So a few months ago, I dropped the CHALKY WHITE single, which was originally going to also be a music video. The single is a meditation on death and dying with dignity, based on the character Chalky White from Boardwalk Empire, whose final scenes in that show left an indelible impression on me.
Then the actor who played Chalky White, Michael K. Williams passed away, and now the song seems haunted. Michael was a brilliant actor, and from all accounts, a truly better person, and so much of the song was based on the nuance and depth of his performance. My brother, a few years ago, put me onto the music of David Berman, specifically the Purple Mountains album. I really connected with it. Then David Berman met his fate at his own hand. Suddenly, that album felt haunted. Certain phrases hit differently.
What I am trying to convey, is that music that recalls specific people, whether an actor who inspires a song or the actual artist themselves, the meaning of it can change when that person is no longer with us. How eerie was in when Biggie died and the album came out soon after, titled LIFE AFTER DEATH? His death changed the way that album was perceived. T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You) which I contest is the best hip-hop song of all time, is a haunting song about death.
It really isn't in our hands, when we go. It happens to us all. I know when news of MF DOOM passing came out, suddenly obscure records that had been largely forgotten were now going for ridiculous prices. Jadakiss said, "Dead rappers get better promotion". I am not trying to capitalize on the death of anyone. I am just thinking about how my song now has a different connotation that I didn't envision when I made it, due to the fact that someone so beloved to so many is no longer with us.
When MF DOOM passed, I made an effort to tell the homies I love them. I gave them their flowers, we arranged regular zoom calls, and I made it known how I feel. AZ once eloquently said, "...Cause you never know when you're gonna go..."
REST IN POWER to Michael K. Williams and everyone else who has ever died.