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CunninLynguists APOS—Backwards

I accidentally listened to the album backwards on iTunes’ Recently Added playlist, and it still seems to retain some semblance of narrative sense—ending in darkness rather than in light.

I sincerely hope this interpretation doesn’t offend Kno/Deacon/Natti or violate their artistic intent. I chose to dive deep into the narrative elements of the album, and overlooked the question of theme and several of the metaphors. I know that Kno doesn’t like it when narrative is stressed too much, but I figured I’d share my thoughts with you on how the story functions backwards, ‘cause…well, I thought it was pretty cool that a story was still being told in reverse play. Sorry in advance if this irritates any of you three.

The Light - Like ‘Where Will You Be,’ this track sets the tone for the rest of the reversed album. Simply, how does one cope with hardship and tragedy? Can we “grow in the cold,” or do we fail to look inside ourselves and remain trapped? As the track seems to suggest, the truth will set you free—that is, examining a tragedy and coming to grips with your identity and the multiple explanations/factors behind it may help you rise above it.

What’ll You Do - the protagonist is at a crossroads, and is also experiencing difficult times in his life. He is caught between his commitment and love for music and his knowledge that pragmatically speaking he must turn down “love” lest he fall into suspension. He is on the verge of giving up—

“I can’t
I won’t
I, No”

—yet is given encouragement by a voice of innocence. It sounds like a little girl who calls, “lay it down; lay it down; lay it down; lay it down again.” (ref: Never Know Why).

Hellfire - Enter the antagonist. This track seems to characterize an egotistical, overconfident individual - paralleling the protagonist in Since When in APOS’s chronological play. I interpret this track as an introduction to the firefighter who leaves “hopeless folks roastin

I knew this review was coming when you originally said you listened backwards…i listened backwards at that point…all I have to say now is WOW.

Sir, you wouldn’t really have to go out of your way to guess what Kags thinks of this whole “reverse thread” because I’m sure you already know how fuckin impressed I am with your posts lol….

On a further note, good fuckin read. Of course, it is yet to be shared if this was done on purpose, but definitely a creative point of view of an album that is already meritorious of it’s originality when played numerically. I liked this….now CL, where you at?

Ps. Shep, if you can get this on the website…..

Fuckin wow! In the transition between Brain Cell and America Loves Gangsters I’d wondered a little bit about the ending in jail, and then going into crime. It just felt backwards to me, but even then I just figured that I was missing something.
I’d never considered listening to the album in reverse order, and I’m not so sure that I’d think to analyze it if I did.

I’m impressed.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. The album’s amazing. The story is beautiful forward. But this just gave me an entirely new insight. And I hate saying it because the reverse interpretation may not have been Kno/Deacon’s brainchild, but it almost plays smoother and nicer with me. The biggest reason I love this theory is that now America Loves Gangsters seems to have a meaningful place within the album, whereas before I was struggling to understand it’s importance. Once again Kno/Deacon, sorry if I’ve insulted you by praising something other than the intended meaning, but congratu-fuckin-lations. I loved this.

Dr_Gonzo said:In the transition between Brain Cell and America Loves Gangsters I’d wondered a little bit about the ending in jail, and then going into crime.

Brain Cell represents a person allowing themselves to be mentally imprisoned and in turn, physically…it is about what COULD happen, not what actually happens. Natti’s last 4 bars resolve this.

More specifically to the story, it is the realiztion of his own fate/possible outcome through an “imagined” future for his child who has been introduced into the story. The protagonist is obviously grown here, why would Brain Cell be about him in a literal sense?

Dubbz_For_Prez said:America Loves Gangsters seems to have a meaningful place within the album

Again, I don’t see how it doesn’t…Brain Cell is a choice before a lesser denoument…someone is killed (?) in ALG (gunshot anyone?)...

Technique/Tone’s wife???

Is Deacon schizo?

any backwards/reverse messages?

all I hear is “we are from the internet”. Laughing

Interesting read though, I’ll listen to it backwards today.

With most works of (written) fiction, if you break down the plotlines in their simplest forms they can be tackled backwards and be fairly streamlined/meaningful. The only thing intentional here on our part is a kind of triangular shape of the tracklisting/plot…track 8 (halfway point) is switching of gears into a different part of the story…track 1 mirrors track 15 in title and intent…track 7 is “inhale” and track 12 was going to be titled “in hell” as a mirror, as tracks 8-11 hold the strongest literal narrative, but we stuck with damnation because it just sounds cooler. Things like that make it easier to see as a “bell” shape which lends itself to a backwards breakdown.

This type of thing gives birth to the new crop of “backwards unfolding movies” and things like that…if the work is strong you should be able to break it into 200 parts and make sense of it all.

I haven’t had time to read this all, but I will…


Wow man, this is some stunning shit. Props for the effort and the ideas to write something this amazing.

You guys are killing me

When’s the official release? I cannot wait to hear this record.

24 January 2006

Thanks all for the positive feedback ya’ll, and I was glad to be able to contribute to the site Smile.

Kno’s post kind of makes it all make sense…it’s amazing that the album was framed in such a way. It’s not your typical story structure if the most pivotal moments in the story occur in the middle. Usually a climactic scene occurs towards the end of your average narrative. Very cool. It’s also all a testament to how strong each song’s individual message is.

Can’t post much else tonight ‘cause I’ve got an interview early tomorrow and need some rest…wish me luck ya’ll.

Yep, you me and Kags. Applications have definitely been hell…just finished my essays this Wednesday. 7 schools as well.

Interviewer didn’t show up today, forgot our appointment.

^ Hahaha…that’s kinda lame on the interviewers part. Sorry to hear that. Guess they’re just gonna miss out on a genius…

Anyways, one more school to send out…I’m feeling the same stress as ya’ll so good luck: Free, Destruct, HASS!, and whoever else is applyin to schools.

anyone applying to BC?

Aka Beautiful Cunts College?

yea, junior at BC.