cultivated incompetence, paul diddy, 2006





in 2006 i began compiling cultivated incompetence as an attempt to create hip hop without rappers, instead utilizing public speeches from famous and semi-famous people, including: laura huxley, william s. burroughs, henry miller, ahrundati roy, steve jobs, alex jones, michael talbot, angela davis, abbie hoffman, and e.e. cummings. cultivated incomptence, much like elaborate, is crafted out of samples from mp3s and vinyl, and marked my departure from a singer-songwriter style.

lyrics:

1. rule floor
speaker: laura huxley

whether you are going to listen to this alone
or with someone else
you will find it a valuable, useful experience
make sure you are not going to be disturbed for at least a half an hour
choose a quiet place where you feel free and comfortable
make yourself free and comfortable
loosen your clothes, move around, stretch
stretch like a cat
now be at ease and close your eyes if you wish
be very comfortable, keep your eyes closed if you wish
near the end of this record, there will be a period of silence
during this period, permit yourself to experience whatever is best for you
you may enjoy a sense of complete peace
or you may suddenly receive an answer to a problem or a question
you have had on your mind
it’s possible that during that period of silence
a new idea and inspiration will emerge
from your subconscious
so that you will feel and express
a strong emotion
or enjoy complete bliss
and sleep
during that period of silence
let yourself experience
whatever is best
for you
now with your mind’s eye
imagine that you are completely surrounded by..

2. saw band
speaker: william s. burroughs

1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4
(there’s no need to argue anymore / there’s no more)

so cut ups put you in touch with what you know and do not know that you know
i cut up an article on..
nothing to gain on either side
purely extraneous information
it meant nothing to me
i hadn’t..
uh, when you experiment with cut ups over a period of time
you find that some of the cut ups and rearranged texts
seem to refer to future events
but we simply accepted it and continued the experiment
and the first tape recorder cut ups were a simple extension of cut ups on paper
well we went on to exploit the potentials of the tape recorder
cut up slow down speed up run backwards inch the tape
that means work it back and forth across the tape head
play several tracks at once
uh, cut back and forth between 2 recorders
the next step was cut ups on the tape recorder
uh, we had no explanation for this at the time
just uh suggesting that when you cut into the present the future leaks out
uh, just as new words are produced by cut ups on paper
and the same way while you’re, you’re doing the take
on some level you, you know just exactly where your words are
as you know on some level exactly where you were and what you were doing 10 years ago

most of you couldn’t, there are a few freaks that can
and got it’s a bad thing to sue your own father
this was a rearrangement and wasn’t in the original text
and a year later one of his sons did sue him
make that knowledge consciously available
now of course this procedure on the tape recorder
produces new words by altered juxtaposition

now how random is random?
uh, you record.. there are many ways of doing these but here’s one way
you record say 10 minutes on the recorder
then you spin the reel backwards or forwards just like that without recording
stop at random and cut in a phrase
(you owe us)
and of course when you cut in that phrase you’ve wiped out whatever was there
and you have a new juxtaposition
we know so much that we don’t consciously know we know that perhaps the cut in was not random
the operator on some level knew just where he was cutting in

3. black lawn
speaker: henry miller and interviewer

i think it’s been that way with most men
you can see the seeds
but we all
none of us start
none of us are originals
by the way
(no)
do you see?
we all derive
we all stem
we all have had our gods, our idols
whom we modeled ourselves upon
do you know
does anyone follow advice anyhow,
don’t you see?
advice is always wasted in my opinion
there’s no use giving advice
(should they follow advice?)
no, i don’t think they should either!
the humblest to the highest, you know,
they’re all interesting!
and the more they are themselves
the more interesting they are
people become uninteresting
when they become like everyone else
which is what america does to everyone
try to make them like one another, do you know?
try to make them like buttons in a button mold
this is what i’m talking about
it’s the, um, the sense of whether
life is a thing of spirit
spiritual has a poor cast as an adjective
but spirit, everyone knows what it is
this is the essential thing
the knowledge or the awareness of spirit
and its domination of all life, you see
i think in america we are hardly even aware of it

in the whole educational life
the best you get is what is called religion
and this religion whichever it may be, you know
is a watered down thing, isn’t it?
it hasn’t much affect upon us, you know?
no, and then two…
(no because it’s something..)
we don’t relate whatever we hear to activating
to living, to living it out
do you see what i mean?
(yes, yes, it’s something that’s imposed upon us from the outside and really doesn’t have any relationship to us. we never, instead of having it come from within, so that we relate)
yes, yes, yes, right, i know
(this is a very sad thing)

4. chutes and ladders
speaker: arundhati roy

hundreds of thousands of you
have survived
the relentless propaganda you’ve been subjected to
and are actively fighting your own government
empire’s conquests are being carried out in your name
and you have the right to refuse
you could refuse to fight
refuse to wave that flag
refuse the victory parade
empire
is paranoid
because it has a soft underbelly
its homeland may be defended by border patrols
and nuclear weapons
but its economic outposts
are increasingly exposed and vulnerable
if you join the battle not in your hundreds of thousands
but in your millions
you will be greeted joyously by the rest of the world
and you will see how beautiful it is
to be gentle instead of brutal
safe instead of scared
befriended instead of isolated
loved instead of hated
history is giving you the chance
seize the time
seize the time

5. generation saturation
speaker: unknown canadian presidential candidate

i believe in my plan
i believe in my people
i believe we will make a difference
i believe they should go to bed at night
without worrying whether or not
they will have a job in the morning
whether or not their children will have a future
i believe in the right to dignity and security
i believe in the right to dignity and security
over and over again people ask me what i believe in
over and over again people ask me what i believe in
over and over again people ask me what i believe in
it’s very simple
it’s very simple

speaker: canadian voter #1

i have no confidence at all that this man could run the business of the country
i have no confidence at all that this man could run the business of the country
i have no confidence at all that this man could run the business of the country
i have no confidence at all that this man could run the business of the country

speaker: canadian voter #2

don’t fall for some red book that says ‘well, we have a plan
and that plan depends on well if this happens and this happens and this happens
that’s not good enough that’s not good enough that’s not good enough that’s not good enough
that’s not good enough that’s not good enough that’s not good enough that’s not good enough

(i’ve lost all ambition of worldly acclaim)
isn’t telling us where the money’s going to come from
isn’t telling us where the money’s going to come from
isn’t telling us where the money’s going to come from
isn’t telling us where the money’s going to come from
isn’t telling us where the money’s going to come from
isn’t telling us where the money’s going to come from
isn’t telling us where the money’s going to come from
isn’t telling us where the money’s going to come from

speakers: unknown uc-berkeley sports commentators on kalx

oh it’s getting dark, i love when it gets dark in here
(half-time!) i love it!
looks like a pretty decent sized crowd here today
(yeah, it’s… err.. alright)
it’s spread out (thin) amongst the arena
but, i mean, it’s a pretty big arena
(this crowd really doesn’t reach the second level)
(haha)
(the seats are filled here and there)
hey, maybe they’re blocking off the second level
i don’t know
but it’s definitely dark in here
i love when it gets dark in here
(half-time!) (haha)
i love it
i love it
i love it
let’s talk about a couple more keys
we’re ahead of the game right now
(so, it’s a strength versus strength match-up doc)
that’s something we’re going to see
yeah it is, i mean, uh, you know,
records will be broken
there are a couple of little records here at stake
it’s a tough thing to do
(somewhere)
and it will be an upset
and it will be an upset
and it will be an upset
and it will be an upset

speaker: steve jobs

you have to trust in something
destiny, life, karma, whatever
you have to trust in something
destiny, life, karma, 2 billion dollar company with over 4,000 employees
the future began to diverge
my entire adult life was gone
life’s gonna hit you in the head with a brick
i was a very public failure
i’ll be dead soon
i still loved what i did
remembering that you are going to die
is the best way i know
to avoid the trap of thinking
you have something to lose
death is very likely the single best invention of life
(money)
stay hungry
stay foolish
stay hungry
stay foolish
stay hungry
stay foolish
stay foolish
stay hungry
stay artistically subtle!

6. free time
speaker: uncredited voice 2 and 3 from robert fripp’s ‘the league of gentlemen’

rock and roll is about fucking
rock and roll is about fucking

rock and roll is about fucking
rock and roll is about fucking
rock and roll is about fucking
rock and roll is about fucking
rock and roll is about fucking
rock and roll is about fucking
rock and roll is about fucking
rock and roll is about fucking

speaker: uncredited voice 1 from robert fripp’s ‘the league of gentlemen’
that is the possibility that we should explore
that is the possibility that we should explore

speaker: uncredited voice 4 from robert fripp’s ‘the league of gentlemen’

can you tell me about your first nuclear explosion

speaker: uncredited voice 1 from robert fripp’s ‘the league of gentlemen’

there are people who want to know more
there are people who want to know more
there are people who want to know more
there are people who want to know more
7. mosaic snarl
speaker: alex jones in ‘waking life’

…fight city hall
death and taxes
don’t talk about politics or religion
this is all the equivalent
of enemy propaganda
rolling across the picket lines
lay down g.i.! lay down g.i.!
we saw it all through the 20th century
and now in the 21st century it’s time to stand up and realize
that we should not allow ourselves to be crammed into this rat maze
we should not submit to dehumanization
i don’t know about you but i’m concerned with what’s happening in this world
i’m concerned with destruction
i’m concerned with the systems of control
those that control my life
and those that seek to control it
even more!
i want freedom!
that’s what i want!
and that’s what you should want!
it’s up to each and every one of us
to turn loose at least some of the greed, the hatred, the envy, and yes the insecurity
because that is the simple mode of control, make us feel pathetic, small
so we’ll willingly give up our sovereignty
our liberty, our destiny
we have got to realize that we’re being conditioned on a mass scale
start challenging this corporate slave state
the 21st century is going to be a new century
it’s not the century of slavery
it’s not the century of lies with no significance
of classism, of statism, and all of the rest of the modes of control
it’s going to be the age of human kind standing up for something pure, something right
what a bunch of garbage, liberals, democrats, conservatives, republicans
it’s all there to control 2 sides of the same coin
2 management teams
bidding for control
for the CEO job
OF SLAVERY INCORPORATED
the truth is out there in front of you
but they lay out this buffet of lies
i’m sick of it
and i’m not going to take a bite out of it
do you got me?
resistance is not futile
we’re gonna win this thing
human kind is too good
we’re not a bunch of underachievers
we’re gonna stand up
and we’re gonna be HUMAN BEINGS!
WE’RE GONNA GET FIRED UP ABOUT THE REAL THINGS!
THE THINGS THAT MATTER!
CREATIVITY!
AND THE DYNAMIC HUMAN SPIRIT
THAT REFUSES TO SUBMIT.

8. trying to express myself

speaker: denny ‘blazin’ hazen

um, i just want to say a few words
it’s just a demo
the audio’s rough because i was writing it for myself
and the track is just a keyboard
but i wanted to put my ideas down
so you can see what i’m trying to market
i’ve been working in a recording studio
to get the sound that i need
i’ve been working on tracks for behind me
and i’ve also been working on smoothing out my rapping
i think once you hear my audio demo
you’ll just be blazed
and rapping’s a way for me
to express my point of view
and in mainstream music right now
there’s not a middle class, average guy
telling his point of view that’s white
any white rapper that’s out there right now
claims to be from the streets of urban areas
i’m not trying to be anybody that i’m not
i’m just a middle class guy
trying to express myself
i’m knocking on every door that i can
to get my big break,
so hopefully you can help me get
my big record contract

i was not born with a silver spoon
and i don’t have a daddy who’s a big tycoon
i have to work hard, every day
if i want some money to go out and play
my house is just middle class
and every week it’s my job to cut the grass
it’s not located in beverly hills
i’m struggling just to pay my bills
i don’t have a butler, or a maid
and my exterminator is a can of RAID
i get up every morning and make my own bed
i’m down to earth, i don’t have a big head
for enjoyment i like to shoot some hoops
but not until i eat
all my froot loops

9. a dollar ain’t a dollar
singer: pete seeger

(wake the town and tell the people)
i was feeling kind of hungry so i thought i’d buy some bread
i went down to the corner grocery store
i took out the usual money but the grocer shook his head
cause a dollar ain’t a dollar anymore
oh a dollar bill don’t buy what it used to
don’t buy what it used to
don’t buy what it used to
a dollar bill don’t buy what it used to
for a dollar ain’t a dollar anymore
now i live in a rooming house
my room is awful small
as a matter of fact it’s only 2 by 4 (hear that)
then the landlord raised the rent
and now i’m living in the wall
a dollar ain’t a dollar anymore
oh a dollar bill don’t buy what it used to
don’t buy what it used to
don’t buy what it used to
a dollar bill don’t buy what it used to
for a dollar ain’t a dollar anymore
from the tree that grows in brooklyn
to the gulf of mexico
from florida out to the western shore
let’s grab congress by the collar
roll those prices back we’ll holler
cause a dollar ain’t a dollar anymore
oh a dollar bill don’t buy what it used to
don’t buy what it used to
don’t buy what it used to
a dollar bill don’t buy what it used to
cause a dollar ain’t a dollar anymore

10. skipping nerve
singer: skip james

how long
how long
have i just been treated wrong?
so long,
so long
baby so long
how long
how long
have i just been treated wrong?
so long,
so long
baby so long

ah someday you’ll be sorry you treated me wrong
ah someday you’ll be sorry you treated me wrong
so long so long
so long so long
so long so long
so long so long

so long

11. in fringe copy meant right
singer: lou reed

it’s your right the way that you live
it’s your right the way that you live
it’s your right the way that you live
it’s your right the way that you live
it’s your right the way that you live
it’s your right the way that you live
it’s your right the way that you live
it’s your right the way that you live

singer: mick jagger
(thank you, thank you very much)

(yeah!)

12. the gap
speaker: angela davis

and of course it is not enough
to imagine a different future
we can walk around with
these ideal worlds in our heads
while everything crumbles around us
and so we need collective intervention
first of all a commitment to use knowledge
in a transformative way
basically to remake the world
so that it is better for its inhabitants
and a refusal to attribute permanency
to that which exists in the present
simply because it exists
we live in an era that’s characterized as
globalization
instantaneous global transmission of knowledge
the products we purchase for our daily use
are produced and distributed by and large
on a global market
which means we wear the sweat
of global workers especially young girls and women
on our very bodies
it means that we consume a disproportionate amount of the world’s energy
but, if you think about it,
these structures provide profit for huge numbers of corporations
and so you have all of these companies that have a stake
in the perpetuation and the expansion of a system
that is already tantamount to slavery
so i want to say as i conclude
no more war
no more state terrorism
no more torture
no more prison
not
in
our
name

13. metareally?
speaker: michael talbot

in our western way of thinking
we’re so attached to the idea that
when we come up with a concept like an apple or an electron
or whatever
that that exists out there
and we forget
it’s kind of like fish unaware of the water in which they swim
that the conceptual pigeon holes we use—
words—
to describe reality
are phenomena inside our head
not out there
at a deeper level, a very holographic level of reality
every particle in the universe collapses into a sort of cosmic unity
it could be that i have the entire universe in every neuron, every cell, every atom, every electron in my head an you do also
so when we can access that we can access information
that seems to be beyond our normal sensory [perception]
that we’re thinking with holograms inside our head
and that out there exists something that’s more akin
to radio waves from which your tv gets the image
so in essence we’re kind of conscious tv sets
and what we think is reality when we look out here is just the image in a tv set inside our mind
that doesn’t exist out there
this is why there’s all kinds of evidence that we seem to respond more to the models of reality in our head than out there
report after report of people who have been declared clinically dead
you know, go to some apparent other level of reality and come back
they refer to this other level of reality with terms like frequency and energy and even hologram
that it’s a plastic, a more plastic level of reality where thought seems to create things instantly
i’ve come to believe that every small fragment of the universe possesses some life that it’s a manifestation of life
of some kind of consciousness, not a human consciousness, but some kind of consciousness
and you can’t draw a distinct border between what is alive and what is not
we have to understand that the universe is an unbroken whole
when we don’t, whe we fragment the universe, we are leading to our own destruction
everything is in.. infinitely interconnected
on every level, on every dynamical level of reality
and we have to look at the larger picture of the infinite interconnection
without focusing in on the fragments of this unbroken whole
but i think as your soul goes along
it starts to learn to deal with more of this reality
with other levels of the holographic television set
and when you start to open those doorways
that’s when reality—the plasticity of reality—starts to sink in

14. last night i was a wolf, but a peaceful wolf, with shoes

speaker: abbie hoffman

10 miles of barbed wire fence
and 25,000 troops counting the cops and the national guard,
you know?
they had tanks!
armored tanks in the streets of chicago, you know?
the national guard with bayonets
they had helicopters with machine guns, you know?
we came to disrupt the convention… out of sight!

speaker: j.g. bennett

this is excellent
but it’s not for me
because i want something that i can get my teeth into in a different way
it may be that another way i see involves a certain degree of submission
and acceptance of a very strict discipline
this is emphasized by the final passage
and intended to be taken as a way of life
if we ourselves wish to work
we must ask ourselves if this document
represents for us a way of life
a way of life

speaker: e.e. cummings

what’s from some loud un-world’s most rightful wrong
climbing
my love
do mountains speak the truth?
enter in cloverish silence of thrush song
and more than every miracles to breathe
wounded us
will be causeless alternate earth
accept and primeval wise sky
healing our by immeasurable night spirits
and with illimitable day
shrithed in that non-existence
millions call life
you and i may reverently share
in the blessed eachness
of all beautiful selves
holy which
and innocently are
seemings enough
for slaves of space
and time
ours is the now and here
of freedom
come

15. wind whistling in an old building

singer: paul robeson

sometimes i feel like a motherless child
sometimes i feel like a motherless child
sometimes i feel like a motherless child
sometimes i feel like a motherless child

come my brother
come my brother
come my
come my
come my sister

sometimes i feel like i’m almost gone
sometimes i feel like i’m almost gone
sometimes i feel like i’m almost gone
a long ways from home
a long ways from home
home
home
home


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