“I’ve been battling a deep depression. I’ve been pretending I can handle all of this pressure. I’ve been alone with all of my money and all my possessions, but it don’t make me feel no better” – M.I Abaga (The Self Evaluation Of Yung Denzl).
M.I Abaga’s just-released Yung Denzl album can be described as a lot of things including an unconstrained confession. On the project, the rapper shares details of his battle with depression and self-doubt. Although the ninth track titled ‘The Self Evaluation Of Yung Denzl’ finds him speaking extensively about his mental health and all of its effects, the rest of the album also holds traces of his journey to self-worth.
As seen on his brilliant 15-track Rendezvous playlist, Yung Denzl also uses a sample transition technique as almost every track closes out with therapeutic words from a lady who Abaga has confirmed to be a therapist.
The excerpts from this enriching exchange with his therapist are sampled as epilogues to serve as a window into the mind of the rapper, a compass to steer the direction of the album and a manual to finding one’s self.
They are expository extras for everyone who is seeking to understand their worth and demystify the confusions of this world.
Here are all the therapeutic gems we caught in the album.
Track 1 – Do You Know Who You Are?
Therapist on the high standards and expectations placed on men by society: The world discriminates, the world is full of prejudice and bigotry and racism and hatred, its real. I completely agree with you and that’s the sort of explicit world (there is) against you. There’s more insidious world against you which I think is to do with socialization process.
The expectation of men to be the strong one is a hell of an expectation and it is actually terrible because; what do you do with all the real human vulnerability? And it goes back to what we started off talking about. You have to become the superhero, the big muscle man, but you are just a person. Some of you are strong, some of you are weak… you are just a person. And a full person has all the vulnerability in the world. We need men’s liberation, to liberate men from the shackles of having to be a warrior, and perfect, and a soldier and a killer and a big strong muscle man to just be a person.
Track 2 – Last Night I Had A Dream About A Hummingbird
Therapist on the opposition that comes with attaining great heights: Whence you become a hero, somebody will always want to shoot you down. It goes with the territory – the more you’re put on a pedestal, you will be shot down. There’ll come a point when you’re gonna need to become a fallen hero. It’s an inevitability and there’s also the thing about; do I step off the pedestal myself? Or do I wait to be shot down? And when do I step down?
You know words like “stepping down” are very profound… Do I stop when I’m up?
Track 3 – You Rappers Should Fix Up your Lives
Therapist on the loneliness that comes with fame: Isn’t it ironic how the adulation of millions can be so alienating? Which is kind of ironic in a way to be loved by many and feeling so alone. Because there is no intimacy. For them, you aren’t a person, you become an object of their fantasies, of their projections, of their idealizations, you aren’t really a person, and that is what celebrity is all about. It’s creating people into objects of adoration.
Track 5 – Stop! Never Second Guess Yourself
Therapist speaking to M.I Abaga’s fear of heartbreak or losing a loved one: Somewhere in your life, you have experienced abandonment and that’s what’s been triggered here. If it’s turmoil, it is not just about now, it’s about then. And you may not even remember it, but somewhere, you’ve been left alone in a moment which has left you feeling very vulnerable.
Track 7 – Positive Negative (+-)
Therapist answering to M.I Abaga’s confusion about betrayal and people’s opinions: This business of; “you are not as good as you were before, what happened” is part of that process – you just cannot afford to take it personally. And if you believe you are not, you would take it personally. And the people who are most likely to shoot you down are often your proteges. Once they have set off the feet of the father they need to shoot the father down, or the mother. And that’s what happens. It’s not really personal, it’s a way of empowering themselves. Just expect it, get yourself ready.
Track 8 – I Believe In Me, You Should Too, Believe In You
On M.I Abaga’s need to regain the approval and attention of his parent’s, Therapist says: You were abandoned. You felt abandoned and betrayed, and let down, “they don’t love me anymore”. That can be a moment of terrible process for children. So there you are, in your lovely little world, you’re their shining star, you’re the apple of your mother’s eye, possibly your father’s too… you’re it, you’re the one. And all of a sudden, your world is shattered, and that can be a moment of terrible process for children… Then you’re suddenly trying to reclaim their attention, reclaim that you are important, I am loveable, I’m not on the edge, and I haven’t been abandoned. It opens up such a deep emotional hunger inside one. And you live with it for the rest of your life sometimes.
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