Ladies and Gentleman, 2020 is finally coming to an end. After all the fucked-up shit we’ve seen this year (countless deaths, a pandemic which brought on many of those deaths, social injustices, losses for everyone across the board, et cetera), we made it. Unless the world ends at 11:59:59 tonight, there’s no way this year can claim us and we can finally give 2020 the giant middle finger it deserves. 2020 has been successful in some ways for some people, yes. But I’m glad and thankful that it’s coming to a close.
With that said, I’d like to take this time to thank some of the people who’ve helped keep me honest and sane this year.
First of all, I’d like to thank Quel and the kids for putting up with my ass more than they’ve probably ever had to before. I can be difficult when cooped up. Hell, I can just be difficult, period. It’s the bipolar flareups, mainly. That said, I’ve gotten a chance to become closer to both my kids and Quel because of the quarantine. They’ve inspired countless songs, bars and three albums this year (four if you count For MY N.I.G.G.A.S., which comes out on JoJo’s 10th birthday). They have been my rock and my light at the end of the tunnel. When things got messed up, I can always count on JoJo showing me some Fortnite trick shot or Jeremiah’s inquisitive nature to bring me a smile…even if it wasn’t an instant one. I could also count on Quel to stand with me when I struggled mentally, and I had her back as much as she had mine. We’ve grown a lot since 2020 started, especially considering the way 2019 ended.
Aside from Quel and the kids, there are so many people I can single out for helping me get through this year. Here are just a few. If I don’t name you, please don’t take offense. It’s more that these people had a large influence on my sanity this year.
I have to thank my homie Shannon for talking me off the proverbial ledge a few times and keeping me from completely losing my shit. Even when things were rough for her, she and I put our heads together and got through this year. Like I said when initially discussing “Letter to My Friends,” Shannon’s been a constant in my life for about twenty years and knows me better than most. She knows what makes me tick and what makes me implode. Everyone needs a Shannon, a homie of the opposite gender who’s just a homie who’ll help you see things from their perspective, thus making you reevaluate your own stance(s).
Next up, thank you to my boys True, Apollo, Drizzle Sez and White Jay. Each of them had their own situations to deal with this year, between losing their mother to moving into a new place. No, one does not equal the other but both of those situations is stressful in their own right. That said, all four of the people I listed here, they pulled me up and said “stop being stupid” when I was being stupid. In this day and age, having people who can call you on your bullshit when you’re bullshitting is something that’s needed.
Plus, the memes. Oh, Dear Lord, the memes. When things are at their worst, I can count on Drizzle Sez or White Jay to send a shitload of memes to make me both scratch my head and also laugh my ass off. Because of those things, it’s still Elite Gang and PA Gang even as PA hasn’t exactly been a thing on the site for a while.
Thank the “Speed Force” of Valentino, Planet, Benji and everyone else who’s helped me musically and on the site. There have been so many times this year when I’ve struggled to write, musically and for the site. Without Benji’s beats and ear for shit that knocks or Valentino and Planet’s work ethic on SOTB, I would’ve been fucked, plain and simple. I was ready to hang it up after Songs For… 2, but Benji said “nah bruh, you have more to say”–hence Caviar Dreams. Likewise, and I’m just admitting this, I was ready to close the site had Benji, Planet and Valentino not came through like they did. The next time you listen to some lo-fi SOTB or read something on the site, remember that it could’ve gone the other way.
I’ve got to thank my homie Ashley as well, for similar reasons I thank Shannon and “the boys.” Our friendship has been a unique experience over the last three-plus years. Unlike some people, she’s been there when I needed someone to help me forget the stresses of the world through memes, listening to my ramblings, and just supporting me in her own way. She’s a real one, especially since she’s not one of those friends who’ll breathe down your neck to make sure you’re doing what they think is right.
Finally, thank you to all of the artists who’ve sent me stuff this year. From Carter Marie to Score|Swayze to Miss Kam and Baby Kahlo to K.Wood$, you all have made this year that much more bearable. Music helps heal the soul and this year, everyone’s needed a bit of healing. Without your music, I’d be lost in some ways. Keep creating, even when the world seems like its against you.
2020 was a shitty year, but it was also one that put things into perspective. Keep that perspective and grow in the face of stupidity.