Live Sessions: “Easy Rider Freestyle”

Welcome to another episode of Live Sessions! This time I’m just spitting a random rhyme I did over Action Bronson’s ‘Easy Rider. Lyrics below:

Y’all don’t wanna see me when I’m in a good mood
Inspired, got the fire inside of my belly, throw‘em up, throw’em up
Bulimic emcees couldn’t stomach me
I take it back in time, had you rocking in your dungarees
Dummy, you’re a mannequin, I’m rambling, my stamina
Is doubled up, my uppercuts will leave you doubled up
On the ropes like a double dutch,
Goddamn! I’m gassed like a Dutch oven
Shoving muh fuckers to the side like a wiper blade
That’s how I stop your reign fall spitting so hard
Venom dripping, now you know how a viper’s made
No dodging, I’m free falling, the beat’s calling me
Apollo Creed, when I rock an emcee
My lines is over the top but never expendable I got
Metaphors for days
A verbal force, raw elemental on the stage, started with the name
Raz turned to prophet turned to soulknowledge
It wasn’t till I left college I became themindofdre
Now I’m on a higher plane
Or better yet I ride the soul train
Don C sipping Don P listening to Killa Army
Tatted on my arm is the symbol of truth
Roots go deep as Kunta Kente in a grave
But I’ll never be a slave or a follower, social media holla
Back vertebrae, click like if you heard of me psych
I’m seeing beyond sight, Panthro got a hold of the sword of omen
Just to get a third eye in the moment
Spoken like a true G
Bougie with my food, but at my heart I’m still a Fugee
Killing me softly, no fuck it, get off me
I’m on fire, you try me, even my lines lie
Stop drop and roll another joint
Breathe it in, breathe it in, be the sin
Breeze on the skin, look below the surface of my epidermis
Past the nervous system, pass the acid tablet bastard
Faster give it to me faster, now I’m blasting off
Rap is just practice
My thoughts are graduated toss the caps with the tassels off

Previously: Change

Live Sessions: “Change”

Alright, so other than a couple posts here and there, this is something new for my blog. I’m throwing on my hip hop hat and coming to you as themindofdre for this one. Over the last couple years, I feel like I hit my stride when it comes to writing lyrics. Anyway, Live Sessions is a way for me to share some of my music without the hassle of going to the studio to recording something a bit more perfected. That said, my singing is definitely not perfected, but I’m making progress (hopefully). Lyrics Below!

Join together put your hands up
It’s time to stand up
It’s time to child, woman and man up
Cause when we stand up
Maybe we’ll make a change
Unless y’all want to stay the same
Modern day slavery
To the dollar, holla y’all
Outta your goddamn mind
If you think I’mma sit back
And watch inequality
No I’mma be, Muhammad Ali
Saying fuck the mainstream, hey
Say I only want peace, hey
Can we all get a piece, hey
Politicians, do you really care what we say


Middle fingers up, say fuck the mainstream
Fuck the media, fuck the bullshit they be feeding you
On a daily basis
Turn a good man to a racist
Where’s Wallace? Caught in the projects
Oh god it’s
Not 5-0, but a fucked up system, oh no hear I go
Better tell your kids to listen, this is a pivotal time
Who got a criminal mind? Never the pitiful, gotta get a better view I’m
Gonna look right past it bastards I be the righteous pastor laughing at the fact
That not a mother fucking thing could ever hold me back
Cause I got too much soul for all your power and gold
I pour my golden shower in the morning, cause I know
Who’s really profiting, claiming that they got the answer, but they never stopping it
Use your logic, cause the problem’s at the top the food chain
Struggling for a crumb under the table
Rats in the trap, hold a gun to the navel
Brap! Shoot’em in the back
Now who’s the enemy? Bap brap bap brap bap!
We’re living in a trap, we’re living in a trap
Man, that’s a fact
Middle fingers up, say fuck that
Looking for change like a Laundromat
Why?…. Do we believe… In a system deceived… things will never changed
Just look at the face of history, wait
All we need is a question, is there a better way?
Instead of trying to train a better slave

Inspiration 101: Chance the Rapper

Photo Credit: Spin
Photo Credit: Spin

Some time ago, I remember hearing of some kid from Chicago going by the name Chance the Rapper.

I also remember thinking that his name is fairly self-explanatory. I appreciate that.

As a music aficionado who delves deep into hip hop, I figured I’d give him a shot despite my waning interest in the genre. I gave a half-hearted listen to one of his songs back in 2013 (sadly, I can’t remember which) and I was immediately turned off by Chance’s kinda-sorta off-key voice.

It was March of 2014 when I finally decided to give the Chicago-bred emcee another listen. It was all due to stumbling across his video for “Juice,” an infectious, care-free tune sprinkled with psychedelic references.

Well, this was right up my alley! I was (and still am) at a place in my life where I’m a sucker for feel-good music. I’m not talking about some syrupy sweet, bubblegum pop music. No way. I’m talking about music that makes you feel light.

If that makes any sense.

With a more open mind and a set of open ears, I dove into his two available mixtapes. What I discovered was an eccentric young artist with a bit of genius bubbling underneath the surface of his limited musical offerings. I got the same feeling from him that I got from Kanye West when I first heard the beats he produced for Talib Kweli back on his album Quality. This wasn’t just a rapper. This was an artist.

I swear, there’s something in the water in Chicago.

Strangely enough, the rapper known as Chance seems to have a clarity that Kanye lacks. Where Kanye is always fighting for respect and acknowledgement, Chance the Rapper feels more freeform and willing to explore both himself and music. He plays with lyrical wizardry, cadence, and melody, tiptoeing deftly from one to another. Sure, he has his hiccups, but other than Kendrick Lamar, he’s the most exciting thing in hip hop in my opinion.

I never thought one person could inspire me musically to the degree Chance the Rapper has. The last time I was this inspired was probably (once again) the first time I discovered Kanye, questionable douchebaggery aside. I can, after all, separate the artist from the art as long as there are no Stephen Collins-style shenanigans afoot.

After listening to Chance and some other non-hip hop acts like Broken Bells, I rethought how I was making music. I began toying with singing more (I’m not a great singer, but I have a tight range where I’m listenable), I explored deep, abstract topics, and my verses became less about a strict cadence and more about the flow of the song as a whole.

Anyway, I know Chance’s offering aren’t for everyone. As a matter of fact, my fiancé hates his voice and though I no longer agree with that sentiment, I also understand that particular cup of tea isn’t her ideal. Still, give the guy a chance…

Har, har, har

…and listen to what he’s putting out there. He’s been releasing some songs with The Social Experiment via Soundcloud, but I REALLY recommend his mixtape, Acid Rap. There’s some quality work there. And who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired too.

Acid Rap:
10 Day:

Peace out, party people.

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 33 – Just a Little Verse I Wrote

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 33 - Just a Little Verse I Wrote

Today’s a different kind of podcast; I’m just performing a verse that I wrote a couple years back. Can a brotha get six minutes of your time? Six minutes! Anyway, I have it on YouTube also if you want to check it out. Enjoy! (lyrics below)

Run time: 6:00

Download Here | iTunes | RSS Feed

Previously: Episode 32 – The Beauty of Smiling, the Ugliness of Unspoken Abuse, and the Miracle of Now

I’m rising from the gutter mother fuckers
A cut above’em like Jason who’s hunting your former lover
Who’s hiding under the covers, nothing will even faze him
The faces he’s seen chasing some semblance of a dream
Me, the mind of, kind of an animal
Always seeking some beef, just check it inside my mandible
Bone structure will damage you, Amadau, I don’t give a fuck
Take eight of my fingers, and I will gladly give’em up
Point the remaining ones at everybody I hated
And even some loved ones claiming that I’m the greatest
But I’m not, I’m just another grain of sand, in an hour glass
Steadily falling and waiting for my time to pass
Looking around at the structures in our society
Gang rivalries eyeing me, poachers hunting for ivory
Preachers preaching their piety, baby don’t fucking lie to me
Just because I’m smoking don’t really mean I’m too high to see
Past the looking glass, past a pretty face grinning and a fat ass
Past a president who’s claiming that he’s not the first class like an X-men prequel
Polls are steady dropping like charges on Beanie Siegel
I came to see the truth just a year ago
Open my third eye seeing all of the miracles
We’re destroying for money, it’s something that we created
Like Jesus, you don’t believe it, so why are they both saviors
One is in the long term, the other in the shorter one
Fight for your right to have them so either way you bought a gun
Now I don’t really hate on any belief – system
As long as you aint hating on mine, try to make me listen
To bible verses and passages, sadomasochist getting mad at this
You bastards is calculating the averages
I’m going to hell. Maybe I am
But the planet’s coming with me so all of us say god damn
7 billion people on a little rock
Only seven matter to me, that’s where the counting stops
Cause in seventy years, well after my coffin drops
7 billion people won’t even mention my name, not
Even a memory for the lyrics and melodies
Cause my spirit finally lifted, you dig it, set free
From the shackles, death is another part of life
Like living is part of death, and that’s the circle of…
Too easy, get a better metaphor
To let them head to Armageddon, I’m ready to set it off
No Jada Pinkett, or bitches sticking a bank vault
Take it laying down, so maybe it’s all the plank’s fault
Or we can blame it on video games, R rated movies
And physical pain, broads making doobies
Submitting to reefer madness, wrap it Glad bags
Part the whole reason our people are so savage
That’s what the reporters want you to think
They’re in bed with politicians and corporations throw in the kitchen sink
While shitting on the mass-es
With subliminal messages passing us by, like women running Pharcyde
We all right, it’s all wrong
Society is starting on its swan song
So mother fucker just wait a doggone minute
I’m fitting to kill’em all like villains gripping a sawed-off
Blasting, harassing all of status quo
Quoting Nikki, Ricky Ro, slip another Mickey
In the drinks of the ghetto, gett’em from the kitchen sink
Mix it making sugar water, now you’re belly’s on the brink
Of needing a needle, Diabetes, hypertension, be the seeds of the evil
Menu, can I get it super sized?
And another order of a chili mozzarella
Pizza chicken finger super duper loaded double trouble fries
Get it for a dollar, feed it to your offspring
Often, coughing, while needing to catch a breath
Did it because a clown in a magical talking box
Started talking all of this bull about his burgers be the best
It’s so ridiculous how our will is bending faster than a torn ligament
Figments of my imagination said that my pigment didn’t matter
Reality said it did
Ask me about it later, no fuck it, I plead the 5th
Shit, in this day and age this is what we do
Drink a brew or a mountain dew, Call of Duty too
Denying the truth, why are we even looking for proof
Instead we’re offing each other while claiming we got the juice
Twelve steps later we got addicted to television
Shows, saying they’re real, when really they’re a joke
Mimic the biggest frauds living, willing to get a job shilling
To all y’all who isn’t really a pawn spilling blood
For his master, card discovering all
Americans expressing their thoughts on the cause of
Credit indebted, regretting the betting of stocks
Regression recession pressure don’t lessen the only drop
Is our grip on the road of this slippery slope
Hope falling to the wayside, condemning all the gay pride
Dope in the vein, why, killing communities, no joke
Humans and humanity is borderline insanity
Whenever spoken together, my glass is half filled
Even though we get in our own way or stand still
Heroes emerging with purpose and vision saving
Us all, you say it’s Satan, I’m quoting the words of Carl Sagan
Everything we know and everything we’ve ever been
Every soldier, killer, king, every story mentioning
Captured within the lens of a telescope shot
Are the 7 billion people on a pale blue dot

Artist of the Week: Asher Roth

Asher Roth

So I want to start profiling talented people of which I’m a fan. I’m starting this with my “Artist of the Week” series.

Asher Roth made his entrance into the hip hop scene with his hit, “I Love College.” The ode to frat parties and college chicks was a success, but in some ways it pigeonholed this incredibly talented artist.

After the release of his first album, Asleep in the Bread AisleRoth released a few mixtapes and EPs before debuting his second studio album, RetroHash. This album sees a much more mature Roth adventure into new territory over the production of Blended Babies. I’m not here to write a full review; just check it out for yourself! Below are three videos that sum up Asher Roth’s recent journey. They represent escape, ego death, and transformation respectively.

Peace out, party people.

Asher Roth feat. ZZ Ward “Parties at the Disco”

Asher Roth feat. Major Myjah “Last of the Flohicans”

Asher Roth “Pull It”