TOUCHED BY LYME: Hip hop artist channels Lyme journey into rap song
“Revolt” performed at Oct. 5’s Lyme protest in San Francisco.
Zach Reed is a hiphop artist who has been performing in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. When his health took a dive in 2008, doctors told him he had fibromyalgia and there was nothing to be done. He was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease from an IGeneX test last year. In the meantime, he had almost entirely lost his ability to walk, often needing an electric wheelchair to get around. He suffered with sleep apnea and insomnia, heart palpitations, muscle spasms throughout his body, constant nerve pain and many other Lyme symptoms.
Just getting the Lyme diagnosis wasn’t a magic bullet for him, however. “My largest struggle with Lyme has been the cost of the care,” he says. “After spending some $5000 on doctor visits and medication, I can no longer afford treatment.”
He has channeled the pain and anger into his music, putting thought and intention into every line he writes. “I go by Revolt, a name and a message to everyone struggling for survival and self-identity,” he explains. “Collectively as a people we can accomplish more than any individual can, and this is what keeps me writing and performing to audiences. Inspiring collective change is what I strive for in my music.”
On October 5, Revolt performed a Lyme rap song at the IDSA protest outside San Francisco’s Moscone Center. “It was very healing and empowering to be able to perform it in front of such a welcoming audience,” he told me later.
Here is the video of that performance.
He released his first demo Rise Up & Revolt in 2011 and is currently recording his first LP release Revillusion, which will be available in 2014. Tracks from the demo are available for free at www.soundcloud.com/revoltrightnow.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at email@example.com.
- October 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm
Great song man!
- October 11, 2013 at 12:21 am
Love the tracks
- October 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm
What a phenomenal job on this song. I saw it in-person in SF and it was so touching GREAT JOB Zach. Thanks for writing & being brave enough to share it with all of us.
- October 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm
I HOPE THIS SONG GOES “VIRAL”. IT EXPRESSES EXACTLY WHAT MY DAUGHTER EXPERIENCES EVERY DAY FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS. THE HARDEST PART FOR ME IS TO SEE HER INSURANCE CLAIMS BEING DENIED- FINDING A DOCTOR WHO KNOWS WHAT TO DO-AND THE DEPRESSION IT CAUSES. IT IS A VILE, FILTHY COMBINATION OF MICROBES WHICH EAT AWAY AT THE BODY AND WHICH NO ONE HAS FOUND A CURE FOR. MORE MONEY SHOULD BE ADVANCED FOR RESEARCH. IT IS INDEED A “SILENT EPIDEMIC” AND I’M GRATEFUL FOR THESRE PUBLIC ATTEMPTS AT EDUCATION.
- October 16, 2013 at 10:24 am
Zack….wow, you put into words everything i’m feeling as well. I understand your pain so well. I deal with horrible bone and muscle pain that no pain killer can touch!!! Thank you so much for your song. Is it possible to see the lyrics printed out anywhere? Do you have a Facebook page? I would like to talk to other lyme support groups and figure out how you all band together to get
a rally and have a showing of folks like this. I live in Nashville, TN and our Lyme support group isn’t very large, mainly because we all feel like crap, but I would like to get information on how
you all stay connected. Anybody answer this as well…???
- November 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm
I have a new facebook page over here:
and I can def send you a copy of the lyrics. Just message me with your email address and Ill send them your way. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org
I know lyme groups can be really small, here in San Francisco they are non existent- even though this is one of the most populated cities in the country. Lyme awareness is much higher in slightly more rural areas where the ticks are more common- so I travel to the east bay for a large group, which has an email list and thats how I found out about the protest. I would search around online for groups at places like: http://www.lymenet.org/SupportGroups/ and just travel outside your county if needbe.
Best of luck healing,
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