In a dark 8-by-10 bedroom with pillows stuffed in every corner and blankets covering the windows, there’s a $400 microphone just waiting to record whatever you have to say- or in this case, rap.For junior Anthony Simms, this setting became a familiar one. It’s where he spent upwards of 16 hours recording his rap song ‘No Point’ for his Race and Gender class with the help of his producer, Scott Crawford.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much time goes into one song, even with how simple it is,” Crawford said.
Simms wrote the lyrics and developed the instrumentals for the song, in which he raps about there being no point to racism and the types of racism and hatred that are still going on today. It ranges from retribution of the Native Americans to the wars going on today, and all the racism in between.
“I’ve seen and experienced a lot of the stuff in the song. Being from Vermont, being someone of a small number of color, I’ve been pulled over for no reason other than being in an unfamiliar place at night,” Simms said.
He said his parents also told him stories of being harassed by the cops.
Simms didn’t write all his lyrics from experience, he said he learned some in his Race and Gender class.
“The class is really informative. I’m thinking about adding some more stuff about the Latinos and Native Americans, maybe something about the Mississippi Burning, something from Obama’s pastor. I have a lot of ideas,” Simms said.
The lyrics came easily to Simms.
“It was just messing around,” he said.
It was where to go from there that halted him a little.
“I didn’t have the tools, but I knew what I wanted,” Simms said.
That’s where Scott Crawford comes in. Earning his Bachelor’s degree in two years from Full Sail University in Florida, Crawford now has a studio set up in his father’s house.
“With all the new technology, you don’t need a large studio to put out a song. This was my first actual production. It was piece by piece. Each process is different according to the artist, but I gave him an outline and gave him free reign as an artist,” Crawford said.
After spending a lot of time in that tiny room, the song was finally finished, complete with a sample of the slave song ‘Wade in the Water’ as sung by the late Eva Cassidy to go with the chorus.
“I think the song is really well done. It has a good message, and thought invoking lyrics. Anthony took discussions from Race and Gender class and ran with it to create something he should be proud of,” said Simms’ friend Matt Bijas, a junior.
‘No Point’ isn’t Simms’ first step into the spotlight, though. He also has a video out called ‘C-Rock.’ ‘No Point’ takes a much more serious tone than that one, but Simms isn’t sure where he’ll go from here.
“I might make a music video for’ No Point’ as my senior project. I’m not gonna go and try and kick it to a bunch of people, but if they wanna do something with it, I have no problem with it,” Simms said.