I wish I were a rapper.
And not just because I envy the way music resonates with it’s audience in comparison to others mediums of art. (Oh, how I regret that I will never experience a room full of people reciting and relating to words that I wrote.) What I envy most about musicians, particularly in hip hop, is the allowance to be as honest as you so please. I’m sure you’ve all seen it. Everyone in the club singing along to ‘How Many Drinks Does It Take Til You Leave With Me?’ as if the lyrics alone aren’t date rapey. Because let’s face it, being birthed addicted to drugs, the product of a prostitute and pimp, in and out of abusive foster homes sounds like perseverance when you say it with cadence and add a catchy hook. But in a blog entry, those things just look like a pity party.
Sugarcoating my life so that others don’t feel any discomfort has become too exhausting to bare. Not only does it stifle my creativity, but there’s also something that feels inauthentic about watering down experiences that had such a vital influence over my essence. And that’s not to pretend my life has been entirely full of hardship because we all know I was raised with the help of a a woman who made my childhood damned near magical, but omitting the adversity, which helped shape me, feels like I’m exuding a facade.
Everyone’s all like ‘your struggles shouldn’t define you’… but don’t they? How can my resilience and strength shine without acknowledging the odds I had to fight? I may have a long way to go but I’ve also come a long way and continuing to sweep the obstacles I overcame to get this far under the rug invalidates me. Because those things made me, me.
And personally, I am not the slightest bit ashamed of them. I’m proud of them. In fact, there’s not much that I enjoy more than the look of disbelief on a persons face as this poised and innocent faced intellect speaks from first hand experience about rape and drugs and homelessness and child abuse and domestic violence. Talking about those things doesn’t make me uncomfortable, it makes others uncomfortable.
With that said…. mix tape dropping in 2014. I’m only half way joking. Send me beats.
featured photo by Ravie B.