In my last article, I discussed how the rapper Wax sees the costs both emotionally and physically of pursuing passion through the song “we can’t all be heroes”. The full album “Continue” has a few themes that present a counter argument including a song called “Feels Good” that presents the counter to this initial pessimistic view the album takes in the first half.
Before getting into the meat of “Feels Good”, we have to acknowledge the other themes in this album. During this period, Wax is clearly struggling with substance abuse and he discusses these in all sorts of positive and negative lights. The tracks I’ve marked here with Red are almost exclusively about substance abuse ranging from the depressive mood of Straight to paradise to a euphoric Outta My Mind, which in many ways, feels like the climax of the album despite the truly destructive nature of lyrics.
Ignore the blue: those are just about boobs mostly. (including Wax’s charting single Rosana (some great comedy and takes on relationships with the opposite sex here for sure though…))
The Yellow marked songs are also thematically notable, starting the depressive album on an upbeat tempo and subject matter typical of the braggadocios rapping style. The first song “Dreaming” ending in an alarm to bring in “Continue” a clear allusion to Wax breaking ways with his label Def Jam and a more realistically optimistic view on life.
Continue, the title track, being the most comprehensive mentioning how failures and messing up are parts of life that should be positively as learning opportunities. There almost seems to be a solution before the problem here: “A wise man will devise plans that are option filled”.
This track is about seeing the horrible things in your life and moving on. In many ways we can see the contrasts already: maybe Wax doesn’t have to overthink his art, maybe the guy who had a failed sport career can pick himself up and maybe the addicted people on the corner aren’t doomed to spend eternity in that state.
Feels Good: (allow me to paraphrase here) Though there are depressive aspects to Wax’s career, when he goes on tour it becomes apparent that his art impacts others.
“Met a young fan who told me that my songs moved him
Said that when he listens to them that they talk to him
Cause the same problems that he’s going though I’ve
Gone through them
I guess we’re all human, and not that different
And compared to myself my music is more significant”
Wax goes on to discuss how his life really isn’t that bad, (accentuated again with a closing track about physical labour and how his problems aren’t significant) and when he looks at the small details in his life they are pretty great. Overall, he is happy he pursued his art because although the intended consequence hasn’t happened, some good things have and day to day things are hard, but it also feels good to live his life honestly.
There’s a small “last call” about how Wax was on a track years ago and said that if that album failed he was going to go to Hawaii and drink himself to death. This parallels with the actresses in my first article who failed and gave up. But Wax states that he views his failures as just some stuff that happened and because of this nothing he has ever done has been a failure.
So there you go. pursuing art will let you smell the roses as you work but be prepared to fall real far. and when the going gets tough; I guess just