As My Mind Races, By Stephen Garrett of Priests of Hiroshima
AS MY MIND RACES, BY STEPHEN GARRETT OF PRIESTS OF HIROSHIMA
My name is Stephen Garrett and I’m an MC with the rap collectives called The Great Lakes Crew & Ryme Skeem. I also perform under the name Steve G. and One Gig Kid. I’m also a black man. I moved to Houston from Sandusky Ohio 6 years ago and began performing as often as my dayjob schedule at Fox Sports Network allows. I’ve worked with the great DJ Little Randy of the Screwed Up Click. I opened for Dead Prez recently and my band Priests of Hiroshima, a Rage Against the Machine tribute act, has played House of Blues Houston twice supporting Rhymin’ and Stealin’. Though my mixtapes have been reviewed on Space City Rock by Aaron Brown, I’ve never accepted SCR editor Creg Lovett’s offers to blog here on the site. But as artists, we think, we experience the world as a participant, but also hopefully as an agent of change. So after reading Nick Cooper’s “White Supremacy in Denial” I began to think about the work I do a little differently. Like Nick, I perform socially conscious, politically active material, in a fun, energetic setting. While the words and the music are powerful, a musicians job is also about making people dance and be happy. That’s what I was thinking about when I wrote this:
I think about the thought process creating these lyrics I recite.
Would Zach think I’m doing them justice? Reciting ‘em right?
The right volume, clarity, the pitch and intonation.
The hatred of the brown folks who really Birthed the Nation.
I think about Priests of Hiroshima’s representation:
Two white guys, a black man, and an Asian.
Human castration was a source of entertainment,
For ancestors of the very people I’m entertaining.
I think about the crowd, are they getting into it?
The applause after songs can I get used to it?
Do I let this blow my head up, or should I stay humble?
Do bruhs think I’m down or am I looked at as a Gumble?
I think about hip-hop combined with rock and roll
And how they all started with rhythm, blues, and soul.
Thoughts on the mind of a local in the scene,
Onstage while performing Rage Against the Machine
So this Friday at Acadia bar while we perform Rage songs, I’ll be thinking about Trayvon Martin and his family. I’ll raise a fist for those who were taken from us in their youth, by those who were protected by the system. The Emmitt Tills, the Trayvon Martins, and nameless others who didn’t get to see adulthood. I usually see others in the crowd raising their fists along w/ me, and regardless of whether or not they’re aware of my motive for doing so, I still look at them as fists of solidarity. I see a black fist, a white fist, a brown fist, a yellow fist, all pumping to the tunes of a band that just wanted to make this world a better place. We’ve converted people who’ve never even heard of Rage Against the Machine into fans of them within that one hour or so we’re on stage, and I feel like that is at is such a great accomplishment for a tribute band to make. I’ll be remembering all the newly empowered George Zimmerman’s in the world. And I’ll take with me the firm belief that Nick Cooper and my bandmates, friends and family aren’t the only people learning more each day about how we can all get along.