Chris Orrick Finally Unmasks And Faces The Music (Video)
Hailing from the blue-collar pastures of Michigan, Chris Orrick is an MC whose latest album, Portraits, makes a strong case for the value of intense reflection. In January, he announced he was retiring his former moniker (Red Pill) to opt for his given name, after learning of the existence of a troubling Internet movement also using The Matrix-inspired “Red Pill” as its title. Though his three previous LPs—Day Drunk, Look What This World Did To Us, and Instinctive Drowning—have all been fiercely meditative, Portraits stands tall as the Mello Music Group rapper’s most deliberate. Among the album’s producers are Apollo Brown, Exile, L’Orange and Nolan The Ninja with guest appearances from Fashawn and Verbal Kent.
Each of the songs on Portraits is a look at life through a different lens, all of which ultimately lead Chris to a clearer picture of himself. For its opening track, Nolan The Ninja lays the foundation for Portraits with what Chris has described as “spacey dustiness.” The song is “Self-Portrait,” a song about fractured identity and internal dysmorphia. “Somehow your features get distorted / Your head’s small and your eyes look enormous / You know the inside of you’s gorgeous / But on the outside it gets morbid,” he raps. “Maybe I’m having trouble try’na paint you because I hate you.”
“I think one of the hardest things about being an artist is depicting yourself and having a true self-awareness of who you are and how you’re perceived,” Chris told Consequence of Sound about “Self-Portrait.” The song tries to dig into that, the man in the mirror, looking inward. We’re all hyper aware of our flaws and the worst flaw can be focusing on the parts of yourself you hate.”
In the video, Chris Orrick sports a literal mask but through the use of special effects, it takes on a more significant meaning than the obvious. The mask’s fibers morph into a collage of clippings featuring images of “traditionally handsome” men who represent ideals of strength and masculinity. Qualities of the ideal woman are included, too. As he navigates through the city, passersby including children wear similar masks, flashing bar codes and trashy magazine headlines. Vestiges of consumerism, anxiety and addiction decorate the bodies of the people around him. Eventually, his own mask fades to reveal his bare face.
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#BonusBeat: Stream and support Chris Orrick’s Portraits: