Pandemonium

by Baba Brinkman

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Recorded as a demo in 2005 and never officially released, now available exclusively via Bandcamp as a name-your-price download. Produced by Lin Gardiner.

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released May 30, 2005

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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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Track Name: Stand Buy Me
I’m in love with love itself, and nothin’ else
I got some skills but I still feel like I’m covered in filth
I suffer in silence as science struggles to discover the wonder pill
Or five-hundred-mil potion designed to peel me open
And melt the frozen ocean within
To remind me of a time when I still felt emotion
Before my life was defined by self-promotion
I kneel with a child’s devotion at the altar of fame
And inhale the foul smoke with open bronchial veins
And a smile on my face as I stoke the cauldron’s flames
And I know you’ll probably say that it’s all part of the game
But I still thought it was strange when I started to change
And forgot my friends’ names reachin’ up to the stars
Now what they are is customers who pay a cover charge
And make sure my hunger for praise doesn’t starve
So my love is under guard and locked in the yard
I’m talkin’ hard, barkin’ like a dog or a prisoner
Afraid to admit that all I want is a visitor
That isn’t a business call or product distributor
But the path is blocked like a neurotransmitter inhibitor

I don’t want to be free; I want you to buy me
Or at least sample me; come on, try me
Where’s your brand loyalty? Stand by me
‘Cause I let my livelihood define me

I’m probably dense – obviously
I’ve got a lot less common sense than a lot of men
Trapped in a state of REM
I can’t seem to comprehend what it takes to create
An audience, and the consequence
Is a lot of empty seats at shows and no
Spot on MTV or top-ten CD
I’m an MC that flows with a lot of intensity
But when it comes to promotions there’s no one as dense as me
With anti-social tendencies my over-dependence
On donated energy is the only pretense I need
To keep me from standing in the streets
Handing out leaflets to random people
Which keeps me from landing on my feet
And at the end of the week when my expenses exceed
My income, and then some, my only excuse
Is a list of the things that I didn’t do
A bunch of missed opportunities and lost revenues
Probably ‘cause I acted like a kid and refused
To pay my limited dues, so now I’m singin’ the blues

I don’t want to be free; I want you to buy me
Or at least sample me; come on, try me
Where’s your brand loyalty? Stand by me
‘Cause I let my livelihood define me

It’s a no-brainer; I can’t say it any plainer
I’m from the olden days, a golden-age entertainer
I stole a page from my favourite book when I was an English major
And translated it, so I’m known as an innovator
I’m energetic when I take centre stage, like a generator
Venerated like a sage, enraged like a demonstrator
Crazed with indignation ‘cause my cause is so just
I’m dedicated to makin’ crowds applaud and go nuts
And my shows are sensational, but nobody shows up
And so my temptation is to just stop and close up
Shop and go back to composing dope cuts
Alone with no fuss, and ignore the drive
That I was born with to perform live
I’d rather be poor and live a normal life
Than go on tour and watch foreigners form lines
And swarm like flies or hornets to the hive
To hear my subordinates’ boring rhymes
While I’m ignored at shows with forty-five
Seats where four or five people compete
For the door prize, just ‘cause I’m disorganized

I don’t want to be free; I want you to buy me
Or at least sample me; come on, try me
Where’s your brand loyalty? Stand by me
‘Cause I let my livelihood define me
Track Name: Barcode
Rap is the opiate of the masses
You’re smokin’ it when you shake your asses
In case of emergency, break your glasses
And run around blind as I play with matches
I’m burnin’ down the house – talkin’ heads
Asphyxiate, now they’re droppin’ dead
Some try to play possum instead
And stay home safe in their coffin beds

Rap is the opiate of the masses
You’re smokin’ it when you shake your asses
And act inappropriate, or lay back
And play this track to stay distracted
I’m burnin’ down the house – don’t panic
Obviously this heat is volcanic
But who knows whether or not it’s authentic?
Forget about that and dance god dammit

When I scan the crowd like a barcode
And I see your eyes sparkle
Like diamonds hiding in charcoal
That’s when I start to go berserko…

I’m trapped underground like I’m buried alive
But I wanna get it crunk like Mary J. Blige
And make the vibe straight go berserk
But I can’t get it crunk; I’m a Northerner
Top 40 got me feelin’ like a foreigner
It’s all four-letter words and a formula
When the chorus comes, better warm it up
Like Kris-Kross, and we dress like clowns
‘Cause it’s hiphop, and we come to bounce
So I didn’t write this for the underground
Well I did, but then I had to dumb it down
And rap without a brain, just lungs and sound
To make the crowd go insane, and jump around
Like House of Pain, and there’s no comin’ down
So everybody dive in the funk and drown
Your ability to distinguish between
Authentic and mainstream like you’re still a teen
We all feel the need to act the Philistine
When the DJ drops the beat guillotine
And brings in the bass-line from “Billy Jean”
And it may seem like I’m askin’ “please
Forget about your critical faculties”
But that’s just the way that it has to be
When you work in a hiphop factory

When I scan the crowd like a barcode
And I see your eyes sparkle
Like diamonds hiding in charcoal
That’s when I start to go berzerko…

Girls!

All I wanna do is go to
The club and get loaded and go
Home at like four in the mornin’
With my friends
Dancin’ and laughin’ and havin’
The times of our lives and never
Havin’ anything hassle us
Ever again

I love real hiphop like Posdanous
Or Black Thought from the Roots y’all, that’s the truth
But rap today is all mass-produced
It’s like capital gain is the absolute
I’m tryin’ to capture the taste of the passion fruit
Like back in the day on the avenue
Before rap music was ever designed
Like fast food for the assembly line
I’m goin’ back to the groove of like ’79
I wanna put that vibe in a jam and capture it
Standardize it and manufacture it
And stand aside as my brand is blasted
From dance clubs to instant classic
Now throw up your hands like fans of Jurassic
Five, feelin’ alive and fantastic
And that’s why this vibe is handcrafted
I can’t mask it, I’m ready to blow
My gasket, I guess it’s inevitable
When the drums and the melody comes, just let it go
Be sensible: hey, you never know
Maybe revolution is preventable
And dance music is the antidote
So when your sanity reaches the end of its rope
You can blow off steam on the dance flo’

When I scan the crowd like a barcode
And I see your eyes sparkle
Like diamonds hiding in charcoal
That’s when I start to go berzerko…

Girls!

All I wanna do is go to
The club and get loaded and go
Home at like four in the mornin’
With my friends
Dancin’ and laughin’ and havin’
The times of our lives and never
Havin’ anything hassle us
Ever again

Rap is the opiate of the masses
You're smokin' it when you shake your asses
Burnin' burnin' burnin' down the house!
Track Name: Covenant
This is a covenant
For all my cousins and brothers and sisters lovin’ it
I wanna see some hip-hop heads in government
I swear to God; we should be runnin’ it, instead of this
Fundamentalist son of a bitch; twisted Neo-Cons
Holdin’ a fleet of bombs worse than Vietnam
I wanna be like John Lennon singin’ freedom songs
Come on, people, respond if you’re feelin’ me; reach for the ceilin’
Increase your ability to rebel against
The tyranny of military intelligence
Pre-emptive strike isn’t a synonym for self-defense
Go ahead and tell it to the skeletons who live in a prison of limited vision
This is, and it isn’t, a metaphor
I wanna see some freestyle battles instead of war
I wanna feel like real peace is what we’re headed for
Instead of a settled score
Let’s invent a better agenda than this endless vendetta

When the gold rush is over the covenant’s comin’
To get some hopes up, and get some parties crackin’ wide open
Like some coconuts, and get some crowds goin’ nuts
If you know what I’m goin’ on about then let me know it!

This is a catalyst
For this tragedy of common extravagance
This is critical mass, and when it collapses
We’ll be livin’ as savages, after the cataclysm
When this planet isn’t inhabitable we’ll reminisce
About a state of existence that isn’t primitive
Like day and night, when the light cycle is limited
This is definitive, but it isn’t inevitable
If we get committed to better alternatives
The trick is learnin’ to live with impermanence
We better get this jet ready for some turbulence
But whose concern is this? When the engine is burnin’
Then everyone begins turnin’ to survivalists
But any vital statistics I try to list
Get dismissed as pessimistic; it’s idleness
That’s why defiance is justifiable
This fight is final so I define this alliance as tribal

When the gold rush is over the covenant’s comin’
To get some hopes up, and get some parties crackin’ wide open
Like some coconuts, and get some crowds goin’ nuts
If you know what I’m goin’ on about then let me know it!

When the gold rush is over the covenant’s comin’
To get some hopes up, and get some parties crackin’ wide open
Like some coconuts, and get some crowds goin’ nuts
If you know what I’m goin’ on about then let me know it!

This is a battle cry
I’m tryin’ to rally the gadflies to ask why
Society has to be stratified; that’s right
We’re like the Last Samurai attackin’ a line of cannons
Tryin’ to find some kind of advantage or leverage
And the watchword is cock-sure irreverence
So we’re lookin’ to hip-hop for deliverance
‘Cause the cycle never ends; it just goes right to the beginning again
After extinction level events are introduced
Like a riot with a few quiet interludes.
When the fight has been moved to your living-rooms
Then what’cha gonna do? This revolution isn’t a coup
It’s a mood you gotta get into when the trial ends
Mahatma Ghandi style with non-violence
But it’s a wildin’-out song now, ‘cause silence
Would leave us environmentally like the last Polynesians survivin’
On Easter Island, so keep freestylin’

When the gold rush is over the covenant’s comin’
To get some hopes up, and get some parties crackin’ wide open
Like some coconuts, and get some crowds goin’ nuts
If you know what I’m goin’ on about then let me know it!

This is a testament
To the infinite potential of citizens
To get together and begin settlin’ differences
Instead of splittin’ like The Commitments; Lauryn hit it when she said, “Hypocrites
Always wanna play innocent;” it’s no excuse
These evasive clichés are over-used
It’s been makin’ me crazy enough to blow a fuse
But the grass is growin’ roots, and after this moment of massive
Over-graspin’ is over, we’ll know what to do to moderate
And all this faith in technology is not the way
We’ve gotta change the way we operate and stop the waste
‘Cause it’s not safe, and often the race to the bottom is automated
When the way to the top is difficult
Hate it or not, your response is pivotal
You could stay sedated and watch and say it’s pitiful
Or get involved with it and build critical skills
And get your representatives ready for this political will

When the gold rush is over the covenant’s comin’
To get some hopes up, and get some parties crackin’ wide open
Like some coconuts, and get some crowds goin’ nuts
If you know what I’m goin’ on about then let me know it!
Track Name: Grateful
Inside a cave I hide away in a state of hibernation
I lie stationary, wide awake; in violation
Of my impatience, I wait for the change in vibration
That signifies swings of tide in the basin
Of my relationship with civilization
I created this place; this is my station
And I can exchange it, like a fish’s migration
From glaciers to find nascent riverside locations
And this is why spaces I occupy go vacant
I traded my safety zone to stay locomotive
And I make the most of the way I chose to live
In this chaos; my brain is overloaded
But I remain devoted to the fate of a vocalist
Though I can’t say I made it alone as a soloist
'Cause I owe this to those who came and paid and supported
Without you, I’d never get my shows promoted

This game is gold plated but I won't grow jaded
'Cause I'm grateful for the way that you keep me motivated

Oh I am an explorer
That's movin' cross the water
But I'm only moving forward
'Cause I am supported
The wind is on my shoulder
Blowin' subtle whispers
I'm searchin' for the answer
'Cause I am an explorer

So this is my attempt to start givin’ it back
To those who encouraged my decision to tap
Into this vision, this indigenous knack
For descriptive images and limitless adjectives
I know most of you probably don’t even listen to rap
But without you, I’d be on different track
I could’ve driven a cab or lived in a shack
In the woods, or even been to prison and back
I could’ve been an exact copy of America’s white
Middle class wannabe black stereotype
Or I could’ve just imitated one of my parents’ lives
And had the “junior” on my name parenthesized
Like one-tenth the size, but I’m aware inside
Of where my errand lies, and it’s got me terrified
‘Cause I’m like Shirzad in Arabian Nights
Beyond my narrative lies paradise

This game is gold plated but I won't grow jaded
'Cause I'm grateful for the way that you keep me motivated

Oh I am an explorer
That's movin' cross the water
But I'm only moving forward
'Cause I am supported
The wind is on my shoulder
Blowin' subtle whispers
I'm searchin' for the answer
'Cause I am an explorer

But I’m not a paralyzed nervous person
‘Cause your encouragement is my nourishment
I built this surrogate home and furnished it
With verses in the service of perfect workmanship
And I learned to curb this internal turbulence
When I heard your urgent nurturing whispers, and courage went
Surging through me, and I knew my purpose then
Was to work ten times harder to deserve every word of it
It makes me impervious to negative attitudes
And fills me with a sense of benevolent gratitude
Like: whatever you do now, I’ll never be mad at you
It takes absolute certainty to get Pegasus lassoed
And I have the aptitude and I’ll do what I have to do
To see the last of this Promethean task through
Even if that means feelin’ the wrath of Zeus
And whatever I make happen, I’m takin’ it back to you

It's my world
I can do what I wanna do
You can't stop me from myself
Rockin' 'til there's nothing left
And I say Thank You
For your gifts and your blessings for me
Cause it's my world
To do just as I see