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  • Writer's pictureLauren Eylise

I am not who they say I am...

I never was.

They give me genres to fit into. They give me labels and titles I never agreed to. They give me strategies they've hijacked from 'similar artists' and they try to write my story without my consent. They've made assumptions of my character based on Instagram captions and pretty pictures.

But I'm not who they say I am.

This morning, I got to work immediately upon rolling out of bed. My fingers haven't stopped typing since. My brain hasn't paused for five full minutes. My heart is a little heavy, I'm confused as fuck and I'm still tired but I refuse to allow the sun to set on an incomplete to do list. At the end of each of them is progress.

I desire progress. I look at this picture and tears come to my eyes. I have come so far. Farther than anyone really knows at all. And I still have so much farther to go. Today, the Truth settled on my chest and won't budge: It's all on me. They all see a cash cow. They see percentages of deals and steroids for their egos. They see dotted lines and ownership. They see another black girl with a good voice to profit from.

They don't know what the fuck I'm singing about. They don't what I'm crying about. They don't understand my hustle nor my drive, my passion nor my rage, my praise nor my faith. A very silent and heavy Truth introduced itself to me today: It's not theirs to understand. It is mine and mine alone. It is my duty to understand, to always know and to always protect. I am reminded of this when I am alone for hours on end managing and planning my business endeavours. When I'm wiping tears from my keys and burning candles amidst communion with my ancestors. It is their prayers that carry me today. Their wisdom that guards my eyes. Their strength in that bass of my voice when I tell these clowns to fuck off.

It does not matter the arena. Be ye a sheisty business partner, an unworthy lover, or an insecure woman seeking to shame me for your own uplift. Shapeshifters. Same shit, different form. They all require the same response. From me and me alone. And I feel alone. More often than not. It's brought me much sadness because I have misread it for so long. I am not alone. But there are many roads that must be walked alone. Strength and company populate the heart to push you along. But the steps must be taken in solitude. There's a silence in that kind of solitude. In that kind of journey. A stillness that requires no more explanation than its very existence.

Every day, with every song, I have come face to face with my darkest shadows and my highest Self. Some days I hate what I see. Other days, I adore it so deeply I cannot breathe. I forgot why I even began this project, to be honest. All I know is why I continue. And it's because I have to get it out. I have to physically remove the lesson, the pain, the glory. It is alchemy. To transform the emotion into a song that may exist outside of me. It is the most glorious means of healing I have ever witnessed in my Self.

I'm writing this album, so that I can live. So that I can breathe easier.

It's a road. A road to something, somewhere. I'm not even sure yet, honestly. But I trust the destination has something in store for me....

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