So its almost another year that has passed since Dj Grand Wizard Roc Raida passed away. Its difficult to express the loss of a friend. Its even more difficult to see the impact his death has played on the whole X-ecutioner collective. No matter what when i flashback to the good times we had on stage and on tour. Being able to watch classic footage of our first show in Boston and i say "our" because i was there before the deal, (Rob and i grew up in the same neighborhoods Jackson heights /Corona/Elmhurst and east elmhurst. Robs big brother use to take us up to the Rooftop and Red Parrot and places like that way back..that is my brother no matter what goes on in this music game), Besides the incredible battles that Rob and Raida were in, one of my earliest memories has to be a show we did in Boston at a club called Avalon. It was across the street from where the Boston Red Sox play and next to the 'Green Monster" that humongous outfield wall, weirdest and dopest thing is that from the outside since the stadium must be sunken case the top of the wall is ground level. I think Rob rented a mini van and we drove up there to do this show , no real format but this was the genesis of something great and by the crowds response i think they felt the same (big shout to Ninja B)
*check at about 2:30 - 3:15* the Kids in the front row (someone stole that footage from me #SMH no someone on the bus and i know who but ill leave old things in the past)
really have the like rocking at the MTV ICON for AeroSmith and meeting musical legends; to stressful times like Raida and Eclipse fighting on the tour bus, but making up soon after i wouldn't trade either. I always wish that there was more that we still could do. Sometimes being witness to the creative powers of these turntable genius', I wonder why commercial hip hop didnt get it. Yeah there was a definite wave of commercial success after the "Its going down" record. But being that their manager felt it gave the X too much light; the potential of the song was never fulfilled with that record. I remember being on tour and having an argument with
(When you allow outsiders to disrupt the chemistry it spoils the formula)
Being that Rob Swift is a dear friend to me, i never flipped on anyone in the group, but many a days i wanted to hurt people. And so went the tours there was always a tension within the group, I wish we fought more (i digress again)
First battle vs I.S.P i drove Robs pops car there with the fellas in tow because i had a drivers license. First tour "Elements of Hip Hop" I road managed and did my songs off the X-pressions album... The list goes on but anyone who was really down know whats GUD. So it bothers me and it always has bothered me that the group now is splintered; and no they were not one of the most cohesive of terms in there personal friendships anyway, before the tragedy. However i felt that the loss of Roc Raida would have brought brothers to work together with a common goal, but that has not happened.
When Rob felt he had outgrown and chose to leave the group, a few years ago. The group still managed to do their thing but , the parts equal the whole and something was missing. Even though the writing was on the wall on early. An example during the Emeinem tour when Rob left for a good reason. (he didn't like our stage placement and where we were on the set list) I can only blame Peter Kang not conveying strongly enough his groups worth to the people running that tour. (Yeah yeah i am airing a few things out, if you don't like it leave me a comment or go jump off the bridge. This is my opinion; like assholes everyone has one! (i digress) We had so much fun and shared so many new and excting expierences, you would think that could hold things together, but it didnt.
So now where is the brotherhood. That last day when we went to see Raida not thinking it would be the last day to see or speak to him. It was deep, a bunch of friends and family trying to show support for our wounded brother. Looking back on it he was saying goodbye, he may not have known it but his spirit was saying farewell to its earthly connections. We stood around his hospital bed in a circle his wife Tye, his real friends, similar to a turntable spinning slowly to a stop even though the song was not ready to end. Raida i miss sneaker shopping with you and Blind. I miss watching how proud he was when his daughters would come to the shows and sometimes get on the turntables like daddy. Those in the circle knew in the beginning Raida and i clashed a bit because of my friendship with Rob. But years later, tours later, whores later...we was all good. When Rob left the Anger Management tour it put me in a weird space. On one hand that's my Ace boon coon...I wondered to myself should i leave also, but i wanted stay for the money, and i didn't think it was necessary to leave; things will all work out. But the unforeseen consequence to Rob leaving is my friendship with Raida grew and at this moment i treasure that time. And that split inspired those crazy dope duo routines that Raida and Eclipse would kill during the shows without Rob there. Even though two memebers were M.I.A Raida and Eclipse held it down and never dissapointed the fans at the arenas.
I had always hoped that the crew would work things out but the only times the guys performed together again was reunion shows and those where not the 4 man turntable army productions that people were use to. They hired a few replacement killers but you can not supplement the original Sensi for the pupil.
I had totally accepted that the group would never exisit like we did when we first started in this game. I never thought that it would be a fleeting memory, but Tyme moves on. I see flashes of what once was when the guys do Raida tributes but the spirit of the X-ecutioners died on that September day in that facility i thought Raida would have walked out of one day.
Now today we have all moved on and sometimes i wonder who cares? I wonder why there hasnt been a tribute record by those who say they "rep for Raida". I hope i dont sound too bitter, my animosity or fustration is only caused by a friends death, and the actions or lack there of from the people who seemed to me to be the closest to him. Im writing to wash away the pain, the enjoyable times i have enjoyed with the X-ecutioners will never out weigh the weight of losing Raida. But i am thankful to have great memories and an amazing group of friends who kill on the 1 and 2's.
Rest in Power Brother Raida miss your swagger!!! BIG HORSE 4 EVA