The ‘LIT’ Album Experience

LIT is a ‘lyrical remix’ album where I take mainstream pop and hip hop songs that have an amazing sound and style (but leave a lot to be desired in terms of lyrical content), and I infuse them with my own original, spiritually-conscious lyrics.

Day 1 – “Gotta Tell ‘Em”

Welcome to Day 1 of the ‘LIT’ Album Experience!!! I’m so excited to take this journey with you! 🙏🏽

So here’s a basic rundown of what you can expect each day:👇🏽

🎥: 1) A “Vlog” (video blog) that shares the inspiration and story behind the track
🎤: 2) The original song that I remixed
⬇️: 3) A free download of my lyrical-remix (in MP3, WAV, and stream formats)
✍: 4) The lyrics of my lyrical-remix
🎁: 5) Extra bonus content
🤔: 6) Thought-provoking questions for us to reflect on and discuss together

Thanks so much for taking part in this experience with me!! Go ahead and dig in!!✌🏽

🎥 Vlog #1 🎥

🎤 The Original Song 🎤

Jeremih ft. YG – “Don’t Tell ‘Em”
***Warning Explicit Content***

Song Facts:
Release Date: 6/6/2014
Billboard Hot 100 Chart Peak: 6th
Record Sales: 3 million+
YouTube Streams: 20 million+

⬇️ My Lyrical Remix – “Gotta Tell ‘Em” ⬇️

✍ The Lyrics ✍

I gotta tell ‘em… Should I tell ‘em?
I gotta tell ‘em… How do I tell ‘em?
I gotta tell em… But their telling me not to tell ‘em
I know I gotta tell em… My soul’s tellin’ me that I gotta tell ‘em!

[Verse 1]
Did you see that new movie in the theaters?
Did you catch that game last night?
Have you tried that new restaurant on 7th Street?
Did you see that punch he threw in the fight? I gotta tell em!
When you know, and they don’t know,
You gotta tell ‘em what you know, so they know!
Don’t you know? God made you to be generous,
To share the things that you possess,
To this I profess, if I keep this knowledge from you it makes no sense,
You would be oppressed, so hear me share it, I got no stress,
The Messenger of God for today is manifest, know this!

I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
How do I tell ‘em? Do I tell ‘em? ay ay,
They’re telling me not to tell ‘em, not to tell em, ay,
My soul’s tellin’ me that I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay,
I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay,
I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
My soul’s telling me that I gotta tell em! ay,

[Verse 2]
I’m a candle, I’m enkindled,
Let me light shine, let it lead you,
Let it lead me, I gotta tell em in words plus deeds,
I gotta do, I gotta B-E,
Like a MC squaring off,
Feel my energy as I’m teaching the Cause of God,
Uttering, utterly, using this utterance,
Unlocking the doors to the cities of the hearts of men, no defense,
Higher than the senses, can you feel that?
No syllables and sounds, do you hear that?
Light brighter than the sun, do you see that?
B and a E, made the world of being BE that!
I bow down before His Station,
The Creative Word led to my transformation,
All Praise to Baha’u’llah,
Take pleasure in sharing the Word of God, it’s a Revel-ation, ay

I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
How do I tell ‘em? Do I tell ‘em? ay ay,
They’re telling me not to tell ‘em, not to tell em, ay,
My soul’s tellin’ me that I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay,
I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay,
I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
My soul’s telling me that I gotta tell em! ay,

[Verse 3 – Karim Rushdy]
Check the headlines read the news,
Are you this or that? You need to chose,
Are you against that or are you for this?
Do you fight the fight or do you forfeit?
I’m not in Forbes and I’m not so gorgeous
So if I listen to their message that means that I am unimportant,
You see my cores just ‘bout to explode it’s
Tired of hypocracy I’m raisin up my sore fists,
I’ve been holding in the light like it’s all mine,
Disunified, now let it all shine,
I’m working up the courage to flourish,
And then embellish every word that I’m speaking with God’s love, I gotta tell em, ay!

I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
How do I tell ‘em? Do I tell ‘em? ay ay,
My soul’s tellin’ me to tell ‘em, so I’m tellin’ ‘em to raise up!
I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
I gotta tell ‘em, gotta tell ‘em, ay ay,
How do I tell ‘em? Do I tell ‘em? ay ay,
My soul’s tellin’ me to tell ‘em, so I’m tellin’ ‘em to raise up!

“The Great Being saith: The Word is the master key for the whole world, inasmuch as through its potency the doors of the hearts of men, which in reality are the doors of heaven, are unlocked.”

So you know I gotta tell em….

🎁 Bonus Content 🎁

As I mentioned in today’s videos, the “LIT” lyrical-remix album was inspired by an album called “Wide Awake”, a project by my friend and fellow artist Karim Rushdy. Karim was the mixing engineer for the entire “LIT” album and is also featured on today’s song “Gotta Tell ‘Em”. 

First off, enjoy this exclusive interview that I recently did with Karim, where we each shared about our respective lyrical remix projects. It was a super stimulating conversation!

Secondly, Karim has also been gracious enough to provide today’s BONUS CONTENT! Enjoy a free MP3 download of the title track of his lyrical-remix album, Wide Awake, below!

🤔 Elevated Conversation 🤔

Based on today’s lyrical remix, here are some questions for reflection:

1) What is a TRUTH that you have discovered in life that you hold dearly?
2) Do you take time to TELL/TEACH others about this truth in your daily life?
3) Besides telling people, how can you BE this truth through your actions?

I really want this music to be a catalyst for reflection and conversation! Please take a moment to share your thoughts on these questions below and leave a response to others who have also shared. I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts with you all as well!


  • Elma Strom says:

    “The Great Being saith: The Word is the master key for the whole world, inasmuch as through its potency the doors of the hearts of men, which in reality are the doors of heaven, are unlocked.”

    In recent conversations, we were talking about populations around the world that do not have the tradition of the written word. How do such people experience the Message, the Word of God? We often question why Baha’u’llah has counseled us to “Write all that we have revealed unto thee with the ink of light upon the tablet of thy spirit…” What value can there be in memorizing the Word of God, when we can open a book or pull it up on our phones? The oral tradition of passing on knowledge has been around much longer than written language. We should be able to share that master key in any place, at any time, coming straight through our pure hearts from God. Music as the ladder of the soul is one of the primary ways people connect easily to memorize.

    Thank you for this inspiration, Colby!

    • Thank you for this Elma! Such a great reminder at the depth of “The Word”. It goes beyond syllables and sounds. It’s not just what’s written, and not even just what is said. It is a reflection of reality! The Word of God is pretty mind blowing when you sit and ponder it’s meaning and depth.

      I hope the song and lyrics did it a fraction of justice! 🙂

  • Joan Angeli says:

    Colby,….so Pleased that your Uncle Badi shared your music.(I’m with COA Community Outreach Alliance)So many people could say-There could be inspirational lyrics instead of a bad message” but YOU wrote the (awesome) lyrics and produced this music to share with others! Congratulations on your success!

    • Thank you for the kind words Joan!! And joyful to hear that you feel my music is a worthy contribution towards elevating lyrical content 🙏🏽. And yes, I definitely try to manifest my passions and desires in ACTION! That’s the best way to create real change, as you clearly know from your amazing work with your organization! Looking forward to a future collaboration where we can create positive change together! 🙌🏽

  • Solki says:

    Colby, congratulations for this art in music. I’ve really enjoyed tha song. Love it! Greetings from Honduras, and keep going!

    • Hi Solki! So awesome to have you joining from Honduras, the Internet is amazing! I’m really happy to hear you enjoyed the song :). Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the rest of the songs on the album! 🙏🏽

  • Richard Jeffers says:

    Truth-Oneness of Humanity.My parents became Bahais 2 months after I was born 1960. They instilled this truth in our family by stating Bahaullah’s principle over and over to people they
    Met but also put it into action by inviting people of all races to our home even though the neighbors didnt like it. Their 12 grandkids are all of mixed races and cultures which helps in eliminating the sense of superiority of one race or culture over another.

  • David D says:

    God is the All-Knowing. He knows EVERYTHING that I do, think and feel. He also knows what every other human being does, thinks and feels at all times.

    Whenever some one or some news media indicates that a wrong has been done, or that they “got away with it”, I have made mention of the above and that the Almighty will serve His justice and punishment in His time and in His way.

    As for me, with the above in mind I try to admit to my wrongs in the here and now as the hurt of lying is greater than pain of telling the truth, and the punishment in the next world is worse than in this one.

    • We’re diving in deep right off the bat! I love this…

      Truthfulness and accountability are so important! And yes, realizing that God is All-Knowing and All-Seeing is such an important factor with that principle. Like you said, it’s definitely a principle that a lot of people don’t value. I think we’re conditioned to value the perception, image, or end result more than the true reality.

      For me, I try to bring myself to account each day to God, and also seek out resolution with anyone that I may have hurt or wronged. It really is so agonizing having an unresolved conflict with someone, but then how peaceful it is when you take the steps to take accountability and heal.

      Thanks so much for sharing David! I knew you’d have some wisdom to drop… Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts throughout the rest of this experience! 🙏🏽

    • Tyson Tsosie says:

      Good morning,
      I’m not sure exactly which sections it’s mentioned in the Ruhi book 5, but I remember it compares our souls to rug weavers and our lives being that rug we create with the tools handed down to us. I think it’s surrounding how to live a chaste life because if our rug pattern is off, then we really can’t go back to correct that pattern. Only forward. This is very similar to Teachings from the Diné (Navajo) way of life. Taking that discipline from traditional rug weaving and applying it to assist us to have that harmony in our lives. Or as the Diné refer to as, “Walking in Beauty”.
      I find it the same as taking the teachings from Baha’u’llah and using that moving forward. Like bring myself to account each day or showing loving-kindness to all that cross my path. Or even having patience with myself.

      • YES! I love that analogy… I believe it’s in the Junior Youth Program text “Spirit of Faith”, which is part of the training for Book 5 of the Ruhi Institute (“Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth”). One of my all time favorite training materials!!!

        I love all that you shared connected to it. It’s such a helpful way of thinking about life! It’s interesting to think about how once you’ve done some weaving, it’s difficult to “unweave” that pattern. It makes me think about how, when you mess up with something during the creative process of an art project, it can sometimes be difficult to undo, but instead of giving up, you can also sometimes integrate the mis-step it into your art and create something new around it that you hadn’t originally anticipated.

        So in that same way, I feel like the struggles or mess-ups we have as we “weave our rug”, i.e. live life, can be built on to actually make something MORE beautiful than we had imagined in the first place. That’s the true way of “walking in beauty”, in my opinion… 🙂

  • I want to become better at sharing what I believe, I feel confident that I’m living it though, which I try to improve each day. I feel most natural sharing what I believe through music and art and through teaching children’s classes.

    • That is beautiful Claire! I think showing others what we value through our deeds is definitely the most important form of teaching people!

      And I agree, expressing truths through the arts is such a beautiful process and one that I also enjoy! Clearly… haha 😂

      Also, educating the young is such an important and worthwhile endeavor :). I love working with youth and junior youth myself, as they have lots of questions and can beginning examining more complex concepts. Children are precious gems as well… I love their energy and enthusiasm!

  • Tyson Tsosie says:

    “Unity starts with you and I…”
    The truth of unity, that we are one body, one soul is something I treasure very much.
    I think I bring up this concept of Unity a lot, if not daily. Unity starts with you and I, and Ty!ha joke
    Its a concept I try to use in my daily life. At work, I refer to our team as one body and like a body, how can we have unity of purpose and action. And then I go off comparing the interconnectedness of the different organs, to our own individualism as different parts of our team. Sometimes I think I get too carried away with it. Haha With my spirituality, it felt like it was the one key thing that I was missing that made it all make sense. To be lovers of the light and that attachment to the Lantern meant I wasn’t loving the light. Being a green lantern fan, this put things in perspective and just made sense to me.
    Besides telling people about this truth, I can do my best to live it out in my daily life. For example, since the start, friends of the faith has always been understanding, non-judgemental, loving, and very patience with me. They’ve been telling me through their actions.

    • Tyson! So grateful for your comments! 🙌🏽 Isn’t that fascinating how certain concepts/ideas just stick with us and help us understand things so much more deeply?? I love the analogy of humanity to the human body… That’s awesome to hear that you’ve been able to use that concept to teach about unity! Probably THE most important thing for human kind to focus on right now…

      And lol, love the fact that Green Lantern helped you understand what it means to be a lover of light!!! Do you find yourself getting into much deep conversations with other Green Lantern fans, or comic fans in general??

      • Tyson Tsosie says:

        Haha In fact I do, any chance I get. I have a couple comic book themed characters tattoos, the most noticeable one being the Green Lantern symbol on my finger. So when it’s pointed out, I usually take the time to have a that deep talk. also, because lately I haven’t had much of these comic book themed conversations. Comics and I, we go waaay back. Besides Green Lantern, there’s one comic called “Preacher” that I contribute to helping me recognizing love again. There’s a quote from that comic that I found very similar to the first Hidden Words I ever read. Which only lead me to further independent investigation. Then there’s time I feel like I get carried away. One Saturday, a dear friend was in town and we attended his brothers high school basketball game. Before that, we were at his son’s comic book themed birthday party. So I’m dressed in all Green Lantern with the Shirt, jacket, belt buckle, even mask, and ring on me. At the admissions table, there are two women collecting the fees. While I’m paying, one of the women asks me, “what’s that symbol?”, while looking at my chest.
        I look down and the first thing that I SEE is the Greatest Name hanging from my necklace. And then I’m off… lol minutes later after explaining progressive revelation, the ark symbolism, Ya baha’u’l-Abha, and the Baha’i Faith. We depart with friendly farewells and I’m walking away with a feeling that I probably said too much, and that’s when a thought comes to me. Maybe she was asking about the Green Lantern symbol because it’s on my hand, jacket, shirt, belt. Haha

        • hahahaha, yeah it’s easy to get carried away with things we are passionate about!! But I think most people appreciate it, as long as it’s coming from a pure place of sharing, rather than imposing. And dude, that’s really so awesome how you are able to take something like comic books and use them as a platform for spiritual conversations! I think it’s something we can all learn how to do better (making spiritual connections to the material aspects of life).

          I’m actually working on a song right now that explores spirituality through the game of basketball!!! Super excited to share it… 🏀🙏

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