A St. Clair artist recently released a song about opiate awareness in hopes of reaching out to those who need comfort.
Jake Thompson’s song called “Black Balloons” is unlike the typical songs he writes and records. He has been a rapper and song writer for approximately 10 years.
Thompson said his friend asked him if he would be interested in writing an opiate awareness song because he lost his brother three years ago to an overdose.
“The epidemic is everywhere, but where I’m from is here, St. Clair, Franklin County, so it kind of is a big thing here to a lot of people,” Thompson said.
Although “Black Balloons” is written in first person, Thompson cleared up any confusion of him being a recovering addict himself, as one may gather from listening to the lyrics.
“I’ve got a lot of people asking me if I’m a recovering addict myself because of certain things I say in there,” he said. “No, I’m not a recovering addict. I just wanted to get that real feel of the song, so I put myself in the driver’s seat for it.”
The beginning of the song involves a 911 call about someone who has overdosed and Thompson said that part is “what gets people.”
“I found the call on YouTube and then everything after that call, I wrote,” he said.
He added that “Black Balloons” has received a lot of positive reviews from listeners and that it has made an impact on those who he would not expect to listen to his music.
“It’s reaching out and touching a lot of people in ways that I didn’t think it would,” he said.
Thompson said he hopes his song reaches as many people who have been an addict or who have lost a loved one to addiction.
“I hope people take nothing but positive vibes, and somehow, someway we can sort of stop some of the epidemic — even though I know we can’t get it 100 percent off the streets,” he said.
Thompson added he never thought he would create an awareness type of song.
“Predominately what I do is not this, but something told me that it was time to do something different,” Thompson said. “I tell people all the time that I’m different than everybody else, so I did something that stands out more than most.”
The opiate drug and overdose epidemic is a sensitive topic, Thompson said, which makes it difficult for most people to talk about. While creating “Black Balloons,” he was mindful of the lyrics and the sensitivity of the topic.
“It’s a touchy subject and a lot of people can’t go there with that because of being scared of saying the wrong things. There’s certain things you can’t say, you can’t emulate certain things, so I had to be careful with my choice of words,” he said.
It took Thompson four days to write the song and countless hours to record, he said. In addition to having his friends and family’s support of “Black Balloons,” he said he has received a lot of support from people he does not know.
“I got the whole area pretty much behind this whole movement and it’s a beautiful thing,” he said.
In the works is a script for a music video, which is set to debut on YouTube within the next few months, according to Thompson.
To listen to “Black Balloons,” visit soundcloud.com/user-670306602/bankz-black-balloons-opiate-awareness.