Ashley Court (2017)

by nak

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1.
2.
04:35
I’ve been “kicking” since 89’
 Way before “Tribe” turned it to the motto we boast by
 If rap is an academic
 All “credits” always to the Most “Fly”
 “Cross”check the “timeline” Christ be the origin
 “Flowing” like a “torrent” of Living Water He pouring in
 “Seeding you the data” we inundating the language:
 The Bread of life is audible: you listening to a banquet
 Bust out your writing utensil: papyrus and pencil
 Scribing the reminder essential
 Mind is a temple: sniper rifle minus the metal
 So aim high: and never undermine your potential
 Sprawled ivy on the brick walls
 Arched halls with the big stones
 So come and sit for a lecture
 ‘Cause sometimes life be the best professor If life is a test: go give it ya’ll best
 Let’s pull an all nighter (pull an all nighter)
 If life is an essay let's write to the next page
 “We all write.” “We all write.”
 Learn well. Pay attention
 You are not exempt from the testing
 So when the day comes, don’t stress 
 ‘Cause you've been working hard all semester Time is of the essence; select those electives
 And step toward progression; perfect your profession
 And count it all joy when you fall down flat
 Sometimes the build up is better than the climax
 Sometimes we gotta be flat to see heaven
 All times we gotta “get past” to be “present"
 I want to live for the moment 
 But fear got me living like a ghost
 It’s a voluntary effort though agree to an extent
 We crippled by belief: the deceit that we accept
 You breathing in the flesh but interior is dead
 Luckily, the Guy who resurrected teaches lessons
 So if it resonates, spit it with the authority
 Distribute it to brothers and sisters in their sororities
 Translate it, import it to masses and the majority
 Tweet, write, recite, or the assortment of the three If life is a test: go give it ya’ll best
 Let’s pull an all nighter (pull an all nighter)
 If life is an essay let's write to the next page
 “We all write.” “We all write.”
 Learn well. Pay attention
 You are not exempt from the testing
 So when the day comes, don’t stress 
 ‘Cause you've been working hard all semester Sometimes life doesn’t ever “add up”
 I could never trust my calculus and algebra
 My angles ain’t acute enough... I’m on a “tangent”
 Dramatically, I Tango with my DNA- I suck at dancing
 But these physics ain’t to blame for my incompetence
 I’m pondering what Dawkin’s said and if it’s really true
 Biology’s to propagate the genes that I possess
 Then I should operate as such: but what of meaning?
 And what of my capacity to long for higher purpose am I dreaming?
 Psychology could tell me what it is, but never “why.” 
 I dug into philosophy, I found myself embedded in the Earth
 And all the fossils started talking to me: told me
 That they felt there’s something deeper
 Dug the wrong direction and warned me not to repeat it.
 I guess the only option is to look into heavens 
 I studied all the attributes of God manifested. And now it makes sense If life is a test: go give it ya’ll best
 Let’s pull an all nighter (pull an all nighter)
 If life is an essay let's write to the next page
 “We all write.” “We all write.”
 Learn well. Pay attention
 You are not exempt from the testing
 So when the day comes, don’t stress 
 ‘Cause you've been working hard all semester Way before I got my first degree
 I’ve been burning emcees to the third degree
3.
04:25
‘Cause Hip-hop is "my house,” homie
 Closing on the escrow
 I’m “burning up the phonics” like I’m bombing on the Metro
 No need for bread I be getting fed when I don the headphones
 So etch a Biggie quote on my headstone
 Here lies: “Sicker Than Ya Average”
 Cause “a” death: being fresh, pall bearers do a two step
 My procession be kicking like Liu Kang
 Hands in the air: be a doing a Wu-Tang
 ‘Cause I’m misunderstood
 A Filipino bred in a mostly White hood
 A “Filipino bread?” That’s pan de sal
 Let it “sink in” a second: let the pun dissolve
 Now let the “pun sit” 
 I’m cooking up ya “noodle”
 Pituitary, medulla, I want the kit caboodle
 My brain assimilating. I try to imitate em
 I didn’t want to be different, I tried to entertain em
 Now I just ignore them
 Nike and Jordan: I can’t afford them
 “Can’t quite connect” no network detected
 Wi-fi protected: password rejected
 Suburbian kid in the West end
 All alone spreading all the depression he kept in
 There’s only one thing he truly connects with:
 Hip-hop. His very first lover, best friend (Kain) White rice is my soul food
 Take a deep a breath if Hip-Hop’s your O2 (breathe in)
 Word to the beat
 Before you judge by the cover, learn how to read I used to rap on a USB headset
 Used to battle cats during lunch time
 I used to breakdance wrecking em in “six steps”
 Used to tag, but I only bombed one time
 One two three, elementary to elegant
 Chemically perfected in four to nine elements
 And then it all developed: passion a full measure 
 But momma ain’t accepting it: trying to apply pressure like a hemorrhage
 And tried to “press em’” to walk the path of a doctor
 Make the cash, be a father and let the family prosper
 But what the heavenly Father started to author 
 Is something I couldn’t possibly “box:” ain’t talking “Rocky”
 But this art on my “heart is large” (cardiomegaly)
 The beat with the rhythm and bars (starting the recipe)
 When everyone around might taunt and abandon 
 Hip-Hop has always been my constant companion
 I would jam with El-P to Aesop
 Canibus, Jedi Mind Tricks, the bass drop
 Tough or upbeat: Big Pun to Chuck D
 Slug always taught me “God could love ugly”
 Wu-Tang, Co-Flow, Immortal Technique 
 Feel like Nujabes the only one who gets me
 CYNE, Shing02
 Take a deep breath if Hip-Hop’s your O2 Yes, yes ya'll. And it don't stop
 To the sinigang. And it don't stop
 To the diniguan. And it don't stop
 I get my dinner on when I get the flows off
 Yes, yes ya'll. And it don't stop
 To the sinigang. And it don't stop

4.
She used to take me to my cousin’s place
 Way before the sun had come awake
 Went to work, you had to make a way
 Momma called, said she coming late
 He had a tour of duty on a ship
 Saw you off when I was just a kid
 Crying as his daddy left the dock
 Many months until we get to talk
 I would struggle, troubled by the loneliness
 Only child and cousins were too old for him 
 Played “pretend” but couldn’t fake the pain away
 No amount of faith could make it fade away
 Look at them I’m out of place with all my friends
 Wanted to be close to mom and dad like them
 But I’m home and I’m alone again 
 Hard to see the reason now when you don’t know the end 
 It hurts, but I know that you mean well
 It’s easy to think of my own self
 Nobody's home but I know that I'm not alone
 I know, I know sometimes
 Absence means love Philippines to the United States
 Wouldn’t let the wind decide your fate
 You gave it up and left it all behind
 ’Cause I know you had me on your mind
 You came to give me things you wish you had
 And maybe bigger dreams you couldn’t grab
 You sacrificed your own so I could live in mine 
 This is why ain’t you around at dinner time
 Is it right to cry about your absence?
 Now that your little boy is throwing tantrums?
 While I forget you bending over backwards
 To give me everything I took for granted
 We fail to see the bigger picture
 I guess entitlement gives you a thinner “vision”
 You weren’t always there but now I’m seeing better
 You weren’t there because you love us all forever It hurts, but I know that you mean well
 It’s easy to think of my own self
 Nobody's home but I know that I'm not alone
 I know, I know sometimes
 Absence means love And I want to give my kids the same
 To chase their destiny: a gift to claim 
 I want my little boy to have it all
 And teach him how to give it back to God
 I want my little girl to see her worth
 And never find it in another person
 I hope they both will understand
 When daddy goes away he does it all for them It hurts, but I know that you mean well
 It’s easy to think of my own self
 Nobody's home but I know that I'm not alone
 I know, I know sometimes
 Absence means love To all the military kids and night shifters
 To overseas workers and the business trippers
5.
Dear Tita: Let’s open discussion
 We approaching the truth and we all hoping to touch it
 Been a long time coming ‘cause I’m concerned we got separated
 Diverging won’t get us any closer to summit
 I remember that chilly night back in Chino
 You told me I’m disgracing us Filipinos
 ‘Cause I was never taught: couldn’t speak Tagalog 
 Though we share the same blood: Rizal, Aguinaldo
 God knows I tried to beat the anguish. Feeling like
 I can’t love the motherland if I don’t speak the language 
 Never thought I’d be hated on by my own people
 This American dream this freaking whole sequel
 What’s a blossom when all the roots are ashamed of it
 I’m hardly processing what the nature is
 Though I didn’t learn the language of our home
 I’ll love it with the language that I know: this is all I know Though the islands assemble as a whole shun me
 I never felt I’m accepted up in my own country
 Even my label of “Asian” often brought into question
 I feel a hard disconnection when talking complexion
 While you pointing fingers
 You can’t “grasp” what’s happening while avoiding splinters
 Similarity can trick you, better know the difference: 
 Of “no identity” and “know identity:” I take history to support the inference:
 Lapu-Lapu, Propaganda Movement
 Revolution: Bonifacio, the Katipunan
 I’m the proudest descendant of every insurrection
 You won’t see me defensive I won’t live to tell it
 I was built for resisting all your vain oppression 
 I am not coexisting with all your plain rejection 
 I’m no less than the very thing you claim to be
 My identity’s something you’ll never take from me I want to think that it’s deeper than words I didn’t learn
 Maybe all of it swelling up from a deeper hurt
 Maybe all the betrayal we suffered ain’t addressed
 Maybe grudges ain’t laid to rest you can’t throw
 Mud upon another, not making a mess
 I want to fight back. But I’m saving my breath. I check (the)
 Vast ocean we crossed I’m now out to wander
 ‘Cause the cause of it probably is lost in the water
 Maybe it’s sleeping, creeping in the deep end
 Or maybe our story just isn’t complete yet
 Whatever it is, maybe finding the problem
 Ain’t as vital as finding God trying to solve em
 So I will keep the repercussions
 And stay awake knowing sleep the reaper cousin
 The seed I clutch is a destiny I can’t retreat from
 That’ll blossom, “I promise:” I’m talking sampaguita It's in the words I'll never say
 Love never needed translation Maybe the journey of discovering who we are is accepting the reality of destiny at the same time admitting to not knowing where we’re going. Direction is just as important as destination. Maybe identity lies neither in past, present, or future. But maybe it’s all three together. But I hope this letter finds you well. P.S.: Maybe our story is still being written.
6.
03:53
Let me check your vital signs: heart rate
 Beat per minute heart racing
 Fear permitted: arm’s length
 Hit ‘em with another kiss of the calm tranq
 Sanctification an operation
 Pain be a doctor we often hate him
 Sick ever since that combination:
 Death mixed in with the consummation
 Now ever since, it’s anesthesia
 Numb to the pain of refinement
 Woke up and I saw all the evil
 And I wanted to return to my blindness
 In the land where the dark is immersive
 How hard is a heart of a person?
 We try to open up, somebody call a surgeon 
 We wanna come back to the heart of worship
 But the dark alluring
 Harder to swim in a stronger current
 Hotter to live now the water burning
 But I feel nothing. “Nada” burden. Not a burden
 Feeling no hunger
 ‘Cause I am numb to the wheel of my comfort
 This my diversion a dime to a dozen
 I never met death but I flirt with the cousin
 First will come love and then marriage
 Sleep is the lust you inherit
 You cannot stay in your sleep as a means of resolving your flaws
 Expecting involvement of God
 I want to wake up
 I really love sleep, now I want to break up
 It’s not you, it’s me
 Sleep be the cousin of the eulogy I can see the stars up in eyes 
 I can hear Sinatra in my mind
 Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the sky
 Orion, Ursa Minor, Gemini: constellations die
 Three two one. Let the whole body go numb. Let the whole body go numb
 Let the whole body go numb. Let the whole body go numb
 Like three two one. Let the whole body go numb. Let the whole body go numb
 It’s not you, it’s me. Sleep be the cousin of the eulogy Now obviously, He’s real within me
 It doesn’t really mean that I feel Him in me
 Feeling envy when I see devotion 
 Of a brethren steady and he feel emotion
 Feet be coasting Spirit leads him 
 Walk on the land and the sea and ocean
 Here I am. I ain’t fronting
 I can’t stand that I stand for nothing
 I can’t help that my own two feet
 Slip more frequent than they move me
 When I fall and I hurt, I don’t want to move now
 The true definition of “breaking new ground”
 What you looking at?
 You never seen a man that was broken? 
 You really want to act like you don’t know the half
 And your life is a basket is roses?
 You really want to quote me a passage
 Claim that you pray that it passes and never call once?
 You think I’m convinced of your sadness?
 Brother, you just as numb.
 I feel nothing. You don’t either. 
 We’re just talking, we ain’t speaking
 Both eyes open, we both sleeping 
 We want freedom, we won’t reach it 
 We're scared of the dark
 Life is a surgeon: tear us apart
 We don’t want pain, and we want to feel numb
 Now we could never feel love I can see the stars up in eyes 
 I can hear Sinatra in my mind
 Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the sky
 Orion, Ursa Minor, Gemini: constellations die
 Three two one. Let the whole body go numb. Let the whole body go numb
 Let the whole body go numb. Let the whole body go numb
 Like three two one. Let the whole body go numb. Let the whole body go numb
 It’s not you, it’s me. Sleep be the cousin of the eulogy

7.
8.
02:36
I am the nurse. I check the sound of your breath
 I put the “round" to your chest
 Plan of attack; I’m ‘bout to spazz on a track 
 I’m ‘bout to have an arrest
 I will assess: I am the “sickest” selection
 Any physician will mention
 Battle Anak and you getting infected
 You really don’t want additional tension
 Let’s start then 
 I’m the RN with that sharp pen
 Don’t click-pop, I don’t spark lead
 But you "get shot;” (with a) sharp edge
 Attenuated or a live virus
 I come fighting on the "mic, Tyson"
 All ya’ll “biting” and it’s hard to stop it
 “Attack that ear” like I’m ototoxic
 Rap the hardest, ya’ll can’t disarm it.
 You got a bed alarm? Then you better go arm it
 You gotta get a sitter, and security guard it
 Get “beat quick.” Tachycardic
 Head to toe assessment is the goal
 Stethoscope: I listen to the woes
 “Watch (wash) the hands” you, bout’ to catch a cold
 Throat is sore and throbbing in ya skull
 How you gonna get turnt every two hours?
 My people get turned every two hours
 I get the place lit like a call light
 I get the “rounds” going off all night
 Ya’ll better make sure that the mask fit
 I’m about to make sure that you catch this
 Ya’ll might wanna type, cross match him
 Cause when you match wits
 I be beating you fast
 Hemoglobin’ll be leaving you fast
 Bleeding you into a hemothorax
 Ten unit, fluids, and monitor STAT
 Vital signs every few seconds to add
 Critical, send you directly to that
 Get on my “level,” go get me my labs
 Battle Anak and you leak on a rag
 ‘Bout move on’ like you leaving the past
 Cap and the gown and the mask and gloves
 Everything black when I’m wearing my scrubs
 I spread the illness and various bugs
 All em resisting various drugs
 Ain’t popping a gun but I give em a shot
 “Correct on (correcting) the rhythm” when I give em a shock
 Administer the medicine up into your jaw
 Hit em with another dose of a jab and a cross
 You don’t wanna “cross” with a man who pops off top
 Pulling the ox I be stopping ya “pulse ox” 
 I stop ya heart: pardon the sin
 Now watch me begin: I’ma start it again
 I am the nurse. Don’t play with me, I told you
 I save the game from dying, I am trained, I am supposed to “Who that nurse?” 
 All the doctors screaming out
 “Who that nurse?” 
 Pharmacists be freaking out: 
 “Who that nurse?”
 Throw your hands up to the ceiling, yo
 Name is Nak, I’m the nurse, I’ll stop the bleeding now
9.
04:11
Now I’m caught, no slack in chain
 Barred and trapped in my cage
 Up all night, and sleeping all day
 Sow that wind and reaping that rain
 Plan to escape: and sharpen my stake
 One good stab to darken my brain
 One last shot so pardon my blade
 It’s carved in my vein, no heart so I
 Gave her the reins a ventriloquist motion
 Pulling the bit as I give her devotion
 Stoically ripping me open
 Look on her face got no hint of emotion
 Look at this body: you mock me
 All of my mind and my heart will just stop me
 Single thought really all it takes to be a hard copy of an autopsy now I’m Sitting here with every single light source on me
 White like ghost, but the mind look coffee
 Sitting here with every single light source on me
 White like ghost, but the bite’s more zombie Scared of the dark as a kid
 Checking what’s under the bed
 Dresser and cubby they all want me, all want me all want me dead
 Scared of the dark as a man
 Older and tougher and clever
 But so is the monster that hunts in my head, but the difference is now it’s more hungry than ever
 Flashlight. Door locked
 Vampire, goblin or warlock
 Flicker camp fire with the ghost talk
 Things that go bump in the night like
 Car wreck. Bomb threat
 Heart attack, cancer, and all death
 Fear is whatever you fed it
 And fear will become what you let it, I said it What a nightmare, in this jail cell. Now I “hang by a rope” like a parasail
 Paranoia in a pirouette while my head spinning ‘round like a carousel
 I think too much. God gonna vomit when He look at the real me
 Like every tree branch that’ll cast shadow in a flash of lightning on a mission to kill me
 Spare me your pity apparently baby, you feigning your interest
 I’m not convinced to be taking whatever you came to solicit
 You ain’t equipped to administer aid to a brain in a prison
 A penny a thought and I’d prolly be making billion a minute (come get it)
 Got too many reasons to believing a demon 
 Is immediately feeding on a dream when I sleep
 Sitting here with every single light source on me
 White like ghost, but the mind look coffee
 Sitting here with every single light source on me
 White like ghost, but the bite’s more zombie Scared of the dark as a kid
 Checking what’s under the bed
 Dresser and cubby they all want me, all want me all want me dead
 Scared of the dark as a man
 Older and tougher and clever
 But so is the monster that hunts in my head, but the difference is now it’s more hungry than ever
 Flashlight. Door locked
 Vampire, goblin or warlock
 Flicker camp fire with the ghost talk
 Things that go bump in the night like
 Car wreck. Bomb threat
 Heart attack, cancer, and all death
 Fear is whatever you fed it
 And fear will become what you let it, I said it Fear is whatever you fed it and fear will become what you let it
 Fear is whatever you fed it and fear will become what you let it
 Fear is whatever you fed it and fear will become what you let it
 I let it come enter it nestled and settled and everything ended in less than a second Scared of the dark as a kid
 Checking what’s under the bed
 Dresser and cubby they all want me, all want me all want me dead
 Scared of the dark as a man
 Older and tougher and clever
 But so is the monster that hunts in my head, but the difference is now it’s more hungry than ever
 Flashlight. Door locked
 Vampire, goblin or warlock
 Flicker camp fire with the ghost talk
 Things that go bump in the night like
 Car wreck. Bomb threat
 Heart attack, cancer, and all death
 Fear is whatever you fed it
 And fear will become what you let it, I said it

10.
This is for the "cats" feeling out of the place... Cait Sith
 If you loving what I’m saying, everybody “throw it up:” like you ‘bout to lose a pound today
 Take a shovel now we got a lot of ground to break 
 Turn the level up, we got a lot sound to make
 I make a case to vacate any sentiment 
 Dictating that being the same equates relevance
 This is my element
 I was always kinda nerdy and I’m awkward
 Looking at me like you working on a crossword
 Team captain didn’t want me on a roster
 I’m indifferent to the people all around me
 I be coughing ‘cause I feeling like I’m drowning
 Never had enough to be another hype beast
 Ya’ll prolly find me sipping up on a Hi-C, blonde hair and spiky
 Only child
 Nobody hold me down. I’m so lonely now 
 No hope or trust, I’m so insecure
 And ain’t nobody coming near when I seal the door 
 Was the only Asian in a place, complaining
 That God ain’t awake and He so mistaken
 No fascination with the world around me
 As it whirls around me, it’s a culmination
 Never comprehended what it meant to be normal
 Never won awards, never went to the Formal
 Wanted to belong but couldn’t quite “deliver”
 That slice of that pie, and couldn’t bite the dinner
 God, how long ‘till you getting me out?
 Ain’t nobody living here that could figure me out
 And then it all clicked, I found my foundation
 In video games and a page of animation This is my final fantasy
 Where the world gets saved by the outcast
 When the hope’s in the hands of the ragtag
 Where the champs all handled a bad past
 All alone and the world seems distant
 If games and anime had taught me one thing: heroes always seem different I never liked to party, never liked to drink; I never liked debauchery, and all the things
 That all the peers around me all appear to round up and they seeming happy but I’m deeply doubting it
 Not saying I’m better. I’m saying I’m different, it’s not my decision for my own indifference
 I want to be part of the posse but probably won’t cop an audition
 Feeling out of place like a Final Fantasy main protagonist
 Terra’s magic and Zidane in Tantalus, Cloud in AVALANCHE
 I give you more, gladly: Link in the Kokiri Forest with Navi
 Smacking the grass with the sword and it’s slashing to rupees that pop out to top off the baggie
 Feeling out of place: like Sasuke is in Team 7
 Like Zoro wielding three weapons. One mouth, one right, and one left hand
 Like Crono on board the Epoch. Going back in time in mere seconds
 Like elite professions in the League of Legends ain’t nobody competing ‘cause we "reckless"
 Now it’s time to switch your perspective don’t blink and miss your direction
 You see a curse, you better change perception, start thinking gift or a blessing
 Feeling out of place all alone and the world seems distant
 But games and anime had taught us one thing: heroes always seem different Naruto taught me
 Sasuke taught me
 Monkey D. Luffy, Kakashi taught me
 Mario taught me
 Crono taught me
 Sanji, Nami, Yuffie all taught me
 Mugen taught me
 Haruko taught me
 Goku, Pokemon, Haruhi, taught me 
 Final Fantasy 3, 7, 10 taught me
 Red XIII, Locke, Wakka all taught me This is my final fantasy
 Where the world gets saved by the outcast
 When the hope’s in the hands of the ragtag
 Where the champs all handled a bad past
 All alone and the world seems distant
 If games and anime had taught me one thing: heroes always seem different
11.
04:00
Listen to the ocean breathing. Look at that shimmering sequence
 Waves in rhythm leap and they fall in the arms of a beach all season
 See warm colors brew: saturation; blue sky turn caffeinated
 David playing that magic chord: drew “Hallelujah,” I’m captivated
 And it pleased the Lord: masterpiece. “Framed” in His image, He “captured” me
 That aperture, that shutter speed that master has what that camera need
 And we only got one “shot;” but how could a subject decide the exposure? 
 We may have the freedom but what do we really exert our control over?
 I am not sovereign. I’m just another cog in the locket 
 He giveth and taketh but who am I questioning God and His logic?
 You fluent in ignorance thinking that death isn’t true to his promise
 He’s proven to be indisputably ruthless, brutally honest
 It’s pretty and all, but what good is it really in building a bond
 I told this beach how beautiful it was more times than I ever told mom
 I marvel deep in expressing a reverent praise to a body of water when secretly
 When hurting, and searching for words to affirm is my cousin who ended his journey too early
 I stared at your picture. Stood at your viewing
 I knew you were hurting. My stomach is full of excuses
 I wanted to help, didn’t know how to do it, the silence is brutal
 Maybe refraining from speaking the Truth is just as abusive
 I am in tune as I study the wave run from and to, and examine the movement
 Whether I want it or not, the water had brought the intention so “clear” to pursue
 This is my cue: but I am resistant who am I kidding there isn’t a difference
 This was the mission while “we were still sinners:” this is the infinite gift of persistence
 I wish I could be like the water that creep up in clutching your ankles
 I wish I could be as the sea is repeatedly reaching: so faithful
 We get thrown to the bottom to break and are brought to the brink of the fatal
 But even the waves stumble and fall, at just the right angle: you see a rainbow
 I’m critically short of the virtue I value
 Fighting the very same demon that seem to be lurking around you
 My only regret are my words of affection are so misdirected
 So I came back here trying to talk to God and then He taught me a lesson Maybe I was too late
 I was too concerned with myself
 Maybe I was too late
 I was too immersed with my realm
 Father can you make our love like waves?
12.
There used to be “season” when I made “mountainous" poems
 “Change came to ‘climate (climb it)’ snow bounced in a moment
 Used to pen quotes the sun choked on a shadow 
 The room is dark and empty now I “write vocals to candles"
 A “pilot” of “fly” rapping the cabin pressure is stable
 Climb in that horizon to kiss the mouth of a rainbow (they know)
 It’s been a minute since I “made out” with a lyric
 I guess I lost the passion that I once had to begin with (it's all "tongue in/ and cheek")
 This kissing ain’t as frequent
 My pride had gone colossal now it’s wading in the deep end
 “Came to sea” the ocean on a weekend
 Waiting for a wave to speak to me but the motion just ain’t as scenic
 If beauty in the eye of a beholder, I don’t see it 
 If pain be the requirement to shoulder: I don’t need it 
 But tell me what is medicine if never do you let it in
 Because you don’t accept that it would benefit: tell me what’s a lesson
 With lesser of your commitment to listen to what’s objective
 And measure by your opinion? Imagine what you’re missing
 I rap to show you all a better method
 But couldn’t stop the reckless progression of all your deafness
 Beg for your attention like infection in systemic
 A reverend peddling every message of repentance
 I remember when there used to be a good intention
 Behind all this aggressive expression but I forget and
 Can’t remember the last I was inspired
 Sang, dance, wept, and laughed around the fire
 When deep within my chest; just a mess of pessimism
 A pile of scrap iron, and defective mechanisms. And I don’t see the point 
 Now that everyone’s an artist with a similar background
 Dozen other Filipino cats who rap now 
 Tell me what’s the purpose of perspective and context
 When there isn’t any truth in the content? If I went away
 It would be the same
 Nothing here would change
 Floating down this passing river
 If I drift away
 Would you sail for me
 Help me find a way
 To make me try again I guess I’m too old for the young kids to relate to
 You too young for the old heads to embrace you
 Your past ain’t got enough scars to be a victim
 Hardly “Christ” when you rap, you ain’t a Christian
 You're really not Asian. Your more closer to Latin
 You ain’t Filipino if you don’t speak the language
 (You) don’t got success if you don’t got the practice
 Get a job and stop all your rapping
 Trapped in- passion ain’t congruent
 With all these stupid things that will amuse you
 It’s petty my identity hurts, harms, abuses you
 I ‘guess we all playing “dress up.” Yet we choose to
 And this is my confusion: approval is a costume
 Don it for the sake everybody but not you. Sometimes you got to
 How far’s the fall you can’t see the distance
 The only “take away” is you can’t see the “difference”
 “Who is this?” I inch a little nearer
 The image that exists within the mirror. Appearance getting clearer
 I see him now he’s trying cross through; he whispered with a melancholy view: “I’m not you”
 You know the feeling when you sacrifice it all
 Just to find a single solitary place to feel involved
 No matter how hard you’re struggling to belong
 The rumbling in your heart is strumming a different song?
 Unique love, unheard of: a mystery in that sweetness
 Completing all this peace in the symphony where that beat is
 For the first time, I see clearly: wide open I see stars 
 Crescendo and rise up, I fly over to greet Mars
 And I don’t want to wrestle with peace
 By projecting all the things that you’re expecting of me
 And I don’t even know what it means
 But I’m trying be everything that I’m destined to be If I went away
 It would be the same
 Nothing here would change
 Floating down this passing river
 If I drift away
 Would you sail for me
 Help me find a way
 To make me try again


about

We crave excitement, drama, sensuality. Humans are drawn to what is extraordinary and are enchanted by the boundless imagination. A fairy tale story brings respite to life’s weariest sojourners. I suppose it’s how we’re designed. Yet I am convinced our desire for fantasy becomes perilous when we fail to appreciate the beauty of what is normal, routine, and even mundane.

My life is mundane. My story is neither exciting, scarred by adversity, and I’ve no heartbreaking testimony that could lead felons to repentance. But I believe these factors should never invalidate the significance in sharing one’s experience. Many conceal their hearts due to the fear of falling short of our self-imposed expectations to astound and amaze. Because of this, we fabricate our image: we strive to be remembered not by character, but by what is signature. We become a fantasy rendition of ourselves that evokes the biggest response. We emphasize what appeals instead of what is true. In short, we become a brand in order to appear extraordinary.

There is danger when we live like this. But perhaps the cheap thrill of a lofty yet complex falsehood is an easier option when a healthy dose of discipline is in order to gaze deeply beyond the ordinary. But consider the essence of art. Isn’t part of it the purposeful attribution of meaning to (or with) ordinary things? Isn’t dance but a progression of movements? Poetry a sequence of letters? Paintings a collage of color? And are not humans but an arrangement of dirt breathed on by God? Maybe Jesus didn’t reveal His miraculous power to certain people because developing the proficiency to recognize ever-still and ever-small Truth, meaning, and beauty in the ordinary is far more valuable an asset and disposition of the heart than being merely entertained by the parting of the heavens and earth. Is not a crucial element of faith in an unseen realm the Holy Spirit-lead ability to recognize the hand of the Divine within Earthly normalcy?

We could miss what is eternal when we don’t recognize its reality in the mundane.

If eternity itself could be gleaned from the mundane, imagine how much more. So I proudly present to you my mundane story. This is a story of a second-generation non-Tagalog speaking Filipino-American: not quite Filipino but not quite American. This is a story of a predominately White community in the suburbs. A story of a bachelor’s degree in nursing. A story of Hip-hop, art, video games, family, friends, life, and death. What good could possibly come from such a bland experience (even I think it’s boring)? I don’t know. But I know someone, somewhere will find something timeless.

For the rest of us, let us train our eyes and minds to identify beauty and sacredness in the ordinary; to treat what is normal as sacred. Above all, there is unrivaled freedom when we discover that all things- even the most painful things, the seemingly hopeless things, and especially the mundane things - are laden with divine purpose. If this is true, then everything is extraordinary.

credits

released January 1, 2017

Kuya Brian (feat. SuperB)
Featuring: Brian Oliva (SuperB)
Lyrics: Brian Oliva (SuperB)
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

All Nighters

Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK)

Additional Vocals: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock),Jose Estrella
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

White Rice
Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK)

Additional Vocals: Rudolph Ganaden (randomridge)
DJ Scratches: Daniel Lee (DJ Descry)

Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

Love’s Absence (feat. Sarah Lee)
Featuring: Sarah Lee
Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK)
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

Translated Letters (feat. Jae Jin)
Featuring: Jae Jin
Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK), Jae Jin
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

Anesthesia

Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK)
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

Kuya Derrick (feat. Derrick Engoy)
Featuring: Derrick Engoy

Lyrics: Derrick Engoy

Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

That Nurse

Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK)

Additional Vocals: Rudolph Ganaden (randomridge)
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

Aswang
Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK)

Additional Vocals: Carl Catedral, Advincula Estrella
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

Final Fantasy

Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK)


Additional Vocals: Rudolph Ganaden (randomridge)
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

Like Waves

Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK)
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

Heartmelt (feat. Sam Ock)

Featuring: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

Lyrics: Daniel G. Estrella (NAK), Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)
Production: Samuel Ock (Sam Ock)

license

Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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nak Chino, California

though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him

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