This dream starts with me queueing in a hardware store. At the front of the queue there’s a bloke handing out new era caps with numbers on them. Across the road there’s a venue, and I can see the stage through the doorway. Their are two MC’s on stage freestyling, taking turns to tear each other apart verbally.
The people in the queue are taking their caps and going over to the venue and queueing again to get on stage. While we queue they are talking to me. I remember some of their faces from the London hip hop scene years ago, and I’ve rapped with some of them before, one guy I remember rapping with on a night bus. I can’t remember any of their names though.
So this bloke says to me, “Are you going to freestyle?”
“Yes,” I reply, “but I’m not great at freestyling.”
“Why don’t you just spit some written rhymes then?”
“That’s cheating, really,” I say, “I have to try to freestyle like everyone else or I’ll never get any better.”
So he starts rhyming, then I start rhyming. I rhyme these words. These did not come to me for the first time in the dream, it is a track I wrote years ago and never ended up recording, it’s called Masterpiece:
They say that you can count your true friends one hand,
Well I counted more than five liars.
That’s why I’m a live wire.
Till they strike a match to my pire,
I’m spitting smashed bottle raps,
That would flatten a tractor tyre.
Dark nights I practice setting fires,
So I can leave a legacy for every seed every sired.
If I was reincarnated, I wouldn’t be a child,
I’d be a freak of nature with the senses of the wild.
A throwback to the essence of man and reconciled with the firmament.
Hunting perpetrators of hate and burning, murdering.
I’ll hurt them in the name of my rage and make it permanent pain,
This is shit you couldn’t learn from a page,
My verses surging when I’m purging my brain,
Of my dirty, profane words, the words that are keeping me sane.
And I don’t give a fuck what the people will say,
I’m just a speaker, a sage, I’m ever seeking the day,
I find my peace releasing hatred on a beat and a bass line.
I waste time fighting but my life is fraught.
My microphone’s a portal to the nights I stalk,
Consuming mortals like they’re morsels on my knife and fork.
My thoughts span the ether, though my sight is short.
I’m still trying to find the truth but it’s the liars who talk.
I’ve been practising for ever and a day,
Painting pictures in your brain, like my name was John Everett Millais
And it ain’t a revelation that I’m never getting paid,
But my colours, opaque, will never fade, ’cause I’m hung in the shade.
I stay sub terrain, never feening for fame,
My canvas is plain, I’ll never trade it for a platinum frame,
The rap in my veins, stains the pallor of my palette
With my rapture and pain.
There is a second verse but I only do the first one. Then I get to the front of the queue and I’m handed a navy blue cap with a three digit number on it. There are lots of people in the road and the crowd is getting bigger. I can’t even get to the door of the venue so I stand in the crowd watching.
The MC’s battling on stage get more and more heated until they just drop the microphones and start fighting. The fighting spills into the crowd and the whole place kicks off. I often dream about fighting, I am usually beating someone who won’t bleed or die no matter how hard I try. I just beat them and beat them and they don’t respond, and I get increasingly angry until I wake up sweating and shaking with rage.
But this dream is different. I just look at the fighting with a sad resignation and say “I don’t want to fight any more.” Then I throw my cap down and go home.
I woke up then. My girlfriend was at Glastonbury so I was in bed on my own. I missed her a lot at that moment. I normally have violent dreams and wake up to her and she makes me feel calm again, even though she’s asleep. This time I just felt sad.