Black Flag said it best, “depression, got to break free, depression has got a hold of me.” I have had a shitty year. Right now, my state of mind is in the dumps. The only saving grace has been music, my inner sanctuary where I can hide without using outside substances. It’s weird to me that I find Tracy Chapman at my low ends of life. I had to have a major surgery lately and my life is in a tumble. Because of the injury, I can no longer participate in an activity (skateboarding) that I have enjoyed since I was a child. I have restrictions from my doctor that inhibits me from returning to work. I am the primary income maker in my family. What if I can’t ever return to work? Luckily, music is my solace and a place where I can escape. Music as a whole can connect with whatever emotion you are going through. Right now, the music of Tracy Chapman connects to me. Her music is dark and sad. It reaches areas of my soul which I do not like to seek. But hidden behind the sadness and despair, there is a secret spot of hope. That hidden magic makes my reality bearable. Either reading or hearing something as painful or more can set you straight. The songs are mellow but striking in their power. She can interpret her inner demons and lets the public use it as a tool for their comfort zone. It’s surprising to me that she can continue to be released by a major label. She does not fit into the commercial fashion model of what is interpreted as a female recording artist by the industry. No fancy make up or overblown outfits. Even though she isn’t categorized as punk, she carries the ideals of punk because she is who she is. She also sings from a heart which isn’t always marketable. I need her music because it is honest with what I feel sometimes.