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  • Writer's pictureChris Siders

Lanair's Flower in Zurich.

“Ashes comfort seeds at your departure.”

When it comes to the things we lost in the fire, are we meant to ever really overcome or clean up the ashes in the soil? Should we forever be confined to the soil we stand on? 

The neighborhood. America. 

What would life look like if everyone gotten the chance to venture beyond the places we been institutionalized in for so long? 

I been going a performance run lately, just throughout California with Thandi and his friend. They went on a week long trip throughout the south to make a conference and head back to LA to go to Humboldt County with me to perform. His friend has never been outside of his South Central Los Angeles neighborhood. Speaking to him and understanding his thoughts of what it means to see a world beyond his gang territory it he said was a game changer. My Dad drilled it in my head at a young age to see any place thats not Los Angeles. I guess he knew I would eventually get the “travel bug” if I done so. People that look like us. Been in the conditions we endured don’t get many chances to explore. 

Being institutionalized and used to the conditions we are in its tough to imagine the other dangers that may lurk. Thandi and his friend were detained at the border of new Mexico for a few hours heading back to California. Coming down from Humboldt at 11:30-12am at night we hit a violent winter storm. It started off raining heavily, then hail intensely. The moment we looked at the road and questioned why it looked weird that car swerved as we was on a cliff. Didn’t realize we were treading on black ice. We was in a huge GMC truck that can easily be tipped over. We got stuck drive extremely slow with hazards on for two and half hours in the snow as it hailed the entire time. 

The first time I came to Zurich I was on the defensive. I didn’t know what to expect. Seeing police for the first time out there just like in Los Angeles I froze. Come to find out police presence is no one near as heavy in Zurich. One thing did remain however. I learned that will forever be a nigga everywhere I go or maybe I haven’t went to a place where its a complete safe haven to be black and not go against our own.

In Zurich I did experience some classism engaging in discussions about health and education. There’s certain privileges that aren’t given to black youth in America. Let alone the population at large. The readiness and preparation to venture and explore in any capacity whether it be our identity, emotional intelligence, sexuality etc is non-existent. 

With these dangers I learned to become appreciative as it challenges my ignorance and forced me in a position to learn. Learn that the world and growing in it has its pain, but also its beauty. As my father’s seed, sprouting and growing I’ve done and seen things he was unable to. God has been giving me the water I need to grow with ashes of my Dad’s departure. His ashes literally rest on my chest everyday in the form of a football pendant. 

Lean into it. 

When he passed, my mom asked me “are you still going on tour and are you still going to Switzerland?” I said yes. My Dad’s mission has always been for me to experience life in different lens. He grew up without his biological Dad. Single mother of 5. I afforded the privilege of choosing my battles at work (sometimes) as my Dad would had to take white people calling him a “nigger” and literally spit in his face, due to the fact he had a family to feed. He always told me “I put up with the bullshit everyday because I got food to put on the table.” 

Money degrades us all. Specifically our character. The rat race. The things we do to get to the space of not struggling. Kill. Steal. Embarrass. Disassociate. A switch turns on in our minds like “yo fuck dying in this place like this, i’m going to get it any way I can.” In a lot of ways (and I know I may contradict myself here) chasing money or dreams leads to self-infliction. Me performing a ton does a lot of harm in a lot of ways. What a lot of artists fail to realize is the touring shit is not to be toyed with. It's great traveling, but again the dangers of it. Being ready and prepared. I say all this as I literally perform every week all the way up until the week I leave for touring.

March 6th was my brother’s birthday. Instead of wallowing in sorrow, I had fun that day and was lively with my community. Evan has always been like that. A lively young man with so much to say and smiles to give to everyone. My brother had the same mentality of having an intense work ethic and doing anything he could to get money. Eventually becoming a gang member. I had a conversation with my good friend Elloyt about this music game. I was honest, if my folks would still be here today, I probably wouldn’t be going as hard as I am now or wouldn’t be rapping like that. I started taking it super seriously as a solo artist, when Dad got heart transplant surgery in 2021. The goals I set for myself was for him and my family to see me rock huge stages. I failed, when it truthfully didn't matter what stage they see me perform at, as long as they gotten the chance to. I didn’t give the opportunity. Oddly enough I still carry the same mentality with my mom and my sister. They have yet to see a rap show.  

At this moment, I have an Uncle in the hospital who suffered from an heart-attack. Its not looking good. Another cousin in the hospital and doctors are saying it maybe cancer. The clock is ticking. I am not given the same amount of time as my peers to get this career off the ground. To be quite honest, I am extremely frustrated with my friends. Me being told to slow down when I got family dying. Doing what I can to keep the Siders legacy shining bright. It's not solely my responsibility, no. However, i am hearing this from people that aren’t under the same pressure as me. That is quite frankly a bit annoying. I have something to prove. I am not waiting on anybody. I’m just not. Not everyone can go. I accepted that. What I continue to struggle with is losing friends along the way. I have a deep care for my people to a huge fault. 

Ever since my wild Switzerland trip this past January, I planned to take the month of February slow. However, God had other plans. Hollywood Fringe contacted me and gave me the opportunity to put on my very first original musical, Silhouettes Of Scarlet. In all honesty I am extremely terrified to present this art in particular to my family. I shared The Emancipation Of Chris Siders album with my sister when it came out. I don’t know her thoughts. That album has dark moments, but not completely dark compared to its predecessor.

Lanair’s Flower in Zurich is not a dark album. Its motivational. Triumphant. Celebratory. Bright. Colorful. Full of culture. Warm. Without giving away all the surprises on this album, I don’t know any rap albums that are like this in concept in combination with the sonics to support it. I actually would love for my family to hear this upcoming album. Silhouettes Of Scarlet on the other hand… has touchy subject matter, but I recently learned my mom loves musicals. I never knew that. Me, her and my grandmother watched the color purple on Christmas day and had a blast. 

Each release thats coming about is only going to get better and better in every form. The best way to support me rather than just telling me in my face to slow down, is stream/share my music. Come to a show. Have conversations see how what I’m expressing on record is resonating to you or not. I’m not going to stop until all of Lanair’s Flowers get a chance to see the world and be given the chance to thrive even better I have. 

Stevie Lanair Siders has done one hell of a fucking job raising his children. 

“Ashes comfort seeds from your growth.” 

I’m not running away from the flames. I’m running directly in that bitch. 

April 2024.

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