"City Lights Dim" and "Pain, I'm Happy" Interview.
Updated: Aug 17, 2019
Most INFLUENTIAL SONG of the Quarter Year!
The Public Air Conference interview with "The Most Influential Song of The Quarter Year" Nominee Artists T.R.U. featuring Kira Etienne; who has also been elected the Best New Artist (BNA) of 2019. The Public Air Conference would like to welcome T.R.U. and Kira Etienne. This interview was reduced to transcription and released to the public on August 8th, 2019. T.R.U. is currently housed in a Massachusetts State Prison.
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: Welcome, so T.R.U., Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about your latest release "City Lights Dim" featuring our Best New Artist (BNA) Tribute recipient Kira Etienne who also released her latest project "Pain, I'm Happy" off of her Untitled Debut Album. Kira Thank you for being present. It's important to note that T.R.U.'s verses for "City Lights Dim" were recorded through a prison phone at a Massachusetts State Prison. Meanwhile, Kira recorded her chorus in the free world. Is this an accurate account of what took place ?
KIRA: Thank you for having me. Yes, that is correct. At first I was worried about the quality of the recording but for him to record his verses under such circumstances, in reality makes “City Lights Dim” all that it is. He is speaking from a deep place of hurt, grief, warning and regret in an environment that is saturated in all of those things as well. May the listeners take heed to the message.
T.R.U.: Thank you for having me as well and yes, unfortunately my verses were recorded through a prison phone but we do recognize the unique texture it adds to the project. As long as the message offers a point of consideration to stop the assault on ourselves and humanity, bringing peace to our communities, then Allah hu El'um. Shout out to Lil Siip and Ally for their background vocals and Kira for holding it down with her feature. In the music world she's a lamp in the dark hours. I ask everybody to support her. It's in her BNA. (he laughs)
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: So Kira, what was your experience featuring on a project like "City Lights Dim" with an artist who was set to record his material through a prison phone? Also what are your hopes for your debut single "Pain, I'm Happy"?
KIRA: My experience working with T.R.U. has been a blessing in short. It was a bit difficult at first given that we weren't looking at the same screen and that we could not hear the material at the same volume but overall we had success in our communication and collaboration to bring this song to life as best as possible and structure it the way he needed it to be. Alhamdulillah I hope people get the message and support "The R.O.L. Initiative".
My hopes for "Pain, I'm Happy" is to express and inspire growth, not just for myself but for everybody. "Pain, I'm Happy" is a survivor's song. It has such a feel good vibe with a general message. Yes it is geared a bit towards women but I have found that it also speaks to men in their own way which is a beautiful thing. We need to strive to be happy and stay happy.
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: I think the listeners would like to know what inspired both "Pain, I'm Happy" and "City Lights Dim" ?
KIRA: "Pain, I'm Happy" was inspired by women! It was inspired by growth and perseverance and the constant need for happiness and self liberation, in the name of self love and friendship. I think both songs speak to the freeing of oneself. It is a survivors song.
T.R.U.: "City Lights Dim" was inspired by the spirit of our lost loved ones and the need to bring an awareness to a death toll in the city of Brockton MA, with respects to other parts of Urban Society inflicted with such violence.
Ally's mother passed away about two weeks to her recording session. She was expressing real pain. May "City Lights Dim" forever hold the spirit of her inspiration.
"City Lights Dim" may be the most intimate song I have ever written. My city, like too many other cities in urban society, has lost too many dreamers. Will their purpose or assignment on earth be reassigned to another soul? Or does the world totally miss out on what could have and should have been in the first place?
The "City Lights Dim" project is intended to be the final rap compilation performed by myself. Not only is the song's purpose to raise awareness or pay tribute, but it's underlining benefit is the potential it has to direct national attention to "The R.O.L. Initiative".
The "City Lights Dim Tribute" is a public service announcement of a sort. It consists of influential figures from 6 different counties within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that are among the leading areas inflicted with communal and structural violence, calling for peace and educating their respective cities on communal and structural violence on behalf of “The R.O.L. Initiative.”
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: What does R.O.L. Stand for exactly?
T.R.U.: “R.O.L.” is an acronym for Redefining Our Leadership.
“The R.O.L. Initiative” is a way to honor the many lives lost, while striving towards healing and reparations for those who may be affected by the same circumstances. Death and Imprisonment are directly responsible for two of America's most lucrative business endeavors. What we may call "beef" is actually a manufacturing process through which death and imprisonment may be produced. Making those who engage in the process, employees who work for no benefits whatsoever.
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: Are you saying that people are dying in urban neighborhoods because of these two businesses?
T.R.U.: No. Not at all. What I am saying is that the structural design in America is the undocumented leading cause of death in any impoverished neighborhood. To harm each other is to carry out someone else's agenda while giving the appearance that our suffering is SOLELY due to our own hands. All the while these businesses are prospering at higher rates with little to no threat to their job security.
Those who live by the street principles have been brainwashed by the elders who were brain washed by their elders who were brainwashed by those near the Architect of this system.
Stopping the violence would conflict with their business interest. This is our responsibility to activate towards a promising change for our children and overall development of Urban Society.
KIRA: I ask the public to support these efforts by donating to The R.O.L. Initiative. Proceeds will be donated to a victim centric organization associated with victim/survivors of homicide in the Plymouth County District. Like T.R.U. said 'Reparations are overdue.
T.R.U.: With all due respect to his Presidency, Obama didn't bring the disadvantaged neighborhoods the change it needs to improve the quality of life. Which reaffirms that this is OUR responsibility to accept and progress towards as a collective, inclusive of voting for elected officials.
Plymouth County has one of the most racist District Attorney's Office in Massachusetts. The 2022 election is demanding of everyone's attention, and the appropriate actions must take place to ensure a more diverse and just society of leaders under the combined theories of Public Safety and Restorative Justice.
Our efforts towards The R.O.L. (Redefining Our Leadership) Initiative requires urgent attention and address to cause changes in policies that were put in place to further marginalize a population of people away from main stream America. A starting point in this civic duty is registering to vote and following The Public Air Conference who will be providing a status update as frequently as the progress may allow.
Shout outs to everyone contributing the advancement of 'The R.O.L. Initiative'.
KIRA: We furthermore invite any person(s) and or institution(s) with any interest in the progressive developments of Urban Society as a whole to part take in the elevation of “The R.O.L. Initiative”.
T.R.U.: "The R.O.L. Initiative" belongs to ALL of us, while still belonging to none of us. We have simply been entrusted with a responsibility on behalf of the entire nation of Urban Society.
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: We live in a neo liberal regime, where there exist a repressive apparatus that immediately zones in on the rise of any sacrificial servant leader or leaders with threatening attributes of a prophetic intellectual being. Many times, it is our own kind to eliminate any progress. While other times, during one's rise, the media is used to discredit, delegitimate, or assassinate the character of any said person or persons. Understanding that you have been in prison since you were 17 years old and that many of your constituents are also serving a sentence of their own, accused of some of the worst crimes against humanity. Do you have any concerns relating to ?
T.R.U.: Neither myself or any present stakeholder lack a familiarity with controversy, and in having such meritorious standing in our stride towards the peaceful and inshaallah effective address of Communal and Structural Violence, which is a common struggle through out Urban Society in America, it is believed that we will remain in unification with the masses in spite of. Hello world...meet the African American Coalition Committee (AACC).
KIRA: As indigenous people, we believe in Accountability, Reparations, Moral Integrity and Improving the quality of life for all, in particularly the life of the marginalized; which is so far behind in comparison to. In this safe haven of truth, and pursuit for justice, there is a peace, in knowing that our drive is fueled by a cause that is much greater than our simple selves.
T.R.U.: Shout outs to Rachael Rollins for being the First EVER African American Woman to hold the District Attorney seat in Suffolk County, Ayanna Presley for making history in her own right and their long term commitment to the AACC. The two of you and the rest of "The Squad" will forever have the power of the people and no one could ever trump that. (he laughs)
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: So T.R.U., what do you say to someone who may interpret your lyrics as being insensitive ?
T.R.U.: My condolences.....My condolences to everyone who has been affected by a loss of a loved one and pardon any harsh tone that may carry my expression of a harsh reality. I wrote the song through a specific language with a purpose and surely, it was written with ALL DUE respect.
And to all the mothers, please consider my intent to be respectful. My effort is to make a positive difference in our World Community. Today, I am presuming my role in this initiative is related to my purpose on earth. So "One time to all the mothers who lost their child to senseless street violence.....or the towers."
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: It is my understanding that the two men speaking to each other at the end of "City Lights Dim" are settling a harsh decade plus disagreement. What kind of indifference would cause the two men to hold such a grudge for so long to where it is still so relevant today ?
T.R.U. : I think it is very important to respect a man's responsibility to speak for himself but, as a spectator what I observe is a marvel detail, they were born on the very same day and it so happened that the recording session was booked on this day. A clear sign that a new journey has begun. Happy Birthday Gentleman !!!
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: Do you think people will understand the concept when some of your word phrase(s) may arguably sound like you are condoning some not so good behavior(s) ?
T.R.U.: I am aware that some of the listeners may abstract a line or two and present an argument as they so decide, however, it's art and the song is to depict an influenced mind set and the overcoming of it when the verse ends with "Rest in peace to the old me".
The effort is to cause someone who may still have that mindset to consider the examples of those who survived the dark side to bring an awareness and make a difference.
We as a person, are a live evolution who collectively form a single existence. We must rise above the constraints that were designed to eliminate our very own being and secondarily at worst, impede our progress in this world.
The song closing features notable and influential figures with a message of change, peace, love and, unity towards a common cause; for the sake of a greater good amongst the people most affected by communal/structural violence and systemic racism. We commend the two brothers for settling their differences and, may they never look back.
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: In 2018, you were featured in a CNN sponsored documentary film titled "American Jail" with Oscar Award Winning Film Director Roger Ross Williams. How does The R.O.L. Initiative tie into Restorative Justice ?
T.R.U.: Shout outs to Allison Williams, Adam Foss, Roger Ross Williams, His Film Crew and the rest of my Restorative Justice Young Men Exclusive group members for their contributions towards making it happen.
The R.O.L. Initiative ties into Restorative Justice in many ways, however I will briefly highlight two critical principles; Accountability and Reparations. We do not permit nor condone the Immunity Clause protecting elected officials from being held accountable like everyone else when having broke the law or when having consciously violated a person's Human Rights. Instead, we prefer Accountability, and in that Accountability are we able to genuinely validate the need for Reparations leading us all towards Restorative Justice. Shout outs to Alison McDonald too, she's still the homey.
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: Kira, I am interested in knowing is there an Artist or a Producer who you look forward to working with ?
KIRA: I look forward to working with and along side T.R.U. again. I am in full support of what he stands for. All that he stands for ties into what I stand for and what my purpose is here on Earth. I have a job to do for as long as I am alive. I believe in a humanity that believes in itself and I believe in purifying what needs to be cleansed. It would also be great to work with J. Cole one day. I think this work could run parallel to his, given that we are working towards a common goal.
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: Any last words?
KIRA: At first "City Lights Dim" was suppose to provide insight and shed light on a small but catastrophic chain of events in the city of Brockton Ma. but I automatically thought bigger than that because this is ultimately happening all over the country and to an unfortunately large number of people. It's important for us to treat the root of the issue or we will never grow out of this violence which has become a culture in itself but more than a culture it is a diseased untreated.
THE P.A.C. INTERVIEWER: During this time in American History, there is a momentum in Urban Society, and in that momentum lies an interesting platform to speak towards the enlightenment of a people regarding issues that have been affecting an isolated population for decades in some instances. Only this time, the whole world is watching. From Police shootings of unarmed black males to black on black violence, to the many institutions operating under discriminatory racial policies, isolated poverty, housing tax inflations, mass incarceration and more. What are the people of Urban Society willing to sacrifice in order to gain it all. If now is not the time to develop a cure for any disease untreated, a method of address to confront the issues of the people, or a directive to prevent any further damages then when, if ever, may that time come ?
KIRA: The time is now. Our community Leaders have a responsibility to identify the need areas and activate towards a promising change. If we need clean running drinking water then we need to come together in that cause. If we need renovations for our Public Schools then we need that! If we need more job opportunities in our neighborhoods then we need that too! We also need to support our sibling communities in their causes and back them up 100%. This is not just basic HUMAN RIGHT this is HUMAN LIFE we are talking about.
THE P.A.C. Interviewer: Kira, T.R.U., this interview has been a pleasure. The two of you are always welcomed. I hope the best for your current and future projects. Thank You.
KIRA:Thank you for having me. I invite everyone to follow and subscribe to me on Instagram and Youtube! (@KiraEtienne, “Pain I’m Happy”) I look forward to building a bond with everyone. Thank you for the support. Peace.
T.R.U.: If you agree that the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office should be investigated, sign the petition and unify to "Re-define Our Leadership."
Follow the #knowyoursmoke campaign
@KiraEtienne "Pain, I'm Happy"
Support The P.A.C. (The Public Air Conference), "Mass power", "The Emancipation Initiative", "Stuck On Replay" and "Deeper Than Water" efforts.
Read the 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitutional Law. I am asking all listeners to 'type it into your phone, and look it up right now.'
Drake and, D.j. Eezy, .......Wu-Tang Forever remix......"#CityLightsDim".
To listen to "City Lights Dim" click here: https://soundcloud.com/kiraetienne/city-lights-dim-tru-ft-kira-etienne
To listen to "Pain, I'm Happy" click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4AasqTmtR4
To Watch the "Pain, I'm Happy" Music Video press play:
Please support "The R.O.L. Initiative" in addressing Communal and Structural Violence!
To learn more click here: https://www.thepublicairconference.com/the-r-o-l-initiative
-To sign The R.O.L. Inititative's petition to investigate the Plymouth County District Attorneys Office please visit: http://chng.it/djgZShSj