We Only Get One Shot At This: A Rap

Austen created this rap during his senior year at Indiana University. He posted it on YouTube in February 2013 and sent me the link to listen to. I remember calling him back and asking him to send me the words, which he texted to me. Because I got a new phone in 2014, I lost any texts I previously had, and I thought I had lost the words to this rap forever. But, in one of those mysterious moments, the text from 2013 seems to have shown up on my iPhone at the bottom of my messages screen. Voilá! Just like that. So, here is the original music version, followed by the words.

We Only Get One Shot At This: A Rap

we only get one shot at this
I thought of this
reflecting on my only wish
to be myself and follow bliss
I see the end of all this shit

my suffering is yours and yours is mine
I’m confined to a mind that’s got 2 times the rhymes
but two times the problems
and I’ma leave you looking foolish if you ever doubt em
count em, got issues in the thousands

these tissues I ran out em
but I possess a spirit that they’ll never have
I asked why then but now I understand
oceans and land
open doors at my command
all white sand
all blue sky
I spit what i been through and it gets me high
addicted to anything that money could buy
constricted but love has the answers to why
and what and who
the fake shits through
deep in my mind i knew
this youngins overdue
not even 22
sick flow I microbrew
wrote these poems for the down but not out we cool

dream dream dream dream

and that’s me
I’m straight to the point
it’s cool you can skip me I’m straight on that joint
Michigan king they about to anoint
wars just a pawn move for chasing that coin-fucking chess
for that chest
we got problems at home
humble young but the best so I sit on the throne
spit my heart and my soul till the day that I’m gone
I’m my own harshest critic and I proved myself wrong
killed the dark part of me it’s exhumed on this song
just a kid with a dream to be happy all along
music is my gateway to bubble up like a bong
for my brother and my sister and my dad and my mom
for my friends who still fighting who got caught up among
this damn hurricane
self-medicating pain war in our own brains
nothing you can say
to explain away what drives us insane

trying to find who to blame
but its all the same trying to survive today
but its ok
just come vibe with me

dream dream dream dream dream

fuck all the sentimentality
I design my reality
lucid when I’m asleep I’m jumping straight off the balcony
into the deep abyss of mythological bliss
intoxicating and swift
indoctrinated this wish
the first breath of oxygens so delicious
spirited curiosity
my faithful mistress

Austen Berj Brooks, February 26, 2013; beat by Austen’s brother, Lee Gaizak Brooks.

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