positive rappers

Lunch Break Concert #10 - Be A Dreamer

Lunch Break Concert #10 went down on Monday August 19th, 2019- Live From Austin!

I perform 3 of my original songs - Believe, Dreamer, and Influence. I also talk about what it means to be a dreamer and making sure you have the right people in your life who build you up.


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Lunch Break Concert #9 - Nesting

Lunch Break Concert #9 went down on Monday August 12th, 2019.

I perform two of my new singles - Perseverance and Nesting. I also do a cover of Bill Wither’s Lovely Day.
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Lunch Break Concert #8 - Letting Go

Lunch Break Concert #8 went down on Monday August 5th, 2019.

I perform 2 songs from my first album Welcome To The Fellowship. The songs are The Mess Around and H.O.P.E. I also do 90’s hip-hop classic - Jump by Kris Kross!
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Nesting Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

If you are still looking for the one, you are not alone. This song is for you.

Lunch Break Concert #7 - Gaspin' For Air

Lunch Break Concert #7 went down on Monday July 29th, 2019.

I perform 2 songs from my first album What Is Your Soul Motivation?. The songs are Dreamer and Gaspin’. I also do a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing.
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How To Find True Love In Life

How To Find True Love In Life

When I was little I used to think that love would come easy.  I would grow up, find the girl of my dreams, get married, have kids, blah blah blah.

You know how the rest of that goes.

I Want True Love In My Life

I dated a few girls growing up, but none of them seemed to stick around for long.  Sometimes I would end it, sometimes they would. But I always knew it would end eventually.

I even had a couple of serious relationships over the years. But they ended too and when they did, I was destroyed.

I do not handle breakups very well.  It feels like the end of the world and I have nothing to live for.  All I can think about is them. Every song reminds me of them. Every friend I have gets to keep telling me how great the other person is doing now.  Every place I go to reminds me of the places we used to go together.

What it really feels like is that the other person won and I lost.  

They get to move on, find someone else and live happily ever after while I’m left in the dust.  Crying alone. Spending every day missing that person until I die.

That’s how it always felt.

After you feel like that a few times, who would want to try again?  It’s too hard. It messes up my life too much. I have things to do.  Goals to accomplish. I can’t let some girl derail me like that every few months.

So then I started getting very cautious about who I paid attention too.  The next thing you know, I was alone. Month after month. Year after year.  

I would go five to six years without even going on a date.  Then I would decide to let someone in. Give it a shot. Meet someone really great, but find a million reasons to break up with them. 

Break up.  Feel lonely.  Wait another five or six years.

This has been my entire love life in a nutshell.  And now I’m 42 and still on my own.  

For the most part, it’s ok.  I like being alone. I am a very driven person.  I have some big goals. So I like that I have time and energy to focus on my career and life goals.

But I’m still a human being and I get lonely sometimes.

It’s hard seeing everyone around me paired up.  They’ve got what looks like “the perfect life” while I’m out here still trying to figure it all out.

I think humans are designed to nest.  We are supposed to find a mate, have some kids, buy a house.  That’s what we do. And we get a lot of joy and security from it.  

Nesting brings a lot of peace into our lives.  The question I have been asking lately is this…

Can You Nest Alone?

I’m not sure, of the answer.  But I feel like you can.  

I have an awesome house in an awesome neighborhood in an awesome city.

It’s pretty awesome. ;)

I love my home.  It’s comfortable.  It has all my favorite things.  It’s clean and functional. There is room for having friends over.  Family can stay with me when they are in town. I’ve built a really nice nest and it brings me a lot of joy.

But it always feels like a big part is missing.  

I don’t know if that’s because there really is something missing or if I’ve just been told so many times that there is something missing that now I think there is something missing.

You know what I mean?

In other words, am I really lonely or do I just think I am SUPPOSED to be lonely because I’m single?

The Secret To Finding Love

I think the answer is found in the core principles I’ve been writing songs about all year.  If I can practice GRATITUDE and ACCEPTANCE every day, then I don’t focus on what I don’t have.  I focus on what I do have.

And I have a lot.

If I can SERVE and participate in my COMMUNITY, then I am surrounded by love.  I live in ABUNDANCE of love. There is no shortage around here.  

If I choose to BELIEVE and practice PERSEVERANCE, then I can trust that God has a plan.  I just need to keep living the life He wants me to live. If that includes another person, then He will bring that person into my life when the time is right.

And if I am meant to live a single life, that is ok too.  God has blessed me with a higher purpose. He has given that to all of us and we don’t need another person to complete us.  We are whole as we are because God makes us complete.  

My life is bigger than just trying to pair up and have babies.  As long as I am following my true purpose in life, then I get to live a super fulfilled, rich life.

I am already NESTING.  And no matter what I do or where I go, I will have a home.  I will never be alone. And I think that’s the whole point anyway.

Nesting
The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records
Coming 8.1.19!

Lunch Break Concert #6 - Influence

Lunch Break Concert #6 went down on Monday July 22nd, 2019.
Click the button below to watch the replay on Facebook.

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Rap Songs About Recovery

Rap Songs About Recovery

I used to drink every single day at WORK!

10 Long Island Teas. 10 double shots of Grand Marnier.

That is how I would start every day at the office. First thing. Before I could get any work done, I had to down at least a couple of each.

Now, full disclosure, I am a full-time musician. I make money from playing music in bars and restaurants i.e. “The Office.” It may be one of the very few jobs where drinking is actually ENCOURAGED on the job.

Sounds awesome, right?

Not at all. I guess it is at first, but it gets old really fast. Because the more your drink, the more you NEED to drink to have a good time. It got to the point where I was living out one of the famous scenes from The Blues Brother’s movie. I would have to pay more for my bar tab than I was getting paid for my services.

And then afterward, I would spend the rest of my money at Taco Bell.

That is what we call an unsustainable business model. And it was. Both for my pocketbook and my body.

It got to the point where I was drinking at least 20 drinks a night and still not feeling a thing. I would throw up from all the shear intake of liquid, then turn around and keep drinking hoping that eventually I would get a little buzz.

Dude. What a miserable existence.

I knew I had to quit when I ended up the E.R. with severe heart palpitations. That was my rock bottom. And I walked out of that hospital and began my sobriety journey.

The hardest part for me was still playing in bars every night. Just because I wasn’t drinking, that didn’t mean i didn’t have to go to work. I had to sit there and watch everyone party around me.

It really sucked.

I was jealous and pissed a lot. I was probably not a lot of fun to be around either.

But it did get better with time.

Anyhoo, the whole reason I am telling you all of this is because one of the biggest saviors in my recovery has been music. I have been able to put all my struggles into rap songs about recovery. It has given me an outlet to pour all my emotion into. I don’t know what I would do without it. I mean, I would still recover one day at a time, but having music to turn to has been a game changer for me.

One of the first songs I wrote about my recovery was a song called “Pain.” As you might guess, it was a song about just how bad my life had gotten. I was in a lot of physical pain and even more emotional pain. I was struggling to see any hope or any way out. So I sat down and wrote a super honest song about it.

“Pain” was really hard to write. I knew if I was going to do this song, I had to be brutally honest. There are a few lines in that song that I still cringe when I hear because it takes me back to that awful place.

Here is one particularly rough part of the song for me to listen to:

“Every day is a battle of wills,
My body versus me and who's got the skills?
Will I get out of bed, able to walk with a high head,
Or will I need a wheelchair instead?
I have to choose if the joy of sitting down is worth the pain of getting up,
Man, writing that down and saying it out loud feels really messed up.”

It was true. I could barely walk and I was headed for a wheelchair for sure. At the age of 40 I was about to need a wheelchair. Not because of any injury or life-threatening disease, but because I couldn’t stop drinking and eating and I had gained so much weight that my body was crumbling beneath me.

One of the first songs I wrote after going to a food recovery retreat and starting to work the 12 steps of Overeaters Anonymous (same as Alcoholics Anonymous), was a song called “The Mess Around.” I wrote this song with my good friend Chela Mancuso.

This was one of the first songs I wrote when I started to see hope again. This was a fun one to write and record. I still enjoy listening to this one because it reminds me of the hope I have found in recovery!

The Mess Around is all about telling my former drinking buddies why I don’t drink anymore. Basically , get off my case, stop asking me to “just have one dude!” because I don’t mess around anymore.

The lyrics in the third verse really sum it all up:

“ I don't mess around anymore 'cuz I am finally free,
I don't need to impress you people, I can let it be,
And I don't need to escape and numb my feelings out,
I'm not afraid anymore, yo, you should check this out,
See there's a reason that you're here, just have to take the time,
Be willing, honest and sure to open up your mind,
And when you do, I think it's safe to say you're gonna find,
It's time to leave that mess behind, and time to shine.”

I am so thankful for all the songs on my Welcome To The Fellowship album. Each song chronicles a different aspect of my recovery. These songs were a way to get the pain out but they were also a way to express my hope and joy that was starting to come back into my life.

I still go back and listen to these songs quite often. They inspire me and remind me that I’m not alone on this journey. I am part of a “distinct entity” of folks in recovery and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this family.

I hope you know that you are never alone. You are surrounded by people who want to love you. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

And when you just don’t know what else to do, please don’t forget that music has the power to change your life. Find the music that speaks to you, turn it on and let it wash over you. Music has always shouted truth to me over all the lies rambling around in my brain.

It’s ready and waiting to do the same for you.

Lunch Break Concert #4 - H.O.P.E.

Lunch Break Concert #4 went down on Monday July 8th, 2019.
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Lunch Break Concert #3 - Believe

Lunch Break Concert #3 went down on Monday July 1st, 2019.
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Inspirational Rap Lyrics

Hip hop has saved my life more times than I can count. When I felt lonely as a child, hip hop was there for me.

I would sit in my room and listen to all my favorite rappers like Dr. Dre, Coolio, Cypress Hill to name a few. It was the 90’s, ya know. These rappers were my friends. They were there to encourage me. Hang out with me. And they inspired me to go into my own studio and create my own songs.

When I quit drinking, hip hop was my outlet to voice my frustrations. I could use this music to talk about how hard it was. I could also use this music to show others that it was possible for them too.

To this day, when I struggle with resentment, fear or shame, hip hop is a big part of the healing for me. There are so many songs that have inspired me over the years. I wanted to put some of my favorite inspirational rap lyrics together in a blog post and share them with you.

I hope you find as much encouragement in these lyrics as I have.

If I ever took a loss, I learned a lesson
I won’t ever think I’m better than the next man
I’ve been down before the come up, I ain’t stressin’
Baby I’m too busy countin’ all these blessings, blessings
— Lecrae (Blessings)
They try to shut us down, and it ain’t gon’ slide
Only thing I fear is God and He on my side
That’s the confidence of God, ‘cause He got me
That’s why I really feel like
You can’t stop me!
— Andy Mineo (You Can't Stop Me)
You only get one life
And every time you lookin’ at yours
You feel like everything you have is a waste!
And the problem and the reason you could never fill a hole in your life
Is because you were never awake
— NF (Wake Up)
But I can’t forget the motto, motto
No more mediocre, just getting by though
I’m in His image, I been down for a minute
But I’m getting up today, and I’ma fight till I’m finished
— Trip Lee (Clouds)
I got my full armor on, my head to the sky
I’m going into battle with my horns up high
And I’m through playing games; you can see it in my eyes
And you can go and ask anybody I’m a ride and I ain’t turning back
— Thi'sl (I Ain't Turning Back)
Take a hit and never quit
Might be down but never out
There are days that I fail
And the trains off the rail
Through the pain we prevail
Tell ‘em you just gotta live
— Tedashii (Gotta Live)
I’m a dreamer but I ain’t the only one got problems
But we love to have fun
This is our world, from here to your hood
We alive man, it’s okay to feel good
— K'Naan (Dreamer)

Community Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

I had a friend in college who always used to say "No man is an island." I mean, he said it all the time. And even though we used to make fun of him for it, we knew he was right. A life lived in isolation is sure to be a life of misery. We need people. We need community. I wrote this song to remind us all how true this is.

Community is Principle #7 in my 12 Core Principles to a happy and fulfilled life.

People Need People: The Role Of Community

I had a friend in college who always used to say “No man is an island.” I mean, he said it all the time. We used to make fun of him because he said it so much.

But even back then, we knew he was right. We knew that if we had to go through our college years alone, we would be miserable. We would probably drop out of college and move in to our favorite cardboard box.

There was no way we could do life without each other.

And then we grew up. My friends moved away. I started to believe that I didn’t need people. And the next thing you know, I am a 500-pound alcoholic living a miserable, lonely life.

What happened?

What happened is I moved to that island. Maybe not physically, but I moved there in my mind. After getting hurt once or twice, I decided I didn’t like that too much. I decided I was going to live with as little human interaction as possible. I mean, people were the problem, right?

If I just keep people away, I can focus on me. I can do whatever I need to do to be happy. I won’t get distracted by other people’s agendas. I can just focus on myself. That is what I thought my solution was. But I was wrong.

It turns out people weren’t the problem. They were actually the solution.

All this life of isolation brought me was extreme misery, depression and loneliness. It seems so obvious now, but I really couldn’t understand why I was so sad. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do to be happy.

I needed people. I needed people bad. And once I realized this, I started taking drastic actions. The first thing I did, and probably one of the best things I have ever done for myself, was I got a job at Applebee’s.

Now, this may not seem like the dream job, and for sure, it wasn’t, but what it was was a chance for me to meet people. Not only meet people, but bond with them.

If you have every worked in the service industry, you know it is hard work. And you are in the trenches with your fellow “Applebuddy’s” every day. There is a strong bond that is created with that.

And even though I quit that job years ago, I am still friends with a lot of those people to this day. That says a lot to me.

It says that I needed these people. And maybe they needed me too. We were all so hungry for connection and we found it at America’s favorite grill and bar.

If you are feeling isolated or depressed, I would challenge you to look at your community. Are you involved with others? Are you calling friends regularly? Are you going to neighborhood events? Are you talking to people at church after the service?

There are so many things we can do to bring people into our lives. I promise, your new friends are out there just waiting for you to say “hi.” That one simple word can change your life. It for sure changed mine.

And if all else fails, I know Applebee’s is always hiring.

Community
The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records
Coming 7.1.19!

Lunch Break Concert #2 - Abundance

Lunch Break Concert #2 went down on Monday June 24th, 2019 and we had a blast!
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Lunch Break Concert #1 - Welcome To The Fellowship

The very first Lunch Break Concert went down on Monday June 17th, 2019 and we had a blast!
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Some folks have been having problems with the audio cutting out during the video. If this happens to you, please let us know in the comments. We are working with Facebook to correct this. Thanks so much.

How To Find Your Self Worth

A big turning point in my life was when I asked myself:

“What if I just choose to believe in God? What if I choose to believe God is there and what if I just start to look for evidence of Him working in my life? What have I got to lose? I mean seriously, what’s the worst thing that would happen?”

I think I was scared of looking like a fool. Scared of people making fun of me. I felt like it was a waste of time to put energy into something that maybe didn’t exist. But the truth is, I was wasting my time trying to find another solution for God. I was wasting money paying for alcohol, food, girls, whatever it took to fill the void in my life. The void I felt was an absence of spiritual health. Whether you call Him God, the universe, or your higher power, I could feel that a big part of me was missing when I wasn’t connected to God. And trying to fill that void with other things was killing me. So the truth was, I couldn’t afford NOT to believe anymore.

Once I realized I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, I knew I had to make that change. I decided to believe and just have faith that God was there. And even more importantly, I decided to start looking for how He was working in my life. As soon as I chose to see it, it was abundantly obvious that He was working in my life.

I started a list of all the little “God things” that started happening. And as soon as I started seeing these things as God working in my life and not just coincidences, I quickly realized that God had been there all along. And even more, I realized how much I mattered! Because if almighty God is taking the time to work all kinds of miracles in my life, big and small, then He must love me a whole lot.

And if God loves me, who am I to not love myself?

How exciting it was to realize this! To know that God cares for me the way He does. God is providing all that I need. He is showing up in my life every day. It’s so amazing to see it! I know that I am supposed to be here and I know God has big plans for my life. That is huge. And I am so grateful that I can finally see that now! The evidence was there all along, all it took was me deciding to see it.

Perseverance Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

This year I am releasing a new song every month. Each song represents one of 12 core principles I have found to be the key to a happy and fulfilling life. Perseverance is the 6th principle and my single for June. It's also the hardest principle to spell. :) It is fitting that it is halfway through the year because it is all about seeing things through to the end.

It's a simple, quirky song that I hope inspires people to never give up. Home is always just one more step away!

Believe Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

If we want to achieve anything in life, we need to stop being so cynical. We need to allow ourselves to believe in something. I have lived on both sides of this principle and found nothing but misery while being cynical.

Once I chose to believe in possibility, everything changed. I want this for others who dream of changing their lives. If that sounds familiar, then this song was written for you!