Featuring Common, Kumasi, and Malik Yusef Lyrics
and Artists’ Interpretation From the album HOME

Chorus:

Trouble in the water, trouble in the water children (5x) 

VERSE 1: COMMON

Water moves, new world order rules
Water moves not only through rivers, streams, oceans, and pipes, but also through the decision making of power brokers in corporations and governments. The consolidation of this power over water is the new world order.

Through hurricanes the pain is made audible
Many people report hurricanes being as loud as an oncoming train. The destruction they cause is also audible in the cries of people who suffer.

Sound waves, Chi-town graves dug deep
Water dirty like the police that flood streets
In Chicago, there are many unexplained murders in deeply dug graves. The rapper uses a simile to describe the dirty water as similar to corrupt police who conduct major sweeps and make arrests without proper cause.

Blood on a beach, sandstorms on the street
Blood on the beach is a reference to the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, where African American children swam into an area reserved only for Caucasians. Sandstorms on the street is a reference to aquatic animals who are dying because of polluted bodies of water.

A man’s form can be transformed with the heat, of the moment
Heat transforms objects. “Heat” is also a euphemism for a gun. A person’s life can be taken by guns and heat waves.

We think our opponent is overseas, but we messing with Mother Nature’s ovaries
Our politics is focused on foreign enemies, but polluters are far more culpable in hurting American lives because they are destroying the reproductive ability of the earth.

It’s a cruel winter, summer don’t know itself
Our seasons are suffering from multiple-personality-disorder due to the harms of climate change.

I say get green but all niggas know is wealth
Street entrepreneurs are focused on acquiring money, but the real wealth comes from the earth.

I know I’m supposed to help, that’s what I’m made for / I’m a made man, but I ain’t a maid though.
Word play on the word made: The rapper explains that as a human, he is designed to help. He is also a very successful man who has “made it” in society, but he is not here to cleanup, as he is not a “maid”.

God’s gift to this Earth that’s what she prayed for
Acknowledging that he is God’s gift to Mother Earth, as are all living creatures.

Shit ain’t been stable since Cain killed Abel.
A biblical reference to the story of the two siblings, where jealousy and greed drove Cain to kill his brother, Abel.

Chorus:

Trouble in the water, trouble in the water children (5x) 

VERSE 3: MALIK YUSEF

It’s a 911 with no am – balance
Fresh and salt water way out of balance
A syllablization of the word ambulance to make it rhyme with the word balance, highlighting the emergency that fresh and salt water is all out of balance.

Stop with this goofy ass ice water challenge
Frustration channeled around the awareness for ALS generated from the ice-water challenge, while not as much awareness is generated about climate change.

The ocean ain’t yo’ mo’fucking trash can
Frustration over treating our oceans like trash cans.

Living in the gas land,
A reference to the movie Gasland by Josh Fox, which exposed the impact of fracking on communities.

Fire water flow straight out of the faucet
The rapper expressing confidence about having phenomenal, or “hot” lyrics that come out of his mouth.

Now fire water flow straight out of the faucet
Another reference to fracking where flammable water comes out of faucets in homes located near fracking sites.

We raping the planet, Mother Earth is accosted
Those of us who say and do nothing are complicit in the savage violation of our life-giver, Mother Earth.

So what the fuck is crackin’, with all this fuckin’ frackin
The rapper poses the question of why is there so much fracking; If we know the ecosystem is so fragile and delicate, why are we doing things we know will harm it?

They gone fuck around and release the fuckin’ Kraken
If fracking continues, it’s going to release the cryptozoological creature named Kraken.

Trouble in the water used to mean that a shark a eat ‘cha
Now you got a better chance of bumpin’ into Sharkeisha
Before this new world order, trouble in the water simply meant the threat of a shark attack. However, with climate change threatening the marine layer of our ecosystem, you have a better chance of running into Sharkeisha, an internet sensation tied to a school yard fight, than being eaten by sharks, which are endangered.

I’m part creature
The rapper uses the phrase “part creature” to describe himself as part of the ecosystem. “Part creature” is also a reference to the colloquialism, “beast-mode.” Beast-mode is a hyper-zone of accomplishing many tasks at great speed and efficiency.

Guerrilla Monsoon tracks for Yeezus to talk on
Guerrilla Monsoon was a prominent black panther, but the double meaning evokes the thought of a huge, wet monsoon. You can describe an exceptional instrumental track as “wet,” like a huge monsoon. Thus, the rapper produces exceptional music tracks for Kanye West (a.k.a. Yeezus) to rap over.

The seas too diseased for Jesus to walk on
The oceans are too dirty for Jesus to walk on

Heal our Mother Earth cause she way too big for us to put chalk on
Hear Our Mother Earth (HOME) is the name of the album on which this track is featured. We must heal our mother earth because if she were to die, there would be no way to draw chalk around her silhouette, like a person who dies in the street.

G.O.O.D. Music!
An open acknowledgement to one of the labels the rapper is signed to, Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music.

Chorus:

Trouble in the water, trouble in the water children (5x) 

VERSE 2: KUMASI

In the beginning was the word and then He made water
When God first created the world, He also made water.

Then He made man and then came the slaughter (slaughter, slaughter). Everything was peaceful til’ you showed up on the land of other people.
After man was created, conflict over territory and resources ensued. Man brought forth a new form of destruction in the world. Further, before Europeans came to America and killed Native Americans and enslaved Africans, things were in balance on indigenous lands.

Contaminate the ocean, now the water is lethal.
Four bucks for two liters, that should be illegal, amigo,
Referencing a potential future where the price of
water begins to rise and exceeds gas prices.

Evil contigo, can’t even find Nemo
The water used to be see through,
In reference to a Disney film, the water is so polluted,
that “Finding Nemo” would be impossible.

I wish weapons were food, then we’d all be fed.
I wish narcotics were fruit I got them apples in red.
The rapper provides a visual of his ideal society where if our food supply matched our weaponry, no one would starve; and where natural foods are in such high demand, that a drug dealer boasts about having apples for sale instead of illegal drugs.

The nemesis since Genesis; When the water starts to kill the fish, that’s when you know how ill it is,
When the water starts to kill the fish, it also can lead to the destruction of human’s natural habitat; the effects from climate change on Mother Earth can be the very cause of our demise.

Still it is they do the unthinkable,
Water same color as tea, that’s still deemed drinkable
Discolored and contaminated water in many parts of the world has become the norm.

Survival of the fit, how we was brought up
But never taught us’ prepare for World War Water
Survival in the animal kingdom and for all human existence has been dictated by who is most conditioned. However, there is no type of preparation for a future where we may have to fight and kill over water.