It’s Henry Canyons week for me.
On Tuesday, I posted an album feature and interview I did with Henry on Where the Music Meets — a cool online music magazine I’m writing for. Today, here in my own space, I really wanted to feature my favorite track off his latest record, Cool Side of the Pillow.
Quick aside: If you didn’t see or haven’t yet checked out the WtMM interview, the time to get on that shit is NOW! Kidding (sort of).
In all seriousness, it’s a cool read. Henry was really thoughtful and candid. We covered ground about his musical background and influences; his journey with this new record; the lightbulb moment smoking weed and listening to old-school rap as a teenager in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park when he thought, “I can do this.”; the respect, intention, and awareness he carries of being a white artist in a black art form; and his bottom-line love of rap music.
I’ve previously written admiringly about Henry’s flow, his voice and vocals, the tight production that backs his records, and his bringing together of jazz, East Coast ciphers, and West Coast R&B/funk vibes.
Photo credit: http://www.lensesthroughlenses.com // @mr.mcfeely
But, listening to Not Today (as I have been repeatedly since the record dropped in mid-April), I am always struck most by the lyrics. Listening deeply and digging into the dope rhymes and clever wordplay, the words he’s saying are authentic, real, vulnerable, and redeeming. I connect with them on such a visceral level — with things going on in my own life, thoughts in my own head, and emotions/feeling of my own heart.
It’s a god-damn empowering song. A universal call-to-action against the inner-demons we all face — self-doubt, fear, worry, anger — and a shout into that void, calling on our better natures.
Read the interview. Check out the full Cool Side album. And, for sure, rock this track when you need a lift and some steel in your spine. I’m tellin’ you….