Uppers and Downers EP

by The Department of Medicine

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about

All vocals, in addition to the instrumentals for "Baby Baby", "The Inspiration", "Drop", "Candid", and "Rhombus (The Garden)", were written recorded in late December 2012 and mid-January of 2013 at The Gales House in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The instrumental for "Drifting" was composed by Livesay in March of 2011 in Campus Grounds Coffee, at Wake Forest University. The instrumental for "Yin and Yang" as composed in early October of 2011, around a week prior to the composition of Late October Legal, in Huffman Residence Hall at Wake Forest University.

Thin Product Shun 2013.

credits

released January 28, 2013

All lyrics written and recorded by Charles Ramsey and Grant Livesay with authorship corresponding to performance*.
All instrumentals composed and produced by Grant Livesay.
Mixed and mastered by Grant Livesay at The Gales House.
Album cover photograph taken and edited by De'Noia Woods.

*With the exception of Livesay's brief doubling of a part written by Ramsey in the introduction of "Rhobus" and Ramsey singing the chorus on "Drifting," the lyrics which were penned by Livesay.

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about

Grant Livesay Winston Salem, North Carolina

truth is in the shambles of i am -

current work: thinproductshun.bandcamp.com

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Track Name: Rhombus (The Garden)
charles (grant):
oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh?
(how what when where who and what to extent?)

something’s going wrong in the world today
people lacking love living off the hate (and deafening despair)
the hate (paired with desperate prayers)
the innocent die, evil multiplies
living in a lie, waiting for our demise (and the rise of that which is despised: we cry)

can we get to the time we spread love all of the time?
(perhaps a backtrack or lapse in the fervent fascination
with the faster more fastidious nation nigh complacent
through impatience)

can we get to the time we spread love all of the time?
(a future instance
or in an instant this: the present presence
of the world’s residents in harmonious resonance)

cause you never when its time to leave and i
wanna spread love with all my peeps and I just
wanna say thank you for every single thing
and i love you just in case you ain’t heard it from
me lately. (doubled)

cause you never when it’s time to leave and i
wanna spread love with all my people now
just to let you know that i care for you (yea x3)

charles verse:
im tryna be more appreciative of the people in my life
cause I know that I could likely be gone by tonight
today wasn’t promised and tomorrow isn’t given.
so im just tryna love with all the time i’ve been given
don’t wanna spend no time on the bs don’t wanna reject
your love and respect
without it it’s a void in your heart from the turmoil that tore you apart
and I don’t wanna be like that
i don’t wanna be fighting
hating everyday of my life man
i wanna be like god
everyday and all night
with love stronger than the grip of a python
but what do i know?
its hard cause there are these thoughts
but this thing called love got me feeling “aww man”
what do I know?
and I just want to continue being in love’s venue.

grant verse:
l-o-v-e i apostrophe vexing past apologetic
i’ve seen the logic in apollo and the path i should have followed
hindsight leaves no room to be
so go ahead, about-face and see:
the soul for the sorrow it borrows from its fellows
hallowed to the fallow gallows and the brief guillotine of grief
that provoked the rest to smile
such guile the leviathan of lucifer imparted upon the impartial
farce this aforementioned
love is the act of ascension over barbed-wire fences
and certainly ends with bloodied palms but not without freedom
so bleed them dry for your neighbor and yourself
and let those you love know the touch of a hand branded help
fertile sands sifting through agile fingers lingering in the garden
harken: our world is eden - we can take it or leave it
… and only be heard if we speak of it.
crawl back o’er aged wall’s thorns
to a paradise we left scorned:
children of peace and love reborn.
Track Name: Baby Baby
chorus:
girl i know you’re good for me
and i know i’m good for you
and i swear i like you 'round
cause i learn so much from you

i don’t wanna hurt you bad
i don’t wanna break your heart
i just wanna learn from love
can you help me play my part?

i’ll be honest girl it’s scary to think that you’re all mine
sometimes i wonder if we run away from love by design
but i don’t wanna hurt you bad
i don’t wanna break your heart
i just wanna learn from love
can you help me play my part, baby?

charles:
baby baby i sho do miss ya
i smile when i go through pictures
i reminisce on the times i was witcha
where the photo captures my happiness and
i hope that i see you in a couple of days
before you take off on that plane ride to spain
can’t say i appreciated you at first
but ever since i started girl it aint been the same
love the way you cook, love the way you walk,
and tho you sound funny girl i love way you talk
love the way you care, love the way you’re there
and you just being honest makes me love the way you share
got me wanting to open up to you
get a blanket and then snuggle up to you
got me wanting to tell you nothing but the truth
and embracing my feelings like it’s nothing to lose

and i ain’t even thought about a future
with anybody else but something bout you just
got me feeling different affecting my feelings and
i ain’t trying to run girl i’m all the way with it. (x2)

grant hook (with chorus):
i think you might be good for me
and i think i might be good for you
and you know that i like you ‘round
cuz of everything that we do

don’t wanna be hurt
and i don’t wanna be broken
i just want to learn from love
could you please just show me my part

… all mine?
… every time...

don’t wanna be hurt
and i don’t wanna be broken
i just want to learn from love
cuz i can’t bear us being apart

grant:
when our youth are misguided from the start
what a fool i was to think making art meant making art
oh but sweet darling what we did was no shame
oh and sweet darling i love you all the same
but i think i love the rush
of knowing i could have had you, but now it’s lost
and my god:
disembodied bits of some snow-fallen fraud
how it feels to fuck
everyone i know i should not
ever have touched
and ever how your touch
lingers in my hair
but passes with each and every passing year
that i wait…to say…
and baby baby i never call you baby do i (oh, no, no)
and baby baby will i ever quite explain why… perhaps one day i’ll try
but until then…

chorus/hook

charles (grant) bridge:
i think i like what i see (like what i see)
and you’re wearing off on me (wearing off on me)
and if i don’t say so myself (don't say so)
i think you’re good for my health (good for my)
so i don’t want it to leave (no no no no)
no i don’t want it to leave (no no no no)
no i don’t want it to leave (no no no no)
no i don’t want it to leave. (oh god no)

cuz it feels so good (feels so good)
if it should come to you (comin' from you)
and there's so many people (so many people)
who don't know what it could do (don't know what it could do)
so i don’t want it to leave (no no no no)
no i don’t want it to leave (no no no no)
no i don’t want it to leave (no no no no)
no i don’t want it to leave. (please don't ever go)
Track Name: The Inspiration
charles verse:
inspired to be a writer temporarily limited
cause it’s way more skills to gain in this world of infinite
possibilities and i’m working on my penmanship
tryna craft a cooler style put a little spin on it

hey hey hey

coming with the remedy
know that you been hearing music but not really feeling it
hopefully to you this here is more like the blue pill in this
matrix of the major music making and we killin it
breaking em’ down…not barriers cause this ain’t profound
but the way we kickin it makes em’ wanna get down
sit down, knod their heads twice then bounce
to the store pay a fraction of the price for the cd now
laugh if you want, half if you want
laugh if you want, half of you won’t

that’s the problem with the music these days
the cats that’s coming with the cool shit aint getting no play
so I just sit back listening to the disk that
inspires me to make some ish i can kick back to
hopefully it will inspire you to create that new strain for to crumble in your zigzag

i hear the riff raff of everyday mixed tracks
get mad thinking to myself if that’s all you gon do
well you should get back stop playing round with h.e.r. bounce let a real n**** hit that

hook:
either you fuckin bitches or slangin that ye
either you poppin pills or you hittin that hay
this the type of ish that makes me question hey
is this the type of music that i want to hear everyday?

either you shooting niggas and you sprayin that k
or teaching youngins that its cool to just fade away
this the type of ish that makes me question hey
is this the type of music that i want to hear everyday?

no disrespect (but put this in your tape deck) x4

charles verse:
no disrespect to the people from the areas
where the news cameras won’t go cause they scared of ya
where the problems get so deep but the world won’t acknowledge
cause society decided that the hood won’t important.

i know that people get shot on the daily,
youngins spray heat and it’s hard to find safety
and i wish it won’t like that.
type ish make me think the government just don’t like black
but then i see it from another perspective
sometimes i think the reason we’re not respected
is because all they think we really do is shoot and kill each other
contract aids, drug addicted, rob and steal from each other
and the assigned perception doesn’t help when all they see
is only niggas, bitches, hoes poppin’ molly on t.v.

funny thing is that’s what they all wanna be
many who ain’t black but they deny all that

if we could tap into our true potential we’d be for sure
instead of fighting each other each and everywhere we go
we can’t even come together for the doe
see us on t.v. we’re at each other’s throat

bitch nigga this bitch nigga that so
this nigga hit and disfigured that hoe
thank willie lynch cause we can’t come together for nothing
conflicted the whole time fucking bitches getting money

outro:
they say everybody wanna be black cause we’re super cool but its unity that we lack (x3)
put this in your tape deck
Track Name: Drop
hook:
imma
make it with this music or work minimum wage for life
shut the fuck up if you don’t get down
if you don’t get down
shut the fuck up if you don’t get down

grant:
odd introduction to amateur ostentatiousness
cybersex with
an italian dancer of dubious authenticity
so for her i wrote a symphony
or two
just kiddin’ – i didn’t
but i would love to be fifteen again
and have women sit on me while i sit in front of ivories
feel me?
they certainly did way back when
way back when
when I was like fifteen
listen
or get a word in edge wise
hit ‘em the dead eye vision
you know – the look people give when they’re not even listening
so regarding that shit i wrote this symphony:

(decidedly non-symphonic skat)

dammit you can count on my not counting correctly
and speaking with the wrong syllable heightened phonetically
but that statement is one of utter irrelevancy
save for the bit about counting
turns out i was sixteen
when i first frot with a felicitous and fancy
flirty feminine friend atop my lap whilst raptly
tapping the blacks and whites of an aged upright
refracting
pitch off of kiss off of lip touching tit
you can say that again:
pitch off of kiss off of lip touching tit
forgive me father for i have lived

hook

charles:
yo they say i’ll have to work minimum wage
for writing rhymes into a page
i’m fighting time as the pendulum swings
i analyze the world all the critical things
my folks say i’m too serious think less and breathe charlie
for what it’s worth i’m tryna fulfill a purpose
i’ve lived too but still need direction and clear view
cause living life in your rearview is traffic trapped in the past
when the present calls for action
but cameras flashing
assassins’ hammers blastin’ while i’m in the mansion
ain’t quite the way i’ve fashioned
my life to be i’d like to be inspiration in the waiting
with a life i’ve paved for me
fall seven times get up eight
i gotta whole lot to learn as i live each day and
i graciously and gratefully accept the steps that
the good lord done paved for me
losing potential i’d hate to see
i’m tryna track it like from a-z…stay on course with it
forfeiting’s a disgrace to me, i’m tryna mold it like form-fitting
sittin’ craftin’ a plan to bring heat when it’s cold like warm mittens
first i thought it was wack to say that
but listen to it enough i bet you’ll give it a playback
and i don’t wanna say i’m dripping swag
it’s just a version of the gift of gab
now days i don’t puff much weed or
hit the black, i just sit relax,
hear the voice on the track i recorded
play it back till i feel like i’m digging that.

hook

charles vocal improvisation outro
Track Name: Yin and Yang
chorus:
sex... and raspberries don’t grow on trees darling
autumn is abandoning her hold on me
i said autumn is abandoning her hold on me...

hook:
SHOUT! no ear hears you ‘cept a sneer next door
neighbor bored four am locked lips with a french whore and a locked door such ardor so SHOUT!

charles:
it won’t appear till the deeper you get
you won’t see clear till you fall deep way beneath the abyss
hindsight is 20-20 music’s more about the money
and we’re getting disenchanted with that ish that we hear. feel me?

we them cats on the horizon
it’s more money more problems more hoes rising
no money still problems no hoes by you
i guess that money brings something that we wouldn’t have without it

but me i’m in it for the options i’m watchin for opportunity to build my stock up
properly poppa you got me
skinny niglet but i rock it stocky
bit that word after skinny from the rapper “rocky”
heard it in one of his songs decided to copy
on the mic never flowin' sloppy
never been played by your disk jockey
but listen here this the kid flowing
call of duty special oppy while you been to used to toffee
watered down not even a quarter pound with cheese
i swear the rappers ain’t bringing the beef
but i give em’ chicken teriyaki.
my homie flows hibachi
I guess we’re giving em lyrical tai chi

from japanese to chinese
give em’ two sides of the white and the black
for these cats, simese.
yin yang, yo my pen game is insane
you better dim sum before you catch two fangs to your membrane.

chorus/hook

grant:
oh the heart ache and hardship
when your hard on hurts and your heart is
well - out to sea per se
and lovely lady’s lookin’ a little bit perky
hey, keep it mainland man
damn the whole fam’s in the band
sayin’ I heard he likes his vagina from china, well
fine then but if i was the same man who sunk her then swam with you,
rude; truth
i rap ‘cuz I want to
same way the dick do
why else, fuck you
something like literally i figure
but haven’t you seen like literally, your figure? lately
fun with words
before the d-s add an ell
and have them speechless: international
at least that’s where my less admirable tendencies lie
if all you want is a little death we might as well just die
(aside; use this time to rise an idea intellectual regarding sex, right?)

sorry i had to waltz away from the mic for a minute, [obit]
simply was too deep in it
crazy, sure got love for them 80’s babies
but don’t mind me see i prefer them 90’s heinies
puns are outdated and darling
yes, i’m certainly dawdling
often
as a mondegreen genius
fuck you i reuse lines as i see fit
and pause (drowning)
and those none of you left still listening should probably be in awe;
raw and frowning.
Track Name: Drifting
chorus:
you're drifting
christopher you're drifting
god dammit wake up you're drifting
the car is drifting
oh no no no
flip
and asphalt's in your hip
as polarized bits of despair hit
the demarcations of a sinking visage
we hidden are drifting

charles:
hey god heavenly father can you holler if ya hearin me?
i need your ears for a little bit
i know you’re probably dealing with other thangs
but i just had to take some time to get this off my brain
and let my mind clear a bit

i am uncertain of the voices i hear
don’t know if it’s you or some other forces coming in clear
and yes my mind gets scatter brained when i drift
sometimes my train of thought is sane but there are days when i slip
and doubt everything that i know
sometimes i wonder why i second guess this shit
cause all it does is bring me stress and that’s to no benefit of my own

i know these problems are created on my own
from all the complicated misinterpretations in my dome
i feel you gave-a me-a beautiful-a gift-a to use
but sometimes i feel like it’s not what you want me to do

and in those moments of frustration all i do is get confused
i try to walk the clearer path but it’s like i got no view
i got the sole but no shoes. it makes my notes seem so blue

and that’s the reason why i’m reading out this note-a to you
so hey god, can you hear me cause i really need some aid
cause these thoughts they get stronger like each and everyday

chorus

grant:
i don't know where you are right now
but occasionally i wear one of the dress shirts you left in my dorm room
shirked after pack on pack of kamel reds with a k
the ones our good ole boys smoked in world war a
at least that's what you used say
remember when we both had mohawks
except they were fauxhawks
because dose one had a fauxhawk
well, i do
vicadin, valium, vehemence
gentlemen, genuine denizens
swimming in bourbon, vodka and mescaline
i was your telamon
your columnar skeleton
candle roman
scholarly cherubim
my idol: you were him.

and when
you requested a benjamin
and the key to my prius
solo midnight ride to virginia
to cradle some other collegiate woman
whose father was also dying

of course i said of course
just be safe take care of her
take care of yourself as well
well it was that same parking lot
a year later winter november where
and when your mother told me
you’d been in another accident.

chorus

fin.
Track Name: Candid
hook:
give no fucks like abstinence
fuck like we drunk on absinthe
synth pads fresh off absynth
mutate parameters: random
to be candid (and to be candid...)

grant:
i wanna pose nude for lewd black and white photos
and blow up your gay friend’s tumblr dashboard
there’s coke on the dashboard
and isaac seems to make more sense in dashboard
i’m fishing for broom persons and still in love with boris yeltsin
fucking anna lee and i’m screaming delirium
poor child, pour out your soul on linoleum
tip-toeing on a summer morning across linoleum
i used to muse on the sound of an artistic fuck buddy
tip-toeing on a summer morning across linoleum
youthful passion automatic tim is dead, whatever,
i’ve always liked your purse, might i write you a letter?
or two
for serious though
i’m delirious and i’m certain it shows
we’ve done this song already it seems
time for another story torn apart at chronological seams:
when I was fifteen I preferred
to hang out nude on lake piers
with women who would take up modeling in their later years
church camp is a parent’s worst fear
you’ve no idea
i saw a kid get fucked with a broomstick
by a pastor’s son preaching “who’s next?”
and don’t we all feel quite blessed
community in communion; such ruthless righteousness?
and what’s so very cruel
is that everything on this album is true
except those foils concerning young addict miss katherine
and everything else that isn’t true

hook

charles:
i don’t wanna pose nude for lewd black and white photos
or blow up your gay friend’s tumblr dashboard
but should a photo arise
and to my surprise, if you see yo just cover your eyes
i snapped some shots
back in the day
eleventh grade with this chick over aim
who said her name was renee
but on some real man that chick was bogus
i sent a photo of my piece with every bit in focus
but in return all I received were these people askin’ of me
to send a side shot to show em’ how i’m packin p-lease

i’m like nah, i decline.
but got nine friend requests right after that
here come the after math
so should I ever become famous and they mention that shit
and these photos of my piece pop up on wireless traffic
please don’t criticize me after looking for the image
through search engines on your bed mattress

why?

cause i can see the interviews
and i know how they gon taint the image too
but just remember you made it popular to discuss with your crew
and im fine laughing at it in the back of my mind.

hook