the d​.​ark tape [2013]

by derek christoff x the arkeologists

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In 2007, I walked into a basement that would change my art forever. I realize that sentence is super dramatic, and equally as rape-y, but it’s the only way I can describe it. It was dark. Small. Low ceilings. Filled with cigarette smoke. I sat down on the couch, while Norman Krates [The Arkeologists] prepped his MPC2000 for our first session.

I ate a submarine sandwich. He rolled a joint. I swallowed a Percocet. He chopped up a sample. And I began writing what would become Kneecaps. A song, along with Laundry Room, that would make critics and music listeners look past the court jester of an artist I once was. A song that would literally change my life.

In 2013, I returned to the same basement to conduct an interview with Norman for a special 5 year anniversary release of my debut record, The B.O.O.K. While listening to him reminisce, I began having flashbacks of those sessions. I felt like 2007 again. A few days later I went back to hang out. Hanging out would result in Norm playing me beats. Which would result in me writing The Reunion Tour. We sat and listened to that song for an hour straight. It was 2007 again. We decided to keep going till we hit ten songs. All raw. All songs recorded on a $200 8-track in one day. All first takes. Embrace the imperfections. No promotion. Keep it basement.

The D.Ark Tape.


released June 24, 2013

all music produced by: The Arkeologists
all lyrics written by: Derek Christoff
recorded in Norm's Basement. Toronto, Ontario. 06|17|2013
artwork by: Brett Lindzen [ ]



all rights reserved
Track Name: One And Only
One And Only
I kiss my baby girl on the forehead
I wanted to say goodbye before bed
Goodnight, sweetheart
I’ll see you at the crossroads
I doubt heaven will be scanning daddy’s barcode
For snorting eighty millis by the carload
Steering off road
Forehead in the car horn
Police tape blocking off the right lane of the highway
White blanket on my white face
Another day, another fool born
Another High School cipher in the schoolyard
Another rhyme followed by a dope reaction
Another white boy thinking he can rap sick
A shattered dream by twenty-eight
Not enough sugar for the lemonade
And not enough money come rent day
Another day, another chest pain
But this is what I gotta do, yo
You ain’t me
So, what the fuck do you know?
The one and only
I am
I write for the fallen
Rock bottom and broken
The frozen
The problems
The dropouts and loaners
The guns and the roses
The fuck ups and posers
Who dove off the plank to the sharks in the ocean
And barked up the wrong bark
Following their noses
Causing a commotion
Tough talking
And not enough listening to what’s on their shoulders
Sleeping on the corner with the mice and the sewer rats
In wife beaters
Showing off their newest tats
Hip-Hop handwritten on their forearms
Fake gold chain holding up a gold cross
Yet never been to church on a Sunday
Daydreamers waiting for their ‘one day’
‘One day I’m a make it up the ski lift’
But we all know you ain’t gonna be shit
Track Name: The Reunion Tour
The Reunion Tour
Get Rolling Stone on the phone
And let them know we're getting the band back together
Every band member the fans can remember
Are jammed in a packed van
Clad in black leather
Dirty Doc Martens
Cigarette burned plaid
One gram away from becoming urn ash
Inhaling burnt hash through a bottle top
Passed out in the Casino-Rama parking lot
Smelling like Old Spice and vomit
Strumming my old pride and joy, but won't think twice to pawn it
Distorted Marshall's bring the gutter to my gold
Making every single mother drip butter from her hole
I'm a legend to your Mom
A God to your Father
I was the soundtrack in that old blue Impala
Circling the neighborhood for some privacy
To reverse cowgirl in the driver's seat
And these kids acting like I don't deserve it now
Saying I'm over the hill and I'm worthless now
Don't tell me that my verses don't run circles 'round
These human cannonballs and these circus clowns
I'm the king of my home
A king on my throne
With a rabid Rottweiler at my shins
Bring a bone
I'm the king of my home
A king on my throne
And you ain't dog shit
So shut up and sing along
The reunion tour
Ain't nobody going gold or moving units anymore
The reunion tour
I'm trying to sell my memoir out the Indigo stores
The reunion tour
I'm a year away from a lifetime achievement award
The reunion tour
Performing the hits in a half empty casino in Reno
Track Name: Tito Jackson
Tito Jackson
I had dreams of killing him
And be the villain
I’m feeling the evil deep in my deep end
Beat, bash and pillage
Dethrone – wreak havoc on the illest, I’m
So cold – frozen in a crow’s nest
A born loser – scoring in my own net
Born again Christian
Born again Christoff
Trying to break a wishbone
Tired of getting pissed on
Black hat, black cat, bad luck
Can’t rap, can’t dance fat fuck
Laughed at by the sports team
Handgun hidden in my trench coat seams
Sloppy Joe on a lunch plate
Dreaming about making ground beef out your fuck face
Meet the me you never knew about
Never had a clue about
One the world can do without
Tito Jackson wasn’t bad like Mike
He couldn’t dance like Mike
Nobody tried to see him on stage
He wasn’t even Jermaine…
Moonwalking on Jupiter
Screaming ‘fuck the police’ like Guttenberg
Burn out, die you, walk fast
Riding shotgun with Suge Knight in a Pac mask
Middle fingers – spitting out the sunroof
Doorbell ringing with Snoop Dogg
Three…Four…Fuck you…retards
Throwing up peace signs in a peace war
Singing to the choir
Crying like a carwash
Living on the edge
Dying on the sidewalk
A hot kettle with the hot metal
What’s gold when you can’t win a bronze medal
And what’s the point if the cops get you?
A goner playing the harmonica
Like the movies I watch
With no shoelaces on suicide watch
Track Name: The Water
The Water
He skipped a stone on the water
Both feet cold in the water
He felt safe, all alone with the water
He took a breath
Then spoke to the water
Confided in the waves of the water
Not a word he was afraid to say to the water
He dumped all of his pain in the water
And believed his life would be saved by the water
He cupped his hands in the water
Licked his lips and drank from the water
Like nobody was watching, he danced in the water
Splashed in the water
Swam through the water
Looked around
Lost in the water
Feeling lost, he stopped and sobbed in the water
No longer warm in the water
Gone was the feeling he was home in the water
A foreigner
One lightning bolt in the water
A hole in the bottom of a boat in the water
The clouds were his ceiling
The sun was his chandelier
But he still felt trapped in the atmosphere
Tossed in the water
Until he saw God in the water
Smiled by the water
Cried by the water
Lived by the water
Died by the water
Track Name: Old Me
Old Me
Raining on a Sunday
Praying in the basement
Morrissey and Marr playing on the tape deck
Seven AM, wide awake on a stained sheet
Losing count on the twenty-eighth sheep
I've been awake for the past week
Televangelist muted on the flat screen
My left nipple bounces off my heart beat
Wishing I was Pac and Biggie in a car seat
I marinate in the sweat dripping off me
False promising my future like a cock tease
Living in yesterday like McCartney
Looking for a sign
Trying to hear God speak
But he won't talk back to the desperate
That's when tears fall…And the sweat drips
And our heads spin…And our hearts break
Then we fall apart
And they wonder why we...
Get high .Eat pills
Smoke weed .Sniff snowflakes till we OD
Spray hot H in a ripe vein
Drink till we black out on the highway
I'm sick of being lonely
I want to be a new man, but can't leave the old me
So sick of being lonely
I want to be a new man, but can't leave the old me
Sitting on a park bench
Staring at a swing set
Wishing I could swing against the wind
A shovel and a pail, in shorts and a tank top
Building a castle
The king of the sandbox
Toenails dirty, sand in my sandals
Mud on my feet disappear in the bathtub
Warm pajamas
Slippers on my wet feet
Bedtime stories
Tucked in my bed sheets
Dreaming I could fly through the air
Up, up and away
Staring down at your haircuts
Then land on a rooftop
And kick my running shoes off
Sprint barefoot till I spring off
The edge I live on
Wake up in hell…Hot
Then the sweat drips…My heart breaks
Then I fall apart
And they wonder why we...
Track Name: Newark
I wrote for the girls in the first row
But the boys in the back felt the words more
They related to the rhymes more
A white boy like them
And girls don’t like Sizemores
Unless you’re high together
But they come down, and I stay high forever
Pass me the mic and an eighty mg
And twenty in a dark room rocking Shady Limited
That’s all I know
Wong and Owens
Murder is all I wrote
Every record I release is eons beyond
That horse shit you’re peddling on CDRs
And Levon wears his war wound like a crown
And Superman never made any money
It only makes sense I name my kid Jesus
I’m a God to you crash test dummies
Come on…
I want to live the American dream
Driving to Jersey in a Caravan seat
Passport stamped in Green
A Canadian living the American dream
From sunrise to sunset
Not a single phone call from one exec
Then a booking agent made the past seem small
Said in three years we’ll have you rocking Massey Hall
Three years later my agency dropped
Me when I was climbing up a mainstream chart
Pocketing a hundred for a show spitting sixteens
I made a hundred for a show when I was sixteen
Seven incredible, slept on records made
Me a Larry Bird year old with a demo tape
On internet interviews acting pissy
Said that I was quitting, thinking nobody would miss me
Then fan-boys got their feelings hurt
So they tried to hurt mine in return in the Twitter-verse
And YouTube comments
The bums couldn’t spit a verse
That could knot the shoelaces of my written words
Heartbreak hotel…No vacancy
Stupid…All because I make music
All because I make music that influences
Music that makes kids want to tattoo their skin
Music too smart for losers
Nobody’s done it like I do it…Newark
New Jersey…Springsteen strumming
I’m a God to you crash test dummies
Come on…
Track Name: Copycat
Smoking in the boys room
Norman on the drums
Derek with the pencil
Holding loaded guns
Pointed at their temples – Nikolai Volkoff
Click.Trigger.Click till they blow their domes off
Blood splattered on the rug pattern
Family wondering… ‘What the fuck happened?’
Two baby mamas on the closed casket
Trying to open it, hoping it’s a hoax
Gone forever
Sleeping under potted plants
A lost legacy
Tupac hologram
Heartbroken…Suicidal copycats
Listening to laundry room
Turning on their faucet taps
Fully clothed in a boiling hot water bath
Mama’s home
Drops all of her shopping bags
Read the note – X and O – and an autograph
Yelling at God, but the lord ain’t talking back
Your mama’s gonna cry tonight
You live for today, but ‘gon die tonight, homey [x2]
Nine in the morning…Your mama mourning [x2]
Your mama’s gonna cry tonight
You live for today, but ‘gon die tonight, homey
When I say I’m Jesus, I mean it
And I mean it from the bottom of my heartbeat, Steven
What if God was one of us?
A tyrant with a gun
Violent, on a drug
On the run from a nightmare behind him
Hiding in silence
Sleeping under light
Terrified of what the light brings
Trying to find the light switch
Feeling up the drywall
Turns the light on, but nobody changed the light bulb
Hanging blindfolded from a tightrope
Loaded nine holding to his eyeball
We all want our own island and a fruit tree
And umbrella drink and a cool breeze
But we sip piss in the heat eating rotten apple pie
Wasting away…Band aid’ing the pain
Yelling at God, but the lord ain’t talking back
Zipper up the body bag…Suicidal copycat
Track Name: Mr. Knoblich
Mr. Knoblich
She heard a knock.knock.knock on the front door
Open up
She said ‘What the fuck for?’
Cuz I’m home from the corner store, my darling
With a brand new portrait I poured my heart in
With a new tuxedo and a bowler on me
And brand new shoes for us both to walk in
Clean shaven
No whiskers on me
Don’t tell me you don’t miss the ostrich
Turn off that Marianas Trench
I’m Tom Ford to that trash bag stench
You ain’t never seen class like this
You ain’t never seen a man dance like this
And you ain’t never seen a man dance
In a black tuxedo and a hat in a mask like this
Charlie Chaplin
The Phantom of the Opera
Ivory tickling behind the candelabra
You Matt Damons get a facelift
Then you can all look like Knoblich
But you can never be me
Never me
Never will you ever be
Forever dream
Born on Northcliffe
South of Eglinton
Singing in the rain
Watch my umbrella spin
Under the spotlight
Swan steps
Sir Orville
Mr. Knoblich
Knock.knock.knocking on the front door
Open up
She said ‘What the fuck for?’
Cuz I’m home from the corner store, my darling
With a brand new portrait I poured my heart in
With a new tuxedo and a bowler on me
And brand new shoes for us both to walk in
Clean shaven
No whiskers on me
Don’t tell me you don’t miss the ostrich
Track Name: Minor Key
Minor Key
I march to the beat of my own drum
And speak from the heart to the minor key
Mom and Dad to the left and the right of me
Watching over the life they provided me
I walked alone in a mask – disguising me
While the world listened to what’s inside of me
And since the world wasn’t familiar with what I recited
They aimed both barrels, criticizing me
While I kept on writing to the minor key
Took the mask off and showed a different side of me
Tired of posing – I showed them a whiter me
I decided to I should stop dressing like a teen
Threw the Ecko in the trash and bought tighter jeans
And said goodnight to the man I was trying to be
I kept releasing records at lightning speed
Afraid of death – I kept writing to the minor key
Laughed when your favorite rappers started biting me
Told myself my time will come when time agrees
One hit away from a major signing me
So I kept on writing to the minor key
My records started making noise
Concepts adored
When delivered through a different set of whiter teeth
I couldn’t understand for the life of me
Why I became a punching bag in a fighter’s ring
Maybe they smell I’m not a fighter and try to swing
Pick a fight ‘cuz they’d rather see a lighter me
Or take swipes ‘cuz I look nothing like the Bieb
Or maybe I’m the writer they’d die to be
Everyone’s a tough guy when behind a screen
Meanwhile, in real life, they’re nothing but vagina queefs
Backseat drivers afraid to take the driver’s seat
Who hate their lives and inside scream silently
Dishing out insults trying to silence me
It’ll take more than words to quiet me
And I’m prepared to spend my life in the minor league
And stay awake all night ‘cuz I’m tired of sleep
And bleed all night to the minor key
All because yesterday wasn’t kind to me
While I march to the beat of my own drum
And speak from the heart to the minor key
Track Name: Get To Know Me
Get To Know Me
Yesterday is mine forever
I try to forget her, but she never leaves
I try to reconsider, but she never bleeds
I try to forgive her, but she never sees
Me at seventeen in a hospital room
Beside my mama on a hospital bed
Holding my mama’s hand
Telling me she’ll be coming home soon
I hand her a walkman and cassette
Happy mother’s day
I press play on the Sony Yellow
She smiles when she hears the stock sound
Drum and cello melody I played myself
“Is this you?” she says so … loud
Talking over the volume of the headphones
I nod yes - Her face goes tomato
Both eyes closed for the song I wrote
I start crying when my mom’s eyes open
She wipes my tears with her thumb, and said…
“Derek, you’re a good boy.”
I still see it like it’s yesterday - And yesterday is mine forever
I try to forget her, but she never leaves
I try to forgiver he, but she never sees
Me at twenty-five in the visiting room
Of a rehab center, listening to
My dad tell me he’s a prisoner, Living with imbeciles
And I’m the reason he’s living between these prison walls
Lost his peripheral vision from the seizures
Minor brain damage, Therefore he needed rehab to learn to adjust to it
Spent our time yelling at me for what booze did
Naah…for what you did!
The nine o’clock alarm meant home time
Then we’d stand up and hug till nine o’five
Same time tomorrow night, same conversation
Dad waved while I waited for the elevator
I still see it like it’s yesterday - And yesterday is mine forever
I try to forget her, but she never leaves
I try to forgive her, but she never sees…