Hardships & Head Trips

by King Rhythm

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King Rhythm navigates a vast musical landscape. Always diverse and changing, this Baltimore, Maryland native transcends boundary by combining elements across the auditory spectrum to create his own truly unique form of Hip-Hop. Musically, his style has always maintained specific aesthetics. Dirty beats, hard, funky, and aggressive are his foundation. Where previous works have focused on a more electronic and dancey sound, his latest album, Hardships & Head Trips, finds him replacing the synth grooves with fuzzed out guitars and noisy drones to create a Prog-Hop album of Psychedelic proportions. Inspired by Sonic Youth, The Secret Machines, TV On The Radio, Can, and Miles Davis, his songs are expansive and evolving with multiple parts and extreme changes. Couple these elaborate instrumentals with lyrics and you'll hear what truly sets him apart. With heavy raps, reflective and analytical, his lyrics are often an accounting of what's wrong while eluding to the outlook that most can be made right. Some songs are cryptic, often needing multiple listens to gain ground for interpretation, while others are easily digestible with no room to wiggle, just stark and frank.

Hardships & Head Trips leads off with the epic opening double track, No Magic / Bangin' The Wall. This is the chronicling of King Rhythm's past up to the present. An odd timed lament that transforms halfway into the guitar feedback wail of Bangin' the Wall. Next, the densely layered headstrong Indie Rock challenge, Demolition Session 95, recalls a tense confrontation between King Rhythm and his devils advocate. The conflict is nixed with, "It's do you get it? Not does it get you." Immediately, we're thrown into The Machinist. The track begins with a string and Rock section that segues into the main theme. With a noisy siren-like guitar squeal and Sonic Youth drones that evoke factory machinery, the song describes the blurring of polarities relinquished to time. In Operation features a guest appearance by the Mush / Big Dada artist K-the-I???. The songs is established with a classical string motif followed by a Wurlitzer beat thump into the swirling hook, "What will be the answer / for the cancer / come and take a glance or / die blinded." The song ends with a time signature shifting groove based on the original motif. The next two songs work in tandem. The Victims Fall & Our Hero follow the story of devolution and subsequent mental decline of a semi-fictious character. In Victims, the character moves from politically cynical to a nightmarishly apocalyptic view of society deepened to a battle against his own hallucinatory self. Our Hero furthers the saga as the character awakens and finds himself transformed into an apathetic, paranoid, morose figure; a reflection of what society has done to him. Here we follow him as he ventures out into the city night. After, Future Museum epitomizes the dreamscape, atmospherically Jazzy until the end explodes with a swirled-up and tripped-out Rock escape. Mad And Hating is the surprisingly simple and catchy track. Its boom-bap beats, guitar bamphs, and fuzzy melody lay the perfect footing for King Rhythm's tongue in cheek, hater sympathizing anthem. The albums instrumental closer, Current floor, rides like a static wave breaking out. It's the final summation.


released December 8, 2009

All songs written, produced, recorded, arranged, mixed, and engineered by King Rhythm
Guest appearance by K-The-I??? on In Operation
Recorded and mixed at Baltimore Analog
Mastered by Jeff Lipton and Jessica Thompson @ Peerless Mastering
All songs published by Ones And Zeros Music / BMI ©2009
Design / Layout by Vanguard Files



all rights reserved
Track Name: No Magic / Bangin' The Wall
remember them remember them
remember them you're never them
shoot em down go and shoot em down
go and shoot em down go and shoot em down
my articles drift on return of this
mountain high pile pebbled collapse
my last lapse was the wrath of graph
no wizard life on behalf
stands tipping on hands dripping tons
to turn back time glorious escape
could take forever on a f leet of feather
but alas no future
I'm telling short times to grow tall
and f lee far from the victims fall
forever if all was what we envisioned
smiles would drip away tradition
run and take a picture of this
consider it all consider it all
I've seen the rise and I've seen the fall
and there's gotta be more than just a war
but I can't be sure no I can't be sure
on detour day they say come out to play
but I've got bills to pay
what was that line about wave me from the yard
they owe me
go and shoot em down go and shoot em down
go and shoot em down go and shoot em down
bangin the wall there's a pang in my all
when it all went wrong is why we wear it all
bangin the wall
why we wear it all
bangin the wall there's a pang in my all
when it all went wrong is why we wear it all
bangin the wall
when it all went wrong
In management classes we lost our glasses
a babbling group the troop was molasses
thick as thieves we all are becoming
nose loosening eyeless running
I meant to rub and forged a sub
par port from two sticks and a handful of bricks burnt
in a tub called try my oh my how the cubs lie
and we all lay paying binded and praying
pleated with questions about obeying
the true painting is an ear in a bag on the f loor
listening to gore but I still believe in Hip-Hop
it lives in me even if I ignore
time stands still even if I detour
time stands still even if I explore where
time stands still until thoroughly presented with a kill
then it gets quite ill cause it's on you bro
no excuses no where to go
you can lie to yourself but you still know the truth
it reveals itself in all that you proof so
to the trees for a brand new breeze
with a band of b's we'll make it with ease
but I'm wrong these leaves unleash disease
and those others that sting care only for their wings
it's survival and the arrival is undeniable
the colors the smell everything around tells us it's hell
the food is rotting our dream is forgetting
we've requested our resignation papers
put in our two week notice
note to self
please help us we need focus
bangin the wall there's a pang in my all
when it all went wrong is why we wear it all
bangin the wall
why we wear it all
bangin the wall there's a pang in my all
when it all went wrong is why we wear it all
bangin the wall
when it all went wrong
Track Name: Demolition Session 95
close minded and blinded by time blinking
I'm livid on lost words from demolition sessions
since peace was in presence the pretense is essence
throbbing and shaken from a pang heart
with strength I won't struggle from defense
to offend is quick maintain steady
I'm dipped in batter and breaded
you ask the matter I'm headed
for you with knife through a note
and a dull tongue to sponge
all this terrif ic specific subtleties and mumble ease
with a mind for gold it's as old as you've become
a dream so broken your pieces have run
far away to all sides they reside unseen
laugh after laugh won't cover up facts
for future reference you're dead without peeping game
even if you want to creep and crawl slowly
lif t your head where your eyeball eclipses the stall f ine
I've no objections and I'm not here to judge
just want to pull from all directions absorb and love
so dig baby dig I'm still trying to f ind a way in
a mascot is cool but I'm looking for my statue
though it's rough and still being sanded
with many steps to polish
I won't be astonished when it's f inished
cause the work's vicious and my lef t side's callused
the meds I can't af ford and the meds I adore
and the meds call me more and more each day I detour
from rumble to ozone life's known as insane
with slight variation
my motives are many so I must go on
it's epic it's not just me but those before
I owe them more than I can ever even give
my second hand course with no bib
so palette it palette it
damn I suspect that I'm foiled again
I just gotta accept that it can't end clean
no whirl of a wand makes a blur a bond no
no whirling wand makes a blur bond
we can brush up f its and break down
it was so good but it's still here now
soon the bell rings so let's play it again
as it was born for as it asks us to
it's do you get it
not does it get you
Track Name: The Machinist
I see the recommended dabblings
from disabled hands veteran stands
conglomerates loosing grip to age
old time merits run like ferrets
end up clear the way disappear but return
the drums are twisted and I swear
there's no escape for the enlisted
it's in everything
when everything's in its infancy
we're on trial there we learn to judge
I fear the tears in expectation turn to a grudge
soon to follow
the echoes are timed
my process is saturated with evacuated
bust the move fellas
on declaration day as they held us
relish in old sentiment
snowy charm dermatologist
don't disinfect the abrasion
we must dissent
there's too much in hand for one dictator
wrath of indignation
and the last one to listen should be the f irst
naked in a new land leaves you well versed
I'm cursed with contents rehearsed
I'm cursed with contents rehearsed
I dip my neck tie in mud and wear it with pride
to the funeral above below I reside
a student of the blueprint
using ink to rewrite with additional content
many names to remember
the faces stay longer
and when they disappear
I know I've grown older
I'd love to see your smile once more
but my ticket's been bought
and I'm off to war
duties a chore I can see that again
behind stacks is a means to an end
a budding aggression aggravated
chin up
back to the board
a minute ago I couldn't care less
new stress
my whole out
then the opposite
now I don't know where I stand
this had to be planned
cause it makes for such worry
heart beating life eating allegory
pinned to my pen just waiting to be stroked
then I strike back like an old hack
do the damn thing I'm back
still romancing old dreams
I can't really react to scenes
but I trace my steps clean
like a machine
Track Name: In Operation W/ K-The-I???
the fall is in us all
only want a part and to be part
some art love and no loss
that killer rush I never had
almost free enough
but never quite there
never up to snuf f
more to quilt
still on stilt and left out
easily see where we stop
by looking where we stay
some cats got all the luck
and others are just fucked
and it's so serious
medication time indeed
and it's all looking bad so tell me
how much of the f ight is just looking past
through the long nights and cold sits
endless pages get the shifts
endless thoughts only f ind the slits to peer through
one million looking backs for everything but the blues
even a distorted lens would suf f ice
I could make it do real well
rubbing blood shot eyes
with clenched f ist hands
my current anthem sings your life must be nice
and it's a hit
on par with a perfect dream to drift
but it's getting more apparent
this dream leads to a clif f
with no comfort just force
now shove me
dropping all the bandages
propping up the damages
make a new display today
and f ight the fear forever
what will be the answer for the cancer
come and take a glance or die blinded
we disappear then appear drifting
mission in action victims
still I haven't found inner solitude
we're f inally gonna make it
even if it takes later than expected
inside rotary phones
formula tone tuning
I wasn't assuming anything
whether we bring output circuit board transistor
time and relapse skip the notion motion sensor
a sense of ability
given that we take for granted this device
isotope beginner from when it started prequel
normalized and free f lourished
they would kill sadly enough
does this allow me to compromise my self integrity
placed as a question I would quickly like answered
really though placebo illumines people person
personal recording stored forever
a bright sunny day minimized
I only have eyes for revolutionary war
since I constructed a linear offspring
compared to a solar eclipse
I only imagine what it takes for the sake of evolution
I mustn't digress
mind over matter only occurs once I digested self esteem
meanwhile back to the scene
until they're revoked I consider the conditions extreme
what will be the answer for the cancer
come and take a glance or die blinded
it hums in operation
during you can't hear it
but when it's gone
you realize what's missing
Track Name: The Victims Fall
uncurtaining catch a frame
hand held shout with the nameless
lock heads repeated lock heads
in a semi-sweet motion
reminiscent of the remaining
to full bodied and weeping
we're so sad
just a few life forms left
they'll be killed soon for prof it
buy them to save them make it quick
just a few forms left make us quit
monopolies design make it quiet
under the radar illegally
no permission needed
as they're under the radar
rewritten to fit rewriting to rob
no more illegal now the norm
new rules for everything
here's your form
in line hours at a time
next step one step behind
no rhythm no rhyme
novacaine us all
fears product placement's in the mall
from ambien to xanax
you think I'd feel relax
but it only covers my tracks
I cry grenades in crowds
supplying busted vision
I'm pleading simpler version
they're pledging join our legion
this blocking's my rendition of
time and space hates
more hardships
more head trips
more dead weight
when it all comes down to the wire
I won't be the one blasting missiles
I'll be ranting at the top of my lungs in the street
while tearing my hair you see me
some semi-mad semi-poetic eloquence
capturing the moment just right
cause there's always and anthem needed
one of the bravest endings known to man
tear jerking in all it can
knew this was a one way mission in tradition
steeped then swept it's in the genes
trapped for the length but this will be the f ire
I love you very much please pass me the torch
to burn our path f inal
the end is good going down in f lames
and I'm still here ranting on and on again
victory is ours but what of the scars
in my brain in my brain in my brain it's in my brain
at the perfectly wrong time
you're everything to me
all that I want to be
but never will
I keep mementos close by
with a carriage on call at a discount price
and I'm driven to the carnage
that I rent every week on a shoe string budget
and I deliver myself to the news daily
so I'm growing into the ever deepening
pinnacle of a blues singer gone singular and weary
with my busted guitar missing all strings so it's a drum
and I pound it repeatedly singing
keep smiling keep striving
keep defying keep defying
I expect the illusive team of Davis and Waters
to walk in at any moment and say you got us to defy orders
so we've come together for the f irst time
with you at the helm please spit that dope rhyme
but time's running out keep striving I shout
with no accompaniment it seems I've smashed my guitar to pieces
my illusions are serious
and I'm working with my friend delirious
Track Name: Our Hero (Post-Bop Filth)
my alarm spit up just to provoke
who set it
it's genius how they creep while you sleep
no matter I got that restless leg
now dig the release from a bout with a case
I'm sick of my face
I gotta get out of this place
and soon after there began the laughter
tell me what were they about
I tried the subtle approach
I said listen you know I'm broken
my eye keeps falling out
I sent away for that adhesive package they advertise
but it hasn't arrived
and I'm riddled
riddled with complication
cause by the look of things
I'm fresh out of rings
so coming back home will be no easy task
and in my continual must for calculation
I grow hungry for information
take notes at the cafe and study life from afar
laughing to myself clicking my teeth
tearing my napkin to tiny pieces
rubbing my hands together
back and forth back and forth
feel the warmth
feel the heat
fear the deceit
ah victory
another theory complete
and the plot thickens
new ingredients were tossed
I heard Dizzy and Bird were going to be playing here tonight
so I'll stay for the sight
but they lied those bastards always do
somebody said something about a f lat tire
there was also talk of bad weather
an unpaid debt and a horn in the hock
but I knew they were talkin bout me
you always know when they're talkin bout you
if they're smiling laughing brimming with maddness
that's the sign
off with their heads
off with their heads
let em roll
I bite my nails and feed the snails
a delicate insanity that prevails
there's so many bugs out tonight
somebody could easily set up shop
they would surely bite
they're suckers for a good jolt of electricity
they pay for that kind of thing
come out of the woodwork in droves
Track Name: Future Museum
I had a dream
you were a great whale
and I was blowing on you from a hose
to help your colors expose
and I was naked in the library
with just one blanket wrapped around me
spinning in a chair
there you smiled and peeped my style
then I saw you outside
where we were to meet two of the famous portrayers
I was jumping with joy to see them
as you lifted your phone to take shots
then I awoke
from a long weeks sleep
framed by a pill
and two aches that repeat
this is how you must compete
I will not be defeated
even though it deafeningly roars
disguised as chores
that take the lifeline from me
but I break into my kit
so secret so scientific
filled with inventions and rewards
my prized no bell
that rings silent
so as not to disturb you
when you need to be alerted
it's all coming together
like knitting
and the breather isn't the reliever
it's the stinger
hey stranger
come tap me on the shoulder when I arrive
I'll rearrange my disguise
I'm in need of a fresh pair of eyes
and your lovely reward
I just couldn't af ford
but how was I to know
it was all I held to grow
see I thought I had the formula f igured out
but I'll f igure it out
some way I'll f igure it out
that's all I see
Track Name: Mad And Hating (For Syd)
I'm still mad and hating I'm still mad and hating
a jigsaw puzzle chopped
here's my marvel for hanging purposes
simply umbrella
the presentation is your f ight
form and function is the death of your art
be smart let it breathe
so much heart
so much for your heart
it's not all white and black
the place we can't hang is where we're put at
the place we can't hang is where we need to be
the people you meet aren't here to save your life
but they're not here to destroy you either
they’re here to set you up
and hope that you crumble
I step away to see a clearer picture
everybody's running a scam on me
trying to get me wrapped up in some little web
must resist I'm clearly in a web
but they want to spin more
they need to spin more to live
madness in a dream
dream in the madness
more about the scheme yo
a jigsaw puzzle chopped
here's my marvel for hanging purposes
simply umbrella
I'm still mad and hating I'm still mad and hating