peace, plucky.

amongst the rankings of tour benefits rates high the opportunity to see firsthand the effect of music on individuals in isolated communities; respect due to all those whose paths we’ve crossed over the past 2 weeks, from dedicated fans to dedicated artists. thank you to all the folks who’ve put in work gettin’ the stage warm as we, in turn, work to accomplish the same task for others. it’s important to know that talent, while unaffected by the riches of the world, is readily substituted with heart as far as i’m concerned. keep those CDR’s comin, family – we need music to ride to!

aye – if you know about plucky tell him let’s get this live show poppin! peep the beasting of the beater:

america’s last monarch, RIP

a president and his king.

a president and his king.

i subscribe to Harper’s because it’s the perfect pooping companion. to all my folks who spend inordinate amounts of time droppin’ science (PHATLIP, i SEE you!) i do highly recommend you befriend a neighborhood middle-schooler and thumb diligently through his fund-drive catalog this fall – a good magazine is essential to a satisfactory bowel movement.

Harper’s is the type of periodical you can devote minutes to; or hours; or days (we’re not talking one continuous BM now, mind you). as those who have been to the cabin know, i often keep issues around for months and months, so that they may ably serve others as they have served me. i appreciate revisiting the old, tattered and creased ones, and i never grow tired of the quarter-page snippets no matter how many times i reread them.

june’s issue, still relatively unworn, sat neatly atop the stack this evening, open to a page i’d chosen days ago, intent on diving headlong into an excerpt from a novel by barry hannah. in a clumsy fumble whilst reaching for an extra roll of toilet paper i dropped the magazine and discovered this:

from the june 2009 issue, which i received nearly 5 weeks ago; pg 6

foreword by Harper’s

A letter from Ronald Reagan to Michael Jackson, dated February 1, 1984, five days after the singer’s hair was set afire by pyrotechnics during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. The letter was among belongings Jackson offered for sale at auction in April in an attempt to pay off an estimated $24 million in debts…

Dear Micheal,

I was pleased to learn that you were not seriously hurt in your recent accident. I know from experience that these things can happen on the set – no matter how much caution is exercised. All over America, millions of people look up to you as an example. Your deep faith in God and adherence to traditional values are an inspiration to all of us, especially young people searching for something real to believe in. You’ve gained quite a number of fans along the road since “I Want You Back,” and Nancy and I are among them. Keep up the good work, Michael. We’re very happy for you.

Sincerely,

Ronald Reagan

size matters.

who needs a major when you’re rollin’ with the biggest label evar?!?

these folks hit me about participating in their campaign to draw attention to the Invisible Children Rescue Mission and i obliged.  i submit a track to their enormous compilation; all you have to do to DL the cut is register with the site, find my profile amidst a crapload of others, watch a short video about the organization efforts, then start all over.  at least that’s how it went for me and the homie.

so here’s what i’mma do:  i’ll give you the link to the song here, but just so that i’ve fulfilled any obligation to the folks puttin’ this thing together i’ll post a related video for you to peep.  that’s fair, right?

RA Scion – “kasase” – pronounced kuh-SAH-say

produced by MTK

lyrics to go (part 7 of 7, finally) “black patch war”

“There ain’t a thrill in the world to compare with building a business and watching it grow before your eyes.”

- James B. Duke

yeah, i guess it has been a minute.  no excuses and no apologies, let’s just keep it movin…

buried in this shallow and forgotten grave of previous entries you can find a most interesting response from an eager (not to mention well-educated) listener posted some months back.  he came on the offensive with pertinent questions about my connection to and interest in the Black Patch War.  was i aware that the Night Riders were comprised largely of Klansmen?  did i know that these lawless mobs who employed savage violence to pursuade poor farmers to join their cause also used the opportunity to lynch innocent black men?  was i, in fact, racist?  i was shocked; not at all by his interrogation and loose assertion, but by the fact it had taken nearly 6 months since the EP’s release for someone to raise the question.

not that i haven’t been suspected and accused of being racist before – i understand that comes with the territory.  being white and male requires you to be extraordinarily sensitive to the effects of your actions, your words, your silence.  i’m not a careful dude, but even at times when i haven’t been outright reckless i’ve been ignorant.  or arrogant.  or both.

but now,  in the context of this brutal and bloody War, what did it mean to a hiphop audience that i would appear compassionate and sympathetic to a splinter cell of the KKK?  well, you tell me.

guys are gonna wanna, go out and play sometime – just take this advice i give

‘possum hunters posse up, now

it’s in the name of the father we ride, right or wrong only god’ll decide (1)

dismiss diplomacy, don’t bother we tried (2)

they don’t play fair, the sharecroppers profits are marginalized

for law enforcement a farmer resort to homicide

we fought for our lives before this mess

check a storied past, patch of distress – a shred of dignity (3)

a scrap of prospect left in me, leave the pistol empty

shotgun got somethin’ for the enemy, it’s the

black.  patch.  war chant bangin’ on em

to fifth-third send word of another bank bombin’

ranks mobbin over the hilltop on horseback

surround the storehouse, four corners and torch that (4)

been in the poorhouse before and i don’t want that

for my boys, hear the voice at the point of contact, listen

don’t lose your self-respect, trying to gain revenge

advice to heed, yeah – follow the rules, i’ll lead

i plead ignorance to business affairs beyond the field (5)

but on the real what we’re dealing with here’s extraordinarily

heavy-handed – look where your property landed

now come play monopoly with vigilantes and bandits

i’mma stand this ground, with plans to expand the compound

interest rise over the cries of “man down!”

empathize with the planters of antioch, we can’t stop now

divine decree, and how

the flag of hoptown will be ours now, you’re under siege (6)

you’re one of these whether or not you wanna believe (7)

pledge allegiance – come the son’ll receive, the company be

numbered as somethin’ we hung from the trees ( 8 )

from the seas of judah move a multitude of discontented

consider me a spiritual descendant

woe to those makin’ unjust laws, what i sayeth

is like a modern-day isaiah

may the lord be the judge of my sins, look what we’re up against

more sufferin’, no support from the government

poor and covetous, i pour a cup and it’s

not enough to fill up – we’re overrunnin’ this

operation taken down, klan vandalism

a coups de gras for the law of the land’s evangelism

silent brigade engage in a whisper

send shock waves breakin’ – how you shakin’ a fist?  it’s the

black.  patch.   war chant bangin’ on em

a higher callin’ the fire of sodom rainin’ on em

Canaan fallin’ – flames rebuke the lot of ringleaders

this james b. a duke, not a king

he as savage as the pack he employed, capital gradually

voided, now flatter me or see your tobacco destroyed, listen

don’t lose your self-respect, trying to gain revenge

keep in line, see the sign, victory is thine

he the vine, we’re the branch where the fruits borne (9)

and some of y’all been on there too long, spoiled rotten

the regiment developin’ a loyal followin’ (10)

contest and rest under kentucky soil – not a problem

all i’m askin’ for is a fair market at the auction

i put my work on the block – gimme my portion (11)

a good return and if not, i’ll put the cross on em

target for the marlin – amoss endorsement

this manifest impressed on parchment – y’all can read, right?

figured the herod-type particularly erudite

terms affirmed by the testament of old

where the servants learn – test ‘em with gold, yeah we got that

armed for combat, over crop tax

cease the fraud, you aint god, damnit – stop that

1) blind fanaticism;  it’s plagued humanity for centuries, and just as it was the basis of justification for violence and aggression toward non-conformists throughout europe, so was it the authorization to fight non-compliance in the south.  “only god can judge me” =  no accountability to man.

2) it is a well documented fact that the independent tobacco farmers of kentucky and tennessee tried for years to fight corporate interests through various channels of state and federal legislature.  they were unsuccessful.

3) check this link for a brief history on the region’s long-standing state of depression.

4) burning down warehouses used to store corporate-owned tobacco was a common tactic employed by the vigilantes.

5) sure, we’re not talking about highly sophisticated, degree-holding executives here – we’re talking about farm folk.  it was important for me to acknowledge the humility in this regard; the arguement was never about what was good or bad for business as a whole  – a point often times lost on those who are not students of business and markets and trade.  the real issue was respect for the order of things.

6) a reference to the brief coups that usurped power in hopkinsville on december 7, 1907.

7) coercion, duh.

8 ) possibly the greatest cause of consternation for those already uncomfortable with the direction i’m headed in here; yes, it’s a reference to lynching,  a clear threat to the organization of the american tobacco company that the night riders would resort to such acts if pressured.  the reference was never intended to glorify or otherwise condone the motives behind the lynchings carried out by the Klan.

9) self-righteous, but ever reverent.

10) some estimates say the silent brigade was well beyond 5,000 members strong.

11) a slick metaphor – you see what i did there, bringin’ the old and the new together?  try to keep up, would you?


lyrics to go (part 6 of 7) “trouble is”

It contributes greatly towards a man’s moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate. – nathaniel hawthorne

just this week, i’ve had the tremendous pleasure of reviewing the final cut of our first music video. the decision to use trouble is as the lead single for Tobacco Road came after a circular process of parleying; it was, from the beginning, the foundation for the LP’s agri-centric concept, but when prospects of distribution for TR grew dimmer, the song became the core of an idea that rapidly developed into BPW. it wasn’t until promotional work for TR began that i started to regret the decision to include it on both projects. by that time the song had become old and uninspiring to me, and despite the pleas of a gathered mass, assembled over barbecued burgers and hot dogs for the purpose of assisting us in the selection process, i had no interest in using trouble is for a video.

in the end it was zia who convinced me. you have to give credence to an opinion formed during a deliberate, 27-hour musical fast of sorts, in a honda accord en route from seattle to phoenix, during which time no song was played that cannot be found on Tobacco Road. the kid had a vision, and he sold me on it.

the most intriguing aspect of this process, for me, has been the evolution of the storytelling from written/spoken word into visual depiction. it was enough of a challenge to articulate the summation of my experience with the town’s hiphop scene in a metaphorical folk tale, harder still to explain to zia how i thought the visual representation would best serve the point. in the end i am beyond satisfied; i can’t wait for you all to see it. here are a few stills from the shoot, including a couple of screen grabs to show you what we’re workin’ with:

church.

church.

choir.

choir

kicks.

kicks.

monitor.

monitor.

cast.

cast.

anti-hero.

anti-hero.

what?

what?

…Service, work it

The vagrant came upon a plot, shop – set it down
Found vacant, he gon’ make it into something better now (1)
Barn hand, conversant in farm land, planted seven rows (2)
Will it ever grow? Heaven only knows, though he’s
Hopeful, never boastful about the ethic (3)
Set it deep into the earth, work and serve, all the rest let it
Come or not, hot summer sun, son – bumper crop (4)
Over night, or so some thought (now they’re talkin’ that)

What you really did to get this windfall, spendin’ all year estranged? (5)
Better not be mystical, typically the criminals here they hang (6)
Aint nobody ever seen you cultivate, rake or till, ya dig?
Take a lot to win a pot, wanna pay the rate? The stakes raised, you bid? (7)
In or out, what the men around here ‘bout, finna count a pound of cheese
Double down, you intend to win the prize, otherwise bounce and leave ( 8 )
We don’t care where you came from, since day one seen the game constructed
We gon’ watch it all fall, frauds claim to save it in the name of love? Nuh uh. (9)

Bubble, fizz – what the trouble is?
This is hustle biz – what the trouble is?
A couple kids – what the trouble is?
Muzzle ripped, tell ‘em what the trouble is, come on now

Trouble is love don’t want you, boy, see the
Trouble is love don’t want you, baby, see the
Trouble is love don’t want you, no, see the
Trouble is love don’t want you here

Not one to gamble, lit the Camel, took a long drag
Sat back and blew, inside he knew these folks had gone mad (10)
Through the smoke proposed a wager: tails, you can take my fields
Heads, you accept my station; they deliberated, deal! (11)
Coin turned for what seemed like eternity, slow breath
Some folks wept and fretted while the peasant never broke a sweat (12)
Confident he had ‘em in the talisman’s descent
By the time they shouted “TAILS,” he done packed his bags and went (13)

Best never try to test the vets, you wanna settle? Better pay your dues (14)
To the boss you done lost your crops, in one toss I’ll take your food (15)
Better be gone, set about and keep on a boulevard towards the boat
Ever come back get about a ton of that d-CON down your throat
In the meantime we find these fine fruits do quench a thirst (16)
And for pay we may persuade and convince some of these men to work (17)
In the end we sup and supplement the income caught in the trap ( 18 )
We must be blessed, best of all – that farmer’s gone, thank God for that (19)

Double-dipped – what the trouble is?
That’s hustle biz – what the trouble is?
A couple kids – what the trouble is?
Knuckle, fist, tell ‘em what the trouble is, come on now

Trouble is love don’t want you, boy, see the
Trouble is love don’t want you, baby, see the
Trouble is love don’t want you, no, see the
Trouble is love don’t want you here

1) well, vacant may be a slight exaggeration, but when it came time for me to do me i definitely found a void i thought i could fill. just like the vagrant, it was never my intention to blow somebody else’s spot – i was good to work the plot i came up on.

2) seven rows = seven tracks, a reference to apostrophe, the EP.

3) among the first five comments on my myspace page (est. early 05) was a nod from the young homie marc sense expressing appreciation for my humility. unfortunately, i let the comment go to my head.

4) bumper crop = bumbershoot, and other such measurements of accomplishment as perceived by the townsfolk.

5) ironically, the same people askin’ “who is this motherfucker all up in the stranger/on the cover of seattle sound/playing showbox (no sodo)/headlining benefits/blahblahblah?” are the same motherfuckers i tried introducing myself to six years ago. c’est la vie.

6) witchcraft and sorcery, the only logical explanation for fruits without labor. in seattle, as in salem, folks don’t take too kindly to the necromantic.

7) observe how the antagonists flip it, insisting the only way to “win” is to play the game (as opposed to working).

8 ) the ultimatum: put it all on the line or pack it up and go home.

9) i come from a long, long line of uncompromising, bull-headed dimwits who can’t see the fucking forest for the trees (not you, mom), but these “i’d rather the whole world think there’s no such thing as seattle hiphop than think that common market is what seattle hiphop sounds like” types take the cake.

10) agreeing to play along doesn’t necessarily mean you agree to play by the rules.

11) this is the farmer’s counter-offer; he’s all in, and if he looses they can grab the land, crops and all. but if he wins, they agree to accept him for who he is; a simple farmer who has, in fact, worked to produce every benefit. stakes is high.

12) in the heat of the moment, the townsfolk are nervous, while the farmer remains calm, cool and collected. this should give you a pretty good idea of who has more at risk.

13) tails it is. big bank take little bank (i see you, skizzle). but who really wins? more importantly, has anybody lost?

14) typical town rhetoric.

15) LOL @ “boss”-types braggin’ about their luck.

16) the fulfillment of purpose; the plan all along was to raise crops for the benefit of the entire community. good god – is any of this making sense?!?

17) one of the most significant lines in the whole song. as they enjoy the benefits of someone else’s work, the townspeople contemplate hiring laborers to maintain the field, all the while failing to realize they’ve driven out the most qualified candidate.

18 ) an honest living will forever be seen as an alternative to easy money.

19) irony here, too, in the motivation for giving thanks to god. dig deep.

lyrics to go (part 5 of 7) “bonanza”

easily the most slept-on cut from the BPW EP, hell maybe even the whole CM repertoire. not that i’m complaining, i’d much prefer my favorites to be safeguarded from the knee-jerk criticisms cordially invited by the “connect fornomenon” of myspace profile themes and heavy rotation on KEXP. it took some time to appreciate the subtleties of this rap shit, in cadence and in content alike, and personally i feel like this track embodies the best of what that laid-back flow has to offer. it could be the ’95-live-era vocal sample, the beautifully buzzy bassline, a host of things – whatever it is that makes this joint lope along with the confidence of a g-stroll just works for me.

extra-large shouts out to my guy Asim who came through london bridge studios to breathe a hot breath of vivacity into the track; folks should know the omission of his verse was the result of complications in mixing, lest the wind (or any other element) lead you to think otherwise. for your enjoyment, and for the purpose of adding some value to Asim’s hour-and-a-half-long commute to shoreline, i’ve included the raw version at the bottom of the post.  note:  e-real’s third verse bonus is not the only variance in this version – i’ll let you discover the other one on your own.

… a lotta suckas always front that we made it by luck…

live from out a silent town where talent abounds

the area where pavement covers sacred burial grounds

sound off two for those who came first and laid the work

laborers and mercenaries mining diamonds out the pay dirt (1)

worth inequitable, yet to get what’s deserved

for official recognition i press to spread the word (2)

act like you aint heard we on the verge of a breakthrough

youth crammin’ the gate sayin’ ‘i just can’t wait’

it takes a dreamer type to keep the hope alive but don’t shut those eyes

it’s cut-throat comin’ from both sides

and when the gun smoke rise, only one’ll survive (3)

‘not two, not three, not four, not five’

six years on the grind here, take it if they give me ten

principally paid dues, who’s seein’ dividends (4)

where the kid begin? around the City of Cin

another sea-sickened immigrant attempts to fit in

i seen your citizens around, shower praise on a duck

bust the bass-pound speakers, sets played in my truck (5)

a pot struck under the rainbow, the stage i touched (6)

‘a lotta suckas always front that we made it by luck’

never left fortune to chance, nah i took a second job

just to finance the pressing of a respectable effort (7)

i’ve come to terms with the significance of Live & Learn ( 8 )

kid’ll get his turn only after they listen and spurn

so necessarily my resolve was tested, told ‘em

i’ll be back in a second to wreck it with a better record (9)

a set objective i said it how i knew best

rooted in the east movin’ due west, of the etiquette clueless, uh (10)

i bid adieu, do i say ‘bon jour?’ how long you be gone for?

maybe forever on this award tour (11)

playin’ for none, can i do one more? prayin’ for an encore

bangin’ on a drum at the contour (12)

the long shot, survival at sea – got to paddle

paychecks for prize money at the beatbox battle (13)

big up’s to VERA, my debt forever paid in fine art

one of the biggest reasons we fuckin’ with dave meinert (14)

service to my constituents, a purpose in fuzed

word to love, son – we got a lotta work to do (15)

real recognize and appreciate real, but

‘a lotta suckas always front that we made it by luck’

aint nothin’ foreign to the formula, you reap what you sew

spent these summers on the come-up, you just seein’ us blow

some conditions are beyond control – nevermind that

the difference in victory and failure is where your mind’s at

wild speculation on the state of the section

some missin’ the bigger picture while they’re posin’ the question

it’s the answer i’ve been trynna pass along to the amateur

while they stand around and wait for the bonanza.”

1) for a short while, we used to kick off our live sets with a joint called “The Wind,” in which i would preface what was to come by saying: “in all things, and for all things, we give thanks to those who came before us.” simple, but effective i thought. it is essentially the same sentiment i attempted to convey in “Connect For,” before i became acclimated to the city’s acute aversion to anything resembling name-dropping. the line here is a toned-down reference to two notable noise-makers from the town’s pre-jiggy-rap goings on: Source of Labor and Diamond Mercenaries; no linksies – do your fuckin’ homework, son.

2) in the earlier days of conducting interviews with both local and national press, sabz and i would make every effort to give due credit to the town-counsel endorsed pioneers of seattle’s hiphop sound; nothing was more important than giving the impression we were not responsible for putting the 206 on the coveted rap map. it didn’t take long to realize that portion of the interview never made it to print, as if media cared no more to cover RCKCNDY-era rap from an historical perspective than they did as a current event. furthermore, the city’s “keep my name outcha motherfuckin’ mouth” mantra left a bitter taste in mine. now it is what it is.

3) live in this town long enough and you’ll learn a few things. or you won’t, it’s up to you.

4) at 33, i look at validation in a whole new light. you know that feeling you get when you show up to the office and find out your boss has unexpectedly taken the day off? accolades and acceptance from my
townmates feels like that; like a substitute teacher on a test day, or a hundred dollar bonus on your paycheck, or a free cookie in your quizno’s bag – it comes as a surprise and i’m ever appreciative, but i go about my business regardless. sure, it’s necessary to prove yourself at times, so long as you realize it is to yourself yourself you are proving.

5) attendees of sasquatch ’06 holla. neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night can stop the kid from delivering.

6) depending on the context of the conversation, i can credit a half-dozen spots with giving me my very first stage appearance in seattle. in the context of this conversation, the distinction goes to that bedrock of burgeoning battle rappers at the intersection of 45th and I-5, the piss-drenched, smoke-stained and curiously aquatic-themed hellhole formerly known as The Rainbow, where o-deezie and the rowdiest of rhymesayers from the EVT converged every tuesday for a hiphop “showcase.” round about may of ’03, if memory serves correctly; me and my djembe and a couple of homies did the dirty-footed hippie hop thing for no less than seven ex-bandidos who, after a fourth round of cuervo shots, actually gave us a round of applause. interestingly enough, i DJ’ed this weekly for a short while, too – why The Rainbow’s patrons never dug on that iomos marad is far beyond me.

7) true hollywood story: I got into the property management business when i took on a part-time position changing common-area light bulbs at three different condominium complexes on the east side. the job responsibilities were simple and required no more than 8-hours-a-week to complete, but the compensation was enough to cover studio time plus mixing and mastering of my first real effort at making music.

8 ) i am not delusional. my first two albums were not very good, and i’m not mad at anybody, not even j. moore, for flaggin’ ‘em as feeble freshman attempts. no disrespect to the folks involved in the production of Live & Learn, it just couldn’t stand next to the quality of rap Conception Records was putting out a full decade prior. in the end, though, were it not for that album, i would have never gotten the chance to step up to the plate sans tee. nice toss, fam.

9) in case you were wondering, i never had any intention of walking away from the studio content to rest on the laurels awarded to L&L by larry’s diplomatically gracious pen – the plan all along was to walk through the next door just as soon as it opened. some of you been hearing me knocking for some time now.

10) a modest admission: i’m a stranger in a strange land. not to be confused with the stranger in this strange land. mistakes, i’ve made a few – most of them the result of having a sharp tongue not filed on the whetstone of the in-crowd. believe me, i have made amends with those who deserve apologies, and if i’ve never offered my regrets to you then, quite frankly, you can wait.

11) it’s crazy to me that i can be so certain i’ll never return to live in KY, yet i’ll never feel comfortable calling this place home.

12) yessir. me and the djembe hollered at the monday night open mic a time or two. i doubt roc’phella would remember, but you could definitely ask sonny bonoho.

13) i probably wouldn’t have said shit two years ago, but seeing as how things turned out the way they did, blake lewis owes me $500.

14) honest to god, can you believe after all mr. mineheart has done for local hiphop that it’s taken this long to get a freekin’ namecheck? IT’S A TRAVESTY, I TELL YA! well, within these 2 bars i have carved out my place in the annals of seattle hiphop; already it’s hot in this motherfucker.

15) it’s your cousin, gabe. shout out to toni hill.

as promised:

http://www.zshare.net/audio/172112348b507fd4/

and i leave you with this:

lyrics to go (part 4 of 7) “red leaves”

"The Lord did not make me impossible of error. All I've had to
offer you is the total dedication in serving you as best I know
how. And I've always leveled with you, and always will, knowing
full well that everyone will not agree with me."

Jesse Helms, campaign debate, News & Observer, July 30, 1984

“they’re speakin’ through me when the channel is clear (1)

and we got so much to tell you that you cannot bear (2)

for security i word it in proverbial form

when just a glimmer turned disturbed about a third of your dorm (3)

what they’re pawnin’ for accelerants to excellence will be a lesson

in free trade, let ‘em eat cake for breakfast (4)

it’s better we put a bullet in the press and shoot the messenger

to send one back in defense of the attack (5)

second chapter drafted by the masterful, son

for those with hatchets and guns askin’ ‘what has to be done?’ (6)

what you become through the process is seminal to

the progress of the policy we institute

as it’s told, the goal is nothin’ but a milestone

soon as we annihilate the throne, we gon’ bring the rank-and-file home (7)

what’s sewn now will flower when the child’s grown

presently dial tone connects, let it be known: you’re not alone

CHORUS:

silent brigade play the fanfare

you mountin’ up or you gon’ stand there?

saddle in and tie it tight

fighters of the rite are ridin’ tonight ( 8 )

inner circle, join the outfit

opposition gettin’ ousted

darkness ain’t gon’ hide you from light

fighters of the rite are ridin’ tonight


facin’ condemnation ipso facto (9)

it is no glasnost, the river of cash flow’s

dammed to churn turbines, can’t discern a word

i’m so deaf and left with my insight to survive (10)

born are we defective or perfection in flesh?

i may debate [the fact] your human nature is the product of the place of your rest (11)

not to suggest we’re ground in fallibility

but tread upon it when steppin’ inside impalpability (12)

my shadow fill me, up with fear – cup shallow make it easy on ‘em

deepenin’ more often now to see the bottom

i solemnly swear to god i’m wallowin’ in mire

consequent to my desire fully competent to rectify a (13)

misstep – rip a stitch in your fish net

the mutinous movin’ this, who the midshipmen of kismet

land ho, a dead jam restriction on my vocab (14)

photographed pose, slow the rolls on your nomads

my militarism menace imperialism we’re given

minutes and kill ‘em millin’ about without a mission, listen

argue and quibble the archetypical cure’s yours

heart in you brittle, the arc in the sickle bores forth (15)

you pen a bill and you’d better get familiar

really though what they spent on that fence around the basilica’s

senseless, indigenous citizens stripped of privilege

his eminent demiseimmigrants arise

CHORUS

the truest opportunists thrive in the maelstrom

and peddle logic of pedagogues, theodicy failed ‘em (16)

the grant of a planned economy with stars in them eyes

behind the bars laws to keep the prophets marginalized (17)

the market supply’s entirely outta sync with the demand

the cost/price analysis invalid and banned

establish a brand, slap a tag of filth in the inseam ( 18 )

power to the plant, stream filter the benzine (19)

chuck call it hustlin’ culture, brother spoke to the (20)

frustrated folkers, they focused, now they’re phonin’ their brokers

how they go from the brokest to the dopest lotus whip is

so the shit, don’t trip – you can chauffeur this (21)

and when it stops, what you got to show for this?

silver go to tonto with all the other metals in the console (22)

mobbin’ on a comptroller holdin’ my thang

if it’s over we’re goin’ out with a bang, boy…” (23)

CHORUS

1) enough is enough, so lemme lay this out for you simple and plain: the “mainstream vs. underground” discussion is officially over. it has been for years, actually, though a handful of patient rap stewards have dutifully entertained the musings of the late-comers; never no more. from this point on, should you dare try to engage me in dialogue by opening with a leading, bent and leaning argument regarding “the current state of hiphop,” i am sure to pistol-whip you in the face before crankin’ that henry pym on your skull, subsequently makin’ it rain on your anything-but-conscious physical form… son! listen close – wayne, plies, T.I., yung berg and shawty lo are but a few of my minions working to put the plan in action; either tune into KUBE for the play-by-play analysis or don’t, but stop interfering with the grand scheme, goddammit – yOu’Re fUcKiN uP tEh rOtAtiOn, dAwG!

2) accept nothing at face value.

3) one of several references i’ve made to VA Tech since “the massacre.” to be very clear, i DO NOT condone murder under any circumstances, but if you’ve never bothered to look any farther than MSNBC for an explanation or motive behind the violence then you’ve cheated yourself of a fascinating perspective on contemporary institutional sociology; apathy is scary like a gun.

4) a couple bars dedicated to the hollister set, since it’s all they’re worth. do work, dummies.

5) oooh – what if, say instead of bitching and complaining about corporate media taking control of information and entertainment we, uh, did some shit about it? that’d be doap.

6) Lenin drafted his revolutionary pamphlet with a specific audience in mind, recognizing both the need and the desire for direction and leadership among the people. despite relentless commentary from a clique of idiots who would have you think otherwise, we been hittin’ bull’s eye on our target demographic from jump.

7) LOL @ 1/20/09 bumper stickers. until gilbert arenas really runs DC we can’t talk about change.

8 ) a reference to the fabled Night Riders of Kentucky, to whom so much of BPW owes inspiration. the rite, as it’s written, pertains to sacrifice.

9) what does it mean to be poor in america?

10) i heart inequality.

11) ah, the ol’ product of my environment dialectic – shout out to jim jones. given the juxtaposition of this piece alongside “oldham era,” the inference appears to present a blatant contradiction. in fact, the argument here is consistent with the persuasion throughout the album: the nature of the body is worldly and subject to the influence of man, space and time; the origin of the soul is divine and immortal, and though it is not immune to injury by way of reckless abandon, it is at no point a product of the environment.

12) my limitations are too numerous to mention, but the inability that ties us tightly together is directly connected to death – we are incompetent to fight this enemy, knowing full-well if we are somehow successful in thwarting its vengeance today, it only means tomorrow increases the odds in its favor. each of us hides behind a very thin veil of mortality; in the tumultuous current of a strong wind we are given glimpses of what lies beyond as we struggle to regain orientation (finding our east), but in the stillness we are driven mad by curiosity, some so severely they cast off the veil entirely and rush to experience a new existence, one never before adequately described by man. thus in achieving our supreme victory (depriving death of its crippling power of surprise) we commit the most grievous error.

13) previous 4 bars essentially a commentary on developing spiritual capacity. not all people are endowed with equal measures (no dirk diggler) – what’s important is that you work to fill the receptacle (lemme just stop now).

14) nothin’ more than a dig at the other big russ and his campaign to ban “ho.”

15) simply put, no more talkin’, just bring it on (cue “rappaz RN dainja”).

16) in case you haven’t noticed, shit’s gettin’ crazy out there, and the only folks offering up any advice for survival are ministers and money-managers. roll the dice, homeboy.

17) just to reiterate point #1, radio rap does serve a purpose, aiiiight? recognize it for what it is.

18 ) yes, i am guilty of irresponsible consumerism, to the point of inexcusable indiscretion (big shouts out to winner’s circle). my justification, twisted as it is: the market will not sustain these boutiques and their hunnit-dolla jeans, so instead of employing will power to resist the urge to splurge, i’ll just wait til the stores go outta business.

19) nod to the relationship between economy and ecology.

20) welcome to the terrordome, you nincompoop.

21) do you, d-boy – i aint mad atcha.

22) look how the sidekick done slid into a starring role. taking possession of the horse is personal; posterity’s cast in gold.

23) who among you has never contemplated the possibility this one pass may be all you get? the idea is perfectly pragmatic and terribly irrational at once. belief in the hereafter provides for me the slightest bit of contentment and self-restraint in the here and now, but the good lord knows just how much i sympathize with the agnostic. if i had but one life to live there’s no doubt i’d live it like sir richard branson, man. it’s funny how the ignorant presume to know what gems are bestowed by attaining enlightenment – i’m just sayin’, if i get there before you, you’d better watch yo nuggets.

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