Revisit: Day 1 – Day 2 – Day 3 – Day 4 – Day 5 – Day 6
LIT is a ‘lyrical remix’ album where I take mainstream pop and hip hop songs that have an amazing sound and style (but leave a lot to be desired in terms of lyrical content), and I infuse them with my own original, spiritually-conscious lyrics.
Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
***Warning Explicit Content***
Release Date: 2/1/2013
Billboard Hot 100 Chart Peak: 6th
U.S. Record Sales: 5 million+
YouTube Streams: 411 million+
The world is a scary place. With each passing day, the grim clouds of darkness and destruction grow ever stronger. Violence, famine, and poverty ravage the downtrodden, leaving their helpless victims crippled, while a callous and apathetic humanity watches the horror unfold…
Let me tell you what I see, I’m in a strange land, place looks like a horror scene,
You can call it third world, I just saw a little girl watch her brother blown to smithereens,
Every kid packin heat, holding semi-automatics little homies barely in their teens,
Now I’m walking down the street, kids dying of starvation man that look of hunger’s killing me,
Then I open up a door, walk into a room and all I see are prostitutes,
In the corner is a toy, shock on my face at the sight of little boy,
I can’t take it anymore, rush back outside can’t fathom what the pain is for,
Then I bump into a man, look down at his shirt part white part crimson red,
He was wet to the touch, feeling sick to my stomach realized he was soaked in blood,
But he didn’t bat an eye, confusion in my mind, next sight had me horrified,
As I walk into the square, middle of the town dead bodies lying everywhere,
What the hell is going on, I’m about to pass out, but I’m trying to remain calm,
I’m about to pass out, but I’m trying to remain calm,
I’m about to pass out, but I’m trying to remain calm,
Then it hit me like a train, must be going out my mind or my brain got me seeing things,
So I start to take it back, I rewind to the start and I give that scene a second pass,
Little sister in her living room, saw her brother take the blast then the speakers made a big boom,
Battleground was on a color screen, kids are pulling triggers but the guns are on the TV,
Sit at school waiting for that bell to ring, 6th graders running home headed straight to the warzone,
That’s when I see the poverty, kids starving for attention but their parents playing absentee,
Stomachs big plenty food to eat, that look of hunger on their face was being caused by a different need,
They aint getting any love, and there aint no one to guide them, they keep saying their too busy,
So the kids are fending for themselves, that little boy in the room kissed his innocence farewell,
Even though he was all alone, pure soul getting poisoned by them X-rated videos,
Now I’m back to the bloody T, homie bought it on sale, blind to the other side of retail,
Business operating in the red, even though they’re making profit, guess the devil’s in the details,
Return to the square, bodies look alive, so I take a closer look, what I saw got me shook,
People shopping, yeah their pockets plenty large,
But they’re dead to the spirit, no love in their hearts,
We say we’re number one, but we’re really on the bottom,
Didn’t notice that we’d fallen (didn’t notice that we’d fallen)
Acting like we’re on the top, man we’re putting on a show but we can’t escape the problems
We’re digging deep into my music catalogue for today’s bonus content!
As I stated in today’s Vlog entry, “The Bottom” has a bit of a darker vibe to the sound and lyrics, which is reflective of taking an honest, critical look at the state of the world right now. I generally try to focus on the positive side of things, but I also feel that part of being socially-conscious is to acknowledge the ugliness of certain dark forces operating in the world.
This reminded me of one of the songs off my first album, titled “Need A Doctor”, which features my good friend and amazing vocalist AWU. On the track, we examine the many ills plaguing society, seeking out the spiritual remedies. It’s not one of my most well-known songs, but it’s actually one of my personal favorites.
Based on today’s lyrical remix, here are some questions for reflection:
1) What do you see as some of the BIGGEST ISSUES plaguing our society?
2) How can we assist FUTURE GENERATIONS to overcome these issues?
Creating this lyrical remix was a very stimulating exercise, as it allowed me to juxtapose the issues plaguing my society with other parts of the world. I’m curious to see if this is something you all have done before, and if so, what types of issues have you observed? Leave a comment below!👇🏽
And another one –
“the chosen ones of God… should not look at the depraved conditions of the society in which they live, nor at the evidences of moral degradation and frivolous conduct which the people around them display. They should not content themselves merely with relative distinction and excellence. Rather they should fix their gaze upon nobler heights by setting the counsels and exhortations of the pen of Glory as their supreme goal. Then it will be readily realized how numerous are the stages that still remain to be traversed and how far off the desired goal lies — a goal which is none other than exemplifying heavenly morals and virtues.”
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 136)
LOVE this quote! Especially the point about relative excellence. When we decide to dedicate our lives to service and righteousness, it’s so easy to get lazy and comfortable by comparing oneself to the rest of society and think things like “at least I’m not doing _____”. But that’s not the mindset required to make true change! We have to strive for total excellence!!
Hi all –
I’m a little lazy this evening, so instead of sharing my personal words, I’m gonna take the privilege to share one of the many related quotes from the Baha’i Faith:
“The gross materialism that engulfs the entire nation at the present hour; the attachment to worldly things that enshrouds the souls of men; the fear and anxieties that distract their minds; the pleasure and dissipations that fill their time, the prejudices and animosities that darken their outlook, the apathy and lethargy that paralyze their spiritual faculties — these are among the formidable obstacles that stand in the path of every would-be warrior in the service of Bahá’u’lláh, obstacles which he must battle against the surmount in his crusade for the redemption of his own countrymen.”
(Shoghi Effendi: Citadel of Faith, p. 149)
Shoghi Effendi always bringing the FIRE! 🔥🔥🔥
So many beautiful passages that help us understand the forces we are up against, which is the first step of attempting to overcome them!
1) I see apathy and prejudice as being our societies biggest issues. In my opinion, this comes from a lack of spirituality and high purpose. Conjoined with this, I think these issues also come from an attachment to this world. Of course, you can argue that “spiritual people” can still demonstrate apathy and prejudices. I think when we are so attached to our own status in this world, that’s when our prejudices come out. I’ve even caught myself placing my rank above others BECAUSE I believed I was more spiritual than them. Ha! When we can learn to detach ourselves from the things of this world, we see our self and others as spiritual beings, created by the same Source. We want others to progress spiritual because that aides our own spiritual grown!
Some quotes that have helped me understand detachment and focusing on the spirit:
“Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest.”
“Detachment does not consist in setting fire to one’s house, or becoming bankrupt or throwing one’s fortune out of the window, or even giving away all of one’s possessions. Detachment consists in refraining from letting our possessions possess us. A prosperous merchant who is not absorbed in his business knows severance. A banker whose occupation does not prevent him from serving humanity is severed. A poor man can be attached to a small thing.”
“But with the human soul, there is no decline. Its only movement is towards perfection; growth and progress alone constitute the motion of the soul.”
Yes, apathy and prejudice are definitely some of the most pressing negative social forces plaguing our society today! It’s so strange how there’s been a culture built around apathy for the community being somehow “cool” and something we should aspire towards if we want to earn the respect and admiration of others.
And yeah, it’s also really strange to see what felt like outdated forms of prejudice making a resurgence over the last several years.
Helping young people to escape these traps is a very important task! So it seems the antidote for these diseases would be… helping young people to be empowered, compassionate protagonists for change that work for the betterment of all, regardless of background?
I think we can best assist our youth today by focusing on the light, love, and wisdom we can share with them. Yes, evil needs to be handled and seen for what it is, but a deep dive into all it’s ins and outs isn’t as helpful as a deep dive into Love. All of humanity wants to be loved, and truly that’s our purpose, to learn how to love. Some people have a very skewed understanding of what love is, and what power is. Truly God, divine Love, is all power. If this is true, we need to see that evil does not have power! Mary Baker Eddy wrote In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness, and falls never to rise.
Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power.” This quote is found on page 192.
Thank you for sharing Rachel! I’m loving all of the amazing quotes you are sharing! 🙌🏽
I wholeheartedly agree that focusing on the positive, integrative forces is a much better approach than focusing on the negative, destructive forces. I think another way of looking at it is “forms of expression”. My good friend Karim Rushdy (who your are all well familiar with at this point) once taught me that there are 3 basic forms of expression in rap (and in general):
1) Expression of self (example: I am mad!)
2) Expression of surroundings (example: I am mad because my community has problems!)
3) Expression of solutions (example: I am mad because my community has problems, so we need more unity!)
I think I always strive to hit all 3 forms of expression in my lyrics, however, this particular track (The Bottom) I would say most heavily emphasizes the 2nd level of expression (surroundings).