Thoughts runnin' through my mind, Inception design I control time, create my own dreams Check the uniform, I'm with the road team That's the enemy, I do my own thing
These first 4 bars really serve to set the stage for the song as a whole, much like a thesis statement provides the purpose of an academic paper in the first paragraph - The confusion and back and forth that's going on in the individual's mind begins here. "Thoughts runnin' through my mind" is meant to be taken both figuratively and literally. Akin to the movie inception, I have all of these conflicting thoughts, but there's also a paranoia that an actual person is racing through my mind to plant an idea that's not mine. Then, in the second line, I quickly take back control, vowing to not let anyone else control time, dreams, or thoughts. Then, being "with the road team" is a metaphor for being the underdog. Nobody thinks that I can take back control of my life and many people have grown to hate me for allowing temptations to become a part of my life, as a result of success. But I say that "I do my own thing" as a way of saying that no matter how hated I am, I'm not hear to convince people that they should like me, I'm here to do what I believe is best and to act in coordination with what is right and just. Using this metaphor really stemmed from my playing sports growing up. So much of my success in anything in life has stemmed from having a chip on my shoulder and doing what people said that I could not. In that sense, I love the imagery that this line creates in walking into a basketball arena where every fan is booing you and knocking down the game winning shot. It's always seemed like sweet justice to me for others having hate for an individual.
Underdog, not supposed to succeed Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the plush things But more so educated, money's not a motivator Tell me how you stop me? Not influenced by how much I'm makin'
The resul'ts a shift in paradigm But don't get it flipped, still with a pair of dimes They don't get it, I just did it for the opposite Tried to be a prophet, but somehow, I profited
Now the money is all here to breed hate And I just wanna give it back, rebate If I could have you in my arms, I'd be straight All the memories erased to have a clean slate
All alone now, I can feel it With every gift, a curse, it's no secret Pressure's on me, the pain deepens Make you question all that you believe in
So what do you believe in? Huh? Baby I believe in the mental Aw, I'm caught up in the mental Aw, I'm so lost in the mental
I'm all caught in all the tumult and torment So now I'm just prayin' that the storm ends Damn, my tempest has a temper All the memories, I don't wanna remember
I set fire to the images, we were so intimate They burn, but no way I'm forgettin' 'em All along, I thought I was so disciplined But, the more you know, the quicker you stop listenin'
The alcohol just serves as a conduit The pain's comin' through, I stop, I can't do it A couple blondes can calm the nerves through him Either love what you're doin, or it's love you're pursuin'
Tried to get both, it was all for naught She left me all alone, on my own, I thought But with great understanding comes great responsibility Now look how my abilities are fuckin' with me mentally
For my first real entry, I'm going to dissect my recently released song "The Mental." To provide some background...like every other song on this page, the track was produced by my brother - The Therapist. And that's blood brother for those who don't know. To me, this song is undoubtedly the most introspective of any I've ever written. The subject matter is deep, emotional, and complex and it really reflects my current outlook on life and some of my recent experiences.
It's told from the perspective of an individual who's lost in many ways. His thought process is almost pschizophrenic in the way that he jumps from thought to thought and emotion to emotion. The subject matter is meant to be complex and difficult to navigate through as it's a representation of the pain and confusion that I feel sometimes. However, the listener is rewarded for his/her sticking around through the frustration by the breakthrough I have at the end in which I finally shed the shackles.
What this song is ultimately about is the constant conflict we experience as humans, and the ways in which that conflict intensifies as we become more successful. I then attempt to weave in some of the associated sacrifices we are forced to make on a continuous basis. There are underlying tones of greed, love, lust, pain, uncertainty, and ambition, among others.
I think my brother did a phenomenal job in creating this track and it really plays off of my concept in its repeating, harmonious chords that really surround the listener and make him/her feel confused and almost disoriented, with lack of direction. One of the influences for the concept was the movie Inception. I've always felt like I've been my own worst enemy in over-analyzing situations and becoming so aware of my surroundings that it's become a fault. And so, the movie really hit home with me, because it was a perfect communication of the very real principal that perception is reality. This is one place where I've integrated some of my inspiration drawn from business as an MBA candidate in my increasing awareness of what distinguishes perception from reality through my marketing studies. But, you know, it's human nature to believe our perceptions, and that's where we run into the self-destructive behavior that keeps us from being our best selves.
And so, this song is told from my perspective as someone who, as I get older and understand more complexity, is only becoming more jaded about how fucked up the world and the people in it really are. But, a positive to having that understanding is that it's proven to be unbelievably motivating in wanting to be unlike what I've seen, and to be a genuinely good and selfless person. And that's what I really want to shine through in the story is that we have this man who's dealing with all of these things and, admittedly, isn't perfect, but has a pure heart and wants to do good. So, at the end, I ultimately deal with the pressures in my own way. But really, it's a never-ending battle with ourselves that we can lead, but never win.
I certainly appreciate you visiting my site and my blog, whether it be out of support or just curiosity. I'd like for the blog to serve two principal purposes: 1. To learn about me as an artist 2. To learn about me as a person. I hope to accomplish these objectives by writing about anything from the meaning behind my songs and lyrics to happenings in the world and my perspective.
I've always made an effort to understand my favorite artists as people, beyond musicians. Reason being, I've found that by doing so, I'm able to more thoroughly understand the "why" of the decisions they make in subject matter, lyrics, cadence, presentation, etc. I also think that what, many times, gets lost in the minds of listeners is that the artist and the person are two different people. This is especially the case in hip-hop and with many of the strong pop personalities as well. I've gained an increased understanding of this through studying other artists and experiencing life as an artist myself. In fact, Jay-Z describes the distinction exceptionally well in his new book Decoded.
For those who know Jay-Z from afar, I think so many view his talent, even after acknowledging him as one of the very best rappers of all time, as marginal. To me, that's just a product of personal preference and preconceptions about rapping. Many view it as being a less-skilled art than, say, the song writing that a Taylor Swift might do. Those people haven't attempted to write a hip-hop song or rap, I assure you. But my point in all this is to say that by solely knowing the artist, Jay-Z, and not the person, Sean Carter, I can understand from a certain perspective why non-hip-hop fans might think that it doesn't take much succeed in.
However, if you know anything about Sean Carter, the man behind the artist, you know just how well-rounded and skilled he is. He is truly a world-class mind, not just in comparison to other rappers or musicians. For example, he was reading at something like a 12th grade level in the 5th grade. And it's no coincidence that he's developed into an extremely astute businessman. He has superb decision-making skills, instincts, and charisma. He's calculating and sharp and the CEO of any company in the world would be thrilled to have his ability to communicate. But only by knowing that side of the man do I believe that one can truly appreciate the character he's developed in Jay-Z. To me, there's no other way to describe it than sheer brilliance.
With that, my only hope with this blog is that I'm able to establish the link between Drew, the man, and Drew William, the artist. Once you have that understanding, you'll understand what the creative content on this page means and why I do what I do.