A New Direction

by Jon Corbin

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    4 panel cardboard folder, with album credits. Jon Corbin's 2016 album about self-acceptance and forgiveness. Includes bonus track "Life, Love, Learning" featuring Shad and Rel McCoy.

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A New Direction is a new full length album by Jon Corbin, the Canadian hip hop artist formerly known as the Runaway. This album covers a significant journey of healing, self-discovery and forgiveness in Corbin's life. Over 15 years in the music industry, Jon has worn many hats. Radio host, promoter, writer, poet and band leader are all familiar titles in his fulfilling career.

A New Direction, his 7th release, chronicles the journey that led to the name change. The 10-track album deals with themes of depression, low self-esteem, ethnic identity, absentee fathers, faith, forgiveness and putting love into practice. Corbin weaves together an eclectic narrative with honesty, vulnerability and care. In doing so, he reflects his values as a family man, community leader and social justice advocate.

A New Direction features a musical diversity that is well known to Canadian hip-hop. Moving fluidly between sample and live instrumentation, A New Direction also seamlessly integrates traditional and experimental percussion. The musical contributions are just as diverse, demonstrating Corbin’s wide span of relationships. Features include Eternia, Relic, ILL Seer, folk artist Jeremy Moyer, and Caroline Brooks of the Good Lovelies.


released May 10, 2016

Executive Producer: Jon Corbin
All songs mixed by Jon Corbin (except Without You, Life of Love and Hope mixed by Relic for Gamma Delta Productions)
Mixing consultation & general Yoda presence from Drew Brown
Mastered by SD at Sound Disciple Studio
Artwork by Jermaine Wall for Cabinet Creative


all rights reserved



Jon Corbin Milton, Ontario

Jon Corbin (fka The Runaway) is a Canadian hip-hop & spoken word artist with lyrical themes of faith, love, family, social justice and personal growth. Jon has spent more than a decade performing on stages big and small, providing a dynamic show that represents the basic tenets of hip-hop: peace, love, unity and having fun! ... more

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Track Name: A New Direction for The Runaway
A New Direction for The Runaway

I’m trying to move on again
Through the hard times find that opening
Chart a new path that’s free of my own wrath
And find the way to hope again

‘Cause the way that I treat myself does not coincide with who I know me to be
And this ain’t unique to me; I know people that stumble frequently
Treat myself like the least of these
I’ve got strength but I live like I’m weak in the knees
Can’t live in this feast of thieves
But the prospect of change is bleak, you see

And there’s people that are worse than me
I refuse a mere glance that’s cursory
I wanna expand ‘til I burst the beat and
Take the grown path out of this nursery
Track Name: The Prayer of a Restless Soul (with Caroline Brooks of the Good Lovelies)
The Prayer of a Restless Soul

I’ve prayed and I’ve prayed, the scriptures don’t land
Am I doing something wrong with this gold in my hand?
Am I chasing the wind?
Am I just giving in to doubt and fear? Lord here…

Work a miracle in my heart, sweet erosion
They say living is simple, I cause commotion
Unassuming, my fear is looming (that)
I’m not worth much and this doubt is consuming

But to my loved ones it only hurts, see
Since I claim the economy of mercy
My wife says, “Jon you’re easy to love
Don’t give in to the lies of your past it trips you up”

So am I full of life, or am I lifeless?
Out of my head just to Manafest a Crisis
It’s the good, it’s the bad, it’s the in-between
It’s my wounds, it’s my scabs, it’s my silly dreams

Deep down I believe in my ability
All things to all, I can move with agility
(But) This restlessness is killing me
Only peace with myself gets me really free

Even when the well runs dry
And broken wings can’t fly
I set my sights too high
Life is wonderful

Even when I can’t go on
And my dreams are dead and gone
There will be a brand new song
Life is wonderful
Well, what about when it's not
When life is like a movie and it's borrowed the plot
From a tragedy, tragically it's all that we got
So many of my fam in impossible spots

This one goes to a brother hopeless
So many gifts but struggles with focus
This one goes to a brother in pain
Sleepless nights calling on the Lord's name

This one goes to a sister at home
Trying to raise a family all on her own
This one goes to a sister in the dark
Dealing with broken men and a broken heart

Let this song be a simple refrain
I wish I knew the things I could change
My heart hurts ‘cause I feel your pain
So I hit my knees again (Lord)

We’re just trying to find faith
I wanna know you more than circumstance
(I’m) Still learning to trust in Your grace
In my restlessness I will still advance

Even when the seeds won’t grow
I’m on the lonely road
And the scars will always show
Life is wonderful

Even when I can’t go on
And my dreams are dead and gone
There will be a brand new song
Life is wonderful

Life can bring you a twisted path
Baby, you better work it out
Attitude's what it's all about, so when you fall in doubt
And insecurities come crawling out, listen

I've lived through my darkest clouds
I’ve prayed when my heart is down
And even through this hardship now
I still want to make this sound
Life is....

Wonderful, amazing
Hands made for praising
Please lift ‘em high, recognize we need saving
In the midst of my mess I am making progress
I guess I’ll do my best and keep pressing on

Even when the well runs dry
And broken wings can’t fly
Doesn’t mean I cannot try
Life is wonderful

Even when I can’t go on
And my dreams are dead and gone
There will be a brand new song
Life is wonderful

Even when the seeds won’t grow
I’m on the lonely road
And the scars will always show
Life is wonderful

Even when I can’t go on
And my dreams are dead and gone
There will be a brand new song
Life is wonderful
Track Name: Without You (with Eternia, ILL Seer and Relic)
Without You

I’m stuck on a seesaw - back and forth
Bouncing off the walls like a racquet sport
Fighting vice like Macklemore
Refusing to trust what you have in store

You adopted me into sonship
I just wanna run when your son slips
Enticed by a poisonous tongue drip
Lies ‘til unworthy of love I’m convinced

But there isn’t one sin that your son missed
Of Your love I wanna be convinced
Stability is difficult to find
Seeking God Is a new way to grind

I don't know who you think Jon tries to be
Deep inside I'm wrestling with anxiety
I'm tired of this loneliness, kind of blue
My heart cries out, “Let me find You!”
It's true, I can't do this without you

Without You - I don’t know where I’d be
Without You - my blind eyes couldn’t see
Without You - I’d have nowhere to go
Without You - I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know

I been a zombie for days
All the things I said and did is a haze
I know I’m lost without you, God, now I'm caught in a maze
Amazing grace
I test it every time I lose faith
Chasing after my own ways
To my desires I cave

Saving face
Prayin’ like I'm in the right place - and yet I'm not
Foolin’ family and I turn from your face
I got a lot [of] grim stories, how you brought me thru safe - and yet I drop
Right back, didn't learn from mistakes

[And] in myself I'm a coward, not brave
[If] I rely on my strength I am destined to be enslaved
You say: “Abide in me, brokenhearted, weeping and plagued
I will renew your strength, you will run and not faint”

Without You I could see the end of my days
Clear as day
Weeping in the web that I made
Oh weak heart, have faith, He is faithful to save
And that's the truth
Shed my skin
I'm lost in my sin without you

[ILL Seer]
My mind strays to the time I tried to walk away;
what with all the self-reliant talk today.
Had my health, so defiant push the dock away.
Jumped the son-ship for one hip and rocking. Hey.
I was younger, see Hunger’s like a Mocking Jay;
End of Game what I brung rot - decays,
then again, when I sung your praise, I could hip-hop for days.
Dismayed, why’d I press stop - delay?
Guess I thought I’d impress with what I got displayed.
But whom I bluffing? I got nothing, if it’s not your grace.
I mean, I could not even respirate.
Please, why’d I ever test my fate?
When I press in, I feel blessed and great,
when I caress hate I feel depressed and grey.
So I need you,
I can’t proceed … Without You.
Track Name: Confessions of a Mixed (Up) Kid
Confessions of a Mixed (Up) Kid

Yes, yes, we all know the narrative
What’s wrong bro? Ferguson’s scaring ya?
Then the world reacts - all too embarrassing?
Eyes all around, you can feel them staring in?

Well that’s what I’m on right now
Just watch me walk around in my small town
Pretty, but pretty white
It’s silly, I still fright
That they’ll only see me as black when I mostly feel white

I’m a mixed-up kid
In a self-assigned, much maligned suburban bid
But focus on aesthetics will only leave me indebted
More like in chains on a slavery refrain

Do I fit in because I’m paper bag vetted?
Do you like me because your black appetite is whetted through Much Music and MTV?
Full of your expectations? I am empty, see?
My cultural shorthand is too innate to express
The attempt only puts my mind in duress
Yes, this messed up psychology bothers me and possibly hinders my movements on every shopping spree

I remember when I first heard Lawrence Hill
Connect me with young brothers up in Forest Hill
I didn't start from the bottom but I knew I had a problem
My rolling stone papa treated me as forgotten
My high school years down in Lorne Park
Intelligent kid, I am going far
But the black side of town was the foreign part
And you know I was judged well before the start

But never mind the black folks
I just love the black jokes!
Especially playing stereotypes
Ham it up for my friends, it's embarrassing right?
Until I got stopped one embarrassing night
5-0, drive slow wasn't steering me right
Already backing down not preparing to fight
I knew it wasn't racial but the scariest sight was
Even though I was wrong I could swear I was right!

Maybe there isn't a question here
Maybe you just need to give an invitation to speak
And trust me, if it’s an invitation I trust I will bust
Because of too many years of The Question
You know the question: "Jon, Where Are You From?"
But you never accept ‘Canada’ as the answer
It's not a micro-aggression for me
Because it tears open this box of memories
Blowing up my past sending shrapnel into my present reality
Your answer to this question is, "My dad is from Guyana"
My answer is much more complex
It's the generations of Swiss & German settlements
Years of farming, keeping the peace & serving The Lord
My mom is not merely white, just as my dad is not merely black
And oh the doors you open when you fish for my non-Canadian heritage
You just remind me of the broken father who didn't how to love
Who passed down no cultural inheritance
Giving me nothing but a chest tightening fear every time I have to interact with a black person
See I'm a mixed up kid
A mixed up kid with a white family who accepts me
Who give me a secure sense of self when I'm with them
So it's okay if you see black
Just keep the whole picture intact
And if you don't see black or you lack tact?
Well, we've got much more to discuss than that.

It’s still a fight
I’m still wrestling wrong and right
Lord, can you help me be me?
And even when it’s not okay, all I know is I can’t run away
Lord I’ma try and be me
Track Name: Maybe You Can Find Me (It's Alright)
Maybe You Could Find Me (It’s Alright)

I’m sitting in the kitchen, you said ‘Close your eyes, son’
Thought to myself, ‘Is this surprise fun?
Another ticket to a ballgame?
Another chance to spend time all day?’
My best memories I remember the least
Your depression hit, then the time decreased
Then your lawyer said that the time would cease
Man, so hard to find peace

Thought I saw you in a restaurant the other day
You were sitting in a booth just across the way
Thought I saw your new wife and your new life
What about your kids left behind? Two strikes…
Paused for a moment, not sure what to do
Stayed in my seat, broke bread with my crew
It’s alright… It’s alright.... but I sing…

Maybe you could find me
Maybe you could find me, Father

Father God, I find it odd to call you Father God
When I hear the father talk, I just balk
I could easily blame it on a father flawed
Between us there’s a block, I want it gone

I’m sitting in the minivan, the park of my youth
19 years finally hearing ‘your’ truth
Staring out the window in silence
Didn’t have much else but silence
Brain overdrive, opposite of mindless
This conversation wasn’t timeless
In fact, too many facts
Couldn’t keep it intact, my mind collapsed

And now I know the flaws in my legacy
And why my Grandpa won’t remember me
I know about the lies that were said to me
And how I’d spend years just getting free
Christ is healing me, this I can boast
The garbage in my life I’m just trying to compost
It’s alright… It’s alright.... still I sing…

Maybe you could find me
Maybe you could find me father

The logic is foolish, I can’t understand
If he didn’t love me then no one can?
That doesn’t mean there’s no love at all
I’m tired of these lies, Lord break down these walls

I had a dream I was chasing you - gain way!
You were demonstrating why you’re called The Runaway
“Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me I’m just your old man!”
I’m chasing you through the grocery store
Every aisle an obstacle course
Then I gave up and sat on the floor
Figured that you don’t want me ‘round no more

I had a second dream though it was worse
You arrived at my door in a hearse
Opened up the casket, silent and still
There was no body just your Will
The driver said this is all that he can give
The paper said, ‘I love you son, now just live’
It’s alright…

I’m thinking that it’s alright
I ain’t perfect, but then again who is?
All I know is I’m gonna raise good kids
Fatherhood doesn’t make me nervous
Fatherhood doesn’t make me nervous!
Feels like I was born for this service
And I guess I’ll thank God for that
Feel predestined to break that trap

Watch me sacrifice money for the kids
Watch me honour God in the way that I live
Watch me work out my priorities
Watch me run away from the majority
Watch me demonstrate a grown man working
Watch me come back for the kids who are hurting

That’s where you’ll find me...
Track Name: you will be called by a new name...
you will be called by a new name...

“But you, (Jon), my servant, whom I have chosen, my friend. I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
(Isaiah 41:8­10 NIV)

You will be called by a new name. (A name) that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand... No longer will they call you Deserted...for the Lord will take delight in you… (Isaiah 62:2­-5 NIV)

Because GOD delights in you, your land will be like a wedding celebration. For as a young man is happy in his bride, so your God is happy with you. (Isaiah 62:4-5 MSG)
Track Name: A New Direction for Jon Corbin
A New Direction for Jon Corbin

I remember the way it was
Used to write rhymes just because
Then I didn't wanna rhyme no more
Arbitrarily closed the door
‘Cause I thought I had to be a pro
I was young and I didn't know
Never needed a great applause
(Just) Rhyme a few words and pray to God

A new direction!

When I’m playing, I feel so free
Feels like I can just be me
People say it’s my element
I know it’s a gift that’s heaven sent
Oh, I knew there would come a day
When I wouldn’t be The Runaway
God will give me a brand new song
Give me the freedom to just be Jon

It’s time to move, grow, learn these lessons
Changing course for a new direction
It’s time to move, grow, learn these lessons
We got a view brand new so everybody don’t stop!

Consider this a manifesto
For the days it was hard to let go
Uncertain choice, ‘What’s the best road?
Fight the current or go with the flow?’
Here I am - running away from The Runaway
The name doesn't suit no more
I've got a new pursuit for sure
A family to raise and a God to praise
With all of my talents
Seems like a beautiful challenge
So now the grind is finding ways to define
How to serve my God with my rhymes
But first, let me dance with my seeds
Let me teach them how to believe
How to deal with pain. Let’s start a legacy!
The future’s bright ahead of me
I’m saying, don't stop!!

It’s time to move, grow, learn these lessons
Changing course for a new direction
It’s time to move, grow, learn these lessons
We got a view brand new so everybody don’t stop!
Track Name: Life of Love (with Orijin and Brett Klassen)
Life of Love

What's the point if I jot flows and rock shows, mic in my hand
If I don't show love and hold up the highest command:
Love your neighbour every second, but first... love your God.
Imagine if your heart might have just one more throb
And you're the last to know the truth about this life's sole cause
You probably wouldn't hesitate or fight or pause
To be obedient and share God's love with people needing it
Yet we've been lenient in conveying this key ingredient
To the recipe of life
How could I fail to live a life of love but claim my destiny's in Christ?
It definitely isn't right. So to everyone who's ever seen the light,
Let's see to it that we're living sacrificial
I'm not just talking giving back a fistful in collection plates
But giving of yourself in service for heaven's sake
Step in faith, it's simple as lending a listening ear
Instead of gawking at the sin of our peers
Or try feeding the hungry instead of feeding greed
He decrees we serve Him by serving the least of these
I could do a song, lead a long discussion
On how the world's broken, people are lost, and we should long to love them
But if you faithfully lead a life that beams the light of Jesus Christ
Then people, you don't need to write a song
Or a book, or an academic paper
You could say a lot more through a sacrificial favour
About the love, mercy, and compassion of our Saviour
See, all you need to put love into practice... is a neighbour

[Brett Klassen]
Don't we want affection and romance to slow dance?
One person to see the movements the soul has
So hands hold more than only one thought we can't pronounce
These rent payments have meant pain and empathy
Cause the mundane, slow flames have emptied me
A fire within I'm supposed to spread gently
Generally it’s these simple acts that are getting me

One morning I woke up
put my feet on the floor and my socks were soaked up
water in the bedroom and I didn't know what caused it
I pause for thoughts, like, "Imma need a mop quick!"
The neighbour and lent us hers. Awesome.
As I got it her and her kids came over we talked with them
They said someone on the 15th floor had gotten
their hands on the fire hose and it travelled to our apartments

I finished up my roommate had breakfast started
Neighbours had some too when we offered
Now I could write about the excitement of a partner
The inside jokes and hopes to grow stronger
But my confusion lies in something that goes farther
‘Cause breakups and divorce can't even harm your life of love... which is more natural yet much harder

[Jon Corbin]
They were supposed to drive to the East Coast
The winding roads ahead seemed too much to anticipate
They hadn’t even left the city and it already felt likes ages...
Just to get to the pharmacy
Praying fervently that he wouldn’t blow up again
His abuse was taking a toll
Especially when he lost it public
Could it be more embarrassing?
Could it reveal any more of their weaknesses?
His grumbling a dark cloud moving from the car to the store then to the street corner for a smoke
On the verge of explosion
People passing by trying not look but taking it all in with eager ears
No one really there to help
He was yelling… Yelling, about her losing 10 dollars
The wounds he was creating much greater than one piece of paper and ink
His accusing tone tearing across the silence of the parking lot as easily as it tore into her spirit
With a flick of the cigarette he was back in the store to continue his terrorizing
His victim remained in the car - numb and embarrassed
She didn't even notice the man parked beside her in a minivan travelling with three quiet passengers who didn't mind that their driver didn't leave right away
They sat there patiently while the driver surveyed the scene
She didn't notice him, except as a further point of embarrassment
But as her head turned slowly, she saw him standing at her with window, hands holding a 10 dollar bill
“Here,” he said. “Maybe this will get him to shut up.”
She said nothing, but her hands moved slowly to take the bill
The man spoke quietly, "He's not mad about the money. There's something much deeper going on."
She breathed deeply, "I know."
“Well, here you go ma’am. Have a good trip,” and the man turned and headed back to the minivan
The exchange happened so fast that the woman couldn't take it all in
She was trying to take a look at who had arrived by her side…a tall man with a hooded sweater… afro... but it was too late. Her eyes were welling with tears
“Thank you,” she managed to choke out, in between gasps for breath
“God bless you,” the man said. Then he drove away.
Track Name: Ain't It Funny... (The Love Song)
Ain’t It Funny… (The Love Song)

What does love look like?
To me it's the look on her face
And that is the place to start
One glance is a window inside her heart
Her love won't depart
Man, she loves through deep scars
So please remember her name
The one God said you can trust with your pain
The pain ran deep but our union is stealth
Our love has given me emotional wealth
A chain-link fence of emotional health
That only pushes me to love myself

Help me see what she sees
‘Cause she thinks I should be free
Her heart loves so sweetly
It's no cliché she completes me

Ain't it funny how love...
Ain't it funny how love can change your vision

Curious, I'm drawn to a myriad of frozen faces
The war is on, love versus paper chases
Haste is the seed that leads me to push away the needy and the greedy out of reach
A hull breach is triggered by silent stares scream(ing) for solace, space and safety
Faintly hear the cry for company
Pause and realize this is why God created me
A lonely one comes from the cold, rests for a time, waiting behind the yellow line
I speculate with God’s eyes
It's right there in front of me - Jewels in a labourers disguise

Help me see what He sees
‘Cause He thinks we should be free
His heart loves so deeply
I want to dive in the deep sea

Ain't it funny how love...
Ain't it funny how love can change your vision
Track Name: Hope (Again)
Hope (Again)

As I look back over these 32 years
It's crazy how I got here
I can steer clear of fears that I'll be misunderstood
‘Cause God loves me and that's good

So if you examine my plan, man, I can't really call it
Father was a sex fiend, Gramps an alcoholic
Even worse pain in my past it’s hard to face it
Only way that I could mess it up is to be complacent

Sometimes I wish I had a better grip
I wish I didn't continually find ways to trip
I thought that I might be further along
But a little bit of healing is worth a new song

I count my blessings and then I lose track
It's time to kill perceptions and instead choose fact
And maybe love for self could be something intact
Maybe God's the only one that can bring it back
That’s hope...


Hopefully I kept my rhymes dope
Inspired a few quotes and blessed a few folks
‘Cause I gotta a couple words for you if you lose hope
I’ve lost my grip a few times [and] need a new rope

I'm in a new tennis match preparing to serve
Starting at Love, the movement and the word
When the movement hits we only go up
I need the Word to hit to feel His Love

These are no longer be cliches
Stakes are even higher with me these days
About to start up a whole ‘nother chapter
Like the Huxtables - household of laughter

Watch the adventures we get after
My fam’s gonna bring praise to the Master
Gotta testify past the disaster
And remember the words of my pastor...


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