Chocolate Genius – Life

Chocolate Genius - Life

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Chocolate Genius - Life


Black Music is the first album by Chocolate Genius. It was released on V2 Records on July 14, 1998.

Track 5, "My Mom", is about a return visit to his childhood home and the mother he was losing to senility ("My mom, my sweet mom/She don't remember my name.").

The song "Life" was used in the final episode of season 2 of Breaking Bad.

Background and recording

Just prior to recording Black Music, Chocolate Genius had finished reading The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. In an email interview with Cleveland Scene, Chocolate Genius explained the meaning of the album's title:

"As long as my skin is this color, race will be an unavoidable and hindering label for people that are stuck in that archaic mindset. Of course, I take a special pride in the achievements of people that look like me, but I am foremost a citizen of the planet. Calling the first record Black Music was my way of challenging the people who have to file, sell, and categorize music by genre."

Critical reception

Spin called it "a relentlessly somber, wryly confessional avant-folk-funk rebuttal to popular notions of what constituted African-American pop." Many other critics have also highlighted the album's morose and starkly autobiographical sound.


Chocolate Genius, Inc. is a musical collective started by Marc Anthony Thompson, a Panamanian singer-songwriter based in New York City.


Thompson released two solo albums in 1984 and 1989. Thompson conceived Chocolate Genius as an alter ego, which then became a music project. Chocolate Genius included Ribot, cellist Jane Scarpantoni and other former members of the Lounge Lizards, keyboardist John Medeski and bassist Chris Wood of Medeski, Martin & Wood, guitarists Chris Whitley and Vernon Reid.

Their first album, Black Music, on V2 Records, was released in 1998, and was considered part of the neo-soul movement. In 2001, he released his next album, GodMusic, followed by, in 2005, a switch to Commotion Records and the release of Black Yankee Rock, produced by Craig Street.

The album featured many prominent New York musicians, many of whom had appeared on his previous two records: Marc Ribot, Abe Laboriel Jr., David Stone, Glenn Patscha, Me'Shell NdegeOcello, Oren Bloedow, Yuka Honda, and Van Dyke Parks, among others.



There's a little secret,
Where my money goes,
Beneath some used food,
And ten pounds of clothes,
Wrapped in a dead president's wife,
Scissors and rock, paper and knife,
It's pink and it's soft,
Roses and rain,
Black and it's good like,
Pleasure and pain,
It's life.

And there was a guy,
I used to know,
He planted a seed,
That he couldn't grow,
Chicken or egg,
Who could be bothered?
Where was your head son?
See what ya fathered?

Don't go away,
Don't disappear,
And don't get me wrong,
'Cause I'm not from 'round here.

And next time your head,
Is paying you back,
For facin' a brick,
Knife or attack,
Of trecherous blood,
Or weak fits of will,
The one that you say,
Could be the one set to kill.

Don't go astray,
Don't even try,
Keep in the lane,
Cause your dollars can't buy

Life Life...



C'è un piccolo segreto,
Dove vanno i miei soldi,
Sotto qualche cibo usato,
E dieci chili di vestiti,
Avvolto nella moglie di un defunto presidente,
Forbici e roccia, carta e coltello,
È rosa ed è morbido,
Rose e pioggia
Nero e va bene,
Piacere e dolore,
È la vita.

E c'era un ragazzo,
Ha piantato un seme,
Che non potrebbe crescere,
Pollo o uovo,
Chi potrebbe essere disturbato?
Dov'era il tuo figlio maschio?
Vedi cosa hai generato?

Non andare via,
Non sparire,
E non fraintendermi,
Perché non vengo da qui intorno.

E la prossima volta la tua testa,
Ti ripaga,
Per facin 'un mattone,
Coltello o attacco,
Di sangue trecherous,
O debolezze di volontà,
Quello che dici,
Potrebbe essere il set da uccidere.

Non andare fuori strada,
Non provarci nemmeno
Mantieni la corsia,
Perché i tuoi dollari non possono comprare

Laaa ...
Laaa ...
Vita Vita...




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