(Ed. Note: NXMBXRS, the first OG DAR release since 2016’s Leviticus, goes live on Sunday. I wanted to take time out to look at one of our last collective tracks, “Gone Wrong.”)
The Leviticus era of Team DAR/DAR Elite for me was one that, admittedly, I wasn’t as present for as I would’ve liked. It was mainly because of personal mental health issues and fatigue–not with the group but with life itself. I cut myself off from the collective. It wasn’t right–at all–but it is what it was.
I thought that the team would be stronger without its less-than-concerned member (me), so I literally phoned in most verses on Leviticus. The fact that songs on that album with all four of us still came out listenable–bangers, even–is a testament to the fact that DAR works harder and smarter than most collectives. Even when things go left, the team is there to outwork people.
Apologies for my past foolishness aside, “Gone Wrong” is the epitome of that era. True, Apollo, Ax and myself vented about the world’s issues and how we felt wronged by a weird world. The track in some ways was therapy for the original quartet. It was also, to me, a precursor for Masked Tapes Apollo as he walked that fine line between damn near giving his soul to the (proverbial) devil to stay up and upright and walking on the straight and narrow. Plus, the melodicity of his verse was present here more than it’d been in earlier tracks. True delivers a solid verse, one of his best of the Leviticus era of late-2015 through 2016. However, knowing him, he’ll probably say he half-assed it. Ax brought the song to the darker undertones that my verse dealt with.
Thinking back to my verse, I’m unsure why I was so ticked off when I recorded it. I’d always been recognized as one of the forefathers of DAR and the team always propped my abilities up–even when I doubted them myself. It wasn’t remotely related to DAR itself. I think it was just a continuation of the Unhinged era of my career, one where I kind of left a scorched earth path wherever I went. I didn’t want anyone to get too close to me. I didn’t want people close to me because, after losing my mother, I was afraid of losing more people. Ass-backwards as it was, it was how I coped for that first year or two after her passing. A song on The Sorest Loser aside, it honestly took me until Mama Young’s Son to finally start coming around to the idea of a collective again–and to get my mental health in check.
From there, the rest is history–or should I say, it’s NXMBXRS.
I go through the foolishness I go through so people can learn from me. If anyone out there is struggling with their mental health, you’re not alone–even when you try to wall yourself off. Let people in and prosper because, truth be told, sometimes we do need a little help from our friends.