the downside of giving up on yourself

Several years ago I used to live in Cincinnati, OH. At the time I was working as a computer programmer and was just starting to get my feet wet in the local hip-hop scene.  There were some one-of-a-kind characters in the hip-hop scene then, and while most of them never made it out of the Cincinnati hip-hop scene, they contributed in a big way to what made the scene special at that time.  There was a weekly hip-hop night at Topcats that was the spot that pretty much the entire scene congregated to back then, and battling was how you earned your stripes and respect, so I was there pretty much every Wednesday night.  I didn’t battle as often as other cats but I definitely did my part to hold it down.

Well, one of the cats that was the most popular was a cat named Unseen.  Unseen was from Dayton but moved to Cincy right around the time i moved there and was a part of the crew that hosted the night, the Animal Crackers.  He would host the battles and battle pretty frequently, especially when new heads would come there from out of town and think they could run thru everybody; it was customary for one of the regulars to show them what time it was.  At any rate, Unseen was a great host and a pretty dope rapper that pretty much everybody loved.  He was a sweetheart that as far as I could tell was probably incapable of having enemies.

Unfortunately, Unseen was a troubled kid.  His problems with drugs and depression were well known among those that knew him, but he always seemed to manage it and keep his head up.  There would be periods where you saw him all the time for several months, and then he would kind of disappear for a couple months.  But he was such an honest and good-hearted dude that you would always be happy to see him again.

Well, in 2006 while I was on the road I got word that in Unseen had died.  Continue reading