The Tortoise Hustle

by Sankofa

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about

Quite possibly my longest-marinating effort, The Tortoise Hustle is a topical work spanning my thoughts on life. El Keter (who produced all but four cuts) more succinctly calls it my "Atmosphere album." I doubt the call of my work to the amorous, but it would be dope if the music resonated with listeners. The Tortoise Hustle is my M.O. I'm not consumed by visions of larger recognition and whatever perceptions define success, I just want to enjoy making music. After running the proper route of one-sheeters, near limitless postal expenditures, college radio mailings and all the proper routes for 2005's "Still Means Something", I regrouped with my philosophy of small. Thus 250 individually stamped and numbered tins with Cracker Jack type goodies were born. All sonic duties (recording, mixing down, mastering) were handled by Gillespie at Monastic Chambers. Some friends consider it to be my final release. Jenn thinks that's nonsense. Shout out to EDS for helping with the discface layout.

credits

released September 8, 2008

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Sankofa Fort Wayne

Rapper
Fort Wayne

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Track Name: The Bottom Line
You don’t exist to make music, you live to make a profit
Selling your advertising space but I know it’s never thought of
I wish you best of luck in all your demographic research
But when you follow the trends you’ll end up leaving feet first
Who are the people making money at radio stations?
Inot the disc jockeys, the ones who live shoddy
It’s the people selling all the advertising slots
The fraternizing jocks with their status climbing flock
Who have got expense accounts in dense amounts
Mileage from driving the cars that are stylish
Benefits, got to have the pearly white gates gleam
Backroom deals are done dirty and they stay clean
Hedging bets putting chick’s drinks on my tab
Write it off to corporate slush funds, thinking to stab
Blink and it’s grabbed, another ass another day passes
Thankful I’m a shark in a world content to stay passive
My reign’s acid it isn't about to cease quick
So spin another clone trying to rap when the beat kicks
My reign’s acid and it isn't about to cease quick
So spin another clone trying to rap when the beat kicks


Now park the CD that you bought from me inside your deck
and catch a dose of dialect to redefine direct
keep in mind that best is basically a biased call
most of my favorites you couldn't find inside of malls
or even on the radio unless it's colleges
and 9/10ths of that is junior major politics
freebies for students with spins, but who acknowledges
anything to break an act with backing, got me balling fists
your tastemaker's a CMJ columnist
so i say goodbye to it all with a solemn kiss
greenhorn PDs trying to strongarm DJ
for playing what they like instead of charting another replay
the payoff comes at annual convention, fab
come visit fillintheblank on fillintheotherblank's tab
higher learning, a great chance to breed consumers
thinking they're thinking for themselves, they're in league with rumors
kids who need computers to download the next song
while they complain their favorite rapper’s getting slept on
so props to cats still playing what they like
and the few PDs not buying all the hype
Track Name: Speaking in Tongues
Dwyane Wade, what the hell's he doing rocking Converse?
If he stays healthy, he's a certified monster.
They must have offered him the company to sign the dotted line.
Their profit margin the past 8 years, not a dime.
Nike bought them out of bankruptcy, but please
it's been years since granmama dunked with creaky knees.
I don't floss, but use a toothbrush to keep my shoes fresh
30 buck clearance rack or ebay with a new set.
Double crosstrainers signed by Judas.
It seems kind of strange, shoes provide my muses.
I'm speaking in tongues, a bum from the cuffs up.
No holy spirit, my sole appearance is the shoes sold on clearance.
I'm old and bearded with a dash of polar bear.
Too cold to care that I'm now chilling on a folding chair.
Got soul to spare and change is imminent in foam cups.
All kicks were dope, but now it seems I've grown up.


It's the A to the D-I-D-A-S
When it comes to sports, straight EA fresh
shell toes to the a-cubed create wreck
the sole truth, no he say-she say mess


Duncan and KG-two of the greatest to ever play the game
molestering opponents like that song from Dana Dane.
They're both rocking the number 21, it's mathematics
The digits add up to the stripes on their apparatus
adidas-not the only kicks I own
but when I'm rocking another pair, I miss my ROMs
I walk with a bop in the summer and a stroll in the fall
triple threat position when I'm on court holding the ball.
I never had a jumper no matter how much I practiced
so I put in some work with Feet You Wear tactics.
SRVs with adi-cells in the heel
cats don't believe me, but I tell them it's real.
G-Units and S. Carters are nothing but Rod Lavers
with a Pro-Ked stripe on the side, right.
Did you hear how Reebok's been sucking for years now
riding a trend until the buyout blend.


It's the A to the D-I-D-A-S
When it comes to sports, straight EA fresh
shell toes to the a-cubed create wreck
the sole truth, no he say-she say mess


No diss to Maya Angelou
it's all about my adidas when I handle flows
No doubt and it'll go
Sala 2s to the Bromium 3s
a pair of white and red ROMs, homie you're weak
Listen, I've been living in an adidas oasis
since DMC walked down the steps with no laces
navy PRO MODELS with blocked out letters
PR MODE so now I rock crowds better
I lock down, shred them, then I change from the basics
my white Kobe2s, my Sta-Puft spaceships
They split, but that's kosher to me
because Joe Dumars is the true OG
Torsion, Clima Cool, ADIprene, ADIplus
plus NIMH, ADIsave dope, what?, add it up


It's the A to the D-I-D-A-S
When it comes to sports, straight EA fresh
shell toes to the a-cubed create wreck
the sole truth, no he say she say mess
Track Name: They All Die
Metal pressing to his skull, it’s come down to this
Screaming any god’s name in vain, a polytheistic twitch
A wrist with tendons tense, ready to clench vengeance
Wreaking havoc in the tattered fabric of another victim
Sickened, a country falling apart, this answer is a trigger
Cancerous, crisis, price paid it the handsomest
Panic attack, a hand with hate to fuel the bonfires
Corpses all around, eyes black, palms skyward
A calm fighter gone beyond the call of random kills
heart’s weighed on the scale against the blood that a hand has spilled
Soldiers in ragged fatigues patrol the dirt roads
The jungle swallows them whole, some saw the earth close
The crossroads where the bad and worse met to fight
Tunnels under the warpath, traps set tonight
A slack weapon glides, silent as the reaper steps
Defiant trying to find them hiding in a secret breath


Regiments, police chiefs, grief and pestilence
Friends, omens, countrymen kill for the testament
What’s a victory without a little death in it?
Uncertain future but the present is a definite


Trading his soul for a sense of quiet in the typhoon
The violent eye of his storm, as the flies swoon
Deprived wombs thicken with invader’s orphans
Delayed abortions, made to hate them and they raise a portion
Wives, sisters, mothers, cork and a razorblade
Forced hands…from apathetic to engage and slay
A maze of prey, impossible to breakaway from
Throbbing temple mere inches from a raised gun
Brigades run in green berets through the thickened brush
Ducking ricochets, napalm ash, stricken dust
Another sacrifice, kids are never quick enough
choppers swooping down to try and swiftly pick them up
A dash of agent orange, newborns without limbs
Blown away by claymores, the brown ground’s grim
From rice paddies to the distant hills, the count’s in
And the bodies keep piling up…


Regiments, police chiefs, grief and pestilence
Friends, omens, countrymen kill for the testament
What’s a victory without a little death in it?
Uncertain future but the present is a definite


A brand new Job for God and Satan’s bored wager
Truth mixed with fiction in a vivid war stranger
A draft underneath the door is bringing cold chills
families try to hold on, but they can’t hold still
Chaotic-turf battles in a maze of jungle
A main opponent, name of Charlie, and his aim is morbid
Some made a fortune selling the planes and choppers
Guns and ammunition, from a nation made to conquer, sons in camo listen
Skin slick with perspiration, body bag and hearse awaiting
A brand new cause worth debating
A percolating pressure cooker where the heat never lacks
Evacuate with medivacs, then send them back
Chamber spins, pelvic thrust of the firing pin
A camera clicks, the moment frozen, it’s time to win
people back home keep on and try to grin
But the quicksand just gets thicker


Regiments, police chiefs, grief and pestilence
Friends, omens, countrymen kill for the testament
What’s a victory without a little death in it?
Uncertain future but the present is a definite


And they all die…
Track Name: Tale of a Cartoon Snake
He’s a sleaze bag and a slime ball
A cartoon snake in his ride with the white walls
Biding his time until the night falls
Then he’s finding a line into your thighs, doll
When a sucker’s born a minute, why stall?
He walks slow, wearing shoes a size small
He's ulling out your secret to use as he sees fit
3 piece suit, no soul beneath it
Weighing his options, he's looking for a way in
Any advantage, he’s got a fan in the basement
He spends nights liquored up at a Day’s Inn
Got so many ways, interrupting’s his favorite
Ask too much, he’ll find a replacement
When he said hello, it was silent amazement
He dressed nice, you’re his special occasion
But look up in his book, there's not a legible name in


He's going to be the one that you need most
Getting close enough to get his…then he’s ghost
Your hero, a shoulder to cry on, the silent type
Been around since the trilobite
'cause sin seared his heart, but he’s sincere to you
Anything to get a little closer-true
You won’t see his lies until it’s over ma’am
Rental Range Rover but he rode the tram
you’re opening up, he’s memorizing the way there
A smooth operator with a toy at your day care
Making moves on your neighbor, the one with no kids
So you do what he wants, hoping it sticks
He’ll call you the wrong name and then play it off
Velvet with the game and who pays the cost?
Stayed a pawn, he gained power and you did stuff
100 here, 20 there, getting mixed up


Hinted at futures, maybe marriage
A package in the park, hidden in the baby carriage
You ever get the feeling that you’re watched when he’s not there?
He laughed when you asked, that’s when you got scared
quick to reassure you with a pat to the head
He'll make you feel safe like a kid in its bed
With the covers pulled high so the monster can’t find you
You’re blind baby, you’re blind to his sly moves
Once he gets his hooks in, watch out
He’ll take what he wants and he’s not proud
Wonder why he has a cell and not a phone at home, huh?
Through his teeth leaks a powerful aroma
Smells familiar but you’re scared to put a finger on it
A nervous thought is only going to bring the vomit
courage to bring it up is sadly never mustered
A fox in a henhouse with a feather duster
Crocodile’s smile, but his eyes are stone
and this is something that you might have known
His number disconnected when you try to phone
And now it’s over and so you cry alone
And now it’s over and so you cry alone
And now it’s over and so you cry alone
And now it’s over and so you cry alone
And now it’s over and so you cry alone
Track Name: And it Goes
From socially conscious to a comatose hideaway
Some might have a rime to say, but what’s the time today?
Homeless cat in new sneaks leans back, a fly beret
Crime cats with a bribe to pay, let the vinyl play
The warrior dies, ironically his rival stays
Not ready to fight today, let him slide inside the grave
Sun bums sit on benches soaking up the brightest rays
Bikers raise pedals, testing mettle in a type of race
Unanswered letters gather dust from a Riker stay
The broke propose a type of trade, succumbing to a hype brigade
Mumbling for lights and glazed eyes with a pipe array
Practicing apologies, the things they’d like to say
Overripe, in the library for a cyber date
The truth spoken, veined hands holding a bible shake
Maybe take a walk by the lake, no need to violate
Foolish gold standard might appraise soon, the righteous ways


They lie awake and try to state their purpose in a fight today
Some sigh and ache, wishing for the days that they’d hire eight
Strippers…to leap out of giant cakes
Street sounds and iron grates, peep round the side and spray
Eastbound tonight’s parade, deep down the pride remains
Each found a vital rage to keep grounded by the way
A vial breaks and the argument begins
A dog’s hunger barking in the skin, bargaining for wins
In a Parka, thin, shaking like a fallen leaf
Making life a stall of grief, naked eyes, guys can all agree
They patronize kabbalah speak
Acknowledging, they fall asleep
her plate provides them all treat, from gator types to wallabies
Her labor’s life an olive tree branch from a dove’s beak
Trying to make enough for her tough lease, plus eat
Some nights, the pus leaks and her wounds weep
Another pushed underneath the rug with a broom sweep
Goons creep through the bruised streets with some new needs
Blinds getting drawn to subdued screams...true fiends
Crews accrue cream, bringing truth to gruesome dreams
Lucid themes, soon growing loose at the seams
Boosted boots and her jeans, singing the blues with a queen
Name of Lucille, betrayed by the gauge of the steel
A page is then peeled, surreal, trying to make an appeal
The patient is healed, pacing in an apron, revealed


The way the kids worked the words was quite amazing
but they couldn’t quite believe it
A cipher type of place to hide the secret
The white adidas, three stripes were type prestigious
No mic elitists, cop lights flash and then it’s time to beat it
A dash down the side street, moving wisely
fire escape, cooling down with iced tea
Wires and jakes, reviving to make the most dire of straits
Mind of minor replaced, dry cleaners minus a safe
Pining away
The kind of mind that might of betrayed for midas to save
the loosest of clothes and the tightest of braids
blinded with pay suicidal brigades
Track Name: Hoping
A vivid blend of Francis Ford Copolla's lens
and the ink from my promotional disposable pens
I lost count of all the scrap paper scribbled on and tossed out
from bitter bonds, I spit it strong on songs to quash doubt
dues paid, contagious crusades of worth
a solitary ivory tower sat rapping a verse
somewhere after his birth, the final passing calls
molitov cocktails for the plastic dolls
placid thralls with a death mask for the set backs
I did what i could with what I had, won't regret that
let it be stressed stat with box scores or your tools selected
I'm almost done with the game, considering rules are wretched
let the little league fools overrun the courts and have the prizes
it's hard to fight the passive tripping on a path that's righteous
whatever tidbits appetize become the trap for flies
45 bent truth, five blank and half are lies

Hoping to be somewhere closer to home
Tear stained cheeks, a melancholy one soaked to the bone
Prone to grope for the phone when life was a bit much
But in front of sons it was upper lip zipped up

Spon said, pretty packages help to sell garbage
we want success stories just to see who fell hardest
make us feel better, we won't exhibit any effort
first comes success then comes a trendy leper
sitting on the sideline, watching fangs sharpen
TV dinner sweepstake winner slang sargeant
hunger pangs harden resolve, start to embark on new tracks
the once fly hanglide, hoping to swoop back
the noose catches cats wracked with goosebumps for new chumps
stardom fleeting...stars do stunts the truth runs
scar collectors move funds making their pain a public matter
all in the name of pride while their chests puff and shatter
zooming up the ladder, the next incidental
pimps and winsome instrumental spins tend to rinse the gentle
expecting their share whenever the earth's inherited
in all fairness, they weren't told that it was perilious

Hoping to be somewhere closer to home
Tear stained cheeks, a melancholy one soaked to the bone
Prone to grope for the phone when life was a bit much
But in front of sons it was upper lip zipped up

life-I was taught to live it by a brave woman with two kids who moved overseas
the eldest was barely a teen
Preparing her team to move forth and follow their dreams
Wherever they’d lie, now my brother’s in Oregon and I
Call Fort Wayne home in damn near every song
Cause when you’re following your heart you can never be wrong
She suggested when I can’t make that decision
To consider the weight of regret and I listened
The man she loved died twenty years ago
But they share sons who carry on the legacy that’s clear so
They do what they can in different states
It seems Time has now Hidden the aches
1948, the year she was born
Now she sees my brother and I are clear of the storm
SDSB appears in her form
The initials of a mother I see but still miss

Hoping to be somewhere closer to home
Tear stained cheeks, a melancholy one soaked to the bone
Prone to grope for the phone when life was a bit much
But in front of sons it was upper lip zipped up

I’d get embarrassed when she was dancing to her 45s
Coming home from school, getting mortified
She was having fun in the way that she knew how
Cats in the cradle, breaking new ground
The day I learned she didn’t have every answer
Was devastating, she was invincible, the dancer
she was strong so the outside couldn’t hurt us
Watching every cent spent, on every purchase

Hoping to be somewhere closer to home
Tear stained cheeks, a melancholy one soaked to the bone
Prone to grope for the phone when life was a bit much
But in front of sons it was upper lip zipped up
Track Name: Sharper Than Knives
I’m here to speak volumes past decibel measures
you won’t hear me shouting about the lessers and stressors
But this situation needs be properly addressed
Zip code, ripped shows instead of property of rep
Got to be in step, making music, friends then having fun
Or Watch conflict ramp up until a stabbing comes
Look, None of us here are raking in the monster bucks
So why do we do it? Love of the music, trust
Different paths to the same goal but some cast stones
A green eyed bandit standing in the blast zone
And that gnome is making a mess at the midwive’s
Trying to give birth to a scene, but then the fists fly
The baby’s dropped on its head as the parents argue
Too busy pointing fingers to watch the kid starve, blue
Now that little skeleton's paraded by one side
And some guys are left tongue tied, and I ask "why?"

They’ll wish you well until you succeed
And then the winds change, seems strange but it’s truth indeed
Used to be supportive, before your tracks got props
And now it’s bickering, everyday non stop

Grudges are getting mistaken for collector’s items
Bereft of guidance, left awaiting on a stress reliance
An edifying set of blinders
Bust a war parading in the festive guidance
must abort the wretched test of tyrants
Never mind the best advice is free, everything is paid for
Incestuous rape occurs and hate scores
I pace floors, wearing crooked ovals into the carpets
The happy stay quiet, malcontents spit in the darkness
A bitter bit of the carcass, hearkening back to golden ages
But now everybody raps, some patrol the stages
Old and gray with soul to spray or young and upcoming
Bystanders fester, envy is their pus running
Backhanded compliments their stock and trade, locked away
What got props a week back is getting mocked today
I’ve got to say those anchors grow rusty and then the boats drift
sliding scales of short term memory making dopeness

They’ll wish you well until you succeed
And then the winds change, seems strange but it’s truth indeed
Used to be supportive, before your tracks got props
And now it’s bickering, everyday non stop

Shreds of old beef displayed in the butcher windows
Proof of their existence, sitting in the grim rows
the meat attracts flies, grows moldy and stays there
No need to rap wise, go on selling those hate wares
Perpetuating a rotten corpse for a reason without reason
Time for the cleansing, devout season
heads seeking nutrients find the food and eat it up
Infected by maggots a'turning in their weakened guts
A neat elitist club, accidental flea freezes, they beat it up
Freestyles never free enough, so better leagues erupt
Pedigree is such, befriending me for what?
Imagining their enemies adjust instead of making dope tracks
Booking shows that are so packed new kids mingle with old cats
I’m talking soul claps, no prozac, low and high budget clothed cats
both flow, packed with a passion

They’ll wish you well until you succeed
And then the winds change, seems strange but it’s truth indeed
Used to be supportive, before your tracks got props
And now it’s bickering, everyday non stop
Track Name: The Tortoise Hustle
Cause they’re prone to say things which I don’t believe
And I’m known to say things that they won’t repeat
So I guess we’re even in a childish kind of way
Both deaf with conviction-listen

There's a stack of looseleaf with batches of thoughts
A couple lines here, a half verse there and I’m lost
It’s another day, I'm just combing through the pieces
The tortoise hustle continues


Loving the shirt but they hate the struggle
Faking a couple scrapes, maybe even graze a knuckle
Quick to praise the maze of rubble left behind
Investing in both sides, the death deaf and blind
with a dose of dumb keeping Tweedle Dee satisfied
The boy grows up, pat on the back, ‘attaguy’
Rebellion with a trust fund and a pair of Birkenstocks
Cause Doc Martens got played out, a circus plot
Rolling smokes in the way of the hepster
Urban Outfitters gift bag cause it’s fresher
Nonchalantly playing with a zippo, until you notice
And then nothing but mumbled nothings about its dopeness
Telling its backstory like David Mamet made it
Name dropping galore, the notes are annotated
I can’t say "that’s cool" pretending to play the game
They stay the same like the Ruler's voice and Dana Dane’s


There's a stack of looseleaf with batches of thoughts
A couple lines here, a half verse there and I’m lost
It’s another day, I'm just combing through the pieces
The tortoise hustle continues

I’m waiting to win the lotto with that ticket I never purchase
Bringing heart to the beat, speak stronger than a stack of curses
The laughter urges me to work harder, writing to beats
Empty 40s on the side of the street
All kinds of disease, better believe Psychiatrists eat
Homeless shelter cats in the library stay warm
From the guy who says hello twice like his record stays skipped
To the other smokers through the ashtrays they sift
traces of the virus, plasma clinic donors
Methadone clinic visitors, thin in skin that’s older
Whose rich veins get adose of homeless man’s blood?
Probably not that guy getting taken away in handcuffs
It’s flood season and soon enough the dams bust
I walk around aimless, wonder who I can trust
Hearing another big timer and his plans rust
Too much sitting around, it’s high time to stand up

There's a stack of looseleaf with batches of thoughts
A couple lines here, a half verse there and I’m lost
It’s another day, I'm just combing through the pieces
The tortoise hustle continues

I’m not looking to be a rainman-king of a counterculture
I’ll drop a toothpick reference and spit a round of sulfer
Giving props to those who motivated me the best I can
Standing my ground while the rest just ran
Reckless, consecutive messages set adrift quick
Text perfectionist, verses merge in a mission
superb words weighed against the heart of an angel
Startled betrayal, layered with an partisan art that is fatal
Tales spun, planes crash, lungs weigh a ton, train tracks
Carry freight in 95 cars, brains wracked
Cause I counted them while sitting in park
Glorious stories from explorers who didn’t embark
Omnipotent art of the storyline, incessant and stark
Listeners run with their heads afire, I fed them a spark
Regiments, scarred, it's never been hard to sever several
But the path of least resistance's often less than ethical

There's a stack of looseleaf with batches of thoughts
A couple lines here, a half verse there and I’m lost
It’s another day, I'm just combing through the pieces
The tortoise hustle continues
Track Name: 32106
That night at C-Street I rocked a show and we were introduced
You don’t remember it though, it could have been a ruse
And now in interviews your name comes up in random places
A plan unstated, they say San is whipped, but I can’t escape it
Screw it, I’m happy for the first time in I can’t remember
Tell you this much, I'm glad I didn’t see your plan to enter
Just watching you sleep and hearing the way that you breathe
Is amazing to me, so now over beats I make the decree
Your laughter’s medicine, now I’m more prone to laugh
Not to mention actually smile when in a photograph
Last night, watching you sitting on the couch
Thinking this is the woman for the rest of my life, now
A testament I found, no resting on high ground, there’s more to discover
I can’t record with stutter, I’ve got to make it clear I LOVE YOU
Thinking about us has my happy eyes catching major tears…because

It’s the plans we make that someday we’re going to get to
Knowing they’ll happen in due time and yes you
Deserve respect due for infinite patience
The time you closed in for a kiss and I was thinking evasive
Walking home feeling like a damn fool a man who
was too afraid to reach out and connect, but now that you’re next
It’s ancient history, I’m found at your rest
And that place with a willy wonka paintjob is now home
A proud zone of disbelief, a bed that we both bought
No more futons and sore necks which we both caught
I can’t help but think when I had to get my daily dose
You with no makeup, so beautiful in a way we chose
And that time downtown, upon the granite circle
Just across from the Dash In, I was a man unnervous
To feel at peace with someone I was so attracted to
Just hoping you'd feel the same, as the plans expand anew…because

Days shift, experiences bleed into each other
Seeking who, each other, recent moves, reach approved, a shudder
A broken breath, sometimes overslept, closer kept
One line on a path of no regrets
Used to be enough to be think, but now I’ve got to be around
A new addiction, my muse of living seen aloud
Don’t need the ground for much more than long walks
Raindrops gather on your glasses, our moms talk
A song wrought from your carefully laid plans
That seemed like random occurances wherever you’d stand
One of the benefits of being an actress, you never blushed
I say hello to the memory of your crush
You went to 6 stores to find my brand of toothpicks
A beautiful and determined woman, so let the truth stick
I didn’t really miss you that much 'til you came back
Then life felt better…back on a sane track
Track Name: Shiny
Vindictive, the sickness it hits with the quickness
And it’s just disgusting this lusting of riches
Which is an apt welcome, welcome to this world, come on down
Now this is Obese America, where more is never enough
FHM, Maxim, maximum busts, and Stuff
Duff, no longer a beer, but an underage fantasy
Britney’s over the hill, don’t get panicky
man if we put this little manatee on a diet plan
She’ll be the next firebrand, type messiah scam
Ruling a secret pedophile land with an iron hand
Leon the professional, say you won’t, I bet you will
Find her attractive, gold digging minor and actress
With the mind of a mattress, fresh as spring, all innocent
Pushing products with Lolita the synonym
Lindsey Lohan, a flimsy coke habit from a broke plan


It’s the cyclical nature making the sick smarter
Who cares about Alicia Silverstone when puberty hit harder?
A nixed artist, varnished, underaged vargas,
Wispy Disney starlet, risky business with a prissy little smarm
it’s harmless
fun and games, child’s play with grown up customers
Trusted perks and thus disgust is blurred, you must’ve heard
The Olsen twins, talking about centerfolds and such
When they’re old enough, barely legal, evil rolling up
Who sold the smut, the same who profit, you got it
And you wonder how some young girls get neurotic
Vomit on the toilet seat, Hubba Bubba mixed with bile
And the best word to apply is denial
It’s the latest style, fashion, fad and must have
Keeping up with the joneses, eyeliner like a musk rat
And all the good news, I wouldn’t trust that
You wonder what she did when she cut class, just ask


Catholic school girls, Asian fetishes and drive thrus
Businessmen with brochures, trips flying Sky Blue
Tummy tucks, thighs bruised, crows feet fly true
Don’t speak, glide through
From a nation that is proud to devour its young
I finger paint hearts in hues of a Howard alum
I’m not trying to be negative, just saying what I notice
And most kids are attacked to buy and it’s ferocious
Don’t just sit there, transfixed as your kid is raised
By the TV set, set minute limits in the days
it’s not my business, but my tongue is scarred enough
No more holding back, time for truth, start it up
Scalpels carving up skin to try and rediscover youth
Strung out on botox shots, another ruse
And what a move, sayshaying to her last night in hell
Chasing dollar dreams giving birth to the clientele
Track Name: Needful Things
The river driven rhythm I'm delivering will rivet them
defense is stifling, disciple with the discipline
laundry's undone, I've got to run
catch up to thoughts on the tip of my tongue
rapping is raw, wicked vivid, you're numb
tapping your jaw, scissor kick of the gum
come get within the span of my soundwave smackdown
act out fantasies, all panicky, you're wack now
fat sounds thinning every thug dream blood stream
cash cow, bleed it to the bank, what it must mean
plus we must be better than the average
at a higher standard when the banter is established
Pabst Blue Ribbon and a tattoo'd kitten
with a snafu hidden in the back, stat
ask who hit it with a fast food gimmick
and a mask, true fitted is it fact, that
guy with a one of a kind mind designed this
vibes with the wonderous hi-fi surprises
hide in a number of tie dyes, you're spineless
defining divine intertwined with a crisis
I'm standing here on my own two
rime cannon, fear in a phone booth
no need to change, I proceed deranged
for foes meet the grave and don't speak for days
provoke beef and blaze with no teeth, amazed
nosebleed parades for Bo Peep brigades
I'm grazing Grey's Anatomy and making it red
from day to day I'm made at me with vacant regret
flavor tasted is death so now I'm looking for the mouthwash
done everything I can here but count off
1, 2, 3 it's a song
Fort Wayne Hip-Hop representing a bond
Track Name: Taken
Ill-the definition of, it’s twisted sick and rough
Wicked with enough guff to rip an insipid grip of schmucks
Plus busting up the guts of ducks swearing that their man’s fresher
Expensive gear but open mouths and it’s all Fran Drescher
Congratulations, to the latest greatest next to be forgotten man
better spend that high interest loan wisely
my microphone timing might condone your bone breakage
I'm not content to pose mean a styrofoam sadist
I'm wild in zones made with breakbeats that grace streets
the abrasive breed breathes a masterpiece to slay creeps
pretend to wager but you know that's money down the drain
mumble mouth mush macks on the dial all sound the same
my reign's police brutality-it'll never cease to pour
the megatron conquistador beast in a feast of war
wreaks havoc from eastern shore boards to westerly spots
hot now, but you're next to be dropped, stop

when I started rapping, I did so as a dark assassin
taking a carcass, carve it marvelous with heart and passion, patched in
coming out of the sound booth with Kashal-Tee flipping
vowing to keep ripping the wack rappers while the beat's kicking
My heart was starving but my craftsmanship was sorely lacking
so I locked the pen in solitary, core reaction
the more music made the less I enjoy rap
and I still wish the DOC would get his voice back
Indiana Jones in the tomb, I've seen enough snakes
and enough people claiming roughness with a tough face
I'm here to touch base, moving onward trust fate
no PR bust acting up on the such date
I don’t have record advances to pay for legal costs
I make songs as life preservers for the people, lost
Shouting out the heads fiending for the needle’s drop
Bound a take an L the day a donut goes and eats a cop

back when I was 8 years old, the rain started falling
so I told God to make it stop with the darkness calling
sure enough, the clouds parted and I kept playing
a child with a king's arrogance, but less patient
the gestation of powertrip magnified
resulting in the vagabond-minded bragging guy
fish and chip shop, bag of fries, sated face
potato cakes, 808s in a state of grace
back in '86, I first heard the songs play
Morris Minor & the Majors' Stutter Rap my entree
walked to K-Mart and bought the 7" with my allowance
I spun the record forever, just watching time devoured
Head nodding, before my soul and mind had soured
looking back, it prolly was my finest hour
It used to be about dope, but now it’s rife with cowards
Got me thinking about the rifle scopes and Eifel towers

I make loose leaf lose sleep daily
Writing to the sound of a thousand trees wailing

I couldn't figure out how records made that strange sound
I'd put the speakers next to my ears and just lay down
Music was my therapy of sorts, alienated
Call me slightly nuts, maybe escapist
The kid with his trachea traded for an insane machine
That would spit raps at the wick wack in their Mabelline
The Flavor Unit, before Channel Live became wack
Black Sheep number nine, goosebumps, the train track
what's success? I asked myself the definition
is it enough to have fun if they never listen?
or is it sheep using my words for their repetition
and it's enough to have fun, let them never listen
I’m back to win with the certified authentic
El Keter banging out the track, it’s the raw blended
The stupendous lieutenant with two tenants, subdued Lenin
The tomb’s spinning, with doom grinning in blue denim
Track Name: Sing it Backwards (feat. RhymeWise37)
Sankofa

Broadcasting live from the hi-fi burning heaven
I’m Sankofa, and I’m RhymeWise37
Step into the arena, tibia fibula snap, pity the wack
Take your little pride, yeah man I‘ll fiddle with that
Giving it back similar to Glide and Pringlz
I’d rather not be a focal point, but I’ll try to mingle
Wing Council meetings to the beatings weaklings are receiving
Grieving fanbases, bleeding pamphlets, retreating
Speeding away from the epicenter, away from the next contenders
rep wrenchers, steel trap minds, stretched tempers
So best remember, your next adventure better be far away
Before you spark a case of instant heart decay
Welcome to your darkest day, sing with the ghost of Marvin Gaye
Bring your best boast and get roasted you and your mark brigade
I’m blessing flows to carve the beat
the F the O the R the T
I’m blessing the flow to be carving the beat
For The F and the O and the R and the T

The F, the W, H-H
next to trouble you, may day
Who? Wise37
What? Mic Wrecking
Who? Sankofa
What? Game over

RhymeWise37

On this mic, I'm a wizard wordplay warlock what have you
with a Medusa stare that's turning grown men to statues
You stiff necked MCs better break or get Krush Grooved
my Wild Style warfare beats your street talk, so just move
Your test tube offerings can't touch the organic
ain't nothing forced or fake, with Wise it's raw talent
I don't follow trends or jump on bandwagons
That's more than I can say for half you cats rapping
Jumping from trend to trend in an effort to extend their life expectancy
seems like that's what you expect from me
But nah, this kid treads a different path
When I look at half these acts, I see a bunch of copycats
Ay, who's your favorite rapper? You don't even got to ask
They mimic them so close they might as well rock a mask
Just like it's Halloween, so now I'm hollering
On all you crews of fools and your practice of following
yessir

The F, the W, H-H
next to trouble you, may day
Who? Wise37
What? Mic Wrecking
Who? Sankofa
What? Game over

Sankofa

It’s the magnificent mic manglers slanging another banging verse
I’m hoping it hurts, ready set to open a hearse provoking the worst
Choking you smurfs until you’re white in the face, rime titan amazed
Biding the days until my crimson‘s carbonation, hearts a'racing

RhymeWise37

Start defacing spark the laser, sharpening razors, marking the majors
feel the bark of the taser, leave the bodies under the tarp for later
Vader holdin a saber kid. I'm blazin', launchin' the flavor spit
Rip as raw as it gets, targets are hit, leaving your carcasses split

Sankofa

The starving will quit their barnum carnival bid for stardom lickety split
The wicked equipped with imminent disses, your midget he must have missed it
So grip the rust and rip it, mister blister transistors and your man’s sister
Hands twisted, the mystic mist advanced scripture

RhymeWise37

Madman's temper, making your fam and fans whimper
something you cant figure. Bite and youll be wearing a pair of bad dentures
adventures of the ruggedest two, ripping a hole in you fools
Stop. It's over you're through, nothing to do a waste of effort... you lose

The F, the W, H-H
next to trouble you, may day
Who? Wise37
What? Mic Wrecking
Who? Sankofa
What? Game over
Track Name: The Zoom Zip
Act a jerk, you're getting smacked for sure
It's El Keter in the back with a track, superb
and Sankofa with a rap to learn, clap your hands.
Taking it way back to Dapper Dan.

You might find something worth a listen right here
right now, but if you don't try, you'll never find out.
Lie down, taking a load off. making your woes stop.
Oakland to Beantown-A's to the Bosox
Flow locked? No question I'm testing most thought.
Perfection is destined, I'm ready to go off at any given moment
The frozen are arisen with a dose of focus
Delivering the opus, spitting a cyclone
I shiver the light bones and didn’t invite clones
Lip-zip it and fly home, kid it is sick
Minimum I wrote, envision the bliss
With a telescope attached to the dopest rap
Don’t need a skeleton, cause Vogue is wack
Proceed to scatter facts in the mode of fat
Slow speaking data cats grin and grow, with that

Act a jerk, you're getting smacked for sure
It's El Keter in the back with a track, superb
and Sankofa with a rap to learn, clap your hands
Taking it way back to Dapper Dan.

Everything I rime’s huge, you, are minute
An amoeba in a fly soup could hide you
Nothing but your brittle pride bruised at high noon
So pucker up and kiss the fist of a wry groove
I provide gruesome ways to use a phrase
crews are ablaze in blues for days
They're leeding ooze in trays at the triage spot
Mighty Mi beats go wack when Mr. Eon talks
Beyond props, the phenom rocks from old age
Shell changes but still the soul stays
Melt faces when I wield the penmanship
Intending to rip this, pretenders ended quick
Ten are tentative, so I keep at it
Wreak havoc, and the beat is magic
An elite status courtesy of el Keter
so bow down and spell better punk

Act a jerk, you're getting smacked for sure
It's El Keter in the back with a track, superb
and Sankofa with a rap to learn, clap your hands
Taking it way back to Dapper Dan.

I must become one with the rusted drum
I'd rather be a fool than one who trusted none
Not mistaken for rappers ready to buck a gun
nun dusted tongues stung when I bust a lung
scum-sucking dust, you Ruxpins suck word to buxom sluts
Sankofa with the custom stuff, plus
Keter takes the breaks and busts them up righteous
Been a long time since songs had such guidance
All that plus midas touch ups in the dark room
Scar goons rapping like they’re living in a cartoon
Foreclose on their parfum and wardrobes
Rock more shows, maybe rent a tour boat
No bus cause Greyhound sucks, yep
Don’t cuss but blaze nouns tough, trek
Back and forth but my home zone is Fort Wayne
My best teacher was Mrs. Rhodes, 4th grade

Act a jerk, you're getting smacked for sure
It's El Keter in the back with a track, superb
and Sankofa with a rap to learn, clap your hands
Taking it way back to Dapper Dan.
Track Name: Creasy
Still heating up after all of these years
success and i'm calling it weird, bald with a beard
scalding the ears of those cool enough to show the support
Indiana rep…betrothed to the Fort
soaked to the orbs with sweat after enough live show
wanted to burn it down…didn't need to be a pyro
eyes closed, the set done...crowd chanting my name
never thought i'd make it, man it's insane
a phantom aflame, mechanical brain is clicking fast
Kicking raps and it's humbling being this at last
isn't that what i dreamt about down in the basement
locked in the bathroom for hours, practicing, pacing
now it's back to the basics, a dope beat and some words
Seems just as I calm down, there's no ceasing the urge
releasing the merged murder fervor, leaping to surge
indeed it's absurd, in league with the beat, it’s superb

I can’t deny it, no matter how I try kid
on stage riots, otherwise quiet

fans repeating a verse, man I bleed for the thirst
not needing to curse, these words impeach legions, observe
unfeasible first and now conquered in the aftermath
content with life, like i don't even have to rap
but half of that is disbelief, I'm still around ripping beats
simply combined with Keter on a sickened symphony
the Tortoise Hustle moves forth and it's into me
complicated words mash part DaVinci industry
my limbs are weak, but still my heart demands more
so i'm typing down bloodwork, leaving hands sore
i don't need to plan war, but sometimes it's fun to
build myself another wall i know i'm going to run through
a one two...that's my catalyst, no fragile additives
just me, formerly invisible new statuses
Feeling strange when the folks call me by my rap name
so I say I'm Stephen and I'm glad that they came

I can’t deny it, no matter how I try kid
on stage riots, otherwise quiet

this is for the people who believed in me more than I
and that there's a long list, so form a line
you were there when everything was said and done
and if the criticism's due, I know you will let it come
I can trust the truth and do my damndest to improve
a man in the booth, examining the muse...San is in the groove
I don't waste energy to either love or hate a critic
I work words to beats in the hopes you will say you dig it
and if not, so be, the journey doesn't cease
long as the pen moves and my soul is still loving beats
give my head some room to breathe that's recovery
rap tracks, rebuttals, beef, stashed facts the rubble bleeds
upstairs our firetrap apartment, planning new tracks
as the faucet leaks, the missing link grew back
A fan for the ages, hoping to be earning dap
Been at this since '98, there’s no turning back

I can’t deny it, no matter how I try kid
on stage riots, otherwise quiet