I found this in one of my many old notebooks of raps sometime last year. I wrote this in the spring of 2004 during a four month stay in my old bedroom on Ogden Avenue. I was working at White Plains High School as a substitute teacher by day and recording in NYC at Sony Studios by night, fresh from a seven year stint on my own in Maryland and D.C., now at home sharing a bathroom with my Mom and Dad. Of the millions of bars that I’ve written in my life, these are my 16 favorite.
It was my most personal, meaningful, and lyrical verse long before it ever ended up on the Matisyahu song “WP”, and that’s the truth jack. In fact, I spit this verse on stage with Matis in November 2004 at SUNY Purchase, about eight months before “WP” was recorded. Matis saw me in the back of the audience (he didn’t know I was coming to the show), and he motioned for me to come up on stage to spit something. And I spit this verse that I had been listening to in my head for months.
He didn’t know it at the time, but he indirectly inspired this verse. It was about us, our experiences growing up in White Plains, all the nostalgic thoughts I was having at the time, working at my old high school and living in my old digs. I loved the verse for so many reasons, but mostly because I felt it so accurately represented me and how I felt as young guy growing up in the NY suburbs. AND THE LYRICS ARE SICK. Peep the alliterations kid. MISTY MORNING AND MY MOMS A MESS. I knew the second I wrote the first line that this verse would be perfect for those special kosher Matis moments where a rap about blunts and tits was not gonna fly.
Well the verse must have resonated with Matis, because in July 2005 when he was working on the YOUTH album, he called me up and said “remember that verse you kicked…?” No one ever heard it before that night at SUNY Purchase, but thanks to Matisyahu and Epic Records, this verse is now immortal.
My “WP” verse, live from the SPAC in Saratoga Springs, NY, with Matisyahu on the 311 Summer Unity Tour, July 2007.