Altar of the Dead

from by Heavy Jamal

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $1 USD



We took the plot of Henry James's "The Altar of the Dead" and shot it into the year 2156 and set the whole thing in Brooklyn and added a scary sample from the counterhistorical annals of Philip K. Dick at the end just to fuck with y'all's heads. #SFrap #SFhiphop #HenryJamesRaps


For two hundred summers we been getting by,
Kept our ears to the streets, Ls to the sky
In deferential thought to all those who had died
Stealin whole flocks just to get the shepherd's pie.
…After class, flyboys was getting ass,
But us Brooklyn crooks kept amassin cash.
When they built the Starport on Grand and Kent,
We was high the whole time, stealin jet fuel for rent.
…My dad born, 2126,
Worked at the Chinese gas station, ate tofu fishsticks.
I weren't born, till forty years later.
My best friend James capped by a laser on a caper,
Robbin rich kids from Bed-Sty for paper
Cept cash been credit since President Ralph Nader.
We had bad planning: My boy caught a bad one,
Red-type stunnah, flowin red blood no fun
I went shogun in the hood, next few years,
Cryin all the time like it ain't all good—
But no fear, just thought of James's face,
Lyin dead in the phosphorescent condo loft paint…

In a bar on Atlantic and Bloomberg,
I told a dude my story, he was cooler than iceberg,
Bought my nerve-wracked self a drink or two,
And said, "Money, I too have lost mad crew,
So I regret to do what I got to do,
Hate to be rude, but what you trying to prove?
I'm a cop, son, and that load a jet fuel y'all took
Woulda sent my cousin into space, now his head's shook:
Lost his job, just watch the Tube,
Can't afford to pay the Google bill, mad crude,
Shot himself dead when his dream was killed,
So you understand why I gots to be so ill."
I said, "Damn, look like I had a good ride,
hood-side richer than a miner on the dark side
of Moon 1," and that was *all* I said,
gin-choked, bleedin tears on the Altar of the Dead…


from SHINING SKY LOBSTER, released April 1, 2012



all rights reserved


Heavy Jamal Brooklyn, New York

contact / help

Contact Heavy Jamal

Streaming and
Download help