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Chronic Schizophrenia by Wesley Willis

Chronic Schizophrenia by Wesley Willis

In the song Chronic Schizophrenia, by Wesley Willis, from his album Rush Hour, he addresses how schizophrenia impacts him and what he goes through. His album Rush Hour was released in 2002. Willis did live with schizophrenia and it made him hear things. In a Los Angeles times article Willis goes on say that, The demon makes my life terrible…late ’80s, I started hearing voices and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a disorder that can cause a person to hallucinate and see or hear things that aren’t real. Usually someone with this disorder affects their daily lives, as in they will not behave right or think normally.
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Willis came from a broken home in Chicago. He would move home to home and sometimes didn’t have a home. Next, he was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. He started to make music and was later discovered and signed to a record label. Willis did have a band called the Wesley Willis Fiasco, they made many albums. Willis was a punk/alternative artist, who would usually write songs about his schizophrenia and would mostly use his imagination. Willis did take medication for his illness and in the Los Angeles time article it states that, Willis typically carried with him a portable stereo with headphones and constantly listened to rock and heavy metal music, which he described as “”harmony joy music.”” He said it quieted the “”schizophrenia demons”” in his head. This what inspired him to create this because Rush Hour was mostly just his imagination taking over. Sadly, Willis then developed chronic myelogenous leukemia, a type of cancer that starts when cells go out of whack and the cancer can spread anywhere in the body. He then died in August 21, 2003 because of the cancer.
From all of Willis’s album, Rush Hour, critics didn’t really have much to say about. In all, Steve Huey, a music critic, did review it. He says that, Rush Hour isn’t a significant departure from Willis’ previous recordings with a full band. The musical backing still sounds oddly subdued, even canned, and Willis still takes long pauses in between his recitations. Somewhat surprisingly, Rush Hour doesn’t have the loopy celebrity tributes Willis became known for; he relies more on his imagination to conjure up lyrical scenarios. Other than that, Rush Hour is pretty much a standard Wesley Willis album, with enough bizarre connections to make it a slightly more amusing listen than some of his other records. Steve Huey, the critic, shows how he is respecting the artist and that his album is good because there is something to the album that gives it meaning. Also in Marcel Feldmar said, Rush Hour is a solid tale of one man. Driving, talking about Jesus, talking to God, having car problems, and passing by strange and sometimes ugly characters. Throwing in bits heard on televisions, and basically laying down a life that’s strange because it’s all so real. Not always easy listening, but something that should be listened to. True stories spoken word confusion, and yeah, good times they’re rock ‘n’ roll. This tell me that Rush Hour is something that is surreal. Also, this show me how that he is just really just a different person compared to other artist. I didn’t find out about Willis or this song until now. While, researching him most of his music is about his disorder and how he feels. When picking the song I didn’t think much of it. When doing my idp about schizophrenia I learned a lot about schizophrenia and what people can go through having this disorder. Though when learning about schizophrenia, when doing my idp I didn’t get see what a person with this disorder feels and how they see themselves and Willis’ song helped me see that.
The song, Chronic Schizophrenia, lines start by saying, My mind plays tricks on me every time I say something/It brings evil voices out of my head, and talks to me vulgar/Then suddenly I started raving. What Willis is trying say in these lines is how his disorder is messing with his head and how he hears voices, which are evil. When that happens to him he starts to go wild because of what is going through his head. After those lyrics he sings, Chronic schizophrenia/Chronic schizophrenia/Chronic schizophrenia/Chronic schizophrenia, these repeated lyrics symbolize his disorder and how its long lasting.
The next lines go on to say, But when when i have bad luck, I’ll always hear evil voices talking to me vulgar/Everywhere I go riding on the CTA bus, all i hear is vulgarity/I hear no music at all. These lines are saying that on when he is having a bad day he starts to hear the voices again. He then only hears rude or disgusting things. The next lines are, Chronic schizophrenia, which are just repeated three more times. Then the song goes and says, Riding in the streets with no music sucks/Everywhere I go, I cruise the streets being called an asshole/Plus I’m being ridiculed and called a bum and called stupid. Willis is saying how people treat him when in public because of what he does because of his disorder. Also, that it sucks having no music when going around because then he is able to hear the people and as seen in the second paragraph it says the music helped quite is demons in his head and he isn’t able to calm himself.
In the last lines in his song are, Pontiac, we build excitement. In the last line I had a hard time understanding it. I didn’t know what the word pontiac was. When researching it, i found on saying Pontiac was a, famous chief of the Ottawa who led an unsuccessful rebellion against the British. I also found that it was a car brand. By looking at all of the songs I could tell he was talking about the car because on one of his songs are titled, STP conked out my engine, which is talking about a car. So, I could assume that the line means that a Pontiac was his dream car and if he ever had that car it he would build excitement.
Ultimately, the song Chronic schizophrenia by Wesley willis is saying what he deals with living with his disorder and what it causes him to do. The song helps me and others see what a person with the disorder sees and what they actually feel when. Even though I have learned about schizophrenia and what it does. I also learned a lot analyzing the song. It helps give a different perspective and understanding what schizophrenia makes one feel or act.

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Chronic Schizophrenia by Wesley Willis. (2019, Aug 08).
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