Write Into It
Shok's "Stories of My Dead Homies"
Musicians are some of the most insightful writers in the world, reaching great depths with their art. People might see a songwriter play the role of a philosopher, therapist, and/or social commentator within the span of single track. A lot can be said within a small space, and many musicians take pride in making those statements. What goes through an artist's mind when creating their personal favorites? Welcome to "Write Into It," where we take a closer look into our local musicians' favorite songs of their own creation.
Hip Hop Artist and Producer
"Stories Of My Dead Homies" Prod. by Agony Beats
Mixed by Nick IAmADon
Excerpt: "These questions in my heart that never got answered/ I'm speaking for the souls that never got the chance to/ Live before the reaper came 'n' blew they candle/ Sometimes reality too harsh to handle"
Charles Brown: Shok, this is a powerful song that reports what has happened in our city streets. Was it difficult to put this composition into words?
Shok: Yes, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do [creatively]. I actually cried writing every word in this song.
CB: How was the recording process? Did you have any moments of weakness where you wanted to break down or just gather yourself? There's a lot of pain in this one. It's a heavy subject.
S: It's crazy because me and my cousin Nick Amidon got into a lil' argument before we recorded, but he had no clue I was about to do a song like this, so the argument was actually a blessing 'cuz when he pressed record, all those emotions manifested in the track which made it that much more powerful and heartfelt … when he heard the words, we made up instantly. [laughs] Shout out [to] Nick Amidon.
CB: The talented Agony Beats produced the track. Did you know what to talk about when first hearing the beat or did you have to sit with it?
S: This [is] even crazier. I had [written] "Dead Homies" to one of Agony's older beats that was in my computer, but I knew I couldn't use it 'cuz it wasn't mixed properly. But on the flip side, me and Agony [weren't] talking for about a month. Basically brothers having small [fallouts] over nothing, really, so I had hit him up saying how I [had] this song and needed a new beat for it. He sent that to me like he already knew what I needed. When I heard it, I instantly dropped tears, 'cuz he couldn't have sent a more perfect and harmonious beat to match my words. Me and Agony Beats are like yin and yang musically and brothers in real life. Greatest producer EVER!
CB: What goes through your mind when you go back and listen to "Stories Of My Dead Homies?"
S: Honestly, every time it's played, it's like the first time I heard it complete ... some days, I can listen like, "How did I come up with such a beautiful song worded so perfectly?" And then some days I can't listen without crying or thinking about all those I lost!
CB: If people could take anything away from your song, what would you want it to be?
S: Nobody walking earth can take anything away from that song, 'cuz it was sent from God for so many people. I just was the vessel he spoke it through.
Find "Stories Of My Dead Homies" at www.soundcloud.com/shok814
Charles Brown can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can follow him on Twitter @Charles1588.