy wrote:
I had to remove my headphones and wash out my ears.
 
Then by all means, please do. . .


"a 900 ft Jesus would have a 100 foot SHLONG!"
Mclean and Mclean 
 doctec wrote:

I always liked this song, it's held up well over the years.  Evocative and creepy.


 
Agreed!  It's great to hear every now and again — takes me back.  It was unique when it first came out, as compared to other songs out at the time.

bares repeating:
Per Oral Robert's Obit - "Jesus, I'll even preach for you if you'll save my soul."Jesus took him up on it. Mr Roberts next saw Him, in 1980, as he stood praying by a giant unfinished skyscraper in Tulsa. This was his City of Faith Medical Centre, built on the Lord's instructions but running into financial delays. He was now a rich man, in an Italian silk suit and with solid gold bracelets on his wrists. His annual income from donations was $120m; he bought a new Mercedes every six months, and had a luxury home in Palm Springs. His inspirational shows were broadcast on hundreds of radio and TV stations. Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley had sought his spiritual counselling, as had millions of other hurting people. But Jesus towered over all this. He was 900 feet tall, with eyes that burned to the very pit of Mr Roberts's soul. He assured him the Centre would be finished and, just to show him how easy it would be, He picked it up." Economist 1/1/2010.

 denbear wrote:
I know few like this piece, but I just love it. It was outside the norm in its time. Love the narrative. I think he captured a point of view in a very accessible way.
 

You summed up exactly what I was thinking! {#Clap}  I'm liking this song..
I know few like this piece, but I just love it. It was outside the norm in its time. Love the narrative. I think he captured a point of view in a very accessible way.
Amazing! This track and the previous two all suck, but in totally different ways! Please for the love of Bob, no more!

Ick

Johnny Trash - I'm leaving now
Rosanne Cash - Burn down this town
mc 900 ft jesus - the city sleeps

it just keeps getting worse!
roccoeugene wrote:
He's got some good tracks this isn't one of them. RP won't play rap or hip hop but they'll play this lame, watered-down, white rap.
Yeah, white people are stupid and lame. If by watered down you mean smart and theatrical, water me down every day. You might want to research 1930's talking blues by Oklahoma dirt farmers when looking for the roots of spoken word music, which might be a more fitting description of this than rap.

Appreciate this artist, but had not heard this cut.
Makes me want to hear some Ken Nordine.

I had to remove my headphones and wash out my ears.
redtex wrote:

This sounds too much like many others...vocals from Butt Hole Surfers/Pepper, Tom Waits, LFeat as you mentioned.

Needs some work.

the_bink wrote:

Tom Waits??? You must be joking.
 
FrankMc feels compels to add:

Little Feat??? (assuming that is LFeat.) I can't imagine any iteration of that fine band ever producing anything that sounds like this.

Actually like it better on second listening than on first (when I gave it a 2.) But I know Little Feat and this is no Little Feat.


A simple message to all rap and hip-hop artists: learn to feckin' sing! Otherwise call yourselves poets, not singers.

Ok, hobby horse dismounted...
I think
Sounds like Beck ripped them off.
so glad to hear from someone else who's heard of Buck 65
 
flatpicker wrote:
This kinda reminds me of Buck 65.
But not as good.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wyyVh3uc5Y
 


 doctec wrote:

I always liked this song, it's held up well over the years.  Evocative and creepy.

 
Completely agree.  He had a very interesting musical vision ... hip-hop, jazz, electronica, spoken word, humor, story telling ... what ever you call it, great grooves with interesting lyrics ranging from the creepy (like this one) to the downright silly.  Maybe the best band of the 90s that no one's ever heard of.

For anyone out there who likes this, do check out his other stuff.  Both Welcome to my Dream (the middle album) and One Step Ahead of the Spider (his third/last) are fantastic.


This kinda reminds me of Buck 65.
But not as good.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wyyVh3uc5Y

how about bloodhound gang... the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire...

What the heck is this? It woke up the baby and made her cry.
reminds one of Jamie Kennedy's wanksta rap in Malibu's Most Wanted
I like this song, but I prefer the version that appears on one of the KCRW collections.  Much more paired down production, and clearer lyric.
If you're a fan of this song, give it a try.
—mike


 doctec wrote:

I always liked this song, it's held up well over the years.  Evocative and creepy.

 
I agree.

In reading some of the other comments, should we also ban all songs that mention heavy drug use, alcoholism, illicit sex, and anything else that is a challenge to society? Like anything else, just because we hear or read about something doesn't mean we go out and do it. Even as an impressionable teen (back then), I wouldn't have been inclined to become a serial arsonist because of song lyrics.

I always liked this song, it's held up well over the years.  Evocative and creepy.


Once again RP gives me some variety to listen to. This I could do without. Is the sound him chuggin the gasoline. I hate the thought of some kid listening to this and be inspired. I guess my age doesn't let me see anything good in this.
He's got some good tracks this isn't one of them.  RP won't play rap or hip hop but they'll play this lame, watered-down, white rap.
Fire fascinates me....{#Twisted}
Word to your mother...
I had to stop composing a legal letter when this came on. It's just plain sick. It gives me chills.  Love it!
 FrankMc wrote:
Somehow arson really doesn't appeal as the subject for a song. Pretty tedious, even for rap. Muting now. Back in a bit.
 

as long as we are considering not-really-rap-songs with odd subject material, you have to bring 'women lose weight' by Morcheeba to the table... there is a song with strange subject matter...


So him in concert at Prince's club Glam Slam in Minneapolis when this came out...fantastic show!
Somehow arson really doesn't appeal as the subject for a song. Pretty tedious, even for rap. Muting now. Back in a bit.

thewiseking wrote:
if this douchebag sees the buttholes comin..........he better run


I'm a little confused about all the Buttholes comments, since this album predates 'pepper' by five years.  Am I missing something?

redtex wrote:
This sounds too much like many others...vocals from Butt Hole Surfers/Pepper, Tom Waits, LFeat as you mentioned. Needs some work.
Tom Waits??? You must be joking.
rOOk wrote:
Bought the CD used on 90/91...never get tired to listen it. P.S. don't like rap music :)
Rap? Where do you hear rap?
believe it or not, I've heard this on the local Clearchannel abomination. The afternoon dj is a vera cool lady.
Bought the CD used on 90/91...never get tired to listen it. P.S. don't like rap music :)
Style trop peu diffusé à mon gout !!! ça fait du bien par où ça pass !!! Sympatoch' :music: