Last Emperor - One Life

Discussion in 'Hip-Hop Central' started by bigcfk24, Feb 2, 2005.

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  1. bigcfk24

    bigcfk24 New Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    [In history class, we're playing music to the class for some project or whatever. So I needed to find a song that I wouldn't catch shit from (ie pop songs, techno songs, etc ), so I had to find a hip-hop song. But if there was any cursing, I'd get a negative grade. So that cut my selection in half. And then I didn't want to play a censored version of a club song, 1. because those sound dumb, and 2. everyone's heard those. So I wanted to play an intellectual song. Immortal Technique... swears too much... Canibus... I don't really like... Chino XL... too smart for my class... and I ended up listening to all my songs, and then Last Emperor - One Life came on. It's perfect. But its 5 minutes, so I just edited, and now its half the time, and still runs beautifully. So the song is set. But I need to tell the class some facts about it. So if you could, just answer these questions.]
    - Who are the other two people on the track?
    - What Last Emperor album did it come from?
    - And any other facts about the song you know...

    [hahah don't ask why i posted a whole synopsis of whats happening, im mad bored, and felt like sharing]
  2. THRiLLaH

    THRiLLaH Snap, Crackle, Pop.

    Jul 31, 2000
    Last Emperor - One Life ft. Poetic (emcee) & Esthero (hook)

    released on Music, Magic Myth

    Poetic was near death when the song was recorded. i think he went to chemotherapy before goin' to the studio.
  3. ANDtheMC

    ANDtheMC New Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    good song selection....... Poetic was wack but the concept and everything behind him bein' on the song was brilliant..... I'm glad Last Emp let 'em on..... shit's a dope ass song
  4. ANDtheMC

    ANDtheMC New Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    oh, here's from an interview with Last Emperor:

    Do you have a favorite song on ‘Music, Magic, Myth’?

    I would have to say probably my personal favorite would be ‘Animalistics’ though probably the one I am most proud of and feel most passionately about is ‘One Life’, a song I recorded with a gentlemen by the name of Poetic, formally of The Gravediggaz. On this song, he discusses his fight with cancer. A fight that he unfortunately succumbed to about 2 years ago. So, to have him, first of all, on the record and having him being someone that I grew up to and have been influenced by, but then, to have him tackle such a relevant social, health, and personal issue that affects the lives of so many people across the board, and for this to be one of his last recordings, was just really special to me.

    more from another site:
    Poetic had acquired colon cancer.

    Not only that, but they had caught it FAR too late, and he was almost certain to die.

    And that he did. On July 15th, 2001, hip hop lost one of it's great performers, as Anthony Berkeley, aka Poetic, finally succumbed to his disease.

    To be honest, at the time, I wasn't heartbroken. I mean, it was a sad thing to hear that someone died the way he did. Especially someone who had made such a mark on me with the music he had made. But I guess that the whole Gravediggaz persona had inured me to the fact that these guys were actually PEOPLE. May sound stupid, but that's just the way I felt.

    So when I happened upon this track approximately a month and a half ago, I was interested more for the fact that Last Emperor was on it, rather than Poetic. Like I always do, I went and did some research on it, and found out that this was the last recorded track from Poetic. Still, I looked forward to Last Emp.

    So I pop it on, and I'm like WOAH. Not woah like when you're amazed at something, but woah like when something touches you deeply.

    First off, the beat is one of the most beautiful, yet mournful pieces of music I have ever heard, With a gentle guitar loop over a very subdued beat, the mood is set perfectly.

    Then Last Emperor sets the stage with a verse that still makes me rewind everytime I hear it, further proving his status as the best unknown lyricist in the world today-

    "1993, shortly before Thanksgiving
    I got the call she say Jamal, Derek is no longer livin
    Softly she spoke
    Is this a joke?
    Man, you gotta be kiddin
    As my question was raised this explanation was givin
    A meaningless death
    Made me question the meaning of life
    Does my body remain at rest like when I'm sleeping at night?
    Will I burn in eternal hell?
    Or will I find paradise?
    Be rejected or ressurected like the body of Christ
    Is it like purgatory the story described by the Catholics?
    Or nirvana that Buddha saw in both theory and practice
    Like I studied in my college phillosophy classes
    Or do my molecules and atoms travel back to the gases
    I mean what I'd like to know
    Is where's my spirit go?
    After the curtains close
    On my final show
    Is there a pain it brings?
    Enjoy my favorite thing
    Visit ancient kings
    Hear the angel sing
    Who'll answers these said the great mcs
    My man Grym's battling a debilitating disease
    He said "You see a brother like me is full in the fight"
    And everytime I question death my only answer in life
    Ni*ga fight"

    I mean, this is some deep ish. In a matter of 16 bars, Emp discusses the meaningless death of friend, his own fears about the afterlife, and gives words of praise to his suffering friend Poetic. Just amazing.

    However, as nice as that is, it is NOTHING compared to the touching emotiveness of Poetic's verse-

    "Paralyzed on the bathroom floor by pain
    Last month I endured
    But now I can't ignore
    Feels like rail road spikes being stuck in my liver
    And my dyin eyes cryin', body startin to shiver
    Crawl upstairs from the basement callin my sister
    *sniff* Dawn, help me, I ain't feelin to healthy
    Stomach walls burnin
    Head spinnin and turnin
    Waitin for the EMS 3:10 in the mournin
    Rush me to emergency screamin like a newborn
    The pain's to strong maybe my souls tryin to move on
    He hooked me to the i.v.
    Put me through some x-rays
    Gave me Demerol to kill the pain that was the next phase
    Early the next day in a hospital room
    Moms and Pops in the room
    3 or 4 docs in the room
    My test results suggest "Your colon and your liver is so cancerous"
    You got 3 months left
    Me and death is playin chess
    Ever since then
    My strength is the most high,my fam and close friends
    The Last Emp been sent free blessed me with a verse
    Stayin healthy comes first, look at me, things can be worse"

    And honestly, just READING this sends chills up my spine. In particular the 'I ain't feeling too healthy' line, with the way that Poetic emotes it, is unbelievable, and the line about 'playing chess with death' really struck a note with me.

    It's Poetic verse that made me write this piece for Hip Hop Appreciation Week.

    It's hard to put into words, but this track really made me re-evaluate much of my life. It made me really see what was important in life, and the frailty of our existence. The fact that it coincided with the news that my grandmother had also just been diagnosed with cancer only made it hit home harder.

    That someone undergoing so much pain could still find the strength in himself to write this song, only 1 month before passing away, should be an inspiration to all, and proof that yes, hip hop can, and the majority of the time IS the 'music of the people', and not the stereotypical garbage that one sees in the media all the time.


    To help donate money towards the Poetic memorial, or to help his wife with the hospital bills:

    Washington Mutual
    "Anthony Berkeley Fund"
    3901 Atlantic Avenue
    Long Beach Ca 90807

    For more information on where to send flowers or well-wishes contact:

    Lisa "Chase" Patterson, CEO
    Meridian Entertainment
    office 201-521-9742
    fax 201-521-9745
  5. East

    East Dream/Clone

    Oct 4, 1999
    if anyone has a link to this song please put it up i lost it...thanks
  6. kyza soza

    kyza soza This way up.

    Jan 5, 2004
    Poetics verse had so much emotion, its unbelievable.

    Sounds like he's almost crying his verse sometimes..

    Dope shit.
  7. INKonspikuouz

    INKonspikuouz An sclábhaí na Éirinn

    Aug 28, 2003
    this is like one of my favorite songs ever. i must have heard it over a thousand times
  8. Female&Male

    Female&Male New Member

    Jan 17, 2005
    poetic died before the song was released. Don't know if somone allready said that to lazy to read it.
  9. Tupac-Nas

    Tupac-Nas Illmatic

    Dec 15, 2003
    Classic if you want more of that buy the classic the pick, the sickle and the shovel where they loose that horror core gimmick and make a real album.
  10. bigcfk24

    bigcfk24 New Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Thanks, I had no idea that Poetic had passed after recording this, I wasn't even sure if it was true. But its still such a touching song. Personally, when I first heard it, I didn't care for Poetics verse, but in my last couple of listens a while ago, I listened, and heard what he was saying, and just shook me. I think that Poetic's verse might have gone better before Last Emperor's, but that's just me.
    My teacher decided we're not doing the project anymore anyway... but especially AND, thanks for the info.
  11. varun2121

    varun2121 Boryokudan

    May 29, 2004
    i love this song..
  12. EmceeGoddess

    EmceeGoddess Disgruntled Man

    Oct 4, 2003
    I also chose that song for a class representation of music that you listen to. Although, he does say N.igga at the end of his verse.
  13. bigcfk24

    bigcfk24 New Member

    Jan 15, 2004

    I could talk my way out of getting in trouble for that anyway.
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