TLDLL LYRICS/CONTENT

GOTTA MAKE IT

[Perseverance doesn't look pretty. Sometimes it looks petty. Sometimes it looks like weakness. It always looks like finishing.]

 

I don’t want a faith that try to canonize Calvin

I don’t want no friend around that sanitize Malcom 

I don’t want you ever think I’m safe when you talk to me 

Imma be ok, just need some space and some coffee beans 

Get up out my own head and process all this trauma

Tell Liz that I’ll be home early, just need to see my daughter 

Just need to see my son smile, it’s cold in all these people faces 

It’s hard to feel at home as a shepherd how the sheep can hate you 

Now we see Nigerians change the world of fashion

The streets make these decisions, European is the past tense 

Still it’s all relative, I’m fighting for my relatives 

Across the color spectrum, it’s a cross that really kept us 

I still believe in dreams, cuz these DJs keep on sleeping 

My songs don’t make the mixes, but I mix it up with teachers

Exegesis if you pay attention, the commentary English 

Read all these interpretations, till I'm left with Jesus

Gotta make it gotta make it- i ain’t here play with you 

Put this on my winnings, taking bets I ain’t the same as you

Taelor knows his Tailor- there can never be a replica 

I assemble real ones, better hope you with the rest of us

We made it

Never faded

All these faces painted 

All that hate can stay there 

That’s just how I take it, we only friends on the Gram

Like it’s realer than it is I won’t ever understand 

No more questions, no more questions- let’s be honest this ain’t for you

No more extras, no more lectures 

I can’t promise this is normal 

I been all up in the desert with a treasure full of riches

You just shrug your shoulders see some breadsticks and some fishes 

I seen miracles, they miracles—I shouldn’t be alive 

Peace up to the sparrow, take the narrow way to die

No more questions, cut the interview, cuz I been acting immature 

That’s an Aha moment, I been fighting being cynical 

This might be the last one

That might be my caption

Time to close the chapter

Bet I own my masters 

Panther on my jacket and 

T’Challa in my accent 

Momma singing in the choir that was my Mahalia Jackson 

 

Gotta Make it- Love keep on lifting me 

Make it- I’m run till it finish me 

Make it- not much time left for me 

I’m give this life up to God then I let it be

 

 

POLITICS

[This is less of exploring a formal definition of politics, more of an attempt at undressing power dynamics. You often have to play politics with people who seem to control your outcome, even if they need you more than you need them. I choose freedom.]

 

Chorus: 

I don’t make demands I just roll up

Money make the man give his soul up

I be setting fire to the stacks it’s a dark knight joker we just to get it back

Politics (we aint playing with you)

Politics (we aint playing with you)

Politics

 

I been waiting all night for you 

I even had em dim the lights for you 

I just wanna do something nice for you 

Bet I can make em drop the price for you 

How low you wanna go, bet you I’m the man 

I just run the show, tell you what the plan 

I been stepping on they necks, now they never looking past me

Never talking to my guests—this the Great Gatsby 

Just party to the process 

You can never worry what the cost is 

This one for the monsters, we take em out the closets 

We keep em looking gorgeous 

Catch me where the sharks is, circling the surfers

You was in the garden talking to the serpent

You ain’t have no clothes on, now you got the knowledge 

Now the fruit is looking, looking way more polished 

 

Chorus

 

Funny how we fall for the plain clothes 

We can’t see our enemies in plain clothes

We be so trippy—James Franco

Got you looking high, the design is to aim low

You dealing with professionals 

Everything you thought you knew is questionable

Everything upside down when you dying just to live and you must find out 

Whats the real and the alien, familiar and Stranger Things 

Can’t no politician make you feel what you made to be 

That’s politics that’s positive they selling you that contraband 

Thats contradiction, consequences all they sentences in comic sans 

That common man turned God and man, no campaign no dollar bands

No fake friends no colleges, just King’s blood that got Him in 

I bet we get the same 

Im tell you one time homie we ain’t for them games 

 

Chorus

 

GIVING UP

[Surrender is a part of the maturity process. Many times the most mature response is a posture of surrender. The battles often teach us about how prideful we are, not how valiant we are. The battle isn't ours, so I've had to learn to stop fighting empty battles.]

 

Giving up all my highs

Giving up on these

Giving up on these chains that hold me make me kiss the floor

(giving up on these people tripping watch em kiss the floor) 

I been busy tryna make my conscience touch the stars for me—no matter who the person feel like

Lovers turn to strangers, so protect what’s in you heart from me—you can’t trust these faces

 

They say crucify, crucify

Can’t help loving when you used to lie

Can’t help someone with excuses try

Better off speaking that truth to power

Never quite been no socialite

Better off hidden at an open mic 

Tryna hit the winds with the open sail

Don’t miss what you lost that’s ocean’s 12 

Don’t quote me please, I gotta new filter

Lost the footage, this is a new film crew

Now I see men like walking trees

Wiping off the lens with spit and mud

This different cuh, love lifted us 

Son of Man said if I be lifted up 

That’ll make a man drop altitude

That type faith make a mountain move 

That might be my gospel song I’m back up in my younger days

I might find a weapon that can help me in these hunger games 

I might hit depression if you tell me I have no control 

You might catch a contact at my concert (but I been)

 

Giving up all my highs

Giving up on these

Giving up on these chains that hold me make me kiss the floor

(Giving up on these people tripping watch em kiss the floor) 

Lately I been making all these changes it’s been hard for me

I see what I want and then sometimes it feel too far for me—(that’s that strong man, strong man, strong man)

 

Strong man tied up in the house, I’m looking at the floor plan

Only so much time you wait and then you kick the door in

This filet mignon the butcher cooking on the foreman

Been so long since I heard preaching tune up with the organ

This is inventory that’s been missing from the store man 

Everything I lost, a hundred Fold is from the Lord man

Open up the testaments and close it a mature man 

All your weapons tapping on my fortress, I found out I was childish and I needed to admit that 

Grown men tend to miss that

Sharpen up my senses, that’s that get back 

That’s that getting right back to it I been chilling Im complacent 

This feel like my world I say my bad I just kept you waiting 

 

Giving up all my highs

Giving up on these

Giving up on these chains that hold me make me kiss the floor

(giving up on these people tripping watch em kiss the floor) 

I can be so critical, I know that the changes start with me

Let me take my process, trust that you don’t want no parts of me

 

THIS WILL NEVER LAST

[When art meets futility. When faith meets falsehood. Why preserve something that seems intent on destroying itself?]

 

Live and learn, bridges burn, lessons learned

I just learn em faster

You can take it how you want it homie

I'm just burning past em

I take it how I want it, never asking

Cuz this will never last

 

This the one I wrote when I was giving up this music 

This the one I wrote cuz I ain't really built to do this 

Ain't nobody left to still inspire me

Ain't nobody real in these environments, 

I just see magicians 

Rabbit feces in they dad caps

Sell it like you Christian

Disappear when you talk ASCAP

No wonder you can't feel it when you listen

How you for the people when you distant 

You can build a kingdom with a business

Disciples start to look like politicians 

Everything inside...wants to set this thing on fire

I already wrote a record slinging shots at all these liars 

It'll never see the light of day, my homies shut it down

But I still think that someone else is gonna burn this to the ground 

I just try to navigate the tension 

Between the call on my life, and the desire for attention 

Cuz I want it, yeah I want it I won't lie to you no more

But I don't see the label that can sell it when it's pure

I just see an idol switching symbols for their slogan

I just see a leader keep his fans but he won't own em

I get painted jealous if I comment on the struggle

They say better music but it's really just a hustle 

Much of what is missing is conviction in the writing

Most these cats ain't artists they recycling 

I wish that we could see public disagreements looking more like dialogue

Where criticism looks like problems that we're trying to solve 

Where talent isn't measured by your following

Where the influential aren't so cowardly 

Oh the stories I could tell

Oh the gossip I can spill

Careful who you look up to

Chances are is they not real 

Maybe you can see that too

Maybe all your heroes fall

Maybe Im too jaded for this 

Maybe we just look to God 

Find out I'm a servant, I'm a slave, I'm addicted to the cynical 

Cuz some this ish could end up in a civil suit

If you only thought that this some rap for Jesus name

Just know that when you start it, man it's rare you stay the same 

 

Peace to Datin, Peace to Eshon, 

Peace to KB, Peace to Angie

Peace to Kishon and JMonty

Peace to Dre and all your families 

 

And all the other realest ones that’s chilling in the margins 

I’m praying God will finish what you started 

 

 

ATLANTA ft. Lauren Elizabeth

[A song about heaven. Think of a place where the the Son lights up the city, all kinds of diversity everywhere, brown skin Rulers. I want to die young and live forever.]

 

I don’t wanna die alone 

Sorry just a word every moment feeling like I’m in my own way 

I don’t wanna die alone

Find me in a crowd while I’m wishing they would all just go away

I don’t wanna die alone

I don’t wanna die alone 

I’m falling 

I wanna die young

It was the way Your love looked down, I said

I’m falling 

I wanna die young 

Got the sun shining on my crown I said

I’m falling

 

123

 

Take me where they never missing soul, with the streets dipped in gold

The center of the Son, with a whole different glow

You can see His brown skin sitting on the throne 

The king stay forever never on a Quicken Loan

Off that Dan Gilbert plantation

Hard to read the letter like fans killing Fantasia

Living like I finally found a place for my temple 

All this natural light from these open faced windows 

Lacing up my forces like a young Mace Windu 

Who could make imagination seem so simple 

Who gon help me move to the motherland 

Black power jack Bauer- chocolate Keifer Sutherland 

I be singing songs...to my little baby girl bout her brown skin tone- make her feel at home

I can see the difference in how they treating my light skinned son

We gon give her brown skin love

I just need a couple clear skies

And my wife's hand nearby 

The times been tougher then I ever tell you

That’s when it’s real that Jesus never fail you—let’s go then 

 

See the sunny sky in Atlanta 

 

I am not a feminist

I believe equality look beautiful in Genesis 

Homies facing censorship, y’all been acting sensitive

Don’t get on these microphones if you can’t see the differences, the difference is

Walking through the streets w an alcoholic beverage 

The game isn’t chess man it’s Tetris 

I be on economic empowerment 

Tryna see the future, stand on top of this powder keg 

The sun still shine when they put your body in flower beds

You can live forever till every god is a counterfeit 

When I come to

I rest from my labors sending invitations hoping Donald Glover comes too (ah yeah) 

We gon have a moment in the sun

Till it turned to forever even so Lord come

The days getting better till we close like blood

Then it don’t really matter where we from—where we going love

 

MYSTERY CLONES ft. Dre Murray

[In the spirit of nostalgia, me and Dre wrote about experiences in 2002.]

 

Mystery Clones, you came get your dance on

Mystery Clones, so handsome keep you pants on 

Don’t get me wrong I’m jamming with the bands on 

Mystery Clones let’s cancel all our plans now 

 

Pick up the phone, I’m outside I’m waiting till you sitting in you seat it’s about time 

I just want you hear my mixtape— it’s some Maxwell

I got you some Usher, I play you some H-Town 

Ain’t got no cuss words 

Spent the whole check on this suit, look I got your corsage poppin with your shoes

Pull up at the spot- with the night still early

Get you back by 12, better make it 12:30

This the only night that last like it’s eternal

So Imma wear this suit only one time then return it 

Then we turn the dance floor to a glow, bought a new chain

Mug for the pose, got the zig zag braids 

Getting on with the show, venue change 

Lights down low, still feel the same 

Don’t get too close, this is brand new living 

Tickling the Ghost 

This a brand new villain 

Mystery clone, I take my chances 

Mystery clone, in Rome this is the answer

Mystery clone, I know you looking fancy 

Mystery clone, I’m prone to put the jams on- turn it up high 

Dancing with a mystery clone 

Whats the chances that I let my name slip and I’m gone

Then I leave you with the groove like its memory foam 

Issa good time, but you take the picture at home--we going HIGH

 

HGP ft. Eshon Burgundy

[If everything we know about following the Way couldn't exist without the work of the Ghost, why dilute the power? These times call for us to abandon the futile strain found in ideological jousting matches, measuring our contributions to society simply with intellectual property. We must unleash the power that makes dead people live.]

 

One time my homie stopped and asked me how to talk to God 

I asked him what if He responds 

And you lost your fear about it

What if you felt so clear about it

What if your soul was so filled you couldnt help sing those lyrics louder

They say you so charismatic, obvious you missing something 

I say they so academic, they form of godliness is missing something 

This is when it’s music

This is like Azusa

Told the people this will change you this is how you prove it 

I wanna tell the truth like Dave Chappelle

But I wanna tell the truth I was made to tell

I wanna tell stories like Dr Luke

See the shadow pass and it made you well

They say this is a different time 

Vacation like mission work 

Raise support, go overseas, get a brown skin baby take a pic and smile 

See Simon teaching Simon what’s the real vs sorcery

Tell you what is written, we stay clear of those forgeries 

Baptized in that fire, don’t let me tell you lies 

This is witness testimony look I seen the dead rise

 

NO WARNING

[The worst skeletons aren't voluntarily discovered. When you find out what someone is hiding, the person is probably past exploring solutions. I wanted it to feel like it costs me something to share my secrets, the tone almost like making a confession to my wife.]

 

You don’t want no warning

Honestly it’s prolly too late

Never thought you see me like this baby

Maybe running away

I know I’m ready for you

Ain’t that much time in a day

I know I’m ready for you

Its everything I wanna say

 

I won’t leave you searching for the secrets

Time to hit the surface with the deep ones

It done took me 33 years to find my own reflection

I been swimming w the creatures

Only I can preach this, open up the text with me 

Only I can show it to you, what you should expect from me 

A bloody mess 

They told me there was love here

It’s just murder, sex, and drugs here

Finally we penetrate it

Was sposed to keep me insulated 

You told me I was safe here

Now I can’t show my face here 

I been hiding in a closet full of snakes here

Brush up on my Shakespeare—lemme speak my faith here

I got saved and I was fire breathing 

With some Paul Washer gasoline, I’ll light this dream up

In spite of me saw my friends believe 

They trust the Lord oppose His enemies

I met this girl, she had a daughter 

She liked my music, told me call her 

I’m rapping Jesus, my lyrics censored

I laid with her, now she the victim 

Now I’m distant — like how can I 

Say these theme songs to crown my God 

He watching from the falcon eye — I’m hidden on the mountain side

Scribble down these psalms, couple decades in these palms, desperate prayers done hit these walls 

The acoustics bounce em back upon this sinner

Im jealous of your strength and my choices left me bitter 

Now all these stages feel like winter

When everything is cold then i forget her

Catch me dressing up my fears in my family photos 

If you ever look for terror let my camera show you

Let my lens cover up my sins, take another shot before you notice that you binge

Told my cousin Bird I couldn’t stand him 

Ever since I’m barely standing 

I been tryna hold on to my family 

So many memories abandoned 

I remember innocence, I remember clarity 

I remember asking the Lord if He could carry me 

I remember sentiment, I remember charity 

Now I hope these dry bones live before they bury me

 

MONEY

[Solomon was richer than rich, yet his greatest display of wealth was the wisdom he shared. I want to be rich like that. I wanted to share what what little wisdom my experiences have taught me, almost like my own flawed version of Proverbs.] 

“Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.”

Proverbs 8:18-21

 

Listening to a young Etta James

If the King wasn’t faithful, I find the truest type of courage in Coretta’s pain 

If the King stay faithful then we gotta let Him reign 

If that King is on the throne then we know He never change

Life taught me never loan money that you’re managing 

God taught me always pay my debts like a Lannister

So keep them predatory loans out my eco system 

They tryna keep the cannibis out the legal system 

Money to be made, keep your fingers out the treasure chest 

Look but don’t touch, that’s the black man’s credit check

Lemme chill, this ain’t for the think pieces

This is like the patriarchs of faith at the speakeasies

Sweeter than honeycomb, couple extra bars for your money phone, show me who I’m running from 

Homie this is Kyrie to the Celtics, feasting on some shellfish 

Looking at my past, now these blessings feeling selfish (its money)

 

Stacks like Solomon

You can run it up

Hundred dollar bill

Like it’s something you feel

 

I been tryna change, but it’s feeling like tryna make full meal outta loose change 

Every we get into new year gotta dream and I pray

I just wanna see us win, I don’t know another way 

 

I met some artists I look up to

Found out quick they’re not the ones to wish good luck to

They’re the ones we gotta pray for, success will take its toll

Or we watch the documentary and see em lose they soul 

I met some artists who was looking up to me 

I’m convicted I ain’t show em what they looking up to see

So I’m taking that conviction to the artwork and the pen 

Thus the type of sharpening that get you sharper with the pen

 

 

KEEP ON ft. Angie Rose

[Not sure where I'd be without grace.]

 

I been running away

You can tell when we talk

You can’t tell me a thing

Ain’t no turning this off

You take the pic and I smile

I write the prettiest song

It isn’t love till it’s lost

It’s only lost till till you find a way

So keep on

 

 

You never see it 

You never see it 

If you ever seen it 

Then maybe you been running from it 

That mean it’s coming for you 

We never want it 

I remember when it hit me one summer morning 

Hit me like the son of God 

Its better you surrender to it 

Taste and see the sweetest immortality thats given to you 

I can’t give you vengeance, 

I can give you visions 

There’s a presence feeling like forever when He visits 

I can’t be the hero when I’m cursing in my private moments 

I can’t be a monument, I’m frozen in my idle moments

Complaining in my circumstances 

Lost everything familiar to me 

Now my friends can tell I’m changing in my circumstances 

But I found this mainstay—bleeding in the muddy waters 

Redman, redrum reaching for the sons and daughters 

Through His agony I’m letting go of apathy 

Loosing all my faculties cuz

 

Feel like I’m fighting a war, 

Cant tell a win from a loss

Can barely muster a smile

But I been counting the cost

That put me back on my knees

I’m at the foot of the cross

He never left me alone 

Lift my hands and I find a way

To keep on 

 

 

 

SAY GOODBYE ft. Christon Gray

[An old elevationists jam 10 years old going on forever. Its funny how you grow up through so many changes and find out how much stays the same. Say goodbye to things that don't last- wishful thinking, fleeting pleasures, this world as we know it. Good morning forever.]

 

A hot rainy day with a winter time chill

That’s how it feel when a sinner’s mind heals

Enter God’s will with art and simple skill 

Leave you spinning in the riddle like the middle of the will 

Been a minute- tryna not to get to sentimental with my sayonara

Thats why I say all my goodbye tomorrow 

It ain’t promised to me, but I’m feeling confident 

That’s the type of faith that doesn’t contradict

Ask myself if my conversion is nostalgia 

Was I ever as sure as I sounded 

Singing first things first, was that really just my melancholy

I say it wasn’t, it was worship when I tell my story 

My old journals like a different language 

I was tryna find my voice while my heart was changing 

That make me look back at my old songs and listen with a smile

Tryna put away the childish things and still remain a child (oh yeah)

 

KEEP DREAMING

[This one is for the heads.]

 

Rap goals putting gold on my walls like a Mayan shaft 

Let it touch my mind like a dimebag

Walk you through these rhymes like a line dance

One of one design like it's Minecraft 

Mood is a crescent moon

The room is better as confession booth

They tax your wages then they say they want the best for you

Savage land X-men travelers is just above the clouds

Urgency is how my music sound 

This a living thing can’t stay trapped in the machine 

Feel like it's my season like some African cuisine 

I know you struggling to put me in a category 

That's why I rap in all this allegory 

Still keep it black n blanco 

Then i keep an extra condo 

Balling with my brothers like I'm Lonzo 

Yeah I keep it truest to a fault, truest like a pulse 

With my long term homies rocking hoodies like a cult 

I’m up in white churches setting racists on fire 

But I'm in the negro leagues unless I sound like John Piper 

Guess I'm Jackie Robinson a black man reading college lit Japanese comic strips, backpack full of Common Sense

 The modern day prophets set to making God androgynous 

I dont listen to them bro, I listen to economists   

Don’t listen to perspectives that tryna stay homogenous 

These all black voices teach the opposites 

Dr Boyce Watkins and Dr Sherman Watkins 

All in my subconscious turning purpose into profits

If you think I lost the gospel cuz I say I seek to prosper

This the economic posture that prepares you for adoption

Yo my blade cut the flame of the candle light 

Afro samurai, I’m still a little camera shy 

This conscious wave with my high top fade

Loyal to the faith in my royal blue J’s 

My rhymes sound like cursive, Paul’s pen to the churches

I’m all up in the scroll till its clicking like a cursor 

This wordplay caviar 

No mainstream caveats

Half the time you speaking to my avatar 

My catalog is trust fund security in stock market crashes 

All I can contribute is compassion 

I ain’t even worried bout these rappers, this is kingdom and it’s power

I aint selling you a genre, all you need is an encounter

 

The cloud of witnesses is cheering me on

Watching Black Panther rocking some Sierra Leone 

I take a peek northeast and I can see the modern slaves 

If you looking at your phone you should screenshot your face 

Lord help me, I don’t wanna die a selfie

I don’t wanna lie to listeners and hear em say they felt me 

That’s too literal, I’m drinking Flint’s water for the minerals

You hiding something calling me a liberal

That’s why I’m cool on Johnny Manziels interview 

If I did what he did y’all be calling me a criminal 

Keep dreaming lil Uzi vert been playing with the demons 

Got us downplaying Lucifer and legion 

All these school shootings and we scramble for the reasons 

Leaving all the strippers living off singles like Khadijah 

Tweeting all your problems, when your feet been playing possum

Take the beating from the problem, then defend it like it’s Stockholms

The devil’s in the details

the devil is in retail—sneaker heads will tell you that the devil up in resale 

We just moving how we told to follow 

It’s like a vote for Donald like forbidden jutsu from Orochumaru 

Thats that anime acumen on accident before you know what’s happening it hit you like a pathogen turn you from a food stamp applicant to academic, put a tax on every sacrament like you sacrilegious

I’m not your average Christian, you won’t find me in a Gallup poll 

Find me picking olives out my salad bowl 

Me and Tragic Hero in the Jag eating empanadas 

Laughing at your albums switching through the genres 

And I’m dying to myself, some reminders to myself

I ain’t selling you a product less I’m trying it myself 

Lemme show you how to testify, something that you recognize—swimming in His grace and get these rhymes off as exercise 

Homie this is exercise

Slow metabolism but an extra vibe 

Now relationships get jeopardized 

Still it’s feeling like a special time 

I’m from mid, I’m from the west

I’m only in the south as a guest

You never run your mouth if you blessed 

God been good homie, so imma cut a step