“My platform is a rap song.”
—Nas, “Black Man In A White World” [with Michael Kiwanuka], 2016

This dissertation is comprised entirely of digital sounds. It begins with the scratching sound of a needle placed onto the outer grooves on a record, an artificial call to consciousness of its entanglement in the histories of sound technologies, an attempt toward sonic modernity …

Lyrical transcriptions of components of this project are posted at genius.com as well as embedded on this site. These lyrics can be annotated on the genius.com site by any user who would like to contribute to them. Please add your voice to the conversation.

  1. Intro: [Dixie Remixed, or I Wish We Were So Great]
  2. Dissertation [Part I: The Introduction]
  3. Willie Revisited
  4. Impeach The President
  5. Internal Contradiction [The Showdown]
  6. Grand Wizard
  7. Black Love Poem [for Amiri, Malcolm, Martin, and Mandela]*
  8. Talking To Ghosts
  9. Golden Silence [“Live” From Saas-Fee, Switzerland]
  10. The Song I Should Have Written
  11. Find The Ledge
  12. Take Two Listens
  13. See The Stripes
  14. Truth On The Beat
  15. If I Could [Tell You]
  16. S.A.T. [Part II]
  17. Time Tales Tell
  18. Waiting For
  19. Letter Home
  20. Ferguson, MO
  21. Some Thoughts [On Just Us]
  22. Message
  23. Sick
  24. Documented
  25. 80’s
  26. Broken Windows
  27. Second Amendment [Shoot Back]
  28. Good Mourning, America [Live]
  29. Familiar
  30. Word.
  31. Scribbles
  32. Grading On A Curve
  33. Trapped
  34. Talking To White Folks