Born For This

by Gradient

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about

Music video for Oregon to Minnesota:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUsI8kO9OoQ

After receiving a ton of support from my first mixtape, Blackberries and Bike Rides, I decided to spend my winter break from school by making a sequel. Born For This is similar to the first mixtape, but with a little less personal content and a little more fun. I don't know that I was necessarily born to rap, but the title was absolutely necessary after I found this old picture of myself as an infant. I hope you like this, and if you do, I'm sure you'd like my first mixtape:

gradientmusic.bandcamp.com/album/blackberries-and-bike-rides

Thanks so much for your support. I'm proud of these projects, and they've been good practice for me, but my best work is ahead of me. A full-length studio album is coming this August. :)

credits

released December 19, 2013

All vocals mixed and mastered at Ravioli Road Studios in Eugene, Oregon. Gradient, Ogar Burl, Dekay, Andrew Moore, and Brian Steveson's vocals recorded at Ravioli Road Studios. Sammy Warm Hands' vocals recorded at Take 92 Studios in Eugene, Oregon.

Front cover photo taken by Kazumi Hiura in Hamamatsu, Japan.

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Gradient Eugene, Oregon

Check out my music video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynMCuVtG7eM

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Track Name: Born For This
Back by popular demand
Dewey Finn of rap, School of Rock when I sock it to the man
Or at least stick it to him, when I inflict a wound
I hope he’s got insurance in his hospital plan
Hop into the van and I roll down the block
Stole a beat from Asher Roth, I’d forgotten ‘bout him
But if I can remember he said he loved college
And I acknowledge that that song was a jam
Call me Eli Roth, I stay hostile (Hostel)
To snobs who think my shit is awfully bland
I’m on the mic rockin’ it again
Even though my skin is cotangent, the opposite of tan

Never been a bore when I rap, I’m theatric
Tryna help kids, you could say I’m pediatric
Got a lotta goals like a hockey hat trick
You don’t know my music you must live under a rock, Patrick
Like Narnia my stuff is all chronicled
If you can’t see it then invest in a monocle
Coins in your pillow, you’re sleepin’ on a pot of gold
Sickest Asian rapper since Dumbfoundead caught a cold
Lotta jokes, lotta puns, lotta punchlines
Screw around but get it done when it’s crunchtime
And when it’s lunchtime, I’m no phony
I’m only gonna focus on my craft (Kraft), macaroni

I might keep it serious at times or deliriously rhyme in the mirror
And you’re hearing the product of me as hot as a pot of coffee
And off of my rocker probably an oddity they spotted me in Reno, Nevada reading the Odyssey
In a Honda Miata complaining 'bout the economy and yada yada
Honey you gotta see it’s as funny as comedy he’s a lonely anomaly
but it’s only a novelty if he doesn’t spit it honestly and properly
Yo, fuck havin’ a dull minute
Yo, fuck calculus, no limits
Some kids hate my music like it’s spinach
But I stay movin’, gif image

Oh hey there, thanks so much for checking out my new mixtape!
I really do appreciate it. I'm just trying to have some fun right now.
Hope you enjoy the ride.

No matter where he goes he’s a foreign kid
But invite him and see if he’s a boring kid
Got the vitamin C like oranges
Not part of the machine like Florence is
But maybe some day they’ll torrent this
I’m from Oregon like Portland is
And I’m likin’ the truth when performing this
Had a mic in the womb, I was born for this
Track Name: Royals (feat. Andrew Moore)
I’ve never been a rich kid; I’m glad I can say that
Parents have debt they have to add up to pay back
But I benefit from never havin’ a Maybach
I remember feelin’ very affluent way back
As a young kid when the money felt bigger
Havin’ 5 dollars kinda felt like five figures
And I thought that I could buy an entire aisle at Best Buy, yeah
But is that the best idea?
I wanted the new toy or game on the shelf
Seeking the fleeting joy that came from the wealth
They mass market products and exploit cheap labor
To make toys we forget about a week later
And we didn’t even like ‘em that much when we bought ‘em
But we had to have it ‘cause our neighbors just got ‘em
Listen to the melody, money it ain’t the enemy
But it just ain’t the remedy, damn it I know I’ll never be

[Chorus: Lorde]
And we’ll never be Royals (Royals)
It don’t run in our blood
That kind of luck’s just ain’t for us
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler (ruler)
You can call me queen bee
And baby I’ll rule
Let me live that fantasy

Hip-hop has a history of glorifying riches
It evolved in response to impoverished conditions
And as kid hearing the message I didn’t get it
Not something I experienced but Jay-Z said it
“If you grew up with holes in your zapatos
You'd celebrate the minute you was havin’ dough”
So while some rappers focus on material concepts
You can’t rob people of historical context
And I’m next in the line of those who co-opt flows
hop to shows, rock the clothes but do not know
What’s it’s like lookin’ down the barrel of a firehose
What’s like calling one room your entire home
So who am I to complain, it’s madness
My high school was underfunded but we still had classes
They taught me facts so I learned to stay true and
And be a humble man too, like my friend Andrew
Right Drew? You gotta know what it takes to succeed
We don’t have to be royals, we have what we need

[Chorus]
Track Name: Grabbin' the Mic (feat. Ogar Burl)
[Chorus: Gradient]
Keep it steady when we’re on the beat
Smash that new track
When it’s Ogar Burl and me
Cats ask who’s that
When the beat make you tap your feet
That’s that boom bap
Why hello, we’ll be your MCs for today!
Stay rappin’ it right
When we grabbin’ the mic

[Verse 1: Ogar Burl]
And when I'm grabbin' the mic
Sit back and listen if you're lackin' the fight
You can bite raps, or you can think of where your life's at
Turn it into poetry and burn it to ignite that
I quite fast bypass half-assed plots
Then flare up the next with the fire that I've got
I've got necks goin', noddin' heads 'til they strain
And pass the controller; I've got next game
I play an emcee like Tetris, get it?
When the pieces come together, it's connected
I tested the water when I jumped the hell in
You fell in and froze and you're slowly meltin'
You dig your own grave, I make you lay down
could say that I'm the bully on the playground
Yo, it ain't way profound, it's just better
So flock to the beat, sheep cede to the shepherd

[Chorus]

[Verse 2: Gradient]
And when I’m grabbin’ the mic
I’m like a scientist when I’m in the lab and I write
Now they askin’ why is this kid rappin’ he’s white
But I got love for the hip-hop I happen to bite off
While Nas, KRS-One and Kool G
Were rappin’ in cyphers I was crappin’ in diapers
So I show respect to the men who came first
I ain’t half steppin’ on a Daddy Kane verse
But I got the spirit of hip-hop I mirror the tip-top
You’re hearin’ my shit drop
You hear me comin’ like I’m wearin’ some flip-flops
And I got you noddin’ to the beat ‘till it stops
The New Deal, depression remover
I’m FDR, you’re President Hoover
I’m like Ghostface with the clientele he’s on
More bass than the Seinfeld theme song

[Chorus]
Track Name: Oregon to Minnesota
This Oregonian kid is goin’ in
No end when you let the flow begin
So logical and very geological the way I’ve
Rocked flows since the Devonian
They see me, the flow way speedy
I make you wanna throw away your Lil Wayne CD
Copy of the Carter IV
See me hoppin’ in the car door, for
the hell of it I’ll never stay relevant
I’m more like an elephant who stands in the middle of a room
‘Cause I never get mentioned I sit on the bench and
I discovered a penchant for truth
I’m Hagrid, with a big beard
I’m half man half beast here
You’re a centaur that got not rear
Fuck a Dementor, I got no fear
When people don’t like your flow
They'll say you’re like a clone
But never would they write their own
I might condone for you to never let another motherfucker tell you what is right or wrong
When their intention is not to mention how you can strive for a bit of self-improvement
Nah, they just wanna make you feel bad when you spit the real rap and they never do shit
Without music, I might lose it, it’s a bit of a drug, I abuse it
Confused at how life used to be so basic
And now I'm stressed on an everyday basis
But I listen to the 808 bass kick
Maybe someone listening can relate to this,
So I make shit and try to make sure that everything I say’s sick
That kid raps? I didn’t know
But always knew that he was very analytical
They look down and they lower their eyes
So surprised, my rhyme’s so organized
Grew up in the 541 so I might go run
In the forest and hide from my fears
I’m tired of wipin’ my tears
Time to switch gears, and rhyme with my peers but I’m better than ninety percent of the cleverest ladies and gentlemen when I’m spitting and I’m coming for the other ten
You can bet I’m gonna get ‘em in a minute and I’m never gonna quit, I got adrenaline up in the pen
Show up, gotta make it blow, fit the quota, then I go bust and they go nuts
Hold up
I rock the mic from Oregon to Minnesota
Track Name: Shameless Party Song (feat. Brian Steveson)
I don’t wanna be by myself
Don’t wanna be by myself this time

[Verse 1: Gradient]
To the window, to the wall
We got the crowd spillin’ out to the hall
I say what up to a couple of guys
When they see me at the party they’re a little surprised
But I worked hard every day of the week and
And I’ll go hard every day of the weekend
Bring your best friend, bring your other friend
We’ll get the place shut down like the government
No fights man we ain’t havin’ none of that
A lampshade, I can wear it as another hat!
No rules, I might just twerk
It’s martial (Marshall) law, I gotta go Berzerk
I’ve been a bad child, get no dessert
And it's midnight now, there go the shirts

[Pre-chorus]
Let’s go insane and get the party started
We’re 'bout to go crazy
Like bulls raging till we’re all departed
Shout-out to Scorcese

[Chorus]
I don’t wanna be by myself
Don’t wanna be by myself this time
‘Cause I’m getting’ loud with my friends
Stayin’ out ‘til the end of the night

[Verse 2: Brian Steveson]
I’m so dope in the club like a bat full of chronic
Bond so electric, call it ionic
Ride in on my Schwinn, with a helmet and my kneepads
Save the hashtags for the bottom of my keypad
Now is not the night to sit home and lament
'Cause tonight, Imma go hard like cement
Party all night, you know it be poppin
People shout my name when they see me walk in
*spoken “Hey’ it’s Brian.”*
Drink Kool-Aid and lose my pants
Act a fool when I do the Gangnam Style dance
No sleep 'till Brooklyn, fight for your right
Don’t try to stop us 'cause there’s no end in sight

We’re dancing, laughing and conga-lining
So please don’t stop the music
'Till our eyes are wide shut, when the sun is shining
Shout out to Stanley Kubrick

[Chorus]

[Verse 3: Gradient]
It's gettin' kinda hot and I probably oughta hydrate
Put my cup down and I see the water vibrate
(Is it one or two o’clock? Neighbors gettin’ irate)
NO3! Call that nitrate
Loud music got me feelin’ alive
Like Kendrick said, don’t kill my vibe
Go home with the music still in my head
And tomorrow we’ll do it all over again

[Pre-chorus]

[Chorus]
Track Name: Something Inside (feat. Dekay)
[Verse 1: Dekay]
Had something inside, though he couldn’t provide
A wifey and a kid, and for those two he’d die
Swallow his pride and do what he had to do
Just to make it through the day to day bullshit they pitch at you
Though he’s keepin’ his hands up and he’s hittin’ hard
Sometimes life throws curves and stitches leave scars
But it doesn’t matter though when the love you’ve got will never fold
even when flush and anger rush, you never give up
You never let go, ‘cause everybody knows
Once the story’s told and the curtain’s closed that you gotta go
Even with a ticket to the next show
You’re never cold with a hand to hold
And that boy needs you so
You better stand up, even when rushed
With a blitzkrieg of bad luck
You can’t stand stuck, man up
Or even woman up too, with that Kung Fu
Iron fists and Lucy Liu, crouching ego hidden passion, K. West fashion
Guns blazin’ smashin’, kickin’ ass and
Chewin’ bubblegum can be troublesome when you’re out that
Big League Chew, and when Power Rangers shoot at you like “pew pew pew!”
Who knew that shit you dropped was pee-ewe
And this kid’s doe, and mares eat oats,
I’ll probably eat ivy too, ‘cause I’m a grimy dude
Who likes limey food like ceviche and sopes too
And plus I’m super serious on April fools

[Chorus: Lovefoxxx]
There's something inside you
It's hard to explain
They're talking about you, boy
But you're still the same
[Repeat]

[Verse 2: Gradient]
There’s something inside me that needs to release
I’m hungry inside but rhymin’ is what’s feedin’ the beast
While frequently I’m seekin’ to be keepin’ the peace
An easily defeated MC I’m ceasin’ to be
And luckily I have a few that’s believin’ in me
And wanna hear the shit I say when I’m speakin’ on beats
It might be a bit redundant but I’ll make it repeat
I’m leavin’ everything on the table I saved you a seat
So rest in peace, I’m blessed to be
Feelin’ so alive, right?
The attention is kinda sour
Call it limelight
Limestone, mind blown, I’m on Rhyme Zone
Nice flow, let it bleed, type O negative
Get a sedative, it's a good verse, pretend it is
Euthanize the animal inside, no, let it live
I invented this, like Edison
Bet it is complex, Oedipus
I’m next in a long succession
Of awkward men who would not address
The consequence of talking nonsense
Like me. With leftovers who the best?
I stay hungry, Budapest
A moral lesson, stay low-key (Loki) like Thor’s brethren
Furious Curious George or Costanza
Deviate from the stanza, I make advances
Stole a line from Acid Rap,
You could say I take Chance’s

[Chorus]
Track Name: Can't Wait (feat. Sammy Warm Hands of The ILLusionists)
[Verse 1: Gradient]
Before the Red Sox lifted the Bambino curse
Before a childish Donald ever spit a Gambino verse
Before Obama gave a speech at the DNC and proceeded to inconvenience the GOP and its leaders who dream to see the day that he’ll be deceased or at least impeached
Before they split us and divided with Citizens United
Back when pot smokers in Colorado had to hide it
Before Miley Cyrus had ever tried it
I been tryin’ to be the best version of myself
Sacrificing physical and mental health
For the things that my soul longs for
I used to wait so long for an opportunity to knock on my front lawn door
But it was all wrong consequences fall on you
If you do not crawl through; if you want it
Don’t be caught up in the politics, media, all of the things
Be a follower but be one who follows a dream

I ain’t trying to preach or be profound
I've just found that some lessons aren’t leather-bound
You can sit around askin’ how they do it
Or you can follow your passions, maybe make music
Two of us are doing that – me and Sammy Warm Hands
You can learn to take your life into your own hands
It ain’t easy believe me, it’s just the hardest thing
But the world’s waiting to receive what you’re gonna bring

I don’t think I have time to wait around anymore [x4]

[Verse 2: Sammy Warm Hands]
Before Russell and Darryl and Jay Mizell
Were famous, rocking Adidas apparel and raising hell
Before Steve made jobs and iPods sell
Before Hugh Hefner was ever chasing tail
Every acclaimed face had to blaze a trail
They just made the decision and weren’t afraid to fail
To face defeat and still reach the bravest feat
From Farmers Blvd on to Beacon Street
We cease to be defined by the lines
We feast our eyes on the brighter side
Blinded by the plight? Strife is multiplied
So either climb the high road or hope to die
Take your time, find a place to hide – rest easy
‘Cause you’re ready for everything that life leads
Being it higher education or Exiled weekly
You can reach your dreams if you believe it deeply

I ain’t trying to preach or be profound
I’ve just found that some lessons aren’t leather-bound
You can sit around asking how they do it
Or you can follow your passions, maybe make music
Two of us are doing that – me and Gradient
Only saying don’t stop until you’re rocking stadiums
It ain’t easy believe me, it’s the hardest thing
But the world’s patiently waiting for what you’re offering
Track Name: Solidify (feat. Wax)
[Verse 1: Gradient]
Yo, since day one I oughta confess
I’ve been on my grind to find a lotta success
Many are content to just bottle the stress
But there’s a couple of problems we gotta address
They might say that you need to fit a size two
They might say that you need to disguise who
you love or they’ll say that it’s sinful or untrue
But your joy is contingent upon you
When it makes you feel angry and stressful
Stomach twists into knots like a pretzel
On the days when the pain is so dreadful
Block out the hate with some headphones, yeah
'Cause even when your day goes wrong
You can still listen to your favorite song
Forget about how arrogant they are
While you rock the fuck out and play air guitar
Look, ‘cause no offense to all my best friends
But music is my all-time best friend
It’s therapy, that’s why I perform this
Give up for Wax on the chorus, let’s go!

[Chorus: Wax]
Day by day I just try to solidify my little life
(And the trumpets blow)
Day by day I just try to solidify my little life
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah

[Verse 2: Wax]
Yo, the world’s full of pain and misery
I feel it everyday even when I don’t project it visibly
It’s something I wasn’t prepared for
Went to the music, it asked what I was there for
I said I came for the healing
I came so my fam won’t have to see me hang from the ceiling
Came for the pain that I’m feeling
I came for the same reason you say God’s name when you’re kneeling
'Cause happiness is the destiny
And feeling this good equals success to me man
I can’t even express this fucking sentiment
It’s better than any drug I’ve ever experimented with
Better than X and it’s better than sex
And it’s better than checks the highest paid man ever collects
It’s better than an orgasm, it lasts way longer
Every song we’re on makes me stronger

[Chorus]

[Verse 3: Gradient]
Just know that matter how active the fools get
You don’t have to react to the bullshit
You can counteract how they’re actin’ abusive
And one day you might laugh in amusement
I been through it and I’m rappin’ the true shit
Turn the volume to the max and just lose it
Gradient and Wax on the track, and we do spit
Packin’ the room, let’s get back to the music

[Chorus x2]
Track Name: Blood Drive Rap (feat. Brian Steveson) [Bonus Track]
We’re gonna donate to one song and one song only
Blood drive's comin’ and the people gotta donate

[Verse 1: Gradient]
There's a blood drive comin’ and the people gotta donate
So come make an appointment
We’ll have a table in the main hall
Sign up, don’t be a disappointment
Blood give comin’ so people don’t back down
We bring you the rap sounds
So if you wanna give blood then you better meet us in the glass lounge
Blood drive's comin’ and we want you to be there
Show our neighbors that we care
So there’s plenty of blood for the patients who need it
and many will be spared
Because North Eugene High School
Is a place of PRIDE
Whether Asian, Latino or Black or White or straight or bi
or gay or Christian or Muslim or Jewish or atheist we all need blood to survive
You can donate life
The opportunity, seize it
In the autumn cold
And the winter freezin’
We have three blood drives
One for every season
Project Give is starting soon
Bring some food for the ones we’re feeding
Blood drive comin’ and I’m hummin’ and I’m drummin’
and I gotta keep it comin’ like the flow was bleeding
With cleverness
Remember this
Never a myth
December 5th

[Chorus]
Blood drive comin’ and the people gotta donate
Give some blood
Give some blood
Give some blood!

[Verse 2: Brian Steveson]
He said we all need blood to stay alive
So do please contribute to our blood drive
It’s the season of giving, so please don’t deprive
So let’s go and help each other save lives
Don’t be cold-blooded
Like some iguana
North's blood drive
You know you wanna!
You'll feel so good
It’ll do no harm
All they gotta do is stick a sterilized needle in your inner forearm
The donation process
Is not that hard
Just be over 15
With your ID card
And don’t forget before to eat a snack
Like Doritos or pizza, cheeseburgers, we need ya
Invite all your friends, call on your wolf pack
We encourage you to help us in our endeavors
'Cause together we can make people feel better than ever
And I hope that you know just what this will mean
It’ll mean another great feat for North Eugene!

And if you live in the Eugene area you can go to laneblood.org to schedule a blood donation appointment and if you don't, you can go to redcrossblood.org and both organizations will give free cookies.

[Chorus]

[Explosion]

[Yeezus ending]

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