Where we come from is one of the most foreseeably influential aspects of our lives. Not only do we not choose where we come from, we also can’t choose how it molds us. Our only choice in the matter is what we let grow from the influence we get from our roots – some choose to let it fault them while others choose to let it fuel them.
Story | Madison Lippincott
Image | Tish Hyman Soundcloud
Tish Hyman, Bronx born and bred, released her debut EP Dedicated To: earlier this month. The EP encompasses seven songs, all vastly different in tone and beat from the last.
Dedicated To: features her first song, “Subway Art”, which was released more than a year prior in March of 2015. “Subway Art” paints a picture for listeners of the harsh reality that faces those who take the subways in New York City.
The NYC subway system holds a reputation for being occupied by those burdened by misfortune and many of those struggles are confronted in the two short verses written and sang the Bronx native in “Subway Art”.
Lonely people whose broken dreams
Slowly became distant memories
Most of their prayers fall on dead ears in this crowded train
Hooked on drugs and I can’t get sober
I’m only 18 and my whole life is over
I’ve done been to jail 5 times, give me a dollar
I’m just hungry, I’ll take food if you got some
Anybody wanna buy my mix CD?
I need to feed my family, somebody help me
The thick layer of heart we hear in this song is carried over into the rest of the album. While Tish generalizes the struggles of the general New York City population, she takes time in her song “Dreams” to bring things back home with something that holds a great deal of importance to the young artist – her dream of breaking into the music industry.
“Dreams”, which is framed like an anti-love song with one partner focused on the relationship while the other is focused on their own personal goals, features Ty Dolla $ign. His solo verse details the struggles of being discredited as a new artist and what it can be like to feel as if no one around you has faith in your dream.
I’ve been dreamin’ ‘bout it, thinkin’ ‘bout it all day
My mama told me music is a hobby
My ex-girlfriend gave up on me, I never gave up
I kept smokin’ weed every day, then I came up
The freshman album includes her second and only other single “Home for Christmas”, which was released just ten days for Christmas in 2015.
“Home for Christmas” follows the running theme of confronting everyday struggles of everyday people. However, this track differs from most of the rest of the album because Tish gives a personal sentiment about her childhood in the Bronx.
Cause I grew up in the Bronx where half of them niggas thought
I would never make it out, no way
And my mother still there and my folks still there
Still hustling to get their bills paid
Where I see all of my cousins and best friends struggling
I feel some kind of way
And I ain’t going back until that’s something I can change
Dedicated To: wraps up with a particularly emotional track. “Lesbehonest” takes us through the dark and tangled roots of her childhood. From foster care to gang affiliation, Tish opens up to listeners about what she’s truly about.
It’s been a hard knock life since the day I was born
My pops would soon be gone
My mom would raise me on her own
When I was 6 years old, got put in a foster home
I was all alone, I learned the world was cold
While each song differed in beat and tone, it’s not hard to get lost in the central theme of this album. Struggle is something we can all relate to. Tish Hyman’s honesty is an inspiration to those of us who sometimes lose ourselves in the idea that fame erases the pain in your life. Her uprightness about her troubled past is admirable to say the very least.