Lit​-​Hop

by Baba Brinkman

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1.
Genesis 04:55
In the beginning I was just a kid, listenin’ to Slick Rick Maestro Fresh Wes, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince Rewrite the lyrics and recite ‘em to my best friends But I was just a copycat and this was just a hobby that Would probably pass after I’d exhausted all my sloppy raps And got the laughs I was after, typical little bastard Privileged middle-class mischievous little rascal With a ticket to sit in the back row at a rap show I listened to Fat Joe, Method Man, and B. I. G. And imagined livin’ as a V. I. P. Though I didn’t have a plan, just a fantasy But I could still pass exams with ease and plant trees To get cash for books, tuition fees, and rap CDs And I had a chance to read classic Greek tragedies I’ve always been addicted to words So I just immersed myself in English Literature But I was immature, and these were fickle times Between classes I would listen to rhymes and find My lips whispering lines as if in the background Then at nineteen I wrote my first original rap down I go back to the Genesis Eden Garden When I was a teen in love with freestylin’ That’s when I learned techniques for rhymin’ And started redesignin’ I can still feel that prickle of initial excitement I figured, “It’s official y’all; this is enlightenment!” I pictured myself cypherin’ with the likes of Big Pun Whippin’ punks into submission with a flip of the tongue I did it for fun; I was ambitious and irreverent I figured I was clever enough to get the better Of any competitor, ‘cause I was verbally first rate My early verses were based on discursive wordplay With no breaks, no separated parts, no bars, no hooks Just page after page past the margins of notebooks So far so good; I built my skills gradually And kept on track with the bachelor’s degree Actually, I considered droppin’ out to get respect But I figured more options would mean less regrets And besides, some rappers were comin’ differently I discovered Blackalicious and Talib Kweli MCs who could rip the beat descriptively And then in my second season I had this epiphany “Rap is poetry!” and ever since I’ve represented it Openly through my position as an academic Get It? I go back to the Genesis Eden Garden When I was a teen in love with freestylin’ That’s when I learned techniques for rhymin’ And started redesignin’ Next semester I convinced my teachers That hip-hop lyrics would be my thesis research I thought I would be the first to study it in depth Reality check; the library index Already had a long list of hip-hop scholarship Steps that I followed in; David Foster Wallace and Tricia Rose and Brian Cross got acknowledgments And props; they taught me hip-hop history And I started to approach this culture realistically And the next step for me in this MC trajectory Was for me to freestyle obsessively On road trips I was a motor-mouth motorist I learned to flow sick on a solo tip Rockin’ Dr. Dre beats – Xxplosive I was blowin’ doors open; people started listenin’ Hip-hop for me was a form of discipline Born Again on the discman, studyin’ flows Whadaya know? When I was just twenty years old I hit the tracks runnin’ my mouth like a bloody nose And took my first steps down this long dusty road Oh! I get lethargic and reminisce In the darkness return to the days When I learned to spit marvelous And give props to those who started this HipHop, I love being part of this
2.
Step inside Everybody love tonight The universe won't always be around And if we can get it together Baby I wont take my life tonight No! With the mountainous ridges surrounding us, my city is A fortress sitting on the shores of the Pacific To the North is the wilderness; it’s glorious influence Is seeping into our pores, and making foreigners envious It’s like the party never ends for the Vancouverites Young bucks at the bar get scarred by cougar bites And the attitude is usually: “Just do what you like” Go out bruisin’ with your crew at night and get bruised in a fight Or just get high all the time until you ruin your life But it’s all good; that’s how the West Coast rides We’ve got raves in the woods on some techno vibes And when we get stressed out, we just step outside ‘Cause at night, you can see the ski hill from the highway And ride past a cedar mill on the sky train It’s a city of industry with a bohemian mind-state And that’s why we get it live on a Friday Step Inside Step right off the precipice Down into the dark abyss tonight 'Cause they say that love will never die So you and I'll be fine British Columbians are known to smoke a lot of weed It keeps the people feelin' taller than the tops of trees And did you that growin' dope was our economy Up in suburban rental residential properties We rock a party like “I wonder where my daughter sleeps” You might just wanna check up in between our cotton sheets We're kinda cocky, but we're honest in our arteries So step inside and join the party Step inside Everybody love tonight The universe won't always be around And if we can get it together Baby I wont take my life tonight No! Welcome to the west coast where folk grow fresh dope And blow smoke rings until they end up in Fresno It's 'Hello, where you from? What's your name? Let us chill and kick down until I catch the last train' For now I'll smoke hash and go dance to tracks played We got rappers and singers like Ndidi Cascade Vancity transit trackin' over to Main Science World in the back as we're passin' it always We got the geese in the sky Got the beaver on fives Got the weed in the pipes Got the skiing at night We're just feelin' the vibe peepin' the resource Peace to my peeps that are deep in the East Shore Hittin' keg stands and beer bongs on the weekend Hippie kids rockin' hemp pants and sleepin' on beaches This is a way of life and this is how we breath Step inside our province and fall in love with B.C Step inside Everybody love tonight The universe won't always be around And if we can get it together Baby I wont take my life tonight No! Step Inside Step right off the precipice Down into the dark abyss tonight 'Cause they say that love will never die So you and I'll be fine
3.
Someone told me to believe in myself, but I needed A reason, because I couldn’t see for myself So I teach myself and increase my skills And I’ll believe when I see results If at first you don’t succeed, go home and smoke some weed Watch some TV shows and go to sleep But don’t forget to include yourself when you’re counting sheep Life is but a dream for those who float gently down the stream Wow, that sounds sweet, but to be precise I’d rather inhabit reality and bring my dreams to life Even when it seems unlikely, I’m the type to keep fighting Just to be feisty, ‘cause there’s so many factors That can hold back the progress of a solo act With practically no stature, so go ahead and throw it at me I know exactly where I’m going, and it’s nowhere fast Although perhaps it’s somewhere spectacular gradually That’s my only rationale for rolling proactively So I’m actually happier with the speed of a tortoise ‘Cause if I was growing massively by the moment, I wouldn’t have The freedom to focus on my vocab and sculpt a masterpiece Someone told me to believe in myself, but I needed A reason, because I couldn’t see for myself So I teach myself and increase my skills And I’ll believe when I see results My faith is unshakable; even when the indicators Of immanent failure are unmistakable I’m simply incapable of letting my faith go Some say I won’t make it, but what the hell do they know? I’m so dedicated that no one can take control Of my fate, so even when I’m in the danger zone I still feel like I’m safe at home, so I’m always protected All perspectives that contradict mine are strongly rejected I’m like a fundamentalist contemplating the fossil record Explaining Intelligent Design to a biology professor I understand my faith well enough not to question it For a starving artist that’s just a prerequisite ‘Cause I can see direct evidence with my own eyes That says my chance of success is like throwing dice And getting consecutive snake eyes forty times That’s why the only truth I accept is the one I know inside Someone told me to believe in myself, but I needed A reason, because I couldn’t see for myself So I teach myself and increase my skills And I’ll believe when I see results With an eye to the future and a fist to the wheel And a gun to the head and the man in the mirror And the visions you see is the molding you made And the prisons you feel are as sharp as a blade Got a knife to the throat of those that're paid Just wandering the streets just looking for shade You've never done an honest day's work and it shows You got shit in your smile and a shine in your clothes Bloated and fat and coated in wasted tattoos You're day old news lies as flat as your shoes Dreams are torn shattered born battered and bruised Shorn from the sheep all matted and used You glimmer and glitter and tease Get a glimpse of the truth and still do as you please With your shiny suits your polished nails Your cheating heart your eyes all malice and blackmail Your violent breath and your soapbox stare Your cold thin grin and your hopeless soul And your clothes that smell of mothballs always old Hot don't stick to cold oh so thin hold On the thin line between the incline and decline Long way down drop in to free fall Your sins unraveling hands that won't stand And be counted hammer hits down goes the gavel Someone told me to believe in myself, but I needed A reason, because I couldn’t see for myself So I teach myself and increase my skills And I’ll believe when I see results
4.
Don’t take me for nothin’ but a punch-line jester Inside my chest I let the rhymes fester ‘Til I’m feelin’ like a woman in her third trimester Then I just deliver – wait, scratch that I mean I digest the liver of anyone try to test When I flexin’ rhymes tight enough to twist in a rizzla And when you’re smokin’ it, any type of narcotic is An appropriate analogue, ‘cause what I’m writin’ astonishes This is Planet Rock crossed with the tightest mic product since The writer of sonnets and Titus Andronicus My life is synonymous with hip-hop fa sho’ You could try to fight if you wanna, but one monkey don’t stop The show, as Dustin Hoffman knows And when this Outbreak clogs your throat, no anesthetic is Gonna stop the spread of this global pandemic Rap fans get infected the minute a jam’s ended God dammit… I’ve got mad style disease Infectin’ a thousand MCs like spirochetes I’ve got a sonically transmitted Disorder of rhyme all of the time Tanglin’ terrific talk the tongue-tweaker I walk on your flows like Jesus on water with one speaker And a dodgy mic and a five string guitar This troglodyte might bring the stars Back down to the underground, so all the alley rats can see Like me, galactically, and break out of the battery Factory farm, I’m actually not particularly hip-hop I haven’t got the right swagger or stroll I don’t battle or ball, but I'm bound To bop around the world like a Bedouin tribe Writin’ down poetry, wearin’ amphetamine eyes Settlin’ never, wrestlin’ idiocy to be unfetterin’ Heads that are chained deep in the brain of the beast My terrain is ceaselessly unfolding It ain’t just what I say; I’ll strip and preach naked To the subway commuters, ‘cause as humans Suits could never suit us, we’re unique from the day That we take shape in the uterus, and the future is Looking grim; I stand in the blistering sun Watching the trees withering one by one Feeling the spread of a sickness up in my head I predict this Is the day my illness infects the hit list Bear witness… I’ve got mad style disease Infectin’ a thousand MCs like spirochetes I’ve got a sonically transmitted Disorder of rhyme all of the time How am I tryin’ to be rockin’ a tune if I’m not a musician? I listened to two million different hits and caught a few sicknesses But I’m still livin’, ‘cause now I’ve got a new mission It’s never to let a rapper get in my auto-immune system So I seep in your blood quicker than syphilis In fertility clinics, leavin’ a hideous boil dribblin’ I am the sickest citizen leavin’ impotent fuckers to think again Givin’ em stinky ends with my written blend If I fit the description, then there’s been a distortion This isn’t just a little itch like when your genitals’ scorchin’ It’s more than any medical professional’s ever recorded In their official report, a swarm of epidemic proportion Now I’m a witch doctor operating with minimum ignorance Making incisions in your cynicism with my limericks I fiddle with your spleen like a swizzle stick My vocals turn an idiot to a misfit for the frig of it I’ve got mad style disease Infectin’ a thousand MCs like spirochetes I’ve got a sonically transmitted Disorder of rhyme all of the time
5.
You think I haven’t gone through any hardships ‘Cause I was raised in communes instead of projects? That’s why I’ve always had problems with the opposite sex ‘Cause I was taught never to treat women as objects And never to treat anything simple as complex And vice versa, but I can’t remember what I was taught next See, that’s the problem with hippie kids They stop listenin’ when you teach ‘em not to listen to hypocrites But most of us still can’t appreciate the differences Between civil disobedience and criminal deviance It’s the difference between fixin’ a system and pimpin’ it ‘Cause corruption ain’t the same as honest work I try to separate the pigs from police officers And I can see nuances, ‘cause I was raised by philosophers But nuance isn’t popular, and neither am I My whole life I’ve been tryin’ to read between the lines And I’ve never been penalized for speakin’ my mind So freedom is mine; I’m a scorpion And a libra combined, with a fist and a peace sign On either side, and I’m just tryin’ to equalize They say “fight the system we need to be free” When there's demons increasing at either extreme It keeps feeding all the greediest schemes That I can see They say "fight the system we need to be free" Like a greasy streams spillin' into the sea They keep feeding me a hedonist dream That I can't see Sometimes freedom is violent; it gets derailed The system fails whenever freedom tips the scales When a sadistic freak is freed from a prison cell Or a big business victimizes people with its sales Some say we need chaos, but when a government falls Another one pops up; it’s like juggling rubber balls We don’t need more freedom; we need tougher laws Electricity should be double the cost With subsidies involved for those with no money It’s gonna be pretty hard to keep this show running If nobody believes there’s any room for change We need fewer cars and more commuter trains And new laws to make sure polluters pay For what they do to our food chains; these are the changes Institutions can make, if we just use our brains Instead of TVs and computer games They say “fight the system we need to be free” When there's demons increasing at either extreme It keeps feeding all the greediest schemes That I can see They say fight the system we need to be free Like a greasy streams spilling into the sea They keep feeding me a hedonist dream That I can't see See, I’m all about change, but I’m not about the counter-culture Standin’ around with just a frown and a stomach ulcer Makin’ the occasional ethical purchase While dismissin’ politics as nothin’ but a nest of serpents As soon as you’re done talkin’, try runnin’ for office Try becoming part of something positive There’s really nothing stopping us; it’s just a problem of optics In the absence of reason; there’s no illusion of freedom The illusion is a lack of freedom, and we’re losin’ to these illusions But we can’t join ‘em; we have to beat ‘em And just because I’m gettin’ disillusioned with libertarians Doesn’t make me a disciplinarian We need different solutions for different areas From over-fishing the oceans to carbon emission tariffs From the Arab militiamen to the American Michigan Aryans We need some significant barriers This may sound ridiculous from a kid with hippie parents But sometimes it’s just hilarious how addicted we are To the idea that we should never be restricted at all But if freedom means drivin’ an SUV And never havin’ to clean up the mess you leave Then I say we need to be less free I don’t expect you to agree, but you did listen at least So now you’re free to take this lesson or leave it Peace
6.
Hey John Deere green In letters three feet tall Jimmy loves Charlene In John Deere green We drove here in a John Deere Tractor I cracked a few jokes, happy to hear laughter And then cracked a beer to reduce my fear factor So this lump in my throat would disappear faster And then I got down on one knee and asked her If she would be my sweetheart until the sweet hereafter And she clapped her hands together in a way That told me she'd stay with me forever and a day And I took her by the arm and led her away Up the ladder to the barn loft, and laid her head in the hay And later showed her the place I wrote the letters of her name Three feet tall, and things were never the same And ever since, I've been saying' that the one clear thing I know is these words in this song here I sing As these guitar strings make my ears ring Billy loves Charlene in John Deere Greene Hey John Deere green In letters three feet tall Jimmy loves Charlene In John Deere green I didn’t know much, but I knew enough To know the two of us had found true love We had few rough fights where we’d feud and fuss Like two stubborn mules who refuse to budge But we kept a roof above our two heads in the rain And when things got strained we remembered the place With the green spray paint where the letters remain Billy loves Charlene in John Deere Greene Hey John Deere green In letters three feet tall Jimmy loves Charlene In John Deere green
7.
Copyridin' 03:49
I won't deny it, I've been copyridin' Gettin' music for free Intellectual property You can't keep software from me Listenin’ to new music is my addiction, But I think I’m never gonna get enough fixes So I guess I’m goin’ to prison But until then you can just… Go ahead and get it for free I probably stole more music in the last four years Than has ever been protected federally And still I try to sell records hypocritically I sent 50 Cent a cheque for 50 cents And ripped everything he ever did off the internet But all I really did was eliminate the middlemen ‘Cause that’s all he was ever gonna get So I guess I stole from Eminem and Dr. Dre But I stole beats and lyrics from ‘em both anyway Just to get the record to play And if some kid rip this to a mix tape Then you’ll never get a leopard to change Spots I’m rockin’ I’m not expectin’ to get paid Just at the end of the day, so I’ma step on stage With a grin on my face, ready to give this business away When I say… Listenin’ to new music is my addiction, But I think I’m never gonna get enough fixes So I guess I’m goin’ to prison But until then you can just… Go ahead and call the police They’ll probably pull up in a cruiser rockin’ downloaded beats And if you keep it on the down-low with me I can sell you some cheap albums with no receipts ‘Cause ever since I started makin’ tracks, I just ain’t had the cash To buy CDs off the rack, and that’s a fact But my original collection is massive And it was all released pre-2003 And there’s 3000 LPs that really ought to be mine But every CD I buy costs me studio time And I’ve got songs that need to be recorded I swear to God I’d buy music, if I could afford it But my product has gotta be exported So I’ma write some bad cheques to the music biz Catch me if you can; I’m an elusive kid And I’ll pay dues back, if I do get rich And until then… Listenin’ to new music is my addiction, But I think I’m never gonna get enough fixes So I guess I’m goin’ to prison But until then you can just listen
8.
Mellow Drama 05:36
She approached me after a show She said she liked what I did, and she wanted to know If we could meet for a drink to discuss some things But she wasn’t blushing; she just straight-up asked it She said she was an actress and wanted to talk tactics And gave me her number and her email address See, a man on a stage is a female magnet So I couldn’t say what she was after, but she was attractive So I figured either way I’ll be happy with what happens I’m no slave to my passions, so I’m okay with abstinence I just try to stay awake and wait for chain reactions And the next day by accident I read a review With her name in it, so I knew what she said was true She had a central role in one of the best shows At the festival, and they said she was a pro And her method was so impressive they gave her five stars This left my interest quite enlarged So a few days later I phoned her, trying hard Not to sound too eager, and I succeeded, by and large ‘Cause we made a date to meet the next day at a quiet bar She just gave me my first taste of heroin I wanna go there again tell me where and when I don't care if you call me an addict I still gots to have it This feeling is dramatic She just gave me my first taste of heroin I wanna go there again tell me where and when I don't care if you call me an addict It's tragic but I still gots to have it We met in the afternoon and had a glass or two And chatted about rap music and actors we knew She had a nice attitude and some passionate views A good sense of humour and a sexy laugh too Basically, everything that I’m attracted to But after a few drinks I guess our time had come ‘Cause I had to run and meet somebody, plus I was drunk So we agreed to meet later that same night at one And after a dinner party I came back into town And we exchanged some text messages until I tracked her down At the festival grounds, and we danced around And had a laugh; ain't no denying the attraction now But at the height of the evening, she said her ride was leaving Conflicting all the messages that I was receiving Inside I was grieving, but I said, “Okay It’s the end of the day; better make your getaway” I could have offered her a nice place to stay ‘Cause my place was only five minutes away But I didn’t; what can I say? I headed home But before I got to the door, she called my phone And said “I just sent my ride off alone You got a place I can go now?” Huh? No doubt! We stayed up late with deep conversation And later got naked and made some good vibrations Like the tectonic plates was shakin’ And we both fell asleep while the day was breakin’ She left a few hours later; we kissed passionately On the doorstep, then I went back to sleep She just gave me my first taste of heroin I wanna go there again tell me where and when I don't care if you call me an addict I still gots to have it This feeling is dramatic She just gave me my first taste of heroin I wanna go there again tell me where and when I don't care if you call me an addict It's tragic but I still gots to have it Three days later we still hadn’t followed up Festival times are always kinda nuts Performing shows everyday, plus she was in a play And commitments just kept getting in the way And it was takin’ a toll; I couldn’t get her on the phone So I thought, I’ll just go and get a ticket to watch her show I sat in the back row, and imagined the passionate Romance we could have if we just had a chance To grow, and that’s when the play began The character she played met a nice man And they laughed and danced and had a one night stand And the drama was all about the aftermath And whether or not their romance would ever have a chance To grow, and I just sat with my mouth open And listened as every word that was still unspoken Between us unfolded on stage in the play In a way that was deeper than anything I could say And every now and then she would glance my way And her expression would change, like she was trippin’ the same And then the show ended, and the curtains came down And I waited around until the rest of the crowd Had exited out, and I found her backstage And she gave me a sympathetic, mischievous smile And before I could even get a single sentence out She said, “My boyfriend is comin’ into town And I’m not really interested in messin’ around No disrespect, I’ve just been stressed out And you and I are gonna be just friends now” And that was the end of the scene we played I guess I could appreciate her need for space But it just seemed strange, like we’d been on stage Since the minute I’d first seen her face She just gave me my first taste of heroin I wanna go there again tell me where and when I don't care if you call me an addict I still gots to have it This feeling is dramatic She just gave me my first taste of heroin I wanna go there again tell me where and when I don't care if you call me an addict It's tragic but I still gots to have it
9.
I smoked up at fourteen with romantic notions Of poets across the Atlantic Ocean doped up on morphine I was hoping the stuff would be an infinite source of dreams I wanted to see if it was a portal to the immortal stream Or just a weed; so I sowed the seeds Hoping there was more to see, and with more attempts To score a glimpse into the vortex of hemp’s Female sex organs, I was just more convinced Of the transformative potential of my distorted senses With the doors of perception open everything gets more intense Every chore is an adventure and trip to the store a quest To explore foreign destinations, or a test Of orientation, if you forget your address My objective was to lower stress But the side effects were quite the opposite With blood clots in my eye sockets My optical field was myopic Short sighted, I would often fly off topic Preoccupied by the microscopic I entirely lost sight of my higher project Plus I was exhausted; time for a diagnostic From Betty Ford; I guess I was ready for it Before I knew it I was twenty-four And I couldn’t think of any reason to do it any more Dr. Greenthumb, why’d you stop my dreams comin’? Numbin’ me slow, leavin’ my mind stream stumblin’ Drainin’ me dry of my deep need to be somethin’ Put my feet up and I’m a slave to weed burnin’ Curled up in a fetal position, a baby on bean-bag Evil visions flutter ‘round me as I lean back Seein’ spiders creeping in the shadows on the ceiling Insects steal inside my neckline, I can feel ‘em Even my friends are mocking me, I can hear it In their vocal tones, social misfit losing hope alone I need a cup of tea, and a blanket to cover me Feelin’ uppity; can’t catch the subtleties But for some reason I wrap up another reefer and suddenly My head is muddled utterly; “Fuckin’ freak” My friends are muttering now; my words are tumblin’ out All wrong, mouth closing and opening Where is this rhyme supposed to be goin’? What’s wrong with Rowan? Dr. Greenthumb, why’d you stop my dreams comin’? Numbin’ me slow, leavin’ my mind stream stumblin’ Drainin’ me dry of my deep need to be somethin’ Put my feet up and I’m a slave to weed burnin’
10.
I stood on somebody’s front porch sellin’ vitamins Three naked women answered the door like: “Invite him in!” I never intended to live a life of sin But I may never be in a place like this again So I’ma live this life like it’s the last one I step inside with every intention of havin’ fun The women lead me to the back of the mansion, and I’m stunned By incense and decorations, lavishly done Then suddenly it’s opium smoke that I’m inhalin’ Details blend; my mind is in a tailspin It’s a hell of a day in the life of a vitamin salesman But there’s no need to keep sellin’; I’ll just chill a bit Surrounded by beautiful skin and crushed velvet I feel a rush to my pelvis as the women undress me But then I catch a glimpse of reflection that vexes me There’s an emaciated man behind a curtain whispering… I used to be just like you Now I’ve gotta pay for the lust I knew Tell me what must I do? Don’t stop here; rush right through I came here in the same way you did Polluted by the poison of cupid Testicles inflated by my sexual Greatness, the delectable ladies Handling me, it was a little boy’s fantasy: Opiates, cocaine and mammary glands; I’m a family man with four kids and a mortgage, but I couldn’t resist the forces Of the snap of the jaws; it’s happened before, bruv Turn ‘round; she’ll be slammin’ the door shut You’re stuck; you can never get your pride back You are tied to a life in the flytrap You are inside the grip now; lie back You can never escape man, I tried that The door’s guarded by this white cat Whose straight gaze could turn the skies black Flick of the tail, flutter of eyelash And your getaway plans man are sidetracked Your mind snaps in the flash of a synapse And you’ll find yourself running right back So don’t listen to these hoes whisperin’ Even when soap glistens on a titty in a pretty way Go home before you’re trapped in a stone prison Forced to bone women fifty times on any given day I used to be just like you Now I’ve gotta pay for the lust I knew Tell me what must I do? Don’t stop here; rush right through This has gotta be the greatest dilemma I’ve ever faced These incredible women are ready to give it away And this pathetic slave is sayin’ that I’d better escape I’m feelin’ so frustrated that I’m ready to break The women tell me to forget it, not to listen to the bastard That he’s just a sex addict they keep locked in the attic For kicks, and if he wanted to get rid of the habit And quit, he could walk away just like that But he keeps babbling about this little white cat When it’s another kind of pussy that keeps him coming back I feel like I’m gonna crack, the temptation is so strong But something goes wrong; now I’m pullin’ my clothes on The women drop to their knees like, “Don’t go, please Hold on; you can have us all before dawn!” But I’m beyond listenin’; I’m fightin’ ‘em off And gathering the boxes from my vitamin stocks The white cat tries to bite me as I walk past But I just give it a swift kick right in the chops And now I’m back to my life on the block How was I supposed to know who to believe The super freaks or the dude on a leash? I’m usually open to sweetness, but there’s too many people Who lose their freedom in a moment of weakness That's why I don’t sleep with hoes and leeches I used to be just like you Now I’ve gotta pay for the lust I knew Tell me what must I do? Don’t stop here; rush right through
11.
Mindstate 04:38
The mind is its own place, so it’s a base in itself When it’s impatient, paradise feels like a prison cell And it’s wasted, but however far from grace it fell The mind can still make a heaven out of raising hell We live in a strange realm, and I’m beginnin’ to doubt My ability to figure it out; now If the mind is its own place, then mine is an open space I’m home on the range like a coyote roaming the plains Showing strangers how to notice correlations, only I’m facin’ down some cowboys makin’ loud noises Hoping my home is a vacant location so they can take it It’s the same ancient battle for the temple of the mind That people have been fighting since the beginning of time And the winning side has always been the mentally blind Who try to simplify everybody into two different kinds Of people: “You’re either with us or against us, and you’d better decide Or you’re gonna get criminalized!” In this critical fight, I’m livin’ behind enemy lines Keepin’ my mind open like a nympho’s vagina Tryin’ to fill it with every different kind of info I can find And you know why? ‘Cause propaganda machines Can teach you a whole lot about an enemy’s strategies And every piece of data feeds into reality There’s no need to understand, just believe Hidden in the temple in the center of my head I've invented a script that can never be read I write it as I'm livin it a few steps ahead And if I'm ever gonna quit then I better be dead When the mind finds itself in a police state It needs a secret place to keep it safe And when it’s mistreated daily and repeatedly disgraced It stays sane by retreating into the deepest cave Where the siege is laid to keep the demons at bay But the easiest way to break free from these chains And make peace is to take a leap of faith And believe something that can’t be reasonably explained That’s how people change, by takin’ a chance On a path when they can’t see the destination in advance And laughin’ in the face of disaster when their best-laid plans Are translated into wastelands; it doesn’t make sense But all you need is a beat and street corner to break-dance And no scientist could ever explain that with brain scans ‘Cause the mind is the one place in the infinite expanse Of creation that still has infinite space to expand Hidden in the temple in the center of my head I've invented a script that can never be read I write it as I'm livin it a few steps ahead And if I'm ever gonna quit then I better be dead There’s a place in the mind that waits in silence Until it’s awakened by some inspiration inside it Sometimes the sensation is violent, and we’re surprised By the places it finds us; in strange environments We do exactly what the act of creation requires It takes an entire civilization to change the climate Into a lake of fire, but at the same time Every person is alone when they change their mind So the landscape inside is one of the only places I know of that’s really capable of homeostasis In times of crisis; it’s a lonely oasis Where you’re totally safe, a place to resist the barrage Of information in this modern day system of ours I walk through it feeling like I’m living on mars Recognizing ninety percent of it as just a mirage That’s why I’m tryin’ to drop the curtain on the Wizard of Oz ‘Cause behind the smoke machines and faces made of green plastic I feel like there’s real magic that people can access If they learn to reach past all the easy answers And ceaseless distractions that we’re always being harassed with All you need to grasp is that the mind is its own place And when you make this known then no one can take your home away And nothing you do to improve it will ever go to waste And you can use it to create your own fate, so don’t throw it away Hidden in the temple in the center of my head I've invented a script that can never be read I write it as I'm livin it a few steps ahead And if I'm ever gonna quit then I better be dead
12.
Symptom 04:30
Bush is just a symptom of the ignorant citizens Who elected him, a simpleton in a crib full of infants As if a woman afraid of intercourse married an impotent Man, and the cycle begins again… Your president’s a reflection of your national temperament So it’s no wonder you’re sensitive, but I’m tryin’ to make sense of this ‘Cause if he really did cheat to win both elections Even with no deception he would’ve been a close second So there’s really no consensus, just a polarized electorate With both sides protected by their own misconceptions So many well-intentioned souls with loaded weapons Arms control begins at home! It’s no question Why the twenty-first century has been a disgrace It’s ‘cause the United States keeps shooting their friends in the face The money wasted on wars could be spent in better ways But the president gets away with “whatever it takes” Maybe it’s just a phase in the democratic process A population with an apathetic consciousness Is gonna end up with some bastards in office At least until the problem is solved by the same people who caused it Bush is just a symptom of the ignorant citizens Who elected him, a simpleton in a crib full of infants As if a woman afraid of intercourse married an impotent Man, and the cycle begins again… It’s no wonder your president’s as dense as a fence post It’s a direct result of those who neglected to vote Oh, you don’t think so? Come on, look at the trends John Kerry had to pretend that he couldn’t speak French And if you're always going to resent intelligent women and men Then you’re never gonna get another Jefferson And the consequence of indifference goes beyond borders ‘Cause now the burden of peace rests on a neo-con’s shoulders And the war goes on, even without Saddam’s orders It’s a melting pot of brown, yellow, black and blonde soldiers And the bombs over Baghdad have tags attached That read: “Courtesy of American Non-Voters” And as Iraq smolders, there’s trouble at home And now the president sits on a crumbling throne And every piece that falls off is a stumbling stone Until he’s left in the rubble alone Bush is just a symptom of the ignorant citizens Who elected him, a simpleton in a crib full of infants As if a woman afraid of intercourse married an impotent Man, and the cycle begins again… This is just a little message from your neighbours to the North You know, the ones you impersonate when you visit foreign shores ‘Cause they spit in your face whenever you step outside your borders Universal outrage when your president signs orders You’ve got this huge economy, beautiful music and comedy And some of the worst abuses of democracy on earth I hear your bombs and rockets burst, and all I’ve got is words But I’ve also got supporters and American friends Determined to make sure this age of arrogance ends So they never have to apologize embarrassed again When they discuss themselves; relax, bloody hell My great grandmother was a Southern Belle, plus I’ve got California cousins That I love as well, but your government’s a tougher sell As you can tell I’ve got a thing for rap, so thanks for that But you can have your tanks back, and the next chance You yanks have to change tracks, for God’s sake, act! Bush is just a symptom of the ignorant citizens Who elected him, a simpleton in a crib full of infants As if a woman afraid of intercourse married an impotent Man, and the cycle begins again… Bush is just a symptom of the ignorant citizens Who elected him, a simpleton in a crib full of infants As if a woman afraid of intercourse married an impotent Man, and the cycle begins again… Don’t let it
13.
Debecen cuando en la vida Tienes que sufrir y no es facile! I lost the plot I fucked it up I slept in I tripped up I crashed my car I dropped the ball I pissed 'em off I screwed it up Everybody hates me I got drunk I stared at her tits Woops! It’s the absent-minded professor, forever stressed-out Runnin’ around in a state of perpetual doubt with my head in the clouds With one foot on the ground, and the other one wedged in my mouth ‘Cause I had an epiphany; I was thinkin’ I’d figured it out But I should’ve thought about it a little bit more before I said it aloud I’ll be like: “Yes my friends, I’ve thought of a definite trend When it comes to gender differences between women and men For women sex tends to be a means to an end Whereas for men sex itself is the end!” Something never to say out loud in front of your women friends An improbable statement with a biological basis But I should’ve thought before saying it, judging by their faces But that’s the way it is; my thought patterns scatter logically For me, “mind over matter” is a matter of policy I crashed my vehicle fallin’ asleep at the wheel as I drove A winding mountain road the day after my insurance lapsed I shrugged it off with a nervous laugh I stayed up all night writin’ rhymes, so I deserved to crash Everything I touch turns to crap, but it’s ‘cause My mind is preoccupied with writin’ the perfect rap I lost the plot I fucked it up I slept in I tripped up I crashed my car I dropped the ball I pissed 'em off I screwed it up Everybody hates me I got drunk Que Borracho Mi Amore Drinking at the hostel San Cristobal Still stirring with delight from the night before We were at a circo groupo loco Drinkin' in the corner with my imaginate Una morena, ay mi morena Comin' through the door like slow motion and She looked like a gypsy girl with long black curl like “Vamos a bailar!” Then we break for cerveza I lose my cabeza and end up Kissing her friend on the mesa Pendejo! Senor cuervo Made me forget about the girl I wanted to know So I asked her for another dance She says “no chance Estaba besando mi amiga, que pedo guey” Then she slapped my face and she walked away Mi Amore! Por Favor! Te Amo! Lo Siento! Que Borracho! Te Quiero! Mamacita! Ayudame! Mi corazon! Dame chance! Una Jinete! Te amo mamacita por favor!
14.
Lit-Hop 03:44
This is just a linguistic attempt to achieve The effects of chemical ecstasy without the spiritual leprosy Or physical lethargy; it’s lyrical lechery ‘Cause you feel it comin’ on to you, so listen and see Why the mixin’ of this delicate recipe is literally What I feel like I was born to do; yes indeed I’m bringin’ the heat, but I’m givin’ it that unique feelin’ of intimacy MCs are dealin’ with so many difficulties, like even illiteracy So listen to me, and if you only listen to criminals speak I’ll flip it in Criminalese like Immortal Technique Turn off the television and read, you little freaks! ‘Cause lit-hop for me isn’t just a figure of speech Sh-yeah, I live it and breath it; that’s why I rap better than Jesus ‘Cause I’m so deep in this lyrical thesis, I feel like A religious extremist; yeah, you better believe it ‘Cause if I said it I mean it, unless it was facetious Well I seen this vision of Hip-Hop Once when I was dreamin' It was ressurected lost lyrical genius And as long as Lit-hop is breathin' I'm still believin' Well I seen this vision of Lit-hop Once when I was dreamin' It was ressurected lost lyrical genius And as long as Hip-hop is breathin' I'm still believin' You wanna know how I started this lit-hop chronicle? I went to a lot of shows, and I thought hip-hop was so ironical When I saw so many wannabe MCs all tryin’ to go After the same kinda cars and clothes and hoes and marijuana smoke And I thought NOOO! I wanna go, I wanna go to Enga-laaand! And I heard a whole lotta people Whingin’ on the subject of hip-hop changin’ And it wasn’t the same as back in the day and I thought to myself, hey Bring it on! ‘Cause I don’t complain about changes Some rap crews is tryin’ to go back to the roots of the people they hang with I’m just tryin’ to go back to the roots of my language, and that’s English I had to flip the script ‘cause I got sick of rap that’s brainless MCs claim intellectual when they’ve never read a textbook And educated professors never wrote a sexy hook So they remain ineffectual and never get successful And you now you’re listenin’ to the only one who’s ever repped both Well I chose To leave rap alone and get a Master's So I could capture the most cinematic scope And that's when it turned into a fashion show Well this is the antidote And I don't wanna teach any classes after shows I just want put a coupl of classic quotes in my tracks And maybe let the masses know How to challenge the status quo Well I seen this vision of Hip-Hop Once when I was dreamin' It was ressurected lost lyrical genius And as long as Lit-hop is breathin' I'm still believin' Well I seen this vision of Lit-hop Once when I was dreamin' It was ressurected lost lyrical genius And as long as Hip-hop is breathin' I'm still believin'

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released October 6, 2006

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Baba Brinkman New York, New York

Canadian hip-hop with an intellectual bent, nothing but sexy beats and sumptuous brain food.

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