Modern Day Griot

by J.Smo of BUNKS

This that Appalachian, hillbilly, Tennessee flow That sharecropper, servitude, a plot of my own Organic, certified, we reap what we sow Bury roots deep, build the system way below Running moonshine on the dirt roads by moonlight Moving big bricks, I-40, hit the turnpike Praying to the gods that Metro don't see me In my mom's car, beige Kia, I was speeding Down a dark path, battled demons on my way Skiing down a slope all my friends screaming yay! The faster that you rise is the faster that you fall Your friends become snitches, broken hearts, you have it all I really loved the money but I had to walk away The cops came knocking and the fun it did decay They tore apart my house without a warrant what the fuck?! A pawn in their game, they were hunting for the buck.
Hells Bells 02:48
Step into the ring, Medellin when I sing Pour these lines out on the table show you what I really mean Raised in a time when we weighed on triple beams Take a little portion then you triple up your cream Do a little dirt just to build a life that's clean That's the gritty truth about this American dream Hide in plain sight, stay pure with your intent Are you evil in your ways? or you just trying to pay the rent? Lift it to the ceiling let them know how you feeling Fists into the air let them know your heart's beating Put the pressure on them let the forces start retreating Power in unity, it's community we feeding Flip the rage, take the stage, be the change that you seeking Infiltrate the system, from inside you start beaming Infect them like a virus, they never see you coming By the time that they find you it's too late to start running Hells bells... It's time to bring it down Hells bells... It's time to ring them now On the search for prophets with some profits they be sharing You think you see it clearly but the truth it ain't apparent These creditors, editors, when they playing with your finance Swooping in to save the day then fuck you with no romance You smell what I'm cooking? you feel what I'm saying? Puppet masters pulling strings, the games we be playing People acting strange while the predators are preying Blindly follow leaders to the darkness for the slaying Happy in our cages, munchies for the cravings Netflix and chill, influence younger ages Lock them into patterns that will benefit the mages Scrolling down the screen tapping images and favorites Living in the bubble, no clue they in the matrix Leave yourself vulnerable, you right there for the taking Chew up and spit us out and leave us there to rot They take off in a rocket, we become a slave to bots
Ignorant Ish 03:33
Lock away the secrets and water the books Knowledge for a few who I argue are some crooks With all of that aside, let's take a deeper look 33 degrees, on your knees and now you're hooked Read between the lines, pay attention to the symbols Awareness is the key, walk this line so nimble Thread it with a thimble, analyze the patterns History will show you the growth of dark matter Watch the evil spread, we sit and break bread Then turn on each other put that gun up to my head Go on pull that trigger, show me what you're not An independent thinker, yes I see that you forgot Let the tables turn as we thicken up the plot You thought you on top till they busted in your spot Ended your parade, destroyed your charade And your brother was the one who dropped the dime that they should raid Trust, we got none Lust, we got tons Driven by desires, we're too focused on self Greed fulfills our needs when we know nothing else Legal pill pushers, legal pill poppers Medicated nation yeah it's too late to stop them Obsessed with their profits, laboratory, office Feed them with religion, be submissive, no stopping Put them in the coffin, to the ashes we toss them Away, the day, the pain, the fix The needle, the spoon, the flame, the chemist The money trickles up as they label us a blemish Keep the cycle spinning, propagate distractions Move behind the curtains while we watch the main attraction Tinker with our food, numb all our senses Control of the masses is always the mission The sugar, the soda, the water, the screens Grasping what we want but neglecting what we need Lost in translation, lost in our greed Playing for our self when we're on the same team Trust, we got none Lust, we got tons Driven by desires, we're too focused on self Greed fulfills our needs when we know nothing else Pimping ain't easy with a pocket full of stones I'm sorry Mrs. Jackson stack this bread all on my own Influences bad habits onto younger generations Without having the most critical conversations That shiny gold chain, it's still just a chain Brag about riches but they still control your fame You signed away your image, you signed away your name Now they getting wealthy off of every move you make Took that advance now the balance you can't shake Molding you in their image but you cannot relate The disconnect grows, you question all your faith You're leaping off the edge into a pit full of snakes Gasping for air in a world full of fakes Fifteen minutes pass and they all forgot your name You blew through the money now you got nothing to save Welcome to the dark side where dreams bleed away Trust, we got none Lust, we got tons Driven by desires, we're too focused on self Greed fulfills our needs when we know nothing else
Put the pen to the paper play the beat and let it flow Twenty years, still going, play this beat and let it go Same dude at the core just weathered by the storm Take a little bit longer for creations to be born Marinade a little sweeter when we stray from the norm The longer that we sit the stronger flavors will be formed Missing days in Tennessee the studio all night Miss my crew of solid dudes searching for the light Building something epic, still chasing after paper Slower with these moves but slick like Don Draper Mad Men in the lab, we steaming up this crab Elevate through strata, always grimy, never fab With wrenches in the trenches got my boots in the dirt A king among peasants, I absorb all their hurt Say my kindness is a weakness cause I put my people first But you just exploit them for everything they worth Not bulletproof so call a truce, let's work it out till we find the truth then hit the booth and let it loose then roll on out as I throw the deuce Daily grinder, I'm that writer, keep it hot like apple cider, reaching wider every time I drop this fire Dodge a million shots, rise above and keep it flowing Lost inside my stress, despite that mess, we keep on growing Feel the sprinkles on my face then feel the rain start pouring Feel the force of all the pains I'm steadily ignoring Add it up, break it down, read between the lines Keep lying to myself, I pretend I'm doing fine Sliding on thin ice, afraid it's going to break Frozen, stuck in time, sinking deep into the lake Reaching for the sky as I try to grab the heavens Thinking I can fly before I ask some basic questions Beyond the common sense, always digging for the answers Infect them with this knowledge, watch it spread and grow like cancer Incremental margins elemental to this grind Taking small steps, keeping patience on my mind Keep lying to myself, I pretend I'm doing find But the only time I'm fine is when I'm pouring out these lines Not bulletproof so call a truce, let's work it out till we find the truth then hit the booth and let it loose then roll on out as I throw the deuce Daily grinder, I'm that writer, keep it hot like apple cider, reaching wider every time I drop this fire
Life in the city got me longing for the simple life Far away from the noise and the glare of the lights Miss the sound of crickets, the wind and the river In the concrete jungle chasing after little slivers A piece of this pie that I can call mine Share it with my kids as we push through the grind Down to the rind, till my bones turn to the dust While the world rots away in a pile of its junk Yuck, turned off by the glamour Bring the rage of Thor when I drop my hammer Shake the room so hard got you pissing in your Pampers Growing mold with a stench left dying in a hamper Don't stammer, let me fill in the blanks Rolling through this game like a fleet of heavy tanks Got a few surprises when I call in the flanks Tell my boys go wild as they storm through the banks Rush rush rush we forget how to stop Information overload, watch the drip drip drop Slaves to the clock, watch it tick tick tock Slaves to our vices from the booze to the rocks Zombies all around me trying to keep them from my family Boarding up the windows got to sharpen my machete Breaking down doors I just throw them my phone The screens will suck away what's left of their soul Trying to hit the road but the tank on E Trying to stack some cream but debt collectors calling me Charge it to the system as I move this money round Play the long game watch me flip it to the crowds Y'all don't see the grind, y'all just see the shine Stay attracted to the bling I melt metal with these rhymes Pack the punch of 60 million power lifting midgets I stole that line from Gro while he got his kicks from Gidget
A nobody from nowhere trying to rise above everything The alcohol, the know-it-alls, the debbie downers and all the fiends Please believe I give it all with no expectations to receive You have your freedom to perceive, I have my mission to retrieve All the knowledge I can while I roam this land Observe the situations, help where I can Give a little hope, spark a big fire Some even say, to them, I inspire That keeps me going, for them I keep flowing Even when it's rough, that keeps me growing Branches to the tree, deep with the roots Sinking in this sand with these mud covered boots I will stand right here, I will fight till the end My weapon my words, my sword is my pen My pad is my shield, my passion my fuel I will carve my own lane, yes rewrite the rules Save an era raised by tools from turning into fools Because these crazy court jesters acts so mumbling cool Hold it down for Founders with every breath I take the soul inside in this man is one you cannot break On the out looking in, bird's eye view Collect my thoughts, wait for the cue Analyze scatter, recognize patterns Put more thought into what really matters Time is so precious, spend it so reckless Exercise patience but we too restless what we going to do? who we going to see? where we want to go? who we want to be? I'm in this for the slow burn, I simply wait for my turn So much mojo in this music guaranteed to straighten perms It's time to let it go fam, slip into the Brougham And ride on out to Do or Die, Po Pimpin for the slow jam Windy City down to Tennessee, fly away with that Cali breeze Elevate my frequency so frequently come fly with me Soaring through this atmosphere, see the picture oh so clear Everything I hold so near is driving me to smash my fears Open up and just pour it out Mix it with the kick drum, make the bass loud EQ mids, that fader comes down Sparking up flames deep underground Bringing Unmatched Noise Knowledge and Sounds...BUNKS


Modern Day Griot is a 6 track EP produced by Tonedef tha Killa which serves as the precursor to J.Smo's full length solo album The Joshua Story. The topics, themes and events touched upon in these 6 tracks will be covered in more intimate detail in the songs included on the forthcoming album; providing more context and depth to the personality known as J.Smo.


released February 28, 2019

tracks 1-6 produced by Tonedef tha Killa
bonus track produced by Young Harm
artwork by Young Harm


all rights reserved



J.Smo of BUNKS Sacramento, California

J.Smo has been releasing music independently since 1999, originally as part of BUNKS (Manchester, Tennessee). Now a father of 3, husband, CMO, COO, musicpreneur, educator and jedi-of-many-trades, J.Smo continues to share his journey and thoughts while facing inner demons head on through rhyme. ... more

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