Statement of Purpose

by BenjaSoul

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released April 25, 2014

All lyrics, music, and instrumentation are original.



all rights reserved


BenjaSoul Berkeley, California

BenjaSoul is the R&B/hip-hop project of Benjamin Mertz, a gospel choir director, jazz pianist, flutist, and music educator living in California's East Bay. BenjaSoul is dedicated to moral, socially conscious, intelligent, compassionate, challenging art and music. ... more

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Track Name: Intro

It begins in Hackensack, New Jersey
A boy is born with biracial diversity
Through adversity of a distant father
Discovers music through the love of his mother
Grows up watching her perform at the opera
Decides that he wants to be just like her
Picks up piano at six years old, shows promise,
But now we fast-forward to the streets of Paterson, ten years later
Learned Motown from cats who had once been the greatest
Jazz and church music, hip-hop and blues
R&B, Gospel, and Negro spirituals
Until he moved to California
Ready to synthesize everything he discovered there
Played flute for sixteen years, piano for twenty
Now music is the only way he makes his money
Debut album, long overdue
It's the Statement of Purpose and it's coming for you
Mixing influences from an eclectic life
Righteous young man, he's playing piano like...
Track Name: For Granted
Do you ever think about the freedoms you have
Do you ever think about the clothes that you buy
The food that you eat, the car that you drive
And remember just to thank the Lord for keeping you alive
Do you remember what it used to be like
When we had to fight just to survive, never to thrive
Always being told we were deserving to die
Did you ever just consider that we've almost arrived
I can drink out of the same water fountain as y'all
And I can even take a stool at the bar with you all
And I can go to college, study medicine or law
And I can even wear the uniform and choose to fight for freedom
See what I mean is, what I see is, though I'm still bleeding,
I'm standing on the shoulders of giants
Those who took the ultimate sacrifice defiant
Those who stood their ground firm while they held the line
Held back the lion of oppression and slavery
Became my idols because of all their bravery
Upon the path that they forged I will live all my life for the Lord,

And I ain't gonna take it for granted

See I came from the bottom, aiming for the top
Synthesizing R&B with Soul and Hip-Hop
Started in a small apartment, never knew that I was poor
'Cause my mother made it feel like we could take over the world
There came a girl who always would believe in me
Put a ring on her finger, that's the way it's s'posed to be
We ain't got money, just enough to pay the bills
It's okay honey, life don't need a lot of frills
See I got health and happiness a roof over my head
See I got faith and food and clothing and a warm bed
Ain't a lot of brothers get to say the things I just said
So many struggling or incarcerated or dead
All I need is love and laughter and a piano
God will grant me riches, I'll earn it like a man, though
All I gotta do is raise my children to be good
And try to help my people who are dying in the hood
Try to do my best to make the world a better place
I'm feeling so blessed just to be breathing today
I'm feeling so blessed just to be breathing today
I'm feeling so blessed, just to be breathing today

And I ain't gonna take it for granted
Track Name: Trayvon

Trayvon, guilty of being black in America
Trayvon, hunted down for wearing a hoodie
Trayvon, walking home from the convenience store
Trayvon, executed without trial or jury


You are a native son,
A young boy, a confidant,
A brother with a story not so different from my own
You were exiled, profiled, defiled by centuries of history
It's no mystery why you never made it home
They said that you were a thug and
They said that you started the fight and
They said that you smoked some weed and
They said you suspicious on the street
They said you were dangerous
They said you were looking for trouble but
They are all still breathing while you're bleeding on the sidewalk


When I think about everything we've lost
When I think about how far we've come, how far we have yet to go
The scars of civil rights begin to show
The stars of the movement assassinated long ago
Oh, Lord, are children still getting gunned down in the streets?
Are we still being judged by the color of our skin
And not yet by the content of our character?
Come on, America,
You're supposed to be the land of the free and the brave
But I feel like a slave, and I wanna rant, and I wanna rave
Trayvon won't have the justice of man
We just have to hope there's a place


In heaven there's no racism,
In heaven there's no exploitation
Heaven has no weapons and no stand your ground law
Heaven has no suffering and
Heaven has no profiling
Heaven has no slavery, in heaven you can be free

Chorus out
Track Name: Where's the Soul?

Are you proud of how you earn your paycheck?
Are you proud of how you spend your paycheck?
Are you proud of your relationships?
Are you faithful to your lover and your friends now?
Are you ready for the train of glory?
Ready for Heaven to open up your story?
Are you proud of your earthly pilgrimage,
Or are you convinced that you will live forever?


Do you make money just to make money?
Do you go through life just to get through the day?
Are you respectful while you're loving your sweetheart?
Are you going (trying) to find a better way?


Where is the soul?
How you gonna use what God has chosen to bestow?
Where is the soul?
Where you live, when you work, I said, what are you fighting for?


You might get all the riches of the world, the bitches of the world
You might be rolling in the dough and never think about it
Never consider the impact that you be making
You be taking and be breaking every ghetto in your bid for power
Never thinking about the final hour
When all the riches and the sweetness will begin to sour
And all the seeds that you have sown now will begin to flower
Upon that Tower,
The eyes of Heaven looking down on you to frown on you and
Asking you the task that God entrusted to you
To carry out on His behalf, the Lion and the Calf
Eating of the grass, sitting down in brotherhood at last
And how have you helped to bring His Glory to pass?

Flute solo