A Skeleton at a Typewriter

by Rabbi Darkside

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1.
Purity 02:05
2.
THE IDEA OF ME Give me a bum mood and a drum loop A studio to come to some confusion to undo A bass line to hum to A microphone to check 1-2 It’s like I lost track on a long path Recognize after it rains there is a soft patch And there’s mudslides after shitstorms That’s why we build a home where we can get warm Yo the rents high but the view’s ace Paying dues and the cost of living proves great Home is heart turf and it’s hard work It’s car parts on the armoire But it’s a large perk When your person is the person That you say good night to last and good morning to first I know I could do worse I know I could be better Didn’t know if I would question I know I want it forever Conflicting like cliques in Heathers Overlooking gifts and treasures and the genesis embers It was a September and my temperament was semper contemplative and my pen was moving like my records 18 months later we moving in together Growing pains are thicke but the commitment is the measure Sometimes when it gets tough I wonder if you’re happy Do you see me as I am or only see I’m lacking THE IDEA OF ME It’s a construct concave maybe about grown age Gold plate cold case vision of a soul mate Hard luck hard love close shaves ghost dates Co-pays start-ups investing for the heart’s fuck That plus karma Feeds into a vision Of the kind of person Who you dream of knitting That leaves me in stitches Hanging on by a thread Wondering what I did while trying to be my best And wonder if it’s my worldview my life path my upbringing Nights right beside you when I can feel my gut singing Wonder if it’s actions pinging parts Wonder if it’s assuming something to feed something dark Maybe about roles derived from parental modes Or growing up in the South and growing up in New York Or wishing that things were different when we’re both feeling distant Taking time to sit with intent talk and listen Maybe about exes and the scars that they left Or maybe about checklists red flags and sex It could just be stress If I couldn’t be a mess I can put it in a song but we can’t put it to rest Only have one thing to confess I’m afraid I’m not enough or just not what you expect THE IDEA OF ME
3.
Sacred Space 04:07
Flipping through stories and taking a poll I’m taking a break cause it’s taking a toll Going outside and I’m taking a stroll A break in the clouds breaking the mold Playing in leaves revenue streams Passive as skis raking in dough Gravity deems what’s feeling high Is gonna find it’s way to the low Mountain chateaux valley Bordeaux Pres de La Garonne jusqu’a Lyon Studies are elemental Journals are my mementos Journeys are mind openers Seeing the signs every turn A beacon to peek in on what is unique When we be and we speak Don’t mean bespoke don’t mean couture Don’t get deterred Catching a curve kicked to the curb Back in the saddle like Steven Tyler Creating is tough when the future is odd We all online security search Serving a purpose is intentional The phone is a tool a tool is for work You act like a tool when the phone rule your world It was written in verse I miss the days of the chirp At least that was barely a burp Now it’s disturbing the peace when you live on the stream From a quiet place Emily Blunt Lemme be blunt maybe it’s moral There are new rules where’s the decorum Dua Lipa to P Isadora Respecting the silence is heaven to mortals Maybe you tweet bout protecting your aura While in your sleep checking the stories Full of yourself running out of storage We having a moment the phone can be dormant The movie theater Sacred space The library Sacred space When I exercise Sacred space When it’s bedtime Sacred space In my classroom Sacred space At the dinner table Sacred space When it’s date night Sacred space When the vibe’s high Sacred space Could be our saving grace I’m talking bout time They ways that i spend it The ways that i make it The ways that i waste it A day in the life and the life in the day Trying to maintain in the maze and the matrix 0 and 1 back to the basics Busy as bees simpler cadence Pen and pad day and a dream Lil vacation from notifications Feeling connected without a network Optimum essence here on the Spectrum Nothing is tethered light as feather Not fucking with Fios more telekinetic Tell paramedics some kind of confession That you were out hiking to see something special But had to make sure that the selfie was level Out on a ledge looking like daredevil Blind leading blind map on the dash Hand on app happen to crash Cop on the phone blocking the road Now getting home is a rabbit to task Bumble and Happn paying for credits Porno is free tickle your fetish Battery low adjusting your settings Facetiming friends in the morning at breakfast Sci Fi prophetic you pick the novel Library card or VR goggles Comic book movies or reading the Marvel Hide and go seek cause I’m losing my marbles It’s all about balance and taking control What you take to bed or you take in a dose We’re losing our self-awareness on the go While data is mined they can’t touch your soul Rewind like a rotary phone Maybe it’s me feeling old but I like to think that moments can sink into eternity we can hold The movie theater Sacred space The library Sacred space When I exercise Sacred space When it’s bedtime Sacred space In my classroom Sacred space At the dinner table Sacred space When it’s date night Sacred space When the vibe’s high Sacred space Could be our saving grace
4.
Everything is new Everything is old Way I take an Uber when I need to go home Way I hear a song I like on the radio Pull out the Shazam and goddamn it’s Post Malone Everything is new Everything is old Way I take an Uber when I need to go home Way I hear a song I like on the radio Pull out the Shazam and goddamn it’s Post Malone Muthafuck Post Malone We post Lin Manuel Miranda, right? Post Black Panther post musical theater Hamilton rappers Post market crashes post coastal disaster Post polar caps and post paying with cash Post Snapchat and post near everything People post preconceived notions And are predisposed to about anything That’s posted on a feed Posing then posting and posing then posting And posing then posting until they bleed We post post modern Post democratic myth Pre-post apoocalytic Proto-post capitalist Post Vine post Harambe Posting lies posting drama Post Dilla post Mac Miller Post Lebron and Obama We in the age of thirst trap and church rap and Chance Post shirts matching pants post herb rolled with hands Post aerial zoning rights and post 5 Pointz I’ll post a muthafuckin book I read to underline the joy It’s post post office fucking with stamps.com Chemical warfare everywhere post atomic bomb Rappers looking like Comic Con yo I ain’t mad at the come up I’m just over the hype that’s stoked by sponsored posts pseudo humble The human rubble akin to Game of Thrones the finale Content is at the helm artistry in the galley Post face tattoos and viral genre bending memes Post haste do me a favor don’t tag when you posting please Everything is new Everything is old Way I take an Uber when I need to go home Way I hear a song I like on the radio Pull out the Shazam and goddamn it’s Post Malone Everything is new Everything is old Way I take an Uber when I need to go home Way I hear a song I like on the radio Pull out the Shazam and goddamn it’s Post Malone Muthafuck Post Malone We def post A OK in the age of AOC Triple double averages after Durant OKC Kobe beef is overrated grass fed always in season Premonitions predilections predicated on scheming Pre-doctoral and post-graduate Part-time lecturing post professional presentations for credits Postal runs for pre-orders Merchandise pre-sorted Posit in my pre-cortex My posterior form is That off a thoroughbred I disappear for a bit like Earl Sweat in a fervor to get my mind out the nervousness In the midst of therapy with different therapists when I can Afford them Post-brainstorming pre-recording It’s process pressure posture presence Catharsis methods imposters preventers Preposterous and perplexing the populace and their pensions The possibilities endless we propped up against the fences I pop up and I get a pittance that doesn’t match with the penance Dem Yankees still posting pennants I grimace Knicks suck forever Zion was on the precipice paintings post-impressionists Picture what could have been now figure out how to reckon with What will be in the post the past stacks prerequisite Cleaning it up in post-production becomes preeminent Presidents have set precedents but now we post-diplomacy Premium on my people who post up power fists globally Everything is new Everything is old Way I take an Uber when I need to go home Way I hear a song I like on the radio Pull out the Shazam and goddamn it’s Post Malone Everything is new Everything is old Way I take an Uber when I need to go home Way I hear a song I like on the radio Pull out the Shazam and goddamn it’s Post Malone Muthafuck Post Malone
5.
Ayo white folks yeah I’m talking to you White folks looking uncomfortable in the room Ayo white folks yeah you part of the group We can stay part of the problem or start facing the truth Ayo white folks yeah I’m talking to you White folks looking uncomfortable in the room Ayo white folks yeah you part of the group We can stay part of the problem or start facing the truth There’s no apparent place to start With our parents in our hearts In your classrooms or your block On your word or in your thoughts What you learned and what you taught The myth of the melting pot If you a teacher or a cop or read Michele and Barack Take a moment to stop this apart from your kindness This is part of our blindness and at the crux of our bias Whiteness is a fact and a system built on the backs Of murder and pseudo-science and generations of wrath Prejudice is acquired inherited and displayed Discrimination is actions based on it to separate Racism fathered race to hold humans in their place Based on what the white man had to say who he enslaved Foundation of economy is racial ideology that built the 13 colonies And predicated policy Dedicated to segregating and perpetuating the feeling that keeps white people Thinking we better by nature Check yourself sure we’re all special flowers But privilege gives us power in what we don’t encounter For jobs you might compete profiled by the police Followed around while shopping denied a restaurant seat The world works in our favor you probably look like neighbors And probably can get a loan and probably can own some acres And see your likeness on TV in all of your favorite shows And get products that you need in every market and store The thing about thinking white is not having to think twice Quick to call the authorities without risking your life Able to trace your roots and taking that for granted Not knowing why I smack you when you say all lives matter Ayo white folks yeah I’m talking to you White folks looking uncomfortable in the room Ayo white folks yeah you part of the group We can stay part of the problem or start facing the truth Ayo white folks yeah I’m talking to you White folks looking uncomfortable in the room Ayo white folks yeah you part of the group We can stay part of the problem or start facing the truth I’m here to keep learning to step aside and shift power to folks of color And elevate women’s voices till anomalies are abundant More prone to run with mystics than with critics and pundits Till the movement of this radius sweeps across the circumference Trust I understand about growing up in struggle Been bullied for being jewish rocking hand me downs from my cousin And having ancestral history fraught with fleeing oppressors But none of that’s a reason to ignore the systems methods America the usual truth false testimonials Coups still move colonial school still quite draconian Punishments more severe for the black and brown and queer While Anglo Saxons cheer and have dogwhistling ears So this is a call to action to my white folks who’re combatting the The criminalizing of blackness and politicians who back it And cops who kill a black man then get promoted to captain Here a few ways you can take action Have difficult conversations with people that you care about See a racist in public call em out and stare em down Show up for collective actions slap a proud boy yapping Film police use your voice to speak have neighborly interactions Read intersectional books bell hooks and White Fragility Watch 13th ignore calls for rule of law and civility It’s our duty to smash the pattern not be bystanders If you down with that holler back Black Lives Matter Black Lives Matter Black Lives Matter Black Lives Matter Black Lives Matter
6.
Flashbacks 05:06
The winter New York sky Is an awful pretty place Till the clouds start turning colors And the city burst in flames Hot soup sitting on the stove Cold hearts after we’ve been traveling The windows full of flashbacks And the flashbacks trying to get us The winter New York sky Is an awful pretty place Till the clouds start turning colors And the city burst in flames Hot soup sitting on the stove Cold hearts after we’ve been traveling The windows full of flashbacks And the flashbacks trying to get us We both been in this town too damn long To not jump at the sight of explosion And we both been walking down this road quite alone To not be carrying cases of emotions So when December silence becomes Event Horizon And we’ve barely started unpacking our bags It’s visions of our twenties 9/11 memories And it’s wondering if this is an attack Before there was a feed to check and checks were waiting tables We were making our mistakes over the counter On the same streets the same spots and the same surroundings But never bounded into one another It took a sister making brother husband their to need discover The DJ to hold it down think to suggest it A couple hundred miles from the borough we both nest in Lay the mountain vista where we connected But underneath the Gotham sky we’ve been crossing paths Since before that September never forgetting I harken back to that day and the classroom I was teaching When the airwaves started filling up with screaming And somehow find comfort in the fact she was just across the river Watching the same harrowing scene from a distance There’s something in the scars that becomes that of the body And what’s body is for sure to carry on So when the Thursday clouds erupted the familiar sight was gutting And we leapt into each other’s arms The winter New York sky Is an awful pretty place Till the clouds start turning colors And the city burst in flames Hot soup sitting on the stove Cold hearts after we’ve been traveling The windows full of flashbacks And the flashbacks might just get us It’s a miracle we made it to our ages and these stages Then collided under Virgo constellations With all of our damaged spaces expectations and sensations Inhibitions information predilections predications Complications family traumas stuff with daddy stuff with momma Suffering then finding ways to get down to the bottom Maybe with a sponsor or maybe some sort of combo Of cosmic wondering poetry writing mic in a palm The point is it ends up one And bet that shit don’t happen with the wave of a magic wand Some days are like Babylon some days it’s the garden calm Don’t change that we till and build not a factory but a farm Growing something from nothing while the organic substance Takes root in the bed we nightly lay and love in And fuck if I’m not tough with all my personal struggles That teach me when I confront them In the meantime I can be bugging As I’m seeking and I’m sulking to be perceived that I’m bumming About us That couldn't be further from the truth But then something out of nothing becomes something That we’re stuck with from an adolescent umbrage or an auntie or an uncle And we’ve both got newish nephews and a slew of sleeping devils The way we work to slay them is amazing on a level That I never felt or saw Like that September morn When the memory is raw Tonight I could hold her heart

about

“Now I sit down at the desk ready to begin. Nothing but a skeleton at a typewriter.” -Billy Collins from “Purity”

At the beginning of 2019 I set my musical intentions around self-reliance. As Hip Hop tradition holds, I used the resources I had at my disposal. My loop station, my rituals, a dedicated studio space with a westward facing vista overlooking the entire 718 and 212. I made 40 beats in a month and words found traction in these compositions. Songs of necessity, of response, of reflection and of action. For me, a return to the minimalism of rap poetry and magnetic catharsis of creative control. Little did I know my life would turn upside during this process. The songs here capture a moment comprised of constant movement. Not unlike the flow of blood within the body’s casing. Liquid bars in a mason jar replete with cracks and leaks. Here is the emptied vessel and the dried ink of season’s change. The stones on the river bed. A skeleton at a typewriter.

credits

released December 13, 2019

All song written & produced by Rabbi Darkside (S. Sellers for Emcee Scrolls Music, ASCAP)
Additional production and percussion by Willie Green
Percussion on “Purity” by Doron Lev
Cello on “Flashbacks” by Tay Zaro
Beatbox and scratches by Rabbi Darkside

Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Willie Green at The GreenHouse Recording Co., Brooklyn, NY
Assistant Engineer: Sonca Nguyen

Cover photo and photo art by Tafadzwa M. Chiriga

This project was composed using the Boss RC505, a Casio CTK-2300 keyboard, Pro Tools, Technics 1200s with a Rane 57SL, my record collection, a notebook and my voice.

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about

Rabbi Darkside Brooklyn, New York

Sam Sellers (aka Rabbi Darkside). MC/DJ/Beatboxer/Educator. Chart-topping songwriter. Champion freestyle artist. University Hip Hop Professor. One of NYC’s favorite and most versatile DJs. Master improviser. Global Hip Hop Ambassador. Label CEO. Wedding officiant. From MTV to NYTimes, HipHopDx to Blue Note Jazz Fest you may have crossed his path. His new self-produced album dropped to start 2020. ... more

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