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What I Been Saying (Vol. 1)

by Substantial

(‘Cause I… got) Substantial (got, got… got) For my people (got something to say) I’m just saying… (got something to say) I’m just saying what I been saying (got something to say) They can’t kill us all though they try Justice for all been a lie (got something to say) Fighting to live and I’ll brawl ‘til I die Freedom is all in the mind (got something to say) Ain’t shit but what I been saying They tell us pray but we been praying They tell us vote but we been voting, They tell us march but we Been marching, they talking change but they been talking Get it crackin and make it happen today These bammas blocking progress lets get’em out of the way 400 years of struggle how long are we s’pose to wait Giving y’all solutions for problems we ain’t create All these black lives matter, bruh. Whether we on a stage, In the streets, millionaires or making minimum wage Gay or trans, made you dance, do more that just entertain This world ain’t shit without us, I know you know what I’m saying (‘Cause I… got) I’m just saying… (got, got… got) I’m just saying what I been saying Know what I’m saying? (got something to say) They can’t kill us all though they try Justice for all been a lie (got something to say) Fighting to live and I’ll brawl ‘til I die Freedom is all in the mind (got something to say) Black father, black artist with a black business Married to a black woman raising black children Black love, Black teacher, sharing Black thoughts Shout out to Black Root, Black Boo, these black bars Fills the safe but it can’t guarantee my safety Trying to rewrite history before they ass erase me Love me when I’m rapping, I ask for action then they hate me Maybe they hate us because we’re everything that they can’t be Tell me where’s the love for us, dirty cops on the hunt for us System isn’t just to us, some white folk say “it’s just for us” School system ain’t helping much, truthfully their fucking up You’re one of us. Black women originated everyone of us Vainglorious, protected by RGB Look past the me your mind manifested and see the real me But really, this moment feel different I hope it stick But I’m just saying what I been saying on songs you skipped I’m just saying… (got something to say) I’m just saying what I been saying (got something to say) They can’t kill us all though they try Justice for all been a lie (got something to say) Fighting to live and I’ll brawl ‘til I die Freedom is all in the mind (got something to say) Blackity-black rappity raps from your man This is brought to you by a black dude named Stan I’m just saying… Freedom is all in the mind (got something to say) Freedom For the People Today Freedom For the People Today
Resilient 03:35
VERSE 1 The television say that I'm suppose to be a crook The message is the same on every station that I look Gonna hide something from me they say put it in a book 'Cause that's the last place that a simpleton would look But sorry to disappoint, never been to the clink Known to kill shit, just not the way that you think And not afraid to do just that, I ain't stupid Some get brain then act scared to use it That there is foolish You've got me mistaken Got too much love to waste my life hatin' Suppose to rhyme about the money I be makin' Dessert chef stee, my G, strictly cakin' But if I did that then clearly I'd be fakin' Instead I rhyme about the difference I be makin' Suppose to be a rapper, I'm an MC You'd be one too if you knew your history We went from toastin', boastin', to loafin' Pioneers pissed that they left the door open. We're suppose to make them proud. I still plan to By kicking all these lame men out, Substantial's Suppose to be a quitter and absentee father But I figure what's more precious than my daughter Nada! Develop her mind so she's smarter And destined to do great things like her father! HOOK Speak about it Then I be about it Where would I be without it Brilliant! Speak about it Then I be about it Where would I be without it Resilient! VERSE 2 I'm suppose to be homeless Slept on the floors of my brothers, no Jonas So I... ain't... thinkin' 'bout opponents Went from the couch surfer to an homeowner Where I'm from that's called progress I'm the truth indeed I plead no contest I'm suppose to be a thief no conscious Only stole the show at sold out concerts And never sold any kinda Contraband to no man. No ganja Don't let the locks fool ya, y'all got me twisted No sice, no stereotype, no statistic! Shape up or ship out in this game Take a little off the top, go against the grain And keep my cuts bold, refuse to be faded But when your green's light you're usually jaded HOOK VERSE 3 I'm suppose to be a failure But I catch breaks Like a breath of fresh air and the snare's my inhaler Brought a brother back when I should've been silenced I'm suppose to be a victim of gun violence Thrice! But my spirits defiant The earth gave birth to a sun with a vibrant Light! But my heart should be black Overcompensating for everything that I lack In fact I'm the polar opposite of that But they act like I only play sports and sell crack And/Or rap I can be that and much more Came a long way though they tried to leave me cut short Hard work pays, what I need luck for? Guess I was suppose to be scared of a shut door Can't halt my train of thoughts conductor Express lines nonstop when tracks cut off. 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 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
VERSE 1 Peacemaker Son of a violent man Dream chaser Raised on divided land Where thieves raped us Treated like I’m not a man Our behavior Like rebels without a plan Step false get offed by a coward’s hand Life’s shorter than an hour hand But the least of my worries is the Taliban Or hopin’ that they’ll pass an assault rifle ban Most guns where I’m from aren’t licensed fam The ones that are Usually held tight in hands By the cops and so called authority figures Cringe at my black skin while calling us nigger But 6 letters can't define me I'm so much bigger The path I walk, Most people can’t endure the rigor Back up talk By displaying so much vigor Mastered art The blind just ignore the picture Passed a tart But of course my portion’s bitter That or starve Cause round here they don’t deliver Grabbed a quart Rather be engulfed in liquor Lacked support And I wasn’t born a winner An afterthought These know-it-alls won’t consider A man of God Who sits upon a throne of wicker Who scratched & Clawed to reach the very point I’m sitting After-all That’s what fuels the poems I’m spitting HOOK (Substantial) I’ma take this pain I’ve been dealt with and use it This ship can’t reach the stars if I don’t fuel it Without my music and art I’d be useless I always knew I got to do so... I’ma take the pain I’ve been dealt and use it This ship can’t reach the stars if I don’t fuel it Without this music and art I’d be useless I always knew What I had to do 'cause...

 (Oma Pearl) You can’t hide from who you are You can’t hide from who you are Not even the highest peak The lowest place In every space You always leave a trace You always leave a trace Always leave a trace! VERSE 2 Blood pressure high, Self-respect low Could be cancer inside Am I’m scared to know Lucky to be alive At the age of 34 Livin’ in fast times Still manage to die slow IV pumping morphine in my bloodstream Woke with a scratchy throat & groggy what a rough dream Something’s Not right, nurse can you help me sit up Felt like I was stabbed, Every time I try to get up Hurt so damn bad, I can’t even cough this phlegm up Pain every minute Every moment that I been up When I told the fam They looked at me like I’m finished Huh! I’ll be damned if anything we’ll make me give up Wishing I was home in my chair Anywhere but here Baby girl completely unaware Lives without a care It ain’t fair When your child, you can’t even pick up But I did it for her, so I’ma keep my chin up HOOK BRIDGE (Oma Pearl) No matter what happens today Tomorrow the sun will rise We'll be there We'll be there We'll be there To greet the sun Good Morning Good Morning Good Morning Good Morning HOOK
Written by: Substantial, Tunji, EA Floe, & Niles Produced by Marcus D Additional Vocals by Stephanie Gayle
HOOK (Steph)
 VERSE 1 (Substantial)
 To live a lie isn’t living, You gotta live the life you been given However you decide to the ending, You try’na make it like you envisioned Use to run & hide, Use to wanna die ‘Nuff tears cried we could swim in True self denied, No self pride Like you’re locked inside your own prison Try’na fight loose when they bind you So you’re free enough to go find you Got enough to say to write a novel But they’re limiting you to a Haiku They’ll condemn you with their bibles Tried to kill you with their rifles
Even hold you down with their titles Some of us hide for survival When you really know who you are what another thinks shouldn’t concern you But of course this is still hard when a person intends to hurt you Freedom comes with risk... no love without war What you thinkin’ buddy, gonna take it from me? Have to kick down my door ‘Cause my vision hasn’t been clearer, I am on a mission now I don’t fear much I won’t give in now, and I’m grinning proud when I see the man in the mirror So I welcome change like it seldom came, Very interested in what tomorrow brings Getting all this pain, slowly off my brain Now I see that there is so much more to gain HOOK VERSE 2 (Substantial)
 Some call you black , Some call you weird Some call you artist, Some call you queer Some never call, Some are in fear Some, when you speak, will never lend an ear Some, when you need, will never lend a hand Some are simply here to sabotage your plan Some call you different Some call you fam Their the sum of anyone that understands Come as you are, and they love you Couldn’t live false if you wanted to What’s in your heart, can’t undo Come too far, shouldn’t shun truth I had to run to another city, to find my true self what a pity 
Where they embrace diversity and don’t try changed you with scrutiny Because the skin of me and my kin is known to offend and treated as sin But black is beautiful and always in, that’s the way feel, I can’t play pretend That don’t make me better that just mean I love me In a world that loves to paint us ugly Can’t believe we live in a country That tells you who you love is disgusting Thought we lived in a free state But that’s clearly up for debate I don’t speak hate, I won’t behave I don’t give a damn if you relate I just want peace for the peaceful And the haters too ‘cause we equal For I leave you, I really need you To live your own truth, all my people SING...
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!


"What I Been Saying" (WIBS) Vol.1 is a compilation of songs from Substantial's twenty-year career, including solo work and collaborations, covering topics such as systemic racism and living while Black in America. WIBS features two new songs by Substantial. The title track, "What I Been Saying" is a leak from his next album, "Adulting." where Sub shares his unapologetically honest perspective of his country, through what feels like a sarcastic grin over a soulful self-produced track. The closing track, "A Requiem for All Black Lives" featuring percussionist, Malcolm Jackson on vibes, is a hauntingly dark, somber tribute to the countless Black lives lost to police brutality.

This project is a Bandcamp exclusive release and all proceeds will be donated to the Black Lives Matter Foundation. The songs "What I Been Saying" and "A Requiem for All Black Lives" will be released to all other streaming platforms at a later date and half of the proceeds will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.


released July 3, 2020


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Substantial Alexandria, Virginia

Virginia based International Hip Hop Recording Artist from Maryland.



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