In my tenth grade Humanities class, our teacher asked us what was supposed to be a trick question:
What is art?
Naturally I had an answer, so I raised my hand.
Art is anything that makes one feel a sensation outside of their five physical senses.
I began writing poetry when I was about twelve years old; there was no one else to talk to. My first poem was about a child who missed his mother. Cliche perhaps, but my words soon turned to expressions of anger. She was being kept from me for the entertainment of white people, and a part of me knew this to be true. Though I was powerless against my captors, words were my only escape.
After my own child was taken from me, again I retreated into a forest of words in search of understanding. From this time and place a collection of poetree emerged that would be called White Like Me: The Incoherent Ramblings of an Unmedicated Adolescent. It was my way of explaining my self to myself.
Amidst the horror, there were some twisted blessings. I was given piano lessons at an early age by the church organist. She never seemed to believe that I could comprehend the difficult stuff, though I learned to play some ragtime riffs and was able to hone my manual dexterity.
Beneath the anger was an estuary of hope and grief, it was from this place the sprung a search for calmer waters. Both the piano and the guitar became vehicles through which to explore the parts of me others sought to ignore, and that I needed to know, now more than ever.
Four very specific songs were written on a guitar at this time, and they are yet to be recorded in a manner requisite their existence. Scratch tracks have been re-produced and the project has started; their release iminent.
Patrons are getting a sneak peek already.
It's not that anger feels good, but there is a certain amount of angst our social structure implicitly solicits. Who am I to deny the call?
In high school I fronted a hard rock band. We covered Rage Against the Machine, P.O.D and Deftones, while crafting our own amalgamation of melodic fury. I had the honor of naming our band. Fascinated by the ideas from an old world, we were called Ensurgo.
Eventually, we a graduated and went our separate ways. Many years later, while wandering between restaurant jobs, I found a few beats and a few producers willing to take a chance on me. This was my first opportunity to explore music on my own terms, defining my own projects, almost in their entirety.
When Animals Attack is a series of mixtapes documenting my journey through these times. The first volume features beats from a producer known as Not Porn. At times an awkward foray, the words still seem prescient, while the beats speak for themselves, quite well. The second installment features a collection of beats from a variety of producers.
The final installment is the pinnacle of the project, combining three beats with rhymes over their arrangements, followed by three acoustic tracks written completely by yours truly. Each of the tracks was recorded on the run, either in temporary living arrangements or by the use of a cell phone's microphone. Though the project exemplifies all that can happen when an animal truly attack.