Lesser Restoration

by Toussaint Morrison

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about

Toussaint Morrison had a plan. It was to release 5 mixtapes and then immediately release original (non-sampled) material alongside his producer & adventure capitalist Dr. Wylie. Then, 2015 happened, (several anxiety attacks, the loss of his grandmother, acting alongside Judy Greer and Woody Harrelson in the movie Wilson, etc.) dumping said plans into a vat of floating good intention, heartbreak, and self-sabotage. This pitted Morrison with the challenge of finishing the songs he wanted to put out, or confronting matters at hand and writing the songs he had to. Alas, it was the latter.

Lesser Restoration is a short album consisting of 10-song recollection surrounding Morrison’s past year and handful of months. Littered with lamenting his birthplace of New Orleans, owning several years of belligerence, and speaking to “sittin’ in a room full of white smiles, waiting for permission to hope”, Morrison’s new album speaks to the vulnerability of reconstructing your identity apart from who you selfishly thought you were and exploring whiteness in Minnesota. Lesser Restoration considers the advantages of being heartless rather than heartbroken, unlawful than law-abiding, and dying black & proud rather than living submissive through a forced smile.

Although his considerations may never reach definitive resolutions within the context of the album, Morrison still pressures the legacy of whiteness in America having forged the myth of black skin being an ultimate threat to society. That legacy fully encapsulated in “Minnesota” as Toussaint measures it no further than the largest mass execution in U.S. history taking place in Mankato, MN, the lynchings in Duluth, and the murder of Jamar Clark, Philando Castiile and Terrance Franklin in the Twin Cities- all scenarios where a person of color was deemed unworthy of life at the hands of white authority.

To any mind unbeknownst of role playing games, “Lesser Restoration” sounds to be some form of carpentry or a slick-slight-of-hand maneuver originated by contractors. As cool as we’d sound if it were the latter, it is not- also, confirming the author of this bio is not that cool- “Lesser Restoration” is something to tide over an adventurer who has been wounded. In Morrison’s case, it merely satiates the nerves before bigger things yet to come.

credits

released May 19, 2017

Lyrics & Vocals by Toussaint Morrison
Produced & Mixed by Dr. Wylie

Banjo by Rick Widen
Bass by Colin Motschke
Drums by Jesse Mattila
Piano & Organ by Matt Tierney
Violin by Charlotte Mattis
Guitar by Edward Folly

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about

Toussaint Morrison Minneapolis, Minnesota

Toussaint Morrison is an actor/vocalist/evil enabler. Having released his 5th mixtape in unholy-matrimony and deadly cabal with producer Dr. Wylie, the hip-hop soul screamer is conspiring a solo album chalk full of original material. Stay tuned for bonus material, vocals-only tracks, and tour dates. ... more

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Track Name: Loaded Hearts (feat. Faye Lewis)
Chorus

Javelins flyin’ overhead, overhead, overhead
Attack of the clones bred from the same venom
Defendin’ a throne for an honor lost in it
You want me, you can go ahead, go ahead, go ahead
I made my peace with the past, lord willin’
But the future, future, future
-
Coroner, judge, bank and jury
It’s all the same to me, it’s all game to me, customer service
Loaded hearts, black minds
I’m about it I was born into that life
Now, how they expect me to be chill when there’s prison blocks they wanna keep filled
Handcuffs they been waitin’ to refill and black bodies that they wanna keep still
Nah. You wanna advertise butterflies in a glass jar
I’d rather lose face, keep my skin and freedom standin’ on Gray Skull

Naaaah, you mufuckas don’t know me. Why you wanna act like it?
Teach me my history and let me celebrate it like you authorized it
Cut off the tragedy and accountability from the timeline and cauterized it
Green lightin’ the rewrite you rewrote, but we both know I’m the author of my shit
Yeaaaah, a threat to all you know and love
Simply by turnin’ oxygen in to C-O-Dub
Aire to the throne of Latveria
And born on a waiting list of Deathrow America with

Chorus

I could be sittin’ with Lauryn Hill singin’ “It could all be so simple”
Or whisperin’ sweet nothins to girls I ain’t even into
But I made a promise to my grandma, that I’d keep it trill
So my lane is only for my fans, my people, my work with or without the wheels
I push it like bad policies, religion, refinance and revolvin’ doors
But pushin’ ain’t a problem even if the wheels ain’t on’em. Hold up! Hoverboard!
But see me in my city where disparity thrives and livin’ while black is little more a social crime
Rock n roll on life support screamin’, “Life is short”. I’m from where hip-hop goes to die

Negative fucks, +1 Shield
I walk the day, I run the night, I’m a bonafide stone cold Dunpeal
Hit it. Wanna entertain I don’t come real
I don’t walk the house, I don’t run the field. Please believe, boy, I run fields!
Get it? Hell is relative to where you from
Rookies thinkin’ that they got a cure with the holy gun
But I see with my Buena vista from Doomstadt
It’s still black and white with old money and new traps with


Chorus
Track Name: New Gods (feat. Molly Dean, Chersti Rydning)
Chorus

Hello, it’s me
Again
Your hell couldn’t hold me down
I’m back
And smilin’ for what’s to happen next
I think it’s time you call your god.
-
Been makin’ over night flights across town for several nights now,
Pacin’ with light cycles; streaks’a neon off a kite tail
I run a nice route, but I feel my heart fadin’
Reminscin’ past rides with Tetsuo and Kanata
And before you meet the maker,
One of these nights you find out what you’re made of
You can fight it ‘til you last breath collapses
Or accept this is you and let them fangs out unabashed
I’m on.

River City to Riverside, look alive
I cast shadows in the night from a neon Matin sign
Billy and Jimmy Lee watch the 6 back in ‘99
Fight or flight divine, now it’s only fight to fight
Delightful spite, swinging lead pipes for a righteous price
I ain’t for sale tho, keep the offer
Evening extremists can’t be bought into crack’a dawn joggers
I write lines between day walkers and midnight marauders
Preppin’ hooks like Ruthless Robbie Muthafuckin’ Lawler.

Don’t know what y’all heard, the pearl’s a hardened sinner
But if she can slow dance on a floor full’a phantasmal killers
Then I’ll let her wear my hoodie, come and ride shotgun
Silver bullets in the glove compartment, Billy Compton
And company come fuck with me
Run your keys, fuck your jewels, I seen things you can’t unbelieve
Spades a spade, but only mythril’s up my sleeve
Just an American Sabrewolf on these London streets

Know one thing: Don’t pick a fight
With a man who’s died twice and dudn’t believe in the Lord of Light
50/50’s my norm, you don’t wanna see my risky
Just tell’em that I’m comin’ and I’m bringin’ hell with me

Chorus

Nothin’ a full moon can’t heal
Standin’ on the city landfill sippin’ Stab & Kill
Nursin’ old wounds, catchin’ new feels
It’s just another date with a devil in blue heels
So, I’m out:
Nola, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Shine Town, Metro City- hands up and come out
St. Paul, Scotland, Eire
Detroit, Argon- put’em in the sky

All through the night
Where the hype goes to die
Danger intravenous to heart
While I’m outrunnin’ my ghosts up, off and through the wall
Burning down
Was always the better between the two next to
Fading out
I wouldn’t have it any different than what it is right now
Just a grin in the dark

Now, I hear them talkin’ fire, but revenge is best served cold
Yeah, I’m always new to town; Vagabond, Ninja Scroll
Now, the Belmont’s on vacation, I think you might wanna leave
Cos it’s me, a few dangerous strangers, and Wylie.
So run out, run out, run out, run out, run out…

Chorus
Track Name: First of Her Name
She’s a mystery
I don’t wanna understand
She’ll make ya question
From just a glance
And I don’t
Dance the fence or
Think at all
When she says

Meet me in my world
Meet me in my world

Where the light goes to die
And drown in the unknown
Beneath an unfamiliar city that feels like home
And that’s when
I saw death
Around the corner
And she grabbed by the hand and said

Walk with me in my world
Walk with me in my world

Beneath the burnin’ clouds
And starless dsky
A city that’s always dark
You can never tell the night from day
Her eyes light up like cars on fire
Some say you can see from miles afar
Voodoo magic glows through her veins

And she says if this is poison…
I don’t want the cure
If this is darkness…
Save me from the light
If this is your hell…
Then I’ll call it home
Cos everything you’ve taken
I take back as my own

My own
Track Name: Daisy
Daisy,
The last time your mother hit ya,
You flew off the bed, I told her to stop
I couldn’t let my silence be complicit
And watch her take out her misguided anger on someone so young
Said she was goin’ to go to counclin’ for it
Manager her emotions and take accountability for’em
Eh, that never happened
I took the rage as misplaced for lack of bein’ proactive

But there was that one night, she yelled so loud
I swear to God her eyes turned red, and for a moment I saw hell
She’s an angry woman, a liar and a cheater
And if the next guy is half the man I am, he’ll stop her before the next time she tries to beat ya
I mean it, we’re silly humans, and we think about what we think
It’s not important. Daisy, I’ve seen the end.
It’s beautiful and only measured by our action.

As for me, I’m doin’ better than expected
The view of the river from living room is a blessing
I know you wanted freedom so many damn times
And tried to escape your mother’s place day & night
Some mornings if felt simple,
Wakin’ up to you starin’ out that window
Escapist for life, you made a run for the river
Neck and neck with a dream of a life worth livin’

Baby, the equation’s so basic, don’t get it twisted
Without respect, there can be none given
And Daisy, now that I’m on the other side of the glass
My advice the next time you make a run for it: Don’t look back

Now, let me tell ya somethin’ ‘bout ya daddy: Mildly the same minus the angry part
Never struck ya but still willingly claims the dark.
I’m a venerable rebel, my friend. Salam.
They wanna see my skin tone get cold in a kennel
Welcome to the boss level, full of Irish goodbyes and East Detroit hellos,
Lower Eastside stilettos. Mastered the art of lettin’ go
Some say it’s gotten quicker than the fists of Kenshiro

I just do the work and let the rumors sound off,
It’s elevator music while I ascend another mountain
New Orleans proud son, Milwaukee town punk
Made a soapbox from a gutter, to shout from
Daisy, tell me , is it strange it feels weightless
Smiles no longer vagrant, veins for train stations
Pushin’ pushin’ that sweet venom from artery to hand
Don’t hate to break it to ya, I’m a bad bad man

I didn’t ask for permission
I didn’t ask for forgiveness
I didn’t ask for opinions
Took what I needed and kept goin’ passed the finish
And the next time she hits ya
Know it’s meant for someone different
And if ya ever make it out that window,
Run Daisy Run, do like ya daddy did it

Go on ‘til ya can’t go on
And I still haven’t stopped
Go on ‘til ya can’t go on
Until the wheels roll off
Go on ‘til ya can’t go on
Sun down to sun up
Go on ‘til ya can’t go on
Track Name: Minnesota
She cares for me with cops
Looks after me with laws
Calls me "nigger" when I'm not around

Employs me with a job
Kisses me with snow
Keeps me alive to make the wheels go 'round

And you convince yourself it's ok
Because it's all you've known
Surrounded by white smiles
Waitin' for permission to hope

So, she takes me down to the ballot box
And let's me pray without the cross
Makes my bed and she lays me down
-
Chorus
And she says she loves me
She says she loves me
She says she loves me
And I feel nothing
She says she loves me
She says she loves me
She says she loves me
And I feel...
-
Met her' back in '86
And she ain't been right since
I suspect somethin' long's been goin' on

I knew she had a past and all
And I believed her when she said those days were long gone
Until I took a good look at the ground

I saw pictures of Mankato
Pictures of Duluth
The video from Saint Paul
The dead spoke the truth

They said, "Old habits die hard,
but this money's one helluva drug.
She's got a dealer named legacy
and a drunk step daddy named America.

Brother, if you want to fight the good fight
Then you'll have to understand that she won't go by fallin' on her own sword
You'll have to reconstruct the handle to the blade, so there's a price to pick it up
'Cos we've all heard it before."
-
Chorus
-
Well I marched all the way to her front door
Demanded to know what the hell is goin' on
She drew a smile with those big blue eyes
And said, "Why so serious.

They named schools and lakes after murderers
they called masters
They protect my land with murderers
they call officers

They got a prison cell made for ya
and a bullet with your name on it,
and every time I made your bed
was just to measure out the grave for ya.

I wasn't born this way.
Could you help me change?"
She grabs me by the throat
and holds me down
-
Chorus
Track Name: Bury Your Son
Grabbed my bags
Brought all my devils with me
It’s time to see if this story ends any different in the city
My ride’s full
Blew a kiss in the cold
It’s all I have left to give her to hold

Here we are, all alone on the road again
Restin’ my fate with the sun, that she’ll point me in
The right direction
Anywhere but here
Ran outta time to give and
Feelings to feel, cos I’m
-
Chorus

Cold from the inside
Consoled by the midnight
They treat ya wrong ‘til ya don’t mind
But not me, I raise a fist and look’em forthright
-
The sun has resigned
She’s no longer with us
I close my eyes, push the pedal
And let go
The sky grows dark
Along with my convictions
I’m a dangerous man
Because they told me so

What’s your name, dear?
Who’s your savior?
When trouble comes, you grab your gun
Where do you aim it?
Excuse the questions
Precautions in my veins
When you’ve seen worse than death
It’ll make ya

Chorus
Track Name: New Orleans
Chorus

New Orleans
New Orleans
I am your son, risen like the dust
I have returned, do with me what you must
-
Would you take me back, as a broken man
With poison in my heart and open hands
I am your blood, you are my soul
Spent most my life running from those I love,
Spent most my life away from your arms

In the northern plains, beyond the suns embrace
Where blood runs cold and death entertains
To smile while you kill and bring evil to grace
I’ve done thing time cannot erase,
I’ve seen too much and envy the blind some days.

Chorus

I awoke one morn to a love no more,
so I went and drank fire ‘til the world made sense
The 8th Devil of Kimon stood at my door
And said walk with me and make recompense
Side by side, we float beneath the stars
Turned from the light, breathing without pules
The 8th Devil grinned and let go my hand
Alone I was in this hell again
Alone I was
And so I ran

Chorus
Track Name: Favourite Game (feat. Lucy Michelle)
Katie, it’ll take more than salvation
The world shifted 4 inches but I never felt the wave hit
This planet’s swallowin’ itself, we can’t claim it
And I’m sure now more than ever it’s not what we take with
Let alone who your God thinks you should be datin’
The after-life can wait, right now this world needs savin’
If you didn’t have so many definitions, I’d kiss ya
Hard. Until your knees wondered what hit ya.

So, Katie, heaven or hell, please tell me my destination
Jesus has patients, but he sure isn’t waitin’
We used to watch cops, everyday, regulate their God-complex
Walkin’ with Abdullahi and Muhammad around the Plaza
But all praises be to Allah, if we get there
Talkin’ to my grandfather over his grave, with a warm beer
Because Katie, you got more walls than most
But it won’t stop me from speakin’ thru’em like mailin’ letters to prisoners post
-
Chorus

For all we know and all we don’t
Everything was meant to change
Tomorrow’s comin’ round and today is goin’ out
It’ll never be the same
But I know, I know, I know, I know
For me, you will never fade.
-
Kyle, I dig your hat, I dig your style
I’m mildly obsessed and I don’t care to fight it
Ever since I saw you at Bon Apetit with Steph
He’d introduce you as Cecil and then say you lost the bet
And there it was, back then it seemed so species
You planted a tree at the extinction of the Cenospecies
I watched it grow until I had to graduate
And attend a funeral after The Blend dug its own grave

I tried talkin’ to Dotty, but she was already pilled up
Rantin’ that rap can’t save you, but credits her life to hip-hop
Got it
Took another Lexapro and she popped it
But amongst the metro I too slowly let go
Your voice and cadence are few of the things I withhold
Long live the tree that blooms all seasons in your garden
Long live the hands that give it water, long live the otter

Chorus

It’s not my place to put your name out in the open
But want to say what I couldn’t, during visiting hours at St. Joseph’s
Playing Go Fish at the inpatient lounge
With enough sedated rage to shake the foundations off the ground
The weight in your veins, the colors that came back to your face
The truth that saved this page from a eulogy for an early grave
To say “I love you” doesn’t come close to the zip code or continent
Where my heart lives for your livelihood

I wanted to be a monolith, but the ceiling still fell
And there we were, playing cards in rehab while we could still feel
And I’m sorry that I couldn’t be more,
That I couldn’t find the words until I was starin’ at this coffeeshop’s floor
Curses, bad luck and adversity lose all currency at your entrance,
as your will flexes beyond the permanent
I never met your father, but if he’s anything your made of
I’d day happy to be half that man. Say love.

Chorus
Track Name: Baby Gots Venom
Packed up the bottle, burned another down
It’s time to see if my luck is any better in the next town
Scorned my lover, I wouldn’t let her in
I got these walls that I built long ago, and they’re thick
I’m an exit. Moments flow through me.
Nobody’s tool except my heart when it’s pulling
I tried to cut it out once, but I couldn’t find a blade
Sharp enough to cut through the walls I already made

There’s no trouble in the discomfort of the act
It’s the comfort in not lettin’ you love me back
The fear of givin’ you a world you no longer want
A world that celebrates the light as much as the dark
My past sits with me most mornings at the breakfast table
Next to an empty chair that sits next to Banquo
That sits next to the idea you can only dream careful
When sittin’ next to your worst fears and people you won’t let go

I don’t know who I am
Can’t expect you to know better
But if ya can, hold my hand
While I’m out here tryin’ to get there
-
Chorus

When in doubt, don’t try to figure me out
My past’ll make ya momma run for the hills
Trust when the gravity hits ya, I’ll be right there to lift ya
I can take fire without givin’ hell

So long to that stranger ya knew
Salam to the new night
So long to your red, white and blue
Salam to the good fight
-
Finished the bottle, let another burn
Right now, I’m good. I’ll figure out my luck in the next world
My lover’s gone. The scorn was too much
For her to understand scorn goes hand in hand with love
And I’m no yoga in the park
I’ll take your ideals out for a good swing dance in the dark
Y’see, light’s an illusion: She’s deadly and gorgeous
So, now I only take direction from the local blind swordsman

If blood can coexist with the poison in my veins
Then there’s no wall that can’t be given a door frame
I keep it locked, not to keep you out.
Momma told me not to let a viper in the house
Baby gots venom, I’m still her huckleberry
It’s the vanity that makes this samurai wary
The jagged parts of my life are the only parts that I got
And they’ve made good for buildin’ a city around the heart

You wanna be right and get what you want
Ya wanna sure thing and a pleasant surprise
I can’t promise it all, but I’ll give ya good love
And a full heart cos you the Triforce of my eye
-
Chorus

When in doubt, don’t try to figure me out
My past’ll make ya daddy grab his pistol
Trust when the gravity hits ya, I’ll be right there to lift ya
I can take fire without givin’ hell

So long to that stranger ya knew
Salam to the new night
So long to your red, white and blue
Salam to the good fight
Track Name: Last Day of School (feat. Jimmy & The Threats)
Oh, I
I used to believe
In their definition of free
I’d go to class
And days go by
While they taught someone else’s history

But when I left
For good this time
I found my story right here in this street
And when I came to tell ya
That I found the truth
They told me that God awful bad news
-
Chorus

They said a young man was
Shot down yester-eve
Another number and a non-white face
Well, hot damn, what’s come over me
My heart is beatin’, but I can’t feel a thing
Inside-out, it’s all empty
They teach us lies ‘til we dig our own graves
But not now, not me
Not ‘til I make the city sing your name
-
It’s tougher to buy your principal’s bullshit than a bullet
Discount ammunition at Walmart ain’t hard to sell
We both know there’s no part of a 16 year old
Bleedin’ from a hole in his chest that can be saved by the bell
I’m in it, I’m in it, from standardized lives to colonized minds
Who’da thought middle-age from brown males would be the age’a 8 and 9
They called a new principal to save ya school and make a scholar
But I wouldn’t trust that slave driver to save a dollar

Security and c-o-p’s God-complex’ll make ya holla
But hell forbid you teach how the rich stay rich and light a fire for the rest of the class to follow
A paper trail, all the way from the bottom to the H.M.I.C., intern to the top of the office
Of a school board flunkin’ a demographic to jobless, impoverished, or droppin’ dead
Droppin grades, poppin lead and droppin pens
I dropped the school and now I’m droppin’ ed. and droppin’ debt
Born upon a ledge and all they wanna do is push- push me off of it
But don’t get wide eyed and surprised when the precinct lieutenant is callin in

Chorus

United Crushers, we fight, fly, and die amongst us
Collide at lunch rush, a cafeteria of misguided assumptions
And the roof we’re under dudn’t do much but give in and catalyze the plunder
White principals tryin’ to find a resolution for the racial tension they never had to suffer
Books on books on books of A.P. U.S. History,
But somehow the syllabus always dodges John Brown and Garvey
It’s Malcolm X Day, no class for me.
I’m just kickin’ it with Driss and Abdulaziz

We were 10, with middle school dreams of becomin’ police, firemen, presidents, controllers
Of our destiny until the floor boards gave in and the curtain dropped down and exposed a joke
Of a system hegemonizin’ at-risk young minds, inner-city and all over
From becomin’ future Assata Shakurs and Billy Powell Chief Osceolas
This is money, politics, and race in motion
Somebody stop the car, we need to figure out where we’re goin’
No one’s exempt, we’re all in it over, and under
Givin’ all of everything just to avoid another…

Chorus
-
Bridge

Oh, I
I used to believe
In their definition of free
I’d go to class
And days go by
While they taught someone else’s history

But when I left
For good this time
I found my story right here in this street
And when I came to tell ya
That I found the truth
They told me that God awful bad news
-
Chorus

It was a young man, like you
On any eve
Wrong place, wrong time, everything
Leads up to this legacy
Of little pride and so much shame
But right now, you and me
Have the chance to steer our fate
So, no one dies in vain