Watsky ft Julia Nune - Stick To Your Guns (Prod Kush Mody) [Video]

Poet, author, and rapper Watsky offers listeners a sobering look at mass shootings from three different perspectives. First up is the rather unsettling shooter's side of things which finds Watsky more or less justifying the position of the shooter by tying his actions to the abuse he received in the past. Had his peers shown him more appreciation, or even just given him less flak, perhaps they wouldn't be in this situation.

"it matters a lot more, than half of you thought
When you were knocking me like I’m a laughingstock 
and a weakling a freak and creep, I was mocked and ignored 
You’re sorry now but talk is cheap-- shoulda thought it before"

The second verse is delivered from the perspective of a news anchor who couldn't be happier about the traffic the shootings have granted his channel. As the network parades the shooter's personal life for all to marvel at and promises in-hospital coverage of a disabled victim, we get the sense that Watsky is not too fond of the hyper-intrusive 24/7 sensationalism the news channels pump out surrounding tragedy to bolster their ratings. An added dig comes as the anchor advises those who are displeased with his portrayal of the event to switch to their sister channel for the properly skewed edition of the same story.

"we’ll try to bring you the spin through your preexisting opinions
but if we miss it switch it to our sister network instead
of course we know this situation is tragic
but take a minute to appreciate our fabulous graphics"

Moving further from the micro to the macro, the final verse finds a generic senator speaking on the shooting. While, at first, he seems to share the public's sadness, he soon begins characterizing the shooting as an unpreventable fluke perpetrated by a rageful individual. As a government representative, he does not assume any blame which could be assigned on account of lacking gun laws. Beyond this, he tries to establish the shooting as a one off event so consumers feel comfortable enough to return to the malls and feed the economy. He ends with a self-serving reminder to vote for him in the coming fall.

"of course I share your sentiment as your voice in the senate
but let’s accept nothing ever could have been done to prevent it
it’s just the strange inner visions of a deranged individual
full of rage, full of hate, full of vitriol"

Personally, I think the portrayal of the shooter as a victim is a bit too extreme. Plenty of people get abused without shooting their aggressors and any who get in their way. That being said, I think Watsky's point is that a shooter, despite what the media and politicians try to tell you, is not a fluke spawned in a vacuum. A shooter is a real person who was pushed to act violently by the actions of those around him. Sure, the instigators are not solely to blame but neither is the shooter. I think that's what Watsky is trying to say and, given the rhyme-laden way he attempts to convey such a delicate point, he did an admirable job doing so.

"Stick To Your Guns," featuring vocals by Julia Nunes and production from long-time Watsky collaborator Kush Mody, is the lead single off off of Watsky's forthcoming fourth full-length album x Infinity. The project boasts production from Anderson .Paak, a feature from Tony Award winning Hamilton star Daveed Diggs, and will be available everywhere August 19th. Until then, call your senator and check out Watsky's best selling collection of essays How To Ruin Everything.