ramon espinoza recording at the neighborhood watch studio

Artist Ramon Espinoza on Life and Music

Long Beach, California native, Ramon Espinoza, age 28, is no stranger to life’s trials and tribulations. In fact, he’s had to go through some real, deep and challenging shit to see strength and power in the mind – his mind – and what he can do with it.

In 2012, Espinoza experienced a family plight that turned his entire world upside down. Without going into too much detail, because the details of the plight itself aren’t really the point of this story, Espinoza explained how he watched members of his family – individuals with whom he shares his blood and love – go through a downhill spiral that forever changed his world and their lives and not in the best of ways.

“It was the first time in my life when I learned, by observing the actions of the one’s I love, that some actions have repercussions that really mess up your life,” said Espinoza.

In lieu and almost innately, Espinoza turned to music and dance as a way to cope and express the emotions he was bottling up. He started to explore every genre under the beating sun, from hip-hop to rock and rap to new wave.

“I discovered that I felt my absolute best when I was succumbing to rhythm, whether that was in music, dance or something like skating, which, in a way, has a rhythm to it, too. Through this period of experimentation, I knew I was on my way to discovering my passion and purpose in life,” said Espinoza.

The light at the end of the tunnel grew exponentially for him as he identified himself in lyrical rapture.

“One day it hit me that I have a big story to tell and that my life’s experiences, those trials and tribulations, were actually preparing me to share it with the world,” said Espinoza.

Since discovering writing and lyrical power six years ago, Ramon Espinoza can’t put the pen down.

“Almost six years ago, today, I picked up writing and never looked back. It’s hard for me to explain it, but it’s a piece of my mind that is the most natural. I get lost in the process and I forget about everything else. It’s when I’m the most “me”,” said Espinoza.

One of his favorite lyrics are nestled in his latest hip-hop and rap track titled “Mind Right”, which is yet to be released to the public.

Keep focus refrain from distraction

And keep the passion alive, strive, and you’ll make it happen

Don’t ever settle for less, best to be known what you’re worth

A lost God who’s forced to walk this found God-given earth

Get your mind right

“This song is about telling humanity to screw what everybody thinks of you. If you ache for it, then do it. Passion and truth will set you free,” said Espinoza.

Scribbled in his tattered and beat up journal, something he carries on his person like it’s a physical part of him, is a verse he’s written that, at present, belongs to no record nor song.

What if, what you were told was a lie?

The limits beyond the skies

Of course there’s different religions we’re individual Gods

That’s peace amongst other odds

And I just want to be heard

That pain will paint the picture that’s the beauty in words

“The meaning behind these lyrics is: yeah, it’s important to know where you come from, but let’s not forget that we are all human and color, for example, and constructs like it, is just a limiting part of the illusional webbing we, as man, have created,” said Espinoza.

Although, Espinoza is aware that his lyrics speak controversy, he also knows that they build hope and inspiration, especially if folks are truly listening.

“I know my music impacts. I’ve seen it so in my younger fans, especially; I think, because all they’ve ever known is the world as it is today and that’s rough,” said Espinoza, “but I try to be mindful of that by relating and uplifting.”

Despite the complexities of Ramon Espinoza’s life up to this point, which is reflected in his spellbinding music, he still believes it’s important not to take himself too seriously.

He states, “At the end of the day, I just consider myself an artist. The minute I start putting labels on it, like it’s rap or hip-hop, or I’m this or that, is the minute I start to see the limitations I’ve created for myself, and, that’s not what I’m here to do. That’s not my purpose in this music experience I’m sharing with the world. I just want people to know that, yeah, life can have its ups and downs, but stay grounded in who you are and most of all, always and unforgivingly be you.”

ramon espinoza from southern california

Listen to Ramon Espinoza’s music on SoundCloud.

This story was created in collaboration with PeaceArt, a Long Beach originated artists’ collective with the mission to “do what you want.”

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