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Hi Ren

It was never a battle for me to win, it was an eternal dance,

and like a dance, the more rigid I became the harder it got

The more I cursed my clumsy footsteps the more i suffered

And so I got older and I learned to relax, and I learned to soften, and that dance got easier

This month, I'm inviting you to watch and feel along with this piece by Brighton rapper Ren who has multiple chronic diagnosis, including psychosis.

After watching this, I made my way over to his website where we are invited to explore his world.  He shares aspects of his diagnoses and experience of psychosis that provides some background to the piece Hi Ren.

Hi Ren invites us to contemplate whether illness is something we have and can take away, or whether it is part of us:

You think that you can amputate me?

I am you, you are me, you are I, I am we

This is a theme that we find regularly in therapy as illness is objectified by reductionist, inherantly ableist, healthcare models.

I find this piece really brings to life the internal conflict of living with a chronic condition, which many of us live with including myself.

I suggest that you not only watch this, but also read the lyrics below.  Really spend some time interacting with Hi Ren, come back to it after watching/reading, then reflecting, thinking and makin sense of it.

Spend a week with Ren, before moving on to the articles.


Hi there Ren

It's been a little while,

Did you miss me?

You thought you’d buried me, didn't you? Risky…

Because I always come back

Deep down you know that…

Deep down you know I'm always in periphery 

Ren aren't you pleased to see me? it's been weeks since we spoke bro, you know you need me 

You’re the sheep, I'm the shepherd

Not your place to lead me 

Not your place to be biting off the hand that feeds me 

Hi Ren 

I’ve been taking some time to be distant

I’ve been taking some time to be still

I've been taking some time to be by myself since my therapist told me I'm ill

I've been making some progress lately, and I've learnt some new coping skills 

So I haven't really needed you much man

I think we need to just step back and chill

Ren, you sound more insane than I do

You think that those doctors are really there to guide you?

Been through this a million times

Your civilian mind is so perfect at always being lied to 

Okay, take another pill boy 

Drown yourself in the sound of white noise 

Follow this 10 step program, rejoice!

All your problems will be gone! Fucking dumb boy

Nah mate, this time it's different man trust me 

I feel like things might be falling in place

And my music's been kinda doing bits too

Like I actually might do something great

And when I'm gone maybe I'll be remembered

For doing something special with myself

That's why I don't think that we should talk man

Cause when your with me it never seems to help 

You think that you can amputate me?

I am you, you are me, you are I, I am we

We are one, split in two that makes one so you see

You got to kill you if you wanna kill me.

I'm not left over dinner, I’m not scraps on the side, oh your music is thriving? 

Delusional guy! Where's your top ten hit? Where's your interview with Oprah?

Where are your grammes Ren?


Yeah but, my music's not commercial like that 

I never chased numbers, statistics or stats

I Never write hooks for the radio, they never even play me so why would Iconcernn myself with that?

But my music is really connecting,

And the people who find it respect it ,

And for me that's enough ‘cause this life's been tough so it gives me a purpose I can rest in

Man you sound so pretentious !

Ren your music is so self centred,

No one wants to hear another song about how much you hate yourself… trust me 

You should be so lucky having me inside you to guide you, remind you to manage expectations, 

provide you perspective, that thing you neglected, I get it 

You wanna be a big deal… Next Jimi Hendrix? forget it

Man it's not like that 

Man it's just like that I'm inside you you twat 

Nah it's not man your wrong, when I write I belong 

Let me break the fourth wall by acknowledging this song

Ren sits down,

Has a stroke of genius, 

He wants to write a song that was not done previous

A battle with his subconscious…

Eminem did it 

Played on guitar

Plan B did it 

Man your not original you criminal, rip off artist, the pinnacle of your success is stealing other people's material 

Ren mate we've heard it all before

Ohh "she sell sea shells on the sea shore"

Fuck you I don't need you, I don't need to hear this, 

cause I'm fine by myself, I'm a genius!

and I will be great, and I will make waves, and ill shake up the whole world beneath us 

That's right speak your truth, your fucking god complex leaks out of you 

It's refreshing to actually hear you say it!

In stead of down play it…

“Oh the music Is all about the creative process and if people can find something to relate to within that the  that's just a bonus”

Fuck you ima fucking kill you Ren 

Well fucking kill me then

let's fucking have you Ren 

I'm a do it, watch me prove it, who are you to doubt my music?

‘Cause I call the shots I choose if you die

Yeah I call the shots and so i who choose who survives 

I'll tie you up in knots then I'll lock you inside 

News flash…

I was created at the dawn of creation,

I am temptation

I am the snake in Eden,

I am the reason for treason

Beheading all Kings,

I am sin with no rhyme or reason,

Sun of the morning, Lucifer,

Antichrist, father of lies,


Truth in a blender,

Deceitful pretender,

The Banished avenger,

The righteous surrender

When standing in-front of my solar eclipse,

My name it is stitched to your lips so see

I won't bow to the will of a mortal, feeble and normal 

You wana kill me? I'm enteral, immortal 

I live in every decision that catalysed chaos

That causes division

I live inside death, the beginning of ends

I am you, you are me, I am you Ren

Hi Ren… I’ve been taking some time to be distant, 

I’ve been taking some time to be still 

I’ve been taking some time to be by myself and I've spent half my life ill

But just as sure as the tide start turning

Just as sure as the night has dawn

Just as sure as rain fall soon runs dry when you stand in the eye of the storm 

I was made to be tested and twisted

I was made to be broken and beat 

I was made by his hand, it's all part of the plan that I stand on my own two feet 

And you know me my will is eternal 

And you know me you've met Me before 

Face to with a beast I will rise from the east and I'll settle on the ocean floor 

And I go by many names also

Some people know me as hope

Some people know me as the voice that you hear when u loosen the noose on the rope 

And you know how I know how I know that I'll prosper?

Because I stand here beside you today 

I have stood in the flames that cremated my brain 

And I didn't once flinch or shake 

So cower at the man I've become

When I sing from the top of my lungs 

That I won't retire I'll stand in your fire inspire the meek to be strong 

And when I am gone I will rise

In the music that I left behind 

Ferocious persistent, immortal like you 

we’re a coin with two different sides

When I was 17 years old I shouted out into an empty room, into a blank canvas, that I would defeat the forces of evil, 

and for the next 10 years of my life I suffered the consequences...

With Illness, autoimmunity and psychosis 

As I got older I realised that there were no real winners or no real losers in physiological warfare

But there were victims and there were students

It wasn’t David verses Goliath, it's was a pendulum eternally swaying between the dark and the light,

and the brighter the light shone, the darker the shadow it cast

It was never a battle for me to win, it was an eternal dance,

and like a dance, the more rigid I became the harder it got

The more I cursed my clumsy footsteps the more i suffered

And so I got older and I learned to relax, and I learned to soften, and that dance got easier

It is this eternal waltz that separates human beings from angels, from demons, from gods

And I must not forget, we must not forget, that we are human beings.

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Jun 24

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