Surfside at dusk. I would’ve photographed earlier, but I was too busy jumping in the ocean—dualcore tee and all.
This past week I’ve held a couple things close to the chest, and while I don’t bring them up now to necessarily talk at length about them, there is a lesson I’ve learned therein I feel is important to share.
My grandmother, Barbara James, passed away yesterday a little after 5p, not 30 minutes after my mother and I had left her hospital room.
I had visited her alongside both my parents the Saturday before. She was admitted in days prior due to a massive stroke and once admitted was found to have pneumonia. It wasn’t long thereafter that other functions vital to life began shutting down as well.
It never once “looked good,” but myself and my family hoped, prayed and gave every opportunity for recovery we could possibly provide. It simply was not to be. A cousin even told me that privately she had acknowledged her impending passing while speaking with him in the hospital days before.
With me, however, she simply made it a point to let me know she wasn’t in any pain. Perhaps the sadness cracked through my face in a way I couldn’t mask. We exchanged I love you’s on Saturday before she lost the ability to speak—and for that, I’m thankful.
I recognize that not everyone gets that opportunity.
It was a welcomed opportunity, as since I’ve learned of my grandmother’s state, I’ve done little but mentally kick myself for squandering opportunities in the past.
I recognize the last thing to do in these situations is to ‘beat yourself up’ over what can’t be changed, but for a solid year (probably more) leading up to her death, I held several phone conversations with my Grandmother about coming up to visit her. She lived two hours away in nearby Winston Salem, and it always felt just out of reach for casual visiting—just dropping in for the sake of dropping in. My mother and I had been planning a joint trip to go and visit, as she visited my Grandmother (her mom) at least once a week. However, by the time this happened, I was alongside my father as well, and we were heading to a hospital instead of my Grandmother’s house.
I don’t doubt my Grandmother would understand, but to me, that’s not the point. Somewhere in my head, I just felt like these moments would last forever. That the world would wait while I scribbled rap songs, played video games and drank beers with my friends in beloved venues. It’s easy to get lost in our own pursuits like everything and everyone else will always be there—but a step back is all it requires to know this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
This moment, this single solitary moment we have right now, is all we’re ever promised. It’s up to us to make the most of it and prioritize how we see fit.
I’ll never not regret not making the drive to go and spend time with my Grandmother prior to her illness. There was a musical quality to the way she would exclaim “Well, hey Sean” every time she would see me, and I never recognized how much those simple words meant to me until I realized I would never hear them this same way again. It’s crushing.
But if I can save a single person from these same feelings, then my experience with them has meant something—so take my word for it, and take nothing for granted.
This, all of this, is temporary. “Blink of an eye.” It’s easy to forget that during a day to day crawl. Just trying to push through a work week. Trying to make it through to see this show or that party. Every second, even those spent doing the most tedious of dayjob work, is precious.
I’ve been absolutely blessed with amazing family, incredible friends and wonderful, supportive fans. Often, my fans feel more like friends, while friends melt in to family. I, very sincerely, love you all and couldn’t think of better company to spend ‘forever’ with, but despite your spiritual belief, on Earth here it simply does not exist.
We must work with the time we’re given and make the most of it.
Somehow, the simple act of remembering that is a great first step to not taking the days for granted, and so I wanted to remind you all here and now: these moments too will pass. Live them to the fullest and let the people you care about know you care.
I care about all of you, and I appreciate you hanging in there with me to read this.
Rest peacefully, Grandma James.
The lines blur between these three groups so often, I rarely consider them separate anymore, but I want each and every one to know—if you’ve taken the time to read these words here—I’m grateful for your support.
Today marks the beginning of the first time off I’ve taken from a day job in years for an actual vacation. Traditionally, I’ve always held these days back as best as possible to travel for shows. This year, with kHill taking the trek to Austin for SXSW as a solo, I was enabled to plan out a little family vacation for me and mine, and I can’t begin to tell you guys how excited I am about it.
What’s more important for me to mention however is how grateful I am to anyone who’s purchased my older album ‘entropy’ in the past several months. Anyone who’s booked me to perform across the same time frame. The cash earned in those avenues has all went in to our family vacation fund. Rap, to extents, is paying for my fam to kick it at the beach this weekend—and that means a lot to me.
Thank you all, each and every one of you. I’ll make sure to take plenty of pictures to show we are all frivolously blowing your hard earned money on umbrella drinks and junk food. I can’t wait.
I’m kicking off my first couple of days on vacation with a ‘staycation,’ as I’ve learned from my friends. Today I slept in late, and the entirety of my plan is to pick up my comics as soon as the shop opens and hang out with second shift friends I rarely see. Write some new raps perhaps. I’ve got a lot of awesome beats stocked in my inventory and a lot planned that I can’t wait to tell you all about.
In the meantime, have you still not listened to Srsface: Volume 2?
It’s gotten some great feedback, and I’m really happy with it. It features some of my rapfam like Jesse Dangerously, Shane Hall, Rift, Constant Remind, Tribe One and Ming Ming. You definitely should give it a spin!
Also, if you have listened to Srsface: Volume 2—are you a SPACEBALLS fan?
I know I am. I also know there was a severe lacking in the spaceballs-themed rap category, so I took it upon myself (with the help of the extremely talented cecilnick) to create SPACEBALLS: THE RAP SONG.
It’s cecilnick and I’s current entry in nerdcorenow.com’s VPC2 challenge. Check it (and everyone else’s contribution) out!
And, as always, stay tuned! (Much) More to come!
First, however, prepare for gratuitous ”I’M AT THE BEACH!” Instagrams. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Sulfur, why the hell didn’t you tell us at the BEGINNING of the day?!”
Well, I’ll TELL you why.
(GO GET THAT ISH!)
Winner of the Srsface/Earthbound contest announced!
Homie JFX316 got the winning pick for a reblog right here on Tumblr. Thanks to everybody who participated!
I thought I’d extend this one extra day to give all one last chance to enter. Plenty of names in the hat already—but still time to get in a few last minute shares, reblogs, retweets, etc, etc!
Looking forward to rolling through Eagleland with one of ya’ll! We’ll blast Srsface; Volume 2 out of the Runaway Five van.
Srsface: Volume 2 is now up for grabs over on my bandcamp, absolutely free!
Big ups to my friends Jesse Dangerously, Shane Hall, Rift, Constant Remind and Tribe One who all murdered parts on this album! I <3 those guys. You all should buy two of everything they sell.
Also, special thanks to both cecilnick and Mikal kHill for not strangling me as I badgered them for advice during the mixing phase. I <3 those guys, too!
In less than one hour, Srsface: Volume 2 drops, and you’ll be able to download it on my bandcamp for free.
I want to take a quick moment beforehand to thank everyone who’s downloaded Volume 1, all of my rapfam that joined or helped me on either volume and any and everyone who’s just now getting to listen to both.
I’ve had a lot of fun working with these, and it’s been an amazing learning experience on my end. One that I hope is as much fun to listen to as it was to make.
The first song on Srsface: Volume 1 is titled wORLD iS mINE, and I wanted to touch on it briefly before I release Volume 2.