by Slum Ass Young

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Recorded January 2014 in DC

thank you everyone who worked with me on this, I am so grateful!

thank you also to Teddy who lent me his drum machine and Dan who lent me his drum kit


released May 29, 2014

all beats made by slum ass young unless noted.

track 5 contains sample from I Love Music by Ahmad Jamal.

all tracks written and recorded by slum ass young except features

mixed by J

mastered by Teddy Rycroft

album cover photo by Maggie, design by J



all rights reserved


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Track Name: Tenth Grade
I remember wishing I could orchestrate the pressure of my blood current- interpret my force to the senses. With a motion unhinge the façade of the oppressors- let’m be struck with the electric how-it-feels-to-be-me
lookin atcha, couldn’t call out in speech how I knew it was wrong the way you estrange to make esteem, make me afraid of my impressions- expressing is convention in your league, and I didn’t fit.
Music held me together: I could steam with the tunes putting form to my burn.
The music we’d make was a guess- nothing changed with it said.
I began to see that something was different than I expected.
I am not at home in the world of the old- those set in their mode never learn and won’t help.
I retreat to my head and become, and get cold. Some friends. My end in the nerves.
Radiate to block all the fun forever me and my hosts tangle hard into slump.
Track Name: Alone feat. Teddy Rycroft (prod. J)
I’m in the kitchen of those who deal death: y’all who I fear less than those in our path,
the worry is mouth; only slander- my chance to reap life from the weak to make comfort in bills.
Like a pharaoh you spill over in stuff to make sure that you don’t die alone;
and, while you live, that you ain’t prone to consider it.
Better that than a losing side dude- gotta kill for his food, and do nothing much else.
All my upper-class friends in my school would rather choose wealth, and why waste a leg up?
Said: ‘there’s no need to spill any blood to stain the white world who’s gonna spill it for us so we can stand on the corpses till we’re scorched by the sun.’
Play it off, claim it ain’t our power to knock it, talking ‘tryna make a difference’ but quitting when guilt quota is squashed by rich hunger (never be full).
All the luxury won’t fill the ditch in your soul where you wonder “what’s it all worth, and will it ever stop hurting?”
But let that be known to yourself, and your head will lead the path to the fix you can trust.
Why are we all at our throats when we can feed the whole world? In distrust we’re alone- is the luxury worth that?
Importance of greed is defunct. The hate- it’ll curdle our blood.
So let the blood on our hands build a house for us all.

T Rye:

“Are you making money?” he asked us, “Sunny beaches, playboy bunny hunnies and Astons? Billions of dollars a year? I’ll be fishing up over the pier when I’m 50, drinking whiskey, witty banter with these bitches, holding hands and tipsy dancing and you?”
Damn, how do I respond? Cocky bastard, but I’m envious of his fondness for the future, and assurance it’ll suit him, no doubt he’d rip and tear apart his money making foes until the clouds can kiss and touch upon his soles, but who am I then? Young Rycroft, screaming loud even when the mics off, beaming, proud, so ready to fight off all these fucks to get to the top, to a spot where I won’t rot and fester, forgotten, rather be the prodigy above all others, murdering brothers. Damn, same boat then, him and I, though I suppose his goal is more about cruising by while mine is letting others sit beside to take us someplace new, but if his money lets him peacefully be alive, then who am I, the son of Sam, to deny him? I recently realized I’m a cocky bastard too on the inside; perhaps simply lacking in the insight to know it’s ok to say so. So I sit hoping to find myself soon, quit the moping, no more “may”s or “might”s clouding up my view. I caught a glimpse of some vague light out the window in my room from up above, I wasn’t sure what it was, perhaps the teeth of smiling men in swim trunks, who’ve passed their last endeavor, or the gleam of statues made for those who’ll live forever.
Track Name: Restless feat. capitol phil
Sunk in my house streaming TV, I feel with my mouth
till tomorrow I eat,
mentally dulled out but restless- my legs-
I can’t let myself miss when I wake so I stay in-
Stuff myself, blocked on the way to the top of my arc,
But on the crux of my heart I’m a god,
On the flux I got now I’m a dog and I’m mad that I’m sluggish, I’m stung and I don’t really do much at all by self-loathing- I fume till I’m hungry again, forget.
In the clutch of a trap I indulge in regret- reinvent myself much.
In the end I’m still rusting to sip something safe.
With my anchor in grease I’m okay for a sleep, just to swerve something deep for a day.

capitol phil:

I come knock knocking, the whisky starts talking
eli let's come out to show em, gotta come out to show
the air is high, we step on dc's vibes
we've mastered the tethered up bundled stacks of women's hearts
stop so abrupt
walk the streets puffing on philly's
a blunt rebuttle bears the bunt scuddle of us really
children come home, the school bells buzz like church bells

like what's new, like who the fuck else?
we've mastered the universe, ya I'm the god of a few folks
it's never seemed so clear to me, get lit off a few tokes
our conversation grows insular as the air gets brisker
we trek uncharted peninsulas, our shouts die to whispers

gotta step, I see up wisconsin my 96 bus
while the lady cops in reno line up to frisk us
Track Name: Murked
It’s mad late and I’m finally wound up to sink in my sheets with the weight of my brow.
With the pace of my thoughts I’m untucked-
I was turnt in the legs by the night, mind was entrenched in the dregs of my hung-over rest-
I slept sober, woke to three-hours-sun without direction
To forward my legs, to the stoops of my friends, who would tell me what-is.
Obsessed with how much they’d resent any given word or look that I spat, we paced endless through move and through sesh
tryna nut and then stay in the tuck
when I burned through my cigarette lung I walked back to my bed and I stressed over evil I did and how I can’t sleep
forget when I last counted breath, and woke to the sunset.
Track Name: Trauma
Got me fiending for trauma: the affected reject the swarm-
Actors play parts, friends without soul
Who spend themselves avoiding it
But how could you when you been staring at the face of death?
I know I never could.
And I’ve been searching for the ones who really care about it all
Who could unclench my search-tension self,
While I’m tensing worse and breaking down.
But why I think they finna make me function?
My perfect self- young- anchors hard in my own-
The maker.
The pain is what’s honest.
The vomit is your heart- what your friends get nauseous about.
Son, all the company you need is yourself-
And bring it back to the young to make a sanity-
One love.

My cryptic self jargons hard listening to rock:
Guitars with the thrust for the parts make the lyricism rust in your skull-
Marrow untouched by most half assed listeners who whimper at distortion-
And rap a fair portion in the untuck from bass and drum loops:
Room to warrant explicit- spittin truth is a sin.
Mass media feeding your parents a label on these prophets (the obvious play on words)
To watch out for lyrics apt to turn kids into deviants.
Experience masked till a bunch of actors rapping and the soul is dead.
Track Name: Bad Kid
Vexed in my skin
Doing time in my head
I’m a stranger to limbs
I’m a bad kid
cuz I swerved a couple funerals and stayed in for Christmas
-I couldn’t let fam talk my passion to death.
Cuz one more body is heavier when you draggin your own-
when you’re frantic and pinned,
could never sit still again.
Bet if I dig my own rut it’ll do the same thing,
in my cut if the wallet don’t trap my ass I become sung and not pushed
-expecting gon crush the pure flow of the work.
Let myself go now I trust that I’m set to know how to make sense when there’s none.

Any y’all get chills listening to Kendrick?
I’m charged to be written, like Nas, since the tenth grade.
Props to Pete Rock, with the beat, to check Ahmad Jamal
-through the speakers I was gripped in the heart
without any words fit to rep how I felt, so I flowed it to tune up
my mental knew what the soul said the whole while
-with the title it clicked: to bridge life to the logic, and words to the beat.
The sample spits amped with the tone of a voice, and the text of a head-
the world is yours.
Track Name: Dead
I’m a deathwish, the shell of my breath, the dream of a bad trip.
Scheming reek of my sweat to reap quests.
I’m a dreamer, that’s it.
Just a drug in the flesh, just the text of a head, just the tech.
The grind from my past is still giving me shit:
On my shit until rap-bitten allude to my presence.
The sweat, it suggests something’s tryna be dig,
Wouldn’t that be the shit. I’m tryna exit the slump and tap the soul of the slum.
Young: spit your tongue out and speak from the lung.
Easier said. Go to sleep and come back fresh.
Don’t press- if you want it, it come.
Slum ass.
Track Name: Whirl
Spring in the forest of city,
the wind on my skin,
I quit trying to fill, cuz the world sings-
silence is the fault of the search
In the face of a full tone you’re faced with your own voice
-love is the motion of both as a whole
I am in joy
Cure slump, and whirl with the current of the universe’ blood
I look forward in peace. I’m at home in the hum.
Track Name: Moves (prod. Teddy Rycroft)
With the pressure off I’m at a loss.
Like summer- no tests.
But have I ever made something I had to that I’ve ever kept?
That’s been important beyond being finished and passable
that didn’t end in twitter scrolling and Netflix,
rolling on the weekends, rolling joints
-when I come down I’m no better than when I started,
still feel stuck at the same problem, stuck not being able to feel what the problem is
stuck feeling still.
Heem to buffer the work done to cop it, heem to buffer the feeling lost, the lack of grind,
the countdown to death, unsettled.
The murk of the sesh steadily strangles.
I’m D.C., I’m wherever. The first world, really.
I’m weed, I’m molly, I’m paperwork-
I hate the fact that none of that shit gives me a name, I’m my parents, my ancestors,
I ain’t me till I make something- take in each moment define me in what I make of it.
And that’s what I wanted in friends anyway.
I can taste it best when free of the pressure to win, live my nature in the stuff I create,
fluidly move as I consume my way through.
I’m through with the slum solutions.