i cant take it, i cant speak.

“When I was a kid, I was a listener. Music was something coming out of a radio or off a record, something that made me feel these things I couldn’t explain. It was magical to me, and I thought it was something you had to be ordained with. I was writing poetry, and working on some bits of songs here and there, and I just knew I wanted to try to make somebody feel the way I was feeling when I listened.”

through brightly colored visuals of jamaican sunsets that dance to the sounds of reggae and bongo drums mixing with southern acoustic guitar, the touch of piano keys and east coast r&b, citizen cope comes in and out of conscious blending, immersing and escaping inside of music. his latest album, “every waking moment” was just released this week, sharing an introspection of himself in the barest way possible and an honesty that emits such an amazing energy of his own life story that you can’t help but listen.

brother lee

my first introduction to cope was from the song let the drummer kick. a few years ago, my friend had shared a story of losing someone special to heroin that secretly all went behind it. i can still remember his facial expressions, all the words describing the last day he saw him, the ways of listening to the song and the feeling that it meant absolutely everything. like a repeat of a familiar pattern, i havent seen my own friend in a long time. he struggles day to day with his own addiction and now its strange, whenever i think of citizen cope, i think of him.


1. to contend or strive,
especially on even terms or with success

2. to contend with difficulties
and act to overcome them

tonight i’m off to citizen’s show at the hammerstein ballroom in newyorkcity. in more ways than one, it feels like theres a strong reason to be there. if yr not familiar with his music, please listen to this performance from last year to get aquainted.. its been making me smile in humble anticipation all day.

citizen cope // live // 9.20.05
iron horse music hall, northhampton ma

If There’s Love
Hurricane Waters
Bullet and A Target
Nite Becomes Day
Mistaken I.D.
D’Artagnan’s Theme
My Way Home
Son’s Gonna Rise

Pablo Picasso
Is This Love That I’m Feeling? (Bob Marley)
200,000 (In Counterfeit 50 Dollar Bills)
Every Waking Moment

poster art by scrojo.

4 Responses

  1. Malatron

    Holla Northampton!

    I had never heard the music of Citizen Cope before this evening. Let The Drummer Kick played for me tonight via the Hype Machine. I came over to read your post and really enjoyed your writing, your writing on the band, and the music. Thanks man, job very well done.

    [residing in Northampton]

  2. B. Smithey

    I love art. My mother is a great artist and trained under Popolo from Ny. Somehow the artistic gene completely skipped me. I deeply wish that I could transpire my thoughts and realities into art like you do, but all that results is chicken scratch. Keep up the beautiful work!