Updated: Oct 30
As we see the world's paradigm begin to shift. You can follow a lot of the roots or beginnings of this shift in the music we listen to.
The lyricism, the beats, the very collective consciousness of the music industry changes and molds with society and more importantly molds society in its own way.
Forrest Walker( often called Drew or Andrew by his friends) is one of these artists that are on the forefront of this ideology. I've been fortunate enough to have quite a few conversations with him on not only the effect of music on his life but also where he sees music in the construction of man kinds future.
The contents of these conversations require much more than just a couple of articles and podcasts in their own right (don't worry those will be posted soon enough). However for those of you that haven't given the concept of musical social construction much thought here is a quick run down.
As humans have progressed through history, music ( and art as a whole) was both a reflection and a driving factor in our mindset and perceptions. The classical renaissance reflected and pushed classical ideas of politics or writing, the swing of the 1920's pushed a rejection of Prohibition and talked of women's rights, the Hip of the 80's and 90's spoke of the stories of the disenfranchised and suppressed in a way that brought attention and aggression to a topic few in the larger industry even understood. Forrest Walker latches on to this concept and puts his very soul behind it. His music is his attempt to play a part in this social change and leave a story behind for future generations to explore and learn from.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to spend time with him and hear his ciphers before his first album was even a concept. We had been sitting across from each other in the boot camp bunks of Paris Island constantly thinking and talking about the future and the movement of our own life and ideology.
As I sat there and listened to him express his art form and spoken word, I realized there was something very special in front of me. One of those individuals you meet in life that will leave an impression on you for years to come. I've seen him grow and mold not only himself but the people around him since then.
A look into his most recent album. Black Satin Is testament to the very statements I've made above as you can see in my other articles. (Link) - (Link)
I've gone over quite a few of his songs. However, if I was to pick out one to really give a definition of who he is and how his lyricism can affect and mold people, it would be his song "bad places".
Bad places starts off with a beat that lures you into something that may be happy or even uplifting and then immediately rolls you into an ideology of something darker. It is this combination and contrast that is so important to have not only in music but in your life, the very balance of thought.
The first few bars explain your standard grind mentality you see in the music industry, the very direction an artist tries to move his career and be perceived.
As the song progresses he begins to dive into personal life. The many tragedies, mistakes and paths taken, highlighted them in exquisite detail and painted a picture with his words that is accented amazingly with the beat.
"His father shooting dope so now that house don't feel like a home."
I would love to take a moment to focus on this line right here. I could go into the rhyme pattern and how he amazingly tied it in with the previous bars but I want to focus on the meaning behind this seemingly simple bar.
This idea of making a house of home sounds so cliche to the every day person, but when you really think about it, the gravity behind the statement gives a lot of insight onto some of the issues that all of us have felt in our lives.
Just having somewhere to live does not make it a haven, a home. By seeing the very damages his father and brother had gone through, Forrest had lost his ability to have a home, a place to call a haven. This is highlighted in much of the rest of the song and this deep and ridden pain is explored even further through the following bars.
Overall, the entire song is a great insight into his life as well as the pain he's felt and is a great rendition of his masterful taming of lyricism in making a song just simply sound good.
I'd certainly am excited for his next project and will be playing him on repeat whenever I get my hands on to new music.