From the days of commercialised homophobia and tough-guy emotionless masculinity, pop culture has at the very least made room for the dialogue of mental health and open emotional expression.
Multi-hyphernate creative King Lutendo produced, engineered and created the cover art for his latest EP, To Save Self – which delves into a tug of war between his ego and his soul, one fighting for emotional intelligence development through creative expression, while the other chastises the introspective discourse in favour of man’s Achilles heel: Pride.
The sonic narrative of the album is better understood as three therapy sessions with the production nuance of seamless transitions and the melodic compositions of one song feeding into the other with a slight change of detail. Notice the sonic sibling relationship between “Pity” and “To Tame A Storm”, “Fighting Through” and “The Ledge” – with the song titles building critical plot points in the grand story of unlearning
The rollercoaster of quotes, from “Ain’t nobody pulling up to your pity party/ RSVP inside the blues” to the more vulnerable, “Hard to reveal I rather hide and conceal/ anxiety is peaking I never really heal/ got an ego to protect my insecurity reveal” vividly depicts the grappling hold the socialization of masculinity has on Lutendo who struggles to deal with unresolved feelings without coming across as weak.
- Advertisement -
It is the confrontation of weakness that gives this EP character rather than its escape, and while “indoda ayikhali” (real men don’t cry/show emotion) is universally embedded into a boy’s upbringing to manhood, a man who cries lives longer, much like the evergreen potential of To Save Self.
Feature pic supplied by artist