Read Heems’ Editorial About His Decision To Perform In Paris Tonight

Last week, the world watched as terrorists attacked Paris, killing scores of innocent people, most of them at an Eagles Of Death Metal concert. Since then, various performers have had to decide whether they want to go through with their planned tour dates in Paris. Wavves decided to play their scheduled show; Titus Andronicus opted to cancel. And in a new editorial for Vice, the former Das Racist rapper Heems writes about why he’s decided to play his scheduled Paris show tonight. Earlier this year, Heems released Eat Pray Thug, a powerful album that’s partially about what it was like to grow up brown in New York after 9/11. In his new Vice piece, Heems draws on some of the same memories:

After 9/11, my mother wouldn’t let me step out of our house to volunteer and clean up with Red Cross. She was worried about the backlash against Middle Easterners and South Asians. Yesterday, I got an email in a familiar tone, urging me not to go to Paris. I get it. But I believe in the power of music. In a terrible world, I think music is a tool no different from religion to get through difficult times. Perhaps this time I took the attack more personally.

Read the full piece here.