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Empty Room

by Zack Hemsey

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The Arrival 04:52
Verse 1: He left work for a 2-week leave Overdue for some rest indeed Heading north to a place upstream Where his wife and his son now waited to receive One quiet home deep in retreat Where nobody would know where to reach It was oh so sweet But imposition of warfare would hit square and turn off delight And the shock had a force to invite Such a fear that would drive him to flight Cuz it turned out his wife wasn’t safe on this night A fear that would cause him to pause And to pull from his draw his Benelli M4 And to haul in his jeep full floor With a vengeful jaw on an end life score But before he could settle this he was bedeviled and blown By the way she’d hung up the phone Her last words now a drone They had him feeling just oh so cold We are not alone We are not alone Verse 2: And when it hits you get hit with it And when it breaks you get broke with it And when it lights you explode in it And when it goes you just loathe in it This is what you call an upheaval Something like a nightmare’s equal But he had the presence of mind To reject thought lines of heroic retrieval Cuz he heard the panic in her tone And he felt the weight of unknown He sensed their helplessness In the best defense called the local patrol And dispatch arranged for a probe Meanwhile he tried redial on the phone About 4 hours till he showed Rushed into the house to find no one was home Verse 3: Full search ensues Up and down stairs through every room A lay of the grounds brought views without vehicles or shoes He was quite confused No evidence of forced entry No signs of struggle, there’s no sign of trouble He refused to accept this He would attempt connections No, the search resumes If no footprints then he knew Entry had to be gained from the chimney’s flue From the rooftop and trees he drew A path to the woods, now he left to pursue 30 acres till the river brought it through With this much land he’d need a plane or a few Well the Feds made it two and the search party grew But nothing ever did yield any clues That was 10 years ago 10 years of no rest and nowhere to go For 10 years he prayed it a ruse 10 years of theories, no truth We are not alone
Remember Me 05:18
Verse 1: Now this one starts under a fine bliss With happiness and a divine kiss A loving home including three kids When all was well before the sickness But this one comes with an affliction Consulted doctor with condition And he found cancer in position Now he brings dreadful premonition Now I don’t know from superstition Or times when a soul has to turn to religion But this young woman was faced with decision How to fight in a war of attrition And how to cope And how to try And how to reach And how to rise And how to live with her remaining time And how to hope for something she can’t find Never in her mind Ever did it climb to a place where her will was resigned Faith so high they could slow down time And turn these years to an endless shrine But this is certainly a misfit And it sure hurts to have to heed it Cuz she don’t need no one’s forgiveness She just needs something to fix this Chorus: I know you’re worried Don’t be afraid I’ve always loved you I’ll always love you You’re pain it makes my body hurt You need to know I’ve always loved you I’ll always love you Verse 2: Like waking up in a dream And finding it’s quite a new scene With a hairless head and a grief so mean And a sense of a used reprieve Cuz his wife’s now frail and she’s far too lean And no one’s coming to intervene No one sure with a cure to be received And she is ready to be relieved Now there’s nothing left to do but breathe Now I can’t speak from in the family Or feign like I know firsthand their misery Cuz how could a father just ignore His family of five will soon become four And how does a woman tell her husband to hold on When times get tough and she’s left and long gone How does a mother tell her daughter to be strong For two younger brothers who have shuddered to move on And it’s so damn heavy the weight’s on It’s too unsteady to ride on But he’s determined to pull through this terminal worldview And come out it brand new And no husband should have to bury you Cuz we all know that it can bury you Your warmth is felt and we do cherish you Know you’re in our hearts Chorus: I know you’re worried Don’t be afraid I’ve always loved you I’ll always love you You’re pain it makes my body hurt You need to know I’ve always loved you I’ll always love you I know you’re worried Don’t be afraid I will always love you And I hear your call Remember me…
Changeling 04:48
Verse 1: Feelings overflow And I’m not letting go Though in my heart I know I know Chorus: Don’t wanna be over you (3 x) But you are not you Verse 2: She said this wasn’t easy for her Deciding to walk away wasn’t easy to her And she said, she felt the world was just something that she observed That she was inadequate That her place hadn’t been earned She said, she wasn’t happy with how her life had turned Feeling the real her was something she had to learn I said, this isn’t easy but I support unnerved Believing that in time she’d wake up and return But hope would fade as those few days had turned to weeks And those weeks created something of which I couldn’t speak Except to say it spoke as if I wasn’t me As if we now hadn’t been together since we were teens As if these nine years were from a convincing dream And the woman I thought I loved never loved me, I can’t conceive This had to be a thing Sort of like a changeling It acted and spoke the part But her essence it couldn’t sing Chorus: Don’t wanna be over you (3 x) But I’ll just have to make it through Cuz you are not you Verse 3: When you’ve gone astray And the world just won’t obey When you fall away Well we all must find our own way Verse 4: It’s quite amusing how being apart can yield Levels of clarity on confusion once thought surreal And what amazement to come to find you can heal That one’s future isn’t ill-fated but slated for high appeal Well solace gives opportunity to reveal And time sheds perspective on why one feels To see success even in division’s the test Well every day we had wasn’t anything short of blessed So changeling, change brings More than deranged things Strange things I’ve near persevered in an upswing So cling to new hope More than a good show So do sing, do glow And to this new you Let us remove ado Let us now greet renewed and just start from a different view I’ll introduce myself Now you introduce yourself We’ll smile and live in health as two friends who have never dwelt Chorus: Don’t wanna be over you (3 x) But you are not you Don’t wanna be over you (3 x) But you are not you You are not you (5x)
Open Spaces 05:02
Verse 1: Only notions he considers are hollowed and lost thoughts Visions that confer only sorrow that time’s caught A ghost upon a body so shoddy and scared soft A mind so terrified it’s resigned and it’s shut off But that’s to be expected when a boy has been selected In his hands is placed a weapon as a soldier then directs him Shoot upon your father To refuse you’ll burn in horror No pursuit of pride and honor He just stands immersed in sweat Family eyes connect He holds his rifle to his chest His heart is heavy with regret as he unloads with his offence And “in the name of freedom” is chanted to loud applause While planted in his brain is an image of Hell crossed Sobbing in his spirit and fearing the holocaust He must compose himself or risk being the next lost Now every shadow hides a face he’s shot or blown to dust With every day he’s dying and getting more out of touch And every night he dreams he ends the death machine And finds a way to run from his stranger and this regime As morning leaves him choking and full of grief He’s hoping today will be the day that brings him a reprieve Chorus If only we could find the fortune Instead of misfortune Would be see it’s out of proportion Or have we cut off our feet No way to retreat In nothing but defeat But if we can get us lost And try to take it off Could we clean up this distortion Try to make it soften Are we all orphans now Have we exhausted now And I never loathed a life But now I lead this war with me Verse 2: I suspect my calm’s Manchurian in nature Just a matter of some time before she makes me waste ‘em Yet I possess no fury toward this stranger No I just feel allured by coming danger Change her I wouldn’t I want to ride the current of her storm Nourish on her sword And let my soul absorb And he of pure mind, let him to me accord Benevolence to ward off temptation that I have stored Cuz lord knows the craving in me grows With every step I took I knew the devil in me rose Waiting on a precipice so delicately posed A long and lovely fall no will or fire can oppose But the beauty of her form brings violence And I succumb to dancing with this Siren And I can feel the weight of this unload Perception has been altered now I see what she’s bestowed The wrath in me explodes and the sins of men are found The power of her sound reveals malevolence abound To he who sees no heaven amongst the clouds The reckoning is coming, get ready for buried ground Yet I can feel such impurity within I must expel the fiend and let its hole cave in And so to singe this evil now I pull the pin But clutch it to my heart to end the journey of my twin Chorus
Empty Room 03:35
Verse 1: You never know your shot at fame is over till it passes Till the hourglass is empty and it’s backwards And in the vacuum you just wonder how this happened As the artist in you now gets enveloped inside a casket I’ve put much money and time into this passion Never really thought it would end in quite this fashion But life is what it is and I’ll never regret the path I’m just depressed my art never made it to reach the masses Just average, no better and no preferred I guess I felt I had something worthy to give this world Perhaps it was conceit to have thought I would move the herd Ego to think I’d lead to new standard with note and word And foolish to believe a new paradigm would spur But though absurd I won’t apologize I won’t acknowledge my pursuit was just an empty try So be advised and have the knowledge from this poem occurred This from the greatest artist in the world you never heard Well it don’t matter I’m sitting inside an empty room Alone with no one present to hear the music boom Like Beethoven or Bach without a chance to bloom Or for Shakespeare’s words never to be consumed I just hope that one day my work will be exhumed To infuse with higher levels now un-pursued And that maybe the spirit in this will surge And turn the world into something in which I’m heard Verse 2: I’m inside these four walls I feel confined by four walls Yes, my mind is four walls Where thoughts come forth and design rhymes for y’all Just my flow, the audio and my pen Well, written it’s a 10 But no audience attends Still I can’t give in The feeling won’t descend I don’t do this just because, there’s a cause I defend So the music never ends I’m not the caged bird that never sings I’m the bird in the cage that breaks his wings Trying to escape from where I feel trapped So I keep shouting my raps The sound waves bouncing back It hits my frame, recharges my spirit Then clicks my brain, responds with lyrics much stronger than the last Some day this sonic blast Will cause these walls to crash And the mass can be exposed To the greatest never known Grown by the desire and the fire that inspires real writers And to all of them I’ve shown That when I arrive they will cheer But all the while I’ve been here All the while in this square Waiting for someone to hear Or them just to lend an ear Well it don’t matter I’m sitting inside an empty room Alone with no one present to hear the music boom Like Beethoven or Bach without a chance to bloom Or for Shakespeare’s words to never be consumed I just hope that one day my work will be exhumed To infuse with higher levels now un-pursued And that maybe the spirit in this will surge And turn the world into something in which I’m heard
Why 04:43
Verse 1: Could you even understand What it’s like to be used at hand By so many men I had so much trust in you To have you turn around And sell me to pay your dues Chorus: So why was I I not good enough And how was I So damn foolish Verse 2: Could you even understand And have you gone and washed your hands I’m sure you have And now I hold my head Above a spirit dead Chorus: So why was I I not good enough And how was I So damn foolish And where was love When you sold me away And where was hope When I’m raped every day Verse 3: I’m not the same girl Not the same girl Could never be the same girl In that bright blue world And if you had to choose again Would you keep me then I bet you wouldn’t And would you even know my voice Would you know my face Withered and stressed to age Well I fought, and I screamed, and I ran And I bruised, and I bled And I felt an evil so cold instead Chorus: So why was I I not good enough And how was I So damn foolish And where was love When you sold me away And where was hope When I’m raped every day Outrro: So close your eyes And just hide from the pain And breathe a sigh Let your thoughts drift away Away…
To Return 03:06
Revelations 05:25
Intro: When the sun fades out And the blackness shrouds And the wolves all howl And the stones fall loud When the fear is found And nightmares hound Will you drown in the plague that surrounds Verse 1: Weight upon a point of pressure, watch as it implodes Wind upon a way of life, see how it erodes Seek inside a rose to find the wilting of a soul Seize a path unknown and then you’ll walk the world alone Now travel past the bones of prophets and warlords Past the empty thrones and treasures of gold hoards Past the vacant vaults of pharaohs that came before Beyond the crowns of kings once mighty and so adored And to the top of the ancient ziggurats To the pyramids and plots and the holy lands forgot And drop by a place where you can find a spot That can spot a panorama of the messages in crops Then stop, ponder if it serves to insight Does it shed a light on the Armageddon that’s in sight Can it aid or help excite the armies that march strong The battle to find calm that rattles the rage on Climb on in the race to belong Hang on in the face of the harm Move through with the pace of a charge And resist the alarm to embrace all the wrong Is it truth or just words in a song Is it hope, is it fear of forgone Am I knight, am I lowly the pawn Let it known at the sound of the gong Chorus; This is Mayan times Revelation But I am not afraid And I won’t die today So pull me under I fear no thunder Verse 2: Who knows why their stronghold couldn’t hold me at bay Why their strength couldn’t control me away Why the drive will not decline or decay Or why design will leave alive one today One to prey hard in a graveyard lay One to take charge in a Braveheart way A mournful mist to assist and portray The tears of grown men no pen will convey Without a leader to address or sway Our losses move under and cross the raw thunder Without an angel to embrace or save Our hope is fused into these stones that hold hundreds And I choose to stand Though I’m bruised and branded I refuse the noose that I’m handed My eulogy will read: “To Hell he’s been and sipped their scorched gin with a sinful grin” Oh strange am I Strangely eyed to look calm as our worlds collide Fools can find shade thinking fate is blind Their safety buys stakes for their purpose dies Though worthless lives are worth less lives My words revive and cry loud for the certain sign Till end of days sound and the earth is dry Know this is a farewell but it’s not goodbye Chorus
Verse 1: Whatever takes to lay to rest all competition, I do So pray to repent that those devout forgotten will not find you Don’t make an attempt to follow, wallow in your own discomfort Discover how to pay your respects, accept them as your brother I’m leaving a path through trails of mud Anointing all those in pales of blood Then focus their lives on lies And find they’re hopeless in eyes of mind and why We not designed, we right on time And when we arrive we get it live Just acknowledge we on fire Nine Leaves are the set design Record time remaining nameless Formless cuz your forms are shameless You’ve forgotten where you’re from And all your flaws that made you famous Threats are painless, aim this at your heart to make the pain lift Shape-shift on this track to scratch your name right off the game’s list Plain shit I am sick of rappers Pissed cuz I’m a sicker cracker Fire blacking out the room of places that you stage your acting You’ve forgotten where’s your passion Need to ask, that’s my infraction Show me where your skills at and I’ll show you how to hack and slash ‘em Chorus: (excerpts from a discussion on Hip Hop) Some are being pushed through the machine And being told what to do They’re not challenging themselves anymore They forget about themselves as an artist That may be how it evolved, but that’s not necessarily how it has to be though Some do what they want to Verse 2: I’m backhanding the game, she aint treating us right I aint really the one but I cherish her life I blame the change on us, the same must go for me Our love is deep but I only write once a week Listen, I never held a nine besides my 9 to 9 No jail time, trust me, my life is fine I even rhyme in a suit Cuz my pursuit of happiness is to spit the truth You lose And I don’t gotta change up my flow It is what it is, you can ride or you don’t You’ll decide as I go Every line you can scope I aint losing sleep You could live a lie but I won’t I aint beat money, you could talk about all your doe Man life is sweet You could peep my gut as it grows Hold the cheddar for the cheese And your beef for the streets Two sides of a coin, my point, we both eat So yes, I really gotta say this is great You can hate on my hate so your hate’s just the same Don’t be mad at me homie I paved my own lane Speaking honestly, homie you’re a waste of a name A waste of my space man, check out my frame I’m drained but I still speak my piece This last piece of hate For these you’ll take heat Y’all wear shades in the club I’ll rock mine on the beach Please… Chorus: (excerpts from a discussion on Hip Hop) It’s a competitive sport, Hip Hop Everything is “I, I, I” because you have to prove that you’re the better emcee And of course it’s a business Hip Hop wasn’t derived from that There is this other dimension of Hip Hop There are these songs all over the world Verse 3: They’ve already forgotten How it sounds, felt the taste it Before the industry reshaped it and raped it Landscaped your face, now you’re the Mona Lisa You gotta do what they do or they won’t release ya The fans may greet ya, but you can’t look them in the eyes I guess your hustlin’ features was just a disguise Make us believe ya, at least you could try You wanna get rich lying relying on false pride Sold your soul for the price of the gold and the ice Now you’re a hoe with no hold and they’re controlling your life You were exposed to the light but prefer being dumb The who, what, where When will you remember one The place you’ve begun Look what you’ve become Succumb to what sucks for a successful sum Regrets you’ll have some Respect you’ll have none Cuz when it’s all said and done you’re one loss was the love Chorus: (excerpts from a discussion on Hip Hop) People are forgetting who they are, what Hip Hop culture is, and why they’re doing it That’s the forgotten Everybody in Hip Hop is not an artist You’re doing what you think people want you to do rather than who you are There’s no innovation Verse 4: Have you ever had the feeling of being in slow-mo The type of case that comes with a thinking of “oh no” Or had a vision showing your future as so low But without a way in which you could alter or re-sow Well I’m a bring it through like a leader that bestows A speech upon his men that’ll heed ‘em to let go Of the artificial skin that just keeps ‘em in limbo These seeds will bring the being intended to first grow You’re heading to and fro on a path that is void of pride Happy to put aside who you are on the inside In truth I can’t surmise if this turned out all by design Did you intend to play the fool or did other people decide Did managers advise you sever ties for prize Well now your dragon slumbers while goblins are on the rise I’m trudging through the snow while you building a man of lies I’m speaking to your soul but it’s greeting me with goodbyes And now it’s time to hide cuz I’m wrecking your false disguise I’m stepping through the haze with intention to bring demise And when the rug gets pulled and the mirror brings its surprise Look into your eyes with the question of “who am I”
Verse 1: I heard they found a way to no set place That they’re way ahead and winning but there’s no real race And they’re feeding on the thrill of a chase When they’ll never find a way to keep the pace I heard they found a way to build our dreams Can they engineer a world in which we hear no screams And I heard that they can make vaccines But our sick routine isn’t keen to relieve I heard they found a way to see through walls Do they have the sight to see my scars And can they find a way to view who we are Or does such vision just exist in the far And can incisions ever fix all the vying that persists Can a needle cure the evil through the arm I’m told they have the means to travel to the stars But can’t journey to the start of the savage in our hearts So if I’m ravaged and afraid Damaged and apart, tired of charades How can I clear the smoke that billows Wade through to cope and chisel out a life that’s worthy and of praise Chorus: My whole life’s passing me by As I sit and wonder why I’ll find a way Verse 2: They say tomorrow brings a brighter day But do they know about the sorrow that’s beyond the fray Do they see all of the madness that man obeys And can they understand that sadness won’t go away But it’s okay cuz the truth is I’m feeling whole Feeling like the emptiness inside has found a home And I’m hopeful that my destiny is one of heights One in which the apathy in me no longer strikes And I wonder how this ending has come to pass When just yesterday was carefree and full of laughs But if there’s certainty in anything it’s what we have Is but impermanent cuz no thing will always last Yet still I can’t help but question fate Can’t shake the feeling that I hold the key to great escape And I feel in me a yearning that still endures A spirit wandering and eager now to find a cure Believe me this is pure essence Pure intention It goes beyond mere conversation and confession It’s much too vague to formulate into expression But perhaps there’s something greater that we’ve all been set in And this is not to say I know the way This is not to say attachment’s been put away This is not to say my love for you’s been held at bay And I don’t possess or know a simple route to change But it is to say I hold you close And it is to say the love in me is more than most And it is to say your absence has left it’s mark But I tell myself this plays within a bigger part Now you are not the only way to make me whole Know that I won’t ever turn my heart to stone You are not the only way to make me whole And I won’t ever turn my heart to stone And I’ll find a way Verse 3: I’m not without a spirit that can hold up to the torture Not without a will to stop the cycle that marauders Not without a mind to free the hate within my border And to cleanse the vessel into which my consciousness is ordered I’m not afraid of monsters that intimidate and taunt ya Not afraid to challenge all the violence and slaughter The leviathans that haunt are hardly deadly out of water I’ll find a way to offer the elixir of disorder So many trails have crossed the rivers forged from all our tears So many paths have left us all alone during these years So many that we’ve lost but I can feel their presence near I can see a road ahead that leads beyond the known frontier So lift yourself up slowly and rest your eyes upon me And let the sad and lonely float away and disappear And leave the guilt and shame and all the anger and the fear Lets trade it for the will to find a way to persevere Chorus Verse 4: How long can I surrender for How deep can my descending bore How long can I neglect me for How long is this confinement for How long can I arrest me for How long can I detain me for How long before I stray off course How long before all hope is lost How long can one survive among the horror Live among the demons that all seethe in darkened corners Cling to all the grief released in tidal waves upon ya Proclaim it isn’t fair, content to bear forever mourner This moment is in order Now let the waters pass Let the smoldered ash remain beside the olden past Leave it on behalf of those who crave to hear you laugh And walk among the living as you find a way to last How long can I survive this for How long can I abate this for How long can I remain this strong Well how long can I just sing this song I’ll find a way


released March 29, 2010

Music composed, recorded, and mixed by Zack Hemsey

Track 6 featuring Stang from Nine Leaves
Track 11 featuring Phenetix, Isaac, and Stang from Nine Leaves

Piano on "Changeling" and "Standing Still" recorded by Bryan Smith at Clinton Recording Studios

Album mastered by Lou Hemsey @ Lou Hemsey Music and Film

Artwork & Design by Omead Afshari


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Zack Hemsey New York, New York

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