• Josh Davis

Henry Hill: Death and Connection

Updated: May 5, 2020

This Friday, May 8, we will be releasing my conceptual EP Henry Hill. This project was recorded 7 years ago, but got caught up in various stages of extra-bullshit development. There was a stage play, a live band... At some point you have to just say to yourself, "Bruh. If you don't just release this goddamn album..."

Album artwork for Jah Connery's conceptual hip hop EP Henry Hill

This album is a departure from my normal stream-of-consciousness word stew, and instead tells a story of death it's reverberations. The focus is on an unnamed young man who dies tragically in the throes of a psychotic episode. Each song then exposes a new perspective along a chain of family, friends and strangers effected by his brutal end. The title is named for the both real and fictional-via-Goodfellas Henry Hill, who our anti-hero hallucinates himself to be. The hows, the whys and lack of satisfactory answers are all explored over faithful homages to early the Motown and doo-wop sounds that made the Goodfellas soundtrack so iconic.

Sadly, two days after sending this album to the distributor, I learned of the passing of my original partner in song, Artemus Salas; he had taken his own life. This album deals heavily with the emotional toll suicide takes on loved ones. It probably doesn't have to be said, but again, this content was written long, long ago, and has no relation to the passing of Artemus.

That said...

Viewing this work through the lens of somebody who is experiencing some of these emotions, it has provided a certain amount of catharsis. It is my hope, especially considering the SHEER AMOUNT of suicide at this time, during COVID-19 isolation, this may help some of you process some really icky shit. Or maybe it will be extra triggering. Hopefully not.

Check on eachother. Answer more phone calls. Follow up on that needy-sounding Facebook posts. Its uncomfortable to have conversations with somebody dealing with mental illness, but much of life is. Grow up and help one another. I'd say reach out if you need support, but understand that hopelessness does not inspire faith in other people. What I will say, is if you or anyone you love *could maybe perhaps kinda seem like they might be sorta* suicidal, please visit the good folks at Six Feet Over, a Detroit based suicide-prevention organization who we have worked with in the past.


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