“I’ve been through Hell and back, what can I gain,” True God contemplates on the outro of his latest collaboration. Godsend, a project with J-Pegs The Legend, features someone who I consider a brother doing what he does best. Over the course of the last few months, we’ve all lost, essentially, our ways of life. For example, True and I would link up on a fairly regular basis, shoot the shit, and try to sort through our various life issues. To be honest, some of those issues seem small in comparison to what we’ve seen in 2020. True lost his mother, a story I’ve discussed as best I could as someone who lost his own five years back. But to be in this pandemic and unable to live life in some semblance of “normal?” It weighs heavily on people. True’s poured his pain into various musical outlets over the past few months.
While I haven’t suffered many big losses this year, I’ve found myself diving deeper into music; it’s been one constant I can always fall back on when the rest of the world turns into a dumpster fire. When I lost my own mother, I decided to release a few projects over those months in an effort to come to terms with my loss. These days, however, I’m mainly a writer on other artists’ stuff. From R&B stylings from Ayoka or Carter Marie, to rapping-my-ass-off tracks from Chris Cassius or John Wells, to melodic hip-hop, I’ve found that music has been the thing that keeps me going. You can’t say that this year hasn’t been good for musical creativity.
Going into this pandemic, though, things got rough in terms of recording my own music. I didn’t have the drive as much. The kids were home many days, so when I did have the drive, I had to revert back to the No-Fi Days. In other words, I’d set up my “studio,” lock myself in a closet (once I got the acoustics just right), and record while the boys watched a movie with Quel. The quarantine and its push towards creativity also inspired me to continue working well with others. Heck, it’s because of Benji that we got half of Songs For… 2 and the entirety of Caviar Dreams.
Even within the successes, I still couldn’t shake that there was something I wanted to do, a quarantine dream. I began speaking with True and Apollo about fatherhood, each of us sharing “war stories.” The positives and the awkward times helped us all get through this year, as we realized we kept going because of our families–specifically our kids. True and Apollo came up with the idea and I was happy to hop on it and provide all I could.
Now, don’t get me wrong: Black Fatherhood was always going to happen. But we didn’t know how/when it would. Through the jokes about “DAR Daddies” and the stories, 2020 was the perfect time to celebrate Black fatherhood. So, we started recording our asses off, something I didn’t think I’d say in 2020–I usually drop a project a year and a few Elite guest verses–and we touched on all of the joys about being a father.
A few weeks later, Black Fatherhood was complete and ready to be distributed.
It’s an important album, as it takes the pandemic dreams and wishes of many (to be there for and with our children) and looks at them through three distinct lenses. As parents, you (should) want the best possible life for your children. Even if you have to alter your dreams a bit, you still aspire to give your children all the best–and then some. That’s what we gave through Black Fatherhood and what we give as parents on a daily basis. It’s also an album of good music dedicated to the kids in our lives.
On January 1, please stand with three Black fathers as we present our message and thoughts on being parents.
The quarantine helped True, Apollo and I create ‘Black Fatherhood.’