Swordplay

by Baba Brinkman

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1.
00:55
These riddles I write In the middle of the night Got me livin' alive With a little bit of spice I'm not a literal type So I consider it wise To deliver the hype In a critical light And minimalize The subliminal – psyche! If I'm winnin' the fight And beginnin' to thrive It's 'cause I'm not liftin' the mic And grippin' it tight To be given a prize Or fixin' my sight On a visible height To legitimatize My difficult plight 'Cause if I did then I might Just limit the size Of my physical flight And get cynical, right? Let the pinnacle rise 'Til the minute is ripe I'll give it a nice Welcome when it arrives At the end of my life When my differences, like Reciprocal sides At the edge of the knife Together unite
2.
03:59
As an act of defiance, I insist On disrupting silences with an iron fist I’m not a mindless artist; I’m a scientist Einstein and Darwin are partners I enlist I spark alliances, chasing after infinity Matter is energy trapped in genetic memory I gather it into me and capture it vividly When adapting it into these raps with intensity I don’t ask for sympathy, though it’s often hard I want no part of post-modern art Or doggerel shot-in-the-dark Hallmark card Photocopied poems thrown in the shopping cart I don’t know where the problem starts, but it finishes here Witnesses hear the difference; every sentence is clear Innocent ears listen as fear and sin disappear This is sheer Genesis; redemption is near I’m a scientist in the lab; I mix it up With a giant gift of gab, just a nut But I’m not Quannum or Common I’m an anomalous phenomenon Just tryin’ to spit this rap, and live it up Basically I’m takin’ this beat and tappin’ it Like the base of a maple tree, for the sap in it The flavour is sweet, makin’ me passionate It tastes like an aphrodisiac when I fashion it Exact craftsmanship like renaissance art I begin to come apart when the song starts Oxymoron at heart: blonde and smart Drawn in sharp contrast to common sparks I blaze from dawn to dark, and at sundown That’s when I rap to the fat drum sound I wrap my tongue around the claps and pounds Like the underground Pied Piper: rats come drown ‘Cause half the acts around are sinking ships About to relinquish diminishing grips I make fingers slip when I bring this quick- Witted English linguistic brinkmanship I’m a scientist in the lab; I mix it up With a giant gift of gab, just a nut But I’m not Quannum or Common I’m an anomalous phenomenon Just tryin’ to spit this rap, and live it up When I rap, I stand on the shoulders of geniuses With hats back and baggy pants, holding their penises Posing overeager for media shows, but I see them as Poets and dreamers, you know what I mean? This is Why I flow with a seamlessness that approaches perfection And openly question those with Jehovah’s protection Although my only weapons are jokes; with no aggression My most hopeless obsession is with my own reflection So I suppose the impression I give is narcissistic A smart, gifted, artistic, hard-fisted, dark, twisted Sharp-witted, scarred, sadistic, heartless mystic As harsh as it is to have my worst parts listed Definitions are simplistic one-dimensional blurbs Invented in the intention to blur sensual curves I was sent to this earth with unconventional words Which I intend to disperse until some tension is purged I’m a scientist in the lab; I mix it up With a giant gift of gab, just a nut But I’m not Quannum or Common I’m an anomalous phenomenon Just tryin’ to spit this rap, and live it up
3.
03:53
I really hate to do this to fakes, but the truth is All it takes is two lips to make this music And compose soundtracks to show how in fact I know how to rap and got my flows down pat I'm the best-kept secret, blessed to speak this My breath crests the peak and gets swept beneath it Like dust under the rug, like lust under the love I trust when my number's up, justice from above Will curse every critic whose words get me livid Diverse metaphysics as the earth steady pivots On its axis, know what I mean? I'm so keen I can flow at the speed of a sewing machine And stitch patches to fix rips, nicks and scratches Then sit back and sip six packs of fatness I got a little trouble with cholesterol level But when the dust is all settled, the rest is all treble It's cocky hiphop I talk as if I'd never been taught to quit Rock the mic In a din of adrenaline like winning a cock fight And when it gets dropped the night's toxified I rip apart a track when I start to rap Cardiac arrest, chest collapse, heart attack I stress the coronary artery, the corollary Coroner's report said the tests were extraordinary The autopsy shows what hiphop cost me I couldn't shut off the flow and just talk softly And so instead of an out of court settlement I chose to live and overdose on adrenaline I'm forever blessed, my flesh is resurrected Whenever I flex it's like pleasure injected A Sorcerer's apprentice with swords of tempered steel Mental skills' harder to ignore than a dentist's drill I rip mics toxified with nitrous oxide And spit with lopsided lips in cyphers cross-eyed I'm known to set the mood but don’t get it confused 'Cause I wont let the juice alone until I set it loose. It's cocky hiphop I talk as if I'd never been taught to quit Rock the mic In a din of adrenaline like winning a cock fight And when it gets dropped the night's toxified Rappers with flaccid erectile tissue Get blasted with massive projectile missile Like the mother of all bombs, nothin' but raw funk Ruggedness locked on, what is it y'all want? I'm at your service, when I rap so perfect Serpents get served, then act so nervous Like after raw sex with no contraceptive I'm next on deck lookin' calm and collected My life is about writin' each crisis out Liftin' this mic to this mouth, and hypin' the crowd Like electric voltage. I get no kicks From rejection notices, so neglected postage Can't stop my delivery, and when I talk busily My style cannot really be clocked visibly And so my flow seems like a ghost in the machine That goes between what I say and what I'm supposed to mean It's cocky hiphop I talk as if I'd never been taught to quit Rock the mic And when it gets dropped the night it toxified
4.
05:22
A damsel with a dulcimer In a vision once I saw: It was an Abyssinian maid, And on her dulcimer she played, Singing of Mount Abora. Could I revive within me Her symphony and song, To such a deep delight 'twould win me That with music loud and long I would build that dome in air, That sunny dome! those caves of ice! And all who heard should see them there, And all should cry, Beware! Beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair! Weave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread, For he on honey-dew hath fed And drunk the milk of Paradise. I’m livin’ every day with the dead poets’ society Rioting inside my head, so it requires me To keep every word I’ve read close beside me Inspiring me to never go quietly I’m posturing like I’m the offspring of Oscar Wilde The foster child of Geoffrey Chaucer; now Hip-hop’s the trial I face here, so I adopt the style But I've got to make clear that since my eighth year I’ve been possessed by Shakespeare and William Blake’s spirits And still I wait to hear a voice like T.S. Elliot’s And Percy Shelley is the first to tell me just How to speak out of turn and keep my verse rebellious I read Keats and learn from a grecian urn How to reach eternity through the gyre where Yeats purns So I can meet Traherne, plus I’m a freak like Burns With his twenty-some children, though I’m still a young pilgrim And I’m buildin’ a temple from the skills my tongue’s yieldin’ So I feel like John Milton; paradise is lost For the thrill; I’m John Skelton crossed with Wordsworth And my zeal is unwelcome in George Herbert’s church I’m livin’ every day with the dead poets’ society Rioting inside my head, so it requires me To keep every word I’ve read close beside me Inspiring me to never go quietly For a challenge I’m known to approach talent shows with Poems that I stole from Edgar Allen Poe’s lips Opium hits dope Alexander Pope’s wits I was Samuel Coleridge in a trance when I wrote this And I awoke with the whole song done I felt the soul of John Donne; Andrew Marvel Taught me to chase the sun; I can’t make it stand still So instead I’ll make it run, with puns denser Than Edmund Spencer’s, and modern lyrics Modeled on Robert Herrick’s; when I dispense words It’s like a forge is firin’, and I’m strikin’ the iron Inspired by Lord Byron when I’m writin’ the Siren Song; evidence of desire went wrong And lost innocence; my memory’s gone In a sense, Tennyson has been reborn In a form with the fingerprints of Henry Vaughn I’m livin’ every day with the dead poets’ society Rioting inside my head, so it requires me To keep every word I’ve read close beside me Inspiring me to never go quietly As a poet I’m conscious of the goals I accomplish That I owe to accomplices, and when I’m feelin’ honest My conscience bids me to admit to stealin’ sonnet Styles from Philip Sydney; I’m fulfillin’ a promise I gave Dylon Thomas to rage against the dyin’ Of light; I’m like Adonis: I’m still a novice But I already got the skills to thrill a Goddess Or start a riot in the heart; that’s why it’s pounding I’m Thomas Wyatt’s foundling; on Ezra Pound’s wings I fly, quietly grounding my weight on the past’s crutches I’m Robert Browning, and this rap is “My Last Dutchess” I’m puttin’ the last touches on the way it’s sounding In strange surroundings my grasp clutches For balance; I spin words, recalling how fast structures Fell and splintered at my feet like Alan Ginsberg That’s how I’m ensured power of speech, and now I’ve been heard I’m livin’ every day with the dead poets’ society Rioting inside my head, so it requires me To keep every word I’ve read close beside me Inspiring me to never go quietly Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments... Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so... In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes On what wings dare he aspire What the hand dare seize the fire... As holy and enchanted As 'er beneath a waning moon was haunted By woman wailing for her demon lover... Who'd stoop to blame this sort of trifling Even had you skill in speech, which I have not... Well those passions read, which yet survive Stamped on these lifeless things... To whom thou sayest "Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty, that is all ye know on earth And all ye need to know" Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball And tear our pleasures with rough strife Through the iron gates of life Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run
5.
04:29
This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microscope It’s like a slideshow of my whole life up close This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microwave Ultraviolet blazes inside this cave This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microchip A device to flip memory bites through my lips It’s nothin’ but a mic, though, when I go home It’s the cyclone life of the microphone This mic dangles loose at the end of a black chord Like a hangman’s noose in front of the dance floor Each night paying dues I stand on a trap door And I’d like to thank the muse at the plentiful rap source ‘Cause my slang and language use is gonna pass the course So crank the juice and let the energy blast forth I’m gonna be forced to take advantage of this amplification To state my plans for this planet’s emancipation I understand if you're wastin’ away, waitin’ for the chance to take an Extended vacation, spendin’ your pay-cheque Straight spinnin’ in place in a panic, anticipatin’ The end of creation; man, I’ve been in that state and I’ve managed the transformation to a standing ovation With this mic in my hand facin’ crowds of people, just trustin’ That we can work out beef with nothin’ but speech and percussion Just peaceful discussion and powerful beat production This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microscope It’s like a slideshow of my whole life up close This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microwave Ultraviolet blazes inside this cave This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microchip A device to flip memory bites through my lips It’s nothin’ but a mic, though, when I go home It’s the cyclone life of the microphone Weak speakers crack when this mic feeds back Screeches travel through the tweeters jacked up with each pass And when people react to these unique speech acts It creates an equally fast species of feedback I need that positive twist to write these raps The props that I get increase my peak capacity And my abilities increase the props that I get It’s a simple and deep fact of cause and effect When the tree sap’s runnin’, I ain’t stoppin’ for breath The only problem is stress and system overload If they’re not given proper rest microphones can blow The equipment connected; it’s a risk the poet knows And I’ve got to accept it when I’m kickin’ my poems Most are written at home, long before they enter the light Hand printed and typed songs invented at night That eventually might get launched into the mic This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microscope It’s like a slideshow of my whole life up close This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microwave Ultraviolet blazes inside this cave This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microchip A device to flip memory bites through my lips It’s nothin’ but a mic, though, when I go home It’s the cyclone life of the microphone I used to suffer ‘mic lust’, and drool when I saw them But when I touched and tried to bust, I knew I was rotten So I withdrew from performin’ and kept writin’ new songs Not the type to rush to rock a mic tattoo on my arm Now I finally feel like I’m just movin’ along With no excuses or those wrong-headed abuses of charm That people use to get on stage, replacin’ the real Relationships built with microphones based on skill It’s more than just the taste of a meal that makes it appeal It’s more than just the shape or the face on the bill That dictates its place in the till or the amount of it Beware of counterfeit poets at shows who don’t know how to spit The mic proudly sits above MCs’ debates Power-trips and picks out victims like the Three Fates But the system predates the green age of the icon In days bygone poets rhymed without mics on This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microscope It’s like a slideshow of my whole life up close This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microwave Ultraviolet blazes inside this cave This ain’t a microphone; it’s a microchip A device to flip memory bites through my lips It’s nothin’ but a mic, though, when I go home It’s the cyclone life of the microphone
6.
04:10
Freedom of birth has rooted me from the first Leavin’ the worst curses muted to my feelin’ of worth I’m bein’ reimbursed for puttin’ trees in the earth So I’m grateful, ‘cause it’s hateful when you’re needin’ the work The seasons reverse; in the spring, bees and the birds Got a reason to sing, bringin’ their seeds into birth And sprouts, pleasin’ to nurse, upsurge like a fountain And begin’ to burst out the dirt up in the mountain I’m countin’ the amount and the worth of all my poundin’ Runnin’ around, I work the ground, my words resoundin’ Verses abound, but the sound carries downwind Drowned as it tarries ‘round the area I’m found in Weight packin’ straight pounds around to break your back and I make it happen; I race down mounds; I’m paper stackin’ My tapers blacken; late nights creatin’s the best I’m breakin’ cheques, makin’ connects, wakin’ to sex My achin’ breasts never takin’ less than they can invest And I ain’t paid to rest, as any day can attest I’m hatin’ the stress, but I’m lovin’ the freedom I’m shakin’ the pesticides with gloves when I need ‘em I’m racin’ the rest, numbers above and I beat ‘em I’m makin’ a mess; I’ve got mud up to my knees, and I’m shovin’ the trees in where I dug and then squeeze ‘em I’m duckin’ no-see-ums and other bugs and I’m bleedin’ But under my breathin’ this is what I’m repeatin’ I chant this to replenish Like a sandwich when you’re famished Under bandages my hand is Badly damaged, but I manage By the handle grip to brandish My shovel as I plant this Great expanse of forest vanished Where the planet has been branded Trees get slammed into the slanted Land with frantic speed I dance with An enhanced sense of romantic And I can’t get disenchanted I’m draggin’ my feet; to get speed I shift gears I fiercely lift my knees, and my fatigue disappears My sweat drips swiftly; my lips bleed and get smeared Which I lick quickly, 'cause it’s the sea mixed with tears Clocks tick six year as I walk between trees And the slash is deep with distracting green leaves My dreams lead, and I seem to be fast asleep I’m trapped in a deep trance, but I plant masterfully I stand half-deceased at the end of my last screef And when my hand slaps the tree in the sand, that’s just sweet And actually, it’s past belief the feats I’ve had to pull Wrapped in these rags of wool, tree bags full I’m like a black sheep that’s track-meet speed compatible To pass me you have to be released by a catapult And every word that I speak is autobiographical So follow my path; it’s all flagged with red tape And I shed weight with each micro-site I impregnate My shredded legs keep me upright to levitate Up the block everyday, but the rocks never break I’ve got to measure space and do whatever it takes Some nights I lie in bed awake and shiver and shake But I never let a late night get in the way ‘Cause every second I waste is like instead of my pay And when I’ve got to separate my head and escape From all the effort it takes, I just rap to meditate I chant this to replenish Like a sandwich when you’re famished Under bandages my hand is Badly damaged, but I manage By the handle grip to brandish My shovel as I plant this Great expanse of forest vanished Where the planet has been branded Trees get slammed into the slanted Land with frantic speed I dance with An enhanced sense of romantic And I can’t get disenchanted
7.
03:10
It takes individuals to make statistics With sophistication the shapes get shifted The risks we take make the race ballistic So shake your fist or get fatalistic I’ve gotta make a list of reasons why I’m not a fatalist That’s not a way to live with the weight of this world the way it is You can push paperclips for the sake of your kids Or shake your tits and wait tables for minimum wage and tips Or relax in a state of bliss, trapped in the Matrix Watching the latest clips of fallen dictatorships Eating potato chips with flavourless dips But to achieve weightlessness, you must believe you created this Whether it’s done consciously or unconsciously Whether you walk nonchalantly or run constantly Whether you live under palm trees or march to the drum’s beat Complicity comes back to haunt your sleep And pride and obstinacy, like monsters, creep Inside these songs of freedom the soul longs to speak You gotta sow if you wanna reap; still, karma runs deep Sometimes you can’t see the cause of cosmic grief It takes individuals to make statistics With sophistication the shapes get shifted The risks we take make the race ballistic So shake your fist or get fatalistic In the East, soldiers roam with raging hormones With radiophones they bring the sword to stones And lay poor bones to decay in war zones As the oldest poems and ancient lore known Gets ignored and thrown on the floor when the door’s blown Looters roar home; there’s no more shalom A sore groan rises from inside the Sorbonne As another throne tries for the glory of Rome And when the mousetraps close, send in the backhoes And start drillin’ the plateaus, lookin’ for black gold Wherever the map shows gas, tank tracks go G. I. Joe attacks… Damascus ho! It’s like, first to act, last to know, ain’t that so But even the biggest assholes and total wackos Must have souls that reflect the supernatural They just catch colds and forget about the macro It takes individuals to make statistics With sophistication the shapes get shifted It takes individuals to make statistics With sophistication the shapes get shifted It takes individuals to make statistics With sophistication the shapes get shifted The risks we take make the race ballistic So shake your fist or get fatalistic Spirit sickness grows deep as we dig ditches And pig pen pits, asleep to the big pictures And even those who witness the sickness just get suspicious And turn to scriptures lookin’ for reasons to burn witches There’s so many pernicious ways to earn riches And so many kitchens bursting with vermin and dirty dishes I hope the first thirty-six courses were delicious And worth every risk, ‘cause dessert’ll be vicious Like a circle with the center waitin’ patient for penetration Like a flag incineration on a day of veneration In a veteran’s parade, afraid of intimidation A sleeping dragon’s been awakened and the next generation Will face the implications and waste their innovations Building gates to defend their nation against the hateful vengeance taken On the same men impatient to put limitations On reproductive freedom and call it bush administration
8.
I'm a procrastinator, planning to act later A chronic nap-taker and chronicle narrator A fact-stator chasing some honest rap pay-dirt I'm a sonic blast maker, a foundation shaker Creating a half-acre-wide impact crater I'm a rhyme saturator, a mad saber-rattler Afraid of his shadow, a unilateral hate-battler A snake-handler, original gate-straddler Balancing eight platters of words on a straight ladder Plus, to make matters worse, surrounded by fake flatterers Any mistakes happen just call me a plate-shatterer Information-gathering station conductor I'm shaken up worse than World Trade Center structures Reluctant to say that I've just been taken upwards By alien abductors, my face covered for days With suction-cup clusters; there ain't enough words To explain the pain I've suffered; my brain is ruptured I need to be chained up and fed some plain custard If that doesn't work, and I remain flustered And labeled insane, then take me to shock therapy And tell the doctors there to be careful and not bury me And when it stops, carry me to the lobotomy chair And keep me there until I'm cheerful as a cocky parakeet Polly wanna shot of narcotics for thought-clarity? My popularity drops – it's probably a conspiracy Apparently when I talk someone at the top's scared of me I'm not paranoid; don't offer me charity I don't want steroids; my body is very weak I only shave my hairy cheeks once every week And I can barely speak, my throat is so dry It's no surprise though; I've been high my whole life So I go try to flow nice at shows and it's no dice And most nights I ghost-write lyrics to cold light And grow spiteful of my previous oversights As greedy as cobras’ bites when I hold this mic Obese, dressed in vertical-striped Obelix tights Beats like these might backfire like motorbikes And catch fire, shoulder spikes and fat tires I'm a bad liar, a critic satisfier Turning higher learning into passionate desire So hook this black wire to the amplifier And get blasted by a verbal crack supplier To the buyer: I never criticize a rap addict's cries I give 'em safe injection sites to protect their rights But I'll make 'em sweat tonight, and exercise To inject some excitement into stressed-out lives It’s like all depression gets left outside As I bless the mic and leave the rest how it lies
9.
Thunderous beats shake the ground underneath Hundreds of feet that jump and leap and thump drunkenly Beneath the trunks of people who’ve all come to see Someone unbelievable, with a tongue to speak With two lungs to breathe and a mind composed To rhyme blindfolded on high vinyl ropes And drive winding roads disinclined to doze I won’t let my eyes close ‘til it’s my time to go As I find the signposts to keep me oriented To keep me soaring into the morning with no resentment To give me more incentive to get my stories printed Ignoring poor intentions until this party’s ended I’m sorry if you’re offended; just count to ten And then bounce around when the record sound spins I’m out to move mountains with a fountain pen And then step down proudly in the crowd and grin I’ve been around the bend, and I’m trying to make it back To the only place I have where I’m still safe at last As I trace my path through this race of rats All I taste is ashtrays, waste and trash Every paycheque cashed represents my survival I go from wet to dry as I flow; I’m inter-tidal My style has been stifled by my most intense rival Who resides in my throat and prevents my arrival At the end of this wide road, this Möbius strip It’s got me frozen stiff, lonely and sick Until the moment I lift this microphone to my lips Then every poem is a glimpse of a solar eclipse As cold as the polar tips before greenhouse gases I bring out raps at extremely loud bashes ‘Cause I’ve seen how fast people stream out of classes Where senile bastards read from out the classics My dreams outlast it; I stay in position But my name is a prison and my goals remain distant I’m unable to make decisions between fame and wisdom So my aim is missin’ and I just blame the system I bitch and complain, fixin’ to quit payin’ my dues It’s a game I choose to play, and it’s okay if I lose Say if I do, take two, another day in my shoes Makin’ moves, breakin’ through; I’m not afraid if I bruise I create flavours and moods with wide brush strokes And use subtle notes to describe crushed hopes When knives cut throats, lives blood soaked Eyes shut closed, I just float by such gross Types of close-up descriptive images And flip minute to minute ‘cause the script is limitless Depictions of women and kids gripped in grimaces Diminish in a mist as the fiction finishes Pictures of innocence begin to evaporate I’ve been too fascinated with tragic fates To graduate, and I tend to exaggerate In fact, let me navigate back to my happy place Where friends congratulate and there’s pleasure and pain Sunny weather and rain, milk and honey, leisure and strain Where the earth forever remains but it’s never the same It just gets better with age like the veterans claim As I sever the chains at the end of my noose And let energies loose to get my enemy’s goose Go ahead, send in the troops; just remember the truth Everything loops back to the centre’s replenishing juice
10.
03:34
We goan’ party like we just came home from war And have an old school Roman orgy We goan’ party like it’s Mardi Gras And we all gettin’ drunk in Old New Orleans I’m-a take it back to the Golden Ages Before the plague made rap so dangerous Back to a place where the most contagious Rash was behavin’ so outrageous Back in the day, when no cow was sacred That’s when the pagans would go out naked To dance and play and have wild relations The passionate way, with no hesitations This place is a nomad oasis Where people go mad or go back to basics As some grow fat on soul saturations I’m so glad I know where that place is Where no rat races sow active hatred And most have nothin’ but mo’ happy faces We goan’ have one of those celebrations If we gotta take it back to Cro-Magnon ancients We goan’ party like we just came home from war And have an old school Roman orgy We goan’ party like it’s Mardi Gras And we all gettin’ drunk in Old New Orleans We goan’ party like a war is over And no one in the downtown core is sober A cornucopia of gorgeous odors Roaring motors, and four-leafed clovers ‘Cause the whole world over there’s no more exposure To any explosions, swords or soldiers And no more extortion of foreign cultures Where people get treated like organ donors For the vultures; party like there’s no more onerous Bulldozers or border closures An no courts either to lord it over The people, and ignore the voters And no more debt-loads and mortgage holders And no poor workers and remorseless owners Party like the weight of all chores and homework Is born no more by mortal shoulders We goan’ party like we just came home from war And have an old school Roman orgy We goan’ party like it’s Mardi Gras And we all gettin’ drunk in Old New Orleans We goan’ get rowdy like it’s carnival Mardi Gras in the heart of New Orleans, y’all We got rich and poor, short and tall We got garbage haulers and Barbie dolls Blue-collar workers, rock stars and all We goan’ get retarded to start it off And let the bar flow like a waterfall As unconscious bodies get carted off I know it’s hard to stop when the jar is involved But it’s not your fault if you drop the ball When it’s all yeast, hops and barley malt And the floor ain’t really that far to fall And your home ain’t really that far to crawl And it ain’t about logic, not at all So don’t give no thought to the smartest call And get off the wall, ‘cause it’s a party y’all We goan’ party like we just came home from war And have an old school Roman orgy We goan’ party like it’s Mardi Gras And we all gettin’ drunk in Old New Orleans
11.
06:07
Sitting on a beach With a guitar in my hand Moments on my mind Like footprints in the sand The rivalry that lives inside of me is so explosive One side drinks chai tea and knows yoga poses And keeps life peaceful and sleeps nights, buenas noches The other side smokes roaches, take drugs and overdoses With his eyes open wide high-speed on roller coasters Yo I chose this life I lead, at least most of it But sometimes I need to go with the flow a bit I know this little island in the sea where the lotuses Grow; in the Odyssey, Ulysses noticed it In Homer's myth it's known as the home of the Lotus Eaters I go to sip ambrosia; each drop on my throat is sweeter And I'm a devoted seeker of the ultimate high Music to blow the speakers, tequila, salt and lime It's like I go to sleep thirsty and wired all the time So I'm slow to speak words to describe how sublime The flowers you find in this place taste If you believe in religion imagine heaven as a state Of complete hedonism, imagine freedom in prison Where there isn't even a difference between dreamin' and livin' I feel like a demon driven to this heathen existence That I've seen in a vision like a gleam in the distance Though I admit feeling a bit of a sneaking suspicion That I've seen it retreating when I've been within inches Sitting on a beach With a guitar in my hand Moments on my mind Like footprints in the sand Last night I saw fish in the sky I saw stars in the sand My oh my oh my My pain isn't there, except in the past tense My brain is aware of nothing but distractions That's why I came here, hash and absinthe Dreams and carefree bohemian passions A stranger's hair smells like frankincense I strain my ears towards a Rastaman's Music I can't quite hear; that's when I sense A change in the air, perhaps an accident Reacting to veins impaired by pathogens Breathing, I reappraise where my path has been Leading; my bloodstream needs a drastic spring Cleaning, and I react with abstinence I have to cleanse myself and take my life back again This is what happens when people like me get tethered To the hedonist life, and keep squeezing pleasure From the heat of the night; it's like we can never Believe the feeling is right, so eventually we sever The leash and take flight; for me it's an effort But I need to be delivered, and keep eating better And keep seeking the treasure found in deep reading matter I can't even measure how long I've been inside relaxed Gradually digesting in Venus Fly Traps But I can see the sky now; I've got my drive back These things in life that I can't explain Intoxication it bleeds my brain It eases my pain It feeds my flame It bleeds my veins It cleaves my frame But I need my strength Sitting on a beach I feel like I'm a beast on this beach all I want is peace With a guitar in my hands As I stand inanimate a minute in this distant land Moments on my mind With one open eyelid left behind on this blind island Like footprints in the sand My inner dilemma's been expanding as long as I've been in this trance Last Night I had to sacrifice the afterlife to feed my appetite I saw fish in the sky I listened to my heartbeat and start to weep wishing to die I saw stars in the Sand But instead of letting hardships win I make departure plans My oh my oh my I think I'm ready to fly
12.
02:16
It’s 4:45 and I’m fortified and on track Awake overnight, a glorified insomniac I wait for the morning light to make contact It’s a glorious sight for sore eyes; as dawn cracks I’m ignoring it; why? My vision’s gone black It’s time for a long nap, and I’m ready to be Settled deep in steady sleep; nestled in feather sheets I’m already intrigued by what I see ahead of me An iridescent beach, a crescent peach moon A phosphorescent sea stirred by a western breeze That carries a pleasant tune with a resonant beat From the direction of desert dunes, as I begin to creep To a crest where a vision looms: I can see seven priests And a collection of ruins where earth and heaven meet Sacred temples and tombs where spirits live and breathe Their holy breath in the rooms, and I watch expectantly As a ritual resumes; but the head priest removes His headpiece and beckons to me impatiently As a second priest prepares a place for me next to his seat And I obey his decree on shaky feet breathlessly And leave the safety of the beach in a state of ecstasy And proceed to the left of the priest and then stare As the high priestess descends the temple stairs And she’s dressed in expensive layers From her knees to her chest and I freeze; in her hair Is a bee’s nest; it’s the headpiece she wears That keeps the rest of them all meek and scared I try to be prepared, unaware that she wasn’t Even comin’ for me, and I would be spared Then I’m on my feet runnin’, surrounded by bees buzzin’ I can see the priests covered in about three-dozen Apiece, with the priestess standin’ above ‘em Lookin’ like she’s lovin’ every minute of it For a moment the image hovered in my vision and doubled And then the next thing I know I’m back under my covers Smothered with sunlight streaming through the shutters
13.
04:03
In the rainforest, I can hear a strange chorus Of frogs and crickets playing for us; my brain is porridge As the medicine man prays to the source Holding my head in his hands; my presence vanishes Into the depths of this trance; images dance And spin as he chants and shakes a bundle of plants His lungs expand and flows of cigarette smoke Exit his throat, the rumble in his chest grows In the background, the jungle silhouettes glow Then all at once he lets go; my head is sweat-soaked I’m a humble guest, though, with no question marks I think I just lost control of my wits in this pitch dark A matchstick sparks; as the blackness splits apart The medicine man sits with a candlestick Held in his hands lit; the flame’s dance enchants it Then he hands it to me and stands, and that’s it
14.
04:40
I feel my words add up to one thing, and that’s nothing I’m struggling and searching; I’m verbal axe-juggling Stumbling and lurching, my syntax troubling I'm Busting verses, trying to capture something Subtle about the rapture and passionate suffering Attached to the cluttered path of cash coveting Corruption contaminates the task of governing Consumption demands massive gas guzzling With hands tied up in the act of ass-covering Above I see the sword of Damocles hovering Assassins set to dispatch another king As the pendulum swings, feel the plastic smothering Sending some scuttling back under mother’s wing Others stand muttering, watching sand crumbling Castles come crashing to land, their plans tumbling I can’t help wondering how the dream was killed It's like the frame was built weak, but it seemed so real I blame myself and accept the shame and guilt For being a training-wheel, out to gain the skills To play the game well and chase fame and wealth The same as everyone else; yeah, it strained my health To remain in the filth, but the pains I felt Didn’t move me to action, and plus I knew this would happen But this stupid attraction to hubristic passions Grew, and through attachment I flew into a trap and Couldn’t clue into the fact of the illusion’s enchantment Until I sat on the ruins of the last human advancement A loon laughing alone in a thousand-room mansion With computers, fax, and phones used to grow food plants in The last bastion, what remains of humanity Madness rages in a string of profanity All that’s left of an age of insane vanity Condensed into one case of vain insanity I scream and complain to the rainforest canopy My name and DNA chain aborts, vanishing As animals watch the last corpse from Titanic sink The planet thinks: “Finally, man is extinct” And begins replenishing all the damaging things That we did with our hands while micromanaging Now we’re back to the last days of weapon brandishing When we still have a chance to change; come back from the brink And cancel that command on the satellite link It’s like, the battles of right-wing fascist militants Remind me of mankind’s past irrelevance You can wipe us all out like Florida brown pelicans And it won’t necessarily spell the end of mental elegance We feel these evolutionary arrogant elements But as long as there’s still chimps, dolphins and elephants Or any mammal animal with strands of intelligence Language and culture eventually will swell again I can’t tell you when, but I know it’s possible So let’s drop the bull: this show is stoppable But all in all I’d rather outgrow the obstacles Than start all over from go; that’s so illogical For us to make progress, though, the soul has got to flow And soldiers have got to slow down and start talkin’ peace Part of the problem seems to be with corporate greed But they’re all just people with kids they got to feed Lost in a colossal sea of private property And can’t see the forest for the trees, just frogs asleep In a pot of deep water, boiling hotter Soil erosion problems, oil and slaughter Destroy and prosper, spoil and conquer Enjoy it while it lasts, boys, it wont be much longer
15.
05:10
See now is the time When freestyles combine And wild minds connect To produce miles of rhymes That wrap a thousand times Around this ball of twine Like power-lines Still the tower climbs Encircled in spiral vines As every hour finds Us closer to cloud nine It could all turn out fine In the end like fairytales Where females marry males At the end of weary trails And friends with cherry nails And grins carry the veils But the legendary scale Of it all is very real With a fear I barely feel I can clearly reveal Babel is terribly frail And threatens to unravel If the dictionary fails If we neglect the song Concealed in the lexicon And instead press on In the direction we’ve gone Headstrong, just pawns And can’t resist being drawn Into a festering swamp Where no one gets along And the congested throng Would give its left arm For a second of calm Does the question belong Anywhere in this quest we’re on? This is the dawn of wordplay That serves to straight Purge agitated nerves And gives words what they deserve This world is made of words They were created first And gave us our naked birth And kept our place reserved On the face of this earth Sacred words taught us The way it works From caves in the dirt They enable us to flirt With this elevated perch And make sure that sages lurk And the pages are versed ‘Til they’re like slaves and serfs With an insatiable thirst To rehearse, play with words Narrate and create mirth A job with major perks It’s got my crazy bird Tryin’ to break the shaman’s curse I can’t stay in one place and chirp Stagnation hurts So when my aches converge To where I can’t take worse My legs stir, and there’s No questioning my path I get my things and dash I spread my wings and flap Nothing can bring me back The way I think and act Could be linked to the fact That I’ve been trapped My whole life in English class Where the ink is black And the paper’s white So when I sing this rap That’s the way I take flight And relinquish the past Wide awake late at night On the brink of collapse Less afraid of stage fright With every page I write Ready to grace the mic With a charismatic presence And take rap expression Straight back to its edges ‘Cause it’s fraying at its edges I’ve been taking magic lessons Since my days of adolescence Asking enigmatic questions And laughing irreverently At Catholic confessions But I’m not past lifting My hands and asking forgiveness Or learning surrender I’m having to live with Fire while burning to cinder Summer turning to winter Lumber turning to splinter Wonder turning to cynicism Permanent injury Returning to sender Earning to spend, we’re All churning in blenders Serving currency lenders Currently interest Is working against us Like murderous fingers Like scorpion pinchers Holding us with their Poisonous stingers Hoisted, sinister Over us, quivering Noiseless, dripping And poised to deliver Destroying and limiting Choices like liver Cirrhosis limits Enjoyment of liquor As a boy I was quicker I think I’m growing thicker Stoic I slowly wither And show it; my hope flickers I know it’s a stark change But really there’s no difference When it starts to rain And the flame starts to wane Darkness reigns and sharp pains Plague the heartstrings Harsh things mingle And it’s hard to maintain But the blaze can rekindle If a single spark remains Cymbals clang, bells jingle Simple and plain Babies age from dimples Into wrinkles and veins From the Olympic games symbol To a limp with a cane Some begin to complain ‘Cause they think it’s a shame Every link in the chain Is made to dwindle and fade The only way to stay sane Is to contextualize Whatever gets to arise Is standing next to demise Death moves life Like breath moves rhymes And the flesh we use dies And never gets two tries So it’s best to utilize Every blessing in disguise Respect lies within And proof testifies It’s like, unless you reply You lose; there’s no second prize So guess to get through Surprise tests, but choose wise ‘Cause true lies exist And stress reflects blue light And celestial skies So let the moon rise On the ocean horizon From the coast to the highest Mountain, open your eyes and Don’t be surprised when Emotion flies out and Your throat chokes with sighs And throws your insides out From this explosion of rhymes If you’re doped by the sound And hypnosis arrives And your soul cries out Well then you know you’re alive

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released April 20, 2004

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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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