- (Review by Station Manager of StreetBlast Internet Radio @ StreetBlast.com)
Joseph A. Peragine scares the living shit out of me, well, at least at first. Imagine opening up a press packet to find a spoken word artist - diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, which includes an album cover of himself holding his hand over a gas burner. There are certain things we find hardcore, and then there are certain things that I find absolutely shocking. This isn’t some strange marketing trick, or excellent photoshop work, this is how Joseph A. Peragine wishes for you to understand him. After reading his website, press packet, and biography - we got a clearer and calmer picture of what exactly was going on. It was then that we fell in love with Joe.
Peragine presents his musical genre as "avant-garde," which thrusts his muse into the bittersweet stages of coffeehouse poetry readings, and poetic rants which speak of timeless topics or controversy. While some spoken word artists may choose to disappoint, Peragine sets out to teach the world about what it is to be "him." This supersedes him from the coffee grinder poets and college level ramblings that may be found in some random watering hole.
I am no stranger to paranoid schizophrenia, and how people behave when they are not medicated or simply have "gone off the deep end." Consider me an expert with two years working as an EMT on an ambulance, and two additional years in a level one trauma center. I have seen it all, including some of the sweetest people claiming that "Oprah Winfrey was a robot created to destroy the world," and other comments. Did you know that most people with paranoid schizophrenia live out their lives as though they were social outcasts? The obvious mental breakdown from rationalism and fantasy does not connect, and therefore people who surround them often put people with this illness in isolation, or consider them "the black sheep." Neighbors complain, society feeds stigma after stigma, and even cops are quick to charge them with intoxication or drug abuse. If this was you, how would you want to be perceived? What kind of responsibility would you take to fit into a world that can be aggravating and overwhelming?
Joseph A. Peragine to me is a brave man, and honestly one that I hold in deep admiration for his willingness to speak out about his paranoid schizophrenia, and also to help raise awareness about this mental illness. At 16, Peragine began to experience the effects of his delusions, and while moving through life at warp speed with voices in his head, and fighting with hallucinations, has come to produce a soundtrack of his experiences to let us sit in his mind, and understand that life in "warp speed."
His album "Self Medication: Poems of Alienation," feature tracks like "Voices," where he sets a medical/clinical soundtrack to a hyper speed experience of clashing voices, narrating the symptoms, relationships, and mounting stress. The track places you in his whirlwind experience, which is what I anticipate to be the main objective, which drives you to a level of not only understanding paranoid schizophrenia (from internalizing voices) but also the pressure that it can cause.
"Slut Party," mounts a sexuality to Peragine’s perspective of denial, understanding women, and without a doubt a sexually deviant undertone. It contrives a picture perfect representation of how testosterone would sound if given a voice, and what social captivation we experience when observing objects in the flesh. The track is carnal, magnificent, and undeniably wicked all at the same time.
While Peragine’s tracks are golden in respect to the genre, I personally feel that by reaching into the poetic content and allowing yourself to climb into the soundtrack beneath it will portray not only a dark side of paranoid schizophrenia, but allows you as the listener to become more educated and understanding of people who suffer from such mental illnesses.
I highly recommend experiencing Joe’s work for yourself, and learning more about him. I also want to thank him for educating me, and helping me understand what it is like to experience his world.
We love you Joe.