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[Verse 1]
Nate Kiz gonna scratch wax because that cat’s the man
While I’mma blast tracks in a hatchback sedan
Gotta backpack full of raps that’s within
And man I feel like I can do anything
Yo, people wanna see you throw in the towel
They stopped listening before you even show ‘em a vowel
They’re mad when they see that you been doing it well, but
It’s all because they couldn’t do it themselves,
They’re lookin’ foolish as hell… outta the way, haters
They’re full of horse shit so I call ‘em naysayers
They won’t be able block your dedication
Whether it’s rockin’ stadiums or Autzen Stadium
Don’t stop when chasin’ it, if it’s often rainin’
You just shake off the pain and keep walkin’ each day
I can honestly say that it’s kinda cliché
But with some dedication you can have anything

And it’s alright now
If you never back down, whoa
When it’s tough keep makin’ the best of it
Keep pushin’ through the pain the stress
Be anybody, anything, everything you wanna be
But you have to believe, oh
Keep movin’, don’t give it up on that vision
‘Cause you can do it with enough ambition

[Verse 2]
I was 11 when I heard the Marshall Mathers LP
I had the edited version but I remember explicitly
He was spittin’ wicked similes that blew my mind
I was thinkin’ maybe I could do it sometime
But when I threw some rhymes down with the pen and a pad
It was never the cleverest stuff that Em and them had
I was wack, I thought that I’d forever be bad
So I ended that dream and I never went back
‘Til I had to do an art project for the Odyssey, sophomore year
But I couldn’t draw a thing
So I wrote a rap and the classroom applauded me
And honestly, it felt unbelievable
Call it Pearl Jam, baby, I’m Alive and can Even Flow
And even though I’m white, I respect this art form
I’m not from the place of the pain and strife
But I believe in hip-hop ‘cause it changed my life


[Verse 3]
This is for single mothers tryna search for employment
For military soldiers on their third deployment
For the schoolgirl that the popular haters avoided
Now she operates at the hospital replacing organs
For success after massive rejection
For sixth-graders running in their classroom elections
For those who have had some depression
For same-sex couples who no longer have to mask their affection
For dedicated teachers who shape education
For college dropouts bumpin’ Late Registration
The family who just paid their home loan, barely
The trans girl undergoing hormone therapy
The young coach bringing hope to the youth
For any fans of my music, the old and the new
For any broke 20-something who don’t know what to do
For anybody feelin’ this, I wrote it for you!

[Chorus] x2

Higher (feat. Exit 69 A Capella)

[Verse 1]
I got a lot of people who been doubtin’ me
But I’m back in the game and you’re ‘bout to see my shine
Never lackin’ the flame, gonna rap
‘Til I get ‘em in the balcony when I rhyme
I’m droppin’ the hot shit, hop in the mosh pit
Often obnoxious, not with an off switch
You can’t turn me off
I’m comin’ for the crown that I’m worthy of
Turn me up and let’s elevate
And get high as hell ‘cause I’m hella great
People at my shows say “That was dope”
‘Cause I’m ahead of the curve like an asymptote
Lay back, G
Like Burgundy, stay classy
That young talent? Hey, that’s me
And y’all old sport, Jay Gatsby
Newsworthy, you heard the station
Gonna get ‘em in a minute with the verbal blazin’
Rip the bong, that’s percolation
I rip the verse with no perforation
Precipitation, get an umbrella
Like Jay-Z when I Roc-A-Fella
We can even do it in a capella
Gradient and Exit, we’ll take you

Higher, higher than you’ve ever been
See things you never thought
You thought would never exist
Higher, higher than you’ve ever been
Where we go we won’t fall, we’ll stay there
‘Cause there’s a place (a place)
With no walls (no walls)
It’s been ages (it’s been ages)
Since we’ve gone (since we’ve gone)
Get away (away)
So long (so long)
Levitate, higher than you’ve ever been
[Verse 2]
Now I’m blastin’ off
3-2-1 like an astronaut
Half Neil Armstrong, half Asher Roth
And if you joke about me, I’mma laugh it off
In my rhyme book, I have it all
Not a cook book ‘cause I’m rappin’ raw
Up in the air when I perform
Like Michael Jordan playin’ basketball
Haters stick like glue and Velcro
But do I care what they’re doin’? Hell no
It’s sick shit when my mixes get me green like blue and yellow
Hello, I’m on top of this shit
‘Til death I’ll be droppin’ this shit
Often wishin’ that the opposition
Would stop and listen and rock to this shit
But they don’t really hear me though
And they don’t really wanna hear the weird kid flow
Not quite like ScHoolboy Q
But I’m a schoolboy too, an I’m lyrical
Hop on a beat, no crew can ignore us
Not from the streets, I grew from the forest
And I hope I don’t screw up the chorus


(Higher than you’ve ever been)
(Higher than you’ve ever been)

[Verse 3]
Okay, let’s rise to a higher state of consciousness
Anyone can talk about their awesomeness
And I said a lot of ways that I’m the best
But I didn’t always have confidence
Back in the day, I was feelin’ low
And what had happened, it ain’t quite ethereal
But it came along, and it made me strong
And I’m rappin’ today, it’s a miracle
Had the stress but I trounced that
Had depression, I bounced back
Thinkin’ I was never gonna get a benefit without a better medicine
But I found rap
And I’m proud that I’m still here after
Half-Japanese queer rapper
Not quite what you saw before
But when I recite, I’ll leave your jaw on the floor
What do you expect when you see me?
You’re thinkin’ it’s a blessing to be me?
Like I’ve never been a mess, or been tested
With no strife and my life is easy?
We all got challenges and imbalances
But if you’re down to listen then here’s the lesson:
You can be the best
And if you’re feelin’ down I’ll take you higher


from Ambition, released August 22, 2014
Beat (part 1) by Nate Kiz, Beat (part 2) by Odar
Lyrics by Gradient

Original "Higher" chorus and music by B.o.B & Polow Da Don
"Higher" vocal arrangement and performance by Exit 69 A Capella




Gradient Eugene, Oregon

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