Making Music With A Meaning

Making Music With A Meaning

The inner-makings of serious and passionate driven lyrics are making their debut. They are the expressions of a talented young music artist who introduces himself to us as S.A.I.Y.A.N. With the recent 2006 release of his new album “Son of Blood” he’s got a message that he’s ready to share {{more}} with the world. Very early in our interview, Cooks says this, “ The message that I have, has been with me since birth.” Originally from East Texas, Cooks was born in Marshall. He presently resides here in Abilene Texas, as a senior Broadcast Journalism Major at ACU. When speaking of school, he mentions his late mother, as being a driving force and motivation for him to succeed. She went to school to become a LVN. “ I have her plaque she earned from jr. college on my wall in a frame.” He feels encouraged every time he looks at it.Different from most rap lyrics heard today, Cooks’ message is one of great depth. S.A.I.Y.A.N.’s words cause ones mind to ponder and to think about life itself and what it is like, being black. “ I’ve been touched by Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and a lot of the great revolutionaries.” Says Cooks. Throughout “Son of Blood” he mentions their contributions and includes exerts of some of their famous speeches. He too considers himself to be a revolutionary. He believes in the power of Blacks supporting and lifting up one another through encouragement and hard work. He speaks about truth in his lyrics. “Truth is long overdue”, and he continues saying that “it is only in offense to those who are ignorant of it.” “As a rapper, I’m a speaker,” says Cooks. About the motivation for his lyrics, he tells that everything he says is what he’s wanted to say for a long time. “It’s just a better way to say it.” Cooks says that with every creation there comes a purpose, adding this “The creator gives me my words.” In the art of his expression, Cooks not only writes and raps but he also makes his own beats and does so for others. Even though he has written for more than 4 years, it wasn’t until last summer that he began creating beats. A good friend of Cooks mentioned to him one day, the idea of being able to run his own show. While experimenting in the studio and wanting a more personalized sound, he made it happen. Simply put, “No one can define for you your own sound,” he says. Not stopping at that, Cooks has an entrepreneurial interest and would like to do more with his talents. “ I want to have my own business with my music company. I want to dictate my own future…rather than some other record label.” He adds. This is part of one of his ambitions that already come to fruition. Cooks started his own label earlier this year called New Error Records. This is the label in which “Son of Blood” was produced under. Noting that many times we get discouraged when we have to start small, Cooks says “There will never be any progression until we struggle.” He tells me that on his 21st birthday this past December , he had an epiphany. This title was inspired by the phrase “New Era”. He chose Error, after considering a common stereotype that is assumed about African American males, according to society. “ You have some type of blemish on you when you make it to 21”, he states. He elaborates saying, “I should be in jail, have some type of felony, or have somebody pregnant.” This is a common portrayal of African Americans in many movies and statistics. “When you think of Error, something went wrong. I’m suppose to be on drugs…somebody calculated it wrong.” Emphasizing that the miscalculations do not have to be your truth. Cook’s makes mention of his late mother’s battle with cancer. Stating that the doctors gave her only six months to live, but instead she survived an entire year, despite her forecast. Defying the odds in times such as these, is solely what this record label’s name is based on. Ending this topic with one statement, Cook’s says this “If you are alive, and somebody said that you wouldn’t be… they made a mistake with the calculations.”The title of S.A.I.Y.A.N’s album, “Son of Blood” represents a lot of who he is, having much depth, truth and meaning. The album consists of 16 different tracks with various different artists. He names it this because he says, “I am a descendent of the blood that was shed from my people.” Cooks refers to himself as one of the fruits from the struggle of black people. He goes on to mention, “I’m just that piece of the equation, a plus sign that will add-to.” In addition to his history, and the mention of struggle, his songs also speak the truth about family. Addressing the issue of fatherless and motherless homes today, he gets one to think of the effect on our children today. Cooks also mentions the burden placed on children born into these ready-made environments and the poverty that can accompany it. He challenges individuals and addresses the lack of seeing faithful commitment in marriages today. Driving home a very important point, he comments, “The family is a unit, and when one person drops out, you’ve gotta hold up the extra weight.” DJ Switch, the CEO of www.Chopcity.com has played a vital role in the production of the CD by designing the album cover. He also presses and wraps the package up. He has been promoting Texas talent for the last ten years and is paving the way for both established and up and coming music artist. DJ Switch sometimes called “Switch” helped promote Cooks on some of his mix tapes. The first CD Cooks appeared on was in December 2005 and it was called “Texas Certified” and the second one is “Abilene Representers”, both produced by Switch and released back in March of this year. As a Promotional Manager, he has also helped Cooks to get his album on the shelf in Hastings-Book, Music and Video Store. Switch comments on Cooks’ talent, “He does his own thing, he’s incredible!” In reference to “Son of Blood”, he says that “you either hate it or love it…there’s no in between and I loved it!” Switch mentions “It’s so extreme, but yet, it’s so true.” Switch goes on to say this…”It’s got a lot of substance in it, and I think a lot of people need to hear it.” Cooks is searching every avenue that he possibly can in getting his album out there. On campus you may catch him selling it to students. It’s alright to admit that you’ve got to start somewhere. Switch mentions that he knows rapper Chamillionaire and remembers when he was just selling his music out of thin CD sleeve jackets around Houston and today his name is internationally known. . Cooks tells that his message is for all people. With 70 to 80% of his sales coming from his Caucasian peers, he notes that when sharing his message with them, they too feel inspired. In addition to Hastings, if you are interested in purchasing a copy of S.A.I.Y.A.N.’s album “Son of Blood”, you can check him out at www.myspace.com/saiyan3084 Throughout his album, Cooks has had some valuable contributions to his music through the collaboration of six other talented artists. Giving much respect where it is due, Cooks says, “Each person on the album, I have great respect for.” He tells me that working with each of them was a different experience. “It was fun and a lot of work”, he says with a smile. Without holding back, Cooks says, “I made them work extra hard.” He says that each and every last person on the CD was humble. “It impacted the songs so much more”, he states. Cooks was able to work with all three rappers from group First Class, who just put out a CD this year entitled “In the Mix IN ‘06” as well as one last year called “Goin’ Live in ‘05”. Their names are Breezy Ali, G-Phi and G$. With amazing contributions to this work of art, I wanted to get their take on working with S.A.I.Y.A.N on this particular album. G-Phi refers to Cooks as “extended family”. He has collaborated with him before on other albums. “It was cool.” Says G-Phi about working on “Son of Blood” with Cooks. He goes on to say, “I really respect who he is, his values and beliefs…”G-Phi says that with different views, “I challenge him and he challenges me.” G-Phi raps on the song entitled Breaking the Chains. He goes on to say, “He’s more particular than most artist. He’s a perfectionist, and that’s good.” Noting that Cooks has more creativity than most artist, he says that it is definitely a great album.” One thing that he respects about S.A.I.Y.A.N. is that he will always be true to himself. Rapper Breezy Ali is featured in a song called The Black Cobain. “Working with B.cooks aka SAIYAN is more like history in the making for me….I know we both have great futures destined for us, and I think its just a matter of time before the either one of us takes it to the next level.” He tells of their frequent joking during collaborations between the both of them and each one referring to the other as his “understudy”. With many well wishes from Breezy Ali, we are bound to hear from the both of them in the future. On the side of singing, Cooks features two great back up singers. The first is June who has formerly sung on the album “Actin Bad” with hits, Love Me Now and Hustle on My Grind. In his contribution to “Son of Blood” he sings on a song called Don’t Give Up, a message that is true to his own heart and one that we can all relate to. “I liked the freedom that Cooks gave me. He allowed me to make up the hook on this song” “ I felt like this was a message was for me. He mentions that Cooks was ready for him in the studio and all he had to do was listen to the words and sing freely! And last but certainly not least, singer E.P. gives a heartfelt tribute on the song A Matter of Time . “When I showed up, he already had all of his tracks recorded.” Says E.P. He goes on to say this about Cooks, “ As an artist, he’s different from all other rappers. He’s not just trying to be a club rocker…he’s also got a message.” “He gave me a lot of creativity in doing the hook. He gave me the freedom that I needed in order to do as well as I did!” Concerning S.A.I.Y.A.N.’s content E.P. adds this, “ For some he may be real controversial. I respect him for being that up-front. I respect him for not tip toeing about the issues.” He says, “As a person you couldn’t find a dude more real with you.” He mentions that he’s very passionate about his music and life in general. “You can feel that in his music.” Ending with this he says, “Since I’ve been at ACU, this is his third album he’s evolved as an artist. Some don’t grow and so forth. You can hear the progression in the lyrics and CD’s as a whole.” If you’re interested in contacting S.A.I.Y.A.N. to let him know what you think about his album or his story, feel free to contact him by Email. His address is saiyan3084@yahoo.com