Secular Monk (Single)

by Forefeather

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Secular Monk is the second single, as well as the fourth track from the album 3Rhythms, released on December 28th, 2014.

3Rhythms is an album inspired by and built with sounds from a trip to India, as part of a collaborative multimedia project with Summer HB.

More information on 3Rhythms the album and project:

The single version of this track is seperated from the introduction, which plays directly through in the album version.


released December 6, 2014

Written by Forefeather
Performed and recorded by Forefeather at BVLC studio.
Mixed and mastered by Wesley Opus.
Environment, dialogue, and recitation samples of an artist and retreat center proprieter named Madhur recorded by Forefeather at the Misty Mountains, in Jhaltola, Uttarakhand, India.
Dialogue sample of two ferrymen bantering recorded by Forefeather in Varanasi, India.




Forefeather Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dedicated to infusing hip-hop with the art and practice of skillful living, Forefeather creates conscious rap music that is danceable, mindfulness-oriented, and celebratory of hip-hop’s lush history.

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Track Name: Intro (Single Version)
(Tea stirring)

(People Approaching)

...Rock over there.

Mhm, oh, the big one, I saw it. Yeah.

The big one, behind your cottage.
So that was...
When work was starting here, I used to sit there, for hours, and read.
And everybody would be working around me and... (laughs) I would be shamelessly reading. (Laughs)
And um, yeah. That's what I needed. I just needed to be here, that's all.
So, and I was just, brooding on that rock I was sitting on, and I was imagining what I would, you know, I want to do with the place, what I want to do.
I - I... was very very attracted to that one piece of rock, and I wanted to do something. So I was just wondering whether one could sculpt it.
And... by my realizing that there's no need to sculpt it.
It is as sculpted as it should be.
So, this is my ode to that rock.
To Angelo, as in, Michelangelo.

(Voices begin to banter in Hindi in background.)

(Madhur's poem)
Proud and tall, stand I.
Like the chapel towering, inert.
Or the David, breaching the sky.
Cause Him,
Our master, our lord.
The craftsman
Of the highest high.
Him, who crafted thee.
Crafting, for eternity.
From what little of Him, need I.
Track Name: Secular Monk (Single Version)
So, imagine if I was inanimate,
And didn’t have hands, or a body with organs,
Or a phalice, or if I’s a woman than maybe some breasts.
…Or maybe somebody with a piece of bread.
Cause everybody’s intestines wanna digest something.
So I brung it.

Eyyo, what’s this?
Everybody wanna be somebody else these days.
What up wit the rebate?
Well the mail was late, but I was looking for the mailwoman yesterday.
M’lady, what up with a way to communicate that I want coffee this time over tea?
I mean, I like tea sometimes…. You know, it’s great… but…

Something about my window to the museum is a little bit clouded up, but I can’t yet not see into it, so I’m gonna keep fillin it up.
Did you know the ceiling dumps gold dust on the audience if y’all jump up and touch it?
(So put your hands up.)

So get up, turn to the left, and let somebody know what it is-
To be living inside of your present experience.
In mine, I believe I found that the best way to really do this is to move around a lot.
(Just like, all around, and everywhere.)

So move, ‘cause somebody just told you.
When you don’t do what somebody wants you to, you might get a little bumped into-
Because this world is a dancefloor. Right?
That’s what you’re wearing pants for...?

What I was trying to say is that… I didn’t create this.
Yeah, yeah yeah yeah! I got it! (Laughs)
Somebody else did.
It is as perfect as it should be.

It’s like, I’m only the sum of everything around me with a reason to become a memory like everything, including you, you’re one.
Good luck becoming anything.
Good luck.
(Lol. ...What?)

I am a secular monk.
My place of worship is amongst a million particles of sound, and their relationship with love.
But I never thought about what would ever happen if I burnt my body up in, like, a crematorium.
Or, like, on a ghat.
It could be awesome.

When I went to India and saw all this worship of Shiva’s lingum,
It really reminded me of contemporary hip-hop’s conditions.
Yo. But, see, here’s my thing about that one.
No matter whatever you have son, we’re still at war even if your girl knows I have a bigger gun.

I gotta find some holster that I can stick this into.
‘Cause when you misuse these pistols too much, you need two tissues for clean up at least.
‘Cause as a rap artist, it was my responsibility to bring these peanuts, right?

So don’t tell me… the way that I’m ‘posed to be doing this rap thing is differently, but this one’s a bit distant for anybody with even a single cell of regular within their body.
I hear you, but that’s oddly just kind of inviting to me.

‘Cause I’m only the sum of everything around me with a reason to become a memory like everything, including you, you’re one.
Good luck becoming anything.
Good luck.

Somewhere in my paradigm,
I’m a little tied up to this concept of “someone”,
And I’m a little dried up since we’ve been spending so much time flying.
(Good luck becoming anything.)
One feather forward.
Follow me.

Somewhere in my paradigm,
I’m a little tied up to this concept of “someone”,
And I’m a little dried up since we’ve been spending so much time flying.
One feather forward.
Follow me this way!
Track Name: (Grasshopper) Goo (Secular Monk B-Side)
Nope. Don't even-
So, this is a story... about...
Do you guys remember when I was, umm...
You know, back in the days...
They told me that I would have seen tomorrow by today, but all I know now is you can't unlearn listening.
It was perpetual...
Everything they said to set you loose was just a tool to move you to your weapons... to get you juiced... beckon you to the guru just to flex your sense of truth before you're next in line to learn it, just to humble you.
Someone to one-hundred men is only number one-hundred-one.
But two's enough to threaten everything one-hundred men have been trying to do.
Wonder why your preconcieved guru turned up his nose at you?
Fly solo next time, and know no-one will throw fruit at you.

So if it's chieftan of the birds versus grasshopper, I will sleep among your tribe, and use my pencil for their words.
Grasshopper say:
"Yo I'll bring the bread, if you bring the cheesecake.
Why not we make peace beside feeling?"
Guru says:
"We can't remedy bee stings before feeling bliss brung by the suffering. Nah."
He says: "Though I am king I prefer to ride low, so I bite pride now and follow disciples.
Grasshopper, do you know why the rifle's trained only on the whites of the eyeballs?"
He says: "I've got more eyes than the word 'visibility'."
He says: "I've got more eyes than the word 'me'."
He says: "-But what does that matter? Let's talk about what I don't see, 'cause I see pretty much nothing at all, and actually I see it with a whole lot of clarity.
So grasshopper, tell me what you're after.
Anybody with a handful of a dollar, even with no sense could tell me that you're underwater.
On your honorary semblance of solidarity, sir, swear to me, right now, what you'd give to legitimately learn."

And I said: "Yes, guru!
Hit me with that real life, and let it burn!
I'm trynna feel that voodoo!
I want to see truth!
I want to learn to see through this goddamn roof!
Let it catch fire, I'm breaking through!"


So he clocked me.
Right in the side of the face.
I was down for the count, but I got back up.
So here I am.
Just, some goo...
Track Name: Rue (Secular Monk C-Side)
So I had a short conversation with a turtle today.
Almost jogged right past him, but he made sure to stop me.
I almost thought he was trying to tell me a story or something,
But I asked, and he just looked at me, like:
"Sorry, I didn't mean to cut off your rhythm, or like disrupt your whole flow, but I figure while you're living in a manner that reflects what you're doing right now, you might appreciate a second to slow down."
...Just looking at me, like "Slow down!"
Alright, turtle.

Looking around, and then down, and then right back at him,
While trynna kinda figure out exactly what was happening.
I registered that all this turtle could probably see was my shoes,
Which I'm thinking only really represent so much about you.
I'm thinking "Yeah, so what's a little turtle even know?
I'm only really wearing these running shoes out here on the road-
'Cause at the time and the place that he sees me I'm on the go."
I'm like "It's just right now. I'm out here on the go...
That doesn't really tell you anything about my soul.
I'm just on the go right now. Right? It's fine."

So the fact that I'm here pushing at my personal maintenence-
Can't possibly be enlightening him to these acquaintences-
And their weight upon my brain in this perpetual matrix-
That it balances in, wondering if it's glad it exists (or not).
It's not so bad turtle. For all the perfect that I push at-
And wishing for a life that feels purposeful,
I know that my only hope is right here in the moment.
But who are you to tell me that I won't someday own it, turtle?
Huh? Come on. Why you gotta be like that?
You're a hater, turtle. That's what you are.

So maybe tomorrow I'll feel alive right now,
You little bastard. From down there on the ground-
You think it's cool to judge me? Looking at me with all that doubt,
Just because I'm still waiting to be right here now?
And then he turned.
Like, before I even had the opportunity to turn thought into word-
He turned back to the side of the road he'd been headed for-
And left me to decipher what I'd learned.

And I was like "What?
That motherfucker didn't even say anything...??"
That was a turtle.
What am I doing...?