Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Classified - Self Explanatory

Not much to report beyond my own navel: Twine auteur (and Anna Anthropy protegee, or is the sequence only apparent and not actual?) Porpentine made a splash at the GDC, inheriting the booth of the IGF winner Cart Life, and also presenting on worthy games that were flying under the radar due to their engagement of outsider (well, non-cis-) topics, especially the bonfire. Additionally, visual novel flag-bearer Christine Love presents a Twine work of her own, the stylish and seemingly on-rails (as befits visual novel design!) Even Cowgirls Bleed. Also, Squinky's musical graphical adventure game Dominique Pamplemousse is now available for sale! That's only tangentially related, but musical adventure games are a growing preoccupation of mine. (I was very excited to play through a prototype of one this week that I'll eventually be providing a speaking and singing voice to!)

Now on to the meat of the matter. Here's something novel. As part of my own ongoing inquiry and investigation into audio CYOA material, I found in my archives the 2009 album "Self Explanatory" by Canadian rapper "Classified". It peaked at #25 in the Canadian charts and rated a Wikipedia article, but it is of interest to us because six of its tracks, strewn throughout the album's corpus, explicitly constitute a six-section Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, enhanced here by the music videos for every segment embedded above the lyrics, which you can read for your enjoyment. It may be surprising that, being so textually-focused, the gamebook and rapping genres hadn't synthesized earlier; all the same, this is the only species I know of this rare hybrid breed.

(You choose your own path or you'll have it chosen for you)
(Welcome to today!)

Get 'em up! (Get 'em up!) [x8]

[alarm ringing]

Ahhh, shit, is it morning already?

[Verse 1: Classified]
Rise and shine, damn 9:30
Got to start my journey but it's feelin' kind of early
Tired and I'm feelin' just a little malnourished
So I watch a bit of TV and I do some channel surfin'
Flip through, then get up, shower to freshen up
Shave off my peach fuzz and then get my teeth brushed
I do my push ups, forty every other morning
It feels good to say but I don't think it's that rewardin'
Turn on my computer, check messages
E-mail, friend requests, all before breakfast
Handle my biz before the day gets high paced
And I don't fuck with Facebook 'cause I need MySpace (ha)
Now off to the kitchen for some cereal or toast
Eggs fried or poached but I only eat the yolk
Feelin' like a million bucks, set to get it goin'
Now off to the studio to set this day in motion

Damn, it's nice out

[beat changes]

[Verse 2: Classified (White Mic)]
First I kick open the door, take the phone off the hook
Turn the beat machine on, crack open my notebook
Made a beat yesterday but still ain't convinced
I'll take another listen 'cause I haven't heard it since
[beat changes temporarily]
Mmm, nah scrap it, wack shit
Must of been too high when I craft it
Back to the drum machine, kick, snare and hihat
Bunch of old records, tryin' to find where the fire's at
You spend a third of life in bed
I spend a third of my life in studios instead
Okay, I got somethin' here, I like how it's soundin'
Couple ideas, so I write it down when
(Class, what's up?), White Mic, what the fuck?
(Shit, I left work early, I don't mean to interrupt
But I got this bag of weed, would you care to have a puff?)
Okay, grind it, (mix it), roll it, (light it up)

[lighter flickers, they inhale and exhale]

[beat changes]

[Break: Classified - talking (White Mic)]
Inhale, (exhale), feels good, (as hell)
Pass that, (here take this), well how's that, (it's good shit)
Well okay, (well alright), sky's clear, (let's take flight)
Well I'm high (and I'm baked)
[Both], now let it take us away

[Verse 3: White Mic]
Blowin' O's with the smoke as it goes out my mouth
(It happens everydayyyy)
And I grow all the dope that I smoke in my house
(So we don't have to payyyy)
I feel relief from the weed, I believe THC
(Helps us self medicateeee)
We don't need to agree
You do you, I'll do me, it helps me meditate

[Verse 4: Classified (White Mic)]
Huh, anyway, all my motivation to make this beat just went away
Then again, it's kind of early to end the day, I'll put the pen away
But what you sayin', (well, the sky's clear, my bike's here
It's a beautiful day and you're inside here
That's quite weird (what?)
Let's go for a bike ride before the night's here)
Ah shit, it slipped my mind, I got to drop off this disc of mine
Go the city and meet with Jay Bizzy, get him beats, so he can script his rhymes
But I know I could use the exercise, so high, I just wanna rest my eyes
I don't know, make a move, to the city or bike riding
(What ya goin' to do?)

. . .

(Choose your own adventureeeeeee!)

[Verse 1: Classified (White Mic)]
Yeah, yeah [beat starts]
Ou got the water? (check), weed? (check, ready to roll)
Look ma, no hands, I'm a never get old
(I pedal like the gas pedals got stuck to the floor)
In other words (nope), we ain't goin' slow (so)
Quickly down the road we go, poppin' wheelies and indos
And I notice my bro and he's puffin' some endo (yo!)
(Stopped quick, tires started to skid, wanted a hit
But there was nothin' left of the spliff)

[beat stops]

[Break Mic Boyd - talking (Classified)]
Sorry boys, just missed it! (ahh)
(What are you doin? What are you up to?)
Aw, not much
(Goin' for a bike ride, wanna come?)

[beat starts back up]

[Verse 2: Classified (White Mic) {Classified}]
Hell yeah, another motherfucker up in here
Rollin' down the road with the wind in my hair
Bunny hop, both tires up into the air
I'm bad ass, biker boy, yo you better beware
(Okay Mic, you take this bike shit way too serious)
'Cause I'm the best biker in Enfield period
Fuck with me! (what?) I drove the deepest ditches (huh?)
Scaled the steepest slopes and road the meanest roads
Left skid marks all over the east coast
(OH, WATCH OUT!), shit that was close, woo hoo
{Mic you're a fuckin' joke
But guys it's almost five, I'm hungry, I think I'm out}

[beat fades away]

Alright later man, peace out

[new beat starts]

[Verse 3: Classified (Classified's Wife)]
I get back to my place and put my bicycle away
Feelin' burnt out and tired but I try not to complain
My girl pulls up, how was work? (oh, just great)
You hungry? (umm, a little bit), we start to conversate
Both of us are kind of tired and neither wanna cook
So let's go out for dinner, maybe catch a motion picture
We go down to the local spot, check out what the menu got
Donair with extra sauce but keep the tomatoes off
She gets a calamari or chicken tetrazzini
She likes to keep it healthy, but me I keep it greasy
Believe me, if I could see me from the inside
Then I would probably never feed on somethin' deep fried
We finished up, paid the bill, then took off to the city
I had a gram or two, she twisted it and sparked a doob
That's just the way that me and my lady partner do
Besides we was goin' to see "Harold And Kumar Part 2"
We finished that, got in line and got our tickets
Showed up kind of late, missed the first ten minutes
Bumped into a couple co-workers of the Missus
My girl got the munchies like (your liquorice looks delicious)
My eyes bloodshot but I feel it ain't a factor
I felt like they expected it, they know that I'm a rapper
We watched the movie, had a couple laughs
And on the way out, signed a couple autographs
Back in the car and that's it, headed home
Then I noticed Martin Finch on the road, talkin' on his phone
Standin' outside of this club that we know
You wanna go? (Yeah, it'd be nice but I gotta work early tomorrow)
That's true and we probably won't get home until four or so
(Yeah but you can go, I'll drop you at the front door
Just let me know what you wanna do, wanna do) ...

[beat stops]

    [Outro: Narrator - talking]
  • If you want to call it a night and head back home, proceed to Track 22
  • If you want to get dropped off at the club and see what's new with Martin Finch, proceed to Track 17

. . .

(Choose your own adventureeeeeee!)

[tires screeching]

[Intro: Classified]
And now we head into the big city, Mic Boyd and white Mic with me
We on the 102 cruisin' doin' 150
Clownin' around with the music loud, lip syncin'
Yo, turn the music down, my phone's ringin'

[Verse 1: J-Bru (Classified)]
What up Class, can you make it to my show tonight? (Bru!)
I'd love it if you came through, maybe blessed the mic (through)
But don't stress it right, 'cause the promoter's shady
He gonna have me on some "fuck you, pay me!" (oh, you mean the...)
The last time I did a show with this dude (alright, alright, alright)
There was twenty people there, really I don't think it's rude
I'll understand though, if you got things to do
(Yo, you guys want to see Bru? [yeah, yeah], alright we'll swing through)
Ok, ok, well, if you're showin' up then
I'm a throw you on the list, Classified plus ten (alright)
So who's rollin' with you? (Well both Mics and I got to pick up Bizzy)
Ah shit, tell them I say "what's up?"
Well if you're comin' dog, creep up to the back door
If you hit the front, I think they'll make you take your hats off
(Alright man but yo, you got drink tickets?)
Yeah, I got them with me (alright, we'll see you in a minute)

[Break: Classified]
We said our goodbyes and see you laters
Then pulled up to Jay Bizzy's next door neighbor
Gotta out of the car, I could hear his dog barkin' [dog barking]
Before we even rang the doorbell to his apartment
[doorbell rings]

[beat stops]

Shut up dog, I know who it is, shit

[new beat starts]

[Verse 2: Jay Bizzy (Classified)]
Yo! What up Classy, Mic and Mic?
Already know you brought some heaters, that's exactly why I'm hyped to write
(Check it out), pick up the pen, I ain't the type to type
I throw punches and right hooks, so much you swear I like to fight
Don't worry about the pit, that's Cali, she's a sweetheart
I like you, then it's cool but if I don't, she leavin' teeth marks
I like the way this beat starts, it sounds epic
Just get me in the studio, you know I'm down to wreck it
Anyway, what's goin' on tonight? Heard Bru had a show
(Yeah, he's on around twelve), alright cool, let's go, let's smoke
Come on in, yeah don't worry, leave your shoes on
We'll have a couple drinks, we got some time before Bru's on

[Break: Classified - talking (Jay Bizzy)] [beat stops halfway through]
Yo, you feelin' that?
Yeah man, I think, I think I could fuck with this one man
Alright, I got a couple more beats, check this out man
Check this one out

[another new beats starts]

[Verse 3: Jay Bizzy (Classified)]
Yeah, yeah, I'm thinkin' about a new song
But I can't write or flip the beat, I'll let it move on
This one for me excited, got to roll somethin' fat to this
But I ain't got a light and I don't know where my matches is
My little brother always snatches it, I'm easy to adapt to this
'Cause I just light it off the stove
The back burner been there for half my life I do suppose
Stay fresh like new clothes, write rhymes and do shows
Who knows maybe this blue nose can probably win some Junos
(Yeah but when the album comin' out?), not anytime soon though
I'm busy on the regular and everyday I'm hustlin'
No matter what the outcome is, you know that it's a must we win

[Break: Jay Bizzy - talking (Classified)]
Yeah, yeah, yeah, man
I really like this shit (alright man)
But we got, we got to get to the fuckin' club man
'Cause Bru's on any minute now
(Yeah, check this shit later, just check it later)
Come on man, let's go (Yo Mic), just shut my door
(Mic, grab the door)

[beat stops]

(Yo, jump in)

[engine revs and tires peel away]

[another new beat starts]

[Verse 4: Classified (DJ IV) {Martin Finch}]
Ok, right back where we left off
Piled in the ride then it's on to the next stop
Pull up to the club, hit the back door, sneakin' in
Hit the VIP, where IV's rollin' weed again
(Yo, what's up?), this is it, how you feelin' man?
(Shit I'm good, you know, wheelin' and dealin' man)
Well when you on? (Soon but I could be wrong)
Alright, well I'm a get a beer, I'll see you back out there
Now when I'm in the club, I play the wall
Or I roll my marijuana in the bathroom stall
And honestly I never dance unless I'm intoxicated
I never contemplate it 'til my mind's inebriated
That's just me, yo, is that Martin Finch? Shit it must be
I thought that he was gone away, didn't he just leave?
And join the Army or something, was he frontin'?
Mr. Finch! {Class, what's up cousin? }
Yo, how you doin'? {What? }, I said how you doin'?
{What you went canoein'? That's stupid}
Man meet me outside so we can catch up for a second
He hit the side door, then the DJ cut the record

[Break: DJ at the club - talking]
Yo, up next, we got my man Jordan Croucher doin' his new song
Produced by the homie Classified

[Break 2 - Classified - talking]
Shit, I gotta hear the new song live
For the very first time but Martin's waitin' outside
Now, what the hell am I supposed to do?
I'll leave it up to you, here's your choices, choose

[beat stops]

    [Outro: Narrator - talking]
  • If you'd like to go outside and see what's up with Martin Finch, proceed to Track 17
  • If you'd like to stay in the bar and hear the new Jordan Croucher song, proceed to Track 21

. . .

(Choose your own adventureeeeeee!)

[Intro: Classified - talking (Martin Finch)]
Martin Finch
(What's up man? What are you doin' here?)
What are YOU doin' here?
I thought you were at boot camp the last two months?

[Verse 1: Martin Finch (Classified)]
Hey Class, I'm back, I'm back in the 'fax, I'm back with a bad back
I was trapped in shallow Manitoba, where everything is flat
I can't even find it on a map
I was surrounded by MC's but none of them rapped
Everyday I was doin' laps around the track
Every drill I was catchin' flack for bein' slack
I tried so hard that I had an asthma attack
And cracked my back, left it blue and black
(Man don't give me that, just keep it real, come on, it's Class)
No man, this massive motherfucker woke me up
To do sit ups and push ups, 'til I threw up
Imagine bein' depressed as fuck, pressed for luck
Like nothing's enough, life is tough
When these ranks are rippin' your stuff, boot camp sucks
Plus you got to dig a trench in the muck
Basic is two months of bein' stuck and brain fucked
Shucks, it's worth the bucks but when you're goin' through it it fuckin'

[Verse 2: Classified]
Man, that's tough luck
You sound like you could use a drink, come on, let's go get fucked up!
So back into the club we went and got some liquor
We downed a pitcher, then I made my way towards the pisser
The mood is right, the music's tight, the atmosphere better
The crowd's buildin' and they feelin' each and every record
Then I see Ghetto Child chillin' in the back but
Lookin' kind of tense, a little stressed out in fact

[Break: Ghetto Child - talking (Classified)]
What up Class?
(Ghetto Child man, what's happenin'? What's goin' on?)
Man you should leave, trust me it's about to get ugly

[Verse 3: Ghetto Child (Sample)]
Alright, it's a motherfuckin' stick up!
(Gun-gun-gun-gun's still loaded)
I'm ready to empty the semi on any who envy
Got plenty of deadly ammo for anyone tried to tempt me
The cannibalistic animal in me
Is the reason there's no manager with me
'Cause (the gun's still loaded)
Pour me a draft, empty the till and give me the cash
'Cause it's a stick up!
From pennies to bills, the bartender's tip cup
The ice in his grill got knocked out and picked up
(The gun's still loaded)
Still waitin' to bust it, they prayin' I tuck it
But that shit don't relate to my subject
Disturbin' the peace; invadin' the club with a ratchet
Attackin' any rapper that think he sayin' somethin' but sayin' nothin!
(Bo!, bo!) [gunshots] (the gun's still loaded)
Shots rang out, rang out, bang out, bang out
Got the club runnin' like a track meet
You trip, you trampled like jockies in a stampede
Exits in every direction, everyone except me
Is leapin' and creepin', duckin' and dodgin',
runnin' and gunnin', runnin' for safety
"Run for your life! He's gone crazy!"
That's why that lady screamed, that's her in the club, right outside
Them all shots fly but (the gun's still loaded, blow out your brain)

[gunshot and screaming]

    [Outro: Narrator - talking]
  • If the bullet hit you, turn off the CD, you're dead!
  • If the bullet missed you, please proceed to Track 22

. . .

(Choose your own adventureeeeeee!)

(Ladies and gentlemen, Jordan Croucher)

[Sample of Jordan's new song playing in the club]

[Beat starts]

[Verse 1: Jordan Croucher]
Whoaaa, whoaaa
See my world, I share it with no one, hope you know
You're my girl, so there's no other way I can go
When we got together I didn't know for sure
But it's alright (it's alright), it's alright (it's alright)
See girl I'm the type of guy who used to creep on the low
Now my playin' days are gone girl, I don't need them no more
'Cause I found me somebody (woo!)
Uh, and she's all mine (I, I), she's all mine

[Chorus: Jordan Croucher - w/ ad libs]
I never thought that I (never thought I'd feel this way)
Could ever feel this way (and there's nothin' I can say
See you came into my life and now my love don't have to stray)
I never thought that IIIII (never thought I'd feel this way)
Could ever feel this way (and there's nothin' I can say
See you came into my life and now my love don't have to stray)
You got me goin' (you got me goin' all the way girl)
I can't control it (and there ain't nothin' I can say girl)
You got me goin' (you got me goin' all the way girl)
I can't control it (and there ain't nothin' I can say girl)

[Verse 2: Classified]
Ye-ye-ye-yeah, that shit sound alright
Got the whole club gettin' down all night
Fellas in the back dr-drinking and smokin'
Ladies front row sc-screamin' and shoutin'
I observe with a bit of a smirk
'Cause it feels good seein' people feel my work
Drink all gone, gotta refresh
Jordan's last song, Bru is on next [beat fades out]
He hit the stage and kept movin'
With a perfect execution
He rocked it, closed the show
Had the ladies sayin' "hey!" and the fellas yellin' "ho!"

[Sample of J-Bru's live performance]

[New beat starts]

[Break: J-Bru - talking]
Now somebody say "ho" (ho!), say "ho, ho" (ho! ho!)
Now anybody, everybody scream [yelling]

[Verse 3: Classified]
So all in all it was a good night
Nobody fightin', no one knocked out like Suge Knight (ha)
See our clubs are usually hesitant to book our type
I guess hip hop has built a name that they don't like, but it's alright
We gonna make it happen, left the club, then we took off
Then hit Pizza Corner for kabobs and hot sauce
Four in the morning, this becomes a hot spot
Last real chance for you to get your rocks off
But me, I think I had enough
Alright one last puff [inhale], that's the stuff [exhale]
Taxi, alright fellas, I'm gone
It's almost 4:30 in the morn', catch ya later on

    *** The End ***

. . .


They might say I lead a simple life, the type that don't excite
And yes, I like to smoke more than light till night
I realize I got a problem, I'm high way too often
And only seem to acknowledge it after I indulge in it

Pull in my driveway, walk through my front door
Then make a bowl of cereal to conquer my hunger
See I like to eat before I slumber
Brushin' my teeth and gettin' clean helps me to find my comfort

Jump in my bed and turn the TV back on
I feel like I was just here, the day don't ever last long
I feel like everyday's a cycle, I've learned to accept it
There's a lot of scenes to see, I need to learn to direct it

I turn the TV off and start brainstormin'
Try to figure what I'm gonna do in the mornin'
I know what it brings, I wonder what's in store though
I wonder what the hell I'm gonna do for tomorrow

Goodnight, we'll see you tomorrow

    *** The End ***