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Gonzo Recites Poetry While Defusing a Bomb

by Protextor

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Cool Like U 03:31
So slick so mean so pretty so chill So self-actualized I don’t know how to be cool like u I don’t know how to be cool like u I’m off-putting I’m loud and weird But every time I get lost I end up here See I don’t know how to be cool like u I don’t know how to be cool like u I see pain I don’t push it down You see pain u say pain’s all around Yeah I don’t know how to be cool like u I don’t ever wanna be cool like u Life advice is a Friday night The story sounds best when it ends in a fight But I don’t ever wanna be cool like u I don’t ever wanna I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax Like a kid who’s mom is antivax I got a view that I call parallax Alan Pakula with the camera snap Very bad like Cam Diaz Depressive since a foot tall Like Charlie Brown I never kicked it over football Puts it all into perspective When you should bawl/ball But second guessing is a cancer call it wrongcallogy and in the long haul We are a million new babies that are blooming for each other A million little daisies all watching the lawnmower Yelling at it from a distance we convinced ourselves was safe See if you can dent the void Without blowing up the space I exaggerate and rant to put hype on my favorite cause Knock up the words So when I stop talking it’s a pregnant pause Our best ideas will stay in bars raise em like we’re lazy fathers We forget to stay involved Mommy told me I was special Reject that on a moral level too hard and you overpedal I’m not special But we’re exceptional Or maybe just cells in the same jail One organism with shared memories of Oregon Trail (or at least Halo) He was no angel They demonize every baby that they fail So is it special? well then Special edition limited print it’ll have its moment Until it sells out Its own story Like retail/re-tell So sell me self care Lotions by the basketful I just see screaming lambs I just see capital U just see destiny One that you manifested You’ll be your parents soon They can help u invest it Tweet on current affairs Till brunch on the beach pray for the homeless But please get the fuck off my street I love that your art is so easy to understand It’s something to eat While I’m stayin busy hoping money’s something love can defeat All I see is valley brats and alleycats Lines outside and inside the bathroom yeah Starfuckers always bad news yeah Girls with stupid tattoos askin’ if they can grab a few snacks Out of the green room Might even think of myself as a failure until I see u They climb over backs and turn a blind eye when the friends of the headlining act trigger a staff member into a flashback when your group pushed her against the wall Because she couldn’t seat u never comment on what’s wrong unless it’s in common with where the convo is goin’ Slow down progress not to threaten your ascendancy to boss bitch Socialist till you got shit Then shut the door call the locksmith Pick up the laundry not dog shit get mad at your barista for being such a slow pour and it’s incredible how life is an incredible bore if U keep flexing and they don’t see How incredible yours is I’m givin directions to tourists like they’re headed for war U never reform but I’ll always be the penitent whore Watching the cool kids pretend to love who they are I’m never gonna be cool like u I don’t ever
Alright lesgo to work Nobody like Bob Odenkirk In a city where nobody knows of my work Like “sorry I missed your show” Don’t be cross or a jerk That’s a bar for the nerds Like an arcade bar Mortal Kombat Jax … Smash See me? I’m a street fighter goin Blanka berserk Tap tap tap on a D-Pad while your mom is at work And your big brother just got a bong but we hit it all wrong and the bongwater got on your shirt and you’re cheap for the leg sweep But … I’ll admit it works Beast on the beat never freeze me This is that Contra mode Konami code Rocket flow Oh Bobby don’t touch me cuz I don’t know you Press start and go Don’t want beef Don’t start it bro Wanted that free P, R, and O(h) Call me p-teK or Kaji That’s Meiko, yeah I’m a Scorpio They called me political Well, only Ocasio Cord-less on the audio You’re missing the party bro Welcome to Nakatomi with Hans and Tony since Nas and Mos I been on microphones Like the one I’m holdin’ With one goal and it’s so goddamn fucking fun I’m catchin’ up to the future I’m actin’ tough for the shoot then I’m back to loving the rumors Just to have fun with the truth Cuz nobody ever really knew me Even the ones that you knew Cuz every time I had something I made a run for the booth I’ve always been one thing for me and always another for you Wasn’t afraid you’d discover me — I wanted you to Get your tongue off the boot Yeah brush the crumbs off the suit I just realized that I’m gonna do exactly what the fuck I always wanted to I’m gonna do myself like I ain’t got nothing to prove to you They shove you into crumbing rooms and boxes just to substitute the fact they never tried shit Well I did And it went wrong But I hit the road Like a Flintstone Got my 10,000 and then some So kick dust and eat shit and live Bill It’s a big pill to swallow that your sins never sit still And the sex is good in hell When the cards all say “get well” Respond back with a “hell no, didn’t you know that I been ill?” Read a book Pet a dog Smell a flower Take a nap Plant a tree Buy some chalk Draw a map Take a walk Eat a snack Drink some water Call your mom Rollerblade Take a breath Have some tea Take the L Get back up Hold a cat Read a book Pet a dog Smell a floweri Take a nap Plant a tree Buy some chalk Draw a map Take a walk Eat a snack Drink some water Call your mom Rollerblade Take a breath And after all that
Sittin’ on my ass gettin’ high again with a picture hung of Prince playin’ Turtles in Time again neon-ride again Need to find a friend We alive but man we hate being inside like this Tell myself I need to write like this and I heed my advice I guess but my knees they can’t hide the stress I keep the pizza slicer blessed I’ll never be surprised again If Jesus Christ should rise again, I’ll be like “yeah the signs were there So I was so unprepared?” Well (well well) I’m plugging in my Power Glove So I play with power with my mind stuck in 2001 An odyssey just not in the way we thought it was Fuck the singularity – I don’t wanna share so goddamn much Wait – You think I’m losin’ touch? Just need to loosen up? Stop doin’ what I want? and tune into the hub? Boy I keep it fresher than a cucumber for lunch Keep your social pressure I’m just tunin’ in for fun And it’s gonna be a weird weird while for awhile now Yeah it’s gonna be a weird weird while for awhile now hate the addict but I never tried the drug Paint the attic but I never buy the rug And it’s gonna be a weird weird while for awhile now I’m so bored Bring back the cold war I’m the guy that’d be like, “yo, time to rewatch Rocky 4!” I’ma lock the door and watch some movies till the lights go out then build a fort inside the couch and learn Russian for “Fight the Power” glide around the house quiet as a mouse Read articles on tyrants comment just the right amount See I’ma be a famous rapper can’t divide the merch accounts and if I never choose a side you’ll never hurt me where it counts This record is my first deal with the Illuminati So if you see me on the news and freak out like “why you and not me?” It’s cuz I drank a gallon of pig’s blood, did an ad for a pick-up truck, adopted 2 kittens and killed one, and I still suck Still dumb but still run with real ones Still numb but still fun for trill ones Ill one who’s still shown no symptoms Kill one to get some religion Damn, it’s amazing how much of myself I’ve still kept hidden I’m a painter with the wit, but I’ve still written fiction But I’m motherfuckin’ p-teK lookit the shit that I did with it Scratch that – Gonna do with it That fact, it was written and if you believe the rumors well that’s that, and you did it Congratu-fuckin-lations I’m outta fuckin’ patience With myself, with admiration I’m runnin’ away from being this even if I’m the one I run away from
What do you want What will you do to get it? What do you want What will you do to get it? What do you want What will you do to get it? You betta Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle That word doesn’t even make sense any more Awards don’t mean shit But I put ‘em on my resume Picture me rich Shootin porn in an Escalade Nawww fuck that go to war for minimum wage Pour that venom and rage in morbid, lit-up displays Don’t trust anyone who’s never worked service Got a job and 401K and they think they deserve it Little Lena Dunhams with peanut butter to beat each other off and reach the circle jerk verdict of “hey, we really earned it!” Burn it down we gon make the place Ball hard Walkin home on Trinity Like we All Stars Playin’ Mario Kart with a cop car Switch it up Blue shell a Becky and fuck bein’ a rockstar Shot callers get blocked caller list dunked Starfucker y’all but you never got to come Broke rapper on a scooter and I burnt your truck Yeah you just insecure you never learned to fuuuuu My generation murdered every industry And we included ourselves in the killing spree Cuz it’s kill or be killed And we took the deal willingly Save the receipts and bill it to the twitter feed to show the people who killed the trees That we really really Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle That word doesn’t even make sense any more You got your yoga and your juice bar and your cyclin’ class I write my raps to an iPhone app till it dies low batt then I grind my stash until these rich white ladies decide that they might like rap I’ll fire back with a slight eye mack On divorcees while they like to ask is “Why define me by the times I'm havin'? just wait till I get my license back I bet can have any guy I ask 'cept for that rapper th at guy is wack and he actually thinks he understand how I've adapted fuck that he must be high on crack his chances of gettin' pussy are exactly as high as the odds that I'll buy a cat Wait” Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle Hustle hustle That word doesn’t even make sense anymore They dead inside already so we might as well kill ‘em They dead inside already so we might as well kill ‘em They dead inside already so we might as well kill ‘em They dead-a they dead-a dead-a they dead-a they dead-a They didn’t pay attention so so now they fallin’ behind that’s that kinda stress where you can’t tell if it’s all in your mind or if it’s part of your life that little demon keeps on crawlin’ inside whisperin’ “they’re dope as fuck you know that shit’s hard to deny” and you start to devise a plan that takes up all of your time To follow the lie they told because it’s hard to describe the high of standin’ on bodies I watch my carcass arrive as you witness the portrait of a young artist in his prime Hard work pays off If you get a raise at the day job and you’re lucky, connected, on antidepressants meet the right people make good impressions Course you’ll need that inheritance, so hey mom Oh and stay online 24/7 to play off today’s daily trendin’ So clock them 80 a week and then get paid for 11 Making you bleed but baby you was praying to eat So never sleep when the plate is heavy Then maybe you’ll make a livin’ ‘Less you have babies or need medicine Then raise it on Venmo Till then hate every second If you don’t, you wasted your energy You so hungry don’t you know how that greed go Kill your dream like Freddy till you can afford your dream home I’m so hungry don’t I know how that greed go Kill your dream like Freddy till I can afford my dream home He so hungry don’t he know how that greed go Kill my dream like Freddy till he can afford his dream home This Is God Murder murder You heard of it but we learning it Too many bodies on the daily keep the furnace lit these rappers pay an arm and leg just for a tourniquet that’s a little first aid humor for the nurses here Fuck Andrew Jackson now my money ain’t evil stackin’ Tubmans to the ceiling til we run into the sequel Rowdy Roddy Piper in my glasses at the Apple Store I’m out of bubblegum I’m gonna beat your ass then grab some more Hustle That word doesn’t even make sense anymore
I been drinking green tea all day Girl told me go play I don’t need no pass for the hallway Ted Lasso mind state but bed full of mind games Yes I know I’m great But I despise me So that’s despite me I’m scared I’m not enough I’m slapshotting my hockey puck Did you know that I played hockey once? That Midwest Molly sucker punch That Caligari Doctor funk That don’t wake the sleepwalker up He’ll cause you harm and self-destruct So shut the fuckin’ yuppies up I’m Garfunkel covering Monk I’m the art bought from out a trunk I’m Garfield on Monday I’m fuckin’ done with proving who I am to someone dumb Odds are I’m not what you want But long shot me is on the gun So aim your piece and say your piece we’re Carnage, Shriek, and Eddie Brock It’s a Marvel these old setting suns Don’t bob like old heads hitting rock Growing old is only lonely if you let that heavy rock erode with all the shit you seen and let it turn to shit you want Get gone Get the goddamn kids off the goddamn lawn I traded you to be famous too for a day or two I made the moves that the people say you should make in school No ethics as long as you believe you’re meant to be topping That’s that prosperity gospel for young millennial artists Who think it’s revolutionary to profit Money’s the root of all evil until you got it And everything I see has no context This life is still one hell of an incredible gift Like a 7” extended mix of Let’s Pretend by Prince But I’m not married to experience I mess around with it on weekends I stay ready to stay up late Baby I sleep in She got the press talkin Me I’m just bad news She wearin’ red bottoms Me I’m a baboon Or maybe strike that, reverse it When I’m spiteful I deserve it I’m an eyeful if you like guys in purple 12 bars, disciple circle Well taught, I fight to hurt you and I know how to hurt cuz I been wounded I stay losin’ like AA stays lucid Step 2, new Kydd
Don’t sleep on a California queen Made in America in NYC The one who broke the mold because the mold just didn’t fit The burglar that Hollywood had to chew and couldn’t spit The realest truest artist Plus the comic brilliance The only real twin To Robin Williams Plus her perseverance Showed love to millions And all by being herself no matter what position She played That kinda grit is insane The original multi-hyphenate She started out by simply writing shit Performing it And fighting every moment till the rain of more Came pouring in For every Oscar there is an obstacle but Deloris wins “Eat the dirt play the dirt be the dirt” These are words that I learned from the church Whoopi Goldberg this I’ve learned: Be your own boss and you’ll never be the crook Now the phone down and pick up the book By bestselling author …
Skeletons 04:12
Let’s go back to that corner In a little Iowa City You’d probably just call nowhere Avoidin’ lonely nights by paintin’ with loners I’m chasin’ a roll-up With General Tso and a grape soda Taste of China on break from next door Stackin’ videotapes at minimum wage It’s late, we stay open Writin’ verses on receipt paper While I play Area 51 with 2 guns on 2 player Load up Home studio in the bedroom on the 8th floor Record 8 takes hate ‘em and tape over ‘em I got templates for jewel cases And 2-page slips So I can take photos And make more I hate these local shows I should move weight and play tours I’ll get it on take four if you wanna stay for it Ooh baby Magic 8 ball told me reply hazy and to wait for it I’m gonna flip over this whole game board I don’t want to let go of my past But I don’t want to live there either Every day I get with you feels fast Why’s it still so hard to be here? It’s not a Healthy Choice Barely a Hungry Man But I’m so paranoid Nobody loves me and I probably annoyed All of my closest friends When I’m shown love I try to trust it but I’m a Jack-o-lantern When I’m hacked and slashed I only Get more interestin’ You can gut me But you’ll find the seeds of some good ideas In my intestines And my job is to impress adults but not impress children Childlike Empress blessed me So now I’m invinci– But never less inventive Unrepentant winner Blood is restless One-dimension done Infinite left and I stole the portal gun from Rick’s dresser kids, get in So forgive me if I’m burning bridges on an open tape I seek forgiveness for the shit I did growing thru growin pains But I did it for the city every week and I’d go again Just to walk up to a cypher in a circle on the deck And to throw my weight behind you if you wanna be on stage In line to wait I’m sorry that it had to go away I still believe in you homie It’s that road that we don’t take Grow that rose to a bouquet Don’t get stoned on the old days Skeletons don’t live in closets They’re underground Just starin’ up at us The present ground where the flowers blossom Is the buried past that we walk on top of Skeletons don’t carry grudges They belong to us We prepared the coffins Just remember when the flowers blossom They’re not gone We just walk on top of ’em And I know and I know and I know that you’re trying so hard Cuz you can always figure it out But figurin’ it out never lasts And I know and I know and I know and I know yeah Cuz you can always figure it out But you can’t force nobody to care You can always figure it out But where do we go from here?
Swing Batter 03:26
Hear a mother cry and they run the lights to split up a life and it’s undeniably one design to keep dumber whites on their fuckin side Fuckin despite you punks, you’re the violent ones fuckin bite your tongue Trolls is hidin son River Kwai on ‘em Bridge’s lightin’ up Abolish ICE and take all the tyrants They can all sign on the dotted line To the dark lord In that blood ties Like fuck you guys So hardcore With an underline What a bold bold bold bold type That so no homo type That no must mean go type Fuck your life up When I’m mic’ed up Like Russia spelling out ICUP If ya like Trump Then your life sucks Space Camp go hard get high as fuck Y’all screwheads need to brighten up And turn a light bulb on So you can lighten up That’s a deep ass sigh I don’t give a fuck if you see me cry 40 hour week didn’t sleep last night Desert of the real sipping Zizek Lite Books cost money So does weed and rice Money costs time So does heat and light Funny how they want You not to need this life Peter Pan but can’t squeeze in tights Lost boys growin’ up to be vampires So I’m Buffy with a piece of pine If you see me in your dreams tonight please don’t be surprised Swing batter swing batter swing batter swing That American dream, baby Swing batter swing batter swing batter swing That American dream, baby Water for horses Blood for dogs When I get drunk I wanna be hunter S Thompson Just a drumbeat from a gun between teeth My rum punch like a gut punch All bloody and pissed off but stumbling less often Like a mummy in fresh cotton My lungs bleed When my tongue heaves so the ugly gets swallowed Stain on my pillow signals death Like mid Autumn A slick conman spins a three card monte And I pick all of em Frame a picture of me on the tilt a world with a turkey leg, big swig, and spinned cotton Mouth dry from the candy Smiling and sick off it We came to America So we picked a big coffin The kind of friendship that benefits often Feels shitty to just document And shit talk shit when I’m pissed off mockin’ But I wish when you swim you’d get bit by a venomous moccasins And slip under the water so if the swamp is ever drained We can identify your carcass by The Crocs on it
Sorry for the wait Got a project baking I think this thing is on the way by the way I’m ovulating No plan B can stop this baby Broke with a nest egg this is omelette making And pour my guts into every track Like it was sausage casing Cheated on the game But hey, it’s complicated Shot a sitcom in April Been off then on and then off But stable Called me that long shot But I’m sniping now That John Cena and Nicole Byer now Cuz I’m Wiping Out and I Nailed It at the same time Wow – I should write this down I been rappin’ my ass off since you ate applesauce Since way before back in college when I hated Asher Roth Back when indie rap was so money you could rap it all up in a lo-fi cut and blow up with a low budget like a padded bra at half the cost But it got so seductive so fuck it It gets to feelin’ like it’s counterproductive to love it but I can’t help but love it so I do my damndest to put every cancerous bump, skin, hair, and my blood in this rap shit is my Malignant skull twin U will not see me coming Uhh Let’s just get stupid wit it Say some real cool shit Feel cool for a minute Uhh See the move predicted Lay the bridge right here Let the chorus end and When I want your advice I’ll ask for it Then ignore it So 1-2 here he comes Like “fuck you very much” Don’t call it a comeback Call it we broke up but sometimes we fuck Game needed me since I printed CDs on my PC free but who woulda thunk that the music pubs would all go the way of MTV I keep the club packed when they try’n close Aim a gun back for the rhinos Garth mode even tho I don’t own a gun much less many guns that would necessitate a gunrack I dunno That’s a fun fact Kids yelling fuck that Tekken 3 with the Gunjack Said if I’m a dad, I’m a fun dad You my stepson Give you PS1 tips Like a Stetson, m’lad If I was black, I never would’ve had that open mic You whites know that right? The city stays racist no matter the shows at night They say they don’t see color Like damn, what an oversight Take ‘em for all they got Fuck ‘em – how’s that for a closing line


This album is dedicated to my aunt Debbie, who passed away from suicide in 2001.

It’s my first solo album in 7 years. It’s a dense layer cake of depression and hope, political anger and pop culture escape, and life changes both chosen and endured, made immediate by Bird Peterson’s bombastic, maximalist electronic production and elevated by features from some of my favorite rappers. Making it helped me, and I hope listening to it helps someone else.

Debbie was the epitome of the “cool weird aunt”, the Iowa girl who escaped the Midwest and moved to California. I remember somewhere around 1999 reading her poems I wrote over the phone and talking to her about music and books. But beside a handful of calls and visits, she was the family member that I most pieced together from hearsay: She lived with another woman out there, she “self-medicated” with weed, she struggled with depression, worked a lot of various jobs — but to me, she was the artist, the weirdo, the black sheep who got out.

Later, I left the Midwest too — I moved to Austin in 2008, and I spent 12 years there building a rich and creative life. I released several albums and founded a hip hop event called Austin Mic Exchange, which flourished for 5 years as a weekly open mic. When that event ended in 2017, it created an absence one that deepened by avoidant reclusiveness at not wanting to face a music scene I worried I’d abandoned.

I had to keep making stuff, and I diversified — I started acting, hosting different events, taking comedy classes. But music, I knew, was my lifeblood, and the longer I stayed away, the more I worried I might never get it back again. I had writers’ block for years. I worried I had nothing to say. I felt worthless. I had a great job at a tech company, I was making good money, and I was more depressed than I’d ever been in my life.

When COVID hit, I had no more excuses holding me back, and I made the jump I’d been dreaming about since high school — I moved to Los Angeles. The first thing I learned about my new apartment was that its previous tenant’s name had been Debbie. I felt like I’d inherited a charge to make this artistic, weird, and happy life work, and in that apartment, I recorded this album.


I first heard the prototypes for beats on this album in 2015 when producer Bird Peterson reached out to my then-rap-trio about doing a record together. They were the most exciting production I’d ever had the chance to write with, and when the group project fell apart, they became the fuel, the reason, for me to come back to music. As such, this album took 7 years to make — 7 years of major life changes, deep depressions, artistic wins, political rage, and a cross-country move.

Through scraps of verses and short bursts of energy, this slowly and accidentally became the most personal piece of art I’ve ever produced — part diary, part soapbox, a rebuke of capital and an embrace of radical empathy, written in dense verse and set to shoulder-grabbing stereo production. Me and Bird’s aesthetic and instincts made for the perfect marriage, and looking back I see the worth in the wait.

I named this record “GONZO RECITES POETRY WHILE DEFUSING A BOMB” for many reasons: Gonzo is that weirdo artist who doesn’t care about anything but creation. Gonzo and I share a desire to merge “low art” and “high art”. In the titular sketch, Gonzo is reading “To a Skylark” by Shelley, a poem about how human sadness will always taint our art, as opposed to the purely joyful sounds of the “Bird”. Shelley’s wife Mary (of Frankenstein fame) was the first to translate the works of Goethe (such as Faust) into English. And Goethe, I have long been told, is my great-great-great-etc. uncle, a family fact from my father that both inspires me and triggers that “failed potential” shame so many former gifted kid millennials feel.

The cover art is a painting of Goethe superimposed with a photo my dear friend Vineet took of me wrestling with a very sweet dog named Lil Butt. It’s low art, it’s high art, it’s me. It’s the veneer of poise and the chaos of a kennel. It is my poetry and my bomb. It is my father and my mother, wrestling inside of me always. It is the result of 7 years of change and uncertainty.

But enough esoteric string connecting. This is also a big, loud, lovingly produced album celebrating being a weirdo in a hard world, and it’s for anyone who worries their best days are behind them. To you, to myself, and for Debbie — they’re not.

- Protextor


released June 26, 2023

produced by Bird Peterson
lyrics by Protextor
recorded in Los Angeles, CA
mixed and mastered in Austin, TX


all rights reserved



Protextor Los Angeles, California

Pop culture poet.

American hip hop artist known for a mix of technical rap, soulful performance, funk-forward production, and complex lyrics.

Prince superfan, 90s kid, VHS collector.

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