Oddisee: You Grew Up

Written by Joshua Blue


In category: Song of the Day

Published October 4, 2018

British-American tenor Joshua Blue considers “What is America?” in this week’s songs.
Content Warning: All of the songs in this week’s collection contain strong language, and even stronger themes regarding the state of our nation. Content spans topics including, but not limited to: racism, immigration, police brutality, domestic terrorism, white supremacy, and intolerance.

“You Grew Up” is a look at the outside pressures that affect children, and in this piece men in particular, and how these can skew their views as they grow older. The two examples that artist Oddisee focuses on in this work are those of a young white man who grew up with Oddisee (a black man), and a young Muslim man. The way their family viewed the world, and the way the world viewed these men changed them into men filled with hate, and resentment towards the world. Resentment that exploded outward and took innocent life with it. It is a harrowing reminder that we can not always change the pressures that make life difficult, but we can try to change the outcome.

“You can raise a child in a house full of love/but can’t keep them safe in a world full of hate”

author: Joshua Blue

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British-American tenor and Toulmin Foundation Scholar Joshua Blue is a Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist with the Washington National Opera. Appearing previously in NYFOS’s Protest program in 2018 and 2018, as well as NYFOS Next, Mr. Blue returns to our Merkin Hall series on November 14 in W. C. Handy and the Birth of the Blues.


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