ΠΕΡΑΣΜΑ / PASSAGE

by Active Member + Luka Lesson

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about

ACTIVE MEMBER are rap pioneers of Europe from Greece. For over 20 years they have been committed to conscious story-telling over haunting and unique low-fi beats. Their style of music they entitle 'Lowbap', has become a genre of its own, sparking a movement of artists and fans under the same name over the past two decades.

After being linked online by an admirer of both of their work, Active Member was introduced to Greek-Australian spoken word artist and rapper, Luka Lesson, and his already conscious and poetic style. Soon the two parties had formed an alliance and came together twice in the space of six months in Greece to create an EP which is the first of its kind among the Greek diaspora.

ΠΕΡΑΣΜΑ / PASSAGE is a new EP that bridges the gap between generations of conscious hip-hop fans worldwide and Lowbap lovers in Greece, and connects histories of political upheaval, poetry, music, migration and return.

ΠΕΡΑΣΜΑ / PASSAGE also provides a grass-roots look at the current climate of a country lost in a battle of its own right to be free from the shackles of economic and political instability.

Musically, this EP is almost totally a collection of instrumentals from Active Member's back-catalogue, hand picked and re-written by Luka Lesson, mostly in fitting with the Greek lyrics of the originals. Tracks like 'PRISONER' and 'DIASPORA' however, were written from Lesson's own imagination and 'WAKING / ΞΥΠΝHΜΑ' totally from scratch and is the only song not produced by the relentless B.D.Foxmoor - put together by Brak who appears on verse 3 of the same track.

credits

released December 3, 2013

All songs produced by B.D.Foxmoor except CRISIS / ΞΥΠΝHΜΑ produced by Brak. All vocals recorded by B.D.Foxmoor at ΠΕΡΑΣΜΑ studio in Perama, Greece.

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Track Name: KASKARIKA (MUSIC IS KING) with B.D.Foxmoor
Kaskarika - Luka Lesson Verse 2

Brighter than the light of day
and higher than a tidal wave
I write like a lion because my pride's at stake.

and rap needs a pillar to climb
my synonyms are filaments that light illiterate minds

I've been waiting on this moment
with soldiers from the homeland
like minded and focussed
and owning our opponents

archaeologist
I'm digging on my roots
worldwide conglomerate
the product is the proof

and to be honest he's the boss and I'm the student
1000 tracks and lowbap is now a movement

Athens city ever live
Acropolis or not
the metropolis ever reaching to the sky.
because the only way is up when you're broken at the bottom
the hip hop I love always spoke for the forgotten…

so I remember where I came from, where i've been
and each december i'm repenting all my sins

it's a game and they all play to win
but we're all a bunch of jokers
It's the music that's the King

I don't lose focus when they're calling for my bones
I walk water when I'm trekking through the snow

CHORUS
Hip-hop
has never been bad much
they just tried to kill it when they used it for status
it's still alive despite the crisis within
politician or citizen

---the music is king---
Track Name: PRISONER / ΦΥΛΑΚΙΣΜΕΝΟΣ
Pressed up on his lips another sheet
of black paper for tobacco
he's back and he's in the need
and he fills it up with green and needs a mixture of the leaves
so he can live again
a toke for every token hope and dream
he left
on a note that he wrote last week
in the hope that he'd know some peace/
the only piece that's on these streets shoot bullets & steal dreams
so he bought one - some courage for his streets
so that the gutter doesn't shut him up just shudders at his feet


he turns to reach and spark his trees with a flint
and at that minute blew in ancient spirit speaking the wind

the breeze was shedding leaves from the trees
and the spirit noted
that those with the deepest roots do not break but only lean

they do not to crack but show that opposites attract
'cause further the streets push
you the further you'll snap back

he tipped his snap back, scratched his head

and grabbed his mac from his backpack
played this track back…

and sparked it up

//

Ten gallon drums are filled with flames
as we heat our palms
shadows play games on our faces
and she's the queens of hearts

she's been flirting with the weather
causes a storm to pass
she sells an ounce an hour and now it's
about a quarter past

It's the wild wild west like it's Kool moe dee
and her kids won't let her forget
she owes the school more fees.

she checks in the window
black stockings
but no lace
in case they decide to take from her more than what they've paid

she knows the streets are her prison
and these men are her guards
they keep her stuck in the system
the local bars are well, her bars

in lock down for the money
she notices his rolling smokes with black papers
-thought it was funny

he says - he needs loving so he doesn't break under the weight
of temptation of drugs blow in under the radar of the state

she says she tastes better anyway
their shit is bitter - calls the baby sitter as they set off to his place.


//

She's Making money
he is trying to make love
it's as close as both their hearts have ever come to being touched

he feels her breathe
and the surface of her skin
as he looks her in the eye & whispers how could this be a sin?

she licks a tear from the corner of his eye
before it falls and he decides to disguise his pain with pride

like every other man she's ever liked
they're all just trying to find a way
to lay their weapons down at night

he treats her like a lady
shows her body some respect
mama said
"how u treat a woman
is how god will judge you in the end"

and he never forgot it
though his touch felt foreign
she also felt so at home
that even the money became forgotten

lost in the moment,
the shackles flew like birds
they were free
and it felt like they were the centre of the earth

until they finished

and fell back to the centre of a curse
she fills her purse.
and he smokes away his hurt
Track Name: DIASPORA / ΔΙΑΣΠOΡΑ
Perama to Athens in a black two-door
back for more lessons from the black lowbap lord

looking back
I was touring abroad but small fortune afforded
a two-month course so of course we're recording

the entree was a hit
the minute kaskarika flipped

shit became different
main course about to hit

while this sun is set to split
horizons just reminded me how my life is like a migrant with a limp.

I've return to set it straight

re-trace our footsteps and
re-design our fate.

I re learn the goodness
and leave behind the fake

I've worked hard to push - it better carry weight
Only time my life is cushioned - when I suffocate the state.

the Crisis lies in greek pride
and their lives are decided by the weak minds

fascists try to redesign the street signs

Now the Nazi's invade
from the inside
Golden Dawn is not upon us
I stay dark cause their light is not as honest
we stand alone
like a solo saxophonist

our melodies
are waking in people
placing knowledge in their pockets

better than amphetamines
electric in their sockets
our pedigree is hella mean
you answer when we knock it.

I'm telling you
you better dream
don't stress me if you've lost it

we're hellenic so our letters be a lesson from the prophets

//

Diaspora
Now the tables turn I return to set it straight
Diaspora
Now the world has turned
I return to set it straight

//

The struggle of the migrant
gives me migraines in the night as

I desire to feel alive in
a place that isn't
mine

in the newland
or the homeland

I feel at home
and homeless

in both places and I notice
that the question that it poses

is that do we really know
if our spirit has a home?
or does the land on which we grow
also seep into our bones

and does it sink into our skin

until the point upon return we feel like foreigners again

I feel different here again
and it's harder than the last
like my past forgot my future
and the future lost my past

somehow I'm faced with memories

of faces that I've never seen

so now I feel like I'm returning

to places that I've never been

my hopes are in the smoke
and I see ghosts up in the ocean
I spoke to local folks
they say I'm focussed on atonement

but I can't wash the sins of past

only return with an open heart

I can't ignore the voices within

this is where our journey begins

I feel like I'm cut in half
between the fire and the spark
between my future and my past
between the ocean the mast
between the spoken and the masked

I guess we live two lives

of a god and a king

I'd rather stay a pegasus
than a bird without a wing

I'm returning

//

Diaspora
Now the tables turn I return to set it straight
Diaspora
Now the world has turned
I return to set it straight

//

Απ’την Ελλάδα ο παππούς μου τραγούδησε
<<Είμαι πρόσφυγας ξερίζωμενος ρε>>
Πήρανε δρόμο με τη μανά μου μικρή
Από Διακοπτό, Μονόλιθο και Παραδείσι*

<<Καλό ταξίδι και καλή τύχη>> από
Πελοπόννησο και Ρόδο νησί
δύναμη στην ψυχή,
και τσιγγάνες καρδιές
όπου πάμε καίμε λιβάνι

Fate went
this way then that
it swayed like the boat they saved so long to catch
lives packed
cases stacked
looking back
black in that they knew they'd have to re-enact the Iliad

Ill, sad and already homesick
denying the fact they were leaving their homes
just to be homeless
a small stash
that they’d never get home with
in love they interact
but they know that it's hopeless

They see the harbour and it’s as cold as ever
so they both
hold my mother by her hands together
so they can
find the strength to say their boldest έλα!*
and drop down on the streets with a soul to set up a
new city
a new life

διασπορά
Keep tight pride is needed inside our hearts
these acts would teach me of the past
και τους λένε <<καλή τύχη όπου και αν πας>>
Track Name: FEATHERS / ΦΤΕΡΑ
Feathers
(For my unborn son)

My child
when you are born you will be golden
you will be light
you will be blessed with an omen

you will be

you will be glass
shimmering steel
an eagle awaiting its feathers
an idea made real

you will be healthy
you will be joy
you will be blessed
in love, you will be wealthy

you will be loved

you will be lost
you will be finding
you will be young
and you will be reminded

you will be my heart
my breath
my new start
you will be my planet
my pearl
my craft

But the truth is
you will not be mine
I will be your father, your rock
but your mother and I
are merely guides

I will provide an arrow
a blueprint
a shape
a sign

and your mother—the river
the map
the chrysalis
the bliss

she
is love
the eternal kiss

But I can't be true to me
and truthfully
try to tell you to be
a new me

It's your life; you make it
wherever you'd like to; take it

Though I'll give you your clothes
and show you your soul
you'll face your demons naked

though I'll teach you control
and keep you from cold
if you see your chance; you take it

Though of course I have fought for you
walked to all four corners
and talked the truth
I know
my path isn't right for you
I'll just try to give you the right tools to use

because this earth isn't perfect
we're all cursed with a search for purpose
we all emerge in emergencies
and hope our perfect dreams prevail perfectly

but we

can't see the sky for clouds sometimes
and can't see our lies for doubts
and I
can't see with the eyes of owls
so I can't seem to decipher this life right now

Will I be ready to raise you?
mould you?
shape you?

Will I ever be wrong to change you
or strong enough to be brave for you?

Though I'm spreading my wings
I don't know if I'm making better enemies
or the betterment of anything
and when I'm in Heaven
I'll leave you a message of eleven melodies that you better sing
you see, your life is my everything
and my words are your medicine

so you better remember when I tell you
that I'll be shedding every feather from my wings
so you can fly further than I've ever been
you are my king
Track Name: LUCK / TYXH with B.D.Foxmoor
THROW MY LUCK / TYXH

They told him he would make it
παππού don’t feel the end
they told him ‘take a ticket’
say a goodbye to friends
he kissed his mama sweetness
before he left for Egypt
his mama’s my papa's papa's papa’s mama
it’s deep shit

So deep I hardly speak it
a little fear in pockets
a little silver locket
a lot of tears up in them sockets
those diamonds from the eye
aligning stars upon the night
and frightened by the lonely light
that’s shining through the smoked horizon
Alexandria, was only just the first stop
from Egypt came a month at sea
sent like mail to a post box
like a letter with no envelope
just enveloped by the rain
the tears of ink drain
replace the canvas on the frame

They landed on the island
no welcome note or hug
the sky as grey as Melbourne
the earth as red as blood
Μετανάστες on the ocean
bags packed for the night
a night turned into life
I return to make it right 

//

I throw my luck upon the ground
so she can feel the earth
give her thorns to wear — it hurts
so we remember birth
wrap her body up in flames
just to drop her in the sea
my luck and me, we argue over memories

//

They left from village morning
for days to get to boat
they left from olive trees
in a puff of shisha smoke

That place from which they came
dangerous because of snakes
until they brought the deer
and they became the symbol of the state
Italians colonised
and the Turks, they’d been there too
crusaders built cities on cities of the ancient few 
So when my people left
never to return
they’d sing them songs of magnets
that pull them on a search

And so the greatest of the great
lucky country, cutting trees
man to man
like he was slicing nationalities
in a country of animals he’d never seen
a snake found him
and pulled my παππού to his knees

//

I throw my luck upon the ground
so she can feel the earth
I give her thorns to wear — it hurts
so we remember birth
I wrap her body up in flames
just to drop her in the sea
my luck and me, we argue over memories
Track Name: AWAKENING / ΞΥΠΝΗΜΑ with Sadahzinia & Brak
CRISIS / ΚΡΙΣΗ Luka Lesson Chorus & Verse 2

Greece in a Crisis
daughter in the storm
drive without a licence
pray to see the dawn

Athena is her mother's only hope
working every moment just to
turn broken into broke

//

Lost at the the bottom she wanted to be the modern
lotto tickets
path trodden
hot on the heels of the belonging
along the way she had forgotten what she wanted…

dances exotic
Orthodox girl - exotic to erotic
life a mess
Jackson Pollock
tied to stress
Panadol
it's at least three chronics between scotches
an alcoholic
at least three minutes between college and sodomy
her body probably made of ancient pottery and honesty I
saw her eyes spark like shards of the Gods
broken heart
curves air-brushed by winds of the north

her tongue and lungs hungry for love
and money for drugs
punished
she doesn't have the money to pay off monetary funds

pretty as a picture
womb bought by China
Germans get the ticker
Asia gets to mine her

She fell as asleep
while she was dreaming of designer
Athena is in crisis
and I will stand beside her