I’m not gonna talk about the interactions I’ve had with Malik Taylor AKA Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, now that he has passed away. I’m not gonna acknowledge all he has done in his life, specifically for and in Hip-Hop. No, that is not what this is about.
What I WILL speak on is seeing and hearing people acknowledge others AFTER they have passed. This happens every time a public figure, especially in Hip-Hop, dies. I understand wanting to acknowledge the contributions that they have made in this culture and community and I don’t disagree at all. I guess because of my direct connection, specifically, to older Hip-Hop heads, it saddens me when the very same artists that are alive and breathing, suddenly passes away and people come out of the woodwork and start praising them and making it known how those artists helped them in earlier times and how much they enjoyed what they gave Hip-Hop. And I am not speaking about fans or admirers, more so people who are connected or had been previously connected to the deceased artist.
I’m speaking directly to those who can reach out to artists WHILE they are alive and it pains me to see and read some of these people’s public posts on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media, giving praise and acknowledgement after they die. A lot can go a LONG way to acknowledging these people before they are on their death bed and I see it EVERY time an artist dies. I don’t mean to rant but you can acknowledge them when they can see it in physical form. Even if it’s not direct…..
It seems as if every time one of our Hip-Hop legends dies, the conversation among those in the game always center on missing out on the fact that they should/could have reached out and they didn’t. This is one reason you may never see me publicly acknowledge some of my friends who happen to be major players in the game after they have passed away. My acknowledgements will always be genuine and I wouldn’t want to come across as being disingenuous after someone I personally know has died.
I have the luck of knowing a lot of these heads on a personal level and I routinely reach out to folks just to say what’s up, not to ask for favors, but, out of genuine care, especially if we came up in the game together. I can tell you several people I’ve talked to just in the past week alone and people would be jealous knowing I can reach out to them and get a response because it’s on a personal level. Yes, I am lucky to have befriended many Hip-Hop and industry heads and because of said friendships, I feel compelled to reach out from time to time just to make sure they are good.
As usual, I typically write more than I initially plan but I just felt I needed to say something because of Phife’s death, I see people posting away and I wonder if they have actually reached out to him recently, when they had the means to.
I honestly don’t know how people will feel about me when it is my time to go, but, I would LOVE to hear that while I can and that’s not to say people don’t, but, I want to hear it when I am able to acknowledge your acknowledgement.