The Cycle was created in a 900 sq ft storefront on Lorain Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, where Mourning [A] BLKstar practiced for three years. The band met weekly in that space on late Wednesday nights that often stretched into the early morning. Together Mourning [A] BLKstar watched the flicker of the street lamps against damp streets, listened to the sounds a city makes in every season and watched a cast of characters from the windows--many of whom stopped to listen or dance along with the music. The band wrote The Cycle together in that storefront; RA Washington brought in 12 song sketches with words that, up until that point, only LaToya Kent had seen, the rest of the band wrote their parts on the spot. It was an epic first practice that is at the heart of The Cycle. The songs came together so fast that Mourning [A] BLKstar performed many of them for the first time just two days later at a showcase for The Panza Foundation, a local arts advocacy nonprofit dedicated to the support of Northeastern Ohio Musicians. The Cycle is Mourning [A] BLKstar’s testimony to the time and space in which it was collectively created. It is a humble addition to the long legacy of James Baldwin’s adage of the artist as witness. It is our song cycle in a time that just may need a song or two in support of and in love and power to the living.