by QNA

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Carlos Kelley - MC
Benjamin Chin - Saxophone & Emcee
TJ Adorno - Guitar
Ianni Rellos - Bass
Marco Gill - Drums

Marina Espinet - Vocals*

Produced by Geoffrey Hufford
Recorded in the New School and SUNY Purchase

*Tracks 1, 4, 5


released August 1, 2015



all rights reserved


QNA Brooklyn, New York

QNA is a band based in New York City, merging the highly improvisational, referential idioms of hip-hop and jazz. QNA’s cerebral lyrics work in tandem with formidable musicianship to create music both unique and wholly accessible, from reinterpretations of popular jazz standards and hip-hop hits to totally original material. ... more

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Track Name: Rated X
Carlos Kelley:
I’m the question of comprehension in a famine of fathoming
I’m the true Götterdämmerung, I’m the real One Ring hammering
My own mythology, a radical cosmogony
Composed of constant calculation and profuse apology.

I could nascent carve an alabaster ancient’s visage
Hewn into the lines of marble years of practiced master’s wisdom
I have a question. Am I eternal like the rock unshifting?
Must magnificence and meekness stay in constant schism?

I can be, I can be
I can be the dark winning out against the light and
I can be, I can be
All I am is darkness, out with the brief torches.

Look at me now, all decaying and toxic,
Ends begun fraying, outlook agnostic,
But I grow abundant verses like the Scythian Lamb,
As long as I can tell myself “I am, I am, I am.”

Ben Chin:
Thinking bout the things that you said that you would die for
Bring it back to the days when we thought it was wise to lie low
bio-chemistry’s changing my base chemistry.
Burn an effigy for the one that you all have outgrown

You swagging down the street with your drawers just a lil' bit poking out
When War put out low rider that wasn’t the shit he sang about
Look around, you waving all your Smith and Wessens
Never touch a real gun in your life, begging to be taught a lesson

See I don’t tell jokes. No, I don’t clown as a comedian
You actin’ like a dog better put your name down for obedience
Athenian-like knight in incandescent armor
Sagacity leave you wishing that god had left it darker

One more class before you leave the wingspan of my tutelage
Remember to drink it down like it’s your favorite bubbly beverage
While the alphabet might scream that you a motherfucking G
I run from A to Z. Numbers are scared of me.
Track Name: Pickled!
I am a silver-tongued speaker equipped for embellishment
Take relish in quick voyages to the settlements
I settle in, mellow, to the sounds of a cello
And wobbly like Jell-O intone so zealously

“Hello” (hello), skin turned yellow,
Mind of a man but a beast undeveloped
Penelope on um, prosceni?, Protestants standing next to me
A mizzen, I am risen, the whole sea in my vicinity

Your tricks stick like lipstick from dipsticks
I’m like a gourmet chef, cooking Rice Krispies
I’m like Prometheus, I took the fire to stoke it
I put it in the oven, then I cooked the mold and broke it!

The past is still participle, and the cracks have been sovisible
That my failure’s almost visible, though my ambitions stayBiblical
I burned the books the older ones foretold for us, the other meso tortuous
The other me fortuitous, anomalous, I spoke it thus:

I’m not trapped in a 2Pac prison, rather in a two-part prism,
I feel hairs splittin’, conditioned, on a road to perdition,like Tom Hanks Cruisin’ (on impossible missions)

I do not write words, and I do not breath breaths, I do not need curves, and I do not need breasts,
My verbal excess has me coughing up nests for the birds and thebees and the proverbs ageless
So it’s death!

Death to the deathless,
Ruin to the reckless,
Striking commandments from my demiurgic checklist.
Track Name: Footprints
I am conflagrating, body animating
Ripped out from a shell decaying, desiccating
Seminating raps ripped straight from the headlines
Hun my honey’s from the beehive

Everything that I have ever done
Pales to this solitary experience
Soon as my body moved I knew that I was lost
Free from my despicable claustrophobia

I can feel the music, feelin’ kinda woozy
Swirling in a soup of saddened sordid booty

If I was on Molly or was Molloy,
Call me Nameable, I’d find my own voice

Whiplash, toilet flush, drum crash,
Cannabis, graying fumes, hot ash
Now I’m up on my feet, mental must press delete
A paralytic romantic dancing to the beat

PaRappa’s raps they ain’t got nothin’ on me
No tentacles, discernable need,
Watch me come alive a butterfly kinged,
2Pac incarceration only a dream!

I can feel the music, feelin’ kinda woozy
Swirling in a soup of saddened sordid booty

Leave a loosey, drink the juice, shit the manger
Give it up to the bounce.

Yo, I’m a fuckin’ walkin’ libri vox
Decline a noun a gerund to tell what the fuck’s the purpose of
You tryna take me down and put me into a submission?
My Machoke knows both those moves and will KO you to perdition

Like Eli casting devils out of old lady’s hands
I’m so out of your league that you’ll never understand
All my references, all my pre-ordained preferences
I’ve got an answer: I’m a monk with the “tenements”

Never took that Lucy, feelin’ kinda woozy,
Gotta make my maker happy, no I can’t be choosy

Leave a loosey, drink the juice,
Shit the manger, kill a groom,
They told me give it up to the bounce
Track Name: Fall in Love
Ben Chin:
I stare blankly at my screen
Emails, missed calls, and many mixed messages
about how I might want to fix the vestiges
of my manhood at a rooftop party tonight. I could, I should.

The light dims, the club is closing
She takes another drag of the cig
Think dangerous thoughts.
Compromising her identity comprised of pro-feminist battles and wars won.

She's going through the motions.
Going out of focus
Going through a few too many conversations, running a surplus
She’s going under, falling victim to the rat race
Tonight too busy talking to two men, too busy to tune in.

Keep on keeping on
Shooting the breeze
Shotgunning the car
Keep riding on E
Needle bouncing off the bottom but swerving with ease
Waiting for prince charming or Jason, and his coveted fleece

Phone’s lit call it L.E.D. Pull it out, use it, calling N.Y.C.
The tick-tock of his watch match the clinking of her heels
His blood congeals
L.O.V.E. running through his veins
Chardonnay in my brain
Personality so bubbly you could call it champagne
His latest art piece, he knows, needs some tinkering
But he's gotta fan the flames to keep them from flickering

To hear that these cats just ain’t listening to what he actually wants.
Do you really wanna be the one to put hand in the haystack just to find that it’s empty when you’re done?

In true verite I only did realize
I could have had it with a couple of tries
But no matter, look at myself in the mirror
Mix the paint with the pain, and the top shelf liquor.

Carlos Kelley:
Dark night, parked outside the only store at 2AM
Hoping to find some oxytocin get it in my head,
Gotta put me in a coma, another nightly soma,
Gordo seeking Lizzy, next evening in Roma.

Warm up, cuddle up, another zombie-like, center-melted
Chocolaty like Hekla cakes for Cenobites, passes by
Father passes by me, an abandoned wight
Little child that never died, look around and lovers leap like Hoplites

Flashing, scene too placid
Every adornment is in fashion
Every adoration betrays the tacit compassion
Humanity is in motion for its penultimate action

Here, this was the only place, where everybody knew your face
Not your name but they know everyone you’ve done, each time andplace
Each pearly painted masterpiece, you’d captured all her goldenfleece,
They said and memorandum: if you’re leaving, write a pressrelease!

And then was the day of the comet, or rocket,
Or loosed sprocket, or God, the universal pickpocket,
Or nuclear winter, that’s Vonnegut, or Ragnarök or Judgment Dayor
Some Aztec equivalent, really I’m ambivalent.

World was stripped to the core, no pretty paintedroadside no more
No knocking on doors, reduce suburban life back to lore
Except this old store, the lovers in thisparking lot
Seeking love but never finding, you and I in Camelot

Nighttime lovers increase, seek eternal release
Sheer the wool for the fleece, share the pull of my peace
Seize my nephews and niece, got this terrible lease on life, onlife, on life

No I won’t be wound up, I won’t be ground up
Like coffee beans or marijuana, I won’t be like them,
Still gotta move to where I’ve landed, all my life i planned it
Look around there’s nothing here but death and empty mansions

I think I plummeted, drums got me vomitous
sounds got me riotous, sanstoi, I’d die of this
Eschatology of a neighborhood, deadly sciences
We all entwine, apocalyptic alliances

I hit it, I spit it, I lit it, carry the torch,
My brows knitted, not breathing even, a city squealingdemons,
Prometheus unbound, I am Proteus and more,
Here I am, left alone, another nighttime store.

Lights galore.
Track Name: Good Ass Intro
Really I rap to no beats no feat
Untested test my cold feet,
The weed rejected sects of old sheet
Repeat the rest and leave it to steep

I leave partial parts of particular pieces
I leave the rest of the Reese’s
For ET’s relevant theses
I drop EP’s like they’re feces

Birth rhymes like Nativity, Assisi
Freeing minds, better call me Khaleesi
It’s easy to see I’m the beast that you need
If you say “fuck hip-hop,” man, I agree!

All that I have written always all about the words
cut 'em in thirds, mental absurd, linguistic nerd

Spit it hot, get her hot, spider kinda wizard
Eatin' flies, dropping rhymes, kinda crazy kinda lizard
Campfire to the 2 Chainz, can’t vibe with those two things
She chaste like unused toothpaste.

Dip a lot drip a lot make it like goo,
Spit a lot stink a lot kinda like Wu,
Shock a lot like a manmade Pikachu
ButI always wanna peek at you, always wanna sneak it, boo.

Stephen Douglas, debate-‘em-all
Book of Icelanders, relate-‘em-all
Duke of Earl, Duke of Lancaster,
Dukeof every other rapper’s ability is debatable!

Quarter-drawn, crenelated pencil
Obsolete among all highly venerated metals
Ventricles excited, obviously and painfully completely uninvited,
Doesn’t mean to fight it.