The past month has been real rough amongst my music family. On November 16th we lost Bay Area veteran, and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, Eric “Mac Pacino” Gordon of the legendary East Palo Alto, CA group Mac & A.K. He passed away from a heart attack at 40yrs old. I first met Mac via the social networking site www.Siccness.net, a West Coast Hip-Hop themed message board that had it’s roots in the Sacramento & Bay Area “gangsta rap” community. When I visited the Bay Area in early 2002, Mac was one of the first people to reach out and want to network. He invited us out to his home in East Palo Alto and we kicked it for a few hours just playing our music and talking about the biz. We stayed in contact ever since and I did work for him here and there over the years. I had just spoke with him weeks before he passed away about working on their new album that was on it’s way. Not sure if it’s going to be released now. Here’s a remix I did for Mac & AK a while back, I think it was slated to be on their upcoming album. My condolences to his family.
On December 2nd I lost my fam Jesse “Byrdie” Watson to complications related to a long battle with cancer. He was one of the most talented people I’ve ever known and worked with. Byrdie, like Mac Pacino, was one of the nice guys. A great spirit that lit up every room he walked into. I knew it the moment I met him…he had “IT.” IT being the total music package. He was a dope MC, he had a charismatic, bright & charming personality that you couldn’t help but love, and he was one of them cute mixed dudes that drive women crazy. Basically, he had talent and was marketable. I remember when I told him that I wanted to work with him – he didn’t believe me. He thought I wanted him to do street promotions for me, so I had to convince him that I thought he was dope and for him to come to the studio ASAP. We added him to our group Full Time Soldiers and the rest is Seattle Hip-Hop history. I still can’t believe he’s gone and I’m honestly pretty fucked up over it. He was only 35. These two losses have really made me put my own life in perspective. That could’ve been me. That could’ve been you. Life is short. My heart goes out to his wife Ruby and all of Byrdie’s family. I love you all. Shout out and thank you to Larry Mizell Jr. who works for 90.3 KEXP and also writes for The Stranger. He did a great 45 minute tribute on his radio show “Street Sounds” during Byrdie’s final hours on Dec 1st, as well as dedicated his Dec 11th column “My Philosophy” to Byrdie. In recent months I had been trying to get Byrdie back in the studio and was planning on featuring him on Grynch’s upcoming album. It’s too bad we couldn’t make it happen. This song “Lord Knows I Try” was the last full song I did with Byrdie in 2009. He recorded a feature verse for me back in February of this year, which I believe is his last recording, but I’m not sure when I’m going to put it out.
I also lost my beloved 13yr old pit bull Jasmin to cancer on December 4th. Her dad, who passed away this year as well, was the model for the Street Level Records logo. Yeah…like I said, it’s been a rough month. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and yours. See you in 2014!