Empty Room

by Zack Hemsey

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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


all rights reserved


Track Name: The Arrival
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
Track Name: Remember Me
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

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

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…
Track Name: Changeling
Verse 1:
Feelings overflow
And I’m not letting go
Though in my heart I know
I know

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

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

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)
Track Name: At War With Me
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

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

Track Name: Empty Room
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
Track Name: Why
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

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

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

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

So close your eyes
And just hide from the pain
And breathe a sigh
Let your thoughts drift away

Track Name: Revelations
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

This is Mayan times
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

Track Name: The Forgotten
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

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”
Track Name: I'll Find A Way
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

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


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