Lyrics & Memories: Chant
This is by far the oldest song I wrote appearing on the PLAGUE album. It’s hard to pinpoint but I would put it in 93, NO later than 94. I remember writing it during the time I was in an old crew called ‘Quest 4 Souls’.
I can’t remember exactly why but I picked the American Indian culture as a background for the track. Growing up in San Diego there is a lot of celebrations and festivals centered around that community, and as a kid I always admired the fierceness of Indian warriors (the cowboys sucked!). The purpose behind this song was just a ‘warpath’ vibe so native American Indians just naturally popped into my head while writing.
With that said, I will tell you about an unusually funny memory I have about this track. This song seriously is the oldest on the album. Even the track was completed shortly after writing it. So all the way back in 94 I was doin small shows and rockin this track. One of these performances was at an outdoor community block party in L.A. city. So here I am in the middle of the ghetto jumpin around performing this one. BUT…few people know that the original song had me doing this crazy chanted chorus. Kinda like the baseball fans that chant at the Redskin Indian games. Well at this particular show a 300-pound, drunk Indian lady that was very upset with me approached me after wards.
She had got the feeling that I was mocking her culture. And, I kid you not, she almost killed me right there in the middle of the street. I tried to explain to her that I have alotta respect for the Indian culture and that is what the song stemmed off of. But she wasn’t having it (a scrawny kid tryin to tell a fully grown, fully intoxicated adult the depth behind a song)! She put a curse on me and my family then said that if I ever played that song again her spirit would hunt me down and choke me in my sleep!
It was a long time after that before I even dared to rock that song again. And even when I finally did, that ‘Chanting’ chorus was definitely omitted! It was crazy. I laugh about it now, but back then I was 17 years old and having a huge older woman threaten to kill me was a bit frightening.
When I toured with POD in 97 this seemed to be the favorite. I was used to Bboys and breakdancing. But alotta the shows I did with them was with other bands and I was the only hiphop act. So I used to get kids to start a mosh pit to this track! They all thought that was hilarious.
I have an old Rescue records comp from 94 that has this track on it. It’s actually not the album version because it was the VERY first time I ever recorded in a studio and it showed. Walkin to school in the hood and freestyling while someone else beat boxed was far different than sittin in that vocal booth with that scary microphone hovering over you. But lemme tell you! I learned how to master that mic quick!
Out of all the tracks on PLAGUE I think Chant had one of the most memorable beats. It was just an ill and raw track. Real gritty and street level. Slow moving but powerful like a flash flood.
I was always a Micheal Jackson fan when I was little (yeah! Shaddup!) and always wanted to scratch ‘Smooth Criminal’ in a song. That worked out well here too! Then some goof balls make a million dollars recently by doin a cover of it (Alien Ant Farm)!!
Out of all my tracks, this one has got to be the oldest and most history filled. To write a few paragraphs now doesn’t seem to do any justice. Chant is so old I can barely remember its beginning. Man! I’m getting old!
Chant was recorded a few times before the album version and re-recorded over a new beat for the ‘Upsetter Mixtape’, 2009.
I'LL STICK IT IN YOUR BACK, SON
I BEAT DOWN PARTIAL DARKNESS, LIKE THE RASTA'S
BEAT DOWN UPON THE DRUMS
AT THE NIYABINGHI PARTY
EMOBILIZIN' DARK AREAS
GOT EVERYBODY RUNNING , AND SCARED OF A
LITTLE BROTHA LIKE ME BECAUSE I USE MY VERSES LIKE THEY WAS A GUN
( CHICK-CHICK ) AND MAKE AN EMCEE RUN
MY STYLE IS INFAMOUS, KNOWN ACROSS THE MAP
I'LL BOARD YOUR SHIP AND TAKE YOUR LOOT LIKE THEM PIRATES
I GO PUBLIC TO THE ENEMY
DERIVE MY STRENGTH FROM GOD SO THE IMMORAL CAN'T BEAT ME
I EXCEED OVER THE DEVILS SILLY INSTRUMENTS
MY WAYS ARE POTENT, WHILE YOUR WAYS ARE IMPOTENT
SO GET YOUR CREW AND WE CAN GET IT ON
LIGHT A FIRE AND SING ALL NIGHT LONG
MY EXPERTISE IS DANGEROUS, LIKE THE WRONG END OF A SHOTGUN
BUT STILL DEVILS HAUNT MY CRANIUM
I BE BIG CHIEF-WHILE YOU BE LITTLE CHIEF
'CAUSE I SMOKE A SPIRIT WHILE YOU SMOKE A LEAF
I GET CRAZY LIKE A PUNKROCK MOHAWK
ANTAGONIZE AND HEAR THE SOUND OF THE TOMAHAWK
WICKED ALWAYS PLAYS THE OUTSIDE, NEVER STANDIN' CLOSE TO MY WINDPIPE
BECAUSE THEY MIGHT GET SNIPED
A PROCESSION OF LOCUST STANDIN' WITH INDIAN SPEARS
WAITIN' FOR THE DEVIL TO COME NEAR
HIT UP THE ARMY, LIGHT THE FUSE OF THE WARPATH
AND LISTEN TO THE WAR CHANT
THE FIRE IS BURNIN' WITHIN
TO CHASE ALL THE SNAKES FROM THE SNAKE DEN
AND LAY THE DEVIL'S WORLD DOWN LOW
AND WHEN HE SAYS WHAT THE HECK, I SAY.…
" YOU'VE BEEN HIT BY A SMOOTH CRIMINAL"
...(HEY YOU CAN'T GO IN THERE, THAT'S ABBADON'S OFFICE)...
A SHADY CHARACTER IN THE CORNER, HA
I SAID TO MYSELF THIS MUST BE THE ENEMY
I APPROACHED THE TABLE SLOWLY
HIS STINKIN' MEN STOOD TO THE BACK, AND SURROUNDED ME
NOW THERE'S MAD BROTHAS ON ALL SIDES AND ALL THE WHILE
ALL I SEE IS CROOKED UPSIDE DOWN SMILES
THEY WANNA TAKE ME TO THE RIVER
AND GIVE TO ME SOME CEMENT NIKE'S
I BUST A MICROPHONE OUT QUIOK
GUNS POINTED AT MY HEADD-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK
I LET MY VOICE SLICE THROUGH THE SILENCE
ALL OF THEM ARE SWEATIN' BUT NO ONE GETS VIOLENT
NO ONE LET THE BULLET DOWN THE SHAFT
BECAUSE I STARTED TO GO ON THE WARPATH
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The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
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