Having been raised as part of the Seventh-day Adventist church, devotion intermingles with scepticism around the religious industrial complex as SIPHO. reconciles his own relationship with God throughout his early tracks. Running alongside that is an exploration of another kind of duality – Black male identity.
He used to work at a bar in Birmingham, and one evening on the way in for training he ran into a bunch of kids dressed in all black with their faces covered. “Essentially, I think they were trying to mug me,” he says. “They tried to have any excuse to do whatever they wanted to do.” Fortunately nothing went left that night, but the awareness that it could have – as it does all the time – still lingers. “A lot of it comes as a result of how a lot of us are taught how to act,” he says. “So my initial target was a study – not only in violence, that’s one product of how we view things as young men, but of the way we present our characters to the outside world, and the way we view and treat some of the women in our lives.”
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