Fellow Man

Fellow Man

BandHip HopAlternative

Progressive Hiphop that you sit down and listen to and pay attention to the words. It is my aim to write rap songs from lyrical and musical perspectives that haven't been heard before in Hiphop.


People keep talking about how history repeats, and why wouldn’t it? The basic game hasn’t changed in a couple hundred thousand years. We eat, work, think, fuck, defend our own. We put our trust in powerful people so we won’t have to work so hard and get to think and fuck a little harder. The powerful people build walls and gates and sooner or later there are barbarians at them. Go read Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. You don’t have to read the whole thing, or even most of it. I didn’t. There’s always corruption. People are either rallying or scared shitless. Believe me, there are always barbarians at the gates.
I know that’s melodramatic, and not particularly original. Hiphop has been predicting the end of society for thirty-some-odd years now. It was created by a group of people who looked around at the disappointing society they had, and decided to make their own. Since then, it’s acted as a lament and a dirge for, a satire and a chronicle of the waning society. What I wanted to do was look at the whole problem from a new angle, find some unexplored perspectives, and I’ve always been fascinated by the way people talk. Language, dialect, idiom, jargon—there’s a whole universe out there. Listen to some radio broadcasts from the 1930s and 40s. People talked different back then. Listen to Dylan Thomas. Listen to Lenny Bruce. Listen to Malcom X. Corporate lawyers speak a different language from construction workers. Cops speak a different language from hippies. Hiphop speaks a different language from everybody—but if we’re smart, it’s up to us to learn everybody else’s language so we can figure shit out.

I was born on 10 September 1985 in Georgetown University Hospital, Washington DC, a scant six blocks from the Exorcist steps. At 16 I started writing rap lyrics, influenced early by Tupac, Mos Def and KRS-One. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I listen to everything--from ambient to zydeco, so my influences are many.



Written By: Cullen P. Wade

Verse One
The black river shoulders along without relent
On its banks rich people sleep the sleep of the content
With enough money to have a view of the waterway
And a Bolivian who comes to clean the house every Saturday
Latter-day aristocracy plant a seed
To raise their kids in the American fantasy
Planes ubiquitous, overhead in silent service
Their burning lights reflected in the river’s shiny surface
Never talk above a whisper when it’s this late
It’s distasteful to try to pull and twist fate
There’s something sacred in the scores of sleeping Jaguars
In the sky that’s clear enough to see clouds, but never stars
It’s hyperbolic to say everyone’s asleep
There’s a single dad up, writing a check for the new Jeep
A teenager too stoned to fit key to lock
A white van brings the newspaper at three o’clock
Meet me at the dock and we’ll drive through the warm, clean air
Poke into subdivisions and hope we’re not seen there
The river is the loose rivet on which our lives pivot
Like a rusted hinge, it only gives as much give as we give it
Suburban nativity, brevity in platonic form
As evidenced by high school teachers of a laconic norm
With the artifice of Artemis we drive a car through this
Hunting for proof that part of this world isn’t heartless
It’s hard to miss, even for the barely pensive
Your house is a duplicate of those where your friends live
Architecture for dummies, in the interest of time it’s
Conceived in the coldest of cognitive climates
“Planned community” is a term used to sell lots
All they really are is housing projects for the well-off
I’m not from the south, I’m not from the east, I don’t play that game
I’m from the suburbs, where everything’s the same.

Limbo between campo and small town
Like mulch on the playground in case the kids fall down
Limbo between freedom and being wall-bound
Like the tantalizing view from the top of a tall mound
Limbo, like wanting to smile when your friends all frown
Like a rough cotton trim on a gossamer ball gown
Limbo, a shawl surrounds us while there’s life all around
The river’s going somewhere, but if I follow I’ll drown.

Verse Two
It’s dark enough tonight to see the light from distant cities
Darkening the sky above the tops of underlit trees
Clatter screens of evergreens for the better teens
Instead of god, we get a team of landscapers to set our scenes
If it weren’t so trivial, the effort would be laudable
But the thunder of the nearby highway is still audible
The ghetto seems regretted, fetid dreams where hazards wink
But those deadened gleams are not as distant as you think
As you sink, now you’re very conscious of when you blink
Yesterday you picked up speed, but you weren’t in a rink
Your mother fiends for mink and your father is fond of drink
Your dog barks at the ink, and everybody sees a shrink
Your brother thinks he’s Link, your sister swears she’s on the brink
But she pledges the edge is not as precious as N’SYNC
You chase pink, but beaver fever levels achievers and cheaters
Neither ether nor the reefer leaf is cheaper than beefeater
So instead of a believer, you’re either the fodder or the feeder
But never the eater, you peter out like Derek Jeter
Teeter on the precipice, you think you matter less than piss
You live by the river, which is polluted like your liver
And on which vision dithers, and off of which shimmers
Every glimmer, stronger or dimmer, tonight’s just hot enough to simmer
I’m trying to find words to describe the tone
But the air conditioner’s drone stops and starts on its own.

Verse Three
I’m sure the Limbo rocks for mothers with botox
Lawyers with their own docks and losers with mohawks
Cabbies with high fares who get paid to drive there
But I have to buy shares in Exxon to survive there
I’ll be fair, tonight I could try prayer
Amidst bags of grass clippings that move in the night air
Every town has an Elm St., every suburb a nightmare
Every park a plastic playground that lays our plight bare
Our anxieties about suicide bombers
Waft into a midnight sky yellow with commerce
Meanwhile, we do our yard work on the weekend
So our well-cared-for oak trees are impressively fecund
Against the white clouds the shadow of a high bough
Waits to be felled by Max von Sydow
I doubt the devil could ride out
Because I would hide out, and wait until my legacy died out
My headlights now mingle with those of another night owl
I’m not going to look at him for fear that he might scowl
Let’s stray toward the river, pallid like an x-ray
As neither of us have got shit to do the next day
And sit on grass carefully tended and bending to
Aromas of a phantom harvest and impending dew
Summer in the suburbs is like a safari
Hills roll like billfolds, and I ought to be sorry
But I love the pristine lawns, I love the floodlights
I love the neighborhood associations and the

The Vulgate

Written By: Cullen P. Wade

Verse One
In spurts and fits you work like Harriet
Lariats and whips don’t last, so you want a chariot
To carry it across the cielo like Apollo
Italy hasn’t known such horror since giallo
Lady Liberty’s from Paris, who was a Bush killa
And also had Hellenic lust that went beyond vanilla
If you think I mean Miss Hilton, your very urge’ll merit
If America’s the new Egypt, read about it in Virgil.
Hurdles and murders curdle your brittle little kettle of cider
Hard core, if you’re not inside her it’s best to deride her
Spread-eagled on a table-top
Made of formica, lick your lover like a fatal pop
We’ve had our share already of horses in the Senate
If you missed what I just said, ask Mr. George Tenet
I’ve got a feeling it’s recorded as soon as I pen it
Last of the breed, like Louis L’Amour and Tony Bennett.

Asalaam alaikum, alaikum asalaam
The Rubicon bridge has been destroyed by a bomb
You’d better start swimming, or you’ll speak like Cicero
Hullu q’wanq’wawoch ckoinjowoch nadchaww
Come gather ‘round, friends of dimes, crime, and the climb
The Rubicon bridge has been destroyed by time
You’d better start swimming, or you’ll stink like a sulfate
Inculpate bulk hates and dull fates with The Vulgate.

Verse Two
Let me continue, brown meat and sinew towns
Muscle and bone cities prone to pin you down
Every dweller refusing to be just a minion
Subculture subsisting like the seat of Justinian
Not just anyone can be a citizen, hit us in hope
And resist the temptation to call it a sin
Innocence in renaissance, reticence for debutantes
They’re dead and gone like megalodons, but still come through with regular
Suggestions to jettison the medicine
For the trouble it can get us in, thank God we’re more inventive than Edison
We keep fallacious phalluses to bypass urinalysis
Holes deeper than Alice’s to confuse curious curialises
Osama bin Alaric, America’s heretic cleric
Forsake the barricades if you think he’s that barbaric
But since I know a flak jacket won’t hack it
I’ll stay in Byzantium until the Turks sack it.

Verse Three
You’ve heard it before, so I’ll spare you the thought
The patricians get richer and the plebians do not
Not to belabor the point, but they’re broke and getting broker
What I’m writing about sucks, so call me Bram Stoker
Yellow ochre inviolate, still bleeding vermillion
Looking back, I’m glad I wasn’t born a Sicilian
Too deep in the construct to vocalize doubt
Perish with the rest? I’d rather poke my eyes out
So what happens when the line of wealth gets too thin to trot?
The ghettos become a linguistic melting pot
Where the smelting’s hot and the slag fills the gutter
And our steel tongue cuts culture barriers like butter
Any language that the working class might mutter
Is grist for the mill, powering the rotors and the rudder
If I stutter, don’t complain, I’m the flooder, you’re the plain
And we’ve got a civilization to sustain.

Verse Four
Where can you go if you want to survive the plunder?
I wonder, the Goths approach like lightning before the thunder
Nature has dropped the fuse burning on the floor
You’re facing the Danube, inferno on the shore
If we had a lot of money we could make it, but we don’t
Slaves are free to join the legion, but we won’t
How can you flee from the melee and stay noble
When the stranglehold is nothing less than totally global?
Try Constantinople, hope’ll hold us up like a thumb tack
Didn’t you know? Eastern Europe’s making a comeback
Think of me as St. Jerome, re-writing the sacred tome
So you can take it home and make it known in ancient Rome
And even if our culture’s got a couple of flaws
We have eight-hundred years to hone the dullest of our claws
Learn to speak the language of the times, and pulsate
Radiate ‘til every state can inculcate the Vulgate.

Leopold and I

Written By: Cullen P. Wade

Knick-knack, paddywagon, Leopold and Loeb
Went from knicking knick-knacks to a tic-attack mode
Shredded red meat like a thick, fat daube
And hickory-dickory Glock ‘til his rib rack showed

Verse One
In tenth grade, I wasn’t sure of myself, but who is?
He was in my math class, plus my mom knew his
And through this we had become acquainted
But casually, in passing he would nod a faint head
Until one day I came to school late, and cruel fate
Placed us in the same empty hallway with dual hate
I had a craving for some Jonestown Kool-Aid
And he was looking just like something that a ghoul ate
School began before dawn, the hallway was immaculate
And sickly fluorescent light was battling the black for it
He asked me how I was, idly, out of etiquette
I’m no stranger to bullshit, and I wish that I had said a bit
I could have made do with “fine, how are you, sir?”
But something about that morning made my tongue a little looser
I told him of my angst, how I felt poked and prodded
And how I wanted even. He listened and he nodded.

Verse Two
That was how we became bros, with the same woes
I suppose those were directed at our lame foes
I came close to dropping all my other cats
We started eating lunch alone and stomping on the butter pats
Brothers in mutual dissatisfaction
Waxing expectant of future decisive action
Kindred passion for infraction born of interaction
With the paramilitary dreams of a splinter faction.
We stole a set of keys to the school
Displeased with the rule, anarchies made us drool
Since the age of consciousness, it’s been preposterous
Under their thumb like a blade of grass beneath a rhinocerous
The same institution with the same congregation
Day after day, to the point of saturation
Up before the sun, eight hours we were kept
Then sent home with enough work to keep us busy ‘til we slept
They encouraged little cliques, and the goal was to divide us
Any attempt at explanation defied us
I’m an outcast today, and it’ll be that way forever
So I have no choice but to get Ecks versus Sever
Go ballistic, fry motherfuckers like some Bisquick
Then disappear like Linnea with the lipstick.

Verse Three
Fed up, idealism blinded to the cataclysm
Ask me for a motive and you’ll find it in the catechism
I had a vision and picked him out a victim
Impersonal stress relief was the dictum
The kid was too small to fight like a braveheart
I had a KA-Bar stolen from the K-Mart
He had a pistol which he pointed at the grey part
Nightmares made flesh like those of Mr. DesCartes
For the graveyard we took him to a clearing in some nearby woods
He wouldn’t make it out, so we didn’t need hoods
I played David Hess with a razor to the chest
And made a gaping mess better than Wes Craven’s best
We tore out his tongue and he choked on bloody air
Bewildered at the world and how it could be so unfair
We shot him in the groin and in the chest until he was still
They call that a thrill kill, we called it a chill pill.