Tough love

Hayes goes all in on 'Entering Providence'
By CHRIS CONTI  |  August 27, 2014

THE VIEW FROM KENNEDY PLAZA Hayes. [Photo by Jessica Pohl for rhymeCulture.]

PVD-based lyricist Hayes returns with a brand new platter, Entering Providence, the follow-up to his ’13 solo debut u.s.A Cry for Help. Kennedy Plaza serves as inspiration for his rhymes and diatribes and provides a brutally honest perspective throughout the kinda-concept album. From government corruption to homelessness to the monotony of everyday life as just another Rhode Islander living that hand-to-mouth lifestyle, Hayes goes in hard. Throw those rose-colored glasses under a RIPTA bus tire and cue up Entering Providence. Hayes and his Night Enders team will perform as part of a variety show at Larry’s Lounge in Pawtucket on Friday (the 29th). You can pick up the disc at the show or download it at for $5.

When I spoke with Hayes late last year following the release of u.s.A Cry for Help, he noted how his goal was to “make an album that had some depth and meaning.” Society’s ills, mass consumerism, and personal demons were addressed with vigor, balanced by fun cipher jams like the Rhody rap anthem “Ocean State of the Art.” Hayes goes hyper-local this time around, drawing inspiration (and exasperation) from the capital city.

“I wanted to bring life to things I witness on the daily,” Hayes said this week. “I tried to mix happy and sad, good and evil, righteousness and cowardice, love and hate, and many other things into this album with the underlying goal to make it as real as possible.

“This album could represent any city, though it relates directly to my current life here in Providence,” he continued, “a place that’s both rich and poor in beauty and tragedy, and reflected in a multitude of art forms.”

On the title track, Hayes salutes the city “known for infamous mobster hits” as “a quaint place to get pockets picked” and hilariously shouts out TeleServe. His wordplay shines on “War of the Gods”: “Takin’ the bus, shit’s like a mansion for bums that hijack Codac for a ransom of drugs/Shout out to my peoples never leavin’ Rhode Island that get rich or die tryin’ locked up in the ACI, and those gettin’ by with a 7-Eleven diet/In line with a Hostess pie that’s eaten before they buy it.” His mission statement could be derived from this gem: “Solutions to the problems? I don’t got ’em/I write what I see, that’s me being honest/I spit toxic harder than weaning off Suboxone.”

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