Becoming

by JLR

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03:50

about

"Becoming" is a love story. It's about fear and resilience. It's about passion and loss. Ultimately, though, it is about the power that resides in an authentically lived life. What happens when a human becomes herself? Magic.

credits

released July 17, 2014

Special thanks to: My Mama, Cheryl, for birthing me and for being a steadfast lover and supporter of my growth. My papa, Davis, for (all of the above--except for the birthing part--and...) being by my side throughout this production process. You made it fun and rich and did so much to reassure me whenever I grew uncertain of myself. My extended family--You guys have each left your mark on me, molded me in your own special ways, and have loved me unconditionally. Adrian "607" Tillman, for grace and guidance throughout the years. I learned so much from working with you. You gave me the motivation and the foundation to do this on my own. Kevin "KEV" Cottrell and Joker Entertainment, for the impeccable production. You are a master of your craft and one of the gentlest and brightest souls I have had the pleasure of collaborating with. Andi Adams for your sweetness and patience through the process and the excellent photography work. Greg "G-Force" Mobley for the inventive and inspiring edits on the cover art. You're a fine human being and go far beyond the call to create unique and meaningful art. Osyrus Bolly, my kind and generous friend of 25+ years, for lending your poetry and one-of-a-kind delivery to the title track. It took on new life with the addition of your verse. I hope my work here makes you all proud to have contributed to this endeavor. I love you guys. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all.

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about

JLR Little Rock, Arkansas

JLR, better known to many as Jessica Lauren, is a teacher, writer, singer, actor, and all-around entertainer. She's alive to connect people through her art.

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Track Name: Never Know
I've been working all my life
Just to prove to everyone
I'm worthy of the finer things
And strong enough to take their stings.
It's taken me some years to learn

I am my own worst enemy.
Just when I think I'm doin' right,
I'm caught up in another fight.

Take me off your pedestal.
I'm far from perfect.
Don't you know?
I can't keep up with your expectations;
And I don't want your medication.
I'm gonna do this on my own.
No new friends.
I can stand alone.

I may never know
What they think of me.
They will never say
What they really mean
So I can't really care
What they think of me.
It'll never really matter anyway.

You push me till I think I'll break.
Not sure how much more I can take.
Until you spouted lies and hate,
I was sure it was you who held my fate.
Now the curtain's pushed aside.
Now I see where I once was blind.
My sword, my shield, my staff, my rod
I don't need you, just me and God.

I'm cuttin' all the puppet strings.
Finally gonna sing what I wanna sing.
Say what I wanna say.
Wear what I wanna wear.
Don't give a damn if you like my hair now.
It's time for me to be my own boss,
Fight my own wars,
Carry my own cross.

I may never know...

I've been workin' so hard
To prove myself to you.
Now I know
I can do this on my own.

I may never know...
Track Name: Becoming (with Osyrus Bolly)
In this tiny little box, I hold the key to all the world.
I'm a goddess, and a lion, and a silly little girl.
At once I start to wonder if I'm real or if I'm dead.
I count my fingers, pinch my skin, and shake my spinnin' head.
I walk out into nothing and see all around me's dark.
I look for you but can't see through. There's not even a spark.
Float off into nothingness. Nothing can touch me here.
It closes in and I begin to settle into fear.

Fear becomes my peace and all is upside down.
I'm not afraid. My bed is made. My smile is now a frown. (2x)

In this tiny little box, I hold the key to all the world.
I'm the ocean, and the heavens, and a shiny little pearl.
At once I start to wonder if you're here or If I'm wrong.
I push, and scream, and cry for you; and then I know you're gone.
All I feel is sadness and I've fallen like a shower.
The darkness here is tragic but the sadness is its power.
The silence here is magic and it's music to my ears.
I float off in the nothingness. Nothing can touch me here.

It closes in and I begin to

(Osyrus):
I found peace, press a button, let the top back.
All this magic in the moment, yeah I need a top hat.
It ain't picture perfect so I had to crop that.
Refocus, clean house, yo where da mop at?
I don't feel nothin' but the feelin' of a new day.
It's somethin' like a stockin' cap. We trynta make new waves.
With a easy bake oven, I could make a souffle'.
Lotta thrax in my e-z wider like touche'
Call me irresponsible--Michael Buble.
Never care whatchu say, My flaws cool with groupies.
I understand my verse is worth a few grands,
So you gotta call up my name to getchu some fans.
Swing back like a tether ball, same outfit,
Just cut from a better cloth.
Same song but the treble off
I just want a thick skin, no worries, at no cost...
In my ticker tape parade as I float off.

Now all is as it seems.
It was once just make believe.
Now I fall into the dark,
Let the fear wash over me,
With a joy that's heaven sent.
Happy just to be content.
Fall into this love with myself
and I'll never repent...
becoming.

From Goethe's Faust (Part II)
"And thus it is, when hope with earnest striving
Has toiled in aims as high as man may dare,
Fulfilment’s open gates give promise fair,
But from those everlasting depths comes driving,
A fiery blast that takes us unaware:
We thought to light life’s torch, but now, depriving
Our highest hope, a sea of fire surrounds us.
Such fire! Of love? or the fierce glow of hate?
The blend of joy and sorrow that confounds us,
Sends us to earth to veil our troubled state.
For benefice of Spring, we supplicate."
Track Name: Cipher
I'm rollin'. I'm rollin'. I'm rollin' with my cipher.
I'm rollin'. I'm rollin'. I'm rollin' with my cipher,
Try'nta find somethin' to do.
we're 'bout to pull an all nighter.

I feel like tearin' up my town but i might need some help.
I just got a divorce and got my weekends to myself.
I'm textin my muchachas. Tonight we're some barhoppers.
We do it to the music knowin' all the boys watch us.
They like the way we move, 'cause we don't care who's lookin' at us.
No matter where we go, the party's followin my status
In my dirty black hatchback, hot chocolate--no 30 pack--
Debbie cakes, debit card, yeah I want some cash back.
Before we hit the clubs, you know we gotta ride a while.
Even in my grandma car, you know they love my style.
We pull up at the first lil spot and all the folks are watchin'.
Did I smudge my lip gloss? Naw, they just see that it's poppin'.

I'm rollin'...

Soon as we get inside, you know we're hittin' up the bar.
Buy my girls a round of drinks, then head back to the car.
We don't need much to start. The party follows where we fly.
Pop in with 5 leave with 15--the boys said they're gon' ride.
My fit, my hair, my look au naturel is so confusin'.
They never seen a girl like me come out the south--We're movin
Too fast to keep up with unless you're gonna level up.
You know I gotta keep it fresh and keep em guessin 'cuz...

I'm rollin'...
Track Name: Any Old Toy
Don't kiss me on the mouth
'Cause you think you own me.
There's a lot you gotta do
Just to get to know me.
Just 'cause I like to be touched,
Doesn't mean I like you that much.

I like hugs and holding hands,
But I don't want just punks and fans
Thinkin' they can push up on me--
Feel me up just 'cause they're lonely.

But if you're the right boy,
Not just any old toy,
I'll let you do whatever you want.
You don't have to front at all.
Touch me on the inside baby
And you can touch me on the inside

When you're comin' over,
Gimme 30 minutes please.
I wanna get it right
So you won't ever wanna leave.
You know how I like to be touched
And you know I can take it rough.

Take me to a place where
Nobody can hear me scream.
You know I won't hold back.
I like you takin' over me.
You know how I like to be touched
And you know I can take it rough.

Baby, you're the right boy.
You're not just any old toy.
I'll let you do whatever you want.
You don't have to front at all.
Touch me on the inside baby
And you can touch me on the inside.

You know what I want come home to me

Yeah, you know you're the right boy.
You're not just any old toy.
You know how to touch me on the inside--
So I let you touch me.
Track Name: My Person
Other boys think they can play your part.
What they don't know is you own my heart.
You stole it--ripped it right from my chest.
Now I'm here bleedin' out love so blessed.

You're my person.
You'll always come first and
I don't ever wanna be without ya
I could say I don't need ya.
But I'd be lyin' if I told ya that.

You're my person.
You'll always come first and
I don't ever wanna be without ya.
I could say I don't want ya,

But I'd be lyin' if I told ya that.

You think I can't handle the sticks and stones.
You say when it's done, you'll end up alone.
But I'm here to tell you, long as I breathe,
I'll stand right beside you. I'll be your queen.

You know I see ya trynta give me your attention
I like ya baby, but I did forget to mention
That I'm the type of girl who needs to get her beauty sleep.
Can't be fallin in love so quick again. I'm in too deep.
See this other man was holding all my heart. It seemed
that stayin' with him was the best way to fulfill my dreams.
But when I'm with you I'll be questionin' the choice I made,
Cuz you're so different. You represent a higher grade.

You're my person...

I'm tryin' to think of a way to say
Just how much I like you despite your way.
You think, if you push me, one day I'll leave.
Just keep on pullin' tricks from out your sleeve.

You're my person...
Track Name: Fill U Up
I wanna fill you up with my fill you up with my fill you up with my love

I know how hard you're workin' baby.
I know my talkin' drives you crazy.
So i'll do me--let you be lazy.
I know you're empty so I...

I'll try to give you peace and quiet,
but I could see ya every night.
With you I never get too tired.
But I keep my distance and I'll...

I wanna fill you up...

It seems I'm always thinkin of ya.
You give me so much love, I gotta
Find a way give it all back to ya.
Even when i'm empty I...

I wanna give you all my lovin',
But if you need your space, I won't be buggin'.
Anything you need, I got you covered.
Even from far away, I'll...

I wanna fill you up...
Track Name: Paper Boat
Like a paper boat you float,
Till the waves come to take you down.
You're the prettiest paper boat I know,
Till the waves come to take you down.

One day she walked the ocean.
Next day she swam on land.
Two nights of dreams much bigger than
She could keep in just one hand.

Like a paper boat you float...

This little girl likes diving deep.
She likes to touch the bottom of the sea.
She'd kiss the sun if it would only hold it's tongue.

Like a paper boat you float...

She'll take your scars and turn them into light--
Make a blind man see in the darkest night.
She walks with ghosts...
And brings them back to life.

And all she has to say is:
"Like a paper boat you float,
Till the waves come to take you down.
You're the prettiest paper boat I know
Till the waves come to take you down"
Track Name: Agree 2 Disagree
Silly, cuz it don't even matter.
Never meant to disrespect.
Why do we not pick our battles?
We just fight till we forget.
I don't even know how it happened.
It went so fast.
I say a couple words and I get on your nerves.
Relax. I'm not that bad.

It's all a game. We're all the same.
We don't have time
To point out the things we need to change.
I want you to fly.
I'd love to be your puzzle piece,
Cuz we're both strong.
The crazy part about it is we both could do without it,
But it's easier if we get along.

Can't you see that being mean is killin me?
Why can't we just agree to disagree?
I beg. I plead. I said it's you. You said it's me.
Why can't we just agree to disagree?
I lose. I win. The best of friends we'll never be.
Why can't we just agree to disagree?
Today we're back and forth.
Tomorrow it won't even be important.
Just let it be.

Funny now you seem like a stranger.
Never thought we'd grow apart.
Even though we've both made some changes,
You know you're always in my heart.
All the little things I remember--
You taught me well.
You used to be my mirror. Now I see a little clearer.
If you love me, I can't tell.

There's really nothing left to say.
We don't have time
To waste away another day,
Cuz i wanna fly.
I'd love to see you find your place
Where you feel strong.
I know it's overwhelming and I know that I'm not helping--
So it's prob'ly best that I move on.

Can't you see that being mean is killin me?...
Track Name: Been There Done That (with 607 & ItsJusBobby)
Baby--
I ain't tryin to hear what you say.
Don't be bringin that mess my way.
Maybe--
If you learn how to tell the truth,
I'll be nice and come talk to you.
Don't say I'm stuck up, just cuz you ain't on my level.
No I'm not bashin', I'm just askin you to do better.
You're kinda fly. I met a guy like you before.
That's somethin' that I won't do no more.
Because I've...

Been- There- Done- That
I ain't tryna go back. I ain't tryna go back!
Go back--
To a time when I used to fall,
For everything I heard and saw.
Know that-
Those days are dead and gone.
Had a chance but now I'm grown.

Don't say I'm stuck up, just cuz you ain't on my level.
No I'm not bashin', I'm just askin you to do better.
You're kinda fly. I met a guy like you before.
That's somethin' that I won't do no more.
Because I've...

Been- There- Done- That...

I can't go back to the way that it was.
Stuck on repeat here with you just because.
Track Name: New Best Friend (Reprise)
I've been working all my life
Just to prove to everyone
I'm worthy of the finer things
And strong enough to take their stings.
It's taken me some years to learn

I am my own worst enemy.
Just when I think I'm doin' right,
I'm caught up in another fight.

Take me off your pedestal.
I'm far from perfect.
Don't you know?
I can't keep up with your expectations;
And I don't want your medication.
I'm gonna do this on my own.
No new friends.
I can stand alone.

I may never know
What they think of me.
They will never say
What they really mean
So I can't really care
What they think of me.
It'll never really matter anyway.

You push me till I think I'll break.
Not sure how much more I can take.
Until you spouted lies and hate,
I was sure it was you who held my fate.
Now the curtain's pushed aside.
Now I see where I once was blind.
My sword, my shield, my staff, my rod
I don't need you, just me and God.

I'm cuttin' all the puppet strings.
Finally gonna sing what I wanna sing.
Say what I wanna say.
Wear what I wanna wear.
Don't give a damn if you like my hair now.
It's time for me to be my own boss,
Fight my own wars,
Carry my own cross.

I may never know...

I've been workin' so hard
To prove myself to you.
Now I know
I can do this on my own.

I may never know...
Track Name: Sweet 4 Weak
You think you wanna know, but you don't.
When the lights come on, you won't like what you see.
It's too hard to swallow, just go on and follow.
It's much lighter a load than to lead.
I'm not going down. I will not go down easy.
Don't take my sweet for weak--won't find me on my knees.

This time I'm too proud to beg.
This world tried to make me soft.
Don't you take my sweet for weak.
No you will not scare me off.

Nobody's honest 'bout everything.
Lies are the real currency.
Beg, borrow, steal, if it helps you feel.
Lie to me, babe, lie to me.
Beg for what's real till it's too much to heal.
The truth is too much to believe.

This time I'm too proud to beg...

Now I'm getting closer to me.
The veil is just starting to rise.
And finally I think I see.
I wipe salty tears from my eyes.

This time I'm too proud to beg...