HipHop: Art Music of the Future

by Rico Sisney

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about

HipHop: Art Music of the Future is a live album taken from a concert of the same name. Performed April 6th, 2009, the concert was the brainchild of emcee/composer Rico Sisney. It focuses on some of the basic elements of HipHop compared and contrasted with elements of classical and jazz composition. It features a jazz song cycle as well as 12-tone and octatonic pieces. The message is that all music should be accessible to the people, not just academia. And nothing has to be "dumbed down."

The musicians include Charles Coffeen and Garrett Mcginn, the keys player and bass player for Sidewalk Chalk of which Rico is also a member; Drummer Rob Dicke; percussionist Chris Paquette; a string quartet featuring Johnathan De Souza on Viola, Chris Beckstrom on Saxophone, and Sally Blandon on Backup Vocals. Fellow Sidewalk Chalk Vocalist Maggie Vagle Contributes in a variety of roles and basketQase Rodriguez makes an appearance.

credits

released September 12, 2010

Composed by
Rico Sisney

Emcee
Rico Sisney

Backup Vocals
Maggie Vagle
Sally Blandon

Strings
Viola - Johnathan DeSouza
Cello - Hillary Bauer
First Violin - Alexander Stabrawa
Second Violin - Christine Knodle

Sax
Chris Beckstrom

Keys/Piano/Vibes
Charlie Coffeen

Drums
Rob Dicke

Bass
Garrett McGinn

Percusssion
Chris Paquette

Executive Producers
Rico Sisney
Aunnoy Badruzzaman
Sound
Ben Gordon
Elliot Little
Dana Minetti
Brandon Vogel
Tom VanDerBeek

Mixed by
Elliott Little

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all rights reserved

about

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: Beatbox Concerto No. 1
Rico:
The Big Bang was a bass Drum
The collapse of the cosmos will be a handclap
and all the greatest moments in human history
were syncopation on the hi-hat

Maggie:
Started so simply
It's almost hard to believe
that the beat of a drum
like a tree in the heat could become
Music...

We never let it slip away
No matter what else they take
They can never replace this
Touch because it's so basic
but it's an Agent of Change

It's Real so Real...
It's everything they don't want us to feel
It's Genuine so Genuine
It's all that we'll have left in the end...

Rico:
The Big Bang was a bass Drum
The collapse of the cosmos will be a handclap
and all the greatest moments in human history
were syncopation on the hi-hat

It's Real so Real...
It's everything they don't want us to feel

It's Genuine so Genuine
It's everything we have in the end...
Track Name: What Matters
Under a Scattered pile of ashes of a past life I wonder what matters/ She's got clothes here with wonderful patterns/ But she's chosen to wander without em/ ain't seen her new husband in six weeks/ she don't wonder about him?/She had the perfect life set to be the perfect wife/ but some people just can't be the perfect type/And she didn't even give a solitary reason/ One moment it's forever and the next second she leaves him?/His hearts bleedin evaluatin her treason/How she leave him in a home made to be greater than Eden?/ He had her finger lookin swollen all the time/ rock about the size of bowlin ball but now/that's in the pile with velvet robes and burberry clothes/ what she's wearin now God only knows/ with her husband's definition of wonderful shattered,/It kinda makes you wonder what matters. I wonder what matters

She returns with springtime and her hair cut short/ and reports, I went through great lengths to get here/ And he wonders what she meant by that/ but for now he just smiles cuz he's happy to have her back/ She acts and looks a little bit different now/material things don't seem so significant now/so he asks her, "have you been brainwashed?"/ She says, "No, but I started thinking and now I can't stop./ I cut off more than a few lengths of hair out there/ I forgot a whole world about which I used to care/ She said think about it like this, I been dead for two months/Now I got life so the comforts in it just don't matter as much/ All the jewelry this house with way too many rooms/ Appliances and furniture we just gone lose when we move/ I'm not ungrateful baby these were wonderful flatters, but it really made me wonder what matters." I wonder what matters.
Track Name: What Matters II (Money)
Rico:
There's a common misconception
about the Devil's complexion
He ain't red he green, put that on everything
When people with him wish for more
Turn proud women into whores
turn small children from the Lord
thinking they onto something more
He's the green in the envy
have somebody smilin friendly
all the time if they want what's mine
then they gone put seventeen in me
the Devil's in the weed,
in the stems and the seeds
in the THC we believe that we need
with each breath you let him a
little bit deeper in
he's what makes the girls wanna freak again
He's the green in the grass on the other side
That'll make a brother hide and wanna lead another life
but he can't

They say, "It's
Mo Money Mo Problems,
Mo Money Mo Problems."
but I don't need no problems

Look, I'm probably condescending in spitting
what i envisioned, it's just difficult for me to fathom
when people not listening.
I'm basically saying, don't be a slave to cash
and focus on the things that made to last.
Get me further from what I want is all that I think my wishin did
Soul compromising flaw is all that I think ambition is
and with what I'm under, I wonder why haven't I considered giving in?
I used to hate my life, then I just despised the dude that was livin it
In every single being there's something deep in him eating
don't mistake it though, most people are incapable of seeing
or feeling this villain,
when his venom is killin
this innermost enemy's deep within you seepin to eat you
keepin you see through and vulnerable
man I don't know no more, am I supposed to go?
I guess it's a blessin that I'm holdin on
to the truth, I'm new to this thing I don't know what to do.
I just sit with the spirit and hear what it says
and then flip it and give it to you and it told

Maggie:
I cross a stream
You're Standing
(Rico: It's more money more problems)
Your stained berry fingertips
I'm so stained now
Once the stars were in your eyes
And now I see this Ego
Over Eagle
It flies so high
And it used to live in
Your Eye

They say, "It's
Mo Money Mo Problems,
Mo Money Mo Problems."
But I don't need no problems
So No Money's no Problem
Mo Money Mo Problems
Mo Money Mo Problems...
Track Name: Slower Life
Chorus:
You'd rather plant seeds than grow trees,
buy fast food than groceries,
A slower life's what we both need
So please stop chasing your trophies
and hopefully we'll both have piece
x2

I'm from the burbs where the drug scene's worse
Where people who smoke weed take adderall first.
I know plenty coke fiends who don't know what broke means
cuz they pay for those things with cash that daddy offers
and most are close to bleeding from the Have-it-all curse
Now I suppose that you believed you had it off worse
in the struggle I'm burstin your bubble
My generation's thirstin for trouble and for our ADD
I blame Sesame Street.
For stereotypes and anger I blame the Power Rangers
the danger in these times, is the family decline
If it comes up, she can count on me being a man for mine
cuz it's a lot of Baby-daddies who don't wanna bother with being a father
and they come from both blue and white collar
backgrounds but when dad's around
physically and emotionally where he's supposed to be,
supposedly a stronger kid's brought up
but you say you don't wanna get caught up in the game
but your kid needs more from you than a momma and a name

Chorus:
You'd rather plant seeds than grow trees,
buy fast food than groceries,
A slower life's what we both need
So please stop chasing your trophies
and hopefully we'll both have piece
x2

Maggie:
He feels like winning the race
But where are you headin towards?
He moves so swiftly
Trying to get more
But don't you know the man
Who walks so slow
Sees every bird, mother, munch and smile

Chorus:
You'd rather plant seeds than grow trees,
buy fast food than groceries,
A slower life's what we both need
So please stop chasing your trophies
and hopefully we'll both have piece
x2
Track Name: What Matters III
He had to be,
Harder better faster stronger more efficient and fluid
He had the funds to do it.
From Lakeforest but he was raised in the Old Money way.
Cd's and IRA's make sure no money fades.
By the age of seventeen, his parents had made his self-esteem
So high that he believed he would achieve everything.
He was named a national scholar although he was caught with coke.
That file was never seen,
his parents had the juice to keep his records clean.
He kept it clean both in fashion and in manner.
He worked out and had a frame like Bruce Banner,
Dude was slammin.
Women said that he was witty and charming
and they found his game pretty disarming.
He moved from his home in the burbs
cuz the city was calling
and spent money so fast that it was alarming.
He needed to make his first million,
Then by a home in Lake Forest get a beautiful wife
maybe some children, etcetera, etcetera...


Now she had to be...
Thinner, cuter, smarter and work harder
than anyone around her just so she could get caught up.
She was raised on the southside Calumet class of '98
One of a few to graduate
She ingested, stories of princes and princesses
Naive, but her memory was quite impressive,
Nevertheless it didn't help her with life's daily stresses.
Friends said, "Get rid of the books. You sendin men the wrong message."
It's funny how girls without a man always try to give advice...
If they did it right, they'd have somebody in they life.
She wasn't gone compromise her self like her mom did.
You cannot give up what you want to feel wanted.
The boys from around the way called her bougie, seditty,
Girls said, "you think you pretty. "
Finally she moved to the city
and started chasin her dreams
the mistake that she made was to think
you had to just get what you want,
it's better to want what you need


They met on a summer day
The sun was shining but not as bright as the diamonds
beside him. She saw her lovely face.
With him she wanted to run away.
Her friends were shy the sight of him excited them
and she said, "Hi" to him in spite of them
He asked her out and invited them
She thought he had what she needed like a vitamin.
Sizzled like a fryin pan
Looked at Tony Stark envisioned Iron Man
While the lonely hearts club peeped his bony parts
Uh...
As far as marriage he met her requirements,
So before he popped the question she'd mostly decided it
Ceremony and reception, his parents provided it.
He could purchase or invest in whatever she'd try to get.
Life was bliss. His friends thought his wife was just...
So fine. Way cuter than them lipo chicks in magazines.
It seemed they were livin a fantasy.
Things were wonderful then, cuz they agreed what wonderful meant.

Way up on that hilltop...
She sees that castle from afar...
Way up on that hilltop
She sees that Castle from afar and
it looks so much better, better from afar
Track Name: 1773
When you breathe,
You're taking in toxins impossible for you to see.
Our culture and politics operate similarly.
If we believe in the lies, we could get eaten alive
Why do we try to breathe?

basketQASE:
The Great liquid bead enormous in diameter falls
Direction of Gravity
Adapting to the contour of Mother pulsating wall
Leaving behind a lengthy trail of evidence of Stress related anguish,
Global Tremors
Approaching cliff damnation
It attempts a hold on a gigantic thread
the likes of a whisker
but doesn't achieve traction
Beginning flight of the bead into the dreaded fields of cotton
As in tear versus man made garment
rapid absorption level that will absolutely consume disappears and all that is left are memories
of a legend
of an entity
of pain inspired moisture
Hot sodium filled resembling the Dead Sea Scrolls
hidden in a man eating clam
You thought, I was going to say,
"Oyster."

When you breathe,
You're taking in toxins impossible for you to see.
Our culture and politics operate similarly.
If we believe in the lies, we could get eaten alive
Why do we try to breathe?

Rico:
I believe it was 1773,
When Washington chopped down a million american trees
and he couldn't lie about it
people I highly doubt it
Our education's naive
We take it for granted that the system that we have been handed is better than anything we've ever seen on the planet
But that is just damaging lies, helping in managing minds
Our vanity gives them advantages
what if our vanity vanishes?
They'd be left with less weapons livin less effortless lives
effervescent they'd be left confessin their lies
as we rise, no longer just tryna to get by

When you breathe,
You're taking in toxins impossible for you to see.
Our culture and politics operate similarly.
If we believe in the lies, we could get eaten alive
Why do we try to breathe?

Maggie Vagle:
Love,
Beautiful Energy
Creator of Cosmos and Galaxy
Healer of hearts and minds
Many names that you have
Surround me with your Love
If I didn't believe in you
Love...
All of me would be dead
Fill me with your Love.

When you breathe,
You're taking in toxins impossible for you to see.
Our culture and politics operate similarly.
If we believe in the lies, we could get eaten alive
Why do we try to breathe?
Track Name: Yellow Light
Cast:
Driver...Rico Sisney
Guest...Maggie Vagle
Light...Band

The rain had just stopped, leaving debris in the streets
from all the leaves of the trees and sticks caught in the wind.
They just pop as again they get caught.
This time by the tires of a red mustang, her
engine killing the silence born after the rain. She growls-
drowning out the plit-plat of the drips from the
trees. The leaves and sticks crack as she hits. Though her top is down, her Driver is bone dry and
unaware of the time that’s going by.
He’s been out here for years and he doesn’t know why. In fact,
it barely enters his thoughts.
He pulls up to a red light and just stops.
The engine’s growl becomes a purr; he doesn’t notice her.
Only the wind whispering madness in his ears
He forms an original thought (he hasn’t had one in years)
He thinks, “I can control this light.”
He speaks, “I can control this light.”
He blinks…and it’s a green light.
…again and it’s a red light.
…again and it’s a green light.
II
Thoughts become ideas. Ideas become obsessions
Beliefs are most powerful if perceived as possessions
instead of mere suggestions.
My apartment’s usually lonely, but tonight I’m letting a Guest in like Best Western Inn.
She’s both lovely and bright and I’m getting lucky tonight.
I skip to the corner, move the blanket and uncover the light.
She looks surprised. I can see it in her eyes.
Her hair is soaking wet it’s pouring down outside.
She grins at me. Her smile says she’s never been happy.
She’s had too much wine and wants the night to end badly.
She asks me, dispassionately, “Would you like another drink,?”
She holds the Wine-- I clutch the light-- I say I’m fine and just in time, I--
blink…We get a red light
Give me an hour she’ll be in my bed tight.
I Blink. She laughs. “Do it again.” “Okay.” I
Blink. She laughs. “Do it again.” “Okay.” I
Blink. She laughs. “You know who you remind me of?”
“Who?” “Jeannie from ‘I Dream of--’” “Genie?”
“Yeah, Jeannie. She did that blinking thing.”
“I see, I Remind you of Jeannie. Does that mean you find me Dreamy?”
“If I compared you to my coffee, would you say you’re--” “Black and Steamy--” “actually Creamy.
I mean--” “There’s no need to interpret meaning.
Language is full of static so we find words deceiving
especially if we refuse to accept the sovereignty of phrases heard on TV
And attempt to say what we really think.

{SILENCE. Driver approaches Guest and at the last second turns away}
I Blink. She doesn’t laugh she must be catching her breath. I
Guest: (quietly and out of time) Stop it.
Blink. I Guest: (louder) Stop it please.
Blink. She doesn’t laugh she must be catching her breath. I Blink. I Blink. I Blink. I
Guest: (frantic) Stop it! Please Stop!
Blink. She doesn’t laugh she’s still just catching her breath
Stop it Now!
I do it again though she didn’t ask I don’t remember when she left.
{Driver blinks}


III.
Ideas become obsessions.
Beliefs are most potent baked at 477° like
Shadrach and Abendego. Picture ‘Me Shacked’
Up with a stoplight-reality is bending over.
I blink the light’s red, I Blinks the light’s green I remember Barbara
Eden always had to nod her head, but the from nose witch twitch just ‘Bewitched’ her. The
Head thing was a part of it. She was submissive to his wishes a Blink. He treated her vicious as paper would to scissors
if it could ever gets the upper hand to switch sides
I love control. I want control. She laughs, “He doesn’t know.”
She was lovely and bright and I’m alone. She’s been
gone for--how long? Why did I let her leave?
The light grins menacingly upon me, it’s tight lips reminiscent of something ugly
A disturbing thought gives birth to itself.
A disturbing thought not the first one I felt
I don’t control the light. “You don’t control me!”
Thoughts become posessive obsessions,
“Light this control can I?” speaks he.
“Light this control can I? thinks he. “Wake up!”
Red. Green. Red. Red. Green.
Black. White. Never Ever. Yellow. Red
A blink. A change. A change. A blink. He blinks I change.-
Genies are slaves. Coffees, wines, lipsticks, leaves, mustangs.
My mind is my lamp. I can’t be losing it if I know I’m insane.
Can’t be losing my mind if I know I’m insane.
Can I? Be losing my mind if I know I’m insane?
Can he be using my mind if he knows I’m insane?
Water drips from my forehead. It’s started to rain.
Track Name: In The Dark
With my eyes closed, I cease to exist
Speech becomes meaningless I reach inner bliss
I Feel it fade quickly though cuz peace can't exist
I smell nothing at all save a creeping abyss
I think only of glasses drained past half-empty
Degradation of the world over the last half-century
Wars on every ism and religion in sight
I'm beginning to write,
Inspired by the absence
Of light, I can only dream
It's a force that I've never seen
It's like Gravity
It's not real until the fall...

In the Dark, we make decisions and judgements
But we can't see or be seen so we're hidden in public
For the truth we're left diggin and hunting
so we're driven by nothing
except the feelings in the pits of our stomachs
I envision the coming of a candle that burns
without wax and fuel
A cycle of relapse and renewal
but our generation's lacking the tools
Left separated by the presence of privilege
and the integrity we lacking in schools
but the light is out there with golden arches
While the world's in the hold of darkness
It slowly marches towards our woeful call
but it's presence won't be made real until the fall...
until the...
until the fall...
until the fall of man.
until the...
until the fall of man.
until the...
until the fall...

I was born clothed in blackness, so I been told.
So I been warned, "don't let it take control of your soul."
So I been sold.
Been told that it's a weight I'm meant to carry
Have to view black as a burden 'til they change the dictionary.
Black is defined as, "Destitute of light or incapable of reflecting it.
Having dark hair and a dark complexion with Dark eyes. Foul, dirty, dismal, gloomy, forbidding like darkness. Destitute of moral Light or goodness.
For those who have endured this,
it's hard to seek pureness.
Hard to seek light, with so many people keen to obscure it.
The truth is, while white might reflect more light,
Black absorbs more. If anything, that makes it more pure.
I thank God for my skin color. It wasn't his means of cursing me.
There's no one on this earth he sees as any better or worse than me.
Personally, I think Self-education can change a lot.
Our brains are blocked with misinformation
we should've taken with grains of salt.

His presence won't be made real until the fall.
until the...
until the fall...
until the fall of man.
until the...
until the fall of man.
until the...
until the fall...
Track Name: Open Your Eyes
I'm a peon, developed over eons and eons
to be the only incarnation of me.
Nietzschean truth that everybody's waiting to see
that there's no truth. And that's the truth take it from me.
But uh...If you got yo
pop culture nachos, put the Woody Allen chip in the J-lo dip
That's a twist. Not if they makin a flic
we takin a trip into the world of naked abyss
Oops...my bad that's what I call T.V
Next time you all see me,
We will all be three time units closer to death
I don't fear it, I just chose to give it open respect
Now in the beginning, just living meant giving your living
to him in the sky and men didn't try
to glorify themselves cuz they
knew that they couldn't live self-contained and that wealth was a
curse just like welts or pain

Open Your Eyes
Open your Eyes
Open Your Eyes in spite
of all of life's disguises

I'm the Barbara Walters of the Universe
You wanna ask me a question?
You better ask it quick. I'm probably gonna ask you it first.
Of second place and last place, I'd say that two is worse
I'm so socratic, when I interrogate, if guilty you would burst.
What if you found out Mother Theresa used to be bad?
Isn't the Father of the Earth still Lucifer's dad?
Meaning everything in life, stems from your choices?
Imagine if Tupac Shakur was born voiceless
or if Martin Luther King had never started worshipping
the Lord Jesus, if the constitution had been ripped in four pieces,
if Einstein ignored reason, Ray Kroc Abhorred eating
or Washington felt compelled to never commit no more treason...
I gues we'd be up the creek with no paddle
but false are all the above mentioned things so it don't matter
I guess my point is, If I hadn't started questioning things,
I wouldn't be me.
So tell me now where would we be?

Open Your Eyes
Open your Eyes
Open Your Eyes in spite
of all of life's disguises

I'm a penguin and Rap music is my cold weather
they tell me to move on quick, but I know better.
If I go where I heard that it gets cold never,
even with no sweater I'd be no better than a bald eagle with broke feathers.
I'm just a Native American under Andrew Jackson
They say, "Now Moving Lips, it's time to send you packin."
I'm like a jew back when Nebuchadnezzar or Caesar sad, "We're gonna put your stuff up for seizure.
But please don't be angry we can't be havin that.
we only movin you out of your natural habitat"
I've entered the real world, where serial killers kill girls
and other men fill girls heads up with lies
that you worth absolutely nothing if you plus-sized
but I'm just another Black on the Bus while
Rosa Parks stood up for herself, I sat quiet
later I participated in that riot
that you heard about word of mouth
See you don't need to start a revolution
as long as you recognize when one comes on and
Get your feet to movin. x3 and then

Open Your Eyes
Open your Eyes
Open Your Eyes in spite
of all of life's disguises