The Uphill Slide

There is always something.



I listen to the lyrics of songs more closely now that Jacob often makes song lyrics a reference point in our conversations. As I listened to “Locked Away” by R. City (feat. Adam Levine), I thought about the story in the lyrics. It’s not just how I feel personally about the words; I ask what inspired the song. Is it their own story? Here are some lyrics from “Locked Away”:

If I got locked away
And we lost it all today
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?
If I showed you my flaws
If I couldn’t be strong
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?

Now tell me would you really ride for me?
Baby tell me would you die for me?
Would you spend your whole life with me?
Would you be there to always hold me down?
Tell me would you really cry for me?
Baby don’t lie to me
If I didn’t have anything
I wanna know would you stick around?

I found the answer to my questions in an article from November 2, 2015 written by David Piesner for Rolling Stone about these two brothers from St. Thomas who call themselves R. City. The song is part of their personal story.

The R. City story really starts with their father, Miguel “Kiebo” Thomas. Kiebo was a die-hard hip-hop head on an island of calypso fans. He was a basketball star, a black activist and a burglar. The five years he spent in prison when Timothy and Theron were kids — and their mother’s continued devotion to him through it all — inspired “Locked Away (Peisner).


Peisner, David. “R. City: Two Caribbean Brothers’ 20-Year Journey From Poverty to the Top 10.” RollingStone, 2 November 2015., Accessed 28 December 2016.

R. City (feat. Adam Levine). “Locked Away.”  What Dreams Are Made Of, Kemosabe Records, 2015.

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