Clarity (2011)

by Zack de la Rouda

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This is my third collection of songs. Most of these were written/recorded in 2010 and 2011 in Burlington, VT.

favorite songs:

Time Code, Connected, Zig Zags, Fire Flies, Snow, Trouble Writing, (Stays In) My Head



released January 1, 2011

Max Bladel, John Mayer, Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes, Charli Brown, Zimbabwe Kid, MarkFader, Owl City, Bruce Springsteen, Matt and Kim, Sabzi, Blue Scholars, Sleigh Bells, Ratatat, J.Card, The Knife, The Glitch Mob



Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.


Zack de la Rouda Portland, Maine

i write songs and rap about weird stuff like love self-actualization civilization depression anarchism and taoism i like to eat from the garbage even though it's kinda hard to find organic stuff there i spend a lot of time alone somehow i am still releasing music ... more

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Track Name: Clarity ft. John Mayer (prod. Max Bladel)
i can't tell if i was lost or they banished me
but i was gone, following a flawed fantasy
and probly y'all was all right, i was wrong, now i'm like, where's the pause button?
i'm really worried, B.
i build walls just to break down the barricades
i feel small in the cause, which is scaring me
it seems all of my clear thoughts have been paraphrased
and all these character critiques are apparent
i lose sleep tryna force-feed the prophecy
in my dreams i'm on course and i'm not a freak
reality smacks me in the teeth when i'm awake
i ain't getting free, man.
i fear i am a fake.
i work hard towards community, or so i thought
but i'm confused by the unity i know we got
like, if it's there and it's shared with us all
how come it's always so hard to get along? huh?

i wonder what's the cost of my sanity?
and can i do the job that was handed me?
and can we change the awesome disparities?
i hope the song give me clarity.
i'm fighting off the monsters and parrying
i'm biting off the scars that i'm carrying
i'm writing down the thoughts i feel buried in
i hope the song give me clarity.

i rarely hear the storm in the canopy
but i see can the meaning that the words on the banner read:
"our memes are the cause of the tragedy
we need to be the charge of the battery"
we're reading off a parchment that's tattering
it's maddening, trying to embark on a strategy
actually, we often feel awful and have to leave
then we stop 'cause our hearts all are shattering
i'm want to arise but i'm slackening
i want, while i'm alive, to fight back a bit
i want to find a home and go casually
but i don't even know my own family
its tough cause we were born in a saddle, see,
we adjust our main course and start staggering.
suddenly we feel the force of the gravity
stumble to the floor once more, see? had to breathe.

so what's the cost of economy?
and can we be the spark that we gotta be?
and can we change the awesome disparities?
i hope the song give you clarity.
you're fighting off the monsters and parrying
you're biting off the scars that i'm carrying
i'm writing down the thoughts i feel buried in
i hope the song give you clarity.

now i sing hard with my hands high,
feels like i long left the field full of land mines.
it's like you were a sloop i could sail by.
truth is, i would be your fool if you'd bear mine.
it's like, as long as i been paralyzed, i been looking for a comrade to materialize.
i found one and i'm still tryna realize
how much we could get done if we really try.
heal the fear of feeling bad,
we could really fly.
this insecurity is sad
cause we're really tight.
i would never leave your ass if you'd deal with mine.
fuck the prickles on your cactus.
we'll do it right.
aw, it's like i sipped truth serum
these is true spits, i expect you hear 'em
if you just exist in the one clear serious moment
then i trust you feel this
i say we ain't need abandon all planning
but when i'm making them now i have you in 'em
i need you. please remember
you give me clarity
it's that simple

so what's the cost that our passion brings?
and can't we try to come off compassionately?
can we change the awesome disparities?
man, i hope the song give us clarity.
we're fighting off the monsters and parrying
and biting off the scars that i'm carrying
i'm writing down the thoughts i feel buried in
man i hope the song give us clarity.

so, what's the cost of my sanity?
and can i do the job that was handed me?
and can we change the awesome disparities?
man, i hope the song give me clarity.
i'm fighting off the monsters and parrying
i'm biting off the scars i been carrying
i'm writing down the thoughts i feel buried in
man, i hope the song give me clarity.
Track Name: Zig Zags (prod. Zimbabwe Kid)
roll up
pass the green and the zig zags.
let's get toking like some fiends from this big sack.
what we're smoking's help me spit it with this sick track
so i'ma flow sinking-ship until you get that

this real talk like, Kaczynski could taught ya
we beef with each other while they feed us to the slaughter
actually it's deeper. all of us martyrs for computers.
and we do it all in spite of our daughters, duly.

hold up.
did y'all slaves want me stupid?
y'all want me to go off on the game and its rubric?
y'all want me to show off and explain how i'm crucial
cause i can rhyme a couple words and say 'em for some students?

yes i'm zooted but i still can rock knowledge
i have got prudence. that's why i dropped college.
i am not brutus,
and y'all should not follow
but our cities are in ruins and
our kiddies all are hollow

cause our culture is a problem like a misdirected river
but all of us could stop it like a hysteretic system
y'all don't need a rocket scientist to check the figures
just amalgamate the fire of our fists in resistance

and check the distance, like
the crash is coming, folks
i can see the prison guard lights
like a sudden jolt
we'll be ready for 'em
so what you running for?
we won't let the snakes strike twice
like a thunderbolt

i been laying low, falling back with my slow speed
y'all wonder what is wrong with zack? he got cold feet?
nah. i been holed up in my shack, working, no sleep,
i'm holding focus to attack. we could roll deep.

but we won't. no fight if there's no threat
pass the weed, zig zags and light - there'll be no sweat
we'll kick it nightly on the mic, playin whole sets
end it with a message for the head:
get your kin fed.

but fuck the market and the middleman we don't need
what they harvest isn't healthy for us dope fiends
we could carve 'em like the pits from this whole scene
we could start with where we live. we'll be home, free.
Track Name: Daylight (Matt and Kim / CatacombKid)
this is what i'm giving.
musical existence.
crucially resistant to the movement of the lizards.
i'm insistent on living different
now, we can make the fire fly far if we're spitting it

what's wrong's wrong but
i'm still confident.
we must trust qigong.
it feels promising.
so i am cognizant of how i'm holding consciousness
i'm wanting you to cop it
i'm the opposite of stolid with it
i got my heart in the cause like i was marcus
always working hard, call me a dog the way i'm barking
they ain't orders when i'm talking, marking god up like a product
power comes in pieces, but you best believe it's getting solid

i'm honestly making good with my karma
even though i will admit i still admonish other artists hits
it's because i'm really fond of living on this blue comet
and we all are subconsciously starving it
by the way we live
we take away our kids' right to be alive in a place that ain't wasted
i'm not hating you if y'all don't wanna fight with me
i'm just saying dude, then we all might die quickly.

how could we survive the near third world war
if we thinking that a gear is what the third world's for?
how could we unite against the first tier's poor course
if we can't derive something healing from the earth's force?
if we can't flow with fluid motion holding focus like moses
how could we hope to lead our people like the chosen?
the hocus-pocus ain't bogus. if i could open your dome, i would try help you see that you always have known this.

i'm getting really sick of the slacking that i'm feeling in me
while my peers and me wait to attack it
these memes are eating us, breed in us like a maggot,
we need to achieve our freedom completely or it won't last, man
and that don't mean it's coming clean or easy,
it is feasible but it won't be so neat as they would all have you think
this ain't some overnight oversight over life
but it's totally rife and gonna grow and mobilize.
we are past the brink.
let's use both our eyes,
try to see something new we could use
we ain't gotta buy shoes, food or our booze, dude
we ain't gotta sign off our loot to them fools, too
i'm trying to remind you - we're being ruled through
a sick process
this corpracracy
is just the tip of the ice that we're locked in, see
i ain't right on a lot but you gotta be shocked
by the facts that i'm dropping in lines

200 species depleted by our greediness needlessly,
daily, nobody's seeing it better let 'em know
but we ain't beaten, we're eating our only to key to being people,
plus your peoples are capable, need to let 'em grow
keep on breathing the vapors of THC cause
the studies say it leads to creativity - let it go!
i know they're evil from power but we ain't weak you got prowess
and i promise that you gotta just let it show

and stay living, man
you don't need a written plan
see the big picture and the niche that you're fitting in
what i'm figuring is happening:
we're in a rush tryna get to position to push
but pushing's what we're doing when we're walking,
talking to onlookers when we shook 'em with our conversation
say, "be just non-complacent
and wake up the cats that you can
but be patient
and urgent"
i'm urging the surge to be emergent
and i'm certain that is
i see 'em hurting mad memes on the radio
that's what i'm saying bro
don't be scared
be driven
like mercedes
this culture is insane and it makes us fucking crazy
but we are not freeing our souls,
we're saving babies
and maybe it won't happen
and everything will crumble
babylon collapse and zion become rubble
maybe i'll be capped
or escape into the jungle
but know whatever happens i'm a soldier in the struggle
and i'm fighting
no guns if obama wanna git me
but i work with qi gong
and it's helping out plenty
they can send their new robotic sentries
fuck it
i'll be fighting for the rest of the century
and i breathe bliss
i ain't tryna lie
that's what i mean when i say we make fire fly
Track Name: Block After Block (prod. Matt and Kim)
Cities with the same shape, different names...

feet moving
heads closing
throats choking on old cigarette smoke
eyes cold
heart frozen
most folks keep their nose to the whetstone
cabs crawling
with tags scrawled on 'em
the ants marching along are half hollow and
i can't stall 'em
it's a bad problem
we're so lost that i cannot follow
honestly it's obvious robbery
what they're playing
radio rappers are straight-up trash cause they get paid for it
all of us get caught up in drama because the process is flawed
and what's the cost? (a lot) that's what i'm saying, boy.
listen to the writtens i'm spitting cause i'm as sick as you think that i am
when i say this system's ridiculous
what i figure is division is cyclical, people take and give it, before you think
we're falling for the fake ploys
so let's make noise and mistakes, make
the roof shake and pump (pump) blood in the baseboards
let your energy flow
through your center
it's essential
what you think god give you veins for?
i am thankful for y'all and music
i see clear on stage, and i use it
diffusing the haze
of the brutalest maze
babylon falling
(aw, it's beautiful, ain't it?)
yeah it is,
it's hysterical
it's a miracle
we made it out as long as we did
as some killers
now we're here again
let's start healing it
so here's the deal, for real, no fillers

block after block
we're all in shock
we work and serve our purpose constantly:
constructing walls
block after block
we watch the clock
we're certain this is perfect, to the top
we'll won't be wrong
block after block
this all is fucked
if we don't realize quick before we think we'll all be stuck.
Track Name: One Song Glory (RENT)
one song
i'll ask god like,
please, me, be free,
help me heed the call right
i will speak sweet rhymes
that define life
one shot
promise i'll make good with the limelight.
i want an audience that's open to a message
spit it, one song glory, which is something wholly different
from everything i've written and although it's reminiscent of
the gibberish they're given, suddenly they're listening

cause it is rich and speaks to you and speaks to me,
it's a miracle you witness every time you wake from sleep
get it? one song glory, straight from jah into my teeth
from allah up in you
up from you into the trees, so breathe!
it's the music of the storm over the water,
you got it, you're forming thoughts on stuff i never woulda spotted,
and honest, you're stronger than i thought you ever coulda gotten,
your father is watching over you, he said you were a prophet
so stop with all this bickering and fighting with each other,
leviathan is big, let's unite because we're brothers
and otherwise we won't have a chance for another try
i want a song that can make you don another tie
one that binds you to the glory of the essence of the world and the everything
that's resting on the precipice of death cause we don't know our history
we're just a mirror, reflecting what we see
and peace will be impossible as long as we concede to the will of ourselves
over everything we need

i want one song
that says it all right
like Nasir coulda did with his "One Mic"
but it would focus on the glory that the planet is
and all the gory details of how we have mismanaged it
it would bandage our brains while we banish the bane
of our existence that we've spent in our graves
shatter the chains, make us scatter and change
back into something that would magically be okay
and it would end babylon just by being made
and it would render us a garden in which we could lay
and you could memorize it all and sing it every day
and ineffably it would say what i can't say
like the virus really lies in our civilized state
the structure is insane and can never be sustained
what really works is Earth,
but we're spurning her embrace.
Have faith in her,
stay with her,
and we will be saved,
Track Name: Little Secret (prod. Passion Pit)
let me tell you all a couple little secrets
number one - we feel okay when the beat hits
like bob said, rasta light your spliff
cause pot gets you high, like Ra, we gonna reach it
to the top
the prime gon' peak and
zion gon rise over babylon's pieces
i-and-i gonna spit fire at the features
if bots wanna get violent we'll beat them too
like, metal, meet bamboo
my guns grow like trees
kung-fu is free
i do it plus i eat good food
and i find a couple kids and then teach them truth
like earth is cool
and school's some bullshit
god's good
but there's lies in the pulpit
we're at war
but it ain't with the muslims
you ain't gotta die
if we rise with the movement,
don't (let this be a little secret.
the world needs to know and feel this.)

right on time like the oracle called it
we trying to fly but i'm worried we're falling
i'm dying to lay my life down on the line for the cause
if i could really be a martyr for y'all but
i ain't sure that the force would be powerful yet
i ain't worth more than this if i'm counted as dead
so i'ma work until a fist is coming out my head
so i can keep it raised up and use these to defend
cause we ain't ready for the heavy and steady assault,
it is impressive how they planning to pen in us all
and nobody's hopping, spitting mad at the pedagogues
except us,
the set up sucks
and it better fall.
they make us nibble on the kibble, call it Beneful,
pitiful how we sit and chill, drink cause it's plentiful,
beautiful, that is you and it is crucial we getting off
next stop willoughby, kill or be killed, better not (let this be a little secret.
the world needs to know and feel this.)
Track Name: Stop Bitchin (prod Nate Kiz)
if you're not starving, thank god for kitchens
if you got a momma, give love to women
if you at the bar now, drink up your liquor
your life don't suck too much, stop bitchin (stop bitchin)
yeah. give it up for religion
we all got god even if we won't admit it
if life's not awful, then it's awesome
and all of us need to stop bitchin

stop bitchin - i'm talking to myself
i be on my optimism, i am not crying for help
i was walking like a zombie that been wandering through hell
but i've gotten what i wanted all along: health
yeah i'm feeling better than i ever really thought i could
i fill my belly with a bunch of vegetables and fruit
exercise got my mind right - my rhymes tight -
rewild or die is honestly popular, good
i'm feeling happiness bout everything that's happening
struggle evaporating magically after sacrifice
now we don't have to fight each other like
we were all born in a war.
life's a gift from the mother
we don't have to pass their lies off as if they was right, naw
living in this pit feeling smothered
it's the freedom in the mind y'all,
break the chains and rise up
i be on my blissful my brother!

stop bitchin, start a revolution
i be on my Zendik, talking bout the future
i be on my zen tip, meditate and then trip
dimethyltryptamine mixed with some heady piff
ready hit it, when i kick it's legitimate
my writtens super slick and when you listen it is medicine
i spit it for your benefit, tryna get you educated
the facts are twisted and it's zack that's gonna set 'em straight
i drop evidence talking bout better things
cite my references, everything is everything
lauryn hill said it
even bill clinton said, you can never let your memories outweigh your dreams
i'm getting presidential with it
i'm honoring the dreams of my father
with decision points in pen and pencil
if i only had one sentence
left with my very last breath,
stop bitchin is what i'm tell you