by ruffian

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hightmares liner notes – PLEASE READ BEFORE LISTENING

hightmares is a lyrically focused and sample-based concept album about one’s existential journey through the uncertainty of the psyche. As a result of mind-altering substances and philosophical musings, the protagonist discovers the tenuous relationship between sanity and lucidity, and is confronted with the impossible task of salvaging a crumbling sense of the self. When you doubt the core of who you are, how do you even begin to form opinions about anything else? The self is in free fall, with no basis to stand firmly upon, reality collapses in upon itself and anxiety rises. The past becomes a romanticized haven, the present becomes a living nightmare, and the future is cast in thickening shroud of uncertainty. All objectivity is silenced by a frantic, nagging and deafening subjectivity, and doubt reigns supreme. When you question your own existence, you question the existence of everything around you, and everything that made you who you are, thus creating a self-perpetuating cycle of perceived insanity. There is no escape from the self, only an interminable process of discovery and acceptance.

Track List:

CHAPTER I: “The Swallowing of Reality”

1. R(U) w//MEE? a.k.a. thizziz terrorBOWL (i n t r o d u c t i o n)
2. 2HIGH 4teh publicZ
3. craniUMMMM elasticity
4. 4(DAH) shitting of (GIGS) (t r i p t e r l u d e)

CHAPTER II: “The Loss of Lucidity”

5. GUDnight 2ME -- GUDnight REALity
6. ((the)) CHAOSsibilities R endless
7. dream-FUzzzz MIRR(horrORS)
8. {{{icarus bicarus}}} (w a k e u p t e r l u d e)

CHAPTER III: “The Sobering of Insanity”

9. psYcho-OBJECTivit(EE) a.k.a. the more fUo cAUlt
10. eXistentiaL caNNabilizm
12. hol(EE) †rini†(EE)
13. vizioneS of phuturE(s) past (c o n c l u s i o n)

Due to a lack of proper recording equipment this album is intended for headphones. Please don’t listen to it on speakers, or else it might (it will) sound like complete and utter shit. Also, it is an immersive and cohesive concept album, a.k.a. a journey, so it is recommended that in order to get the full experience you listen to the entire album in one sitting. This album is a mixture of spoken word, hip-hop and glo-fi, so I like to call it spoken glo-hop, but feel free to call it whatever you want. To fit the album’s theme the lyrics have been intentionally muddied, but seeing how it is a lyrically driven experience, for your listening pleasure the lyrics for each track have been provided.


released May 23, 2015

This album was mixed and mastered by ruffian and SIRreal.
It was recorded in Fullerton, CA and Long Beach, CA using a 2009 version of Garageband, the Garageband App, and Audacity.
Original music production in full by SIRreal on tracks 1, 3, & 10.
Original music production in full by ruffian on track 13.
All other partial production as listed.
All of the lyrics were written by those who perform them.
Album artwork by ruffian.

Lastly, this album wouldn’t have been possible without the shoulders of the giants upon who I unknowingly stood. The following is a list of said giants. Thank you for existing, making art, and spreading knowledge that has inspired me, and please don’t feel the need to sue me for copyright infringement.

Track One: None

Track Two:
- Radiohead – “Where Bluebirds Fly”

Track Three:
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1965)

Track Four:
- Of Montreal – “Gronlandic Edit”
- Woody The Woodpecker
- Galapagos with David Attenborough (2013)
- Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Track Five:
- Youtube: Super Simple Songs Vol. 2 – “Sweet Dreams (Goodnight Song)”
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Season 1, Episode 9 “Dagger of the Mind” & Season 1, Episode 12 “The Menagerie: Part II”
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5, Episode 9 “A Matter of Time”
- Planet of the Apes (1968)
- Phil Collins – “In the Air Tonight”
- Moonface – “Barbarian”
- MF Doom – “Kon Karne” & “Hoe Cakes”
- Youth Lagoon – “Mute”
- Andrea Bocelli – “Con Te Partiro”
- Youtube: “Goodnight Everyone”
- Youtube: “I’m Not Sleepy”
- The Simpsons: Season 12, Episode 3 “Insane Clown Poppy”
- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Track Six:
- REID – “Forest”
- Youtube: “Have You Ever Had a Dream Like This?” from Turner Classic Movies: “Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales”
- Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Cold On The Blvd.”

Track Seven:
- Big Bill Broonzy – “Just A Dream”
- Hard Mix – “Memories”
- Carl Sagan via Cosmos Episode 8 “Travels In Space & Time”
- He-Man: Master of the Universe Season 2, Episode 14 “Disappearing Dragons”
- Alan Watts – “Conversation with Myself” (1970)
- Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966)
- Donnie Darko (2001)

Track Eight:
- Cinderella – “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo”

Track Nine:
- Beirut – “Nantes”
- Alain Badiou Interviews Michael Foucault: “Philosophie et Psychologie” (1965)

Track Ten:
- Dark Star (1974)

Track Eleven:
- Youtube: Carl Sagan – “God: A Reassuring Fable”
- James Blake – “Take A Fall For Me (Feat. RZA)” & “The Wilhelm Scream”
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1965)

Track Twelve:
- Neon Indian – “6669 (I Don’t Know If You Know)”
- The Last Starfighter (1984)
- Midlake – “The Jungler”
- Nicolas Jaar – “Specters of the Future”

Track Thirteen: None


**If you feel your conscience telling you to donate, the introduction and conclusion can be purchased. If you have no conscience whatsoever, the entire album can be downloaded for free.

Enjoy the yams.

- ruffian



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Track Name: 2HIGH 4teh publicZ [Prod. SIRreal & ruffian]
Center of attention
Bright lights, dark room
Floor falling out
Eyes eyes eyes eyes
And I’m still the bridegroom married to paranoia
But she’s a terrible mistress
A horrible temptress
Source of apprehension
She’s always haunting HAUNTING me
Finding my courage like I’m Easter hunting
Just please leave out the giant bunny
Hiding in the darkness always Frankin’ me
But frankly that’d be better than insanity
Cause I already got that
What’s that – hold that – COME BACK
Gather gather gather gather yourself
Carpet in the tress – past loves – parents
And what is life?
Gather gather GATHER
Too high too high
Words don’t make sense
Or was it my thoughts
Scattered in my head
And I just keep going up up up
I just want to come down
Can’t gather who I am
Can’t focus on one thing
My mind is boiling mush
And I’m no longer its master
Submit to insanity
Never-ending nervous LAUGHTER


Creeping creeping creeping up
Coating coating wait – fucked you up
Like a pool of blackness dipping in
Unclean rapture ripping in
Pulling your mind into obscurity
Existential impurity
Always talking but you’ve never heard - of me

I am you
I watch it all
Puzzled reality
Making sanity crawl
Stripped down
Ripped down
Unseen master
Clipped down
Kicked down
Unclean disaster
Waiting in the silence
A placid lake
Ripples building outward
Your last – mistake

Gibberish gibberish
Just reverberating echoes
Foreign ego genesis
The Hyde to your Jekyll
Parasitical blows
A mental barrage
Cacophony of woes
Contradictory – collage

Liiiiisten liiisten
As I whiiiisper
Liiisten liiisten
Mental bliiisters
Track Name: craniUMMMM eLASTicity (Feat. SIRreal) [Prod. SIRreal & ruffian]
Yeti in my mind
Straight beating up brain cells
Lateral passes - constructing stem cells
I mean my life’s a cell
I called her on my celly
She didn’t pick up
Oh welly welly
Oh – oh – oh oh - oh
0h – oh – ohhhhhh well

And it gets deeper
And so deep
And wetter till its moist
Baby girl
Gremlin choirs echoing
Goblin squires beckoning
Meaningless meaningless
Diaspora of logic
Or was it pedagogical
But I’m no teacher
I’m no teacher
Bueller, Buuueeeller, Buuuueeeeeeller

Took my mind to school
Dropped it right off
Furby in my skull
I was way off
Cinnamon swirls
Time to blast off
I’m the duke of earl
Mazel Tov
Track Name: GUDnight 2ME -- GUDnight REALity [Prod. ruffian]
I don’t know where I am
I don’t know who I am
Sinking sinking down
Said goodnight to me
Welcomed in the we
Sinking sinking down
There is no future
Bumping around searching
There is no future
Sinking sinking down
Track Name: ((the)) CHAOSsibilities R endLess [Prod. ruffian]
I keep on having dreams where the people aren’t like me
The people don’t like me
They even want to fight me
But if they’re dreams it means my mind don’t like me
My minds not like me
It even wants to fight me
And what’s more me than my mind you know?
But recently I’ve been doubting even that though
And win or lose I mean – what’s it all worth
Swallowed by infinity only to give birth
To a new era, new Hera, new terra firma
Squashin’ out resistance only to watch me squirm
I’ve been confused for a while now
Grasping for dusk like an empty husk
Got me searchin’ my insides
But it all hides
Mixed into this muddled stream
Hopelessly asking – is there anything?

Or am I only this empty shell
Been lying for awhile and I’m clearly not well
Just left with me and my inner eye
But I think it must be lazy cause it’s leading me awry
Or maybe its just hazy from elixir turned poison
Churning up my lungs
Got me wheezin’ like accordions
Cause nothing went according to plan
I mean my minds not right
And oblivion is scary
My minds not right
And sanity’s a rarity
My minds not right
Is there anything to save me?
Track Name: dream-FUzzzz MIRR(horrORS) [Prod. ruffian]
Searching around
Ducking, diving
But I don’t even know where I am
I mean I don’t even know who I am
Identity crisis to the twelfth degree
Cause I don’t even know what’s left of me
But I keep on searching
Peeling, sorting, digging
Spreading thoughts over here and there
Just pointless thoughts spread everywhere
But I searched them all and you’re not there
Yea, I searched them all and you’re not there
I said I searched them all and life’s not there
Cause I hear a voice that’s in my head
But I guess that voice is just me
Trapped in this so called reality
Cause this voice isn’t in my body
There’s a disconnect and I don’t like it
A disconnect there’s nothing like it

There’s a disconnect and I don’t like it
A disconnect there’s nothing like it
So I stay up at night and I write about it
Vicariously living life through my pen
While I remain trapped inside my pen
Cause is it even you if you recognize it
Or does it only count if you cognize it
Just want to go back to not giving shits
Previously so oblivious to all of this
Trapped in the true ignorance of bliss
Cause is it better to see or to remain blind
But it’s sight that made me lose my mind
Or maybe I found what was really there
Torrential onslaught of the ill prepared

Torrential onslaught of the ill prepared
Differential mind plot of the alone and scared

Torrential onslaught of the ill prepared
Differential mind plot cause I’m the one that cared
One that cared
One that cared
Track Name: {{{icarus bicarus}}} (w a k e u p t e r l u d e) [Prod. ruffian]
Icarus bicuras
Fucked her till I had syphilis
Bibbidi bobbidi boo

Now the space dragons flying
And girl I’d be lyin’
If I said they aint comin’ for you

Icarus bicarus
Asked could I smell her tits
Oops I mean ‘ma’am how are you?’

Now Icarus bicarus
Life is so meaningless
Nietzsche is coming for you

Or was he coming for me
Wrapped in platypus pee
Guess I shouldn’t smoke trees
I’ll just wait for my table for two

But Icarus bicarus
Excuse my belligerence
My mind ran away with the spoon
Track Name: psYcho-OBJECTivit(EE) a.k.a. the more fUo cAUlt [Prod. ruffian]
Got my mind speaking to me
But I’m trying not to answer
Insanity’s like my ex-girlfriend
Or some sort of cancer
Always just pricking my skin
But it’s not on the outside looking in
Its looking out - and things ain’t looking up
And it don’t speakah dah English
When I’m telling it to shut the fuck up
Got me looking for a revelation
Caught in condemnation
Cause I’m about to pull an assassination
Of myself watch it exit stage right
Cause my life got too much stage fright
Can’t seem to righten this ship
When I can’t even think right
You feel me dawg aight
Wait, no no no - no
Power overwhelming
But it’s all so underwhelming
So so so
So underwhelming
So underwhelming

Its non non-stop
Harsh like my dead uncle’s blank crotch
Got me skippin’ through blocks of ice like it’s Taipei
No no no way way
Cognition without recognition
I’d raise my hand
Say yes sir that’s my condition
Invite the crazy over for Thanksgiving
Cause hey it looks like were family now
Have some kids
Oh god I hope they’re not like me
But hey I hope to god that they like me
I’m in no condition to be a daddy though
But maybe that’s just a pie in the sky anyway
Or a cake out by the lake
Cause the choir’s always rising
And I seem to be always compromising
Clever ascension disguised like I’m demising
Catch me aimlessly just hanging with my posse
That’s me, myself, and some guy that looks just like me
Always telling me to calm down bro
Segue into the new beginning
Or maybe we’ll just have to row
Shackled to this sinking vessel
Eating the shrooms just to prove that I can grow
Track Name: eXistentiaL caNNabilizm (Feat. SIRreal) [Prod. SIRreal & ruffian]
Met a girl last night - wanted to get physical
But it turns out my mind just wanted to get metaphysical
She didn’t exist
I was alone in my room just like before
With the outside door always growing
Smaller smaller smaller
Shrinking away till I can no longer get out
And I’m stuck
Stuck amongst myself
Cut off from first hand experience
The beauty of the outside world flushed into nothingness
What I want isn’t there
What I had left long ago
Nowhere to go
Nowhere to go
Nowhere to go

Atoms, electrons, matter
What’s the matter?
Track Name: HEATHENN HYMN [Prod. ruffian]
Dark days ahead of me
Bright days behind me

Dark days inside of me
Bright days blinded me

They say you ain’t coming back
But hey I’d like to think that I’m coming back
You’re coming back

Dark days ahead of me
Bright days behind me

Dark days inside of me
Bright days blinded me

Prayers going out, nothing coming in
Left alone with my heathen hymn
Just let me sing my heathen hymn

They say you ain’t coming back
But hey I’d like to think that I’m coming back
You’re coming back

Prayers going out, nothing coming in
Left alone with my heathen hymn
Just let me sing my heathen hymn

Dark days ahead of me
Bright days behind me

Dark days inside of me
Bright days blinded me

Prayers going out, nothing coming in
Left alone with my heathen hymn
Just let me sing my heathen hymn

Prayers going out, nothing coming in
Left alone with my heathen hymn
Just let me sing my heathen hymn
Track Name: hol(EE) †rini†(EE) [Prod. ruffian]
Smoke settles, dust clears
Ask you all please don’t come near
Just let me stay
Please stay
Don’t say what I mean to
But said what I saw
Saw what I need to
And it was all my flaws
And it all just circulates
Percolates likes the herbs of my pastime
But I’d say it’s past time I gave it all up
No more trying to climb up or stay up
Cause I lied awake all night
Just stuck in my plight
Sharing my mind with myself
Or was it somebody else
This unwelcomed guest
Made me mentally profess
But I’ve got to confess
Hiroshima fall out
Bulimia it all out
Till this sick twisted mental funk
Has sunk back into non-existence
Cause I’m losing my persistence
And I don’t want to lose me
But right now its like
What’s the difference?
Can’t recognize myself
There’s just no resemblance
Tried to gather me but it faded in an instance
My thoughts aren’t mine
They’re just dilapidated implants

And they honestly freak me out
Leaking out my mouth
And there’s just no resistance
Can’t control what I need for subsistence
It used to be so cool
Thought I was the shit
But it’s all gone just in a blip or a rip
My sanity decided to dip
And I can live with that
Cause I know that it’s not me
But I didn’t know that I’d be who haunts me
While the bile in my thoughts tries to taunt me
Kind of strange cause right now I don’t know who’d want me
Civil war to the ninth degree
Occupation but there’s nowhere to flee
Barking dogs in my conscious mind forcing me up precarious trees
But it all started with trees
So it’s only fitting since I got it in my chest
That I get it off my chest
Admit that I’m stressed
Think of leaving this flesh to be one with the universe
Mind meld with infinity
Space, time, and me
My own holy trinity
Track Name: vizioneS of phuturE(s) past (c o n c l u s i o n) [Prod. ruffian]
Thoughts, running, pacing, staring
I don’t always want to be like this
Remember the past – momentary bliss
Snap back to the present
Project to the future
I never wanted this
But you gave it to me nonetheless
Try to suppress the stress
Catch my breath
But to no avail
What good’s a brain when all it does is beat up your insides
Thoughts infect what was once healthy
And it’s just me I know
My enemy that’s always present
But knowing it doesn’t seem to help it
How do you defeat yourself without losing what is you?
But I already lost me
Or at least I’m close to that
Sinking to the bottom
A gathering darkness
Stirring up what you’ve tried to hide
But it finds you
It found me
It is me

Alone and lost in this not so silent night
Searching for the light that used to burn in me
But herbs burnt turned confidence to insecurity
Coated my mind in this mirage of sick impurity
Now surely I could just calm down
Strip back the illusion
Suppress the confusion
And bury the doubt
Stop entertaining the gremlin that’s latched and attached to my worrisome mind
In time accept what is me
All is me
The little voice and the body
The combination of both in all its ugliness and beauty
Tangled together
Inseparable and ineffable
Staring at myself from within
And feeling what is me
Split but equal
Past and sequel
Good and evil