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  • Writer's pictureChris Siders

"itsokay." Liner Notes, The Emancipation Of Chris Siders.

Photo shot by Edward Isais


Official Music Video. Shot, Directed and Edited by Cosmo Free:



Track Produced by Chris Siders.

Mixed and Mastered by Nemesyzz Rigby.


Story:


This was the only song on this project that was recorded well before the idea and this concept even came to be. “itsokay” is the second track I ever worked on with Fran, January 3rd 2023. First one was just a week earlier with “a farewell to beautiful” at the end of December. Since then we have a few tracks in the chamber.

The Emancipation Of Chris Siders project was birth out of a place of actively working and digging for a way out of grieving and angry headspace. To emancipate. Liberate. Unshackle self from negative views of and allowing myself to get stuck in such a headspace. In the middle of touring, I realized that we choose to endure situations. There’s options to go about things. You either “stick it out” and search for a solution to your liking or walk away. I’m learning more with my stubborn behaviors to simply walk away. I was with a good friend yesterday and speaking to her about recent happenings in my life she said “you gotta learn to let shit go.” Letting go has given me a sense of liberation. Just like repeatedly telling myself its okay not to be okay. Since I was a kid, my parents love to put on a front that we are the perfect little family when there were things that occurred that wasn’t okay at home and beyond that. I understand for the sense of privacy, but it felt as if it expanded beyond just that and morphed into masking problems. I learned to mask problems through that and societal norms as a man under the system of patriarchy. Not being able to show emotions whilst me being one of the most emotional people I know.


I have this “monster” that I deal with frequently I don’t talk about often. I shame myself for it. Nhi was the perfect narrator for this project as that was an actual recording of her trying to get me to meditate, sit down and as you hear at the end of the track “integrate that monster.” It’s not fake.


I’ll get into that “monster” in the lead single, “sincerely, a black boy’s cry.” Liner notes. That’s where (without saying it) my alter ego, BushWick BiLLy comes out to play. He’s the violent side of Chris Siders.


Upon entering a new year with challenges and changes in combination of just being a naturally pensive and reflective person I struggle telling myself I’m going to be okay. Holding down three jobs, then getting fired from two, going on tour, keeping up my business, maintaining platonic and romantic relationships, pushing myself to ensure my father sees all of our dreams as a family come into fruition is a world holding Atlas task. Between losing family members the past two years, with covid (my grandfather), illness (my grandmother), drug abuse (my brother), music business (90 percent of friends from childhood and adulthood) I feel alone often. Within’ feeling alone I have to take responsibility for my well-being and not let that bleed into what’s happening currently around me.


Taking ownership actively now, I’m the happiest I been since December.


I struggle having a hero complex with being penned as the “Golden Child” in my family & “Hero” by community members in Monterey County, in that people pleasing I neglect myself. Especially with my father’s passing and taking on the “man of the house” role.


Even before that happened, I carry the idea that the world is depending on me, however, working so much causes me to not properly care for my father to the fullest extent I can. The past two years with him having heart surgery, collapsing, sciatica flare ups, and sickle cell I feel an enormous sense of guilt. Then I think what is all this shit for if I stop now?


The trauma of growing up with drug dealers, gang bangers, killers got me extremely paranoid in spaces, there’s a fear of being harmed constantly.


The song taken on new life performing it at my Father’s funeral. I’m more at peace with his passing. Nowadays it’s just difficult seeing my mom not being okay and not voicing it. Same with my sister. I have a lot of guilt being away from home. I made promise to my Dad as he always told me to look out for the family when he departs.


May 31st. Just a couple days ago was my parents anniversary. Me, my sister and mom had breakfast together. For the first 10 minutes, my sister didn’t say anything. When she got her food she broke down looking at the 4th empty seat at the table that’s always occupied when we all go out. It was extremely uncomfortable. In some ways felt wrong.



Sound:


For itsokay just like a farewell to beautiful, I written the hook, and Fran added a few parts. We recorded it at VineTree’s studio in LA.


Sample wise, there’s an artist I been listening to for well over a decade named Phora. He’s from Anaheim. As a producer and lyricist, the sonics and the story-telling/ what you are saying catches my ear first upon listening to a song. Phora has always been a great story-teller and his ear for beats is great. His 2015 song, “Beauty Inside” off “Angels With Broken Wings” contained a sample I searched for high and low and couldn’t find for THREE YEARS digging through youtube.




When I did find it, I had a different concept in mind for the sample for another album i’m slow working on, but not pressing too hard on. The title of the song is called “She’s Dead! He’s Dead…” about the loss of two people in my life in 2012. Dope story-telling, but could’ve flipped the sample better. Years later, I return to the sample with a more refined sound and ideas to approach and I written the song in 30 minutes to an hour. Came easily.


Typically when I sample, I like to slow things down dramatically and pitch up (just like in the first time I flipped it) With this version I slowed it down just a little bit. Have a bpm set at 150. Added a bit ambient percussion to compliment the easy going light pianos in the sample itself. That’s why for Fran’s vocals they’re light and ambient in the mixing process, but her performance when recording still shine through powerfully through the natural sound of her voice.


When the 808’s and kick drums come in there’s a sense of triumph, over coming or achieving something that was difficult before.


Lyrics:


Verse 1:


me vs me

no excuse, huh

die falling

backwards staring

at the truth

I recluse


jump to conclusions

And my

Hero complex

Left my house burning

After kissing

my grandmother’s ashes

Before I return

my soul

to this world I owe


I save face like leather


Role models are

drug dealers

next door killers

Don’t trust no one

Not even my own feelings

So as God my witness


Chorus:


Chris:

I got mo heart

Than my soul show

stay loaded

With dreams

Leaking gun smoke


Fran:

got more heart

than i show

got me losin a

sense of control


got more heart

than i know

got me lookin

with nowhere to go


Chris:

It’s okay

It’s okay

Keep pushing

Even when you ain’t okay


Verse 2:


Born sinner

29 with a bullet, nigga

still juggin

out the trauma

of my father’s wounds

someone tell

my brother

that I’m coming soon

felt the guilt

couldn’t bare to

say I love you

before you transitioned

pride got my ego trippin

clenching to

my legacy and business

spirit disturbed

this my naked admittance

written in hieroglyphics

discovering parts of Chris

in each and every lyric


Chorus:


I got mo heart

Than my soul show

stay loaded

With dreams

Leaking gun smoke


It’s okay

It’s okay

Keep pushing

Even when you ain’t okay


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