Crying Wolves

by Rico Sisney

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I am the emcee for Chicago Bands Sidewalk Chalk and Treehouse and the founder of the artist collective known as The Gala. This is my first solo project.

Proceeds from the purchase of this album will go to pay back Jacob's Well, the organization that paid my way to Haiti and gave me the chance to work with some amazing kids. These particular children are orphans living in severe poverty outside of Port-au-Prince. Some are unable to be adopted because their records have been lost. The work that Jacob's Well is doing is helping to prepare the youth for life after foster care with education, job skills as well as giving them some enjoyment for the time being. In the short term they are also giving 0% interest micro loans to people who want to start businesses there. I was so impressed by the spirit of the people I met there and want to do as much as possible to contribute to this place.

The album is a collection of tracks I produced over the past two years and lyrics written over the past 3 months. This album is pretty personal and I get to talk about family, race, activism, loving yourself, being on the road, faith, violence in Chicago, The Gala, and Haiti among other topics.

Special thanks to My family including my Grandfather (Wolf) my Grandmothers, Mom, Dad, Sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins aunts and uncles, Sidewalk Chalk, Treehouse, Jacob's Well, Greenpeace Chicago, Citypoint Community Church, Chresten Hyde, The Gala Chicago and all of my friends who are contributing to this project.
Merci Beaucoup


released January 13, 2014

Written by Rico Sisney
Produced by Rico Sisney
Engineered by Chresten Hyde and Colin Sipos
Mixed by Chresten Hyde
Mastered by Colin Sipos
Recorded at Minbal Studios and Earhole Studios



all rights reserved


Rico Sisney Chicago, Illinois

I am the emcee for Chicago bands Sidewalk Chalk and Treehouse and the founder of Chicago Artist collective The Gala. Artistically, those are my main pursuits so please follow and support them.
I rarely release anything solo and even when I do I enlist an "Army of Geniuses*" to help make it happen. I make music that I love. If you dig it, let's get down.
*Quote from Lawrence Binkey Tolefre
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Track Name: The Potluck
And this so easy...
So why they gotta make it look hard huh?
Connected to the Source I stay charged up!
Me and my whole crew brought it it's a Potluck
Yeah and this so easy..
So why they gotta make it look hard?
Connected to the Source so I always stay charged
All praise be to God so save your applause.

All of these Impostors posturing is preposterous
possibly posh,
but I'm pushing ‘pause’ cuz I'm past the bar,
Matter of fact, the bar for spitting bars is
barely up to my abdomen.
If you ain't in the throne where Big Lsat,
your freestyle isn't classic then.
If you ain't touch Eminem domain, don't pretend you
have it then.
I’m still a student of Kweli, Bey, Doom, Black Thought,
Outkast, Rakim,
Lauryn, Lupe, Nas and Wu Tang.
I apprentice after them.
I'm Hercules so those 12 are my dodecathlon.
My movements (known as Shaolin)
force you to throw the towel in
the pool and hit the showers kid. You're too little for our end.
You see, these barracudas out here prow-a-lin
probably confuse you with some food that's for devouring!

I really rarely battle though
First we mosh then we march on the Capital.
Things are Goin’ South the way that moss never has to grow,
but I'm no Moss. Never run. Someone has to throw.
And for me its effortless dude--
Not daunting. Like Daunte I’m peppered with cool.
Don't be salty it'll mess with your wounds
Want it the hard way or a soft lob?
We dropped bombs but talked long BobLoblaw...


And If I am anything other than lost,
it's cuz of the breadcrumbs
that some of them tossed in my path.
Got perspective that they did not have
so I'm coming across as less dumb.
It's cuz of your less-ons
And this is dedicated to you:
My village, my Chiefs, my Nurses, my Queens.
Yeah, this is what has taken me through
They said, "Rico we waiting on you."
If I make it they coming too!

I arrive baby-stepping one at a time.
I looked back, saw footprints none of them mine...
I wondered what the meaning is
Even as I struggled through these troubles of mine
Foothills I climbed in heat feverish.
Blinded, feet blistering,
I would keep listening to voices I believed were mine
It turns out the words formed in your mouths.
Sweat poured out.
When the sun burned on your brow,
I'd feel the drip.
I was named for Wolf.
I was named for Dick.
They used to call me Baby Wolf.
I'm an 80's kid.
Moved out the 100's back in the 90's.
Raised in Atlanta but that don't define me--
Well at least not entirely
‘Cuz there's the A-Side and the Chi-Side.
Got a coat of many Colors- it ain't tie-dyed
and I could change based on your perspective:
“Condo or a project?”
“Just call that man a High-rise!”
and I rise on the backs of my tribe.
The people that Bobby, Wolf, Marilyn, James, Eon
and Rere are survived By.
Richard Part I: that legacy continues with my son when I die.
I know the mission won't be finished when I'm done.
It didn't begin in my infancy cuz I'm one of many.
And what's yet to come? Plenty.
Talent in my circle, in my family, in my city.
So if my Uncle only scared of dead people,
and my Daddy told me:
“You should be careful of scared people”
and I serve a king that's never shared an equal,
then why should I fear evil?
Squad of rare people haystack full of needles!

Track Name: Zoot Suits
Can we get it right?
Right right right right right!
Can we get it right?
Right right right right right!
I’m trying to get it right!
Right right right right right!
Can we get it right?
Right right right right right!

From a city with big shoulders like zoot suits
Where they kill time like Zeus do
And they get stoned--Medusa view
We ain't got no use for you!
Ain't just gang bangers that shoot shoot,
It’s the same thing they do to schools!
They ain't got no use for youth!
We ain't got no use for you!

See there’s no great distinction between an endangered species
and one that's finally faced extinction.
The change could sneak in in an hour or a minute or a second.
Numbers lessen ‘till we're left with only records
history lessons for who's next in the procession.
The question of reception is the real one
Will we ignore the warning signs until we're done?
Fear mongerers they will come, but we're so fearsome and fierce we fear none!
Bda bda! Get ya top chopped. Mr. White knock knock. This feels like a mob plot: everybody knocked off.
Das Schloss Is this Kafka?
It will not stop ‘till fat lady with a sawed off shoots up opera.
Preserve the picture (moth balls for a Bob Ross)
Perfect contradiction (hot sauce on your foie gras)
Weather worse in winter (drop boxes where cars park)
Summer pop pop to show they not soft it's not solved

Right right right right right!
Can we get it right?
Right right right right right!
I'm trying to get it right
Right right right right right!
So can we get it right?
Right right right right right!

Dear God, I know you can take us in an instant.
How many times you gotta show me till i get it?
I was pissed off cuz I had just missed my flight
then I watched a man lose his life
and the timing forced me to witness.
We were both in line just trying to get a ticket.
He collapsed right behind me but I couldn’t even hear it and even though he hit my leg, I ain't move at first. I could barely feel it. I turned around-- tried to help him.
Somebody said, “Don't get near him!”
Istood as the men and women
(one dentist one pediatrician and several medical professionals) came out of the trenches to fix him.
The defibrillator's narration appeared as if it could save him.
They listened and obeyed it.
Put Faith in but he ain't make it.
What I'm gauging from the situation...
There's no real reason for him to die and for me to stay here
So I should trust you the way they trusted that machine
be patient and every moment I have to do your bidding is sacred
So I'll be grateful.
Thinking, “how far do i wanna run?”
Shedding ego and negative thoughts cuz they cumbersome
I gotta focus nonstop if i want it done
Can't “waist-time” I tore the watch off my cummerbund
Where I'm coming from
They got big shoulders like zoot suits
And they kill time like Zeus do
And they get stoned--Medusa view
We ain't got no use for you!
Ain't just gang bangers that shoot shoot,
It’s the same thing they do to schools!
They ain't got no use for youth!
We ain't got no use for you!


One day we’ll get it right...
Track Name: Luggage feat. Sam Trump
Keep my bags packed
Cuz I don’t wanna be here too long...
And I’ll be right back
Don’t worry cuz I never get too far
From where you are

And I din set my sights way up (way up)
So there’s no need for you to wait up (wait up)

I need an Escape Hatch,
a getaway car or a train or plane to catch.
Staying at the same spot? I ain’t okay with that.
Back in the day my dad traveled for work
Maybe this came from that...
Home is where I lay my hat.
Gone is what I’m aiming at.
Forward motion when I lay on tracks - like locomotives.
My motive’s not to stay local too long or I’ll go loco.
I’ll settle with you, but don’t wait for that.
That information’s classified like a paper ad,
but you can take that to Lasalle Bank,
put it on Kaminski or Sears Tower --
Naw wait they’ve all been replaced.
Even the greats can get swallowed-- you don’t always have a
lot of grace, but when I’m gone I know you miss me cuz you
sorrow faced.
Then when i first get back, that’s when you’re at your
You make me for a moment feel like I’m the most important
and for me to adore you that’s all it takes.
I’m addicted to constant change but I’m happy I got a place.


I think artists dream the American Dream the hardest.
We’re convinced we’re gonna succeed regardless
Yeah, I can see the target. In fact its often all I see.
If the question is: “Will I stay Homer go off on my
Just pardon me.
I’m off again. “Ta ta!” How about a kiss?
(kiss noises)
No promises of when I’ll come again.
Not meant as ominous as it probably appears...
All of your fears not needed here I’ll be quick as Ramen is.
You’re smiling cuz you know you make the best food.
Who else got that mild sauce except you?
I catch myself in a bad mood, then here you come with a
burrito or a deep dish to the rescue!
Bless you!
When I’m looking for a refuge,
I know that home is the best move.
With you I need no excuse to go’on head and let loose
Set roof on fire let’s juke get higher

And I din set my sights way up way up
So there’s no need for you to wait up wait up
I’m focused don’t know how to lay up lay up
Hey love, ain’t it always fun to make up make up?

Dont be mad at me,
Dont be mad at me cuz
It's my nature, it’s my nature
I was made this way
(or raised this way it's hard to say)
but It's my nature it's my nature
I gotta keep moving on
It's my nature, it's my nature
You should know by now that i have
(It's my nature it's my nature)
Have some limitations
about how long i can stay in one place when
It's my nature it's my nature

So I keep my bags packed
Cuz I don’t want to be here too long...
Track Name: Naperville feat. Cole Degenova
First off, I should mention the road to our complacence was
paved in good intentions.
We stayed pushing and inching our way towards a vision
where things were a little different.
We were feeling it coming but then it didn't.
Did our work really matter?
Important discourse or more worthless chatter?
That depends on who's interpreting data.
Solidarity-till they got our herd to scatter.
Almost forgot I heard this guy the other day
say by the time I got his age it'd be obvious nothing changes.
"Once the pages of history begin to read the same as the
front pages."
I said, "that's just one way to look at it.”
Look how they remember us.
Historian coroner's dismember what we thought was never
dead like it was just a phase.
Not a phasing out of antiquated ways when our generation
shouted what they’d been afraid to say.
He said, “Let's go to war!”
Might as well have said there's no hope--
Sufi snaps selfie
Dalai Lama yelling, “YOLO”
uh oh... wards back thing's every
Seems scary like whirlwinds 9th ward new Orleans
New world Order new war when the war ends
"Who was that for? who made the fortune?" "They stay anonymous like 4chan"
"Fortunately we moved forward." "Forecast says it's over stay home."

Well, we've heard it all before now
Fighting battles in the streets, shouting war
Politicians and police they say,
“Go on home, things don't change”

But they remember in the ghetto streets
They remember in the classrooms of the rich
They remember out in Naperville
When history is calling you, you better know its name
Track Name: Do You Care??!!?? feat. Genevieve and Binkey
(Do you care for me? Really care for me?
Do you care for me? Really care for me?
Do you care for me? Really care for me?
Do you care for me? Really care for me?)

All I wanna say is that they don’t really care about us,
buty’all already knew that.
Shout out to Office Edwards, Tamms, Guantanamo...

Rico VERSE 1:
We could burn this whole thing down
and they wouldn’t even (care)
But bail the banks out
that’s when re-really (care).
Debate about wars, abortion, taxes and medi(care)
To get elected. Change nothing never really (care)d
I’m on that same tip.
Paint pictures of “them”
I’m not (care)ful
To empathize I villainize but I (care)
And I suspect others do.
One or two wanna move
Further too smothered.
Who’s culpable was it you?

Do you care for me?
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us.
So do you?
Huh do you?
Huh do you?
They don’t really care about us!

You’ve Lost All Your Power
You Can’t Seem to Find Yourself
They Say They Have all the Answers
So You Turn to Them for Help

My family watches murder mysteries to see them solved.
I lost two uncles and their murderers where never caught.
The hood is a box and within it’s walls the blood don’t stop
flowing we don’t get a minute pause.
And homicides hit 435 on October 29th last year!
But this year we’ll pass this cuz winter is tragic and summer
is madness so how does that feel huh?
They love to hear the story how Chiraq’s really gory
All the stats they’re recording and the graphs they’ve been
Keep the trap music roaring then blame that for the horror
They played that trick before
Say, “It goes back to the Culture..”
It’s a pass of the torch.
The past slowly morphs like blacks within Mormons.
A flag waving Foreman
Acquitting George Zimmerman-that’s just a warning
I’m asking the courts and the lawmen:


Precautionary measures tsunami type of weather
I’ll be making moves until I think I’m getting better
Revolutionary times are getting scary
Overpopulation pistol packing pop your cherry
Speak don’t be afraid Sun come out from shade
The chips are on the table I ain’t talking Frito-lay
Rep until the end stop and count to ten
Would you follow God if Twitter set him as a trend?
Get it how you live it isn’t what it is
Grown-ups lie around yo the truth is in the kids
Politician’s gangsters Democrat Republican
Independent thought you thought that you were gonna win?
Shit…Serpents snake around in the grass
You don’t make a move until they move wait on they ass
Watch as well as pray visit do not stay
Stand your ground today Chiraq’ll blow your ass away!

Take Back All Your Power
Reclaim it For Yourself
Find All Your Own Answers
Reach For Your Higher Self

Look we can make this whatever we want it to be.
Shout out to Trayvon, shout out to Troy, Uncle Money,
Uncle Bobby, all the murder victims in Chicago that didn’t
make the news, all the mental health patients.
Tequila Forshee, Latasha Harris, Emmet Till --I don’t really
see the difference...
We tried it their way, let’s do it our way.
All I want to say is that they don’t really care about us.
Track Name: 'Ceptyou
I used to try to be greater than racism.
Thought stereotypes gave birth to hateful feelings,
So maybe if I ain’t fit ‘em
I could change some opinions
Like, “I don’t say ‘nigga,’ use phrases with way bigger
words learned from great parents, which shows I was raised
And when I go see movies, I’m the quietest dude
And I usually tip the highest when I buy any food
I know there’s no way I could change society’s rules,
So I’m not sure what I’m trying to prove.

One Day my gifted teacher goes,
“Should I call you black, or Afro-American?”
I said, “Just call me Rico.”
I wasn’t trying to be deep though.
Struggling trying to be equal.
It’s funny I could see she ain’t know
And looking back, I’ve always been
really bad wih compliments.
These days, when you say it,
even if you mean it I just hear it as lies
and back then, I resented that air of surprise.
So when they said, “You’re really smart...”
I heard, “Smart for a black kid.”
Called me “well spoken...”
I heard, “You don’t tallk like a black kid.”
Same as when somebody said,
“I hate all of these rappers, but when you rapped I actually
kinda liked it.”
In my head it’s:

“You are an exception to the rule
Exception is the proof
The rest of them are unacceptable,
but you’re exceptional.
I will accept you
I didn’t expect you
I don’t like them except you.”
How you think that feel?

With codes and clothes, I prefer to remain switching
I can’t fit in a mold. I’m a shape shifter
A person you can’t pigeon hole or say that is typical.
Swimming through different oceans
Trying to assimilate or to seem original.
Which is why at times if people asked me my religion,
I didn’t tell them I was Christian
Cuz then I’d be “one of them Christian folks”
Or they’d see me as hypocritical.
So I’d sum it up as, “I’m spiritual.”
Unless they asked me to give them more.
In those cases, I might say that I know Faith gives hope
to save face with Atheists who’d call it craziness.
I question why I’m afraid, who’s approval I’m chasing
and why I choose to explain my view using their languages...
Maybe it’s kinda simple.
All your bars of achievement I’m tryna hit those
Soon as you have a way that you see me I change the info
and clubs that would have me as a member I won’t be in
In real life are we not all looking for Love that’s
At times I don’t like myself
Which makes me think I’ll never get it
So afraid I don’t deserve it,
I’ll fight any feeling that’s close
I pushed you hardest and you didn’t go.
That’s why

You are an exception to the rule
Exception cuz you’re true
and even though I’m unacceptable,
You accepted me.
I will accept you.
I didn’t expect to.
I need nothing except you
That’s the way I feel.
Track Name: Ethereal feat. Fedelus Gesner
Gessner: (excerpts recorded at dinner)
“They don't have jobs....most of them do a bad thing too. They don't have jobs and then like...a prostitution. When you see like a kids like have a baby like um 12 years old..13 years old got a baby. Because what? They find someone in his way and they say make a love for money and then what? Bad prostitution. And then some of them drink alcohol and do bad stuff know...they're very common in Haiti too and then um kill people to get money some times.
It's very difficult. There's no jobs and I heard the government say they create jobs I don't see it. I don’t see it They lie to the people all the time. No jobs”
“We need to fight for the right thing and stand up together for the right thing. The right thing is save the people. Save the life of the people by any way is possible for you.”
“I’m always happy even though things is not working as well in my life. Always. Even in my house I never--they don't know what I'm they don't know what happened in my life. They don't know the pain that I have inside of my heart. But I'm still happy laughing smile...and in the morning I wake up and its the same thing because God put that joy in my heart to encourage another people.”
“We need to fight for the right thing and stand up together for the right thing. The right thing is save the people. Save the life of the people by any way is possible for you.”
I remember Eric asked me a question: "What is the first thing we need to do for someone?" I say the first thing is educate people.
If i say rice...It's gonna be for one week or two days. Soon as he's finished he's back again to you.
If you give a knowledge to people educate people, he will have it in mind and someday will open the door will be open for them and they could find jobs.
This is the better way.

So thank you so much and i really appreciate that and i don't have much money but i have Haitian money (laugh)You don't want to use Haitian money in the States! okay? (Laughs) joking (laughs) Thank you so much.
Track Name: Grain of Salt feat. Kiara Lanier and Adam Ness
Take these words with a grain of salt
Take these words with a grain of salt
Take these words with a grain of salt
They're just words....
They're just words

VERSE 1: Rico
Waiting on the moral of my story
Good thing i wasn't going for the glory
Mostly get the guts.
But I love it when they go to throw they hands up
like it's fisticuffs or a quick stick up.
Helps my spirits lift up
But it's interrupted and ends abrupt
Caught between a rock and a hard place
No paper i figured i throw my scissors up
but i ain't surrendering or giving up
Hoping people will listen up.
I hear a lot of rumors and a lot of news make me laugh like
College Humor.
Watching TV and it seems strange how they view us
Or maybe they don't but it pays so they show it cuz it's basic
And say what you want but we probably do the same too
Money change you like Shang tsu-ung
But it's all cyclical
They’ll call you wise long as you cynical
And immature if you hope

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth
but that which is good to the use of edifying...”
We look for the truth but we forever lying
Here's the bad news: we may never find it
But still looking I'm still looking
Still looking I'm still looking
Still looking I'm still looking
Still looking in still looking

VERSE 2: Kiara
It all started the first day of school
Math teacher contradicted (what were) algorithmic rules,
Mr. Black said we couldn’t take nine from eight
but every year that passed- found out each rule was fake.
Or was it only partially true?
The truth told in entirety is detriment to you:
Money making medicine only if you're insured
Sell you a disease but an offense to have a cure.
Got you believing in men
tell you just enough so you can handle, it,
tighter grip, lacing lying lips, groping on your hips
till you find the second line on that urine strip.
What will you put your faith in then?
When the man who said he loves you only wanna be friends?
Confusion and guilt got you condemned to sin
but even when you're lost you’re never far from HIM
The truth of God’s love goes beyond any religion
The truth ain’t a debate it’s a decision


VERSE 3: Rico
Duffle bag full of luggage from the Sumner
Though there's nothing in the cupboards
There's more than a couple rubbers in the rubbish
Lovers wearing nothing under covers touching
Music bumping
She wonders why he looks troubled
Something's running through his young and hungry mind
Other than what's in front of his wandering eyes
Softly, she clutches him tight
Offbeat, but roughly in time
To Bilal's "Love it"
No hands
She holds on
Looks like she found something
She's soaked but he's so gone...

As if he's actually projected astrally
Thinks of his past and sees that setting disappear with record
fast speeds
Levitating as these walls melt
Almost meditating
All sense of self causes detonation
Contemplating why it's meaningless (and less and less and
As it requires more to be impressed (and pressed and pressed
and pressed)
Losing everything else (there's really nothing left)
Except what he needs to get off his chest