The concept for Enter The Ring came at a time where I felt that young MCs in UG Hip-Hop weren’t doing enough for themselves in as far as brand building and creating a legacy is concerned. We have talent, yes, but the gap between the more established rappers and the “new school” kept growing. This song directly challenges any New School MC toEnter The Ring with the big dogs. Battle them. Compete for Airplay. Out-rap them at shows. Build bigger brands than theirs. Let them know that the gap is closing and that we are ready to live up to their legacy – and surpass it. On a personal level, this is my way of saying, “I’m coming for you.” Originally, I was supposed to pick a verse but everyone has a favorite verse so I decoded the whole song.
|“Pen in my Holster”|
[Verse 1 – CODE]
I am the Poster Child for New MCs (Whaaaat?)
Pen in my Holster, Finna Spray this Beat (Whaaaat?)
I open the track with the same mentality that any NEW MC should have. I feel this way and anyone who listens to my music knows there is truth when I say; I am the Poster Child for New MCs. I represent them. I speak for them. I am the definition of growth from writing lines in a prep room to sharing stages with the artists who paved the way for me. I have the most complete brand. I am the face of the New MC. My pen is my arsenal and I am determined to put this beat to rest. Permanently.
I Spit the Truth (Yes)
Have to be ruthless
Pure Flows for You Foes
That spit that Truth less
My music always has an element of honesty. Why? Because that’s the only way one can make REAL Music. Sometimes I might come off as brutally honest but if you feel offended, GOOD. Listeners won’t be deceived one bit so lying to them in a song just to up sales and popularity is the best way to fail in this industry. I have built a flow unique to CODE and the content of my music will always be a reflection of me, my state of mind and how I feel.
|“So, allow me to Rage War”|
So, allow me to Rage War
On You Punch-Bag Rappers, You Ready to Go?
Am Ready to Brawl, am steady here making you fall
Round of Applause, When every word drops to the floor
Someone asked me online during my #AskCODE session, who a Punch-Bag rapper is. This is any young MC who limits his expression of rap music to PUNCHLINES. The only way for the new school to bridge the gap is if we practice song-writing and concept creation when it comes to our songs. Sadly some rappers feel pressured to stick to the former. I briefly talked about it in Revolution but since then, only a few took heed. Now I am ready and am aiming at anyone who didn’t listen. I WILL run circles around you with the very punchline rap you hold so dear and I WILL close that race by dropping a well-driven track, concept and beat well designed and I WILL bask in that applause.
|“Hate it or Love it, The Underdog’s on Top”|
Hate it or Love it, The Underdog’s on Top
‘Bout to shake up a Heavyweight, begging me to stop
The Reality – CODE is back
Where Am at is where The Truth is at
I end the first verse with a declaration of the same ambition as 50 Cent in “Hate it or Love it”. In Life, the only way you can (and should) compete is with the guy at the Top. Shake up a heavyweight just to let him know his spot isn’t permanent. Give him hell until he fights back or watch him move aside.
[Hook -A PASS]
Must know by now
Must know by now
Any where mi go bare Gyal follow
Must know by now
Must know by now
Any where mi go bare Gyal follow
A Pass, being his mad talented self, followed up on my declaration at the end of Verse 1. They must know by now. If they don’t, then they should. There is truth to this song. We have what many might call the X Factor. The unspoken truth that we do pull attention and we can cause debate. Bare gyal isn’t a reference to women alone.
When I was down, never your concern
Till my flow taller dan antenna
When i was down never your concern
Till my flow taller dan antenna – tenna
It’s easy to ignore an artist when he hits a performance slump. Or even for the simple fact that your tastes and preferences tend to change quite often. It’s also hard to ignore a song that hits all the right notes all in one-go. In most cases, this is the determining factor for many MCs when it comes to the Ring. When they don’t have a good song out there, they second-guess themselves, thinking their flow isn’t good enough and fall back to the shadows of the crowd. Which prompts me to ask…..?
Won’t you Enter The Ring (Yeah)
No Ropes, No Holds Barred
With these bars that I bring (Bring)
Won’t you Enter The Ring (Ring)
No Ropes, No Holds Barred
With these bars that I bring (Murder)
I follow up where A Pass left off. Instead of second guessing yourself as an artiste, I ask, “Won’t You Enter The Ring?” Where anything goes? Where it’s not about your status? Where it’s just Pure Raw Talent? And Rappers know firsthand what could happen to them in a ring – (Murder).
[Verse 2 – CODE and A Pass]
Mann, I’ll have you Pacq-ing Out this Holy-field
You don’t deserve this ground; you ain’t built to kill (To kill)
The song speaks heavily under the theme of a Boxing Ring. We have all seen the Under-dog rise. We have all seen the Greats fall. The story of triumph is easy to tell. But the pain of struggle can be a hard pill to swallow. Truth is, not all rappers are built for the Ring. It’s a holy ground, of sorts. Once you step on that sacred platform, everyone will come at you. Media, Fellow MCs, EVERYONE. You need to be built to kill, almost literally. I make reference using a bit of wordplay to a few of my favourite boxers in this verse. Manny Pacquiao and Evander Holyfield.
I grow still, Broke outta the pipeline like an oil spill
Ignitin’ the right rhymes, Let them boil still
Am getting Complex, You took a Chill Pill
Growth as a musician is a big deal for me. I do everything within my power to be a better artist than I was with every subsequent song I release. Yet unlike most of my peers, I also let my singles marinate. Music needs to be appreciated. While we take time to craft songs that up the listener’s experience (what simple minds call being Complex), they either dumb down or take a chill pill.
Who Jah Bless No Man Cyan Curse
(Dem Cyan Keep a Good Man Down) – It Won’t Work
When writing Enter The Ring, I drew inspiration from reggae music. I listened to a lot of Damian Marley and one song in particular – a track called Solid as a Rock by an artiste called Sizzla. That song really set the tone for this second verse and influenced the couplet above.
Leonardo with this Art form
I Bar-fight when I write
And on stage, Am Mic-Tight, son (Mike Tyson)
Track Killers where I come from
You can’t claim the crown if you ain’t never seen the Throne, son
Rap and Music in general have always been the most physical art forms. Some consider Music to be the most powerful expression of self. I feel the same way when it comes to my music. I feel that with music I can be the highest expression of me. And there is no Higher. My skill likened to some but second to none. Bar-fights are an every-day thing. Vicious. No Rules. Anything goes. And when I write bars, you can see the brutal honesty in my words. Anything goes. As far as stages go, every one of them is a platform and when I get on one, I leave the best version of CODE in the audience. So I bring my A-game on the Mic, the same way Mike let his jabs echo across the ring. I am blessed to know MCs who would gladly battle any one and murk a track with no regard. You can only add brag to the royalty you claim if you can out-rap every other rapper and force them to stick to their lanes. Till then, you won’t even see that Throne.
Say Dem a Love mi Dem a Hater (Do know)
Say Dem a Love mi Dem a Faker (Fake Bwoy)
But If mi no lead some bwoy cyan follow
Dem hate A.P ca mi run Kampala
A Pass returns to help me finish my verse and he adds a layer to the verse that I personally did not see coming. You say you have fans that love you but the same fans will gladly choose the MC with a song hotter than yours. It’s not a bad thing (we should embrace the competition, if any) but some artists have this mentality that fans belong to one person. The harsh reality is you work hard for your fans but they can very easily be taken from you. The only constant is that they will rally behind the Leader of the pack, not his second-in-command. Truth is the only Leader. And someone has to lead but you can’t be the one to follow if you tell people lies.
[Verse 3 – CODE]
I must warn you
Don’t Enter the Ring with the Lord of the Rings, huh
It’s not a simple thing
Reference to the Popular Movie and Boxing in general. In the same way, the Lyrical Ring is a “kill-or-get-killed” situation. Battles aren’t what they used to be. Careers can be heavily damaged in that ring. Yet, for any upcoming MC, you need to grow through it. Go a few rounds with the best. Take that loss and Learn how to win. It’s not a simple thing when you enter the ring with Lyrical Kings.
|“Never been a Puppet on the Scene, ‘Cause you never see me there
Am the Dude on the Strings”
Never been a Puppet on the Scene, ‘Cause you never see me there
Am the Dude on the Strings
None of that Tic-Tac-Toe Rapping
Flows like K.O’s, Man that’s my Thing
Puppet-master. Dude on the Strings. Needless to say, you can see the influence some rappers have on others. You create a classic fusion of hip hop and pop and there are two other tracks that come after that which sound exactly like yours. Some go ahead and ask the producer to “ReMAKE” the beat. Others go as far as jacking your flows and song titles. Their Excuse: “…So yeah I sampled your voice, you was usin it wrong/You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song” It worked well for Jay, but won’t work for you. All because their own material is Tic-Tac-Toe. Personally, I have more than one unique flow. That way, you can’t box me in.
Funny but Music’s not a Joke to me
Am tryna make a Classic, Wanna Help? – Talk to me
This needs no explanation. If You don’t take yourself seriously….then no one will. You sound weird on your first track and your voice still squeaky but a few more nights in the booth get you where you want to be. In this business, you don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate for. So get as much help as you can. Classics are hard to make. Always a joint effort. Never a one man show.
I let my pen make my statements
See, Am good with Hit songs but I’ve never been Complacent
I tried to make Trys with Lyrical Strides
Sidestepping niggas that see me with Negative eyes
I don’t brag. I let my music speak for me. I get a lot of help from a lot of the older MCs and they have given me some priceless advice. Fear No One in this business. Not even them. Stay humble but never stay idle. Keep recording. Keep writing. Keep polishing your skill. There will be traitors / negative eyes on this path so keep your circle small.
‘Cause They Scared, about me and my Come-Up
Never see me coming like a DJ Switch Up
Backspin your whole career with my Skills
Enter The Ring – See how that feels.
A few Dee-jay references here and there. The abrupt change of pace when a deejay uses the backspin effect during a set. I hoped this song would have the same effect. Before the younger MCs spiral down into the depths of mediocrity, I hope this song reminds them that there is a huge difference between a Complete Artist and an MC. Go bar-for-bar in the Ring just to remind each other that there is always more to the table that we can bring.
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