My writing has always leaned on music. Whether inspiration, mood, or energy to keep me going through the many hours of drafting and editing, it can be an important force and fuel for what I do. These tracks in particular were especially crucial, helping me build or refine a character, a scene, or a whole story arc.
I cannot tell a lie. I’m a Yeezus fan. I tried to deny it for a very long time. I tried to argue that we should separate the music from the man. I tried to say I only liked “a few of his songs” (maybe “a few” out of every single album he’s ever put out). But part of what makes Kanye’s music compelling is the man himself. They’re inseparable. He’s a man who’s arrogant, self-destructive, moody, talented, insecure, and in many ways at least somewhat aware of all of the above. None of that is more clear than in “Monster,” an anthem to how awesome and yet how fucked up he truly is. In “Monster,” one moment he is celebrating himself and in the next demanding adulation and raging at the gossip about him in a way that leaves his thin skin on full display. And then there’s that Nikki verse. How can you say no to that?
The whole track fits Ryan Fletcher exactly. That dichotomy of believing yourself amazing, a genius, and then deep down below there’s the rot, the doubt, and the need for validation. A need for validation that can make you do terrible things. A murderous, mutated soldier of Hell, Ryan Fletcher only ever wanted to be loved and respected. All he ever got was manipulated and abused into doing everyone else’s dirty work.
Having Demon blood coursing through your veins can cause you to do funny things. It can make you emotional, unpredictable, and sometimes blind. Ryan Fletcher knows this well, and he wished he could use it as an excuse for all the poor decisions in his life that have brought him to where he is now. He’s always made mistakes, but he was only after that recognition. That acknowledgement that he was worth something. It led him to becoming a cop, then a dirty cop, then a dirty cop who was doing Hell’s errands. After that, it almost led him straight to the grave. Lying there, shot and bleeding, Fletcher prayed for a second chance. The Demon blood gave him that. It saved his life, but it made him into something different. A warped reflection of a man that’s more monster by the day, Fletcher’s life slouches toward ever more dark deeds and brutal acts.
But the power? It’s amazing, and in Fletcher’s mind worth the price of admission. Strength, speed, and a body that mends itself from almost any wound are part of the bargain. The ability to cloud people’s minds with fear and hate whenever you want is a serious sweetener, too. Fletcher makes use of it all, ready to crack some skulls on Hell’s behalf whenever he’s needed. Recently, he’s been tasked to help a small group of Demon-worshipping churchgoers with some plan he hasn’t been really given the particulars of. Typical that they wouldn’t trust him and respect them. Some of the church’s acolytes are alright, but almost immediately he finds himself butting heads with their leader: a Reverend Matt Renault. When Fletcher sees a prime opportunity and takes it, dropping an Agent of Limbo, Reverend Matt had the audacity to criticize. Fletcher’s seen his kind before, mages that are all talk and unwilling to take action and micromanaging assets he doesn’t truly appreciate. Fletcher is just hear to kill as many people who serve Limbo and Heaven as he can. Reverend Matt and his acolytes better watch themselves. If they don’t give Fletcher his due, they could end up on the wrong side of his Demonic powers and talents