With mental health awareness becoming more and more accepted and necessary, Minnesota artist Farr Well steps to the plate with one of the most unique projects of 2020. Not only a rapper but an activist and mental health advocate, Farr Well releases his new EP Hard Pill To Swallow touching on subjects including generational trauma, bipolar disorder, and so much more. Not only a blog but a podcast and conversation series, Hard Pill To Swallow truly uses hip hop as a vessel to deliver so many important and timely messages. With places like Minnesota being at the forefront for social change, its refreshing to hear an artist reflect a real and raw side of life. Bigger than the artist himself, Farr Well admits this album can truly open up conversations about mental health that can help save a life or change a person’s perspective. Press play on Farr Well’s new EP Hard To Swallow and read more about this up and coming artist below!
A picture of constant evolution, Farr Well – aka Farrington Llewellyn – is a hip-hop artist with a striking sense of self-awareness and purpose. Based in Minneapolis, Llewellyn has built a platform through his music that speaks to all walks of life and encourages acceptance, understanding, and the betterment of humanity. Perpetually peeling back layers and spurring renewal through self-reflection, Llewellyn shines the spotlight on black identity, activism, gun violence, and most recently, mental illness, through his unique soundscape of eclectic hip-hop.
Llewellyn first established his musical artistry in the lunchrooms and playgrounds of his younger school days, participating in freestyle battles with other kids. It wasn’t until he took home the prize for a city-wide freestyle competition four times in a row at the age of 15, that he was established as an up-and-coming phenom in his hometown.
Mentored by the owner of a clothing boutique in the local record shop, Llewellyn began to build his music career by recording mixtapes, playing shows, and touring whenever he got the chance. Rising through the ranks, Llewellyn has built a considerable music resume in the span of the last 15 years.
Llewellen as Farr Well has opened for Flo-Rida and Blood Raw from Young Jeezy’s record label USDA, as well as international artist and hip-hop pioneer, Rakim. Llewellyn has had over 200 performances in over 50 venues in the Twin Cities and has taken his music global with performances at Hojoya Festival in Hakozaki, Fukuoka and the famed Alfie Jazz Roponggi in Tokyo, Japan. Collaborating with several artists on various projects, his music has been featured on several releases and was placed in the Greater Twin Cities United Way Documentary on food justice in North Minneapolis – With Appetite For Change.
Needless to say, Llewellyn’s music resonates with people worldwide, but it’s his message that encourages intimate connection with his art. Creating the musical persona ‘Farr Well’ from his first and middle name (FARRington LleWELLyn), Llewellyn embodies the constant evolution he is taking both personally and within his music. With his new moniker representing that perpetual idea of saying “farewell” to your past self, Llewellyn set out to reinvent himself by creating meaningful music that would spark conversation and radical evolution in others.
One of Llewellyn’s most notable projects is the Black Identity Series which set out to find clarity around the issues he struggled with as an African American growing up in a neglected city and experiencing the deaths of friends from school due to senseless gun violence. Llewellyn began interviewing African American people and showcasing different perspectives to show the spectrum of Black Identity on any given topic. He then used these narratives to coincide with his music to ignite deep yet healing conversations on the intersectional struggles some fail to acknowledge. Llewellyn’s 2019 album He’s Got a Gun specifically talks about the toxic influences of gun violence, while his unreleased 2018 album For My White Friends tackles the concept of bringing people together at a time when identity politics and binary thinking is rampant.
His work of telling stories through music and film allows Llewellyn to be a community leader in holding safe spaces for healing and hard conversations. This continues with his newest project Hard Pill To Swallow. Coming to terms with his Bipolar diagnosis, Llewellyn is opening the door for conversations on mental illness and generational trauma. Documenting his life from 2015-2020, the six-song EP is an up-close and personal view of his mental health journey that in turn encourages people to work through their own hard life experiences.
The story of an activist/organizer from North Minneapolis who confronted things that are hard to accept and found clarity and a new sense of purpose, Hard Pill to Swallow shows Llewellyn sharing his personal experiences with drug misuse, gun violence, trauma, and mental illness. “I think that by being vulnerable about my experience with bipolar and depression, I can help normalize it; especially in black communities and other places around the world with little to no awareness. My hope is to encourage those who can’t speak about it. A lot of people who manage mental illness don’t feel comfortable talking about it publicly.” says Llewellyn.
Creating music that symbolizes all types of people and the issues they face, Llewellyn acts as more than an artist, but as a social scientist dissecting society and unraveling his inner layers to find the root of what he has been conditioned to believe or experience. Constantly finding himself in self-reflection, Llewellyn’s art transcends social stigmas to find a place of renewal in sharing important stories based in reality that educate and change the perceptions of those who listen. Llewellyn’s music is more than just a great hip-hop track – it speaks to lovers of sociology and philosophy as he dives deep into the facets of life in the 21st century.
Farrington is also an activist and organizer from North Minneapolis. He’s been working in Northside Minneapolis and Eastside Saint Paul (the largest black populations and most neglected neighborhoods in the State of MN) since 2013 engaging youth, addressing crime through throwing neighborhood concerts & other creative community events. Some of his projects include:
Collective Noise Meet & Greet Community Concerts
Black Identity Series
Hard Pill to Swallow Online Show Series – coming soon