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The Past Is Always Present In The Future

by Substantial

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watkinzdageneral Certified ILL Album!!! Favorite track: Made In Maryland ft. Steph The Sapphic Songstress & DJ Jav.
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Revision Leave it to Substantial to craft an album which is awesome on first listen and then only gets better each additional listen. This is an impressive album with the perfect mix of the artist's past, present, and future. Must own for all who like soulful hip hop. Favorite track: Always ft. Fjer.
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Zack Substantial is an incredible artist and one who consistently releases music that improves upon his previous work. To put it simple -- this is what some might call "grown folks music" and it's a perfect example of that. From tackling important social issues of yesterday, today, and tomorrow on "Exposition" to expressing everlasting perseverence on "Always," Substantial is a prolific, profound artist worthy of everyone's time. Favorite track: Always ft. Fjer.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 58 Substantial releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Apeks (Maxi​-​Single), Adultish (Deluxe Edition), Salt N Pepa ft. Black Root & Marcus D (Maxi-Single), 1580 ft. DJ RBI & T.Lucas, You've Grown ft. MLLN, Reed Richards, No Per Diem 2.0 ft. Mega Ran, Animal Arithmetic, Vol. 1 (Instrumentals), and 50 more. , and , .

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Exposition 03:16
HOOK (2x) The past is always present in the future VERSE Do remember, I am a true descendant Of people who were stolen and traded all for the riches But I can’t play the victim, I’m told to just forget it While they dwell on 9-11 and celebrate independence But I’m suppose to clear my memory of all the lynching Shit, I cringe at the thought of giving my daughter whippings Plus I see the name that owned my family every time I write a check So how the fuck am I s‘posed to forget When we ain’t safe in churches or even when we comply The ones paid to protect us are making sure that we die They say we kill ourselves we still cheat and we rob But what’s that have to do with these cops doing their job And if you really cared ‘bout the welfare of my people You’d make sure that the schools for all children were equal Fear competition so they had to rig the game Scared if we catch up that we’d do their ass the same Know they deserve it, but they ask what would Jesus do Bet my bottom dollar he wouldn’t be down with you He was the wrong shade, you’d probably do’em the same Shoot’em seven times while tryin to give his name Right in front of his kids, body with the chrome Labeled a threat when all he tried to do is get’em home All I’m saying, a future minus our past can never exist Y’all make sure your baby listen to this! Wake’em up! HOOK (2x)The past is always present in the future (2x)The past [Born a King] is [Raised a slave] always [Niggers to Gods] present in the future [Cradle to grave] Born a King. Raised a slave. Niggers to Gods. Cradle to grave. Shall be redeemed. We shall be praised. Never will scars outweigh our grace!
HOOK (Made in Maryland) Don’t get twisted, dog I still put the M between the DV (Made in Maryland) I’ma represent for yall Regardless where the path I’m on lead me (Made in Maryland) Pops was from Baltimore But his only son was born in P.G. (Made in Maryland) VERSE 1 The home of Tubman and Douglas Name a rapper better from MD that does this Spare time. Murk’em low key with a spare rhyme Old lines shit I came up with in ‘09 No lyin’! Back in Suitland in the nineties In someone else’s hood baggin rappers you’d find me Whippin’ ass taking names ‘fore this rap shit was cool I was either chasing dreams or chasing ass after school Ditched class, wings with Mambo Sauce during high times Cookin’ beats in Ace old crib playing ‘95 Live from the home of Martin and Sugar Ray I’ma shine for every unknown that took a stray HOOK (...in Maryland) Don’t get twisted, dog I still put the M between the DV (Made in Maryland) I’ma represent for yall Regardless where the path I’m on lead me (Made in Maryland) Pops was from Baltimore But his only son was born... (...in Maryland) VERSE 2 PG specifically County might be rich but we all struggled mentally Trying to see thru imagery placed here to limit me Killin’ me, black and brown youngins on a killing spree The way I dodged bullets you’d thought had Trinity And Zion’s best fighters all guarding my divinity Had a rack of brothers only one that was kin to me Saved my life when they gave the mic and the pen to me But I’m from the same damn state as Freddy Gray Different city but our death could be one ride away In the home of Frank Miller and dark nights… Thought it was, nah you thought right, I’m from... HOOK Maryland Don’t get twisted, dog I still put the M between the DV Made in Maryland I’ma represent for yall Regardless where the path I’m on lead me Made in Maryland Pops was from Baltimore But his only son was born in P.G. Made in Maryland VERSE 3 Only Prince we claim sang Purple Rain Prince George was lame, F him and name I’m a PG King, It’s a PG thing! This for Gods'Illa, OG’s, See King Joe D, Steph, Jav and my Baltimore team That's my man Jsoul and the young homie Green Damn my friends are dope, yeah we really rap Fans been losing hope I’ma bring it back Stan has been dope since pitty pat, Kickball, jump rope and hide and go get it, black Think I haggled Odd for weeks just to get track To hand the God some weak shit picture that Phelps with a felt tip, Olympian flow Providing more dope lines than Bolivian coke Durant on the bassline, Carmelo in the key of strife Ripken and Ruth walking on the field of dreams but I’m Woke in the land of Thurgood His momma taught my poppa how I’m out here in your hood Somewhere in Maryland!
Go... go... go... gone! VERSE 1 In my rearview, fast living & fast women That I went thru like underwear & dirty linens I adhered to the ways of a playa, wanna pimping Breaking curfews and hearts, spilt’em like partitions I know… so cold… Taught to never love’em, yet we act like hoes See I chose... to grow... But if I stayed the same would more records be sold (hmmm) They love it when you don’t love’em & abuse’em Like when you fuck’em and dump’em its just amusement Sick to me you get more publicity when you’re coonin’ Yet question your authenticity when your judgement is prudent That’s that bullshit... I’m past that Just watch’em how they bend and run quicker than half backs Y’all would make your ass clap for a check from ASCAP ‘Til your ass capped, never me dog can have that! There is... HOOK No turning back today Never backwards, forward we go 3x Go... go... go... gone! VERSE 2 Onward, Upwards Why look back, my bags packed Thought I was nuts but when I try to dip... they on the sack I hush the fuss, watch my six, know the time My hats off to haters while staying on they mind My crime is trying to grow while stay true While they rather love those selling them short. Disgraceful They telling tall tales, them stories ain’t you Keep building like I own it, plenty walls to break through And I can’t stop they can’t hold me But people talk like they know me But they so weak they don’t know themselves Trying to confine me to their hell But um… I ain’t dumbing down to make you feel comfortable And I ain’t slowing down so you can catch up my dude You live for the lie you don’t really want the truth I don’t change for fear my dear, nor a buck two… HOOK VERSE 3 My friend… is sadly long gone I wish… we could make some songs Or hit... the town and break bread For kicks… I’m here missing you instead Watching these clowns bite your style and use your image Meanwhile they barely gave you your props when you were living I doubt your family’s getting a check it got me livid Mispronounce your name then act like they knew what you intended This isn’t for the authentic it’s meant for the hypocritical Who diss the dude who spit for you in since the very beginning Though our bond fractured, was still sought after They want more classics, I want more laughter And I could hit them with unreleased material Since your so-called fans think my solo work is trivial Unless it’s me & you but where’s the honor in that When most of it was subpar or we thought it was wack Probably be overjoyed if I bought a few tracks You didn’t finished then distribute them all over the map That’s what they’re hoping but I’ll never fuck you over like that I’ll forever honor your memory but there’s no turning back HOOK
HOOK Back stateside on MLK riding Low in the whip look like no one’s driving (Repeat 3x) Whether 395 or 704 Dream big baby stay steady on course VERSE 1 (See King) I grace these peasants with my presence King Martin Luther, The streets with his namesakes the perfect place to find a shooter A civil rights mover turning left up in a Cougar, Watching the revolution on TVs took by a looter On fire like H Street, tongue twerks on a break beat, History maker tell spectator to take seat Enjoy the experience of this social experiment, Send shots at Cyclops; close the eye on the pyramid I’m too dope it’s no legalizing this lyricist, Father MC and your baby mother’s the surrogate Hip Hop’s in my heritage, save it from the culture vultures and The poet poachers, still not a player though I’m dressing like the coaches Most of us fell victim, to well-placed pitfalls got my dawgs in the system The chocolate city now suffers from vitiligo, The dream died on that balcony pray it wakes up tomorrow VERSE 2 (Substantial) Mike King like the minister’s initial name Fighting imprisonment and those with wicked aims Who administer pain, but we navigate the baddest fate Like our ancestors did use our head to carry weight Many chose to move it so now they facing the music Misguided warriors can’t find their place amongst the movement So you know the guns stay shooting ‘cause the streets blind niggas don’t see their a budding Nobel Peace Prize Winner Tryna’ eat my dinner like what’s mine is yours… Really what’s mine is ours, need to combine our power Why shine for hours we can reflect eternally For y’all to take me seriously, they’d have to murder me No respect like the mascot in gold & burgundy But certainly spitters this ill belong in infirmaries Still dreaming temporary setbacks be deferring me But my Corretta know betta she ride for eternity VERSE 3 (See King) Lost my sight at the podium, blinded by diabetes A diet with too much sodium still writing this opium Claim country in crisis gain control of petroleum Dreamt big as a kid, grew to be a custodian Mass media frenzy, beamers Benzes and Bentleys Before we party'd with panthers but now the venue is empty Still penny pinching while the devil’s Willie lynching, Guess my brother was too poor to pay attention…Overstand! (Substantial) Baby soldiers taken over never be an older man Ain't playing with a full deck, no one there to hold their hand So they hold the steel like they wielding the wrath of God Or hoping for a deal for their skill as a rapping God ….Hoping to give them chills with their catalog Or hoop dreaming cuz they got skills with a basketball Once you’re at the mall speaking to and for the people Will you follow like sheep do or take a stance against evil while we’re… HOOK
HOOK Follow the Master (4x) If you don’t move the crowd and ain’t a master of the ceremony Or a microphone controller you are not an emcee So don’t ever disrespect the homie, World class title holder born and raised in MD Known to get the party poppin quicker Then stripper with vodka in her so they gonna clap for me But I ain’t talkin’ booty cheeks slick with the dudy speak, shit talk mastery ...I’m Mugen with a blue pen Samurai Champloo be damned if I can lose If I did, I put 2 L’s together and make a W Dumb of you, comparing Substantial to a substitute All I do is win but it’s clearly ain’t your thing Then again you’re more T-Pain then painting I’m art personified, all heart magnified By ‘bout a 105, no doubt… come alive HOOK Fuck off the stage bum You ain’t doin shit no need to tell’em to save some Crowd look well rested, had time to get adjusted Copped food and drinks and had time to digest it I’ma make’em feel like they were part of my live show No voice, clothes moist it’s hotter than Cairo Watch me blow the spot when I drop my payload I got’em going wild, it ain’t raining no pesos They do what I say so ‘cause my presence demands it A veteran standard, man what’s better than Stan shit I will sever they hand if they extend it to grab this Shit on everything like I’ve never been pampered Son’em like Frederick Sandford, been a G, But I don’t sale trash just so I can make a living, B I’m art personified, all heart magnified By ‘bout a 105, no doubt… come alive HOOK I be ripping up the stage like I’m tearing up floor boards You don’t keep’em engage they just lay on the floor bored I have’em in a craze they gon’ leave with their core sore Body crowds for days like a terrorist warlord Light up the scoreboard, go hard as mug… I’m a titan I throw swords, throat armed with a scud If you mic’em he’s so raw but doper when unplugged A sight sicker than cold sores, go for a dub If you pay at the door, unless you pay in advance This ain’t your regular show that’s right you even can dance No need to hold up the wall, it got plenty of beams You can throw up your arms and if you’re feeling it scream 2 turntables and a mic that’s what I call riot gear Turn all the way up! It’s about to get live in here I’m art personified, all heart magnified By ‘bout a 105, no doubt… come alive HOOK
VERSE 1 Started in Cheverly, the line was orange On January 7th, a star was born Stayed in Seat Pleasant ‘til mom and I moved on To the next stop, come ride along Left pops, moms tired of the fighting and tears So in Landover’s where I spent my formative years While living here I met my oldest of peers Underprivileged yet I’m overcoming my fears Like robberies and shootins, now we out in Suitland Right behind my high school to focus on my schoolin’ No longer boostin, now I’m beat looping Pre-To This Union, writing with my blue pen Penning blue lines from Pentagon & Addison Battle raps dumb funny like Billy Madison Battlin, til my name spread like a pathogen This is just the start I can feel it in my abdomen! HOOK All I see is lines, letters, colors Zippin’ right by, with plenty numbers Runnin’ thru my mind, what to make of it It’ll make sense one day All I see is lines, letters, colors Zippin’ right by, with plenty numbers limit’s the sky, ready, comin’ Take the Sub way VERSE 2 Left Maryland, but still spittin these bars Next stop Brooklyn, off of Clinton & Wash New York, New York was the City of Gods In Hip Hop, big stage. Hope they give me a part Took the 4 Union Square, rap ciphers galore Or the A to West 4th hoping I’m in the store Fats Beats showed love, thought I made it for sure Years later, All City on an NY tour… now... HOOK VERSE 3 Take the J to Koscuiszko to see old the crib Or the 2 to Flatbush another place that I lived Shot to JFK, first Tokyo trip Bullet train’s like magic, blew my whole brain to bits everything’s changin’ chances being taken More time at Grand Central and Penn Station OT. Brazen… confidence. Amazing… Where my train of thought took me with a little training HOOK VERSE 4 Headed back to MD had a family to start Now in Baltimore City couple minutes from the MARC Spending time in DC teaching youth and rippin mics Kill a show on U St. at Benning Road I save a life Did the same off Southern Ave. teaching kids to rhyme & more If I wasn’t with the youth, highly like I’m on tour Then our brother Junior passed rocked our family to the core Relocated to VA to hold the fam down for sure Out in the burbs not too far Dunn Loren Still nice with the verbs and far from done touring Now we in Huntington and I’m maturing Still in PG everyday ‘cause I'ma support’em Where it all started, I’ll head home someday Journey’s never easy but I’m making it... someway Some tracks are curved and some straight And not everybody will take the Sub way
VERSE 1 Ya ready?! Ya ya ya ya... ya ready?! Ya ya... ya ready?! Ready. Aim. Fire… like Blow! World tuned in to what I write now. Past. Future. Right now Marcus check the levels how my mic sound? (All good) Movin’ right on Fist in the air like right on Keep letting bygones be bygones Chuck a deuce to your ass like bye! GONE! (FOH) Use to party like I gave a #uck Lips on a bottle with my eyes on her butt Foot on the throttle tried to keep it turnt up Like my hand on the volume don’t care where we turn up (No chill) Now I party like I got a plan Shit I use to do for free now I get about a grand Some are still asleep and they really not a fan They was looking for sheep but instead they got a man (So real) HOOK VERSE 2 We’d party and bullshit Living our lives to the fullest Back when Gangstarr had a full clip After everybody was on the Bulls dick Plenty Bullets. No Wizards Youngin’ pull ish. Go bizerk! Folk run the street doing dizirt It was nothing sweet, no desserts Hit the chizurch, trying to wash away their sins Til Friday come then some do it again And the people run for fun and get it in 'Cause we creep from slums where none of us spose to win And I'm up in here with'em Share the same problems we don't only share rhythm Working to resolve'em while we up in here sipping Til we empty out a bottle we ain't up in here tripping And we ain't bullshitting just shitting on the bull That got us off track, cup still half full Gon pushback til we really have pull ‘Fore you lift that skirt better lift that wool So you know who you effin’ with The truth will probably make a hooker turn celibate They can sell a bit of lies but we sidestepping it Miss me, quickly that ain’t what we represent VERSE 3 Ain’t no party like a party with purpose If you party with a purpose don’t stop For lyin’ ass journalists, punk politicians Or racists ass murdering cops Ain’t no party like a party with purpose If you party with a purpose don’t quit For fake ass thugs, culture vultures Won’t cha get off our dick Yeah we did it before, just did it again Been this way from the door, getting it til the end Givin’ yall the raw for sure give it a spin From the core we swore to war until we win One accord. Of course the source is from within And the force is strong as Thor or Benjamin Grimm hardbody decor but sport a grin Slim’s leavin’ balance restored workin’ a pen BRIDGE We can do our thing Just be careful who you bring Everyone can't move with our team Snakes turn ciphers into rings REPEAT HOOK
VERSE 1 I can paint a picture with words or just brushes Make something out of nothing ain't nothing to make something Cutting up samples while keeping the bass pumping Nothing we can't handle I will have this place jumping Your tramp on lean, I'd rather have a queen Of course I am a king so I can have a dream Or be your worst nightmare at war never fight fair If our freedom is right there take it by any means Learn PEACE from the Gods but I still study violence I fight for my serenity if anything challenge Write dope on a tightrope trying to find balance Build my skill with will plus talent Slanger of the rhymes, training young minds Painter of the times, Maker of designs Sailor of the skies, pilot of the seas Baker of the pies, refiner of the dreams HOOK ...I do it (do it) Black of all trades, I do it (do it) Put art on a page I do it (do it) I do it (do it), I do it (do it) Make something out of nothing ain't nothing to make something If you want to do it... do it Make something out of nothing ain't nothing to make something If you want to do it... do it VERSE 2 Do it until it’s done and there ain’t nothin’ left to do Do it under the sun can tell you did it from your hue Doin’ it in the park after dark me & you Different type of vibe but I’mma work it ‘til we’re thru I’m a mover and shaker, Up at dawn, stumble strong So my jaw stay about as smooth as sandpaper This is for the chance takers, villains gave us lemon Now we Lemonade makers don't let any man break ya ...We're def the most resilient yall seen bey He don't play but highly sought after as teammate Nothing I can't do, you should broaden your dreamscape Food for thought you should be consuming what we bake Teach, cook, write, love, speak good, fight, f**k Seek, look, eyes shut, we must rise up Often write rhymes, dark skin, bright mind Lost winds, fly blind, fortunes I find... HOOK ...I do it (do it) Black of all trades, I do it (do it) Shackle my brain can’t do it (do it) Won’t do it (do it), can’t do it (do it), Made something out of nothing ain't nothing to make something If you want to do it... do it Made something out of nothing ain't nothing to make something If you want to do it... do it VERSE 3 How you gonna tell me what I can’t do.. Sh*t… I probably did it first.. Ain’t nothin I can’t handle… ...Sure as hell can’t do it worse So I’mma make it cooler. Add a little flavor Take us to the future. Be a little greater I ain’t scared to barter, skill more valuable than paper Work a little harder put it down and make’em pay up ...I lay it down they tell me stay up Then every time I turn around they talking ‘bout a pay cut Trying to stop a baker who out here gettin his cake up Skills surpassing his peers, wondering why I bring race up Cuz average got us living under poverty lines And good’s only good enough part of the time ...And great will make’em hate you from afar In the comment section like “Who these niggers think they are?” HOOK Black of all trades, I do it (do it) Carry the world’s weight I do it (do it) I’ll be damned if I can’t I do it (do it) I do it (do it), I do it (do it), Make something out of nothing ain't nothing to make something If you want to do it... do it Make something out of nothing ain't nothing to make something If you want to do it... do it
HOOK You waiting on me? You waiting on him? You waiting on her? You waiting on them You waiting for a miracle to fall from the sky with your blessing But ain't no better time than the present VERSE 1 (Cise Starr) Seconds’ minutes to hours Turning into days coward these Months becoming years And these fears becoming towers Looming over your hopes then plans becoming sour Then dreams beget regret regress and then devour Time waiting for none The gift is in the present you presently doing nothing then nothing in your presence Gotta put in that work cause work is in the essence Cause faith without some action is death and missed blessings Just wishing and praying Never changed a situation So If you going to God you better pray for motivation Gotta get up and get it Being alive and vivid Don’t be like Moses waiting for Aaron You go and finish And in the end He mastered self and got the win Or be like Jacob ready to wrestle with Seraphim Find your voice true Find your step do Just get it together, stop sitting waiting to lose HOOK BRIDGE So what waiting on? (4x) VERSE 2 (Substantial) Your way to great was a save a date That never arrived. Potential you done made’em wait forever... My God. Why you scared of success? Your worst is better than nothing if you dare to progress The future’s within your grasp but you’re sitting on your hands Refusing to save your ass by executing your plans. Rather talk me to death then walk in the life You always wanted, it’s haunting you in your dreams at night But you could’ve had, should’ve did, would’ve got on But the fat lady’s center stage singing that song “‘Cause you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” Can’t miss what you ain’t had all along What better time than the present? What’s present’s better than time? Even if you only shine for a second 15 minutes of fame, eternally forgotten Or try to live forever are your options BRIDGE
PTXD 03:02
VERSE 1 I don't even know'em Don’t be saying it's a wrap, when I ain't flowing ...Though I am at the moment Opposites attract and also can be opponents I am what I am, didn't plan to be chosen Plus I can't break what was already broken But Mister Fix-it put a plan in motion Yep, you was with it, Goddamn it’s potent But still runnin your mouth ‘bout your your last Compared and contrasted with his bumb ass Must’ve come pass for the hit & cum pass Got the booty, got lost and tossed the compass Dumb fast now your hearts protected Let the wrong playa play now I’m ejected (Ghetto) Not what I expected Dikem-Bae, why am I rejected HOOK Girl I'm not your ex man Though I might be the best man But the question is... Are you gonna let your past fuck up your present And future (so what you really want bae?) Loser (or start something with a real man?) Sooner (or later, maybe even today) You gon’ (have to make the right move bae) VERSE 2 Switch up the tune From dysfunctional to give us the true you ooh Never let the past rule you Bout to miss out good dude Don’t get too comfortable ‘Cause, when I come for you Ain’t nothing like what you use to do Purple skies and blue moons Scale it back if it’s too soon Switch up the pace Don’t need another man try’na put you in your place If we ridin’, why be behind me, stand beside me Journey to the top we can take turns driving Never be a prop this pure alliance Never gotta crop any picture I’m in (no) No shade, so vibrant Rock to my breathin’ stop but know that HOOK BRIDGE I want you to be with me but you got PTXD Don’t let your past hold your future hostage that’s LL not me Escape that hell and be free Don’t have to forget just please leave All that deep shit aside… he ain’t got a damn thing to do with me What I’m saying is… HOOK
VERSE 1 “It’s a man’s world” all about (him) ‘Cause, she cool but she not (him) Ladies first only when she put there by (him) Want her to take orders, never see her as a soldier Hold up! Let me stop acting like I’m not him Like I never womanized or undermined (her) Want her how I wanted, where I wanted when I wanted her In a home she made being treated like a foreigner Taught she only valuable if she got (him) And if she can have a baby boy by (him) Future male chauvinist just like (him) Would you want him for your daughter, how we plan on moving forward In order for us to grow gotta stop (him)/me From thinking that we’re better than or we own (her) Of course our destinies coincide So I gotta do better in my daughter’s eyes So you know you gotta... HOOK (JSOUL & Substantial) Keep growing, baby Keep growing, baby ‘Cause this world is yours baby It’s your baby Keep growing, baby Keep growing, baby ‘Cause you’re so much more baby Much more baby VERSE 2 Had to raise a couple kids all without (him) But employers never give her what they got (him) Who get custody in most cases it’s not (him) Forced to do it with less, always doing her best But a good man, she lucky if she find (him) Like the same don’t apply the day he find (her) Would you drop everything so you could lift her up Like she did for you every time you had given up But you talking like she lucky that she not (him) Traumatized her for life, they just shot (him) Forced to find the strength to carry on without (him) Knowing your son could face the same and unbearable pain ‘Cause she know what this cruel world thinks of (him) What’s sadder is the world thinks less of (her) We all should be mortified… I pray we do better in our daughters’ eyes HOOK VERSE 3 Taught you couldn’t do that ‘cause it’s for (him) TV showing less real you more (him) Got raped, your fault, shouldn’t lure (him) Like we ain’t got self control, all playing a roll In violence against her done by (him) Sad ‘cause I ain’t really care ‘til I had (her) A lot dudes complacent, ‘cause most are raising their sons What winner care about the losers when they’ve already won Whether we talking race or battle of the sexes Walking in their shoes, most valuable of lessons Seeing what my daughter gotta carry and it’s heavy Being black and woman, know we gotta get her ready Glad I got a Queen by my side to help lead her Love her more than life but some things I can’t teach her Her foundation must be fortified We plan to do right in our daughter’s eyes HOOK
HOOK Will it happen? Could it happen? I don't know. Signs are around me, everywhere I go. From P.G. County to Tokyo. Everywhere I go, the people wanna know... How will it go down?! VERSE 1 I had a nightmare that I hope don’t come true (Talk about it, bruh!) Black blood on the streets ‘cause they’ve blacklisted our hue (So ironic, huh?) Thought it was a dream until I turned on the tube (What you seein’ mang?) Murder, hate and sadness all I see on the news (Can’t believe it, mang!) S‘pose to be the future but it look like the past (Seen it all before) Master’s boot still on our throat when it ain’t up our ass (Time to go to war) Bracelets come with collars, kept on a very short leash (Get it off of me) homes are now are cages, called animals by the beast (The hypocrisy) HOOK VERSE 2 I had a daydream while I was wide awake (Oh word?) Opponents try to put a rack of shit upon our shoulders, they ain’t know it But we just could not break (No sir!) Had our community and businesses in order, we supported Ourselves our own way (Indeed) Greater schools within our zoning, our creations never stolen. Taught and owned what we made (No greed) S’pose to be future but it could to be today (Talk about it) Soon as you see your destiny is linked to ours And acknowledge that these scars will not fade (Ain’t forgot about it) And stop the whitewashing of our Gods far too long you been Controlling our faith and fate I pray, one day, we work together Or lay to waste this world forever! HOOK
HOOK You were good for then But are you good for now? Did you save some for later Did somebody show you how To make it last forever forever ever forever ever Forever forever ever forever ever HOOK V1 (Substantial) That dollar (dollar)... disappears before we ever reach Tomorrow (‘morrow)... Now we here tryna’ not make a effin… Mess (Mess) while we do our best (best) 2 stay afloat Until our death (death) drowning in this debt (debt) we rocked the boat But never too broke to get that fix, Arm and a leg to grab dem kicks Budget balling watch the swish, Nothing but net and snapping flix But my net worth ain’t worth shit, stuntin’ like I’m filthy rich Tryna look clean coming out the gutta til a brother’s in that ditch (Greenspan) I put my pride aside, plan and prioritize/ be quick to normalize/ no need to lie/ Im living a normal life/ my family got the right to get 1st flight/ 1st things 1st I sew the seed expect my harvest big and bright/ kinda sounds nice/ kinda what I expect tho shit don't go as / plans / to hold it down and have a son and for him to be the man/ Insurance plan when I transition something like 300 grand/ creating wealth on the low in stealth mode don't ever show your hand/ my people U was good... HOOK V2 (Greenspan) Open accounts I'm interested in interest/ more interesting investments/ my OG say I'm too risky/ still profit still scoring/ studying the profit margins/ if I'm that close to the goal line Ima still get 3 regardless/ them number keep adding partner/ then partner with fellow martyrs/ This legacy followed by kids that say pops done went the hardest/ I'm down to starve for a second to benefit on the opposite/ side Of the situation let's break bread & split the profit/ already (Substantial) Actual, factual did what I have to feed my kid So she don’t go without or ever know about what hunger is Unless we talkin drive, how the hell we gonna thrive spending all we got On Jordan IV & V, I’m woke as open eyes, get organized So my kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’ are straight, if it’s kismet limits will fade Cuz this shit’s endin’ today, can’t be dismissed or wish it away Gotta plot and plan, I’m talking stocks and grants, plots of land More than parks and plannin’, got me saying, you were, you were HOOK Some live in the past Some live in the present Some live in the future We gon’ live forever! That’s always and forever, forever ever forever ever Always and forever, forever ever forever ever (Repeat 2x)
HOOK (Sample) If all these rappers are bossman All these rappers are bossman All these rappers are bossman All these rappers are bossman Tell me (Sample) Who doing the work? Tell me (Sample) Who doing the work? Tell me (Sample) Who doing the work? Tell me (Sample) Who doing the work? VERSE 1 (Substantial) Yall some underachievers, You’ll never be a boss or leader Competitor you’re hardly that either You’ll never be as hard as us creatures You’re messin with Gods of the speakers They sayin Oh My God he’s a genius How you gonna ball from the bleachers... Where I’m from they call that shit leachin’ Nobody working harder we beastin, This shit’ll put a pause on your breathing Somebody stick a folk in’em please and... Tell’em bring the coffin he’s leavin Can’t tell if he was coughing or queefin Ain’t built for this boy you’re a fetus Rippin’ shit apart at our event Like a bawse and applause isn’t need ‘Cause we working day and night, on the low So it’s hard to stay in sight but you know that Behind the scenes, that I guide my team to realize our dreams and ignite The f-f-fire, desire climbing higher and higher I was rich even prior to turning sires to buyers You’s a customer not owner, Just a rustler not loaner Hold up, better own up, for you roll up And you get exposed as just a poser You’s a fraud, baby you ready or nah, We can see through the facade We goin hard, from our backyard to abroad On our job wherever we are! HOOK VERSE 2 (Tonedeff) Godammit, y’all out to lunch How in the fuck I expect that the job be done? Hired a bunch of impressionist, sloppy chumps Trying to stunt for the benefits, stocks and such Slip/fall for a settlement, a thousand bucks Ripped off, now they sweatin in a taco truck Brickwalled by their pettiness - and all for what? Shit nah - there ain’t anyone the boss of us What a conundrum, who’s left to be moppin up? Who in the f’s gonna fetch me a coffee cup? It’s obvious none of us wanna be stuck in the office but when I’m running biz independently - I’m the one in front of a monitor - the devil in me got me just Hunting for dollars, every penny is the god you trust I’m an autonomous executive - I call for cuts Of any incompetent secretaries - so y’all are fucked Pink slip… but they talking tough? And wanna don boxing gloves Bitch, you a mailroom clerk - so when the scale don’t work, you don’t box, you just box shit up Zip it! Ship it! Whip it, good! Devo! Nobody making a cent off Vevo - We don’t Give our money to Mr. Iovine, No, we keeping our c-notes, and build it up till the profits come Obnoxious to some, cause everybody hate they boss Yelling bout how to make they calls Telling em how their vacay’s off Venting ‘bout how their pay grade’s small Evidence of the game they lost, And the main is stage is ours, y’all are just bitter HR wanted a confidence builder, Fine, I’ma get Algo, then Kill drums with Sub - put em on a bill bottom line is we always deliver. Get up! HOOK
HOOK Maryland, yall got me cuz (Yeah!) Sub & The Stuy come rock with us (Yeah!) DC, yall got me cuz (Yeah!) HiPNOTT in the spot come rock w/ us (Yeah!) Eh, VA yall got me cuz (Yeah!) You know this joint ji crank come rock with us (Yeah!) Worldwide get live with us (Yeah!) Turn the volume way up come rock with us (Yeah!) VERSE 1 Can't end before it begins No one does it alone and we too old to play pretend This is for my supporters fans family and friends Wifey for sticking by me like we was Siamese twins Last line was generic, my status ain’t that’s apparent Came up on the low like I be shopping in clearance And I do, ‘cause my biz more important than my appearance Shouldn’t judge by the cover but you can tell this shit serious! The past is always present in the future!!! I ain’t going nowhere but up Was naming your favorite rapper ‘fore you was lookin’em up Advising some legends ‘fore you acknowledge my presence Marathoning these sprinters while minimizing my effort Maximizing my gains a rapper thats gots some brains Flew my family out the country for $200 and some change I be stacking them miles I’m frequently on them fliers When you stay above the clouds it’s easy to take it higher Lets go... go... go... go... go... eh! Battle tested and approved Yall were bodied in your party, asphyxiated your crew Kinda shit we use do when dudes battled over rhythms Beatbox, lunch table or a trash radio system Handclaps, DJ... but eventually I moved on ‘Cause unlike bammas nowadays I make pretty good songs I never shuck and jive for muthaphucas live I make the type of music that help people reconstruct their lives I know yall love right, so keep it on repeat... Still climbing like I don’t know a peak Flowing like you disabled, you sounding like you don’t know a beat Rockin the ark when paired with loops dirtier than Noah’s feet Couldn’t pay’em to notice me, now they pay ‘cause they know it’s me Heads turning like rotaries, knowin’ he's awesome totally Exes who still ain’t over me realigning their ovaries Respected globally, now they lovin me locally Urban legend, surely reppin MD you better know it, we here! BRIDGE (Wayna) How lucky to be Apart of legacy Now you can come with me And we could be... Legendary! VERSE 2 These songs are one part of my legacy But time will tell what will come from these youngins that met me Tan, yellow, white, red, ebony, armed with verbal weaponry Topple obstacles that stand between them and destiny Haters, fakers and shottas, light takers and coppers Who wanna eff up your chakras but don’t let none of that stop ya Gotcha... Live our dreams while we’re awake now that’s the mantra When you carried the weight remember who was there to spot ya! (Keep pushing… from the top!) HOOK Wayna, you got me cuz (Yeah!) I appreciate you, Queen for rocking with us (Yeah!) Kokayi, you got me cuz (Yeah!) My brother from another mother be rockin’ w/ us (Yeah!) QN5, yall got me cuz (Yeah!) Still holding me down, they rockin’ with us (Yeah!) Worldwide get live with us (Yeah!) Let The Stuy take us home come ride with us! (Yeah!)
HOOK I wish U were here I wish U were, I wish U were… I wish U were here I wish U were, I wish U were… I wish U were here I wish U were, I wish U were… I wish U were here VERSE 1 (Substantial) Peace Pops… still missing you Want you here but I’m in no rush to visit you I’ve been doing my best with this hand that life dealt Momma held it down and that money you left helped I’d give it all back just so I could chill with you Get some guidance in these troubled times, would’ve loved to build with you Fam and friends passed on, I hope they there with you Some good ones came along I would’ve love to share with you Been married for a while and I wish you could’ve met her ‘Least I finally figured out why the wife half is better Gave your only boy a child, a girl like your first was Must’ve turnout alright if she think I’m worthy of her love I knew that writing this would take a while But I’ve been trying to live the type of life I’d hope would make you proud I can’t recall your laugh but maybe this would’ve made you smile Bmore survivor who would’ve known that cancer take you down But, I’ll always bring you up. Ren is always fascinated I’ll ensure she know the cloth we were cut from wasn’t fabricated ‘Trice and I keep in touch and my nephew graduated Now I’m a youth worker when your boy ain’t rap creatin’ I don’t do it for a plaque for a record I made I do it to get a plaque they can place on your grave Wasn’t perfect but your honor and respect are due Regardless if the message doesn’t get to you… I need the world to know… HOOK I wish U were here I wish U were (still alive), I wish U were (by my side)… I wish U were here I wish U were (available), I wish U were (unbreakable)… I wish U were here I wish U were (still around), I wish U were (not in ground)… I wish U were here VERSE 2 (Steph The Sapphic Songstress) BRIDGE I miss you, I miss you, I miss you so much (I miss you, I miss you, I miss you so much) I love you, I love you, I love you so much (I love you, I love you, I love you so much) HOOK
VERSE 1 I came into this world Same way I'm gonna leave it... alone. For what its worth Since birth... been bringing folks together for a common cause Not quite a bleeding heart no need to find a gauze Just tried to do what’s right ain’t gotta supply applause Just trying shed light on what they hide from us all Our origin story, many moments of glory Move forward, ain’t gotta be rewarded, the Lord has implored me Give’em what they need when they don’t even want it Keep on feedin’ souls but they don’t see they hungry Live a life worth remembering, the reaper’s coming But you’ll live forever though you might not reach your twenties Or your thirties, f*** a great depression You are worthy... of every single blessing Honestly, our own light is hard to see But every single star’s born to shine. Prophecy! HOOK (Fjer & Substantial) Always… always... Always… always… (I am here) Always… always... Always… always… (I am here) Always… always... Always… always… (I am here) Always… always… Always… (I ain’t going nowhere… ever) VERSE 2 When she came into this world I knew I’d never leave her alone because this girl’s The greatest thing I created... lyrics, design or painting That ain’t up for debating. Look what sun maid and he raising her Right… so God forbid her brother man wrong her She roll with the struggle ‘til she come around stronger But her father taught her to never squander her honor If they don’t treat you as good or better than poppa don’t bother She see how I treat her mama. And before we shared that wedding cake I swear on my own mama you’re the best decision I ever made Look at what we made. On everything, I’m proud of us Best producer duo since The muthaphucin’ Stuyvesants Listen… This is parentin’ with a vision I swear a bit cuz that’s how Ms. Hill got us to listen So pardon me, busy raisin’ my colony This home that love built never falls, stands solidly\ HOOK BRIDGE Rain, sleet, hail, snow Will I retreat, hell no Can’t stop, must grow Won’t drop, never let go Rain, sleet, hail, snow Will I retreat, hell no Can’t stop, you must know… I ain’t going nowhere… ever VERSE 3 We came into this world With everything we need so we manage what it hurls Always and forever you’ll never get us to behave Scared to death of kings they’d rather my people be slaves So til hell freezes… I will resist… The call to hang it up as long as I am needed Silence your siren you woke up this giant from sleeping Fightin’ like we’re Tyson and titan mixed with a phoenix HOOK


“The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” ― James Baldwin

Intimate and laid back, this newly released contemporary hip-hop gem features visceral beats and cunning lyrics that enlighten and inspire. New songs and new arrangements of earlier songs from his recent EPs, taking listeners on a journey through the past, present and future. The Past Is Always Present In The Future cements Substantial's musical legacy as one of Maryland's proudest and most prolific sons. 

TPIAPITF includes production from Oddisee, Marcus D, Mello Music Group producer, Gensu Dean, label mates The Other Guys and JSOUL, Algorythm of The Stuyvesants and Good Compny Drummer, Jon Laine. Substantial's fourth solo album also features guest appearances by QN5 Music's Tonedeff, fellow Nujabes collaborators Cise Starr of CYNE and Uyama Hiroto, GRAMMY nominated singer/songwriter Wayna and more.

1. Exposition (prod. JSOUL)

2. Made In Maryland (prod. Oddisee)
3. No Turning Back (prod. The Other Guys)
4. MLK (Dream Big) (prod. The Other Guys)
5. Follow The Master (prod. The Other Guys)

6. The Sub Way (prod. Marcus D)
7. Party With Purpose (prod. Marcus D)
8. Black of All Trades (V2) (prod. The Other Guys)
9. No Better Time(prod. Marcus D)

10. PTXD (prod. Jon Laine)
11. In My Daughter's Eyes (prod. Jon Laine)
11. It Could Happen (prod. Gensu Dean)
13. The 4our Fors (prod. Oddisee)

ALWAYS (All tracks produced by Algorythm)
14. Tony Stanza
15. Lasting Impression
16. Wish U Were Here
17. Always


released January 6, 2017

Executive Producers: Substantial & Kevin Nottingham

Recorded, mixed, arranged and mastered by Stan 'Substantial' Robinson at Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood Studio 3.0 in Alexandria, VA.

Cover art and photography by Substantial


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Substantial Alexandria, Virginia

Virginia based International Hip Hop Recording Artist from Maryland.



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