The Death of Legends

It’s been a sad couple of days, and really, more like a sad couple of years. It seems that the immortality of my youth has begun to not just fade, but instead, shatter, in what has been an endless stream of passing friends, family, peers, and respected individuals.

It’s been a tough road, paved with sorrow and sadness. But, luckily, I haven’t been forced to bare it alone. We’ve all been surrounded by friends and family when coping with recent tragedy and death. And, it’s been a learning process as well. Facing death can be terrifying. Seeing it, though, can be sobering and motivational. Remember all of the times you swore you’d get around the getting something done? Remember when you said you’d call your mom tomorrow, and then again the next day? Do it today. Do it now. That’s what I’ve learned recently — moreso than ever. We’re all mortal and everyone we know is, too. Don’t wait.

In case you’re unaware, the world of hip hop music and culture recently suffered from two losses. First, the man that’s donned the crown of the Godfather of Rap, Gil Scott-Heron, passed away this past weekend at the age of 62. While admittedly a late fan of his, I had nothing but admiration and respect for his music and his movement. The soul of his music lives on through innumerable words spoken by artists and poets around the world.

Also this week, Jonas Bevacqua has been reported dead. Bevacqua has been one of the most influential people, making the world of independent art and culture as the convergent, expanding and all-inclusive movement that we know it as today. In 1999, he co-founded an independent clothing line called Lifted Research Group — or, as it may be better known, LRG. The ideals and principles of his brand have been the structural support for a sprawling metropolis of independent-minded, corporate-bucking individuals. LRG has grown to change the very definition of independent art — from broken and inadequate to cool and successful. The legacy of his brand is undeniable.

And that’s really only the beginning. Need not we forget the passing of so many other hip hop greats — from Eyedea to Big L to Guru — and how quickly those that we see and hear everyday could just as easily slip away from us.

Rest in peace to both of these pioneers and all of those we’ve lost in recent years. May we all learn from the loss. Life’s shorter than you can ever imagine.

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