Smoke Signals to Satellites

by Icarus Jones and Dbeat

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“I write for the common man who thinks uncommonly” – Icarus Jones… The dude pretty much wrote his own review with the above lyrics. Some shit is just undeniable and needs little explanation. And yes, the term “effortless” is passé when describing an MC’s flow, but the truth is that Icarus spits on some sixth sense tip, and I don’t think he sees dead people...or maybe he does. With a ridiculous lyrical armory to match that breezy cadence, Icarus Jones is the epitome of an MC. Again, don’t take my word for it, let the man speak for himself.
- Andrew Medina URB Magazine


released 16 April 2008



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Track Name: Waking Up
i woke up with this tune in my mind
so i put pen to paper, let the two intertwine
they say who you are is what you do with your time
& i've been doing just fine, staying true to the grind
i keep my chips in a line & my raps in stacks
until the table gets unstable from the weight & collapses
& when it all comes crashing down i'll keep laughing
flashing over beats to keep your feet tapping
i write for the common man who thinks uncommonly
& spit it for the cats who used to ask what was wrong with me
this is for the people who support true artistry
& this for the folks who feel it pumping throught their arteries
this is for the part of me that's always felt invisible
& for anyone who ever taught me to be an individual
from the non-traditional to the ritualistic
this is for musicians, macks, models, & misfits
for haters, biters, players, writers
poets, pimps, punks, & prize fighters
for gamers, rhymers, skaters & bikers
heads in the cipher, the temps & the lifers
this is for the all-nighters & nine to fivers
for the fact finders & the one-track minders
from the big-timers to all the nickel & dimers
this is for the in-crowd & the outsiders
for all the fans whose only concern
is if it keeps their heads nodding while the wheels are turning
& for the fanatics who eat, live, & breathe it
this is for the doubters who just won't believe it
i put it down for whoever wants to pick it up
so listen up, we're going to spark it up quick enough
to make heads start twisting, & get your fists pumping like pistons
until the cops got you ceasing & desisting
this is for my party people up in the place to be
this is for the heads who've been waiting so patiently
this is for my family & this is for my people
this is for all the fakes who front & fall feeble
the way i see it there's no reason for exclusion
that's just somebody trying to feed you an illusion
trying to keep you down & compound your confusion
to keep you from noticing that your consuming their pollution
so go & get your gas masks, strap on your boots
let's kick out the president & bring home the troops
let's take it back to the days of revolution
when a leaders meaning was to pave the way for resolution
this is for the bruised, the battered, & the abused
this is for the shook ones rattling in their shoes
this is for the blues, jazz, soul, & hard rock
this is for funk, folk, from hiphop to foxtrot
one more chance to advance out of circumstance
one more dance to get you moving like worker ants
so go through the motions until you've got the momentum
then make your move, but don't forget to make mention to
originators, creators, & innovators
this is for every underdog who ever made it major
this is for the minimum wagers in imminent danger
of living their days in slave labor
this is just a small representation
of just whats been going down, down in the basement
this is just a piece of the puzzle for placement
into proper perspective & daily rotation
Track Name: Brand New Revolution
verse 1:
check the listings, yo, my name is mister
jones & i'm known for spitting a tongue twister
or two at you & your crew to get it hyper
been in it for a minute, man consider me a lifer
striking like a viper, i'll send a V.I.P. to the E.R.
in the first three bars
see, first you'll see stars & next you'll see nothing
it's sort of like the effects of too much weed puffing
i'm a bad mother uffing man, coming off at the cuff
& and i'm keeping it on the up & up, never stopping for nothing
beating on top of tables & speaking long as i'm able
to keep it so unstable you'll be needing new speaker cable
when i'm done rapping like i'm doing laps around the sun
snapping into action at the tapping of a drum
basking in the rapturous aftermath when i come
blasting back at these bastards who keep asking me where i'm from...

we're here to get you moving out of your current state of confusion
until the walls all around you start falling apart
it goes, welcome to a brand new revolution
that's not recommended for the weak at heart
we'll get your body parts pumping like electrocution
until your head starts thumping & you lose control
now, welcome to a brand new revolution
that's not recommended for those without soul

verse 2:
it used to be hard to tell, until i broke up out the shell
& stopped giving a hell about hate like, oh well
i'm here to dispel all of your misconceptions
about the state of hiphop & it's direction
because just the other day i shuttered to hear somebody mutter
some crap about how rap was headed to the gutter
so i uttered some words that made 'em stutter & stop cold
see, they said the same thing about rock & roll
man, we gon' be alright because me & mine we keep it tight
deep in the night writing instead of sleeping until the sunlight comes creeping
through the cracks in the curtains & get one fact certain
we've been breaking our backs working on making our tracks perfect
then taking it back to when rap was bigger than flashes of cash
& kids falling flat on their asses quicker than cigarette ashes
so i figured the faster i get on my feet
the better i can be at trying to stay ahead of the street
because she's a heck of a thief that keeps trying to hold me under
swipe my soul & control my hunger
but i'm still starving, carving holes in lumber
so when i catch wreck it echoes like rolls of thunder
over hills & valleys, across the mountains & plains
through all terrain of killer cali, kids keep shouting my name
mister jones, you did it, now you're fly without wings
just go ahead & keep on doing your thing
and i tell 'em...

chorus (x 2)
Track Name: I Still Believe
verse 1:
i've trickled throught thickets of wicked minds holding picket signs
with sick pigeons, tripping in dimensions of a different kind
while kicking it with the crickets & itching to ditch my fishing line
but picking my stitches to pitch a dime half the fricking time
switching religious type missions to hit the viscious skies
sticking to magician-like niches to get you hypnotized
basing incisions on gravitational positions tied
to hasty decisions made while contemplating the crimson tide
so let the quitters slide but tell the kids to get inside
because when the clipper ships collide only the quickest fish survive
& it's the pits to nix your pride once the riptides have arrived
so when you sense the mystics flying you best be fixed to hitch a ride
you see they signify the dignified with wisdom in disguise
while the victimized get symbolized as martyrs meant to die
& i never once tried to be thorn in your side
but i'd do anything to prove to you that your still alive
i've come from something nothing more than jumping ship to get my point across
paddling past thoughts of all these heads who said that hope was lost
tossing rocks & cinder blocks to build myself a sanctuary
as solid as the very day that i rose & chose this weight to carry
so i bury myself inside of my pages
then i tear 'em out the books & let 'em out of their cages
i take my chances sort of like a wager in vegas
just to make my own advances on a regular basis...

i still believe in a thing called hope
because i can see it in the faces of folks with the faith to cope
& i never meant to be led to a loss of nerve
but the headlines that i've read have left my head a bit disturbed
so i walked away from everything to regain my perspective
i looked out on this ocean full of notions i'd rejected
while reflecting in the light that bounces off my every word
i still believe there's some things that need to be heard...

verse 2:
i woke up smoking herbals & scribbling my riddled verbals
in this journal just to keep a cursed furnace burning fertile
at the center of a circle where i sit & collect the evidence
of organic intelligence born out of the negligence
of stepping without weapons through this city of my residence
where it's live by the sword or you can die for your dead presidents
and my mother never taught me how to hover
only how to sneak around at night & never blow my cover
like a daytripper turned nocturnal page ripper
walking up the river while i'm talking to the grave digger
& he says to tell y'all to pray quicker
because the warships are approaching while you're worshipping your faded figures
but the bigger the trigger, the better the odds
that when the threat is in your face you'll forget the names of your gods
& i've studied the side effects of many a medicine
in hopes to finally have some good advice to give to my brethren
pulling rabbits out of hats, habits out of my head
& i'll put this planet back on its axis path after i'm dead
but for now we keep it tilted down because we built this town
on sloped ground to cope with the broken sound
of a million brilliant pixels depicting peace
instead of the heartbeats that ceased when the beast was released
i seek heat & peak when the beat is complete
for pete's sake, i'll bleed lakes for my freedom of speech
because i...

chorus (x 2)
Track Name: Ups & Downs
you've got your ups & downs, your highs & your lows
your befores & afters, goodbyes & hellos
yeses & nos, doors open & close
it's like a feather it goes wherever the wind blows
with the ups & downs, the highs & the lows
the befores & afters, goodbyes & hellos
yeses & nos, doors open & close
it's like a feather it goes wherever the wind blows...

verse 1:
you ever woke up in the morning on the wrong side of sanity?
cursing holy calamity & questioning humanity
because yesterday you went to sleep & had it all figured out
but by the time today came, things somehow got riddled about
rattling doubt in your noggin, until you're nodding in submission
& wishing that you'd have just listened to your intuition
until it's turning your insides out, allowing the outside in
& now everything you've been about is lost like feathers in the wind
& before you knew it a happy ending seemed imaginary
you forgot to not let the word surrender enter your vocabulary
sometimes we have to vary from the beaten path
just to understand the necessary pieces of the past
and the reasons why the seasons fly away & never last
longer than it takes to scatter the pieces of shattered glass
look, i'm sick of sitting here debating & pretending
spending all my time elevating & descending in the...


i never said i was a perfect person
more like a cursed, worthless version, solitary submergion
so deep that you can't keep from feeling badly
for time away from family & the people
who can't see what my life equals now
i've tried to make it up with the fews & far-betweens
hardly seen by certain folks when i'm focused on keeping the aura clean
but i'm green with nausea for any grief that i've caused to the
ones who all gave applause to me long before i was plausibly
anything even remotely resembling fresh
so quote me in attempting the best i can to confess
i wrote these lines to symbolize the weight on my chest
& to show you i've been pressed to try & clean up this mess
because the stress of daily life has left some nerves exposed
but underneath i'm still the same, i just changed my clothes
& now i'm viewing what i'm doing as a chance to show you
i did a lot to grow from the man you think you know
and so..
it goes & it goes & it goes...

up, down, high, low
before, after, goodbye, hello
yes, no, open, closed
& it goes & it goes
up, down, high, low
before, after, goodbye, hello
yes, no, open, closed
it's like a feather, it goes wherever the wind blows...
Track Name: The Great Breakdown
verse 1:
i've been a hellion with rebellion in my genes
since before i learned to walk & started talking to machines
& if there's one thing that i've learned from being locked up in the lab
it's that sometimes you've got to speak your mind to keep from going mad
i've had a lot of time to think about the past
& how it all comes back to haunt me when i'm daunted by my task
but i leave my dusty fingerprints on dirty glass
so that future generations can interpret the shadows cast
from this mathematician turned black magician
who's back in position to shatter raps past tradition
scattering this sick addiction through your vascular system
to capture the attention of the cats who actually listen
now look, i'm back in the mix with a bag of new tricks
i had to stack up my bricks & then smash 'em to bits
so i could catch the gist of deconstruction
now if i could only convince my feet to function

i've got to keep it moving, got to get it going now
i've got to take it to the border, no braking or slowing down
because i've got to make it somewhere, sometime soon
before i'm out of food & all the fuel is consumed
yo, i've got to keep it moving, got to get it going now
i've got to take it to the limits, no braking or slowing down
i've got to make it somewhere, sometime soon
because i'm way past empty & i'm running on fumes

verse 2:
so pick me up & set me free or put me down & let me be
just let me see my destiny before i act too recklessly
to take it back & ask forgiveness, give me one more chance to live this
life the way it was intended, to escape before i'm apprehended
mending stitches in my wings, spending days awake at night
sending signals mixed with smoke & bending rope for taking flight
breaking right despite the signs to keep from being left behind
i'm on the line of levels because god & the devil are both friends of mine
& at the end of the line, i'll say my prayers & count the wishes
that i ditched in town when the rain was coming down so vicious
that it almost knocked me off my feet while i was talking to an awkward beat
& walking through a street full of people all deemed as obsolete
sometimes i think i'm on the brink of extinction
like an incidental victim of accidental deletion
like i had to abort somewhere short of completion
but i hear voices in my sleep telling me to keep reaching


verse 3:
i've seen a lot of things out on these lonely roads
& where the hell i'll be tomorrow, heaven only knows
but we'll keep storming, trying to formulate a plan
so i can find me some stability & finally make a stand
beyond the shadow of a doubt that i'm still travelling a route
between the lines that i've been trying to battle my way out
but, there still ain't no rest for the wicked, so we kick it
underneath with the other beasts who couldn't swing the ticket
through the thicket, now i'm running with the wildlife
& after dark i'll be sparking the pilot light
trying to pick my brain apart & reconnect the wires right
so i can get my aim locked tight for the firefight
sights set on the next level, heavy on the pedal
like a running rebel pounding the pebbles
i get down for the sake of breaking the mold
making every moment my own until i'm taking the gold
Track Name: Disconnected
verse 1:
(this is not a love song)
it was just another morning as ordinary as ever
but she couldn't wait to see him, it seemed like it'd been forever
so despite the weather she headed in to get ready
so excited that she could barely hold her pretty head steady
it's been ten months she's been sitting at home
since he left her alone & flew into a foreign warzone
now he's finally coming home on leave to see
the ones he left behind to be all he could be
& she can hardly keep her self contained
as she departs in the car & it starts to rain
with an image of him memorized inside of her brain
she can't help but hope he's coming back the same
as he left, so with a deep breath she drives
& the fear inside puts a couple of tears in her eyes
but she just wipes them away, smiles, & thinks of his face
& how many days it's been since she's felt his embrace
what a waste the time apart has felt like to her
how that flight took her heart & put a knife right through her
it's like everything changed when his plane left the ground
& she felt so strange as she drove back to town
knowing there was no way she'd ever understand
the things he'd seen & done in the name of his homeland
but all she wanted was to go back to the way
things were before he left that day...

...and when love gets tainted
sometimes the piece gets painted
a different texture than we expected
now every movement's misdirected
because something somewhere got disconnected
when love gets tainted
sometimes the piece gets painted
a different texture than we expected
now every moment's misdirected
because something somewhere got disconnected...

verse 2:
he knows he's a different man now
and he can't even begin to comprehend how
he's supposed to go back to the life that he led
before he left & let the war get into his head
he's spent so long being reprogrammed
he forgot what it's like to be his own man
but he knows that somewhere at home is a girl
that used to be the only thing in the world
that ever mattered, but even that's
not enough to keep him from believing the fact
that circumstances change & people do to
& every chance that's he's taken has led him through to
a new point of view, a new frame of mind
he knew now that it was bound to take some time
to find himself in a place that felt like home
with all these feelings that he's dealt with alone
for so long, he don't know how to express
so he sits & he sweats & he gets so depressed
& he seems so distant, he runs & he shoves
away the world & even the girl that he loves
can't get close to the man that she fell for
he's seen the sins that men go to hell for
& some things you just never forget
you just try to adjust to living with the regret...

chorus (x 2)
Track Name: Driftwood
verse 1:
still painting pictures that put purpose into perspective
drop the needle on it & listen to all these cuts that i've collected
tore down the set-up & left town to water-walk
but never thought to keep my head up & almost drowned in utter shock
& by the time i'd found my way back to the sands of the mainland
i'd reverted to a skin & bones version of an early caveman
with no recollection of balancing on the wire
& nothing but sticks & stones i quickly reinvented fire
& burned myself a bridge just long enough to hit the deep end
then dove into a coma when i couldn't make the sleep end
i drove over the border on what started as a quick spin
& ended up dreaming myself seemingly to my wit's end
then there amidst the tremors & shivering rivers
i remembered every bit of bitterness last december delivered
& while the weather withered i was there to witness it first person
bursting into flames while this curse worsens...

...& you can liken this to driftwood, smashing into pieces on the beaches
of this god-forsaken island, somewhere in the furthest reaches
of an ocean that has yet to be polluted by man
& they would call it what they wanted, but they all would understand
that it was driftwood, smashed to pieces on the beaches
of this god-forsaken island somewhere in the furthest reaches
of an ocean that has yet to be polluted by man
& they would call it what they wanted, but they all would understand...

verse 2:
in an age of death valley days & dragonfly nights
when every breath of the haze is intercepted by satellites
but every step into the maze directs me further out of sight
& i've been dead for days, thus this coffin & candlelight
by which i found the time to write the world this letter
on some: hey there, how's the weather? have things gotten any better
than they were before i left you all to crawl under this rock?
singing praise the lord & pass the ammunition box
squawking on a walkie-talkie frequency that's been obsolete for decades
like another walking head-case, talking until i'm red-faced
because no one listens anyway, so we built ourselves this getaway
then escaped to create in a place where at least the apes will appreciate
a little innovation from a race based mainly on faith
raised to waste space & say grace to save face
left tracing the steps of a million mighty idols
while walking the thin line between enlightened & suicidal...


...& you can liken this to driftwood, smashing into pieces on the beaches
of this god-forsaken island, somewhere in the furthest reaches
of an ocean that has yet to be polluted by man
& they would call it what they wanted, but they all would understand
there was a ship inside that bottle that was waiting to float
they took the wind out of his sails & he replaced it with hope
then he built himself a fire out of the lessons he'd learned
& set sail while the rest of 'em burned
& you can liken this to driftwood.
Track Name: Union Break
verse 1 (tom knocks):
i'm off the chart like bobby brown, dropping sounds
popping off at the mouth like a blunt full of cess seeds
let's lead the revolution & the resolution
but bring a little loot in from all the pay-per-view t.v.
i speak easy like the bootleg bars
& hit topics like a rocket, shooting for the stars
lost in a large sea of small fish
official like referees when i call shit
all fists to the ceilings if you're feeling what i'm spilling
is appealing & there's one in a million chance
you won't collapse & remember what we're building
& bounce back like sonar, & so far succeeded
rolling on like paraplegic when movement is needed
i stay heated like the tropic, kicking scripts like a prophet
hit the mic, then the market, while y'all just microscopic
i'm nice in the nights of open-mic getdowns
i buckle knees like church altars so you starters need to sit down
i kick rounds like shotguns & knock 'em out the box
everything spoken is dope enough to land your ass up in detox
a clean shot to the cranium, harder than titanium-steel
i shuffle rhymes all the time little buddy, whats the deal?
i bust heavy, flow like water through a broken levee...

verse 2 (icarus jones):
...and i step up in the function with my game face on
tricks laced in my sleeve like a rapping james bond
same song, different key, & i'll be spitting 'til i'm hoarse
holed up in a shack, tapping my raps out in morse code
so hold your horses back & call the cavalry
then take it down to the source to count up the casualties
& actually there's more left laying than standing
waving their hands, nodding, & not saying a damn thing
awe-stricken by jaws equipped for raw ripping
flipping topics off of the top because i'm not tripping
picking pockets clean of their lint from ten paces
& we'll turn a flock of emcees into a sea of grim faces
(on a daily basis) when union labor's in the building
better batten down the hatches & believe that it's the real thing
no drills, straight four-alarm blazes
now look at all these cats acting hard in their cages
wondering why they ain't getting nowhere
their whole lives passing by while they sit & they stare
and i could really care less if my vehicle's coasting
as long as i've got the momentum to keep it in motion
i'll be roasting rubber to get the rust out the gears,
leaving passer-bys pissed, picking dust out their ears
& traffic cops stopping, asking where the fire is at
& i'm like 'the only flames i've seen were behind the tires in back.'
Track Name: The Sick Side
verse 1:
fresh out of quarantine, still on the sick side
neck-deep, trying to keep both feet shifting
holding on with a grip tighter than a riptide
& i can't feel nothing but the music, i'm slipping
tripping through the street to the beat of my own drum
all riled up, wild-eyed like i'm on one
sifting through the sand as it shifts in an hourglass
sunset behind my back, following the shadow cast
searching for a sign, or at least for a little sanity
still seeking out the secrets of defeating gravity
flying high as a kite with no strings attached to it
collapse right into a ring of fire & mash through it
without a singe, thinking if this all ends
here, let it be, i'm already on a loose hinge
truth is that it's just as much a part of me
as the blood that pumps from my heart through my arteries

...i can't feel nothing but the music, i'm slipping
neck-deep, trying to keep both feet shifting
living with this addiction, ain't a damn thing different
i can't feel nothing but the music, i'm slipping

can't feel nothing but the...
can't feel nothing but the...
can't feel nothing but the music, i'm slipping... (x 2)

verse 2:
all wrapped up in the havoc & haze
sitting spaced out, staring at the static for days
& when the thoughts start to gather into patterns of rage
i watch the words burn holes through the back of the page
spent the better part of my childhood trapped in a cage
then came right back to renovate it after the blaze
tore the roof off just so i could stand in the rain
& rearrange a few things in the back of my brain
it's sort of strange how mixed a head can get
when it's force-fed religion from a television set
then studied by the satellites to measure the effect
given one pill to remember & the other to forget
flash back to the grill with the will to survive
still alive, staying high for the thrill of the ride
getting by with a little bit of innovation, in the basement
integrating my intent on sitting in the sky...


fresh out of quarantine, still on the sick side (x 3)
holding on with a grip tighter than a riptide
pumped full of thorazine, got to get the 'scrip signed (x 3)
docs keep telling me i'm still on the sick side

Track Name: Alive & Well
verse 1:
you can watch it spread like a crack in the cement
it ain't hard to tell, but it's hard as hell to prevent
the event horizon from rising up so frequently
that you'll be in need of psychiatric treatment before
the evening's over & all the freaks are sober
& hung over the rest of the weekend
y'all will be in the corner, feeling over the border
sweat pouring out of you while you're twitching like you're tweaking
leaning on the speaker & looking like you're over the deep end
a gee attempting to repent for all his indecency
see, i ain't seen a single celebrity recently
to heat it up on a completely different frequency
so i get it leaking just to practice what i'm preaching
i'm leaving greedy leaders with a speedy impeachment
& every single suckers catching a piece of the presentation
i'm bringing, no hesitation, let it begin...

everybody wanted to claim the crown
but couldn't nobody hold the weight when it all came down
then i heard somebody said hiphop was dead
man, it's alive & well, it's right here, right now (x 2)

verse 2:
quite a few years ago a good homie of mine
wanted me to get down & spit a couple of rhymes
so we recorded a track to put the name on the map
& once i heard the people react i never looked back
in fact, that's where the jones came from in the first place
the birthplace of me being prepared for the worst-case
the last trace of rubble from the bubble that burst
with a thirst to diversify verse after verse
i always heard there'd be days like this
but i never knew just how high i'd have to raise my fists
i've got a good sense of keeping my head in the clouds
& i've been good since i was just playing around
now we stay laying it down, relaying the sound
started making the rounds, look at where we're taking it now
breaking it out & making the amount count
bringing every house in every town down before we bounce out
so get out now if you want to avoid the boom
when we lower it, it's likely to destroy the room
so presume the worst when you see the fumes disperse
then reverse the tune & review the verse...

chorus (x 2)

verse 3:
and you can keep back-tracking it to way before the rapture hit
back when cats still came attacking it immaculate
before the aim of the game became so inaccurate
& if you weren't here for that, man, you don't know the half of it
i have to admit that something disappeared
or maybe throught the bitter years i developed a different ear
but i remember hearing hits that were instantly crystal clear
as reasons why i picked this here profession & stayed this sincere
to those that listen, so with every composition
i've been trying to position my people deeper in the mission
i've been dying to keep this alive & fight for it's survival
since they left it for dead & never bothered to check the vitals
abandoned by the wayside so management could save face
when the landslide hit in exactly the same place
where they struck gold back when the story was told
then sold to the highest bidder & left broke in the bitter cold

chorus (x 2)