Dante Mitchell is this week’s feature on “Tomorrow’s Voices Today“, the new series curated by poet and educator Mike Sonksen.
Dante Mitchell’s “Holy Water” is a vivid journey through the underworld, or South Los Angeles. The recurring theme of water in this song is reminiscent of the River Styx. The chorus confessional, “I wasn’t living right/grandma took me to church/I got dipped in that holy water” parallels the story of a young Achilles, dipped in Styx by his mother, creating an (almost) unconquerable man. Dante’s own Achilles’ heel seems to be his susceptibility to environmental influences.
In this underworld, the setting is clear: lust, drugs, and alcohol rule. While the beginning of his verses paint scenes of debauchery, he finishes each by professing his victory over temptation. “Couldn’t let life’s demons dissipate my soul”.
“Holy Water” is the song of a man who reaches upward, a song of revival, “ashes to flesh”. We end our journey in Elysian Fields. Our hero has conquered his environment, but more importantly, his own mind, landing him in the painless paradise designated only for the virtuous.