Don’t it always seem to go… that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone” - Janet Jackson
It sucks that when you lose a friend you wish you could’ve told him/her how much they meant to you. I am so fortunate to be blessed with the friends I have and I want to let y’all know that I wouldn’t be who I am without you. My life would mean nothing without my friends.
When we first started Goontribe, we were on St Catherine street everyday. Ask anyone, we were on the block 24/7. We were just coming up, trying to make a name for ourselves. I won’t lie but times were hard. If we’d make $20 in a week, we’d be happy. But we stuck to it. We handed out thousands and thousands of flyers. We hustled! When you’re on the block everyday, you eventually see the same people. That’s where Paul comes in. We knew each other from the West, from Abbott, from Dawson. But I didn’t really get to know him til we saw each other on the daily. I would see him with his harmonica doing his thing. He was practicing while getting paid. That’s how he put it. Not only did I respect and admire the music but I respected the hustle. We were both grinding.
We developed a pretty good friendship. I would take time off my shit to chill and listen to him and he would chill with us while we passed out flyers. We blazed a lot together and shared a lot of laughs and stories in the park behind HMV. Both of us weren’t really making money back then but we would look out for each other. We’d take care of him at our jams… free cover and drinks and what not. And he would do what he could to look out for me. When we’d be down and out he would hit the harmonica on the corner for a bit. Just enough to get money for us to grab a bite or buy some cigs or get some trees. Back then he was also known for rockin a Fedora type hat. I don’t know what I did to deserve it but he gave it to me. He told me he wanted me to have it. He didn’t have much but he gave me something thing that was important to him. Which I think is worth more than money. I’ll never forget that. Some of his close friends almost jumped me cuz they saw me with the hat. That’s just to show you how a part of him it was.
Flyering isn’t legal… believe it or not. We would always have to watch out for police. One day, cops came and spotted one of the flyer guys passing shit out. They didn’t see anyone else, just that dude. We were safe. So we thought. Dude ended snitching me out. He told the police “It’s not me, It’s Chops.” I couldn’t believe it!!! But before I knew it, Paul was trying to jump the guy for ratting me out. He almost got arrested for me. He was a dude that really took care of his peeps. He didn’t have to but he put his neck on the line for me and I am grateful to know he had my back.
Forward til today. We have accomplished a lot in over 10 years. I used to tell him I could picture him playing with Outkast. Maybe he didn’t end up playing for them but he might’ve done better. He was able to share his music around the world. Rock the stage with Nas, open for Snoop, for 50, Ross.. that’s just to name a few. And no matter what he never forgot where he came from. He always repped Montreal.
A lot of people are talking about how Montreal lost a great artist. It’s true. But a lot of us lost a friend.
Paul, I wish I could’ve told you this while you were still here….. I am truly blessed to have met you and to have you as friend. May you rest in peace and may God look over your family. I will never forget you brother.