cts's picture



Liner Notes: 

Groups like Public Enemy, Zulu Nation, Brand Nubians and X-Clan were highly influential during the 90s era of rap/hip-hop. There was an emphasis on being uniquely different from pop culture, white America; and more "woke" about African ancestral history and legacy. There was also the "black church" doing the same thing yet retaining certain Christian precepts. I remember there being commentary about hip-hop infiltrating the white suburbs. News outlets. MTV. Weekly magazines...it was hot talk back then. And while many of my friends gravitated towards the early years of being woke, I determined it was all a group think tank that I didn't want to be a part of. So the song is about standing apart from both sides and standing on my own conclusions. It's stating that perceptions (black or white, from either perspective, is not indicative of every person in said people group - or any group for that matter). The rap at the end is kinda a homage to Chuck D, Gil Scott-Herron and Rev. D. Logan.

How I did it:
Recorded using Presnous Studio One 3
Alesis V49 for virtual instruments: Organ, Bass
Yamaha S03 synthesizer
Programming: Various samples, drums/beats, and FX
Vocals: CTS and @Acousticmaddie
Mic: Sennheiser


U think the we do
But really we don't
U think that we will
But we really won't
The fact of the matter is
We don't drink wine
We don't drink wine
We don't drink wine
Not with our dinner
We don't toast with champagne
We don't "here's 2 U"
Everybody is not the same
We won't ever Miller Time
We don't play that game
We don't drink wine
We don't drink wine

VAMP (Repeat)
Hip-hop's gonna git cha
Hip-hop's gonna git cha
Hip-hop's gonna git cha
Hip-hop's gonna git cha, say whaaat?!?

People killing/ willing/ with no regrets/ no feeling
Peace in the Middle East/ has ceased
Only violence and death within reach
Causes massive trauma 2 the emotions
Saints ain't now/ no restraints
Children not safe without Tech 9s
Fashion trends/ define sin
Anything sexual the better
Religious East than West/ there's no guilt at rest
Ready or not it's the sign of the times
Revelation is here/ and we're headed 4 destruction

Armageddon/ gettin' closer
The rate of touchdown on the boarder
Signs and wonders/ pay attention
From the horizon comes dissension
As I tell U/ listen closely
2 the message 4 U only
Now's the time/ move quickly
Don't delay or lose out
Find the path/ it will lead U
From destruction 2 clear view
But first U must leave the digital city

2020 The Jelly Factory!

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


kahlo2013's picture

There is so much depth and food for thought here with many vivid slice in time references that evoke memories and emotions. The hook is powerful. Some of the cultural and/or religious perspectives and references are eye opening to this white 60+ year old woman. My mind is chewing on the lyrics and trying to swallow all you are trying to convey. The sign of a very effective song. I appreciate your liner notes as well. I am a bit lost in thought so I apologize for the rambling nature of my comments. And I should comment on the awesome funk and well crafted and delivered music. Your music has the energy and beats and effects that are engaging and the vocal emphasis of lines with the phrasing and pacing is perfect. This is a compelling contemporary song that crosses cultural divides beautifully and effectively. Thank you!

billwhite51's picture

this statement of individuality pays tribute to three of the most original talents in the r&b field. first we get the force pf neo soul that prince restored to an r&b landscape that had becme watered down by crossover white appeal. then we go into a vamp that has a but of marvin gayes orchestral touches from the whats goin on period......then i hear .echoes of public ememy in the rap section. it all adds up to somethung more than its parts, with the battle of cry of the title line declaring an adherence to ones own tastes.

nancyrost's picture

That loop is really interesting to me harmonically - the way the chords move back and forth in half steps, and the layers and tension the melody creates with that. I like the dimension there. I'd be interested in knowing more about the various samples you combined to create this.
I appreciate the references to independent thought and clear vision.
I like the fx you are using for the rap, does give a bit of a 90s feel.

Sunfire's picture

Very interesting and unique. Nice mix of sounds and the lyrics are thought provoking.

phylo's picture

That bass line/beat is so industrial and urban. I didn't listen to the referenced 90's rap per se, but when hip hop started to gain popularity, I embraced those rhythms. You can't help but move to them. While I like to think that I'm a semi-woke old guy, I also recognize my privilege. My 2 daughters are half black, so I've stood between cultures. Great music.

Love the anti-propaganda/anti-anti-propaganda quality-- first verse immediately brings to mind all those commercials targeting people to try to sell them what they're encouraged to want for the sake of commerce-- that "this is just within reach" lifestyle crap that gets thrown at all of us. And well, great production and vokes as always...

MarkG's picture

First a funny story I heard from a colleague in the wine/spirits business. His sales team was charged with a marketing drive for a brandy brand focused, in large part, on Northeast urban stores with largely Black clientele. Unfortunately for him, the brandy company sent him point of sale material designed for the uppper Midwest market, featuring white guys wearing red plaid flannel shirts. But...back to the wine and Miller time.
I'm taking the message to be that you, and other thinking people, retain what they like about their home culture, follow or reject the trends of the moment (thinking, why do all hipster rebels sport the same look?), and try to come to their own conclusions, likes, dislikes.
That being said, it is good news when the nation's cultures seep into each other. Like when white kids listen to rap/hip hop--which it seems is today's dominant genre, anyway. That opens their minds to what Colin Kaepernick, Chuck D, John Lewis are saying, So the cost of the insiders' message becoming broader and perhaps diluted, has its good and bad.
Oh, yeah, I love the sound, especially the introduction.

sbs2018's picture

I get so tired of being treated like we’re all the same. I keep wondering, “Who are you talking to?” My life is nothing like that. And I don’t want it to be. I try to avoid group thinking especially when it’s being forced on me by the media. (And marketing.) Perspective is different - so true. I had to fight to embrace the elegance of food and wine as an art. The family I grew up in spoke disparagingly of that (and artists, as well.) Fast forward to my 40s and I meet my father and I discover his love for fine food, wine, and music. At last! Again, perspective is everything. Cool vibe, of course. Smile

dzd's picture

Hah! I heard Fugue 1 before this one Wink my comments/thoughts about the woke group think tank are there!

This is equally as impressive! More so even musically......wow man! just wow!

*applause* in a slow clap with some disbelieving head shaking!
well done!

Purple Catfish Bro's picture

this is great! a person might wonder, how many of us are thinking about 'leave digital city' lately?

Rob From Amersfoort's picture

Soundwise to me this is interesting and original. I've read billwhite51's comment but I never heard this kind of music before. Love the 'say what's Smile