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  • Writer's pictureChris Siders


“art can never fully heal your trauma.”

During the first open mic this year, at Palms Up Academy, community members was asked to perform their piece or say something to a mirror which reflected back to self. 

Instead of really speaking on my thoughts, the pure anger and sadness swirling in my chest I decided to perform my verses to The Release Pt.II. I think for me rap is getting to a point of me masking my pain versus getting to the root of it. In other words, I feel I detected a sense of inauthenticity within my choice of performing versus raw expression. Thats the true bare bones of rap. Art. Expression in general. 

Its kinda similar to saying “I’m fine” when you not. You know exactly what you want to say, but just don’t say it. 

For a year, there’s a war for peace within myself. That started with me and must end with me. This warfare has been ignite with the words “protect your heart.” Uttered constantly through the previous year around this exact time. Where I’m at in my intense search for peace, starting therapy, while at the same time carrying a desire to wage war on people that may even give me a weird look is my God and my devil conversing. I purposefully isolated myself because I have found myself in such a space I can snap on anyone in any given moment. 

Comfortability is a sickening game. When are you allowed to be comfortable when you have to be uncomfortable to grow? The ultimate goal is to grow. Why stay stagnant? There are individuals that want to live a normal life and is doing it. The thing is with being comfortable is not asking the why’s. As in why are things the way they are? Why do I respond to situations this way? Why do I continuously make certain decisions that contribute to downfall of me? Why am I emotional? Why do I have the odd connection I do with women? Why do I feel tense around men and get paranoid? Why does my heart resist change yet my spirit and mind continue to actively fight it? 


I finally have my first therapy session today. Haven’t had one since 2019. 5 years ago. While admittedly, I could’ve done more to expedite the process of me getting one within the time frame, the accessibility for a black inner city adult is horrendous. The system. I signed up for this program last July. I got a call end of December that they are ready to take me in.

Being in a space of isolation recently, not taking phone calls, messages, not going out as much, sitting with my emotions instead of talking them through with friends I noticed quite a few old habits remain from the past and I developed a new one. The same rage I had in my early 20’s is there just silent. Late 20’s til present day I just shut down before I get to a space of really showing how I feel.

I had many nights recently silently screaming at my ceiling. If I curse God will I get crushed by the weight of clouds wading the night? I felt embarrassed telling my partner sometimes scenarios come into my head and I start cussing and getting hostile. Happens when alone. I am happy that it’s flowing more now. Theres a fear of getting lost in it. Let the anger talk, I’ll yell there’s one person in LA I will fight on sight if I ever see him. There’s been one more person added to that list recently. Could never dare to show that side around people I know. Rarely one on one. I can say only two people seen/heard this side of myself the last three years. What came to mind just now, would it be fair to label this side of myself “the dark side”? Is that another way criminalizing and demonizing my character? Everyone gets mad. A good majority of people cuss, lose they temper time to time with others or by themselves. Am I not human? Something to think about. 

My reckless behavior in private has become of concern. Again, it’s probably just me being embarrassed I’m letting out frustrations in these avenues. Being a man there’s always the stone cold look you have to have. Add race and other identities in the picture you’ll have a indestructible castle. Even in ruin the castle will still view its self as the castle that was. One of the biggest killer of black men is ourselves. Pride. It gets in the way, because no one teaches us how to let go. Acknowledge there is a problem.

Recently, I came to an understanding that my relationships with women is often in such a horrendous space because I grew to have a distrust I never worked through. Being a survivor of sexual trauma as a 12 year old, then experiencing abuse after abuse in different ways from women in and out my life. Harboring such resentment has led me to dark spaces. There are woman I been around for awhile that gives me the intuitive “ick.” It’s something I am thinking about. 

Unreleased A2H interview. Conducted December 2022 & May 2023.


I have days where I feel the entire world is silently watching me. Its strange that I tend to hear “hey man, people care about you. Its not always what you think.” When I don’t see it in clear sight or the care being verbalized. This leads to a thought of “well, people are waiting for me to fuck up.” If I’m dying in the middle of street are you just going to take your phone out and record me post it on social media and say “R.I.P he was a good man” then call the ambulance? Its a scared thought. No one is responsible for bringing someone up. I feel invisible. I want to be seen. Being on stage is not being seen, it's fronting. Exactly what I did at Palms Up Academy the other night.

I do get envious of the care I see between people. I see flourishing friendships, families growing together and I get jealous. I gaslight myself with the common denominator theory. Meaning, every situation i’ve been in I have in some way chosen to be in that situation. After seeing all types of warning signs. If my friendships continue to crumble. If my broken family is still in a state of limbo, what exactly am I doing? Sometimes people are built a certain way and you can’t change them the way you would like to see or think is most healthy for them. The ego comes into play.

This past December was a rude awakening of sorts. You can spill out all the care in the world. Offer up solutions to problems, as well as take ownership for personal faults, that can’t always save what’s present. I guess loss is such a tender subject for me still. Nowadays it’s like I lost you, but fuck you I still got my career so who’s winning now? I’m doing all these things people supposedly care about and support, who’s winning now? However, i’m never present with myself so truthfully who is winning now? 

If you been in the dark so long, how you expect someone to react being in the light? Apathetic? Disbelief? Surreal? In other words, if you been angry so long how can you identify peace? Know what it looks like, taste like, feel like. 

What does peace look like? The journey to it? How does it end? How do you without a fraction of a doubt achieve such a feat? 

If someone in a situation right now, could change anything that’s troubling their space in an instant, what would the immediate reaction or response be? 

To resonate, losing my father for example. I wanted his situation to change to where he’s no longer in pain. Being no longer in pain unfortunately resulted in death. Responses I get from people is that “hes in a better place and no longer in pain.” Yeah, but I still miss him. Days I want to get revenge on people that made his life a living hell when he was younger stripping away his confidence and dreams to pursue what he wanted. The world lives once, but a black man gets half a life, even if that. 

Envisioning a better day requires a breath of peace. Thing is when you in a peaceful place you want to just stay in as long as you can before the next thing happens, but just like my friend said “don’t operate from a lack of supply.” Abundance is key to progression. Knowing you have everything now and create/build further going forward. You never lose, only gain. It’s all perception. It’s all personal optics. 

This is my first step. Believing things can and will get better because optics has shown me I have weathered extreme conditions to still stand on myself, lean to God and accomplish the tasks at hand. An old partner of mine told me they fear they’ll break me, in my mind, if I lost 4 people, lost two out of three jobs, been through a series of three different break ups, losing friends constantly, hustling and going for broke in one year what makes you think anything you do will break me? 

I found my peace in Zurich. No, it’s not through my partner even though she has contributed to grounding me, challenging me on my habits and patterns. She plays a major role. Her ability to love me in ways thats needed and not wanted is crucial certainly. It’s through me believing there’s something out there. A space I can be still. 

America is loud. Boastful. Egotistical. A beast of many faces. During the couple months, I returned to the states with an immediate rush of adrenaline and heightened sense of danger. I work with singer and pianist, Camille Zhang on a project and we spoke about the difference of culture between the US and abroad. She absolutely hates LA, however as an artist she has to eat. This is where everything is and where everything isn’t.

The key to being an artist in LA, to go outside of the city and come back to bring something home and show you not like everyone else maneuvering through scammers, bullshit showcases where other artists don’t really pay attention or take heed to what you bring to the table as far as artistry or the ecosystem. I’m very aware of who’s in my circle because they believe or just want to ride off my success. The war raging inside is to call every last person out via post, song, or even pull up. Again, my anger speaking. 

I announced a show that was supposed to be January 9th, but I canceled it. Because my spirit, my health, my emotions are where it should be. My anxiety spiked yesterday and made a random conclusion that people somehow think I fallen off. With a double album thats finished and working on the business side of thing amidst working on ANOTHER project, preparing to drop a different one man listen…I am one of the hardest working artists I know and i need to rest. I don’t drop any bullshit. Every song, lyric, chorus comes from a real place. 

Its crazy how people can listen to songs like “sincerely, a black boy’s cry.” and think i’m just spewing nonsense and glorifying violence. Of course people that never had deal with a lick of violence they gonna feel some kind of way about it. Just think why we have the content we have as rap artists. Everything literally spawned from somewhere. A sick, fucked up condition somewhere. The only issue is that artists become the slave and get played by the industry and don’t know it or succumb to greed that leads to destruction not only to the listener and communities by themselves as well in many ways.

Work ethics. 

There’s been a clear difference. Clear indicator of my exhaustion. Thinking about 2022 in comparison to 2023. I had a lot more fun in 2022 creating. I made a lot less music at the time. I explore the city. Made new friends. Found new communities. Everything was exciting. 2023, I done the same thing. However the only difference is I made more music. Thats not to be confused with making music AND dealing with the business. I was still knee deep in the business, doing what I need to do but didnt feel tired. My attention span dwindled. Now I struggle doing the smallest of tasks. It’s frustrating and I don’t know why my attention span dwindled. Even this state of irritation I push my work addiction further. Taking on more projects, delivering more, more, and more. 

I do get annoyed paraded as the next big artist when I don't feel supported like that. I performed so much and given quality work and it’s like yo what more do I present? I understand its a lot of ego involved and I’m tirelessly putting myself in check. That ego is tied to anger so its a double whammy. 

At times, I question if I am pouring my attention into the wrong things or what can I do to restore my energy fully? What can I do to restore my inner peace? The peace I had in 2022? Where did it all go? If we follow the concept of energy, in theory, there’s no way it just disappeared randomly. Its somewhere and I gotta go find it. 

Beyond hurtful when love ones only see you as a come up or a lick. Try to constantly remind myself of happy times and memories. There were bright colorful moments being at white and brown elephant parties. FaceTiming my love. Cooking for my family. Watching movies with my close friends. Celebrating birthdays.  Problem is, somehow letting that energy stay. This is all proves to me again that better days are ahead. Good days occur at the most random of times.

We have to embrace that and not control it. 

Pre-Save new single: "BETTER DAYS." (with Miko) here.

Produced by Chris Siders.

Recorded in Zurich, Switzerland by Dylan The Narrative

Mixed and Mastered by lix

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