Arie started this lament about the poor with songwriter/producer Shannon Sanders several years previously and completed it during a soul-searching sojourn in Hawaii as she recovered from a painful relationship break-up. She explained in publicity materials: "I wrote ten songs in ten days in Hawaii, and when I came back, that inspiration was still so alive, I wrote five more." She added: "'Ghetto' and 'Yellow' I started with Shannon Sanders while we were touring (2001 debut album) Acoustic Soul, and I was surprised at how much new life was breathed into them."
Arie explained the theme of Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics: "These songs symbolize being more empowered, honoring feelings more. Not fitting in anyone's box anymore. This album sounds like me, now, not trying to live something or capture something. It's just now. A sonic representation of who I am."