Andy/Abs on the ol' vocal chords/Andrew Frost on geetars/Colin Kingsmore on a wooden box (literally)
Produced by Digs Dorfman.
Mixed by Ted "Measuring Man" Onyszczak at Silverbirch Productions, Toronto, Canada.
Mastered by Andy Krehm at Silverbirch Mastering, Toronto, Canada.
With help from the Ontario Arts Council.
Chorus: Broken since the day you left me,
I’m trying to mend the pieces, broken,
broken, I’m broken, baby I’m bro-
ken since the day you left me,
I’m trying to keep composure, broken,
broken, I'm broken, baby I’m broke.
Fuck a love song.
Only thing worse is a love lost song.
At least that’s what I thought until I lost love
& now look at me, here pen in hand.
Trying to write away a broken heart
disgusting the me from four hundred and ninety two…
days ago, a day before the day you…
Leaving my heart broke.
I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t eat, it fucked my sleep up,
rapid heart beat thumps. Clichés,
in other words that we hear each day.
replayed, on the radio.
I used to chalk it up to a lack of artistry.
But again that was before my heart had been
side-swiped, traumatized, shell-shocked, clothes-lined,
played with, brutalized…broken.
Like bottomless abyss can’t go on broken.
Like there’s no joy in anything without you broken.
Like I’m numb to a crisp, sunny morning broken.
And like I can’t see my mom, ‘cuz she’ll see me…
Yeah that kind of broken.
The kind of broken that’s making me re-listen
to all these love songs that I used to be dissing
because the missing ingredient
that I needed to see the wisdom in ‘em was you…
First your coming & then your going.
Of course, the impact you’d have? I couldn’t have been knowing.
If I had, I might not have got involved.
But that’s split milk that I’m not trying to mop.
And like they say, better to have loved and lost,
than to never…well, you know the rest.
So I guess it’s like no regrets,
learnt from it, growth, & all the rest…
of the things sad people say,
to help their sadness go away.
And sure everybody knows that that it’s all clichés.
But if those clichés are beaming rays
from a lighthouse shining through a sea of pain,
leading the way through reefs & the steepest waves
to a more serene place,
well I’ma follow ‘em.
Follow ‘em right to the earth’s end.
Follow ‘em just until this hurt ends.
Follow ‘em ‘til physically I work again.
Follow ‘em right until this verse ends.
Track Name: Sock Hop
My sock drawer is a thing of perfection.
On the left, ankle socks in their own section.
Moving right, you come across the full lengths,
but further sub-genres divide those ranks.
First of all, on the bottom tier.
you got wooly and thick for when itʼs winter and autumn here, and you can see your own breath fog.
Next to those lies my stash of dress socks.
Not many ʻcuz Iʼm not often dressy.
More likely to find me in some sweats and see
when thatʼs the case I got tube socks galore,
white, navy, grey, in their proper place in the drawer.
Each pair rolled tightly, facing in the same direction,
why? Because my sock drawerʼs a reflection
of the chaos of my mind, an inverse relationship,
take a look inward, the more crazy it gets
the more externally I crave order
and you can see it in my sock drawer.
Itʼs like my own private Zen garden,
helps me stay cool when life gets alarming,
while my feet stay warm at the same time,
meditation for body, sole, and mind,
body, sole, and mind,
pun intended, body, sole, and mind.
The chaos in my mind is reflected in my sock drawer. Keep my socks neatly stacked and stored.
Because the big, bad world I canʼt control
so I instead I keep my socks neatly stacked and rolled.
My sock drawer is really nothing more
than a metaphor, ʻcuz my need for or-
der extends past the borders of just some hosiery.
Hi my name is Abs and I have OCD.
For those who donʼt know what it means hereʼs an explanation, obsessive compulsive disorder is what the abbreviation
stands for and itʼs bigger than a damn drawer,
it means Iʼm anal, but not like a man-whore.
In the sense of being a neat freak,
which you can see from these sentences I speak over beats. Nary a wayward syllable,
￼I run a tight ship when I recite itʼs like impenetrable.
This OCD both a gift and a curse,
thereʼs no denying it comes in handy when Iʼm scripting a verse. But on the other hand, when Iʼm making my bed,
it takes me half an hour, make a mistake, start again.
Until I get it looking perfect,
then and only then can I start writing these verses.
Otherwise, man I just canʼt focus,
knowing that these sheets are in hopeless
disarray, leaving my mind in a similar state
no relief until I get em straightened
out to my exact specifications.
And donʼt ask if Iʼve been on medication,
ʻcuz I have, and it didnʼt do jack,
I have OCD, I just live with the fact.
[repeat chorus 2X]
No longer fight the fact that I have this psychological quirk, Iʼve found the best policy is just to try to work with it
rather than against it,
ʻtil itʼs the least intrusive possibly I can get it
in my life. And how that manifests
is each and every morning before I eat my breakfast I invest some time to complete the obligations
that I know will impede my concentration
if left unattended to, I make the bed then move
to the vacuum & get the room.
Dishes are next, already thoroughly pre-rinsed,
then stacked in the dishrack in a logical sequence. Stretch, push-ups, breakfast, meditate,
e-mails, shower, then put pen to page
and write gems with a lightning precision.
I have OCD but Iʼm alright with the condition.
[repeat chorus 2X]
Track Name: Don't Get It Twisted (part 1)
Don’t get it twisted pup, I still rip shit up
even if it’s only on drums & some strings getting plucked I…
don’t require that hit from today’s ‘it’ producer
producing a buzz instead on the strength my shit’s smoother
than a Bombyx Mori, confused?
Get your entomology game up, means ‘silkworm’ dude
making me…pretty smooth indeed, sure you agree
now that we’ve adequately cleared up what the simile means.
I mean I’m smoother than a smoothie made from blended smooth things.
I’m the smoothest diamond, you’re a head-shop mood ring,
who’s flashing grey,
which according to the index means anxious & strained.
Plain to see why…
‘Cuz I be fly, emcees try to reach my elite style of speech I
beseech guys to keep tryin’ but deep inside I keep in mind
they need to find new dreams to blindly seek & while
they’re seeking blindly I’ll keep freaking these rhymes.
See I’m a good talker.
Saying I talk good is kinda like saying water’s good at being wet.
Or that birds are good at flying. Shit
basically, in other words, slick talking, I define it.
Rewind it, if you feel the need to test the theory,
theory being I got more flow than water in an estuary.
Necessary sometimes, to get it across to dumb minds.
Rap’s overcast, I’m sunshine, stay coming up with dumb rhymes.
Nah dummy, not dumb meaning dumb
dumb meaning NOT dumb, refuse to dumb it down I’d rather stay dumb.
Like mute, you know? Capiche? Comprendes?
Abdominale, sobre el microfono tengo estilos diferentes.
And I’m not even Spanish brother,
I’m just a language lover who loves to banter uttering
witticisms rhythmically in a rhyming fashion.
Drafting unsurpassed paragraphs my driving passion.
Track Name: Courage (feat. my mom)
Bravery doesn’t mean a lack of fear.
True bravery is facing fear.
So without fear then, there is no bravery.
But when there’s fear without bravery that’s slavery
to fear, which is scary.
Sorry I digress, I guess using that logic would suggest
that the most courageous amongst us must possess
inordinate amounts of fear and stress
but yet still live life to its fullest. Meet my mother,
next to me she’s the biggest worrywart that you’ll ever see.
I mean she gets scared by the sound of a sneeze
and the thought of being late brings shakes to her knees.
But don’t let that surface shit fool ya,
‘cuz when it comes to true guts my mom’ll school ya.
First of all, just so you know, my mom’s sixty-one.
Over the last few years, well here’s some shit she’s done:
kickboxing, weightlifting, capoeira, mountain climbing,
belly dancing, ran marathons…four times
and three times to the arctic to work with the Inuit,
then she walked to Guelph, just to see if she could do it.
So when I’m being interviewed, asked how a Jewish kid
from Canada ever thought he could make it in rap music
I say that I pursued it because my mom influenced me to
always walk the path that seemed the most true to me,
no matter how daunting, unstable, imperfect,
my mom was always there for me exemplifying courage.
I’m the mom, I’m the son,
we sat down to have some fun.
But little did we know by the time we were done,
that what would emerge from this unprecedented merger
nothing short...of a dialogue on courage.
She’s my mom, he’s my son
but when we sat across a table
pens in hand blank page, we rose above those labels
and were peers…inspired by each other,
I see courage in my son, & I see it in my mother.
Pencil and paper in his small hands,
superheroes emerged first took their stand.
Captain Carrot, the Boggler et al,
the pictures of bravery when he was small.
Later, taking time off after high school,
living in the real world, gathering tools.
Canada World Youth, learning how to give,
finding what it means to be human, how to live.
Stepping outside what you already know,
that’s one way of making you grow.
Coming back to Canada, going to school,
doing what was expected , following the rules.
Prepping for the nine to five society expects,
just doing it and doing it, no time to reflect.
Then somehow that voice that keeps calling our name,
my boy heard, he listened and everything changed.
With his hands and his heart, he once again drew
from the world around, what was politically askew.
A cartoonist who, with strokes of black ink,
made people laugh, then stop and think.
It requires courage to keep listening to that voice,
courage also to know you really have no choice.
Then Andy turned to music, to words and a beat,
telling his life making experience concrete.
When he raps and sings about things that are real
it reaches, teaches others, makes them feel.
So when I hear and see Abs rap to a crowd,
I listen, I smile, he does me real proud.
Courage, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,
at least the courage you see, watching your TV.
Evil Knievel leaping canyons on his bike,
that does take guts but it’s not the only type of
courage can come in the quiet of the night,
can’t sleep, heart beating, sweating, chest tight.
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide,
there’s no hiding spot from something that’s inside.
There’s distractions, but they’re always temporary,
eventually it’s back to just you and what’s scary.
Time to plant your two feet on the ground and stand tall,
as your fears chase each other round.
Let ‘em run till they run themselves ragged.
Let ‘em run till they’re wheezing, gasping.
Let ‘em run till they’re no longer running stuff
and you can see, like when the sun is up,
Just what it was that the fear was trying to teach you,
it was courage that allowed it to reach you.
Track Name: Breathe Deep
Nostrils flare, air enters
travels down throat to centre
of abdominal region, deep breathing
feeding organs with much needed
O2. Pollutants exhumed on the exhale,
stress sets sail
from its dock in the gut, out the bay of the lips,
really stocked up with stuff, so make way for the ship.
Buffeted by treacherous gales, but the breath never fails
to replenish the sails,
plus provide navigation through choppy seas
to help prevent running aground on rocky reefs.
So breathe deep dammit, through the storms of life
until you reach calmer waters with a port in site.
Of course short respite before the strife resumes
but stay cool with the knowledge you can breathe on through.
Sometimes the waters of life get rough.
That’s why you gotta breathe through that stuff.
Well let’s continue on with this theme of water,
a keen observation is that you need to monitor
more than just the surface when you’re sailing seas,
‘cuz even if a storm hits and the waves are steep
go deep young man, like leagues below,
underneath the whitecaps to where the seaweed grows.
So you can see the whole picture,
the watery vista,
quick to shift the prognosis once it hits you that you missed the bigger
Which is that when you plumb the depths,
it becomes quickly evident the water on the crest
does not represent the rest of the body,
‘cuz it gets much calmer below where its choppy.
Now that’s not to say that there is no movement
in the deeper fluid, it’s just a little less turbulent,
moving steadily with a self-assured current
and you can catch the tide if of these waters you’re observant.
[Repeat chorus X2]
Track Name: A Brief History of the Chicken Wing
Nine years, three months, and eight days,
before I was born, something happened that would change the way
my life turned out.
Let me tell you about
exactly what I mean:
The scene, New York, state, Buffalo, to be exact,
1047 Main Street, between Best and North at
this bar called the Anchor,
owned by Theresa and Frank Bel-
lissimo and their son,
Dominic, who was working on that one
when his friends came in for a late bite.
But that late in the kitchen,
oo-oo-ooh slim were the pickings,
all that was left were some chicken
wings, wings, scrumptious wings, chicken wings…
one of my favourite things,
deep fried and then tossed
in a bowl of hot sauce,
with some butter plus vinegar and a little dash of cayenne,
taste so delicious they clearly weren’t meant for flying,
o-oh chicken wings.
Well Theresa retreated
back to the kitchen to see what
she could do with the depleted and reduced stock,
because soup stock
or trash the two op-
tions for wings back in the day,
but she said, “Mmm, hey, hey, hey,
what’s stopping me
from dropping these
in some hot grease,
then tossing the pieces
in hot sauce,
and then serving the lot
with blue cheese dip and stalks
of celery? Nothing that’s what.”
So she did it and guess what?
All around, baby thumbs up,
so the recipe it stuck,
and spread around
the world so profoundly
effecting my life,
especially the nights
when wings sell for half price,
drinking beers watching hockey fights.
Chilling with my friends, just kicking back,
stress slips away eating chicken fat.
Suicide on the menu then I’m picking that,
full meal or finger-licking snack.
Regardless baby wings tasting great,
so let’s take this time to commemorate
October 30th 1964 the date
wings first appeared so raise one up let’s celebrate…
[Repeat chorus 2X. And repeat final “o-oh chicken wings” 4X to finish.]
Track Name: Words
I’m not here to build a brand.
I don’t rap to tell you bout how I killed a man.
I’m not in this for fame and riches,
or to get laid by bitches.
Don’t get me wrong, those things great & terrific
but not, why I’m doing this music, not for award shows,
or skinny-jeaned, so-called swagged-out wardrobes.
More Facebook friends? Not my motivation,
nor is facetime on video stations.
My face not in the papers? Guess what? I’ll live.
Fake beefs? I’ll take peace branch...olive.
I’m not enmeshed with this for guest list privileges.
Don’t sweat it if I’m not on top 10 lists of hits.
So why rap then, if not for those reasons you dropped?
I do this for a love of words, full stop.
Words, man they’re practically beautiful
and beautifully practical,
whether they’re descriptive adjectives
or verbs of action it’s irrelevant,
all elegant in the right scenario.
I’m in love with words and want the world to know.
Words, man they’re beautifully practical
and practically beautiful,
whether street slang
or dictionary suitable, regardless,
they all have a part of my heart this
love for words is why I’m a word artist.
Strip away the bullshit and what is rap really,
but rhyming words over beats, so logically
to be a good rapper then you gotta know words,
an emcee without words not really an emcee, word?
I don’t go to clubs unless I’m working in ‘em,
I read books, play Boggle, do crosswords when I’m shittin’.
Plus my pun game’s elevated, I rap puns well,
get it? Don’t really care, this not for dumbbells,
Track Name: Hot Cross Buns
She told me she was crazy,
I told her I was used to being around crazy people,
and as such, I wouldn’t get spooked so easily,
and that she could fell free to be
as crazy as she needed to be,
wo-o-oah she was,
holy fuck she was,
mmm she was.
I mean at no point did I regret ever making the statement,
let’s just say I was unaware of the extent of the craziness it’d leave me facing,
it was pretty goddamn extensive,
like she posed nude for a website,
on a crucifix,
I didn’t make that last part up,
I have the pictures.
She left me for this other dude,
then came back in just under two
months, saying she only did it ‘cuz
she got freaked out by just how much she loved me and I bought the line,
my friends said, “Man, what are you, blind?”
I said, “No, it sounds legit,
plus I vowed to this girl way back that I wouldn’t quit
on her when she acted this way,
and really, what’s the big deal about a little bit of consensual nude crucifixion between adult friends anyway?”
I took her back in and things went great,
but I’m sure by now you can anticipate
that the situation wouldn’t last long,
if it had then I wouldn’t have to sing this song
in the minor key that it’s currently in,
three weeks later and she left me again…
At least this time there was no other dude,
instead I got the old it’s me not you.
She explained that she had issues
that needed working on, I said “that’s true”.
Maybe I can help her work ‘em on through?
“No” she said, “it’s a job for one not two-oo-oo,
Well alright, clearly time for me to move on,
but of course easier said than done,
made less easy by the fact that this girl,
started going out with this other fucking girl…
you heard right cue laughter,
to mask heartbreak,
because my heart broke,
The moral of the story? Not sure my friend,
but one thing I do know now though’s when
you hear those two words, “I’m crazy”,
especially when they come from a fine lady,
that probably means craziness’ll ensue,
but don’t quote me, that’s just one man’s view—oo—oo,
and anyway, I’m a little crazy too-oo-ooh.