Critical

by Fricktion

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about

Fricktion is a Bloomington-based, socially conscious hip hop artist. Influenced by a wide range of styles, from golden era hip-hop to classic punk rock to heavy electronic bass music, his music blends old-school consciousness and a DIY ethic with a synth-heavy new school aesthetic. His message aims to address some of the most pressing problems of our day, and explore the roots of issues that divide us. Critical marks Fricktion’s second EP as a solo artist. Completed almost 3 years after his first EP, this work shows his evolution in beat making, song writing, and lyrical skills. Fricktion is thrilled to join the ranks of Strong Roots Records and looks forward to future collaborations.

credits

released May 22, 2015

Written, recorded, produced, and mixed by Fricktion.
Mastered by Elie Abraham.
Flute on "Underground Dweller" played by Jessie Kindig.

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about

Fricktion Bloomington, Indiana

Fricktion is an MC/Producer based in Bloomington, Indiana. While hip-hop serves as the greatest common denominator in his songs, numerous influences, from punk rock to electronic, have helped to shape his style.

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Track Name: Pri$on
Verse 1

I'm incensed at the incentive
They say capitalist competition spurs on the inventive
But instead we're funnelin' tons of government funds
into contracts and kickbacks for more prisons to come

With incarceration and industry profits hand-in-hand,
we set the groundwork for an impossible demand
When the focus gets shifted to perpetual growth
The bottom line takes attention from correctional goals

The System's left with a contestable role
when it's against business sense to ever sever the flow of young souls
from subpar schools to fillin' these
merely nominal correctional facilities, it's got me ill at ease

This system's ill-advised - placing pandering and profiteering
over children's lives has got me sick inside
and yet the nation's hypnotized with misleading news
crime rates drop while the prison population booms

Chorus (x2)
Call it a justice system? Come off it
Ain't no justice building cages for profit
"cuff 'em up!" "lock 'em down!" come the yells
from the lobby 'cause they're fillin' up their pockets fillin' cells

Verse 2

Talking heads trivialize the truth
spread lies and criminalize our inner city youth
with no eyes for the roots, they help justify the excuse
for fillin' quotas with the use of shock troops and abuse

Hear the boots on the pavement or feel 'em on your neck
If you're the wrong creed, color, or class, there's no respect
for your rights as a citizen, let alone a fellow human
and when the clip is in the threat of death is ever loomin'

Not here to keep the peace, here to protect the purse,
So you can leave in a squad car or a hearse
Either way to them it doesn't matter much,
When patrollin' communities 'bout which they don't give a fuck

See they don't live adjacent to the faces bearin' scars
of fathers, sons, mothers, brothers, dead or behind bars,
another death, another cry for justice on deaf ears,
or another pay check for the prison profiteers

[Chorus (x2)]
Track Name: Paper to Fold
Verse 1

Haters gonna hate, but it makes the gears rotate
Money over humans got me dreamin' of a better place
From peasants' plates to heads of state we're tethered to the feta chase
Against each other brothers smother brothers just to catch a wage

Ain't it a shame, the way that it goes?
Seems like we're bein' encouraged just to step on those below
Yeah, grind your heel on those who need your hand the most
if you wanna bullshit over a champagne toast

And brag and boast about the currency you made,
just 'cause that's the way the game currently is played
You can scrape and claw, do anything to reach the top
Judged not by your character, but the money that you cop

I been waitin' patient for the other shoe to drop
but it seems our ugly system of greed's not fittin' to stop
In a capitalistic nation where we're led by corporations,
plagued with lower class frustration and upper class domination

Economic segregation and rampant deregulation,
haunted by the ghost of Reagan, never trickled down it stayed in
the top tier — miles and miles from 'round here
The unseen hand is on the lever, the poor are grease for the gears and I'm here

Chorus (x2)

I watch it all unfold, watch friends turn to foes for what used to be gold,
but now it's nothin' but some paper to fold,
yet it dominates our goals when we give it so much favor to hold

Verse 2

I don't spit crack — you'd only feel that a few minutes
tryin' to craft somethin' that lasts like perhaps some psylocybin
As the rhythm slips into me let it soak in and seep down into my sockets
Keeps my noggin' bobbin' just as steady as the clock ticks

Head like a moshpit full of cocked fists, headed home from the city of the stop-(and)-frisks
where cops kick in doors of people runnin' rock dens,
but stop kids who wanna protest illegal stock tips

but I guess that's just the way the cookie tends to shatter
when those who have the dough design the policies that matter
when police are on the market and the banks are in the biddin'
who you think can pay 'em better, corporations or the city?

When you're rentin' out cops with badges, tazers, and pistols
see how conflict of interest might become an issue?
could you misuse power vested in you
by the people, see what peaceful protestors have been through?

And you got hecka nerve, sayin' you protect and serve
when your paychecks owe a debt to our creditors
It gives some context to the Occupy backlash
It's a tricky web, no dot com or backslash

[Chorus (x2)]
Track Name: Fossils
My lines burn so hot, they could boil the water in your pot
You'd sell out sons and daughters just to blast it from a lot
Taint the air and poison perfect strangers just to get it
Then charge 'em in the winter to fill their furnace with it

Exempt from the law, 'cause your CEO made it so
Ignored his moral compass and just followed the paper flow
'Cause my wells run deep through this land like an aorta
And a shale formation doesn't know a thing about your border

Control sought after, souls rot faster
Than the carbon fueling this unnatural disaster
Fractures brushed over with a fresh coat of plaster
Small wonder there's no medium at large under this master

Petroleum's grip, fumes strangling the nation
Draning coffers and patience, and restraining innovation
Instead of pro-gress, I guess we're stuck with opposite
Con men and women just keep diggin' like it's bottomless

The same way we're taught to spend it now and sweat it later
Don't mind the down sign, just step up this escalator
Got a grater to your cheddar, but they're tellin' you you're better off
If you let 'em do their thing they'll keep you livin' nice and soft

Just keep your eyes straight forward and step over the refuse
No need to negotiate, just take what we've left you
'Cause crumbs beats a belly full of emptyness
Plus we've even got a say in what your MD says

So just listen up, sip the sickness in your cup
All the mirrors and smoke got it hazier than coke and indica
And we're in the cut, laid back, 'bout to make some major plays, yeah
All with your permission or at least your reps would say that

But now how they got you livin' isn't feelin' so cushy
Execs have finesse, but man chemicals are pushy
It gets harder to ignore it when it's flamin' out your faucet
But most are far removed from any sign that they support it

So crackpots crack black rocks just to hit the jackpot
All so we can burn it up quicker than a crack rock
And it's not their legal duty to call out these black ops
An addition to our addiction as deadly as a gat pop

But more subliminal, not even seen as criminal
When unnamed chemicals are brimmin' in your swimmin' hole
If only it ended there, rest uneasy that it doesn't
Uncle Sam droppin' bands in the hands of those who've done it

With new injection sites poppin' up by the hundred
Tracks mark the poisoned well while we shell out funds to run it
And they're not quick to relent, dukes up from the get-go
Fat cats would run a marathon before they'd let this shit go

Legislative lap dogs heel, fetch, sit, go
Foundations just won't be at peace as long as this fluid flows
X on the spot, rapidly tappin' the last drop
And if it don't stop, we'll all be buried in one mass plot
Track Name: Reap
Verse 1

They teach us that we need it, so we eat it when they feed
Construct our brains and bodies like a mediated fetus
And it's freakish, how we relinquish all control
But it's hard to be aware when you're never ever told

So we grow, hand in hand with these message
Before we're old enough to understand it, we're digestin' it
Media, society—the two are not synonymous,
But connections run so deep that sometimes the well seems bottomless

But the problem is not just the media we're seeing
It's the subleties that we don't even realize we're believing
Deceiving, changing up the reality we're perceiving
'Cause TV truths can cultivate the world that we're perceiving

And it's constant, accomplished through false cultural confidence
Profits with no conscience for the subconscious consequence
Barrages of nonsense, comin' right through that straw fence
A nation taken hostage by what we don't know how to process

So we're pimped by a symphony of sensations and imagery
Distort the way that we think and we see, from the way that we eat to our intimacy
The media tropes in my immediate scope are so close they feel like kin to me
It's 'bout time we wise up and protect ourselves in the brand new age of literacy

Chorus x2

They teach us that we need it
(They teach us that we need it)
We don't want it but they feed it
(We don't want it but they feed it)
The spoils have been spoiled
(The spoils have been spoiled)
But we'll reap it if they seed it
(But we'll reap it if they seed it)

Verse 2

East Asian, Latina, white, brown, black
Got thick girls, skinny girls, right on tap
Thick thighs, round eyes, big chest, tight ass
It's funny how these screens make the real world feel flat

But with a million at a click you've got a world's worth of clips at your fingertips
No need to make trips to date chicks
But at least you know exactly where they stand
Waitin' at the ready for attention from a man

Baskin' in beloved media, they teach us each our roles
The man's the one to get it done, the woman's there for show
And if she's got some power, then she's just a bitchy trope
'Cause otherwise we'd have to think critically, that's a slippery slope

And homely man gets lovely lady, based on personality
The only thing she's got to offer is her physicality
Hand-picked casts reinforcing this duality
No trace of veracity in a scripted reality

Chorus x2

Outro

One clear channel cut through, the rest faded
Too few view points, consolidation unabated
Four to eight corporations got each field dominated
Thirteen hours a day with media we're saturated

I got twenty-four hour news, how much could I digest?
Three hundred channels, how many could hold my interest?
A thousand commercials got my finances on stretch
I'm overstuffed with media, excuse me while I wretch
Track Name: Gaze
Verse 1

I show mad love, but I don't just throw it around
I got my woman by my side, so there's no need to run the town
Endeavorin' for a hook-up or some love for the night
But that's just how I live, I couldn't tell you if it's right or wrong

But one thing that you'll never see from me
Is my hands on a woman when she don't want 'em to be
Seems like common sense, but I'm troubled to see
Another case of rape viewed to be youthful tomfoolery

See, they didn't charge him for the rape reported
Even though that shit was tape recorded, I hate this story
It's one I've heard too many times before,
too many unacknowledged crimes before

Now the abrasions and faultlines are born by the recipient
It gets tricky when the man was an ex
or if the cut of her dress is showin' off a little more than her neck
or she was hittin' the shots, or she was poppin' some X

Chorus

But what it really comes down to is human respect
'Cause it's impossible to ask for nonconsensual sex
When your choice is taken from you, tell me what are you left?
Left to the fuckin' wolves for the last bits of flesh

What it really comes down to is human respect
It's just not possible to ask for nonconsensual sex
So why we questionin' her sexual rep-
utation, not the motive of the one who committed this violation

Verse 2

This nation's got some habits to break
We're more focused on shamin' than on persuin' the case
We're too busy teachin' women what risks not to take
Instead of teachin' young men: point blank, don't rape

Despite some outdated thoughts on how we oughta handle datin'
Sex is not something we earn with the right dinner combination
Consent is not pressure, consent is not persuasion
Consent is not coercion, silence, or intoxication

Consent is to be given freely, not with a forced hand
And it doesn't have to happen just because it's in your plans
This might sound radical, you might be thinkin', "What the hell?"
But that right there's a symptom of the problem in and of itself

We're taught from birth a woman's looks are her worth
She don't need a sense of self 'cause her body's her work
And it's fully on display seven days out the week
If a man should care to gaze, compliment, or critique

Chorus

But what it really comes down to is human respect
'Cause it's impossible to ask for nonconsensual sex
But that message can be lost when you're taught you have no agency
It's harder to give thought than to fall back on complacency

It really comes down just to human respect
'Cause there's no way that you can ask for nonconsensual sex
She's a mother, she's a daughter, she's a sister it's true,
But more importantly a person and she's just like you

Outro

A nation draped with a culture of rape
A free debate bein' replaced with a cauldron of hate
A woman's place, a woman's fate left for another to slate
We're remiss in forgetting just who can mother the state

Social minority, the power stripped from the numbers
Misogynistic demeanors laughed at as casual blunders
In our society we're scared to call it out when it's there
Fear of repercussions got us stuck up in an awkward snare

But if we don't dare to say it, then it's left unsaid
We're left wonderin' if we're alone with these thoughts in our head
We're afraid to speak up, might alienate a friend
But stayin' quiet's how we let this happen again and again

So the victim is silenced by the inevitable backlash
Should she bring a trial that might ever leave a black splash
Across the reptuation of a promising young sex offender
Lord forbid we teach him that his actions might have consequences
Track Name: Underground Dweller
Verse 1

When I step up to the plate I'ma leave all of ya shook
Drop science like a Christian biology book
A past jacked, handed over to some liars and crooks
But not everybody opens up and just swallows the hook

That's why we're 3rd eye certified, seen the truth, heard the lies
When they spread that shit around it only serves to fertilize
The soil with the grass roots growin' deep, sowin' seeds
So I'm flowin' free, showin' potent speech to broken sheep

I'm known to bone a beat, get busy with the rhythm
But beyond the style of lyrics, take a listen what's within 'em
'Cause every line I write is comin' straight from the atrium
Rock a crowd of ten like a sold-out stadium

Won't baby 'em, (the) message rough, raw, rugged
If I got some shit to say, then you can best believe I'm dumpin'
'Cause the mind is fertile ground like a woman ovulatin'
I believe speakin' my thoughts to be my highest obligation


Verse 2

Rude motherfuckers ain't worth my time
Expensive bar covers ain't worth my dime
Doin' that time ain't worth that crime
But when it comes to real life, mosta y'all sound like mimes

Make no mistake, days we're livin' in are troubled
A great nation quickly pavin' a path to rubble
The politics of fear mean we're steady bein' muzzled
While foundations of equality are widely bein' crumbled

Taught to chase a paper dream, we fiend for greater things
But what does greatness weighed in paper really even mean?
We see things that could easily be deemed obscene
Perpetrated and perpetuated for the need of green

Meanwhile our paper leaders craft up doubletalk to feed us
No we don't believe 'em, but we're hard pressed to unseat 'em
When the next one's just as shady, votes are little more than tokens
When crooks write the law, the social contract is broken