Listen as “Hi Ren” Gives Countercultural Rebuttal to Godless Mental Health Industry
Gill recognizes that as a sinful human, he is meant to struggle, and there is power in embracing that struggle. Indeed, the only real way for people to flourish is to let go of pride and accept and even embrace the humiliating realities of life. Gill gets this, making his song a radical departure from the mental health industry’s sole focus on “chemical imbalances” and “biological predispositions” to various mental ailments.
Gen Z is being marked down as the most mentally ill generation to date. Disturbing rates of anxiety, self-harm, suicide, and depression plague young people, with professionals calling it an “epidemic.”
That’s the cultural context for “Hi Ren,” a nine-minute rhythmically and lyrically genius blend of rap, singing, and acoustic guitar by English musician Ren Gill.
“Hi Ren,” thrusts you into the harrowing internal battle within Gill’s tormented psyche. The Music video is filmed in an unsettling room inside a mental institution, with Gill dressed in a hospital gown and seated in a wheelchair. The song appears to be a vocal and visual representation of mental illness or perhaps addiction.
Throughout the song, Gill switches character between a scary and belittling version of himself, to a positive part of himself that wants to thrive, make music, and be fulfilled.
At first blush, “Hi Ren” seems to be yet another song about mental health struggles and internal turmoil. When the “good” Ren wants the “bad” Red to go away, “bad” Ren responds, “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.”
However, things take on a dramatically new and counter-cultural meaning when the “bad” Ren reveals himself as entirely separate from the real Ren:
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,
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 eternal, 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
The development of the song reveals the earlier assertion that “bad” Ren is the same as “good” Ren is a malicious falsehood. “Bad” Ren is not Ren at all, but the Devil himself—the “father of lies.” He is “truth in a blender,” a “deceitful pretender.”