Chicago based artist Tony Briscoe AKA The Endurer is a youth minister, award winning spoken word artist, emcee, technologist, and proud husband and father. In preparation for the upcoming debut of his new album entitled The Journey, we got a chance to ask The Endurer about inspiration behind this LP and what we can expect to hear.
ASR: What is the theme of The Journey album?
E: The theme of the album is a heavy focus on sharing my life and victories that always follow a struggle, while at the same time addresses some issues pertinent to our current community and political climate.
ASR: Tell us about the process of putting together the album; any collaborations?
E: The process is a life time of work, but specifically once my wife encouraged me to follow my dreams and don’t worry about failure, it was a three-year process. The main collaboration on this album is the song “Soul Restoration” with the wonderful Alicia “Restore” Spikes. She also designed the CD and cover art for the album.
ASR: You cover some heavy themes in this album, what was your motivation to make songs like “He Loves Me” and “Deliverer”?
E: In “Deliverer,” there’s a line that addresses watching my mother get brutalized in my early childhood. I remember her being beat so bad one night that she couldn’t even put on sunglasses to hide how swollen her face was. That’s [also] the driving force behind “He Loves Me.” “Deliverer” was inspired by Eminem’s “Cleaning Out My Closet.” I was in a really dark place with family at the time; the re-emergence of my biological parents in my adult life and the sibling challenges that often arise in those relationships.
“The Lord gave me a gift of the pen and ‘Deliverer’ is part of that expression and keen insight into who I am.
ASR: Do you have a favorite track on this album?
E: “Soul Restoration” is my favorite because it shares [that] without Jesus Christ I am nothing. Every victory, every failure, everything done to me, everything I’ve done to hurt someone else, the Lord has loved and forgiven. His grace, peace, and mercy have covered me. Without Him, I don’t exist and neither does this album.
ASR: What do you want listeners to get from this album?
E: I want them to get a few things: I want them to see that childhood pain and past mistakes do not have to dictate your future. I want them to see that Christ lives and you can have fun, a craft, and a gift and still be a Christian. I want them to walk away with a sense of seriousness about the issues faced [from] childhood abuse, depression, societal problems, [also] a sense of hip hop that is designed to make your heart think as opposed to making [your] legs dance.
ASR: How do you describe the genre of music that your work is in?
E: That’s a very good question. I have it listed into the Christian Hip Hop category because that’s the core of me. I’m not confined to speak on one issue over the other. People who know my life understand that my faith walk is everything to me. For people that are exposed to my music I want them to know and feel that this guy isn’t just spiritual—he’s a Christian and he makes quality music that will provoke thought and light a fire inside them to expose darkness that has kept them bound.
Indeed The Endurer’s tracks on The Journey album are thought provoking and stirring. The transparency in his lyrics take the listener on a journey of self reflection of what God has brought them through in life.
The Journey album is now available on iTunes!
Listen to The Journey Here