I wrote this record for anyone who has ever battled depression. For anyone who didn’t understand why they were always viewed as the perpetual other.
I sold my soul to God for upward mobility. This is a song about my flaws and the reasons they aren’t so beautiful to me. This is a record where we tell the truth about low self esteem and the abuses which birth it. One of the hardest most transparent tracks of my LIFE.
Being a provider/ protector prevented me from being free. I’ve been through some things. I’ve done some dehumanizing things just to live. I’ve seen somethings I never wanted to see. I’ve used other people intentionally. My entire story is one about battling the world and always feeling like the Black Ugly duckling, never feeling like I actually belong amongst any specific group of people. Struggling through relationships, sabotaging friendships, and being a human wrecking ball to my damn self. Not realizing I was carrying the devils bodies. Being counterintuitive against my own free will.
As Black men we don’t always get rewarded the space to be THIS honest about ourselves, our lives, and what we feel for our destiny. We talk about Misogyny, but we overlook the fact that we don’t have autonomy over own bodies as well.
The total expression of my people and our history gave me strength. And then one day I gained the real knowledge of who I actually am. But this song is going to make people uncomfortable. Everything besides myself actually controls me. You can only bury so many loved ones before you wanna try to bury yourself just to see if you’re actually human.
Tef PoeTef Poe is an emcee and educator from St. Louis, who serves as the Executive Director of The Boycott Times. He co-founded the Hands Up United movement and is an advocate for grassroots movements in radical justice around the world. He has garnered two prestigious fellowships from Harvard University, the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship and the American Democracy Fellowship. Tef is an award-winning journalist who has written for Time Magazine, NewsOne, BBC, and is currently finishing his memoir, Rebel to America.