I am dedicating this blog post to someone who was once hailed "New Zealand's best MC", "New Zealand's top rapper". I heard that Scribe, the Crusader had applied for funding from Creative NZ to assist with a new album. He talked about wanting to make more music for his fans and ultimately for himself, and who can fault that? A creative artist has a hunger and a drive to produce music, an extension of himself, an expression of his thoughts, feelings and dreams. The sad news is, Scribe was unsuccessful with his funding application.
The song Eye of the Tiger by Survivor comes to mind when I heard about this story.
Scribe has faced many challenges in the New Zealand music industry. It's a difficult market to get into and it takes a whole lot of hard work to get your music out there, to promote your music and make a real go of it for a living. When Helen Clark was Prime Minister and also the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, I remember there was an artist's benefit that would assist performing artists and visual artists (maybe even designers) if they were stuck in between jobs. At the time I thought this was really neat because it meant that at least Aotearoa would enjoy beautiful music, dancing, acting, paintings, sculptures, photography, designs that we could appreciate and help to sustain our love of humanity through emotional, social even political expression.
As the ultimate resilience or survivor song (ha, just realised that it's the name of the band as well), Eye of the tiger teaches us about getting up every time we get knocked down. It teaches us about being hungry for something, that if we want something bad enough, we need to work hard at it until we achieve it. I am a staunch believer of the mantra that "things worth having are never easy", whether it be a relationship of any kind, a career, a qualification, something that requires you to almost give so much of yourself it may consume you (or kill you if you let it).
It's the eye of the tiger
It's the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he's watching us all with the
Eye of the tiger
Our rival might often be the very thing that we are trying to "conquer" or achieve in our lives.
This personified rival may come in the form of obstacles or pit stops along the way, but we must persist if we are to become the last known survivor. I like the last few lines about watching us all because this tells me that while we may also have our sights set on achieving our goals and dreams, there sadly might be some people who present themselves as obstacles while you are on your quest.
Rising up straight to the top
Had the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive
Keep these lines from the song in your head as another mantra to sustain you.
And I know Scribe will rise to the top again, because he has the will to survive.