Quinn XCII continues the rollout of his forthcoming From Michigan With Love album with the release of the Noah Kahan-featured “Tough” music video. And what an important visual – and sonic – experience “Tough” is.
Utilizing a pristine, thought-provoking balance of humor and reality, the Detroit-born Quinn presents vital commentary on incredibly important subject matter – toughness and toxic masculinity. Throughout the Drew Kirsch-directed “Tough”, Quinn is witnessing or experiencing various forms of bullying while lyrically breaking down the driving force behind the venomous energy on display.
Fueled by societal conditioning that’s inevitably coupled with a refusal to face one’s inner darkness, countless individuals mask their emotions with toxic behavior – in this case, bullying and physical representations of “toughness”. As Quinn so elegantly points out, there is nothing “tough” or “strong” about acting out or living this way. Quite the contrary, the behavior on display is a sign of weakness; a cry for help.
In a world where there is such a divide between “male” and “female” energies, accentuated by the enforcement of gender roles, we often struggle to embrace our masculine and feminine sides. And, regardless of what some may argue, our bodies are designed with a balance of flowing masculinity and femininity. It’s only by recognizing and allowing these energies to symbiotically coexist that any individual is able to fully return to the essence of who they are – on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. By ignoring this balance and feeding into the illusion of separation with toxic behavior, we are only doing a detriment to ourselves and society as a whole.
In a powerfully symbolic fashion, Quinn and Kahan use peaceful conversation and dialogue to point out the malignant behavior. Rather than fight the violence with violence, they act in a loving fashion. Indeed, this is a testament to true “strength” and “toughness”. They don’t react, which is generally what the bully is searching for. Instead, they call into question what is causing and motivating the acts of bullying.
“Tough” is as sonically pleasing as it is mentally stimulating, with the melodic delivery of both Quinn and Kahan capturing the listener’s ear as the light, poignant and underplayed instrumentation provides a guiding backdrop. It’s a fun record with a beautiful message presented in a simple form, allowing the listener to vibe out, get a few laughs and still receive some thoughtful substance.
From Michigan With Love is on the way and “Tough” is available now on all major streaming platforms.
Enjoy the visual below.