Art of Starch

by J.Han

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Twitter: twitter.com/jameshanmusic

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Art of Starch is J.Han’s debut solo project. In this mixtape he aims to articulate his past by examining his upbringing as a “Cleaners Kid”. Realizing his experiences were not something to be trashed as insignificant but rather something to be embraced, he shares his heart and convictions, taking the listener through his life journey. This mixtape features a number of collaborations with artists Sam Ock, Gowe, Mickey Cho, Lyricks, CL, and Jae Jin.

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released March 3, 2013

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Good Fruit Co.

Our passion is to engage culture to nourish souls and renew lives for Christ through music.

This hope is rooted in the Gospel message that, "God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
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Track Name: Cleaner's Kid [ft. Lyricks]
Hook:
Homie this’ the life of a cleaners kid
Living mediocre with a family biz
We gotta stay grinding; say goodbye to weekends
cause you’re helping at the shop -- no retreating.
Homie this’ the life of a cleaners kid
Forget about sabbaticals or family trips
We gotta stay grinding; say goodbye to weekends
cause you’re helping at the shop -- no retreating.

J. Han:
I know about the long hours and the time they would put-in.
12 was a minimum; the meager pay was killing ‘em;
neighborhood wasn’t feeling ‘em; arthritis was creeping-in;
Blue collar work wasn’t really a thrilling gig.
But they kept at it, barely stayed static.
With a resolve to get nice with the pragmatics.
So they tussled, working every muscle
to know the ins and outs of this dry cleaning hustle.
Lugging buckets and carts, whether tiny or large,
of dirty clothes from 30 year olds yapping and dropping them off.
They dealt with the worst of ‘em, but still had a smile-on.
Up-charging for silk when their blouse was really nylon.
I was told to never burn your bridges; hold your tongue
when they shun you for your slanted eyes, slandering your yellow kind.
They felt it everyday while doing business in the ghetto.
Telling the young James to observe and take a memo.

[Hook]

Lyricks:
Ain't no summer like a dry cleaning summer,
Mama stays skinny and she never was a runner
To me The strongest lady maybe, the woman’s crazy,
I mean it could 180 degrees because of steam.
But never did she break down,
Always had a great smile
Pray aloud singing hymns,
GOD fearing / Innocent.
She’s the example of a hard working immigrant,
Came across abroad w my pops to make her dividends.
And now here it is. Me and my mom.
Sweating while setting the sweaters on mechanical lines.
We cleaned skirts, shirts, bras, down to the underwear.
Lunch time mom would have the kimchi in the Tupperware.
Best lunch ever, wash our hands then go back to work.
She be on the presser, I go back to my bagging shirts.
When customers came, “cleaner’s kid” is what they labeled us
Grew up with the twisty-ties, reloading my staplers.

[Hook]

J. Han:
I know how it feels to see your parents laughed at
tripping over their words while folks supplied laugh tracks.
Wanting to defend ‘em against their spewing venom
but realized that kindness was truly the greatest weapon.
I saw strength in their meekness, valor in their mannerisms.
Were they in the deep end -- their worth being cheapened?
I witnessed countless amounts -- bitter accounts --
of people muttering aspersions under their mouths.
Did they miss out on living the real dream -- American built?
Did they mistake silt for gold? Was it a gilt
painted on a bunch rocks? Oh my gosh, what a mockery it made
of these immigrants that stayed
paving legacies of pain with perseverance -- never faint.
My father was a master with the iron, killing stains,
mixing solvents; solving problems with my mother as a team.
She was the smarts, plus impressive with the seams.

[Hook]
Track Name: Riverside [ft. Jae Jin]
J. Han:
Good morning! Time to rise and shine; come on, wake-up!
Your eyes are barely open; you need to go wash your face-up!
You cannot call-in sick today, you are not a featherweight.
People are depending on you for food on their dinner plate.
This job’s never easy, but a burden I must take-up.
No room to be a flaker, hater, make mistakes or hiccups.
Shoulders feeling achy; man, I just wanna forsake it all!
If I had it my way, I would really stop and break it off!
Come on, shake it off. Take a breather -- woosah.
Refocus, break your fast -- put the fruit into the juicer.
Or you could prolly look into the fridge and find some OJ.
Fire-up that ambition of yours, where’s the propane?
It’s funday Monday time to wear Egyptian-blue socks!
Utah, crank the jazz-up -- lemme hear the “ooh-aahs.”
Don’t forget the croutons -- crucial for the salad -- okay
I’m ready for the day, grab the daily, and I’m on my way!

Hook (Jae Jin):
I wanna go to the riverside
lay my burdens down & keep my arms open wide
Ooh Lord, are you really here?
I lay my burdens down & keep my arms open wide
I’m gonna shout cause I know that you’re my King!
I’m gonna dance cause my life is safe in your wings.
I’m gonna sing a little melody of praise!

J. Han:
Whether you’re driving, walking, riding on a bike over to work.
It sure helps to be joyful; shall I repeat my words?
Let’s try to see the bigger picture -- hopefully it helps.
But if not, this tip flops and I’m seen as a whelp.
Oh well, whatever helps you to get through the day,
let’s try to apply something new -- break the monotony!
A new brew of coffee; no USB, use floppy;
forget your Civic or Corolla, go find a jalopy!
But the main problem is probably your boss.
It’s hard to respect ‘em when they’re acting like applesauce.
Deadlines on deadlines, oh wait! more deadlines;
suffocated with emails all day from dawn to bedtime.
The daily grind, yea we all go through it.
Going through the motion is so effortless and stupid.
Refocus! This is bigger than ourselves
Keep your head up to the heavens though it feels like you’re in hell.

Bridge:
Time to put in work; time to man-up (wake up!)
Time to put in work; time to man-up (wake up!)
Time to put in work; time to man-up (wake up!)
We cannot waste our lives away, we got ourselves a mission!
Go and get it; keep on fighting (wake up!)
Go and get it; keep on fighting (wake up!)
Go and get it; keep on fighting (wake up!)
We cannot waste our lives away, we got ourselves a mission!
Track Name: A Breath [ft. CL & Sam Ock]
Hook:
This life is like a breath; our days
are numbered as we swiftly fade away.
Though life is like a breath; how great --
Your word endures forever and a day!

J. Han:
Life happens; but, it’s moving too fast.
My brother lost his mom to cancer. Man, the shock is too vast.
Can’t wrap my mind around it even after two laps.
Life is so fragile, withering away like tulips.
Look upon this broken world, full of disappointments
shattered dreams, and bitter endings; did you find an ointment?
You could spend the next 20 years searching solace for the tears
just to render your life useless like engines without its gears.
Do you find this funny that a lot of young dummies
waste their lives away following the ways of Young Money?
It's impossible to draw any water from an empty well.
Can you really quench your thirst in that citadel?
An everlasting river's waiting for you to drink from it.
Taste and see His goodness and grace
in abundance. Man, a hundred days in his courts
is better than a hundred J's
or hundred ways to utilize your paper chase.

[Hook]

CL:
Music for the moment, moments made with music
Precious memories last forever, priceless times make up the blueprint
Second hand in progression towards every second; a blessing
Pay attention or we’ll be missing these most cherished possessions
Nobody learns to hate it only waits to be provoked
Holding grudges ties the hands as time escapes and drifts afloat
All alone in bitterness as selfishness bears rotten fruit
Mal-nourishing a heart from forgiveness to act in vain pursuit
Best friends becoming enemies as bonds are torn
Divorces, leaving broken homes cause spouses can’t get along
As believers we should live to set examples for all
But how can we illustrate forgiveness if we’re not willing to draw?
Called to reconcile, seek and show mercy and grace
Forgiveness brings a joy that can mend a broken embrace
The Gospel shows we’re forgiven, if transformation is certain
Our attitude should be more like Christ and not Wicked Servants (Matt.18:21-35)

[Hook]
Track Name: Not My Own [ft. Sam Ock]
J. Han:
I got no dough in my pockets.
Flashing lights are hurting my sockets.
People wildin’ out ‘til they drop dead.
but at the end of the day, what do they profit?
I’ll get fired-up on this topic!
Souls are dying and they can’t stop it.
Culture’s lying about the “tag popping.”
but at the end of the day, what do they profit?
Can’t you see that glitz and the glamor
has us captivated -- enamored.
Thirsting air-time on the camera.
but at the end of the day, what do they profit?
All those jewels are merely enamels.
The pursuit of fame is a trammel,
shackling you just like a weak mammal
But at the end of your life, what does it profit?

Hook:
You say you’re living for today? This life is not my own.
This world will surely pass away. This life is not my own.
I say I’m living for the Way. This life is not my own.
Kill my flesh and lock that up in the deepest catacomb.
You were made for greater things. This life is not my own.
Life is more than just a fling. This life is not my own.
I say I’m living for the Way. This life is not my own.
Kill my flesh and lock that up in the deepest catacomb.

(Let ‘em know) Dropping dollars on all these bottles
plus debauchery in full-throttle.
“You die once” is the motto
This life is not my own.
I can’t waste my life for a second.
Sin keeps lurking-on and it beckons
to end my life -- armageddon
This life is not my own.

J. Han:
Is this world really worth living in?
Bound by shame; drowning deep in our sin.
Trying to restore back our lost innocence
Look at how far we’ve fallen from Grace.
We’re people who claimed to be wise,
awesome scholars in our own eyes.
Exchanged the truth of God for a lie.
Look at how far we’ve fallen from Grace.
Yea, we’re two-timers who used grime
to go build-up all our shrines.
To display to the world our shine.
Look at how far we’ve fallen from Grace.
I refuse to be a slave
of the humanism ways
and consumerism plagues.
Look at how far we’ve fallen from Grace.

Sam Ock:
wait, let me make it really clear
‘cause I got to take a little time and tell it to your ear
take heed, what have I got to fear
even if death is lurkin’ far or near?
but you got to get it in
all of the lust, all of the carnal sins
all of the lights, and man you got to get paid
the way you’re living, it’s like you’re self-made
the road to greatness is what you make it
unless you break it, then you will fake it
if all your pride is in your satisfaction
what will you do if you can’t make it happen?
and if you do succeed
what does it look like in eternity?
dust...what’ll happen to your name?
will the infinite know your fame?
and if the soul lives on
what is that base that your life’s built on?
is it something strong? ‘cause I know for a fact
for God you didn’t long
I got to say for myself
all of my life and all of my wealth
belongs to God alone, it’s not my own

[Hook]
Track Name: Reckless
J. Han:
I keep on hiding -- man, I’m such a hypocrite.
I’ve bitten chunks out of the bait without even a fight or kick.
It’s so hard to admit I’m retreating in this Maybach.
I can’t remember who’s driving cause I’m in the way back
in the back seat -- sipping juice while I’m laid back.
It seems like there’s no going back; Call me, mister 8-track.
My eyes wide-shut, but I don’t care cause I’m having fun.
Yo, who’s on that steering wheel? juice is spilling from my cup.
Driver, tell me why you’re flying through the speed bumps.
You ran so many red lights and stop signs -- that’s enough.
Yea, I know that I said to swerve into the fast lane, but chill
Are you blind?! You almost got us killed.
Didn’t you see those signs on the side of the road?
The one that said to yield and merge into the right of the road.
Where are we going anyway? I thought that this was just a joy ride.
Confusion -- my mind and heart are in a brawl of muay thai.
Abusing the grace granted to me, void of gratitude -- sue me.
I’ve chosen to be here; point of no return -- adieu.
Then Suddenly we jerk left, smash right
into the median; immediately, glass shatters right into my eyes.
Wheezing real loud; did I make a blunder?
doubt rises quicker than the smoke; ‘twas like a thunder
clap it up for the fool who followed after culture,
and wrote a check out to the flesh, then overlooked the numbers.
This car is spinning out-of-control, I’m bound to go under.
Does this driver even care my soul is torn asunder?
The vertigo is non-stop, chaos all around me.
My vision’s failing by the minute; man, my chest is pounding
cause I’m afraid of what’s coming next, why did I nix Him
in the first place? I miss His comfort and His wisdom.
Is it too late to run back? I heard it from the pastor
that a lost sheep can always come home to its pasture.
Track Name: Mirror [ft. Mickey Cho]
Hook:
I see the man, in the mirror,
of what I once was.
His reflection has never been clearer.
Surely his soul has come undone.
I see the man, in the mirror,
of what I have become
His reflection has never been clearer.
Surely this souls found in the Son

J. Han:
Take a stroll down this lane.
I see pictures of my past, on the walls, in frames.
Countless episodes and scenes -- too many to list --
all displayed on these 3D view-master disks.
These snapshots of my childhood: skinny kid,
big imagination; legos for building extravagant
mansions big enough for Megazord and elephants.
First-born son of Korean emigrants --
look at him -- speaking tough, tryna live American.
Idolizing rappers who were preaching to be negligent.
Rocking fake chains trying to be fly and relevant.
But inside, he’s tired being somebody who isn’t him.
Man, he keeps on wasting his time
chasing empty things; he’s a dying branch on The Vine.
But, little does he know, his soul’s yearning will be satisfied.
All the mysteries & knowledge of the world are found in Christ.

[Hook]

Mickey Cho:
I still remember as a young kid
Searching for my place in this world
I would run quick
From one place to another
Couldn't find my identity
I'm living as an orphan, no sonship
And from this everything was affected
Insecurity in me and living under rejection
And never feeling accepted
I just had to accept it
Unconditional love was never to be expected
Is it real? Well, it might be
I knew that God loved me
But wondered if He really liked me
And because of what my experience with appa did
I now had the wrong image of who Abba is
You see the devil really knows how to rob a kid of who he is
Just raise a generation fatherless
But regardless of all of this
The Father's love crossed the divide to fill a young kid with all of Him

[Hook]
Track Name: On Low [ft. Sam Ock]
J. Han:
Sometimes I know it’s hard to be a Christian
cause when you’re home, nobody’s really listening.
You got a lot of questions and carry many convictions.
Spending countless nights praying, crying, and wishing
It was different. You got this fire burning in your bones.
Tryna draw the deep waters out of your soul.
The cry of your heart is to pursue after your God.
but your friends keep on prodding you to push Him to the side.
You find security in the son of splendor
but your parents teach “find it in a job or legal tenders.”
Ten different voices coming at you
all but one sound like they want to attack you. (Where is your gun?)
Yo, How can you stand firm for what you believe in when people
repeatedly demonize you
for not agreeing with views of culture.
You feel like Stephen; you’ll keep on heeding the good word;
faith isn’t seeing; so you’ll trust in His good works.

Hook:
When think that you’re a joke (keep your head up!)
When you feel like you’re alone (keep your head up!)
When your tank is empty, running on low (keep your head up!)
Look up to the heavens; He will strengthen you, don’t you know?

Sam Ock:
A bed of twisted indifference is a
sickened deliverance of a child who is
born of apathy, insignificant and it
cries of a hunger against the Father’s definitive
the infinite, it fades away and slowly diminishes
I lose the passion and the drive
I know that i’m putting my trust in self-appointed lies
so why, why do i do it when i know that I’’m being stupid
and I know that I’ll lose it
the blessing that I’m abusing
see I failed again
the world, it exposed my broken ends
in the Son I see
warmth and affection call to me
trust not in yourself
look to the One who is your help
I know it ain’t the amount
but the object of the faith
He keeps me afloat
in His goodness and His grace

[Hook]

Bridge:
Come on get up if you're failing again.
Hope and I pray til eternity then.

[Hook]
Track Name: My Delight [ft. Sam Ock]
J. Han:
Living in a household with a mama and a sis.
You get a peek into their worlds -- maybe just a glimpse.
At first look, -- I thought women were so different.
Emotions and oceans of feelings;
Oprah and lotions with scents so appealing.
Oh, I was so ignorant and confused.
“Was it really a big deal? Wounds will eventually heal.”
Yo, all she really wanted was a listening ear.
Then what is all this chatter I don’t really wanna hear.
Full of complaints about a lady from Sears?
I used to see it all as being unstable.
As a clear sign of weakness and used it as a label.
You’re made in the image of the Almighty!
A reflection of the Father -- not to be taken lightly.
Maybe we are not so different after all.
Can you hear our maker singing this song?

Hook:
Darling, you’re beautiful
You are so wonderful.
Your smile shines so bright.
You’re my delight. You’re the apple of my eye.

J. Han:
There is so much I’ve learned; never call her absurd
When you’re listening, make sure her voice has been heard.
Lessons from the old heads are timeless and golden.
The longer I live, I see how we’re so broken.
We put our best foot forward to look shiny.
Foundation, you don’t have to hide behind it.
Aren’t your eyes tired from the loads of eyeliner.
Mascara’s a flame in the way -- I’m a firefighter
or a coal miner digging just to see your gaze.
But isn’t it strange? It’s normal in this day and age.
Fear of ridicule is draining you real thin.
Can you really say you’re comfy in your own skin?
You’re made in the image of the Almighty!
A reflection of the Father -- not to be taken lightly.
Maybe we are not so different after all.
Can you hear our maker singing this song?

[Hook]

Bridge:
He says he's your Father
You’re the clay, he’s the potter.
He is pleased, He is pleased.
Truly He delights in you
He calls you His daughter
You’re the clay, he’s the potter.
He is pleased, He is pleased.
Truly He delights in you

[Hook]
Track Name: Chasing Nothing [ft. Sam Ock]
J. Han:
I was once told I could have the world,
it was mine to hold like a bag of pearls.
Who’s gonna stop me on this endeavor?
Live your life and seize the day; man, it’s now or never!
I guess the motto’s “study hard to be a scholar.”
Better know I put in work cause I’ve earned every dollar.
I don’t wanna be a coward who cripples under another man.
I merely wanna live unafraid, ever with the upper hand.
I imagine being a man of prominence -- relying only on myself.
My appetite for the comfy life requires me to acquire more wealth.
Sometimes, I admit that I spend more time trying to keep up with the Joneses.
I try to not compare my cots of tulips to their beds of roses.
But that’s okay cause everything is great.
I remain the man on top; shall we pop some chardonnay?
I still got all my money. I still got all my stuff.
But why’s it still feel like it’s not enough.

Hook:
I was full speed on this road of gold.
All about me -- always on the go.
Lusting for the top of that totem pole.
But in light of eternity, I saw that
(I was chasing nothing at all.) x8

J. Han:
I was once told I could have the world,
it was mine to hold like a bag of pearls.
Who’s gonna stop me on this endeavor?
Live your life and seize the day; man, it’s now or never!
I’m young and wild; party ‘til my last breath.
We only got one chance to live, why not live on the ledge?
Forget what people say; do what you think is right.
If truth is relative then you don’t gotta fret it twice.
You make your own rules, commandments are just old rules.
Yo, Why’d I gotta listen to that old dude? Be moral -- that’s old news.
I’m on that new new; gotta check up on my youtube
I don’t got a bit of time to waste on you tryna make attractive an old tune
But that’s okay cause everything is great.
I remain the man on top; shall we pop some chardonnay?
I still got all my money. I’m still having my fun.
But why’s it still feel like it’s not enough.

[Hook]

Bridge:
my greatest lie that the world taught to me
is that my freedom is who i can be
who then am i but a spark in eternity?
i’ll run in light of the sovereign throne
i’ll run for Glory who calls me His own
i will abandon these broken dreams
for You are everything

[Hook]
Track Name: Gratitude [ft. Gowe]
Hook:
I sing a simple song of praise to You.
With a heart-full of gratitude.

J. Han:
Brother, even when the clouds turn gray,
hail comes around my way, or waves slam into my face.
I’ll be giving Him the praise, forever and a day.
Never ending cause he’s entitled to every single grain!
Even when the people around me choose to reject Him.
I will follow Christ and live out my calling -- no question.
To whom shall we go? He’s got the words of life.
When He speaks, nourishment fills this soul deprived;
when my soul is dying, He breathes in me --
dead bones -- now alive -- and got this heart beating.
Man, I breathe easy, a profound peace in me.
This well run dry transformed into a sea -- easy.
I live in a world where it’s hard to find
hope for humanity and trust in mankind.
I got philanthropic organizations selling me lies,
claiming that the answer really resides inside [16]
-- what a sham. But You say that with all of this chaos
and shambles we live-in, we find chandeliers in the dross
looking for hope in the cross when we’re exhausted and lost?
That’s an answer for any summer or fall,
winter or spring; we can’t deny that different seasons will bring
mourning, joy, storms, or a reason to sing.
Still, I’ll have reasons to smile
cause I’ll have my solid rock to lean on when life gets all crazy and wild.

[Hook]

Gowe:
You put a soul beat on with blank pages and I will eat that
My hunger to decipher what my God says - is to be that
And to reconstruct the love that has fallen off to the side
When I would compromise my life with the bright flash of the lights
And I would pause reminded by the spirit that dwells inside of me
the grace paid by blood by my Father who fought and died for me
To resurrect again - so I could paint with a pen
And my portraits portray how grace saved me from sin
When I was younger I would try to complete the void
in my heart with a couple nice dates & a couple walks by the park
Only to venture down a dark path - they never could last
Left me sitting with a broke past, that spoke like a trap
And I fell..you would think that I would learn from my mistakes
Add another two months and I'm back walking astray
This is back before I met Him on a personal level
Now I follow a direction like the keys on a treble
So let me slow it down once while I gather my thoughts
The pattern I fought - lost, cause I was bought by the boss or the king
happiness surrounds me in the ring
When I sing a couple songs that expresses all of the things that I feel
lost in the love plus I’m passionate to reach the still lost through
beat breaks and my languages
So I will sing despite the mist and the rain
Cause I know that I don’t deserve it but you love me the same

[Hook]