S-Endz, AKA Casey Rain The Neosoulja. Songwriter, vocalist, producer, rapper, leader of NEOFUNK. Vegan. Member of electropop bandSwami, co-wrote and performed on songs like 'DesiRock', 'Electro Jugni', 'Sugarless' & all songs from our upcoming album, "Upgrade". Sometimes I make documentaries.
I released my new solo EP "Chapter 0: REINKARNAL" recently and you should click here and listen to it. If you don't, you may die, of unrelated causes.
Like many people, I had discussions today about Frank Oceancoming out of the closet. In one online discussion, someone remarked that “it wasn’t brave” because most people “don’t care” about anyone’s sexuality and that it was not “a Rosa Parks moment”.
Here’s what I wrote in response. There was more I wanted to say, but I’m going to keep it succint for now. Feel free to engage me more.
"It was brave. How many out-of-the-closet males are there in contemporary hip-hop and R&B? With Frank and Syd both being openly gay I would say that OFWGKTA are now THE most progressive group in hip-hop. I already thought they were artistically anyway.
In liberal communities like you and I live in, of course we don’t care. We understand it doesn’t matter, but it isn’t like that in all communities. Think about religious communities that are conservative. That’s much of the black community in the US - Frank’s main fanbase.
And while it may not be a “Rosa Parks moment” as Ocean is hardly the first openly gay black r&b singer, it’s certainly considerable that he chose to do so just as his major label debut album launches - there’s room to be cynical about that too, but the fact remains that as little as perhaps 10 or 15 years ago it would have almost CERTAINLY had a detrimental effect on sales. People like Luther Vandross and Queen Latifah were never able to come out of the closet because it would have damaged their careers. It’s hardly a secret that Luther was gay and Queen Latifah is, but the general opinion of the time didn’t allow for them be open about it.
There’s some interesting points about artists such as Tracy Chapman and Me’Shell N’Degeocello not being accepted by the black community due them being lesbians. Me’Shell was one of the earliest torchbearers of what became the neosoul movement yet the credit generally gets given to her heterosexual peers - Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, etc. There’s some great points about that here.
In many ways, the struggle for gay rights and gay equality IS comparable to the civil rights movement. On a Western level, gay people have less rights and are legally treated as lesser beings. On a global level there are still many countries that kill people who are gay. This is most likely going to go down in history as the defining human rights factor and paradigm shift of our generation.
So whether it’s Frank Ocean coming out, Lil B releasing an album called I’m Gay (to show that “words don’t mean anything” without context) or even a show like Glee having openly gay characters in the main cast and storylines that deal with their issues as well as those of the straight characters…… these things weren’t happening on a mainstream level to such a high degree in previous decades.
So you can’t downplay it as not being brave or think that it’s not going to be an issue or talking point for people. That’s not giving the move the credit it deserves. It may not deserve as much discussion as it is warranting, on it’s own….. but it’s indicative of a large-scale and long overdue paradigm shift that frankly should be discussed - and heralded - as much as possible, given the fact that the struggle for equal rights for gay people is something that is ongoing. Just as we look down on the people of the mid-20th century for inhumane treatment of minorities, future generations will look down upon THIS society for continued homophobia and discrimination. It’s a total indictment on humanity as a whole and hopefully within 15-20 years won’t be an issue for anyone.”
Spent the last couple of days rehearsing and filming a live jam with the band…. It’ll all be edited and go out to promote our upcoming album later this year… Here’s a few random photos I took on my phone! We did a proper photo session also so those photos will hopefully be up soon too :)
My thoughts on the new Marilyn Manson album, “Born Villain” - it’s his/their best work in over a decade. Way, way better than the previous two albums, “The High End of Low” and “Eat Me Drink Me”. It’s brutal, intense, flows cohesively and has lots of good songs.
The highlights for me on the first listen - “No Reflection”, “Pistol Whipped”, “Slo-Mo-Tion”, “Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day”, “Born Villain” and the cover of “You’re So Vain”….
Both Chris Vrenna and Twiggy Ramirez’s contributions are evident all over the album, and Marilyn himself is in fine form. One of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year!
This is the second song, "Do U Wanna Come?" from my EP "Chapter 0: REINKARNAL". Download below, you can download for free but if you can afford to pay something for it, please do - you can pay however much or little you want. More songs from the EP will be released every 2 weeks! Scroll further down this page to hear the previous track, "Alone".
Do U Wanna Come written by s-endz produced by s-endz & simon “subs” duggal mixed, engineered and mastered by simon “subs” duggal at sub dub studios
"Do U Wanna Come" is an uptempo neofunk dancefloor jam, written by s-endz, produced by s-endz and simon "subs" duggal, a homage to classic 70’s funk likes james brown and the ohio players, but with a contemporary twist.
It was originally conceived in May 2008 at my home studio. I programmed the drums and played a synth bass part before writing all the lyrics. I did a rough vocal demo in July before taking it to simon’s studio, where he added a guitar part and some synth stabs, and we re-recorded the vocals.
The song remained mostly the same throughout 2009 and 2010, before we came back to it in mid 2011, shortened it down, re-did all the synth parts, and did the final mix.