Blank Narrative

by Gentleman Contender

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gentleman contender's self-produced debut short album //


released January 30, 2015

Executive Producer: Leroy Shingu
Mixed/Mastered: Jay Gallagher
Backup Vox (Tinnitus): Brittany Salaam
Saxophone (Leave a Light On/Paradise Aesthetic): Julian "Jules" Jacobson
Chief of Visuals: Chris Barron

special thx to:
Deb Randolph, Tom Bousquet, Ryan Ro Carlos & Thrill City, Gabe & Runaway Clothes, Carter & Glass Reflex, Bradley Saacks & the DTH, Mike Mikey Pat Alec & Immaculate Taste, CC Jimmy Shanim Daz Star Matt Zoe & the whole street team, Will Futch, Jamie Zink, Ace & G Yamazawa, Viking Breakdance



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Gentleman Contender Chapel Hill, North Carolina


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Track Name: Paradise Aesthetic
back w a new perspective
a new direction, i
left the country, got
& reflected been a second since i dropped a record i'm back
& i slept w the tides
& addressed what's inside
& confessed that it's likely i let it define me it's all that i know
songs are all that i know so i sing it like
[finish that cup till it's okay/ dominican rum in that OJ, thinking i'm one w the ocean for the moment man i'm golden]
like the sand that gets swept w the tides
time keeps the narrative in motion the moment's alive
till it's gone and it's not you can't stop the story

*everybody's got a story/
question is how you gon tell it/
question is who you gon share it with/
like who won't be scared of it/
cuz we're all looking for those ppl that really care enough to give a fuck about the details/
and might hold within them the ink or the pen that could help write the details*

as the sun undressed the heat
felt like i heard the sun breathe next to me
a confession of an unseen recipe
where the hi hats bypass eardrums straight to the soul/
so i left and addressed the beat
synth emulating that sunbeam ecstasy
with a cadence like the waves that caress the beach
add the tight rap typecast me to the role/
so i took what i made and i let that shit play w my eyes closed

alright open up there's a world out here to see
and babygirl it's a world out a here w me
if you're for it
so come close come close let me tell you a

Track Name: Tinnitus
* if you find/
your warmth no longer mine/
i will forget you/
but if each day/
your embers burn to flame/
my fire is renewed *

all i'm tryna say is that
world ain't a stage
in fact more like a canvas
how you gonna paint it? last
time that you came
asked if i had what's inside me to change
"same song always sad it's a lil played out"
i just always thought that she would stay down
[it's] like i'm treading over different ways now
just to say how
heart fucking gave out
bled on a records worth of lyrics & i'm feeling like a broken one
you are the only one that i hear when the noise fades out
voice echo still rings in my head like
back when i used to hear you sing to yourself still loud

this world ain't a stage it's more like a playlist
made up of fading tracks
always dissipating fast
so it's strange your sustain still stays in tact


you were a concert/
i still hear you sing/
i wandered too close now my ears hear it ringing

Track Name: Swarm
spinning vinyl for the feeling
go & kick your shoes off i ain't tryna see you leave yet
you could smoke a newport i ain't judging it's whatever
fogging up the room along w judgment and the weather
incidentally i'm cool w kicking back when we together
i don't smoke that often
i don't usually call you
if i could sing it better wouldn't have to rap at all
you see i'm lost between the syllables and bulletholes
from shots you fired off
can't find a metaphor perpetuating thought that's all up in my head
[metaphor]: insects swarming when you throwing rocks all at their shit
at a loss w half this shit
caught in a battle with making cool sounds & sounding cool in my raps and shit

* i'm still young but i'm growing up slow enough
& it's swarming me *
Track Name: Leave a Light On (feat. WELL$)
check the clock in the AM
wake up & face the music
make it honest
fake just ain't amusing usually/
usually you can see that
ice coffee & a beat pad
barista said she like my tats but
in that way that you knew that she had one
she turned her back
saw the ink it was black: a lighthouse
said she wanna see even when it ain't bright out
said she wanna feel just a little bit guided/
oh ya i know how that goes i went home and i wrote this
showed the emotion
like a flag is mapping the wind
so if i blow i hope it
cartographs the passion i give
put the cap back, back on the 5th
and she said come relax with me chill
but i asked for this shit, right?
gotta be somebody's light show
we ain't hanging out
not cuz i don't try though/
feeling washed out, drowned in the studio i don't know where the time go
promise i've been thinking bout
every little thing that i'm missing out on
this song's to remind you

* but it's getting hard & lonely/
inspiration's dark & low
and i ain't even done recording so/
when you go/
could you please leave a light on *

downtime working on my rhyme scheme
hasn't been conducive
usually you say talking to me's useless
my music can't heal your bruises but/
i don't really think it's really like that
kick, kick snare & a hi hat
you say i don't give a fuck
too many feeling for me to bypass/
so tell me where my heart go
shorty got pull but i'm tired of playing marco
i loved you whole-heartedly
so why was it hard for me
to get partial in return/
[they] say a loving heart never learns its mistakes/
but i'm burnin with the burden of the choice you make at what point do you break
you sayin that i'm fake just to further mistake/
where we at now
you hate we at now
you miss being normal i could never miss those pat-downs
so i
am never home
these flights i've taken alone
despite the time that i'm gone
i hope that you leave a light on

Track Name: lalo reprise
* Leave A Light On *
Track Name: Rooftops // Roadblock
* i don't know what to say to you baby/
i might change your life you might change my life/
we might say goodbye, you might stay the night/
so what do you say baby/
why not? *

it's nothing conventional
nothing resistible
tomorrow's close so it's all systems go
simple it's just you & me, spark the interest
though feels like there's space in between like staccato notes/
i mean you might change my life right
then again you might not
but 3 o'clock on this rooftop
that's an awfully late time slot
for you to be eye-locked w me alone, he's not around
feet like 100 feet off of the ground
seems like it ain't all that small of a town
from here looking out, so turn around
this some shit you wanna pass up?
& you're looking too good w that backdrop
so fuck it why not?


caught the sunrise on the balcony
just me
but it was gold
seething from the dust in the sky it was alchemy
but i had to see it alone
everything's bright till the lights fade
faded all night till it's daybreak
breaking off ties as you walk away
heels in your hand never thought to stay

tired of this heart so i'm using yours
steady as the snare on the 2s and 4s
is the beat, cuz that's what i like
write songs to rewrite the endings in my life

please don't repent me
turn around & stay
Track Name: Motel
this for my women infatuated w low end
sit at home on a saturday like i'm snowed in
working hard just to isolate all my close friends
still in chapel hill i could really go get a show &
get the whole fuckin city to go and show up
hold up
fans got me poppin off like a soda
when you shake the shit
ask when i'll make it big
chance 50/50 dude stats what i major in, true
half what i rap ain't accessible
ain't gotta tell you it's weed money painkillers
change ain't acceptable
still make the beats make you crank up the decibels
wait i could flex a lil too
got a couple rhymes i could flex a lil too
but i missed the point [of] getting checks if it comes at the cost of integrity
pray that ain't never me
pray that ain't never me too

* in case i don't make it/
there's a motel still waiting *

i can't tell you that i'm credible that's something you earn
can't prove to you it's genuine that's something you'll learn
turn back to my early shit
love songs and movie scripts
worried that i'm losing it
hurrying to screw the missing screws up on this record but it's true that if
the record flops i might not get a shot to do again
might get some love if i go with some proven shit
why catch a buzz just to lose it quick though
so it's
the rise of the artsy twentysomething
saw that water rise up to the ceiling when my home got flooded
drove me up to chapel hill and still
there's mold on the back of the paintings where i stay now
ain't no way to forget where you came from
& the second that you think that it'll never change
you're at a motel watching tv as the levees break
a decade late
i figured out in life you never run
nah despite the shit you lose you try and find a better one

* so in case we don't make it/
there's a motel still waiting/
to wash yourself clean & find what it means/
to dry it off & try it all again *