Eye Know Faces

by Omar Offendum

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1.
Ay man where you from? I'm from a place where revolutions slowly suffocate from sarin gas & selfishness & freedom's a mirage my people stared up at with helplessness When SOS alerts were sent, nobody got the messages & soulless men then learned to turn a profit from the recklessness Aware of just how short a span humanity's attention is If the White House is ambivalent That doesn't mean the Kremlin is Hindsight is 20/20 Divine right's been claimed by many And they still don't know Aleppo, let alone what a White Helmet is... Let's keep it moving Like Obama with the red lines Or Trump with the headlines & hairlines I swear, I'm a rare kind of dude Like the term for worms in Arabic Unearth my buried heritage From cities turning derelict All that time I had before I just wish I cherished it All I can remember now is war Bilad Al-Sham she perishes I wish, I wish, I wish I met you at a different time Suffice it to say, I could've come up with a different rhyme But glory days are often figments of a stricken mind Coping mechanisms for whom History hath left behind... But hey it didn't have to be this way These songs of freedom ain't naïveté They were sourced from truths as credible As regime change is inevitable I just hope I live to see the day
2.
Verse 1: I'm like the palm trees in LA Twice removed from Sham... But when I was growing up Nobody knew where I was from I'd tell them that I'm Syrian They stood there looking curious Started speaking to me in Spanish Some would even speak in tongues I wasn't offended ... Never am Couldn't have an agenda Well aware of the privileges a new blue passport rendered Nose clean No angel, but no fiend No playboy, but no chump No label could own me If only Chorus : (Excerpts from Kahlil Gibran's "My Friend") "My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear—a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence. The “I” in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable." So don't f*ck with me... Verse 2: If only I'd swear more & say I don't care more But those who know me know that isn't me so I'm here more Showing up for my fam Being present when I can Recognizing it's a blessing To caress my mother's hand Or be handed a microphone To address another man & remind him I'm no lesser of a man. Older I get, the more Ive come to comprehend that some of you rappers I'll just never understand Oh well ... Chorus: (Excerpts from Kahlil Gibran's "My Friend") "My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou art perfect—and I, too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously. And yet I am mad. But I mask my madness. I would be mad alone. My friend, thou art not my friend, but how shall I make thee understand? My path is not thy path, yet together we walk, hand in hand." Yella ...
3.
Verse 1: I know I'm corny to some I know I'm threatening to others I might be boring to sons But I'm important to mothers Look I ain't trippin in any case I'm more into hovering Still I'm deeper than shoveling Better yet, people in submarines Can I get a piece of my motherland? Or just peace in my motherland? Mr Kiefer of Sutherland Why my features are troubling? Why I keep on discovering All the evils of government Why y'all feathers gets ruffled When you be seeing a brother that's this fly? Chorus I wanna know x 5 How you can propagate them lies But can't even look me in my eyes I wanna know x 5 What it would take to make you see That all that hate won't set you free Verse 2: Afraid of us because we teach our children Not to be afraid of them The truth offends I guess they'd rather play pretend Then make amends & dead that hatred slowly eating them within A foolish trend unfortunately oft a symptom of decision-making men Powerful simpletons Blinded by ignorance they claim to end Getting high off an inflated sense of exceptionalism & revisionist histories Privileged parents been giving them Unconventional wisdoms Fake news forgives them As they blame the victims I wanna know x 5 How you can propagate them lies But can't even look me in my eyes I wanna know x 5 What it would take to make you see That all that hate won't set you free Verse 3: ("Faces" by Kahlil Gibran) "I have seen a face with a thousand countenances, and a face that was but a single countenance as if held in a mould. I have seen a face whose sheen I could look through to the ugliness beneath, and a face whose sheen I had to lift to see how beautiful it was. I have seen an old face much lined with nothing, and a smooth face in which all things were graven. I know faces, because I look through the fabric my own eye weaves, and behold the reality beneath."
4.
Nizar Qabbani: زيديني عِشقاً.. زيديني يا أحلى نوباتِ جُنوني Chorus: More love ... More love I want more love ... Can you love me in the morning? Love me in the afternoon? Love me in the evening? I need more love ... More love Verse 1: She is the bow ... I am the arrow We are target bound together Hardest times are never more Than spring boards to a better Place for us See, nothing is a waste for us As long as there is love for Allah's sake There's always ways for us To learn from Speed bumps & sharp turns Weed slumps & heart burns You're my teacher You're my healer You're my comforter, tranquility سكينة ... Felt in each embrace No higher height is reached in faith Than that which lovers find together When committed to the race Towards an ever better place Than what we've found on mother Earth's sur- Face the map & trace her beauty back to you. The love is true. Nizar Qabbani: جِسمُكِ خارطتي ما عادت خارطةُ العالمِ تعنيني أنا أقدمُ عاصمةٍ للحزن وجُرحي نقشٌ فرعوني وجعي .. يمتدُّ كبقعةِ زيتٍ من بيروتَ .. إلى الصِّينِ عصفورةَ قلبي، نيساني يا رَمل البحرِ، ويا غاباتِ الزيتونِ يا طعمَ الثلج، وطعمَ النار ونكهةَ كفري ويقيني أشعُرُ بالخوف فضُميني Chorus: More love ... More love I want more love ... Can you love me in the morning? Love me in the afternoon? Love me in the evening? I need more love ... More love Verse 2: We're feeding from Her bountiful bosom Creatures rarely asking why Intergalactic insemination Of heavenly vegetation Remember & forget equations But the spirits never die Flagella flapping to the vibrations of Gene mapping Feet tapping Speech rapping Heat packing Combustible The life force Adjustable New tricks Old dogs Kubricks Mozarts When most art is a bunch a bull... I put my trust in you As one should do For so far, I've learned the hard way That no love is an odd way But your love is the God way So give me more love زيديني عشقاً as Nizar say Chorus: More love ... More love I want more love ... Can you love me in the morning? Love me in the afternoon? Love me in the evening? I need more love ... More love Nizar Qabbani: يا أحلى نوباتِ جُنوني يا سِفرَ الخَنجَرِ في خاطرتي يا غَلغَلةَ السِّكِّينِ زيديني غرقاً يا سيِّدتي إن البحرَ يناديني زيديني موتاً علَّ الموت، إذا يقتلني، يحييني
5.
I wrote this verse at 30,000 feet En route to Austin Next week Chicago Last week exhausting Speaking about my people & what 6 years cost them Syrian bodies strewn ashore Families who've lost them Brutality the likes of which A child should never see Let alone be subjected to Lonely, poor & destitute Realities the likes of which Our voices never free Freedom marches Across the harshest seas Only to be rejected too I'm appealing to the best of you If my mama didn't raise me right I wouldn't be addressing you I'd be on my knees begging you These babies deserve better Than blurbs in newsletters Or decisions about their futures That help arms dealers earn better In addition to the smugglers & the looters Oil barons & air polluters Killer telecommuters Shooting bombs off drones Offices close enough to home To be dozing off by 8pm with little trauma signs shown Pundits adding to the drama One that flaunts a devil's thumbprint But that index pulling triggers isn't charged When the body it's connected to is in uniformed garb Ain't that something? Trust me, they don't hate your freedom It's the lies they find repugnant It's the wars & the coups The propping up of dictators Short-term memory Long-range missile radius & the craziest election rhetoric imaginable How we would claim a moral high ground Just isn't fathomable ... The fact that #BlackLivesMatter Has to even be said is telling Back in '08 It was 'Hope & Change' selling Eight years later Some Great Lakes waters were strange smelling And Syrian lives shattered From a barrel bomb shelling On an hourly basis While our cowardly faces Stared at a camera phone reflection Drowned away in disgrace Hundreds of thousands Were plundered by thundering rounds Of obliterating agony World leaders would rather lead us to believe They were being liberated Actually ... The older I get I find the meaning of 'freedom' is relative It doesn't even mean the same To me & my relatives Democracy on a high horse Or high off of sedatives? Keeping up with the Jones' That ain't being competitive Now I'm no longer in debt But still feel like I'm getting it The misuse of my tax dollars Getting repetitive Meditative retreats Were all that kept me from losing it Now I look in my son's eyes To find what is relevant ... Jibran, the best medicine But if we had tried to immigrate today They wouldn't let us in That's unsettling ... Yeah ... that's unsettling.

about

I have seen a face with a thousand countenances, and a face that was but a single countenance as if held in a mould.

I have seen a face whose sheen I could look through to the ugliness beneath, and a face whose sheen I had to lift to see how beautiful it was.

I have seen an old face much lined with nothing, and a smooth face in which all things were graven.

I know faces, because I look through the fabric my own eye weaves, and behold the reality beneath.

- Kahlil Gibran

credits

released August 4, 2017

Lyrics written + recorded by Omar Offendum | Cosher Ink, LLC
Music Produced by Saüd | Brij Entertainment
Mixed + Mastered by Apollo Fortune
"Royal Peacock" Cover Art by Hagop Belian | www.madeofhagop.com

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Omar Offendum Los Angeles, California

Omar Offendum is a rapper / poet based in Los Angeles. Known for his unique blend of Hip-Hop & Arabic poetry, he has been featured on prominent world news outlets, lectured at a number of prestigious academic institutions, and helped raise millions of dollars for various humanitarian relief groups. Offendum was recently named a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow for 2018 / 2019. ... more

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