positive rappers 2019

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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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.
Click the button below to watch the replay on Facebook.

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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)

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.

The Power Of Belief

“If I want to achieve then I gotta believe.”

There was a very specific, pivotal moment in my life. It wasn’t a wedding day or a graduation day, it was the day I decided to believe again. Not just believing in God, but believing in possibilities. Choosing hope over cynicism.

Somewhere along the path of life, I became extremely cynical. I think it happens to a lot of us.

When we are kids, the world is a magical place. Every day is an adventure full of wonder and joy. This is why kids never want to go to bed and can’t wait to get up in the morning. Their life is awesome and exciting.

And then we grow up. We get hurt a few times. And it all starts to change.

Fast forward a few years and we are miserable. We see the world as a dark, depressing place. We are trapped in a routine that never changes. There is nothing new to explore. No more adventures. No more excitement. Just work, bills and taxes.

Maybe we get out and do something fun on the weekend, but it’s short-lived and we are right back to our mundane existence on Monday.

This is when bitterness sets in. What happened to our life? We used to have dreams and goals. When did it all change? Why do we all of the sudden dread everything we have to do?

And that’s when it happens. That’s the day you become a cynic.

After crossing over to the dark side, there is no more hope. There is no more wonder. And any beliefs you had about the possibilities in your life, go right out the window. We start looking at the world as a curse instead of a blessing.

We make fun of people who look happy. We tell ourselves that people who have the kind of life we want just got lucky and we are not meant to have that kind of life. Nope. We are meant to be fat. Broke. Lonely. And depressed. That’s just the way it is for people like us.

What if you just decided to change that way of thinking? Right now. Right here.

What if you chose to believe? What if it is really true that our lives are a manifestation of our thoughts and if you changed your thoughts you could change your life? What is the worse thing that would happen if you just decided that you were going to believe in life again like you did when you were a kid?

That was the pivotal moment in my life. The day everything changed for me was the day I asked myself those exact questions. And I chose to go for it.

I decided to believe again.

Once I made that decision, I also had to keep my eyes and heart open to see the opportunities in my life. I had to fight off cynicism constantly and look for the good stuff. I had to stop making excuses and stop making fun of happy people. I had to try. I had to get up and do something. But if there was real hope on the other side, it would be totally worth it.

I can tell you now that there is and it was.

I started seeing doors opening. I started seeing different people coming into my life. I started having successes in ways I never thought possible.

Was life perfect and easy from then on? Of course not. But something was different. Things were actually happening. And the best part of it all was I started to get excited again. I started to have moments where I felt like a little kid. I had dreams and I believed that they were possible. I had a reason to get up in the morning.

I was finally living the life I always wanted. All I had to do was choose it.

Life sucks sometimes. There are plenty of people who will tell you that. And it’s true. But I’m here to tell you that there is a whole other side to life that is just waiting for you. You are meant to be happy. You are meant to be successful Your “luck” is just waiting for you to find it. I promise it’s there.

All you have to do is choose to believe.

Believe
The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records
Coming 5.1.19!

Serve: The Story Behind The Song

Click play below to hear more about my song Serve and the story behind the song!