The Rap Guide to Wilderness

by Baba Brinkman

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03:50
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04:21
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03:29

about

A hip-hop celebration of wild nature, exploring the many contributions of wilderness to human wellbeing, and our ancient relationship with the wild.

Album Review from Mother Nature Network:

"Brinkman's talent for placing smart lyrics over a complex and pleasing groove is unquestioned here. Everything from "Bottleneck" (species extinction) to "Walden Pond" (wilderness exposure) is not only beautifully mixed, but also easy to listen to."

www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/rap-guide-to-wilderness-gives-advocacy-a-new-beat#ixzz3M4aaAtKi

Pay what you like and support the cause: 50% of the profits from each album sale will be donated to the Wild Foundation to advance their wilderness conservation efforts.

Watch the music video for Tranquility Bank here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ4qnYMeGos

Created with support from the Wild Foundation wild.org

credits

released 16 December 2014

Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 Produced by Soulful Spider
Tracks 3 and 7 Produced by Tom Caruana
Keys by Simon Kendall on Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7
Guitar by Tom Van Deursen on Tracks 2 and 6
Chorus by Aaron Nazrul on Track 2
Chorus by Tia Brazda on Track 3
Violin by Todd Reynolds on Track 4
Chorus by Sean Ross on Track 5
Chorus by Wyckham Porteous on Track 6
Bass by Geordie Hart on Track 6
All Tracks Mixed and Co-Produced by Lin Gardiner
Mastered by Mr. Simmonds
Special Thanks to Miss Maggie

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Track Name: Go Wild
All I want is a space to go wild
From jungle to glacier go wild
Every lover of nature go wild
Don’t foul no wild locales, no doubt

Go wild! I wanna make ya go wild
It’s somewhat innate to go wild
Come unchained and go wild
No crowds, no loud smoked clouds no doubt

Go wild!
In the shade of a pair of arbutus
Trees in beautiful BC, I hear the music
It’s the breeze and the rustle of leaves, it’s therapeutic
Wilderness is there to take care of us if we care to use it
I’m just a feral human swimmin’ with the barracudas
Suckin’ the juice of life straight from maracuyas
I’m about as buoyant as an air balloon is
Flyin’ like a bunch of young spider parachuters
Wild! Accept no substitutes
Intact instead of crushed under a bunch of boots
Wild! On the banks of an estuary
Sunset comes and I call it a sanctuary
Wild! Facin’ nature’s indifference
A part of the food chain, embrace insignificance
Wild! Just like a predator finds prey
I’m just a primate seekin’ a wild space

All I want is a place to go
Jungle to glacier go wild
For the love of the nature go wild
Don’t foul no wild locales, no doubt

Go wild! I wanna make ya go wild
It’s somewhat innate to go wild
So come unchained and go wild
No crowds, no loud smoke clouds no doubt

Go wild!
Ssh! Don’t speak, you need to listen
To the whispers in the trees with their secret message
It’s the original seed of religion
But I don’t need religion ‘cause I’m walkin’ with the Jesus lizard
In a stream in the depth of the Amazon
Or hoppin’ with the wallabes in the outbacks of Oz
Lovin’ the planet I’m on, so I gotta protect it
I see the hippopotamus’ aquatic perspective
And listen to the dolphin’s message
Plus I know they’re close cousins from biology lessons
And part of my family tree too, deep roots
Eat fruit from the trees like the chimpanzees do
And keep cool, when silverback gorillas be
Ice grillin’ me, I’m orangu-tranquility
Wilderness lives in me like a wildebeest
And still it’s only in the wild that I feel at ease

So I find a space to go wild
From jungle to glacier go wild
Every lover of nature go wild
Don’t foul no wild locales, no doubt

Go wild! I wanna make ya go wild
It’s somewhat innate to go wild
Come unchained and go wild
No crowds, no loud smoked clouds no doubt

Go wild!
That’s my exodus path
Back to nature, where my ancestors camped
No one’s tryin’ to say that development is bad
If it’s sustainably and intelligently planned
We can live on this planet and keep the rest of it intact
And leave space for the rhino and the elephant to have
And space for the wolf cubs to wrestle in packs
How much space? The best estimate is half
Fifty percent of our land mass
Anything less, we’d best protect it and hand back
And if you wanna ask, “why should we care and bother?”
You mean, besides the fact that it provides clean air and water
And medicine, and places to get exercise
And tells us that we’re just another thread in the web of life?
Well, I’ll just point to the intangibles
Step into the wild and feel the magnetic pull

You better find a space to go wild
From jungle to glacier go wild
Every lover of nature go wild
Don’t foul no wild locales, no doubt

Go wild! I wanna make ya go wild
It’s somewhat innate to go wild
So come unchained and go wild
No crowds, no loud smoke clouds no doubt

Go wild

Movin’ like a cheetah at the speed of lightening
Got the lyrics with the power of the European bison
Got the panoramic vision like the great horned owl
In captivity now, but baby I was born wild
Track Name: Tranquility Bank (feat. Aaron Nazrul)
When I’m in the thick
Of it where I live
It’s a madhouse, yeah
But I love my city

I’ve been to the ridge
Where you feel the wind
Whippin’ – the wild places
I’ve been stay with me

I ain't livin in a wild place, most of us ain't
Seven billion and up and gettin closer to eight
And almost everybody livin' in a urban sprawl
Word to all y'all who be goin’ vertical
If we build up, even though the earth is small
Wilderness is comin' back like a curtain call
So don't listen to back-to-landers,
Thinkin they're savin' the planet by takin' us ass-backwards
To the days when everyone was a farmer
And famine was common and thought of as bad karma
The wild side needs to renew and be pretty
You want to be green? Cool, move to the city
I used to be gritty, yeah I slept in a tent
A couple months a year for ten years — represent
Time spent outside, feelin' the breeze
With a spade in my hand I planted a million trees
I heard the coyotes whoop in the darkness
Mikey was hikin’ and found a moose carcass
But sometimes it’s the city that’s rank
So I keep the wild in my tranquility bank

Sometimes
When I’m overwhelmed by the machine
I close my eyes
And see the wild places I’ve been

I'm tryin to find some peace of mind
Street lights gleam through Venetian blinds
Check the time, 3:05, another sleepless night
I just wanna climb a tree sometimes
I swam with the sea otter, and with the dolphin
Made it to land and collapsed in exhaustion
I been twenty feet from a wild elephant walkin’
But ‘round here, nothin’ but the traffic is awesome
Ain’t nothin’ bigger than a SUV
Nothin’ meaner than a driver sayin’ “eff you” to me
Cause I cut him off in his lane
Lookin’ like a warthog, face full of road rage
I seen a mountain lion outside of a cage
In the wild lookin’ at me like I’m nothin’ but prey
My man Ricky speared one the other day
For attackin’ his mate, I’m tryin’ to manage a page
On Facebook at a cyber cafe
Forget the street cred, I’m Canadian, eh
I got bush cred, it’s been fillin’ my tank
I keep it in my tranquility bank

Sometimes
When I’m overwhelmed by the machine
I close my eyes
And see the wild places I’ve been

People come, and people go
In the wilderness you see them out the window of a vehicle
Strip malls, gas stations with attendants
Cinemas, car dealerships, it’s scandalous
I’m sick of this existence, the list is endless
I’ma run into the woods and pull a Chris McCandless
With a rifle and a backpack
And no wits and no map, so I can’t backtrack
I want to dwell where the grizzlies dwell
Like Timothy Treadwell – he’s dead as well
Hmm, well, then I guess I want the cheap seats
Livin’ in the city with the rest of my species
With regular trips to mountain vistas
Where the wilderness uplifts us
Just passin’ through like a couple of drifters
We’ll be back, even if the wild never missed us
We can’t live in it, not all of us
And if you try to tell me that we can I’ma call your bluff
Just keep it real for me, thanks
It’s how I refill my tranquility bank

Sometimes
When I’m overwhelmed by the machine
I close my eyes
And see the wild places I’ve been

So close your eyes and dream

Man I love the wilderness
But I don’t have to see it everyday
I go see it, and then I go home to the city
And it stays with me
It’s better for the wilderness that way
You can see it when you close your eyes
And dream

Close your eyes and dream
Track Name: Party of Life (feat. Tia Brazda)
The party started on this planet several billion
Years ago, with cells wavin’ their cilia
“Hey, here we go! All my archaeo-
Bacteria, shake what you got and say ‘HO!’
It’s dope in this underwater volcano
But it’s time to make this mother-of-all-things blow!”
So who was the first at Burning Man in a tent?
The first Mardi Gras was a hell of an event
But the first party really started in a vent
It only started once and never started again
But a party ain’t a party without a bit of diversity
Spreading like a good vibe over the earth and sea
Life! Cataclysm couldn’t stop it
Volcanic ash made the whole planet toxic
Asteroids kicked in the door like the cops and
Tried to shut it down but it kept on rockin’!

Here we are now
In the party of life
Get together
‘Cause it’s a part of your life
Get your hands up, don’t you dare stop
In the party of life
The party of life

A party ain’t a party without a bit of diversity
Every species has it’s own circuitry
Adapted to its individual earthly niche
Yes, I said “niche” not “nitch” ya heard me!
A party’s got a hell of a lot of niches to fill
From the sands in the desert to the trees of Brazil
Every creature’s got a skill and they all fit together
In incredibly intricate inter-connected networks
“I wanna make an announcement, stop the music!
There’s a new party guest here called a human
We in the house, ha ha, no doubt
And we get to choose to stays and who’s thrown out!”
“Yo, take the mic away from the drunk guy”
Said the fungi, “He’s worse than one-time!”
The fruit fly and the mosquito started laughin’
But the grey whale’s face was lookin’ kinda ashen

We’re all connected
In the party of life
If you’re listening
Then it’s a part of your life
Feel it pulsin’ in your body
It’s a party of life
A party of life

This party’s been bumpin’ and grindin’ to dirty records
For a long time, and we’ve been here for thirty seconds
And already there’s an exodus, I mean, I heard of reckless
But we made some next-level disturbing messes
Okay, so, here’s the situation
Everybody was invited to this vibrant celebration
Every single living human has as much right to a place in
The party as a baboon, a moose, or a cetacean
We’re born, and we give the party energy
We only get to stay for at most, maybe a century
The party was bumpin’ long before we made the scene
And it’s gonna keep on bumpin’ along after we leave
And it’s tough to know that someday you gotta go
But that’s why we gotta dance while we can though
We can’t keep it – it’s not ours, no, it’s borrowed
So party like the party’s gotta be better tomorrow

Living creatures
In the party of life
Love the wild side
‘Cause it’s a party of your life
We can keep it
We can keep it heavin'
The party of life
‘Cause it’s a part of your life
We can keep it
Keep it movin’
‘Cause it’s a party of life
We gotta keep it movin’
‘Cause it’s a part of your life
A party of life
A part of your life
A party of life
Track Name: Walden Pond
I’m profilin’ – you don’t even know what style I’m on
I got my own lake to swim in like it’s Walden Pond
Plants grow between my toes and it’s savin’ my soul
I got a cabin in the woods like Henry David Thoreau
Plus a fishin’ pole, all alone, but I’m not a misanthrope
I just feel like wilderness is dope, I’m tryin’ to get a dose
I feel better minutes later when I get exposed
I be readin’ National Geographic for centrefolds
That’s a hell of a panorama the camera caught!
Damn, that’s a shot of Guyana’s part of the Amazon?
Just let me add it to my future travel catalogue
The real Amazon, not the one I order Pampers from
Get connected to the wild at the molecular
Level and spread the message of protection like you texted it
I don’t give a freckle for hecklers disrespectin’ this
Swagger jack, just stagger back from the precipice

Get your hands up
If you feel the buzz
If you feel the rush
From the wilderness

Both hands up
Feel it in your gut
It’s where we come from
So we’re healin’ it

Walden Pond!

We started in the wild as it fed, watered, and sheltered us
Since australopithecus times we’ve been part of the wilderness
It sculpted us, prior to agricultural settlements
And other relatively insignificant developments
The skeletons of my kin are dead and buried
In the wild not in cemeteries, we’ve been sedentary
For the blink of an eye; our lifestyles in the present vary
But never forget that we were quadrupeds and hairy
Every DNA-bearing organism is a distant cousin
Oh yeah, you’ve got a common ancestor with every single one of ‘em
But what’s gonna become of ‘em? We humans are opportunists
And our definition of “omnivorous” is new and all-inclusive
And solutions are elusive, the damage is irreversible
But we’re the most versatile species ever that the earth has known
Some of us are into paving paradise with parking lots
Others are more into preserving the parts we’ve almost lost

Get your hands up
If you feel the buzz
If you feel the rush
From the wilderness

Both hands up
Feel it in your gut
It’s where we come from
So we’re healin’ it

Walden Pond!

I was born in the 70s, the music was heavenly
But a devilish trend since then has affected everything
We doubled the population of humans on the planet
And erased half the terrestrial vertebrates, tragic
Wait, we lost half of them? That’s a hell of an accident, eh
American, European, Asian and African apes?
I’m talkin’ mammals and birds and fish in the rapids
And snakes and salamanders and frogs, how did this happen?
Well, we didn’t see them comin’ like a kid runnin' in traffic
And we kind of expanded our habitat and took some captives
And ate all the rest, and now let’s get this off our chest
We feel really bad and hope biodiversity isn’t completely dead
Okay, it’s only mostly dead like Westley in the Princess Bride
But we can bring it back by puttin' fingers in the sky
Miracle Max in the house, like makin' Tinkerbell fly
With clappin’, when hands up becomes political action

So get your hands up
If you feel the buzz
If you feel the rush
From the wilderness

Both hands up
Feel it in your gut
It’s where we come from
So we’re healin’ it

Walden Pond!
Track Name: Bottleneck (feat. Sean Ross)
We’re diminished
We’re down to just a couple souls
We’ll be finished
When this bottleneck is closed
When there’s no one left alive
But my siblings, oh no
Seeds need to be
Seeds need to be
Seeds need to be sown

Every creature alive is a leaf on a family tree
And every species is a branch on a limb that goes back to pre-
Cambrian, primordial seas, and branches die and we grieve
‘Cause evolution will never reproduce a design that’s unique
In 1936 a tasmanian tiger passed
The last leaf alive on a giant outlying branch
And yeah, extinction happens, it’s indigenous in the wild
Typical natural selection with its indifferent style
But lately we’ve increased the rate by several thousand fold
From the stellar’s sea cow to Irish elk to golden toad
And I’m told the Clovis people killed off the megafauna
Ten thousand years ago, so it’s not a strictly modern problem
It started with some narrow hits with spear tips
A human with a pair of sticks and arrowheads is perilous
On the Siberian steppes, the mammoth and wooly rhino
Died to feed some hunters in the pleistocene, that’s fully final
And today the Western black rhino is nonexistent
It was driven to extinction by quack medicinal tinctures
Keratin doesn’t cure cancer or give you an erection
That’s death by superstition. On the island of Mauritius
Evolution produced a monstrous overgrown pigeon
Both flightless and delicious – our two branches connected
And less than eighty years later the dodo was fried chicken
I just wish I could’ve seen one of those lil’ guys livin’

We’re diminished
We’re down to just a couple of souls
We’ll be finished
When this bottleneck is closed
When there’s no one left alive
But my siblings, oh no
Seeds need to be
Seeds need to be
Seeds need to be sown

It’s 2014, and our actions are digitized
Online, Wikipedia keeps track as extinctions rise
In 1914, the last passenger pigeon died
In 1865 they still blackened the evening skies
No one thought it would happen to such an abundant species
A broken branch can’t evolve again after it’s deceased
Unless… unless we can learn to read
A creature’s DNA and see its T–A’s and G–C’s
We have specimens, as fantastical as it seems
The resurrection of Lazarus lies in passenger pigeon genes
Sequence them and stick them in eggs like Jurassic Park
And rekindle the flame on that dead branch with a spark
It's an audacious path to embark on, it sounds crazy and high tech
But it’s been done before in the Pyrenean ibex
A cloned extinct mammal survived for seven minutes
And scientific advances are still vying to test the limits
And once we’ve mastered those and have the clones to pass them on
Maybe the Siberian steppe will be home to mastodons
Again, and Tasmanian tigers can return and turn obnoxious
And become the Hobart version of London’s urban foxes
And this apocalypse of biodiversity loss will be reversed
It’s not an alternative scheme to the re-wilding of earth
It’s a complimentary strand on the path to restoration
Environmentalism combined with scientific exploration

We’re diminished
We’re down to just a couple of souls
We’ll be finished
When this bottleneck is closed
When there’s no one left alive
But my siblings, oh no
Seeds need to be
Seeds need to be sown
Track Name: Never Cry Wolf (feat. Wyckham Porteous)
There’s a killer in the wild on the prowl tryin’ to get at us
A human is an edible delicacy to predators
We settle vendettas against our competitors
While they settle vendettas against elk instead of us
The wolf pack, attackin’ the weak
Trackin’ the prey until it collapses, snappin’ their teeth
On a calf and lappin’ at the blood, slavering sweet
Twenty pounds of flesh down the hatch when they feed
Save the cattle and sheep! Said the ranchers
And propaganda propagated by Hans Christian Anderson
And the Grimm brothers gave us straight answers
Kill off the wolves ’til the woods are full of antlers
Progress advances onwards
Monsters defeated as Homo sapien conquers
The sheep proliferated with the apes for sponsors
And the balance of nature goes bonkers
No more songbirds, they can’t nest in the trees
With every sapling stripped of its leaves
By an endless stream of herbivorous teeth
We need the wolves to deliver us, please

Never cry wolf
They represent the wild
Never cry wolf
That’s why we hunted them down
Never cry wolf
So let them hear you howl
Never cry wolf
Aoow Aow Aaaooooooow

The dead bodies of deer line the roadways
The wolves left to go find their own place
Cold case, it ain’t like the old days
When no herbivores died of old age
And the howling, and the howling!
Foretold the coming of wolves when they’re prowling
The fangs and the dangling tongues and the growling
The good old fashioned panic and disemboweling
I’m nostalgic, their descendants are kept close
Pomeranians, poodles and pitbulls
Pointers and pugs, but to me they’re just wolves
Domesticated a few dozen millennia ago
If you want to get tame, selective breeding can help
Can I keep it? I want to pick my favouritest whelp
Before long, wolves began waggin’ their tails
And in the meantime, we domesticated ourselves
With regular food and never havin’ to hunt
Strong man no match for weak man with a gun
And now we’re rewilding and having some fun
But if we can’t make the wolf come back then we’re done

Never cry wolf
They represent the wild
Never cry wolf
That’s why we hunted them down
Never cry wolf
So let them hear you howl
Never cry wolf
Aoow Aow Aaaooooooow

A wolf in the wild understands what its function is
It’s a killer of unctuous ungulates
It catches a scent, and then when its hunger kicks in
A flash of inspiration comes to it
The soft belly of an elk is ripped
By a couple of canines with razor tips
Well-equipped, the wild is a place where killers live
Not a sea full of jellyfish
Yeah, wolves on the comeback, they were threatened with
Annihilation, they stayed on the edges of
Civilization ‘til we came on some evidence
Food chains need apex predators
Okay, let’s reforge the chain
Their place in the story can reform and change
As the pack is imported to its former range
Gorgeous creatures gorge in the gorge again
It’s not wild if nothing ever dies
With throat ripped open under pitiless skies
You might like deer, but why take sides?
The wolves keep a bunch of other creatures alive

Never cry wolf
They represent the wild
Never cry wolf
That’s why we hunted them down
Never cry wolf
So let them hear you howl
Never cry wolf
Aoow Aow Aaaooooooow
Track Name: Seed Pod
It’s been a while since we were livin’ in the wild
We made discoveries; some of these technologies are tough to put down
Same as its ever been, I still remember when I first held a pod in my fingertips
Ten thousand songs plus digital images, plus video and the internet
Tell me, who really wouldn’t want a bit of it? That’s pretty impressive as pods go
So much information takin’ up less space than an avocado
But what’s an avocado? Just another kind of pod with a recipe
For how to make an avocado tree, and a tree knows how to protect its seeds
It’s armoured well in a hard shell in case the pod’s in jeopardy
So what’s it gonna take to regenerate now that the wild’s in jeopardy?
The wild’s got a memory; it’s written in a script called DNA
In a gene, in a cell, in a seed, and it will regrow, it knows how to reawaken
Even when the land is slashed and burned and turned to ashes
The seeds can bring it back to green again and be replanted
The seeds are the key, we can freeze them and keep them in vaults up in the arctic
And the children of tomorrow can retrieve them from that darkness
When they look back on the legacy we left them, and the biodiversity loss
On earth, and they wanna go wild again, they can turn to the seeds in their pods
But animals aren’t so easy to preserve in pods and save for the future
They need the wild, which means the wild needs to recruit ya

We can’t go back to the wild
But we can give it a chance to rebound
Put a seed in the hands of a child
And see what branches out

We can’t go back to the wild
But we can give it a chance to rebound
Put a seedpod in the hands of a child
And see what branches out

It might be that before long we can store all the gene sequences
For every living thing inside a pod with details of how creatures live
Space travellers can take those pods with them on trips and synthesize
A brand new wilderness on a new planet from just info that’s digitized
The history of everything will be written in a Wikipedia archive
Inside this incredible future pod with a mega-giga-jigga-bit hard drive
Every book, every magazine, every little blog, every word ever written, every blueprint
So future civilizations learn what it meant to live on earth and be human
Which means they’ll have a record of you and what you did in 2015
And how your actions led to the death or the preservation of other living things
So what’s it gonna be? When the future computers engrave our legacy
Is this the time when the wild came back, or does it remain an age of infamy
Well that depends on me, and depends on you, and now what happens
We can keep the wild intact or foul it up with our actions
Our fates are interconnected with sea lions and tree frogs
And life on earth abides, preserved inside the curves of seed pods

We can’t go back to the wild
But we can give it a chance to rebound
Put a seed in the hands of a child
And see what branches out

We can’t go back to the wild
But we can give it a chance to rebound
Put a seedpod in the hands of a child
And see what branches out