Ultimate Illusion EP

by Concrete Cee & Marius Gold

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1.
02:42
2.
03:48
3.
03:37
4.
02:53
5.
07:38
6.
03:08

about

Ultimate Illusion - A Final Fantasy tribute.

One of my favorite games in the historical Final Fantasy series was Final Fantasy IX, which featured many interesting concepts. There was a world within a world, a world made of memories, the character-specific motifs, and then, my favorite character Gilgamesh made a rather unique cameo.

I often related to the way Gilgamesh was presented and seen in the series and created an alter ego named Brother Gil.

My intention with this project was, first and foremost, to pay hommage to the great work that the developers of this game had done. However, I did not want to retell the story of the game. I wanted to create the ultimate illusion, as in the merging of reality and fantasy.

To do so, I needed to connect my own story with that of the characters in the game and use the series' own lore to create metaphors that would reference the game and yet get my story across. I also refer back to the real world to merge reality and fiction.

I wanted to challenge myself creatively by employing storytelling elements, voice acting and also utilizing my alter ego to great effect.

Marius Gold, who produced the album, took great care in making the project sonically cohesive by adding a distinct touch to the mix like recurring theme.

Hopefully people who love the game's series will listen to it and appreciate the effort I put into it in staying true to the lore and myself as well.

All my respect goes out to Nobuo Uematsu, the creator of many of the soundtracks in the Final Fantasy series.

Marius and I sincerely hope you will enjoy this creative joyride, as we create, and destroy... the ULTIMATE ILLUSION.

credits

released November 1, 2015

all samples from Final Fantasy IX OST by Nobuo Uematsu

Written by: Cedric Till
Produced by: Marius Gold
Recorded by: Marius Gold
Mixed by: Marius Gold
Mastered by: Andy Schlegel

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Track Name: Climhazzard
[Verse 1 Concrete Cee / Brother Gil]
From the first steps taken, in a realm
Which by magic is created, from raw imagination
Inspired by mythology and history that's ancient
This trip requires proper documentation

Gil's brought a sphere from Spira to help assist us
We're traveling the rift, no telling what's beyond
As we're unraveling the mist, random battles with its spawn
But they all find their end, when Excalibur is drawn

In less than half of a day, we made it to a place
The entire planet's memory collectively created
There was a message from Enkidu, he left
The sequel to Excalibur near a column, he sought the Tin Armor

Listen, Gil, you won't find a better weapon
Your skills are maxed out, brother, what are you sweating?
This is about our recognition
We always fought well, but something just kept missing

Treasures become bland, these pleasures, they all pass
A man is measured by more than fame that doesn't last
A purpose claims you, it's a call you must heed
There won't be an us no more, it's just me


[Chorus Concrete Cee / Brother Gil]
Promises don't matter, hearts are getting shattered
This is Climhazzard
Crushing all these rappers, pawns are getting captured
This is Climhazzard

Acknowledgement is good, but liberation's better
This is Climhazzard
Addition by substraction, precision in your actions
This is Climhazzard

I once killed a 1000 enemies single-handed
This is Climhazzard
How can Rap be dead, when I'm the Gold Standard?
This is Climhazzard


[Outro]
For one last time...
We will travel the rift worlds...
For one last time...
We will challenge the gap between reality and fiction

So all you who doubt us, let it be our honor to chop you down to size
For one last time...
Cause when the melody fades... and the credits roll...
Know this!

We will have become immortals...
Track Name: Lancer
[Verse 1]
Another night on the town, back when I toured around
With scoundrels, I found joy in it, just to bounce thru pubs
Getting wasted, nary a thought spent on the fact
That at the day's end, what am I really chasin'?

Girls and love, none of that available
Money? Well, no business plan is failure proof
The band scattered, the leader was like "make your move"
Gave'em the deuce and left, overdue for a vacation

I was too stressed, my voice started wearing
You're not alone - I kept hearing, yet staring into distance
The words didn't reach me, despite their insistence
Started seeing the word friendship

A lot different, I was pensive, even apprehensive
Even spent days without speaking a sentence
What built inside my soul, an anger that Dementia
Doesn't begin to describe,
Be careful as you enter


[Verse 2: Concrete Cee] (Brother Gil)
I still live in the past, am I past my prime at 25?
Or am I headed for another climb?
The omniscient voice I keep hearing
Says he had a plan for me, but I keep interfering

Answered curtly, the only dependable thing
About the future is uncertainty, heard me?
Guess he did, but no further response
Never heard from him again, where has he gone?

Not too far, in fact I'm always behind you
I'm the mirror image you are blind to
Thought I'd show you the ropes, aid you on your mission
But I can't be bothered, cause you have always been an

Impatient Capricorn, I ran up a hill toward the sun
And fell asleep from exhaustion
Woke up in a hammock with an open book in my lap
The 200th page read: "Cee, this is where your story ends..."


[Verse 3]
The music keeps playing from the Grammophone rear as
The lance of the dark rider burns down Cleyra
The tree of life keeps emitting mist we near the
Breaking point of spirit and I wonder will the skies clear?

Five years since the end of a road
A new beginning was told, I braved my fears and I showed
A sheer resistance to cold, sporting a Dark Hat
As like every year winter time was on the doormat

The Ragtime Mouse quizzed me, my answer? I marked X
The question was "Do you regret that you started to rap?"
Certain things you just do without acknowledging the
Consequences, on your surroundings, as you treasure hunt for artifacts

Diggin' in the crates. rummaging through chests
But beware of the Magic Pots and Mimics in your path
And last but not least, come across an Epitaph
Your mirror image in front of you, will turn to shattered glass

A reminder of your future, the present is a neverending race
To escape the persecution of your past
The story of the Lancer, that people never grasped
Sure was humble in its making but the resonance was vast....
Track Name: Thievery
[Verse 1] [Concrete Cee / Brother Gil]
Monetary dearth turns dignified men
Into thieving scumbags who'll relieve you of your purse
Or your trinkets, foresight required, if you're trying
To leave alive, wanna reach for your sword?
Don't think it!

Gladius at your neck -
Fork over your belongings!
Why you think I'm rapping to you?
Well, poor kings get dethroned and beheaded
Check your history, ya big nosed professor, it must be true if he said it

Any delay of the pay? You'll live to regret it
I'm only here for a moment in time
I check the aisles for loose change, people throwing me dimes
Such is the life of the Tantalus adventurers, handle it

No manuscripts are found that, detail
The operation, but the city watch is running observation
Bunch of chumps, the ladies are more fearsome
All the heists I pulled and they ain't ever hear none!


[Hook] [Concrete Cee / Brother Gil]
All night long
I'm plotting on the next score
All night long
I want the gold and the swords
All night long
There is nothing too sacred
Like a magpie, if it shines, I'll take it


[Verse 2] [Brother Gil]
In a city that knows no day, it happened that
I ran into a princess, nabbed a grand from her in an instant
A handsome ransom, made for the bar, in the
District where the poor play cards to raise their living standard

The sultry maid served ale, I tipped her well
She said my rank was too low to get some tail
I drew my sword, then pointed it at the wall
A poster depicting my face, read there's a reward

If the man known as Alleyway Jack is caught
A million Gil's offered, have some heart, harlot!
She insisted that it wasn't good business
I left the pub, pissed, went to kill a Griffin

Took the money from the fight, and spent it on a pendant
Give it to a fine lass, maybe she would give in
No such luck, I'm running out of dimes
I want to leave this place, I'm tired of hearing Ragtime!


[Hook] [Concrete Cee / Brother Gil]
All night long
I'm plotting on the next score
All night long
I want the gold and the swords
All night long
There is nothing too sacred
Like a magpie, if it shines, I'll take it


[Interlude] !
Auctioneer: (faux-aristocratic) And for today's auction, we offer a prized set of blades
First item on the list: The "Ultima Sword"
Shall we start the bidding at 99,000 Gil?

Brother Gil: (thinking out loud) 99,000? I think I'll just take it!

Auctioneer: (indignant) You would dare to rob this auction!?

Brother Gil: (roguish) You would dare not handing over that sword to me at once?

Auctioneer: Summon the guards! Guards?

Brother Gil: They're resting... oh, and by the way the doors are locked.
None of you fat blue blooded pricks are getting out of here
Unless you empty your wallets... hehehe...

Concrete Cee: Yo Gil, let's get out of here, the Baron let the Behemoth out!

Brother Gil: Good, finally a worthy opponent.
You lot shall live, for now... I'll be back...



[Hook] [Concrete Cee / Brother Gil]
All night long
I'm plotting on the next score
All night long
I want the gold and the swords
All night long
There is nothing too sacred
Like a magpie, if it shines, we'll take it!
Track Name: Pandemonium
[Verse 1] (Concrete Cee) {Brother Gil}
Back at his lab, the lair of his artistry
Where limestone blocks are prepared, for lithography
Everything I draw is a trace, of what I draw it from
Honesty's the ingredient, most forgone it seems

Hard-heartedly I boss around novices
Probably remiss if I didn't, in my beginnings
I took it a little scholarly to keep my mouth shut when a master speaks
So nowadays they don't want a feature

Life Path number 6 is the teacher, you see
"The way is in the training, not the songs nor the battles either"
Find me at the forge, melting down bars
Folding layer after layer to a sword

Weeks later, I sharpen the blade on the grindstone
Months later, the edge about as fine as a comb
Y'all don't stand a chance with them replicas you got at your homes
Now compare the blacksmithing to the lines in a poem!


[Hook] (Concrete Cee)
Pandemonium bars, from the heart
Of a floating fortress, to the planetary conscious
Tirelessly work until everything is conquered
From the inside, at the core I'm a monster

Pandemonium bars, at the summit
I will kick you off the ledge, let you plummet to your death
Go into Trance Mode before I cast Ultima
Go into Trance Mode before I cast Ultima


[Verse 2] (Concrete Cee)
Retribution 'nigh, no rest for the weary
See my rivals heaped with praise, I guess they didn't hear me
The first time, when I said that I can summon a spirit
So viciously brutal reminiscent of Running With Scissors

Just to think that his honest ambition's eviscerating
Multiples of instigating kids that think they're lyricists in training
He calls them by their maiden names, states they far
Easier to keep in mind, when he swings by their parents'

To tell them read the signs - Have your children come home yet?
No? Wonder who's gone next? Shovels always on hand
Spare me the cold sweat, you know the competition
Is cut-throat, and figurative speech is not implied

My brush stroke, paints the faces of the slain
On the floor tiles of a haunted house, you can't erase the stains
Go to sleep and next morning they're back again
To remind you that going against I is not a game

"Obsession with fame is the bane of your generation
Most adversaries don't deserve the veneration"
Indeed so, Gil, especially when they put the actual merits
Of their work behind the public admiration

Art has to be progressive, abstract, inventive
If derivative, it has to be significantly different
From the original, with a flavor that's individual
The blackest of all magicks is readied, now I'll finish you with


[Hook]
Pandemonium bars, from the heart
Of a floating fortress, to the planetary conscious
Tirelessly work until everything is conquered
From the inside, at the core I'm a monster

Pandemonium bars, at the summit
I will kick you off the ledge, let you plummet to your death
Go into Trance Mode before I cast Ultima
Go into Trance Mode before I cast Ultima

Go into Trance Mode before I cast Ultima
...and now the game's over chumps!
Track Name: Stiltzkin
[Verse 1]
Hailing from the capital, I'm heading out
Into the wide world, to prove wrong who had a doubt
People miss the ones that they see the least
And I've been taken for granted, it's time for me to leave...

I will promise to write letters
And give them to anybody relaying them to whoever
In time they will reach you, by the time
You read them, I will be far from where I'd meet you

I might be in town, just passing through
Can't stay for too long, there's things I have to do
We can have a little chat and then I'm off again
Was nice to see you tonight, but by the morning I'll be


[Chorus]
GONE - time has yet to wait for an explorer
To discover his true fate, I'm missing people's calls cause I'm

GONE - trying to put some food up on my plate
Got a couple things for sale, going by the usual rate till they're

GONE - people only mourn when you expire
But they often disregard the wear and tear on your tires, when you're

GONE - way beyond the point of no return
All of sudden, you're everyone's concern, now they wonder why you're
GONE...


[Verse 2]
Sitting by myself on an airship, destination a place
Wherever the weather's the fairest
And I don't carry a map, I'm not a tourist
I steer clear of the lawless, move cautious

Shake hands with a couple fellow performers
Down drinks then show those in attendance what I brought them
Nice to feel the vibes but the hourglass
Shows almost every grain of sand's fallen

I head for the bed, cause next morning
The cycle repeats, and I'll be somewhere else foreign
Heard a stranger ask me, don't you miss your family?
The look in my eyes was unresponsive

Very hard to tell the weight of one's conscience
If not by the empty eyes when he ponders
The dreams he had back then, the person he was
The vows of love, but whatever it was, it is


[Chorus 2]
GONE - The past is but the past, yet it's sad
When you keep forgetting good times in favor of the bad, till they're

GONE - The Neverending Story is a lie
Fantasia will turn to Nothing, when you die, then they cry cause you're

GONE - So's the chance to ever mend the fences
Some will spite you under their breath, whenever you are mentioned and you're

GONE - Cause real is not real anymore
Used to it, I have seen it all before, don't you wonder why I'm
GONE...


[BREAK]


[Verse 3]
As it seems, he was butterfly stroking
In a pair of drag shorts against everybody crawling downstream
The only person with a smile while it rained
A Burmecian mindstate, look how the times changed

We used to run on steam, and now we run on energy
Whose production is exhibit of our heresy
We used to heed mother nature, we abused her love
Look how we bleed mother nature, she can't do enough

We look to the Sun, knowing that it's a cruel judge
From within, the destruction of Gaia will soon come
Witness Terra's rebirth, as well as the impending
Rise of the Genomes with inborn hiveminds

As life dies, there is compression of time
Cause everything is silent and we cannot press rewind
Back to when dripping water birthed a clock
Back to the Ajanta caves carved into rock


Testimonials he chiseled into granite
Embarked on a long journey, came back empty handed
Many friends were lost, his sins ain't unforgivable
But in this worldly existence, he won't get absolved

They'd pin him to the cross, hurl stones at him
He's used to the procedure, they unearth no sadness
No regrets, glares of a man that lived too long
Meet with those of a man that talks pure sickness


Most lies are written by the victors
The Byronic hero appears, with the customary
Jade colored glasses, and a foul mouth that swears
That he didn't fucking do it but the mob wouldn't care

They wanna see a fruit too ripe for the harvesting
He condescendingly admonishes the hatemongers
Not astonishing, his reputation is a tad marred
Within the confines of a society he's at odds with

Back at the lab, he falls asleep to a goddess
Opining his peers build cars, as he's building starships
He retorts that that's nonsense, they just fail to understand
The depth of a human metamorphisis

Take the cocoon from which emerged a moth
Inside the larva turned into soup, that miraculously
Still stores data, now you see why I withdraw
Into the studio to release the songs that they explore later


At the precipice of defeat, across from
Victory, chased by enemies, no choice, he has to leap
Contrary to what the media propels
These miracles are expensive while disaster is cheap

Lone walks through the post-traumatic dreamscapes
And virtual realities gave him a hint that he's trained in inception
So he plants thoughts of expansion
In the minds of the beautiful souls that enchanted him


Those who didn't judge even though they understand him
If so inclined, make for viable companions
Those who want, find a way, others make an excuse
The lowest among them busy formulating a ruse

As to how they disable themselves relating to truth
Bashing whistleblowers uncovering blatant abuse
They celebrate mediocrity, hate what challenges
Their intelligence, what am I even saying to you? Huh?

What's there to see but everyone for himself
Nevertheless, he has never needed a reason to help
You don't believe in his dreams? May you have fortune with yours
If people ask him how you are, he won't answer no more

He's writing books in Alexandria, the one with the sword
On how the rift between reality and fantasy is actually
A phase-aligned jumphole to levels of thought
If you locate it in your mind, it might unravel your heart


But by the time his studies are published, he's moved on
Without giving comments on the coverage, the many of them
Judge it, without properly analyzing his points made
Cause they will say "this man knows how to disappoint fate"

Now his letters are relayed, to whoever accepts the parcel
Enclosed you find an old spellbook that has a portal
Incantation, wanna follow him, remember his songs
Because the person that you remember as Concrete Cee - He is gone.


END
Track Name: Memoria
[Verse 1]
I built a dream from a memory
Implemented in my genes, as my destiny
Manifests itself thru my deeds
The purpose becomes clearer as I breathe in a place of peace

I stand months from the image you have
That person doesn't exist, he lives in the past
Silence unravels the facade of the building
Time is the emptiness devouring old feelings

You are staring in the eye of Invincible
Way above the mist clouds, I have caught a glimpse of you
How to let down a guard that a glare shatters?
If resentment resulted, did my tears matter?

Our travels have resumed, though our shared efforts
Became sheared efforts, so now it's fair weather
I opened my chest to find a coin
The sign was the 12th, same as the House it joined...


[Hook]
Destroy the images, destroy memories
But you can only change, not destroy energy
You can try to influence, or you can let it be
But when a world is destroyed, how do you handle grief?

Destroy the images, destroy memories
But you can only change, not destroy energy
You can try to make amendments, or just let it be
Put it all in perspective to find inner peace


[Verse 2]
I built a realm from a fantasy
As imagined in my dreams, so it has to be
Manifested through investment in the talents
Possessed by or blessed with, depends on where you stand

A love that is felt for a friend, deeper than
The love that is felt for his kin
Favors granted readily, dedication is such
That if I ever leave, you loved me passively

And such love has only limited capacity
Expand it actively, that'll be the recipe
The balance needs to be kept stable, as tests may prove
It's harder than remaining adrift, the greater the rift

The more it all seems to fade, degrade
The less we relate and wonder if it's fate
The memories'll stay till the day we're grey
Or engraved on our graves, washed away by the waves of time...