Thursday, December 13, 2018

Heavenly Father

"Heavenly Father" is the 11th song on Isaiah Rashad's debut EP the Cilvia Demo. It is one of the realist, saddest, and most eye-opening songs that I have ever listened to and I think it’s something that anyone can vibe with even without paying close attention to the lyrics. But if the listener gives the song their full attention they will find an incredibly raw and masterfully crafted peek into (only some) his battles with suicide and various addictions on his path to stardom many of which stem from having a hyper-conscious worldview.

The track starts with Rashad's realization that the rap life is mentally and emotionally harder than he ever imagined with emphasis on the psychological toll it takes on him. He writes:

        Now, everybody tellin' me a lie
        Lordy, give me something for my soul
        See, I don't wanna think of suicide
        So please don't take the lock key off my door

And continues with:

        The story’s storyteller tell it wrong
        And glorify the horror and the wealth

Rashad struggles with his mental health as he fights with the reality of his life when growing up all he heard about the rap game was its glorification of sex and drugs. Rashad is torn between conforming to that lifestyle of non-stop drugs, alcohol and sex and trying to get out for the sake of his mental health. In the second verse he dives head-first into his suicidal past and present with, in my opinion, the most brutal and heart-wrenching lines of the entire song as he writes:

        And they don't know my issues as a child
        Cause I was busy cutting on myself
        And hanging from the playground wasn't wrong
        Until you got a rope around your neck

And goes on to say:

        And Daddy, why you call me while you're drunk?
        And why you never love me when I need it?
        And I don't wanna be like you no more
        And I been trying to cope, I'm getting weeded

Rashad has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts since he was a child largely stemming from his lack of a father figure. Even at a young age he battled with his emotions and contemplated suicide and that battle is taking hold of him even more as a rapper. His sparse contact with his father only ever pushed him deeper and deeper into depression and addiction. In the final verse, Rashad writes about his addiction saying:

        Look hey I smoke too much:
        The problems of a twenty-something
        I drink too often, there's liquor pouring from the faucet
        You would assume by following the tunes
        That I'm doomed to die young, addicted to dry plum
        These bitches ain't shit
        And pussy is my greatest vice
        I love smoking weed, I hate advice

Rashad almost accepts drug addiction as a better alternative to his constant war against depression. He isn’t proud that he is an addict or of his depression but assures the listener that he will not let it kill him and he doesn’t need anyone else’s help. Rashad closes the song with the repetition of the line “Yeah, and I'm so misrepresented by niggas that claim trill / And they souls was never in it, like” which reintroduces the misrepresentation of the rap life. He suggests that songs that glorify the life of a rapper are soulless and misrepresent the rap community as a whole.

I urge all of you to listen to this song as well as the rest of Cilvia Demo.

1 comment:

  1. It's impressive to see a rapper coming forward to clearly about these issues. I feel like most rappers conceal their issues under lavish living and confident claims, and those that do address it never make it a focal point of their music. This is a great addition to the general understanding of that lifestyle.