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What to do when you can't express yourself

Image Credit: A.I The Anomaly

10th Feb 2020
Tags: Music News Identity Mental health Self-worth A.I. The Anomaly Rap

xRhythms listeners will currently be enjoying several songs such as 'Oubliette' and 'Miss Me' from the ‘BLNKNVS’ album by rapper from Buffalo, New York, known as A.I. The Anomaly.

A.I. has risen from the most difficult of upbringings.

Real name Aitina Fareed Cooke, A.I. has risen from the most difficult of upbringings to become a critically acclaimed rapper and photographer. 

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Recently she told xRhythms how she gradually escaped the dark shadows of her early life when she lost her mother. 

“When I was about six we all had to go for counselling to try to cope with what happened. I was diagnosed as emotionally handicapped. I was also labelled a failure to thrive due to the circumstance of my mother taking drugs while I was in her womb.

It was really difficult for me to express myself.

"There was a counsellor who noticed that it was really difficult for me to express myself. So she gave me a pen and paper and told me to write down my feelings. I’m six so I’m just drawing pictures, but I enjoyed that outlet and that outlet turned into me writing stories, creating characters that were me but I was able to hide behind that character and create a world in which no one knew I was screaming out."

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"They read about that character so it allowed my emotions to come out. As I developed throughout school years I learned about music, theatre, photography, film and all of these different tools allowed me to gain my voice.

I could interpret my emotions through theatre. I could translate it into storytelling.

"So what I would say is you’re going through difficulties; when I was going through difficulties it was heavy and I felt no one could understand the emotions and I also felt that no one really listened. But I could interpret my emotions through theatre. I could translate it into storytelling, into photography, into film and that allowed me to get it out.” 

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When she began her voyage of discovery she was eventually able to learn about the life of her birth mother. It turned out she was much, much more than simply another dead victim of drugs.

“My Mom wasn’t this negative figure that I would hear so much about. My Mom was a beautiful, intelligent, intuitive, smart, educated woman who had some issues that she tried to cover up with substance abuse.

I thank God I was able to have a different story.

"Unfortunately, a lot of my family dealt with addiction. Discovering those things is bittersweet but ultimately I have grown and developed and thank God I was able to have a different story.”

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