Thursday, June 25, 2015

Raps (Part 1)

So, I’ve been spending a lot of time in prayer of late.

For me, prayer is just about the only time I get to be 100% open (sadly due to a lack of GENUINE interest in what’s going on with me below the surface) and I use it to really process through the good or bad. I also feel that it is a great time to consider the little things, subtle bits and pieces that I honestly take for granted and should be a bit more thankful for.
I suggest you give it a try sometime. You may find it to even be a cathartic.
(note: Some people ascribe to ‘meditation’ in the same way. Besides the inclusion of a deity in the equation, I don’t see a huge difference between the terms “prayer” and “meditation”… ya know, despite the Dictionary says.)

I haven’t spoken of music in a while, despite this blogs log line of it being my thoughts as an artist AND as an emcee. I figured that maybe I should remedy that a little bit now.

I get a lot of surface questions in life and, of late, for whatever reason, my music has come up. Questions like, “Do you still do music?”, “How’s the music coming?”, “Oh, you rap? Is it…like, Christian rap or…?”, etc, etc.

People are funny that way
I know a decent amount of argument in and around music is on how we label things. As a consumer culture we need signifying terms to properly compartmentalize what we take in, mostly for sake of justification for (or against) the worth of our entertainment. I once was a debater (not a very great one) and jumped full on into those sort of disputes.
Blame it on age or perhaps levelled up maturity but, now, everything to me is the simple definitions. I am, yes, a Christian (both by government name as well as religious affiliation) and I am an emcee who raps. To me it is that simple a classification (even though I may now be creating an argument by making a statement, as such.)

My process of creating raps is a bit complex to some but, it too is simply defined: My music is another extension of my illustrating. Every song is a series of images in sequential order (think: comic panels OR, for those who don’t prescribe to reading comics, storyboard illustrations) that creates a narrative. My main intention in rap is to lead to thoughtful consideration of the sequential narrative.

I write raps because I do not have time (nor am I paid well enough) to draw ALL the things I would like to communicate and get people thinking and/or talking about.

My last two releases were “Earth”, more than a few years back, a collaboration with my long-time best friend Jordan Santana (we go by the illustrious nom de guerre, “The Royal Applebaums”) and a solo album called “Finite.”

In the years since, I have accumulated two and a half more albums of songs, which have yet to be recorded beyond demo stage.
Someone recently posted a splendid little rant on social media about the fact that people’s need for more frequency in their entertainment consumption creates worse and less thoughtful product. That, in a literal sense as it said in Philippians 3:19, "their god is their stomach." We need to be fed frequently with what we like and we can't wait very long for more of it. This is probably why you will note that so many sequels keep happening in films of late.

In the first song I ever recorded I had this line, "I am a thought for the art that most forgot to start." That sort of became my goal to this day. I want to think about my work in ways I don't see commonly done by others. I want to lead people to thought. To THINK. If I happen to make them groove or bob their head, that's cool too.

There's a lot going on out there. I am sure you have noticed. I think it is time to start writing new things to be considered.

- Conduct Lionhardt

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