August 11, 2008
I'll never forget where I was when I heard the news. I was sitting exactly where I'm sitting now, doing exactly what I am doing now, same desk, same job, same laptop, same cup of coffee to my right. I was checking my myspace and I saw Quickie Mart's status that Bionik had passed away.
"This has got to be a joke!" I said to myself...
I messaged Quickie and he got back to me later that day, and I found out that, NO... this was NOT in fact a joke. It was a tragedy. I first met Nate as a fan. When I lived in Lafayette, we would drive out for his shows. He became one of the emcees that I most admired, for his talents and his lifestyle. His talent was evident, but few knew that he was a man of God who never touched drugs nor alcohol nor cigarettes. I remember talking with him at length after a show at Twiropa and being impressed with his no nonsense take on the world. I could speak volumes about his music and the amount of times I'd listened to the Lucky Stiffs Mixtape, or the Darkness and the Light. New Orleans lost an ambassador, a son and a friend that day one year ago to something as senseless as drunk driving.
Nate and I really didn't begin to become friends until after he moved to Denver. The year was 2007, he was about to go on tour and was looking for a tour dj. I eagerly through my hat into the ring. I knew that working with Bionik on a daily basis would be a huge honor. This came at a time when I had given up alcohol (entire calender year 2007). I felt like it would be a good fit for me and possibly some of Nate's spiritual well-being would rub off on me also.
We talked about once a week or so for a while. I don't even know how seriously I was even being considered, but I never did get the occasion to work with Nate. When I heard the news I was crushed. I could only imagine how devastating it was to his family, and his close musical brethren Quickie Mart, Know One, Impulss, Soapbox, Truth Universal, etc...
I always wished I could've thanked him for sharing his gift with the world. It is my hope that today we can plant seeds in his name, remember his art, and make art in his name. Let's make AUGUST 11 of every year, BIONIK BROWN DAY!!!