Shadow of Death - EP

by Black Smith

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about

On the fourth official Publish or Perish release, Oklahoma's very own Black Smith takes us on a journey through his mind during the events leading up to and directly in the wake of his mother's passing. A dark and brutally honest exploration of pain and uncertainty, the "Shadow of Death" EP paints a grave picture of the human condition. As the songs make clear, certain wounds don't always heal over time, but acceptance and perseverance can make life a little more tolerable, even if the situation is bleak.


Publish or Perish is a hip hop collective formed and founded by Austin Dobbins (a.k.a. Kreative Tendencies), Grant Dube (a.k.a. DJ Doo-Bay), and Jessie Smith (a.k.a. Black Smith). Associated acts also include Jason Quaynor (a.k.a. QUAY), Tyler Sutherland (a.k.a. CT), and Quentino (a.k.a. Quentin Roberts).

credits

released March 21, 2013

reissued 23 July 2013

VOCALS: Black Smith (all tracks); Anthony Hamilton (track 1); Patricia Elaine Smith (tracks 2 and 12); Terrick Washington (track 3); Kanye West (tracks 4 and 10); Frank Ocean (track 5); QUAY (track 5); The-Dream (track 5); DJ Doo-Bay (tracks 6, 9 and 10); Quentino (tracks 8, 9 and 15); Robert Carter (track 8); Kreative Tendencies (tracks 9 and 14); ; Cee-Lo Green (track 9); Oliver (track 10); JCM (track 10); Jobe Clabough (track 11); Jhené Aiko (track 12); Chris Martin (track 13)

PRODUCTION: Black Smith (exec.); Anthony Hamilton (track 1); Mark Batson (track 1); Mya Jones (track 1); ILLxLOVE (track 2); Ennio Morricone (track 3); Kanye West (tracks 4, 5 and 10); 88-Keys (track 5); Mike Dean (track 5); Nemesis (track 6); willsimth1 (track 7); One Tone (tracks 8 and 11); Hans Zimmer (track 8); No I.D. (track 9); Fisticuffs (track 12); Coldplay (track 13); Brian Eno (track 13); E.A. Productions (track 14); Nottz (track 15); Hiko (track 15) Queen (track 15)

MIXING AND MASTERING: Black Smith (all tracks), CT (tracks 2. 5. 10, and 11)

ALBUM AND SINGLE ARTWORK: CT (album artwork); Dr Monkey Designs (tracks 1, 4, 8, 9 and 11); Stealth Designs (@ElephantStealth) (tracks 2 and 10); Dylan Baadte (@DylanBaadte) (track 5); Jáel Lloyd (track 12)

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Publish or Perish; Partners in Irony; Patricia Elaine Smith, may she rest in peace; KTT; AliveSinceForever; All who listen

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Track Name: Since I Seen't You
[Intro - Black Smith]
Welcome!
'Shadow of Death' EP...
Yeah! Uhhh, one word of caution, I suppose.
Only one precuation... one word of caution
Just leave all hope behind, I suppose...
Y'know? If you continue to listen... y'know?
Maybe you don't.
But you will soon. Let's go!

[Hook - Anthony Hamilton]
Since I seen't you, we've been peoples
You're my equal, this love is see through
I wanna keep you
I wanna be with you

[Verse 1 - Black Smith]
I don't wanna live no more
Sometimes I hear Death knockin' at my front door
I'm livin' everyday like a hustle: another night, no slumblah
Another day, another struggle, uh
My pockets empty, emotions jumbled
My heart grown cold as the Arctic tundra
The weed is tumbled, a freak of Nature
Like chaff in the wind: no Muse, no neighbors
My thoughts is huddled, but my spirit's angry
(I mean) One wrong move, I'mma gun off "safety"
"Approach with Caution," as such address me
'Cause pressure's boiling and got me stressed, B
Ain't seen my mother in damn near two weeks
And despite good reason, I just feel guilty
Can't wash my hands clean; the load's too heavy
But I guess I'm blessed to still be here breathing (I guess)
I fear the end is near and her days are numbered
Like the hairs of my head, just cut much shorter
Wish I could do more, be there more often
But Insomnia could make that highway a coffin
Still I press my luck, see, and test my limits
Fuck I look like carin' 'bout attendance?!?
'Cause school won't save me, a B.A. is lonely
If I fall back on that, then my soul be empty
'Cause the pen runs dry still after it bleeds
The weight on my mind makes blur the beauty,
Reality's, sneakin' up on me
Fuck MC Hammer! I am Thor---can't touch me!
Fuck all my doubts, fears, and negative thoughts...----
Shit, who am I kiddin'? Guess I gotta carry that cross
Y'know? Since I seen't you...

[Hook - Anthony Hamilton]
Since I seen't you, we've been peoples
You're my equal, this love is see through
I wanna keep you
I wanna be with you

[Verse 2 - Black Smith]
Said my thoughts was huddled, but my spirit's angry
'Cause it feel like the whole Earth tryna strain me
Fatigue, Exhaustion... why must y'all test me?
The chance to end it all right now is tempting
Quite selfish of me... I understand that
But do you know what it's like to have the world on your back?
No Atlas am I, no map to go by
Now "No Direction" is the band I live by
Please God, forgive me; these thoughts aren't holy
But sanctity ain't quite the "in-thing" to poor weeds
My faith is dwindling---mustard seed, no water
Plus campus life ain't quite the most fertile soil
Misery need comp'ny--- checked my surroundings
Thousands attendin', yet Depression the loudest!!!
Club's overflowing, and threatenin' to drown me
In a room full of hoes I've never felt so lonely
Shit's startin' to trap me, a Pyrrhic victory
Just a pointless battle and I'm low on energy
Adjust accoutrements, and sound the retreat
Fuck! The hell Depression still tryna follow me?!?
Reality's, catchin' up with me
Fuck MC Hammer, I am Thor---can't touch me!
Fuck all my doubts, fears, and negative thoughts---...
Shit, who am I kiddin'? Guess I gotta carry that cross...
Since I seen't you...

[Outro - Anthony Hamilton]
Since I seen't you, we've been peoples
You're my equal, this love is see through
I wanna keep you
I wanna be with you...
Track Name: Tru To U Fo Eva
[Intro]
BLACK SMITH: You OK, though?
MOTHER: I'm catchin' up with ya...
BLACK SMITH: Yeah.
MOTHER: I'm catchin' up with ya. Oh... you got...? Here, catch up with Madie...
BLACK SMITH: What was that?
MOTHER: Catch up with Madie! I'm catchin' up with her.
BLACK SMITH: Oh, Madie? Oh! Did she call you?
MOTHER: Well...we catchin' up with each other.
BLACK SMITH: Well, that's good! Anybody else been comin' by to see you?
MOTHER: Nobody's been by.
BLACK SMITH: Nobody??
MOTHER: Yeah, nobody's been by.
BLACK SMITH: No? Well, I'm sure some of the family's been through here, right?
MOTHER: Huh?
BLACK SMITH: I'm sure some of the family's been through here, right?
MOTHER: Yeah, they'll come by...
BLACK SMITH: Well, that's good! ...No one else from Ardmore, I guess?
MOTHER: No...
BLACK SMITH: Nobody from Ardmore...?
MOTHER: Yeah, nobody else has been by.
BLACK SMITH: Well...that's OK. I'm here.
MOTHER: Huh?
BLACK SMITH: I'm here!
MOTHER: Yeah, you here.
BLACK SMITH: I'll always be here.
MOTHER: Thank you...


[Verse - Black Smith]
"I'll always be here" ---yeah, that’s what I told her
And I meant every word as I was stirrin’ her Folger’s
See, it’s a whole different world when that chip on your shoulder
Becomes a whole different giant iceberg of a hurdle
Truthfully a few years I lost control of my rudder
Been stuck amidst a sea of fake faces and lovers
Only person who really cares about me is my mother
And all I’ve done is fuck around and watch Fate do a number
Now the calls from you (that) a teenaged me would ignore
Now reversed with such speed, I’m tryna outrace the Lord
‘Cause the pain you go through will eventually lead to the door
Your neuropathy, my insomnia---a two-edged sword
As the clock ticks counter to the ill will we got past
I’m selfishly complainin’ ‘bout the migraine I still had
And the first thing you did out of surgery was ask
If my head felt better, now I’m feelin’ like an ass
But, pain is the priority----scale rated an 8
Quite the totem for these 10s that I’m tryna chase
That’ll make ya shake worse than a 9 in ya face
Now I pray my own future don’t suffer the same fate
They say kharma’s a bitch, mood swings in the Circle
Of Life, so mine’ll eventually ride out in a hearse, so
I’mma try to make my headstone that one in the corner
The foundation of remembrance---only deservin’
Now to the woman who gave up her own life for another
You raised a better man than any absentee father
I’m sorry that over the years I gave you such trouble
Hope that for what you put up with, God extends yours a couple
No lie, some nights I’ve screamed my head off at the sky
Tryna search for an answer, an explanation for why
You ended up in the condition in which you currently lie
Former nurse who made the sickest beds a little less trite
I wish the check Reality wrote me would’ve bounced instead
Or reimbursed for the monsters that still live in my head
But the company was needed, I suppose that’s the best
A nigga like me could do without a great deal of bread
Only a matter of time until your Fountains abode
Transforms into a mansion where the rivers’a flow
I hope the Dude upstairs makes good and promotes
Your guardian angels to watch me while I’m down here alone
(I mean) A throne just don’t mean much if the queen is a ho
Hope the advice you drilled in me ain’t somewhere remote
That the captain inside who dreamed of flyin’ boats
Still reaches that goal and lets his own heart float
And as your own memory fades, I’ve figured the way
To keep yours in others minds is for me to live out the days
I have left as if you still lived only miles away
And make a mark on people’s lives that’ll never erase
Said you beginnin’ to lose the hearing in your left ear
And here I am, wallowing safely in all my fears
Pride tryna convince me that I’m fakin’ my tears
But no amount of strain could make me demolish those years
All those sleepless nights, all that heated strife
Lookin’ back, every argument just seem trife
Overheard your sighs of pain: "Oh what a life"
But I gotta make you proud; only reason I ain’t take mine…


[Outro]
BLACK SMITH: I love you, Mom.
MOTHER: Huh?
BLACK SMITH: I love you!
MOTHER: I love you too, baby.
BLACK SMITH: Gah... You'll be OK... You all right?
MOTHER: ...Yeah...
BLACK SMITH: I love you.
MOTHER: I love you too.
BLACK SMITH: It's OK...
Track Name: When the Chimes End... (Interlude)
prod. Ennio Morricone
Samples "La Resa Dei Conti" (The Clock Music), from the "For A Few Dollars More" soundtrack (1965). Sample used with attribution.
Features additional vocals from Terrick Washington.
Track Name: Bad News
[Intro - Kanye West]
Didn't you know, I was waitin on you
Waitin on a dream that'll never come true
Didn't you know, I was waitin on you
My face turned to stone when I heard the news
When you decide to break the rules
Cause I just heard some real bad news

[Verse - Black Smith]
Over 90 on the highway, Insanity made me bold
Who'd have known pressure this hot would've made me cold?
Pushin' pedal to the medal on this midnight road
Passed four cops--- thoughts overload my dome:
T-Dub just called me to try and let me know
That Aunt Madie's been worried, hittin' up my phone
Now I don't wanna answer; "no reception zone"
'Cause what the other end's got will disrupt my mode
My mind's so cloudy now, don't you know?
Havin' to face the worst fear that I've ever known
Rejected outright, 'cause the truth just hurts
Once I thought I was on top, now I feel like dirt
If you knew what pain does to ya, you would too
Yeah, look at all the bullshit that I been through
Been livin' this life since '92
Barely twenty years old, and I've lost all root
The most violent act that I've ever done
Was wheelin' my mom back into that nursing home
Tears rolled from my eyes in the next bathroom
Once the nurse said she'd never go back home
Dream turned to nightmare in just one second
Assault and battery to my psyche with a deadly weapon
Forced to sit right there and count the blessings
While I try my best in vain to feed my mom her second's
But the knife cuts deep when you least expect it
The damage most real when love misdirected
And the loss is worse when you're disconnected
From reality, shit's all self-inflicted
Mom once said, "Live for what you dying to be"
I said, "I live for the day you let a smile be seen"
'Cause the look on her face was a mirror of me
And Depression left behind one hell of a scene
So I masked my emotions---what an alien thing!
Went to class, went to work, like a mannequin being
Relationship with Lies was the shortest of flings
Proposed to shawty named Hope but she rejected the ring
So I tried to forge on like nothing was wrong
Even played for my Mom a couple my own songs
Meanwhile her days are slowly tapering off
Memories of past life in the mistiest fog
Now I'm drivin' through one, with no end in sight
Two hours en route been the loneliest night
Always feared this day, wish I'd take flight
But at this moment I've lost what's wrong, what's right
Can't imagine my life without her in it
20 years of a bond this night now ended
62 years of life no more extended
Just hell on earth these past 5 uncorrected
Is this my fault? Could I have mended
These broken bones and tired tendons
Was focus lost? Due service rendered?
Just bad news I wish Time never tendered
My faith has wavered, I'd like some proof
Of better days to come, what's left to chew?
Just reinforces what I've come to conclude:
Anything's possible, but nobody's special...so what's the good news?
Track Name: No Church in the Wild (feat. QUAY)
[Hook - Frank Ocean]
Human beings in a mob
What's a mob to a king?
What's a king to a God?
What's a God to a non-believer
Who don't believe in anything?
Will he make it out alive?
Alright, alright, no church in the wild

[Verse 1 - Black Smith]
Picture, if you will, an idyllic existence
Suddenly transformed to violent resistance
Revolutionized by tribal descendants
But, dissonant stains persist throughout the present
Communication subbed by spiritless religion
True love swapped for heartless legislation
I've looked toward the heavens for peace and understanding
But at the edge of the precipice, patience is non-existent
As I journey to and fro, on and off this college campus
I search for some meaning amidst the non-acceptance
A cure for the pain, couple pills for the shame
A dollop of some dollars and a dash of Asian dames
How else am I to deal with this pressure every day
And the fact college and reality are not one and the same?
I swear, the beats and breaks are the only way I've stayed sane
In the wake of my mom not even able to use a cane

[Hook - Frank Ocean]

[Verse 2 - QUAY]
Holy water splashed on my face
The priest says you are saved
From the devil. Rise to our level
Then why is it I still feel heat upon my neck, though?
Stand in Hell's kitchen,
Lookin' for a pot to piss in
I lost my mind
Or is that the design?
Hand demon grime
Or is that just a crime?
God, I promise I'm yours for the taking
Soul's not forsaken; viewin' Revelations
In the making...
Then how can I break then?
Prayers sent to stay alive
This ain't life: this is church to survive!

[Hook - Frank Ocean]

[Bridge - The-Dream]
I live by you, desire
I stand by you, walk through the fire
Your love is my scripture
Let me into your encryption

[Verse 3 - QUAY]
Escaped from hell, now I'm on my way to Heaven
I'll be there by seven
I need to purify; that's one cold shower
To get off essential fire--- that could take some hours
Coke white suit
Put some bakin' soda in it too
Like the cleanest, ridin' dirty
To the pearl gates, doin' a buck-thirty
5-0-1, to catch a future too
Flashin' red in your blues
Let's play a game with the rebel
See who's the realest dead devil
I live for this rush
As I push upon the clutch
Ten rays of light
Hit my car, make me take flight
Cops standin' amazed
Cars turns ablaze
One last praise:
Tell me, God, am I saved?!
(I wonder...)

[Verse 4 - Black Smith]
"Is hip-hop a euphemism for a new religion?"
That's what Yeezy asked me once, with CuDi nearby sniffin'
A rage has overcome the youth, dawn of a new rebellion
Against old ways of thinking and outdated tradition
'Cause all those hollow practices no longer leave impressions
When jail is all that's left for us when class is not in session
Our minds were never freed; emancipation never happened
So I fueled my sorrow into bars, came a new a convert to rappin'
Student of the New Age bards without the pointless trappings
But the end result of generations o' gats and desperate trappin'
And since I'm more literate than the niggas that birthed it
Tell these bastards that the Bard 'bout to be food for the vultures!

[Outro - Frank Ocean]
Will he make it out alive?
Alright, alright, no church in the wild
Ayyyyyyyy!
No church in the wild
Ayyyyyyyy!
Track Name: Empty Soul (feat. Dubé)
[Intro]
I'm so used to my life with you around
I believe that I need to be free
I'm so used to my life with you around
I believe that I need to be free...

[Verse 1 - DJ Doo-Bay]
Empty in my soul, darkness in my life,
Try'na turn my shit around, 360--- Shaun White,
Looking for happiness in all the wrong places,
Retracin' my steps, figurin' out what this shit's laced with,
Bracin' for the consequences of my actions,
Wanna take back everything I said but can't retract it,
Strugglin' to live my life to the very fullest,
Duckin' and dodgin' all these self-aimed bullets,
Lookin' down the tunnel standin on the track,
Waitin' for the light but vast empty mass screams back,
Longin' to hold you, longin' to squeeze you,
If I had the chance I would hold it, hone it: I need you!

[Hook]
I don't care anymore, I don't care anymore
I don't care anymore if I let you down
I'm so used to my life with you around
I believe that I need to be free
I'm so used to my life with you around
I believe that I need to be free...

[Verse 2 - Black Smith]
The thin line, between what's real and what's dreams
I can finally see it now: nothing's what it seems
Perception is the Judas, backstabbin' was the scheme
Bloodless is my body now, drained like a latrine
Apathy up in my brain, hollowest of themes
Hopelessness is settin' in, diggin' my ravine
Campin' in my habitat, ignorin' all my pleas
Sadness got my consciousness burstin' at the seams
Perfection all illusionary, deception the motif
And I'm doubtin' my new vision will supply me any peace
So if I get the chance to do one final thing
I'll flip the world the middle finger right before I scream...

[Outro]
I don't care anymore, I don't care anymore
I don't care anymore if I let you down
I'm so used to my life with you around
I believe that I need to be free
I'm so used to my life with you around
I believe that I need to be free
I don't care anymore, I don't care anymore
I don't care anymore, I don't care anymore...
Track Name: Painful Memories (Interlude)
psychalgia / psy·chal·gia / (si-kal´jah) / noun
pain, usually in the head and perceived as being of emotional origin, that may accompany intolerable ideas, obsessions, or hallucinations

prod. willsmith1
Track Name: Rite of Passage (feat. Quentino & Rob Carta)
[Verse 1 - Black Smith]
(Uh, yeah... All right.
Yeah... yeah, uh!...)
Front pew in Church, the left reserved for the family
Still reelin' from the set of cards that Fate decide to hand me
My mood is on shuffle, sendin' home the one who raised me
Feel I let my mom down; now I can never wash my hands clean
Consumed with makin' every single detail perfect
I let slip my mind the thing that made it all worth it
Her favorite song "Stand" listed on the church program
And I left the track at home---now I'm heated like a furnace
Never felt this worthless---how could I mess it up?
Somethin' so important, that which mattered to the both of us!
So upset, I ain't even hear the eulogy
Why'm I actin' like stupidity is somethin' new to me?
I really might as well be more used to it by now
I only make it worse, and bring all of those who love me down
Sulkin' in my seat, Depression lurkin' all around
Can't lie no more: y'all will never know the sadness of a clown...

[Verse 2 - Quentino]
(Yeah... I guess what I could say is that...
When I first saw her... I saw a bright light...)
Back then, at the job, end up seein' her
Didn't know what was goin' on
Then I heard the news about a few years ago
I was upset... and next thing y'know, end up goin' to the funeral
Saw you at the front pew, and you lookin' at the casket
Didn't know this was happenin',
Thought it was a dream...
Then I went up to the front, saw her in the casket
I was a little sad... Looked back at you
Never thought I would see you cry, but instead, bro, you end up standin'
We got your back!
Promise you bro: regardless of what goes on, we gon' be there
Brothers to the end, man, and I promise you that
Because it's came from the heart
Even though this is just a whole new start...
Yes indeed! I finally see, that, this is Paradise for her
Because when she was in this world, she was sufferin'
And now all of a sudden, I see that she's in peace
Thank you, Lord, for takin' her somewhere
Where she can be at peace and have her soul restin'
Because in this place, there is no soul restin'
All we do is deal with trials, and deal with blessings
And since you done took her somewhere peaceful
I know that she's got wings of an angel...

[Verse 3 - Rob Carta]
(Yeah! ...OK...yeah!)
It's OK, son; God got her now
I never experienced this, but I can sympathize
But just know this---She's lookin' down on ya
With a big smile, and her arms open
Sayin': "Keep pushin', and don't never stop
And just trust in God, and keep your head high
And when you wanna quit, just think of me
And I promise ya that those trials'll flee
'Cause I'm with the Father, healed and free
So when you see me, you won't even believe
What God has done. And just to let you know
I'm standin' now. Yes, I am, son!
I know you remembered that's my favorite song
So don't keep stressin', son, 'cause God knew your heart
I'm proud of you, and I can't wait to see ya
I love you, son; you was always my favorite
And one more thing---Keep on dreamin'
And always, stay prayed up..."
Track Name: Tears of Joy (feat. Publish or Perish)
[Verse 1 - Black Smith]
May the souls of Pac and Big bless my pad and my pen
No I.D. on the track--- let the story begin
Or rather... the next chapter of pain novelized
The next chapter in this Book of Life a brother write
Back when I walked the altar and made these rhymes my wife
I'd have never guessed I'd end up three years later despisin' life
But retrospect can do the funniest things to time:
Either you'll appreciate it more or deny it the co-sign, uh!
I guess it's the own bed I've made
So why even complain about havin' somewhere for my head to lay?
If only I'd been able to make the Reaper's sickle sway:
Exchange my life for my mom's and replace all my dismay
But since that ain't the case, I guess I'll have to make do
Quentino and Rob tried their best to dissuade me from rues
And keep my complexion from remaining in blue
But "Color Purple" reruns only bleed me a darker hue, uh!
Last night I cried tears of joy!
What did she do to deserve this?
Know it's selfish expressin' dissent
But if not, my spirit remissed
They say she in better bliss
Couldn't argue, pain won't be missed
Still got my mind, so I guess I'm blessed
But I can't dismiss distress, gotta get it off my chest
No amount of ice could alleviate this pest
Called Doubt, and what it's posed got me debatin' my own quest
Yesterday I read my horoscope
Tellin' me what I already know
Hope my mother lookin' down, chucklin' at what I don't
No more medical bed, so yeah, go 'head and float!

[Hook - Cee-Lo Green]
To all the loved ones I leave behind
At least they can't see me cry
And I ask, when someone wants to be me why
Thought having everything would ease my mind
If you could read my mind
My God, I'm scarred, I have tattoo tears of joy

[Verse 2 - Quentino]
I remember back in the days
When they was the good ol' days
Cool and youthful, she was so beautiful
Had niggas trippin' over her beauty
She was a cutie, but tough as rock
She wasn't easy to please
She wasn't easy to satisfy
Her hunger kept growin'
She wanted a man, and I was a boy
I tried to show off, but yet I got blown off
And now I feel so lost, but I talked to another lost
Then we both was found, just from the sound
Of God tellin' us that we was meant to be
This is our history, of our love story
And if you hear this from somebody else, just know it's based on a true story
I just wanna be able to show that I got tears of joys and not tears of sadness

[Hook - Cee-Lo Green]
To all the loved ones I leave behind
At least they can't see me cry
And I ask, when someone wants to be me why
Thought having everything would ease my mind
If you could read my mind
My God, I'm scarred, I have tattoo tears of joy

[Verse 3 - DJ Doo-Bay]
Last night I cried tears of joy!
While eating sushi with wasabi and soy
Before this I had hard times as a boy,
Mommaa gettin' beat and my Daddy on the floor,
I would cry "why me?" prayin' to the Lord,
Thoughts of death and suicide rise in an impressionable kid’s mind,
Daddy stayed up late with his best friend Jack,
Daniels not far gettin' throwed in back,
Trying to decipher between fiction and fact,
Why do I wake up blue and black?
Momma, stickin' up, ended up gettin smacked,
Brother act a fool the very next day,
Pulled a butcher knife on me, said it ends this way,
Momma stepped in--- the shit was cray,
I look at you and you kept me sane
That’s why I want you to bear my name,
Saved me from darkness, pulled me out the fray,
You and me down the aisle better save that day,
You and me together forever, I pray,
Never ever gonna let this go in vain!

[Hook - Cee-Lo Green]
To all the loved ones I leave behind
At least they can't see me cry
And I ask, when someone wants to be me why
Thought having everything would ease my mind
If you could read my mind
My God, I'm scarred, I have tattoo tears of joy

[Verse 4 - Kreative Tendencies]
I never cared about how people viewed me
I'm still better, 'cause I can look myself in the mirror
I know I never followed the book, I'm not perfect
Funny thing is, I'm a perfectionist, and I can still admit that
I'm lost in a random mindstate, faux reality, but stuck in a real dream state
I think we might go deeper, 'cause y'all ain't inceptin',
So Imma keep beatin' y'all head till you get the message
I'm awkward, but respect it,
'Cause I stay me, a concept these other niggas can't understand
I feel invicible because of it, so sign me to the Eagles and let me fly
'Cause life is eat or get ate, and past tense
I'mma do two more than Jordan, nigga; I already eight! I wanna win
I want rings, and I'm not stoppin' now, I might get nine or ten,
I wanna win. So tell the world we gon' win
Tell O-City we gon' win
And I ain't stoppin' there, baby, I have no reason!!

[Outro - Cee-Lo Green]
To all the loved ones I leave behind
At least they can't see me cry
And I ask, when someone wants to be me why
Thought having everything would ease my mind
If you could read my mind
My God, I'm scarred, I have tattoo tears of joy
Track Name: Say You Real (feat. Partners in Irony & Dubé)
[Verse 1 - Black Smith]
Layin' in bed; cold room with the lights off
Layered under blankets, thick sheets; now the fight's on
34 degrees, 3 A.M., and the heat's gone
Quiet 'nough to hear my heart's thump as the beat's goin'
Writin' in the dark, no reflection on my iPhone
Screen goin' black, soles as worn as some fly clothes
Wonder if my lids closed, would they let my soul go
Floatin' up to heaven or down below where the scum thrown?
Planted weak seed, I suppose that my reap's sown
Thorns in my side, now I know why my flow's choked
Mind's not even clear, though; spirit's feelin' weak more
Anger pent-up the only flames that I think stoked
Now I wonder why so? What's the source of my pain?
Brain wanders back a few years to search for my shame
Teen hormones, didn't wanna share my mom's name
Now that I'm alone at home, arguments seem a lot tame
Suppose I was askin' for it--- ingratitude was my thang
But even if that's true, why was suffering my mom's fate?
Were there better options, or was this carved already in slate?
Never doubted God, but maybe cruelty's one of his traits
Lookin' at my mom's face, barely recognized then
Wished the past year hadn't made her look so different
Loneliness crept in, burrowed through my thick skin
Say you real, God--- I need divine intervention

[Hook - Kanye West]
Hey hey hey hey
Don't say you will, you will you will
Hey hey hey hey
Don't say you will, if you will, I pray you will

[Verse 2 - Oliver]
I keep tellin' myself that it doesn't matter, that time will erase all wounds before
I can remember them, because my body is a dry erase board that doesn't keep score
And I wish it was that easy, but I know,
That truth is often lost between forgiveness and retribution, so the solution
Resides in the passage of a linear marker that can't give me any sense of resolution
Destitution is caused in part,
By lookin' around and seein' nobody in my heart
So, I have a 50/50 shot, and that's fine
'Cause if it's me, then I'm in the lead, or I've fallen behind
So can this feeling really be mine? ...Right!
I must've finished last because I'm sayin' this in hindsight
But it's in my mind's eye--- inside me
And, man, I really fuckin' hate bein' alone
I wonder if my mind's eye can cry like me
'Cause if it can, then I wonder if my mind's eye can moan
The truth is only revealed if it's shown
Which means you have to find it if you're not afraid to look deep
I guess that's why the fearful fall, 'cause true men aren't afraid to take that leap

[Hook - Kanye West]
Hey hey hey hey
Don't say you will, you will you will
Hey hey hey hey
Don't say you will, if you will, I pray you will

[Verse 3 - JCM]
I'm walkin' through the valley of shadow of death
And every time I exhale it's a shallower breath
Lookin' upward to the summit, the goal of my quest
Until I'm standing at the peak, I ain't ever gon' rest
And yes, I know the fuckin' Reaper's on a quest of his own, but I protested him
Wrestled for the life I control, of course I bested him
Think you got a crew who could stop me? Then send the rest of 'em
Been looking for a place I can perch, I'll build the nest with em
Whoa, I know right now my words sound sorta bold
Feelin' myself at the moment, but that ain't always so
So, I take you back to the desolate road
The home of all of my trials, you can see them unfold
Every blow is represented by a crevice,
And they threaten me with sentencing to chambers down below
And I'm haunted by the ghosts of those who said I couldn't go,
Broken rubble marks the scuffles with my friends and with my foes
Had to overcome, or else be overrun
Gotta start at zero, before I'm number one
They wanna talk real shit, but i say hold your tongue
You gotta wait for your turn, and I ain't close to done
I know the end of this journey got something for me
By the time I settle, I'll tell a hell of story
But for the moment just kick your feet up and watch
As I put the whole world right under my key and lock, yeah!

[Hook - Kanye West]
Hey hey hey hey
Don't say you will, you will, you will
Hey hey hey hey
Please say you real, for real, I pray you will

[Verse 4 - DJ Doo-Bay]
Rise and fall of a nation; leader born for greatness
Destined to be more than just complacent
Rated over his competitors
Or maybe "overrated" is a better term,
Broke through the mold of a stereotype
To show I can rap... and also write
Creatin' chances, livin' up to the hype
Lyrics golden, like an underground Gooney ruin
Call me Porky: I’m goin H.A.M on this Looney Tune
Don’t try to shut me down or count me out
I'm at the top surfin' up on the clouds
Everybody wants me as a guest spot
Man, look at me now!
I'm done pretendin that I'm the shit
I knew that way back when I was a kid
I started out with a dollar and a dream
Grew up wanted to be what I saw on MTV
In the city that never sleeps we stay up all night
Don’t need weed because I'm high off of life
Always gonna be me when I step up on the mic
Just tryin' to let you in on what the top feels like
While being the best whether it's wrong or right
I know one thing's for certain:
You'll see my name in flashing lights,
Boy, this is what victory sounds like...
Track Name: Day's End (feat. JOBE)
[Verse 1 - Black Smith]
As I lay myself down to sleep
I hope for one night at least I'm granted slight relief
Class work pilin' up, barely Red Bull in my cup
Mixin' it with Tylenol PMs 'cause I like the stuff
Wishin' for escape from a reality that's too severe
Can't even wind down, slumber broken by some Paul Revere
Yellin' that I stay awake and rush to battle with myself
I answer (the) bastard's call with sincerity, tell him "Break yo'self!"
And now I'm pacin' back and forth, awaiting maintenance on my floor
Bracin' for that one day of my Waterloo that's left in store
The score ain't even settled yet my eyes are shiftin' toward the door
Can't even crack the code in this case to close my lids no more
Defenses too poor against the nocturnal monsters of my mind
Brick by brick, bar for bar, they dismantle walls set up from my rhymes
Forgotten horrors realized terrorize and tore my temple's veil
Blasted through my double conscious with cannons and scorched the sail
Now I'm danglin' from my feet, they hoist me up for my entrails
I gotta admit defeat as the sun sets on my own hell
But this loss is just results of my own sin
'Bout to be one hellish night if I keep on at the day's end...

[Hook]
(vocalizing)
I can't feel my face
What will I do?
I can't feel my face
What will I do
Without you...?

[Verse 2 - JOBE]
As I lay my head down tonight
I know the planets are aligned, I know its alright
Yeah, it's all A-grade: life's a test--- A grade!
My mind starts wanderin' through high school and 8th grade
How I got right here today
How I got much more to say
Act like I don't give a fuck, guess I gave 'em all away
Yeah...that's not the attitude I wanted
It's the attitude I fronted
All the in-crowders were stuntin
I just wanted to be one of them--- I wanted them to choose me
Then I woke up one day and barely knew me
Yeah! That was my moment of epiph
Realized that I went and dropped the ball and lately I had missed
All the marks I set out for myself; I wasn't even me no more
I sat there lookin out the window tears would hit the floor
Like this morning: I was overcome with fear
Had to brush my teeth in the shower, could not look myself in the mirror
..That's when I said, this ain't a life worth livin'
No suicide, I said: "Joe, we gon' get it!" (Yeah!)
I see it's true the grass is greener; no blazin'
It's finna be a good night if we continue with the day's end...

[Hook]
(vocalizing)
I can't feel my face
What will I do?
I can't feel my face
What will I do
Without you...?

[Verse 3 - Black Smith]
As I lay my head down tonight,
I hope the pills that I take will drown my tears and fright
And permit me a chance to break through my own plight
And let my soul for a second levitate and take flight
Hope the cosmos grant me opportunity for clarity
And pass me to a plane with no regard for gravity
Ruminations 'bout space and time and life's brevity
Culminate in experience lackin' hope or faith or charity
So I down a pill or two, or three, when there is no use
So my brain can finally take a break and let my body choose
To enter that realm where the past is present, spirits on the loose
I only find it fair, I've paid for quite a few my debts and dues
Laid back, arms spread, motionless in an empty room
Ignorin' all the signals---sure lucidity is at the loom
Buried deep off in the recesses of cerebral dunes
Lids low, but I've kept my word to always search for the truth
Senses slow, chopped and screwed, hope the final message sent
Passed from state to state, seventh heaven turnin' hell-bent
Jolt awake, in my own inferno---recognize the scent
Can't even feel my face at this point in the day's end...

[Outro]
(vocalizing)
I can't feel my face
What will I do?
I can't feel my face
What will I do
Without you...?
Track Name: Fear of Falling (Interlude) [feat. Jhené Aiko]
[Verse - Jhene Aiko]
Out of place, out of space and time,
Wide awake, out of papers, I'm
Not okay, I am out my mind
Outer space, that’s where I been goin'
To a place where, place where nobody knows: floating
At a pace where now you see me and now you don’t

[Bridge - Jhene Aiko]
I do not feel the fear of fallin', I wanna fly
If it all goes well
Then I will
But what if I don't?
I'll be right where I was before
But I’m not alone

[Hook - Jhene Aiko]
You said take my hand, and we go (and we go),
And we go (and we go)
And I hope that we don’t overdose
Cause we don’t (cause we don’t)
No we don’t (no we don't)
Ever know when we have had enough
Track Name: Still Alive
[Intro - Coldplay]
Those who are dead, are not dead
They're just living in my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well
Oh...

[Hook - Coldplay]
Those who are dead, are not dead
They're just living in my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well
Oh...

[Verse - Black Smith]
Those who are dead are just living in our heads
The reason, least me with me, why I can't escape the dread
A double-edged type of dread that lives as both a threat
To my health, and the saving grace with which my mom is left
Alive in my memory, persistent she remains
So as long as I have sanity, she walks with me each day
But the scariest part about it all's the link must be maintained
Between the images of her and the distance Death has made
Even worse is the likelihood that as the clock keeps ticking
I'll end up with the same disease that worsens Mom's dementia
And Father Time will take from me the portraits and depictions
Of my mother that I stored away as hand-me-down mementos
But isn't that a part a life? Dichotomy's malignant
So I guess I must continue, though the irony's indignant
Only way to best my fear is being face-to-face with it
So forgive myself as I let the beat ride for a minute...

[Hook - Coldplay]


{Instrumental passage}


[Outro - Coldplay]
Those who are dead, are not dead
They're just living in my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well
Oh...
Those who are dead, are not dead
They're just living in my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well
Oh...
Track Name: Until It's Time (feat. Kreative Tendencies)
[Verse 1 - Black Smith]
Am I livin' my life right now...or just existin'?
Can I somehow break through the mold and shape my own position?
Am I the one to bring success to all my brother's doorsteps?
Or am I the one to take the fall if grace should go on recess?
Why must I find contentment within my own regression?
Why can I not convince myself to climb out of depression?
If mind is over matter, why's gravity keep buggin' me?
And if all I need is love, why's self-hatred undermanning me?
What is the reason behind my lack of patience?
Will social stigmas gun me down if I were to go on rages?
Is paranoia the source of my mind's everyday riotings?
Or can meds reprimand my underhanded anxieties?
Can I find a trace of solace amidst a place of madness?
Can I find out a way to keep my id from wreaking havoc?
Just how'd I get persuaded to play this game of chances
When fate saw fit to curse my feet to take two lefts at dances?
These are the questions that crowd my mind's ramblings
They run and dash throughout my head, no care for what they're trampling
But one day, i'mma put an end to my internal gambling
And until it's time, I'll make it work, until I find the answers

[Hook - Black Smith]
Until it's time, let me issue this statement:
Turned my back on all my doubts; yeah, I'm destined for greatness
In a race against time, but I know I'm gon' make it
With every 16 bars extending my 15 of famous

[Verse 2 - Kreative Tendencies]
Cold summers, hot winters. backward thinking
Am I speakin' my mind, or spring creaming?
Really living, or lucid dreaming?
Fuck it! I can't think
Grab the drink, grab the keys
I'mma ride till I fix it
Get in the car, hit the goose
Start it up, hit the goose
Press the gas as you hit the goose
Drown the thoughts, switch lanes
See lights, speed up
Ha! We aint' goin' to jail tonight!
Go fast, a sharp turn, spin out
Cops screamin', "Get on the ground!"
Fuck that! You'll never take me alive!
Get hit three times, fall down
Last breath, see a white light
"Congratulations, you have now...

[Verse 3 - Black Smith]
...died dreaming"
I wake up, finally free of all my own mind's streaming
And quickly put on paper what my own psyche's feeling
But I can't mistake this state: that's my own spine tingling
I made it to the other side, and now my stomach's fiending
I've never felt this way, like my own soul's gleaming
Survived the darkest days, came back kicking and screaming
Now it's time to let the world know exactly what I'm thinking

[Hook - Black Smith]

[Outro - Black Smith]
Until it's time, let me issue this statement:
Turned my back on all my doubts; yeah, I'm destined for greatness
In a race against time, but I know I'm gon' make it
With every 16 bars extending my 15 of famous
Until it's time, let me issue this statement:
Turned my back on all my doubts; yeah, I'm destined for greatness
In a race against time, but I know I'm gon' make it
With every 16 bars extending my 15 of famous