Letters to myself (or, it’s time to head to the jungle for self-reflection) Derrick Broze February 20, 2018 1648 I mentioned before that I celebrated my 33rd birthday in Costa Rica. I was blessed enough to get to know the community at Punta Mona and see what exactly a nearly totally off-grid, sustainable community lives like. While I was in Punta Mona I had many insights into how I want to spend my coming year and my life in general. One of these insights was the fact that I want to push myself into new areas I have not previously explored. This includes taking more time for art. I consider my words (via writing and speaking) to be my main form of art. However, I also enjoy painting, coloring, and I have always been a musician. I love drumming, screaming, singing, and performing. I have played in many bands and currently I am working with a couple of friends to begin playing live again during 2018. However, one form of artistic creation and music which I have always had an interest in, but never explored, is hip-hop. Specifically, I have an interest in creating poetry that can be performed to a nice trap, soulful beat. I love trap beats (the snare and the bass) but I have always noticed that most of the artists who perform this style do not have raising consciousness in mind. The lyrics tend to focus on using and selling drugs, promiscuity, and a general unconscious mentality. Despite my love for the beats, this does not vibe with me. I have desired to bring conscious lyrics and introspection to the soul-trap/jazz-hop subgenres. While celebrating my 33rd birthday at Punta Mona I realized I am fully capable of doing such a thing. It was at that time that the name Thirty3 came to me and I decided I would make writing, recording and possibly performing conscious hip-hop under the name Thirty3 one of my goals for 2018. I have started practicing with different instrumental beats just to see what comes out. I have recorded 3 rough (super rough) songs so far and I love it. I turn on the music with no idea what I want to say and no lyrics prepared. All of a sudden, my mind begins to release sentence after sentence of introspective thought. It’s been fun, though I am not sure what exactly I want to do with it. It feels good to release. The lyrics and theme of Thirty3 center around my former drug addiction, my depression, and the period where I tried crystal meth (January 2005) and ended up getting arrested and going to prison (November 2005). As you can imagine, these lyrics are not always the optimistic, joyful Derrick Broze many of you have come to know. They center around my pain related to my lack of a relationship with my birth father. This is where nearly all of my painful experiences in my life can be traced back to. I have been referring to my Thirty3 songs as “Letters to Myself”. To be certain, they are messages meant for my birth father, but ultimately these songs are letters to myself. They are meant for me to release the burden I am still holding onto, so I may continue to heal. Also, I am currently sitting in the airport in Mexico City preparing to fly to Costa Rica to speak at Envision Fest. After Envision wraps up I will be spending ten days alone in Costa Rica, much of that time in the jungle. I plan to write my father a letter. It’s been a couple years since I saw him face to face. He is currently back in prison for his latest drug charge. My grandmother told me he will be released again in April. I don’t know what to expect from this latest release. I have long since let go of the possibility of some sort of family reunion where all is perfect. However, I do know that I need to work to get my own healing if I want to continue to grow. So, I am writing him a letter and I am writing songs about the relationship. I don’t know that he will ever hear these songs, but I will send him the letter. I also know that I cannot base my feelings or growth on his potential response. I have done that in the past and it caused me great pain. Therefore I truly see this as an opportunity to find some solitude, connect with mother earth, and write honest, open hearted letters to myself. Thanks for listening, Steemit!