William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

"Head Held High" rap Video with Paintings on YouTube

Fellow Art Lovers:

It seems to happen just about every day. I open The Philadelphia Inquirer or watch the local news on television in the evening, and I see a story about an innocent person, a bystander or someone in the wrong place at the wrong time, getting shot and often killed with a gun. Sure, this is a tragedy for the victims, their families and their entire circles of friends and other people who loved them.

But it doesn’t have to happen. Whatever the causes – accidents, mistakes, moments of rage, gang warfare, the commission of a crime, and all of the other possible reasons –the shootings should not happen. An innocent life is lost, the miracle of a human life is destroyed.

Maybe if we focus more attention on this tragedy and open more eyes to the pain it causes, more people will work on solutions.

That is what I am trying to do with my rap video “Head Held High.” (Use the Link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZXQgFA8nuk - I provided or enter William Kosman in the YouTube search line.)

I spend time in numerous Philadelphia neighborhoods while painting neighborhood scenes, sketching or taking photographs for paintings. Everywhere I go, people are friendly, helpful and respectful. They’re just folks trying to build lives for themselves and their families.

When we see a news item about a shooting, we turn the page of the newspaper or switch off the TV. Then, for many of us, our thoughts return to our own lives and concerns. But when violent death strikes any family, it stays with every member. Always. In great pain.

How did this video come to be? I was painting in one neighborhood, the scene you see above with the father and daughter, the bus and the train overpass. Then the idea came to me: Why not use my paintings to get an idea across? Artists have been doing this since they’ve been painting. And then more and more ideas just started coming to me. The text, which is imagined and does not refer to any real event. The paintings. (Except one painting, the one you see with the young couple and the baby carriage, you’ve seen before on my blog. That painting just seemed to fit in and illustrate an important idea. ) And most important, the idea of using a video with the text, my paintings and the music,and then using YouTube.

One note of deep appreciation. Jurgita Cenkute is a truly accomplished artist, and she did a wonderful job on “Head Held High.” Her video footage of the street scenes, her shots of my paintings, and – most important - her ability to form separate elements into unified work that I believe is clear and direct– she was just a true artist and great collaborator. You can see her work at www.photojurgita.com.

If you like the video and/or this blog, please share them with friends. If you have any questions, please e-mail me through this blog.

As always, thanks for your interest in my work and your support.


William Kosman

Head Held High ©

By William Kosman

Man, I got it made, on top o’ the world,

‘Cause I’m talkin’ the talk, but ain’t no way I’ll do the walk,

‘Cause it’s a pack o’ lies.

Paid my dues, they can’t abuse.

Man, got it all, head held high.

Sure’s a load o’ hogwash. But I don’t care.

Got my gals, they keep me goin’, in the sweet zone,

Got my Babe, Babe and me, we got it fine,

Then a wonderful day, outta the blue, something miracle comes along,

Little Sarah, that’s her name, she filled our hearts, just filled ‘em fine.

I know, I know, it sure, ain’t easy. Got the rent, got the bills,

Got the end-o’-the-month finance chills, livin’ our life day to day,

But I got it all, talkin’ the talk, ain’t no way I’m gonna do the walk,

Churning out the stuff at the hogwash shop,

But I know, got it all, head held high.

I know, I know what I got, got my ladies,

Got my Babe, and got my little girl,

The place ain’t no castle, I’ll tell ya that,

But comin’ home, got a rush o’ warmth,

Cozy little place, we’re so warm, and we’re so cool,

I know I got it made, struttin’ my stuff,

Man, I got it all, head held high.

Got it all, struttin’ our stuff, me an’ Sarah,

Feelin’ that hot little hand, Sarah’s little hand in mine,

Showin’ off my little girl, You got a smile for Daddy?

Bright eyes smilin’ at me, Man, my heart’s feelin’ full.

Got my ladies, got it made, head held high.

What’s up now? Sounds like firecrackers.

What’s up man, this ain’t the Fourth?

Then I look down, at my little girl, at my Little Sarah,

Red, man, I see red blood, and I’m fallin’ off the face of the Earth,

And I’m thinkin’, my little girl, just a few people, just a few cars.

And she’s saying, “Daddy, I’m hurtin’ down there.”

And I’m cryin’, ”My little girl.” I’m cryin’, “My little girl.”

Nothin’s goin’ good. There’s sirens, and there’s cops,

The ambulance drivers, they’re lookin’ away, it hurts to say.

Oh, God, it ain’t fair. Just one shot, and she’s gone.

It ain’t fair. Oh, God, roll this camera back, take this back.

Sleepin’ a lot less, drinkin’ a lot more,

Why’d they have to take her, my little darlin’?

But gotta keep goin’, that’s just the way,

Gotta talk that talk, oh hell, I jus’ can’t say,

Gotta keep goin’, head held high.

But, I know, somewhere in there, I got a knife,

Man, it hurts so much, it twists so much,

And, oh man, I’m feelin’, my heart’s gonna die.

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