Andraé Maxwell is a background vocalist on “A215-162” off the DIE JIM CROW EP. He also provides backing vocals on the forthcoming LP. Aside from singing, Andraé is a gifted visual artist and writer. Here are his thoughts and artwork inspired by “Tired & Weary,” track two off the Die Jim Crow EP. Andraé’s painting, inspired by the song, is titled “Enlighten Knowledge.”
My name is Andraé L. Maxwell, and these are my thoughts on the song “Tired & Weary,” written and performed by a close friend of mine…… Anthony McKinney. You can find this song on the “Die Jim Crow EP”!
The title to a man’s life “put in song” for the world to hear is just the beginning of a deeply rooted pain that prisoners, people kidnapped by the state, deal with on an everyday base. There are two ways to do time. First is by making your cell your college. The only downfall to that is, once you learn, there is no longer any excuse to why you don’t know about the oppressive state to which we unconsciously allow ourselves to be committed to. Second is hour by hour, day by day, and year by year, blindly going about your day as you no longer become a thought to the ones you call family. As inhumane living conditions become the normal thing, and abnormal activities are considered enjoyment, it’s wrong to have any kind of identity! Who, but the very ones that cease to exist to themselves, accept this lifestyle contently? People die daily in prison due to a lack of things to believe in. Years upon years of unhealthy interactions can detach a man from reality, and make him lose himself mentally, emotionally, and morally! Hope, with all its lived fullness, colorful enjoyments, and promising futures, can become a distant and possibly forgotten memory while being incarcerated.
I am an incarcerated prisoner in the state of Ohio. I refuse to follow the very orders that dictate me having to give up my nature, senses and abilities; and identity! I will not bend, break, nor compromise my well being to no one, and with no one. If need be, I’ll die alone, miserable, but still ME — before I submit to the very ideology that OUR ancestors died trying to overcome. I will remain me hated or loved, because at the end of the day…… I’m all I got! I can only rely on ME to protect me; to feed ME; to love ME; and to find my way back to the freedom in society the system says I’m not wanted in.
Who wouldn’t be “Tired and Weary” fighting to keep some dignity about themselves living in these conditions with no love, care, helping hand, encouraging word, sweet smile, or knowing that, “I DO MATTER TO SOMEONE OTHER THAN MYSELF!”
Enlightenment on the issues at hand, experienced first-hand due to my incarceration, has taught me that I have to STAND UP and fight for my own self. I’m 33 yrs old, and over the last 10 yrs, I’ve had more than 24 family members leave this earth…… but still I fight!
Thank you for listening to my pain.
Andraé L. Maxwell. #541-869