In many inner cities, there are issues of less economic stability, poorer education, community centers being stripped away, arts being removed from the school system leaving many children imbalanced, isolated from their most powerful self... the independent thinker, the creator, the dreamer often leaving children more susceptible to other harmful things out of boredom or feelings of rejection.
The biggest challenge is self-financing 100% of everything. Recording costs, studio time, engineer fees, travel costs are all a part of the creation process. Then after the creation, there are producer fees, mixing, mastering, photo shoots, artwork, packaging, artist feature fees, legal fees, clearances, and so on that must be covered before any music can officially be released to the public.
My favorite track from the album Independent is Hold On. Everyone at some point fights battles or has struggles, and in moments of doubt or defeat, this is the song coming from a place of never giving up. It makes me think of the angel on the shoulder voicing understanding but guiding you in the right direction to take you out of that dark place.
For performances I have my favorite go to's like Prince, Donna Summer, Vanity 6, Sheila E, but it also depends on the type of show I am giving. I could pull references from Broadway musicals, Rock Steady Crew, a Jamaican dancehall or gentlemen's club, etc. all within one show. It truly is a playground with no restrictions for me.