Eskupe and Anthro provide Phora with the perfectly eerie beat, by way of a reversed sample, to express just how backwards life has him feeling. The most pronounced element in Sinner is the raw quality of Phora’s vocals, allowing his emotion, his turmoil, to scratch its way to the surface, almost grazing the eardrum of the listener.
The refrain, “I just feel like I’m losing myself” is evident in the desperation in the emcee’s voice, as well as explicitly in much of the lyrical content.
As the school year comes to a close and I get to know my students better, Phora’s lyrics begin to speak their stories and I can’t help but hear their desperation too. I guess that that’s the power in honest music, that it lives a life beyond its own context and offers a voice to those who might not know how to verbalize what’s going on inside.
Those of you, those of my students, in this place, we hear you, we see you, we love you:
“This for my people going through depression
This for the kids who never felt affection
This for the kids whose parents don’t accept them
Saying they love everyone else except them
I know what it’s like to feel alone
I know what it’s like to need a home
I know what it’s like to not know what it’s like
To have a love you can call your own”
“I just wish pops was back to how he was
Cause he ain’t been the same since the drugs
And I ain’t been the same since he said the worst form of pain is not being loved
So we use the drugs they gave to us
To replace the love the world takes from us”
Peace, Love & Hip Hop,
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