By Charlie Maybee
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Richmond-based rapper, Ant The Symbol, released his new album Ant Hasn’t Heard Of You, Either, which oozes introspection within a steady flow of thoughtful rhymes.
A highlight of the album is the song “Protect Your Peace,” where Ant unloads some severe emotional baggage while demonstrating how he has persevered because of his ambition to live a full life. It seems like the lyrics may have been written in response to a specific person.
As he specifically references the murder of his pops and sister early in the song, he also points out that “we come from the same streets” but “we are not the same” as a testament to a specific person from the same area who was not able to overcome similar challenges.
As the song continues, there is a recurring phrase in the chorus where Ant The Symbol bemoans the endless capitalist lifestyle: “Every job that I get making decent cake / Every day I’m doing shit I hate.” Ant The Symbol is keenly aware of the systems that keep people locked in place, but he keeps pushing through by repeatedly focusing on his growing family and the loved ones who continuously support him in moving through the capitalist machine with an emphasis on thriving over surviving.
At the end of the day, “Protect Your Peace” is about Ant being able to cut the unnecessary baggage loose that has been holding him down and focusing on the things he truly cares about.
“Protect Your Peace” and Ant Hasn’t Heard Of You, Either are both available on major streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, and Bandcamp.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
As the leader of nineties pop rockers 4 Non Blondes Linda Perry broke down barriers in the male dominates music business and created one of the decade’s most catchy songs: “What’s Up?” Perry released one stellar album with the band before going out on her own.
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