photo creds: Christian West
(This is the second part of a multiple-piece series on the one-year anniversary of the release of the Bike Rack Records’ Summer Mixtape (sponsored by Bike Rack Brewing). This post features my recent interview with the smooth and #freshforever Little Rock music artist @seanfresh.
I’ve seen a bunch of ‘black lives matter’ and ‘we’re on your side,’ which is cool, but also a kind of weird at the same time. It’s a great time to be alive, but not a great time to be alive you know? Man, I do believe that a change is coming. People are tired. It took a pandemic. It took a lot. This is like a perfect storm for justice. And I think the generation we live in is that people are tired of just marching and protesting for justice and equality only to have our efforts washed away by a new song, a new movie, a scandal, or a sporting event. We demand equality by peace or by force. But we are tired of the status quo. If we have to die, then we have to die so that my daughter can grow up and live a dream that was supposed to be for all of us.
I’m not going to fall. One of my favorite characters of all time in a movie is Bane. It’s because he had lines like ‘you all are just getting accustomed to the dark. I grew up in the dark.’ I have learned to be successful in the dark. This life doesn’t mean anything to me. The only thing that matters to myself is my family, my legacy, and being kind.
Jesus didn’t do nothing to nobody and they murdered him. We’re talking about being Christians now. The reason why your sins (and mine) are wiped away is because of Jesus. It wasn’t some easy route to Christianity either. Jesus got 39 lashes and was treated like dirt so you can be free and wear your double-breasted suit on Easter and have your holier-than-thou attitude.
Choosing kindness and love…
Being kind everyday and choosing what’s right is what gets me by everyday. And that doesn’t always mean choosing what’s legal and maybe what’s right in the eyes of God. I can go to sleep every night though knowing I chose to do what’s right, and if I didn’t then God forgive me. Have mercy on me and show me the same grace and mercy that I can hopefully show to someone else.
I take stuff one day at a time. I lost a lot of weight – 50 or 60 pounds. I never gave in to society not looking at the totality of the injustice, but looking at today, and today I choose to be kind. I choose to love. And at the same time, if I choose to bust a head or break a window then it is still out of love because sometimes I don’t see how we must understand that sometimes bloodshed has to be done for peace to come. That is the most Christian and American thing ever – busting heads for justice. We wouldn’t have America if it wasn’t for riots.
For some reason when it comes to equality for black people, we’re not even asking you to be better, we just want be treated the same way as everybody else and we got to fight for that every single day. If I got to die for it, cool. If you got to die for it, cool. That’s just the mentality that we have now. We’ve tried so many peaceful ways and the thing is no one has the answer.
In the music industry everyone wants to try to tell you what to do. I’m not saying getting social injustice across America is equalized with getting into the music industry, but there is no answer for it. If there was, we would have tried it already.
Family lives coming and going…
My new baby daughter is named Grace and is two months old. At the same time, my grandma just passed and I’m doing her eulogy. I really don’t think too many people have cried, because she is the definition of someone who lived right, who loved Christ, and who stood up for righteousness. My grandma made me some Hammer pants one time when I was younger. She was always for me. Everybody had Hammer pants at school, and we couldn’t afford them. So she made me some Hammer pants because she wanted me to be accepted. She was used by a lot of people in her life because she served a lot of people, but at the end of the day it’s like well done. Everyone is like – grandma lived an amazing life!
photo creds: Dacori Jones (left) and Mike Morris (right)
I know that I will live forever. This is just a small part of eternity so I’ll be doggone if I’m not going to stand up for what’s right. You know, be me at all times. I’ve never been scared of anyone, because I’m not afraid to die. I’ve never been scared to stand up for what’s right.
I think change is coming. We have a non-profit helping mentor kids (jUSt/Global Kids – Arkansas), and we’ve had that for 10 years, and it wasn’t because of what’s going on now. It was because we were going to change the world. My perspective of change is that it’s always going to come in some form. Whether it’s the return of Jesus or I die and go to Heaven. But I never thought the world would just now realize it’s racist. I didn’t care or wasn’t focused on the norm. I am more worried about making a difference today and being kind every day and choosing what’s right.
I’m hopeful for change, but who would have thought that COVID-19 would hit and no one would go outside? And you’d have social distancing. And then you have Minnesota, and you have time to follow social distancing, but then a police officer puts his knee on the neck of a grown black man. You say George Floyd changed the world, but George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That was it. We still pissed off about Emmett Till.
The truth of the matter is everything lined up perfectly for change. But we’re only a few weeks into this. We just got body cams on our police officers in Little Rock now. They’re videotaping it. So what? It ain’t like it ain’t happened before. We’ve seen it before. We’ve seen all the films. So, we’re just getting started.
The creative parts of black people are stitched into American culture. You have to have a majority to make changes and when others stand up and when women stand up, that’s when it goes down. That’s when change comes.
Jabs, jumpers, and staying busy…
I’ve been boxing since the pandemic hit and I’m about to do it competitively. My jump-shot is not as good as it used to me, but my endurance is better. I’m getting buckets still, but now you can’t score off of me. My defense is good, and I’m getting all the rebounds. So when I say my jump-shot isn’t as good, even my jump-shot at subpar is better than 97% of people’s jump-shots!
Recently, I missed my flight back home from New York, because I was trying to get some things in Harlem from the Malcolm Shabazz market. I thought we were going to make it, but we didn’t. So we stayed and I started Googling open mic spots and the one in Brooklyn is one of the first that we found. So Gavin (Hawkins) recorded it and it turned out good, and we put that up on Youtube. I’m just busy. I don’t ask anyone for anything. I just do my own things. I’m working on my music and trying to get more subscribers on Youtube and Spotify. I’m about to put out my new project “Gold Fangs and Chains” soon so we’ve got a bunch of stuff coming. I’m also working on a clothing line collaboration with 22nd Element. Man, God is good, and this is going to be the greatest year in my life.
WHWR by SeanFresh from the 2019 Bike Rack Records Summer Mixtape