Image Courtesy A.S.H.E.S Photo by Shirin E
Rapper A.S.H.E.S The Chosen takes hip hop heads back to their roots with his latest project #NoMoreTears, a mini documentary to raise awareness about domestic violence.
“Hip hop started as protest music in the Bronx, [using hip hop authentically to tell a story] is what hip hop used to be about, it’s amazing how unique that seems now,” A.S.H.E.S said during a radio interview with Urban Knights Radio earlier this year.
“[Tears In Your Eyes] is about giving voice to an issue that has affected my personal life, but also addressing an issue that just needs to be voiced.”
The documentary, which comes from A.S.H.E.S’ song under the same title on his album Id, Ego, Superego, is a three part narrative which explores the perspective from a victim, witness and abuser.
“I really had to do some research on this. I didn’t want to write something that came across as corny, so I went in, did a lot of research, talked to survivors [of domestic violence], and compiled this idea.”
To fund his the Tears In Your Eyes Project, A.S.H.E.S launched a Kickstarter campaign February of this year.
“When I wanted to release the [Tears In Your Eyes] song, we didn’t have a whole lot of support, and then, we put out this Kickstarter campaign, and we were able to overfund it. I think it’s showing that there’s still an audience for this.”
For the project, A.S.H.E.S collaborated with Brynn and Sean Braxton, Shirin E, Lucy H, The Writers’ Room 412 and Green Eyed Media Determination Media Group.
Originally from Seattle, A.S.H.E.S was encouraged early on by Sue Ennis, a fromer songwriter for Seattle musical group Heart to tackle the subject of domestic violence.
“[Sue Ennis] felt like I had a voice strong enough to tackle the issue. It was originally going to be used for a [production of the] Vagina Monologues [ at Shoreline Community College].”
In honor of his stepfather’s birthday, A.S.H.E.S officially released his highly anticipated album Id, Ego and Superego. While on tour in October 2004, A.S.H.E.S had learned that his stepfather, had been stabbed to death by his new girlfriend.
“I wanted to tackle an issue that was near and dear to my heart, but also inspire other artists to be just as courageous.”
A.S.H.E.S recently partnered with Peace Over Violence in L.A teaching a summer songwriting internship as part of their leadership program. He takes the place of Aloe Blacc, last year’s artist in residence.
A.S.H.E.S, whose name stands for All Songs Heard Echo Solidarity hopes to change the route of the current music industry.
“I moved to L.A, and there were a lot of voices of people telling me ‘you should be doing this […] you need more guns, more women.’ I changed it [my name] without really telling people what it meant, but I did it as a reminder to myself so that I’m always aware of my mission […] and to never get too far away from that because the business will definitely push you in that direction.