People often preach that admitting a problem is the first step to recovery. Let Flirting With Death be that official first step towards happier days for Sterling Hayes. He's returned to music to help others who might have suffered what he's endured (unplanned pregnancy, dysfunctional family, depression, drug abuse, toxic relationships confused for early love). This latest tape has eight tracks of gloomy production that sound like they were born out of the shadows in the Southside of Chicago while his lyrics are unsettlingly blunt. One line stands out that seems to sum up the dark path he's gone down: "I grew up with gravediggers."
In an email, Hayes explained his intended purpose with the project: "Self-expression has played a huge role in my growth and maturity. It has led me to become a leader and someone who works with and for the people in the community. My creations are like a good movie, if the movie can make you laugh, cry, or get scared, it was a good movie right? I want to paint that same picture. I want to give a shout-out to everyone involved in the project musically and not musically. 1.”
Photo: Nolis Anderson