See also: Russell Pearce Blames Victims for Dark Knight Massacre See also: Russell Pearce Apologizes, Kinda-Sorta, for Dark Knight Massacre Remarks See also: Writer's Guild: Don't Call Mr. Miranda, MC Pennywise, Mega Ran and RoQ'y TyRaiD a "Supergroup" The individual artists of local hip-hop co-op The Writer's Guild are focusing on their individual endeavors at the moment, but they're constantly remaining cognizant of the world around them.
The group has released a previously unreleased single, "The Sea" in light of the mass killing that took place at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, over the weekend, The Guild has debuted the track in hopes of creating dialogue about not only the movie theater shooting, but everything else leading up to it.
Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, the quartet made up of Mega Ran, RoQy TyRaiD, MC Pennywise and Mr. Miranda, penned the song in order to vent on an array of social topics ranging from the Trayvon Martin shooting to student loan debt, racial tensions and the financial disarray plaguing the country.
"This track is needed today more than ever," Mega Ran says in a press release.
"We felt like we needed to get some issues off our chest," Mr. Miranda adds.
"Today, real life is scarier than any fiction novel; it's definitely time to make the people aware and spark some dialogue," MC Pennywise says.
Up on the Sun: What makes this the right time to release the track?
MC Pennywise: We actually recorded this song a while back. Music is a platform that intrigues the mind so with everything happening in the world today: the Zimmerman case, cyber bullying, racial tensions -- especially here in Arizona with its controversial immigration laws -- and of course the shooting massacre that took place at the Batman opening in Colorado. We felt this was a perfect record to drop to start a dialogue amongst the hip-hop community and really amongst our whole society.
Mr. Miranda: [We] just felt it was the perfect time to release it now due to how tragic this situation is, and the song's focus is to look for a change in this world.
There's a wide topical range in the song. In your estimation, how are these things interconnected with the Colorado tragedy?
MC Pennywise: I think the overall feeling and attitude we have towards our country and towards the world is based on how the quality of life as people of this society are living. Finances, racial tensions, pressure trying to keep with those around you and the feeling of uncertainty is definitely going to have an effect on our communities. When you put these issues together it can become a toxic cocktail, and unfortunately we get outcomes like what took place in Colorado to those innocent people. However that does not justify the actions of the suspected shooter in Colorado.
Mega Ran: We don't know anything about the guy behind the shooting so I don't want to speculate, but all we kept saying is that this sounded like a movie plot. Even the man's actions since he's been in custody -- the whole "Joker" persona he's adopted -- it's true that real life is often stranger than any fictional account. I couldn't even watch the Dark Knight movie without thinking about what those people went through in Aurora. What I'd do if it happened to me. Wondering where I'd go. It's forever going to be connected to that in our eyes. My heart goes out to them.
You say you hope to spark some dialogue with the track. Who do you hope starts talking and listening?
Mega Ran: We'd like for everyone to listen and not just listen, but to react. From the one percent to the 99 percent; from the oppressed to oppressors. Dave's verse for example expresses that frustration of the working man, who still can't make a living. Penny's verse discusses the same frustration but through the eyes of a man who isn't afraid to bend the rules to make it. We all know people that are frustrated and tired, and at that point of no return, but the average person doesn't have enough strength or resources to motivate that person to change. I've seen it as an educator and probably even more in everyday life. Mental illness is a serious drug and we need to stay aware of the dangers before its too late.
MC Pennywise: I really hope this record does spark some dialogue. Not just, "Hey this is a good song, I like the beat," or "Hey you guys can really rap." To me hip-hop is the voice of our society beyond entertainment and as artists of such an influential genre I feel it's our responsibility to give the people something they can take with them, a message they can expand on amongst their friends or people in their circles to promote being positive and looking deeper than the surface of "The Sea" to see what's really going on. Then and only then can we grow and maybe move away from the uncalled for violence, racial tensions and financial despair.
Mr. Miranda: The victims families and all of those who suffer from the topics we spoke on in the track is who we would like to listen to it and spark dialogue with.