The Rise of the Tiger Shadow

The Rise of the Tiger Shadow


Click on the track to view the lyrics

  • 1 / W'Happen
    Verse 1

    W'happen to the good emcee, the rapper
    Mic-ripper, rhyme-spitter, whatever the weather
    Shake it up, breaker, breaker, funk soul brother
    Rappers today too cold, word to mother

    Come on, stop the ish, drop the anchor!
    That could only be the anthem of a ...
    You sound like a crime extravaganza
    Roll it back, take it back, back to the lyrical

    Man, it must be hard to be
    The grown man you're supposed to be
    When violence in movies and sex on TV
    Is all you ever seem to see

    Musical Interlude...
    Verse 2

    Back to back pure negativity
    Because you rep your endz you spit what you see
    Spit for the streets make brothers pack heat
    Your rhyme sounds sweet, ignorance you secrete

    Man, you can't blame hip-hop for all the ish
    But propagating it isn't really helping, is it?
    Our music is a very strong influence
    But a lot of what I hear just doesn't make sense

    Look, hip-hop is my default setting
    Old school, hi-speed dubbing of cassettes and
    Seeing it being ruined is a tad upsetting
    Hip-hop should have some etiquette ting

    I've got a wife, not for me, no gold-diggers, no!
    I've got a life, don't bore me with your kiddie flow
    Some people don't eat pork but they sniff coke
    Double cheeseburgers, large fries and a diet coke...oh no!

    Any who... over there it's soccer
    Not football, their vibe a different texture
    The Yanks seem fond of the trigger
    Our troubled youngsters feel the gangsta swagger

    Kill or be killed. Man, that stuff's so vulgar

  • 2 / This is The Future

    This is the future
    This is the future
    This is the future
    This is the future

    Verse 1

    Man, this is the future
    2000 and what, I'm a lil' bit older
    The grass is greener, a lil' bit stronger
    The kids are bolder, a lil' bit colder

    Spent my youth listening to Robert Nesta
    Haile Selassie I, and I not a Rasta
    Sorry, I love some pork with my pasta
    I don't wanna look like some kinda impostor

    They say you are what you eat; I say you are what you listen to
    Tiger Shadow crew, one, two, on a mission to
    Diversify the soundscape, give us your permission to
    Rock you with fresh sounds and funky compositions, you

    Wanna hear different stuff, don't you, I bet you do
    Bringing you brand new, fresh styles overdue
    None of them rappers have the career I want
    Man you can't stop us from breaking the barriers we want...

    To break, I am not the new nobody
    Komla MC, there's only one of me
    There's enough room for all types of MC's
    To stand out originality is the key

    I see where you're coming from, but that's not the only way
    And if you think that's the way, then you've already failed
    All day, homicidal wack tales about crack sales
    Gangsta fairytales to hide the fact you lack skills

    Man, find a nice somebody and just settle
    Keep a tight unit, a crew, a close circle... brethren
    Honestly, if you don't use the drug, don't tell it
    All that crack chat, all you do is sell it

    All that gun talk, crime talk, kill it
    I'd rather chat about some pork chops, grill it
    In your skillet
    Forget the guns and the bullets


    This is the future
    This is the future
    This is the future
    This is the future

    Verse 2

    Man, this is the future
    Hip-hop did not die, whilst trying
    Hip-hop got rich and the public got tired
    Of all the lying, so they just stopped buying

    Man, this is the future
    The bloggers have all the news before the journalists
    It's much easier for recording artists
    Technology rules! Thank you Mr Scientist

    Keyboard, mouse, click, drag and drop
    We overindulge in home studios non-stop
    Imagine life without laptop and desktop
    You wouldn't get to hear my brand of hip-hop

    Neolithic mythic lyrics I use the Bic
    African linguistic skills through the mic...
    Mic, tomato, tomato, potato, potato
    Crack plus rap equals crap

    Behold bling rappers after the fool's gold
    Short-sighted, money remains the blindfold
    How many more mothers will be consoled?
    How many more brothers will be paroled?

    Watch how I transform scrap bits of paper
    Into new tunes with nuff lyrical flavour
    Yes Sir, I do concur
    I'm an old school hip-hop connoisseur

    We are becoming entrepreneurs
    Keep the milk clean like Louis Pasteur
    So uptight man, you need a masseur
    Male or female I wonder which you prefer

    Now this one here is a non-sequitur
    Another Appleton and it will all be a blur
    I'm not a gangsta in any way, shape or form
    And I'm not gonna spit that just to conform

    This is the future...

  • 3 / Vernacular Spectacular

    1,2 Go!
    1,2 1,2...

    Verse 1

    I've been perfecting my craft for years
    I've studied this art, man lend me your ears
    I've paid attention to rhyme flows and mad skills
    Paper and pen I polished my flows and my skills

    Before we started with community studios
    Self-made geek, DIY home studio
    Communicate with my Midi Controller Yamaha
    Complicate it with my digital toys in Sonar

    Freestyling with Kofi and Dzifa since 04
    Started writing when rap went soft-core
    A lot of what I hear is so bloody immature
    My stuff deffo sounds better, of that I'm sure

    The tonal nature of my vernacular
    Makes me rap with this here rhyme structure
    Chale, you can't mess with the mother tongue
    Since my baby days I haven't really hit the bong

    Verse 2

    Man everyone in this world has issues
    Big issues in Mogadishu
    Then you go and rap about your new shoes
    Small feet, big shoes, you snooze, you lose

    Go west, life is peaceful there
    At best, man, life can be blissful here
    Heaven, 7-11's open 24/7
    Before you know it things fall apart, man what the devil?

    Knives, Mac-11's, AK-47's
    And you know it's been a bit weird since 911
    It's on a-whole-nother mother wother level

    The one eyed man is leading the blind
    Common sense is hard to find
    Like reggae-reggae sauce
    Reggae-reggae sauce

  • 4 / What do You know about it

    The respect
    The art form
    The poetry
    The flow

    The ill rhymes
    The good vibes
    The swagger
    The show
    (What d'you know about it?)

    Verse 1

    Lord, help me please
    This ain't a freestyle, man I write these treats
    Don't bother competing better start to retreat
    Please, you're messing with some real OG's

    Original rhymes like these
    Wacktose intolerant, I make it with no cheese
    Put some thought into it, show some expertise
    Like I said, you're messing with some real OG's

    I don't just rhyme for the hell of it
    When I grab the mic I say something relevant
    Yes We Can! People, change is evident
    The Black Man made the White House his residence

    There's really no need to go bearing arms
    Unless you wanna end up on your best friend's arm
    As a tattoo, ah-tishoo, excuse me when I bless you
    With this musical juju, with Tiger Shadow crew


    The respect
    The art form
    The poetry
    The flow

    The ill rhymes
    The good vibes
    The swagger
    The show
    (What d'you know about it?)

    Verse 2

    Man, what do you know about being a man?
    What do you really know about loving a woman?
    Make yourself sound like Don Juan Superman
    With the emotional depth of a one-night stand

    Now everyone is packing ammunition, shank or metal
    I'm old school, back in the day we used to arm wrestle
    They make the most noise, you know, those empty vessels
    Deep down they're probably soft like rose petals...

    Musical Interlude...
    Verse 3

    Say, maybe, you could even chat about mortgages
    Perhaps, instead of glamorising 9 gauges
    I might pay some attention, you just might engage us
    Brethren, break out of your boxes and cages

    Lord, help me please
    They say the early bird gets the worm, please
    I say the second mouse gets the cheese, please
    Chill! Even monkeys fall out of trees...


    The respect
    The art form
    The poetry
    The flow

    The ill rhymes
    The good vibes
    The swagger
    The show

    (What d'you know about it?)

  • 5 / Escape
    Verse 1

    Last year we go stand for altar
    No more life of a balling bachelor
    My rhymes I dey chat like some banter
    The beat funky like your local boozer

    Dem pints no dey taste like Bu-Bra
    Comot for there with your chips and your burger
    I come here as a likkle youth, a youngster
    The place dey do and turn me into some kinda hustler

    So long as it no turn me into gangsta
    E no dey hia say I go go see some pastor...or preacher
    Dis be some wicked spiritual mixture
    Of higher beats and rhymes for you the listener

    To build dis track for your listening pleasure
    We use the computer the pestle and the mortar!
    To build dis track for your listening pleasure
    We use the computer the pestle and the mortar!


    Escape before the pressure becomes torture...

    Verse 2

    I no really dey use no ghetto grammar
    Kwashiman no be ghetto, e be nice area
    No feral teenage kids pulling triggers
    Unless u be some bloody fool armed robber

    That one die, public justice, grim reaper
    E no be rumour, open public, no whisper
    You feel say I dey lie, ask the P&P seller
    For here, they dey get away with bloody murder

    Your neighbour be the mugger, the buster, the happy slapper
    This Ayigbe skin thick like leather
    Sturdy like timber, chale! Built for this pressure
    Escape before the pressure becomes torture

    Escape before the pressure becomes torture

  • 6 / Narration

    Narration, narration, narration, narration

    Inspiration, perspiration, motivation, meditation
    Imagination, administration, application, registration
    Immigration, familiarisation, legislation, participation
    Ramification, election, station, dramatisation
    Flagellation, invasion, plantation, gesticulation

    Degradation, desecration, salvation, elevation
    Vibration, liberation, expectation, one-nation
    Population, starvation, escalation, damnation
    Cannibalisation, depravation, misinformation, devastation
    Falsification, fabrication, fascination, pontification

    Verse 2

    Mastication, lactation, salivation, gyration
    Masturbation, fornication, defecation, urination
    Exsanguination, suffocation, strangulation, hibernation
    Procreation, incubation, regeneration, multiplication
    Duplication, magnification, immunisation, vaccination

    Sanitation, mineralisation, calcification, hospitalisation
    Urbanisation, justification, separation, manipulation
    Marginalisation, oversimplification, location, location, location
    Capitalisation, jazzification, education, elation
    Qualification, facilitation, vocation, stabilisation

    Emancipation, jubilation, celebration
    Jubilation, celebration
    Jubilation, celebration
    Jubilation, celebration

  • 7 / Star Chaser

    Back to reality... (reality)

    Verse 1

    Back to reality
    Dis beat sick, bacteriology
    I no be rapper, dis e be takashi
    I bravely take my hobby break the monotony

    With no posse, just me and my funky self
    Buga-buga or legit, stay true to self
    The rapper dey sing like e be tone-deaf
    Moki time the paddies just for pack and left

    The best medicine they say e be laughter
    Some my brethren too dey claim say e be blifter
    To each their own anything to ease the pressure
    What's the worst that could happen? Dr Pepper

    If u no fit control am watch the liquor
    Otherwise your mouth go need some muzzler
    Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper
    So I picked myself a pencil and some paper

    Musical Interlude...
    Verse 2

    Failing in my search to find me a rapper
    Nobody to nail my beats proper proper
    Scholar juggler, try the mic, see the swift results
    E make I shiver like juju, voodoo, the occult

    Me talking about crack, chale, never
    Wicked drummer, smelling fresh, e be camphor
    Low batt, cha! you get Nokia charger?
    Hmm, prime minister used to be chancellor

    Seemingly random, just practising my flow
    Practice makes perfect, cliché lingo
    Look beyond the baldhead, spot the halo
    Yamaha maestro, no macho

    Some brand new sh** like an embryo
    I'm bored of uninspired sh** on the radio
    Makes me wanna fast forward like some porno
    Get out my face with your mambo-jambo

    Ignorant boys on the mic with some hustler sh**
    Fast cars, too much bass, annoying music
    Formula wannabees driving like grand pricks
    If it ain't broke don't try to fix it

    But it is broke, Jim, will u fix it
    No more knuckle fights, quick to draw biscuits
    Guns and crack don't make you bigger
    If only they could see the bigger picture

    If only they could see the bigger picture...

  • 8 / Terracotta Blues
    Verse 1

    The worst in us is now normal and accepted
    I thought MC's had to be lyrically gifted
    Or at least say something to spiritually lift ya
    Or maybe something you can sit and chill and drift ta

    So how many half naked women
    Sipping Cristal draped in diamonds
    By the poolside in your rented mansion
    In your borrowed cars, fake champagne fountains

    Before we all agree (that stuff is tired now)
    Who cares about the blah blah rims on your tyres now
    I think we all agree (that stuff is tired now)
    The kids are beginning to believe your lies now

    This dumb-downing propaganda should not be allowed
    Record labels turn ex-cons into cash cows
    On the TV here comes another buffoon
    Opens his mouth, with some more stereotypical poo

    Silly billy lyrics, looking like some cartoon
    It's a shame he had to go and ruin that tune
    If you want us to just dance, that's cool
    In fact, I love the odd Missy and Nelly tune

    It doesn't all have to be about packing tools
    Do something useful, go back to school
    There's no need to waste the platform you've been given
    To continuously glamorise that gangsta drivel

    I'm tired of hearing about guns and crack
    And mother-loving bling and ting and that
    Of that opinion I'm not alone
    We want more intelligent stuff to get us in the zone

    Forget being trendy cool, man I'm no fool
    What do I know, maybe I'm just old school
    But that thing with diamonds is a funny trend
    I thought diamonds was a girl's best friend

    I'm blessed with a level of awareness
    That makes it impossible to enjoy the wackness
    That mainstream hip-hop offers
    Full of lazy lyrics and curses for verses

    Verse 2

    Hip hop used to be diverse
    Remember the golden age, oh my word!
    From the playful verses of Tribe Called Quest
    Digable Planets, De La Soul, Das EFX

    To the conscious words of the conscious rapper
    Arrested Development, KRS-One and Gangstarr
    The list is endless. Man, I'll need more paper
    And none of it was talking about a crime caper

    Enough! With your plated grills and your strip clubs
    Enough! With your no skills and your pimp cups
    Enough! With your run-of-the-mill fake thugs
    Enough! You know the drill, sipping on bub...

  • 9 / Iron Filings

    Here we go!

    Verse 1

    I'm feeling this beat I'm spitting yo
    With my main man Tycho in the studio
    With my crew Tiger Shadow in stereo
    Maybe one day you will hear us on the radio

    With the original Ghanaian flow yo
    Vibing with the spirit I bring from the Gold Coast
    With the hardcore training from Cape Coast
    Could be one of the best, I'm not trying to boast

    Komla MC, I brung you something new
    Respect to all my positive hardworking crew
    You know the rules, hustle hard for your daily food
    Where I'm from killing your own is a taboo (Chale)

    So I don't really get this hoo-de-hoo
    It's either murder-murder or cheese fondue
    Excuse me, the African man coming through
    Little pickneys go to bed! It's your curfew

    To my youths too cool for school
    Wise up or you will end up a damn fool
    Girlfriend, your dress, a bit too see through
    Enough of that, man I don't wanna preach to you. Cool?


    Here we go yo!
    Here we go, here we go yo! (repeat)

    Verse 2

    Man, look around
    The root of evil and it makes the world go round
    There's no doubt, we're all trying to chase the pound
    But negativity is not how I get down

    I stay on the straight and narrow like cornrow
    I'm not built to move kilos for big dough
    Could your heart really be that hollow
    Wake up! A long time since the cock crow, oh

    Easy with the hardness, chill out geezer
    Too much violence I'm on the brink of a seizure
    Who do I think I am? That man from Ghana
    Chale, pass the ting and gimme hope Joanna

    Life imitates art, you don't know
    It's like we're stuck in Grand Theft Auto
    It's like we're stuck in Grand Theft Auto
    It's like we're stuck in Grand Theft Auto

  • 10 / That's because it is...
    Verse 1

    I'm not the kind of brother to just sit about
    When there's too much negativity, too much to speak about
    Man, I don't wanna sound too preachy or owt
    But there's a bit too much doggone rubbish about

    And when it's dark it's not safe to go walkabout
    Mess about and get stabbed by a lager lout
    So I'm gonna do my thing positive, scream and shout
    No arms house round here, music is our clout

    West African MC, modern day griot
    For my brothers and sisters, bwanas and gringos
    The American Dream is mostly a nightmare
    It's bound to promote too much debt and despair

    It's impossible for one man to change the world
    But there's gotta be better shepherds to lead the herd
    No pimps, hustlers or drug dealers
    Certainly not the Governator!


    That's the way of the world
    We're trying to make a change
    Our attempts are not in vain...

    That's the course it takes
    That's the course it takes
    That's because it is...

    Verse 2

    Good music out there, not all doom and gloom
    Still, it's largely ignored like Bibles in hotel rooms
    It shouldn't stop you if you love it through and through
    If you're consumed by music, from womb to tomb

    Merit substance and originality most lack
    Their ignorance pulls the culture few steps back
    Over-used topics promoting violence and hatred
    Or sugary sweet sickly pop sugar-coated

    Same playlists all day on the radio
    It's about as funny as hitting your funny bone
    One-dimensional images in videos
    Makes me wanna throw the telly out the window

    Kids in Africa dying mining diamonds
    So our friends can wear huge blinging medallions
    At whose command did the bar get so low?
    At which point did the rap get so cold?


    That's the way of the world
    We're trying to make a change
    Our attempts are not in vain...

    That's the course it takes
    That's the course it takes
    That's because it is...

  • 11 / Hold on Tightly
    Verse 1

    Komla MC wyling out on the road
    Like the Africans jumping out of the boats
    Astrologically tenth sign the goat
    This musical raft could keep you afloat

    What dominates the scene is apparent
    Uzis, Glocks, Lugers, double barrels
    Mobsters, pimps, gangsters, drug barons
    I keep a safe distance, at least 2 chevrons

    Nice surprise, like finding a tenner in your jeans pocket
    When I grabs mics and plugs into sockets
    Steals your attention like pickpockets
    Brothers often act like crabs in a bucket

    Spitting rhymes, no sweat, not a hair out of place
    Quick time, wait less, like it's outer space
    No grace is commonplace in this rat race
    Reasonable man, get off my case


    Feel the rhythm like...
    No more schisms like...
    Feel the rhythm like...
    No more schisms like...

    Feel the rhythm like...
    No more schisms like...
    Feel the rhythm like...
    Hold on tightly!

    Verse 2

    Fast life, fast cars and fast women
    It's the way of the world, futuristic, modern
    Lemonade is made from artificial flavours and
    Furniture polish is made from real lemons

    Pizza arrives before the ambulance
    How to dance and romance without finance?
    Land of the free, land of milk and honey
    Now skimmed, sugar-free, not even funny

    Today, hunter-gatherers go shopping
    Get ready meals probably do a bit of chopping
    Remove sleeve and pierce film several times
    It's dinner time, when the microwave chimes

    Now before we end this song
    What's with the nations killing people who are killing people
    To show that killing people is wrong?


    Feel the rhythm like...
    No more schisms like...
    Feel the rhythm like...
    No more schisms like...

    Feel the rhythm like...
    No more schisms like...
    Feel the rhythm like...
    Hold on tightly!

    Musical Outro Finale...


The Rise of The Tiger Shadow was recorded in February / March 2009 at Cottage Road Studios in Leeds and was released on the 20th April 2009.

Produced by Jim Tycho, Matt Peel & Andy Hawkins
Mixed by Matt Peel
Mastered by Andy Hawkins

Drums & Percussion - Karim Nashar
Guitars - Dave Pearson
Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar & Synths - Jim Tycho
Vocals - Komla MC

Additional Drum & Synth Programming by Matt Peel

All Lyrics written by Komla MC
All Music written by Jim Tycho*

*Dave Pearson co-wrote 'That's because it is...' and 'Hold on Tightly'

Tiger Shadow Choir:
Carl Taylor, Gamil Haddad, Rich Haddad, Sal Haddad, Komla MC, Karim Nashar, Dave Pearson & Jim Tycho

Additional Vocals on Narration - Lisa Mistry

The Beat Surrender (4/5)

"you won't find a duff track on here... highly recommended stuff" - Read full review

God is in The TV (4/5)

"With other hip-hop acts seeking out catchy choruses that are ultimately meaningless and irritating, Tiger Shadow have taken things back to a style that is entirely more satisfying. Their songs are no less infectious than the latest Dizzee Rascal chart-topper, but they are also lyrically interesting, intelligent, acerbic and performed excellently by a talented group of musicians. If they can keep this up with future records this is a band on the brink of big things"

Leeds Music Scene (3.5/5)

"They're an eclectic band, who just might garner fans from all sections of society, many of whom would usually give anything vaguely hip hop a wide berth. And this, you sense, is exactly what they're aiming for." - Read full review

Shakenstir (3/5)

"...there is a gaping hole left in Trip Hop that I believe needs refilling and this lot sound more than capable of rising to that particular challenge." - Read full review


"The Rise of Tiger Shadow' is a bit of a multi genre success story... generally this is an example of positivity infused hip-hop mixed with various reggae, indie and funk... Production is superb and a couple of the tracks sound absolutely epic"

"It works well with the guitars feeding off the plot and the drums adding a lively and very exciting dimension to their forward thinking ideas. Komla MC works over the top of this and to a stunning effect" - Read full review