By Jessica Helen Brant
Resisting temptation isn’t easy, especially in the music business. Especially in the hip hop music business.
“There is no pathway ahead of me, so I trail blaze / play this game with integrity, let them no there’s a way / Yeah they say that you’re conscious, but you ain’t selling / Start selling they say you ain’t conscious / I just wanna give them an option, I just wanna break out of these boxes.” Rapper Quincy Davis reveals in a YouTube behind the scenes video for “All I Know” that he is referring to the youth he works with for his non-profit arts initiative, Cypher Cure, and the foundation’s mission statement, which is to drill into children the idea that they can achieve their dreams and make it in the music industry without losing themselves to outside influences.
In the artist’s own words,”All I Know” was inspired by a conversation he had with a Native American elder at a ceremonial house on the coastal area of Washington: “He said this thing about the one thing that can pull people off of their path, people who are in positions of leadership or public notoriety, the one thing that really takes people out is temptation. He was relating this to a story of things that have hurt [his] people and that was when the leaders succumbed to temptation. The way he was sharing it really connected with me. This project speak on that.”
“All I Know,” is a conscious art statement filmed in three separate countries: Berlin (Germany), Cluj (Romania) and Portland, Oregon (US). The video is an internal critique on an outward Western society obsessed with the broadcasting of violence, pornography, and the exploitations of addiction. The artist positions himself amidst this larger obsession stating that “People go about wanting to see this stuff [violent movies, TV] because it’s like scratching an itch, but it doesn’t actually heal [their] trauma.” The artist provides commentary on the self-destructiveness of modern society and the concept behind his work here.