By Lee Anderson
You can already assume from the title of Volcanic Grip’s new single “About Me” that it’s probably autobiographical. You can also assume that his real name is something else, though I’d love to meet the mother who would name her baby “Volcanic Grip.”
It’s a brilliant stage name though. It’s even puzzling as to how no one has ever thought of it before. Still--a name doesn’t mean anything unless there’s something truly good behind it. As John Lennon once said, “It's just that it means ‘Beatles,’ isn't it, you know? That's just a name, like ‘Shoe.’"
Where could such a name come from? Volcanic Grip’s Twitter account’s bio promises us: “Stories and fantasies of the Atlanta native's drug infused and adrenaline driven lifestyle.”
With this in mind, the beginning of “About Me” takes you completely by surprise. It’s an operatic chorus over a moody piano.
“I’m not good at pretending, no. Not anymore.” He sings high but without clothes-pinning his notes. The music is beautiful, but you can tell this isn’t going to be a happy story.
“Got green for my sleeping / Never popping the pink / Too in love with the coke.”
Volcanic Grip drops his voice, rhymes in Spanish, then sings: “Chaos, the infamy / And séance surrounding me / I pray of a day of / Hmmmm / So I can get higher and higher again.” The song is about him and he’s about drugs.
During the chorus, the drum beat fuzzes out, as if the drumskins hold BB’s on them. Buckshot maybe. (Not sure if this was so thought out, but just making note. It definitely works.)
Turns out “Volcanic Grip” is a name which means something and there’s something truly good behind it. He tells Hype Magazine: “I’m telling stories mostly of where I’m from or what people, where I’m from, would think about – earthly things or political things or challenging things that have to do with different taboos or things that a lot of people aren’t talking about.”
You can tell, fortunately, the addicted life is a life he’s leaving behind. He sings the lyrics of a survivor and there aren’t necessarily too many of those anymore.
Actually, the drug crisis in V.G.’s Atlanta doesn’t even make news these days, which is profoundly tragic for any city. Atlanta is especially hit hard, being situated directly in the middle of Tennessee, Alabama, and the Carolinas. This makes the city the ideal trafficking lane. A routine traffic stop in Atlanta once nabbed two cartel workers attempting to smuggle in $2.2 million dollars of heroin. It’s estimated that 13 out of every 100,000 Georgia residents dies from overdose.
So it’s a shame for such a great song as "About Me" to carry such a sad message. It’s the value of art though—to tell us the truth. To talk about what people aren’t talking about.
The SoundCloud artwork for the single is a photo of a woman’s naked butt.
To hear Volcanic Grip's new single "About Me," please click on the image below:
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