Youtube embed, the blog post is by John Hoff
In the course of hot discussion about music videos released by "Da Movement" which appear to reference the murder of gang leader Tyrone "Ty Crack" Washington at Epic Nightclub, this blog has embedded videos of those songs and shared with the largest audience in this blog's history. Indeed, while abhorring the violence glorified by the songs I have been somewhat complimentary of their technical prowess, the bold First Amendment expression, and daring artistic innovation by the musicians; smashing the boundary between "what is art" and "what is evidence."
But I am certainly not taking sides, here. And I committed myself in a public way to giving equal time to any musical expression by the "other side" in the name of fair play, journalistic integrity and (good Lord!) putting the focus on music instead of KILLING EACH OTHER...
No "musical response" has been drawn to my attention in a specific way but while looking for clues I turned up this video on YouTube by smashnicwil87, who sings the song "Halo" and verbally dedicates the song at the end of the video to Tyrone Washington. The video title and the date of production also leaves no doubt this rendition of the song is an "RIP" tribute to Tyrone Washington, a/k/a "Ty Crack," who was freshly deceased at that moment. The singer's actual relationship to Tyrone is unclear but "friend" appears to be an accurate label.
The singer starts nervously with some "breathing techniques" and then launches into the song "Halo." This tune was a megahit for Beyoncé, but for anybody who isn't familiar; here's the original.
The "RIP" tribute video doesn't have a professional singer's perfect pitch, but there's a reason; her voice has a genuine grief stricken quality which ads an interesting and expressive layer. I am reminded of "Skyscraper" by Demi Lavato.
Lavato manages to convey an emotionally torn up quality in her song, but she's clearly acting. Lavato might be conjuring up grief by thinking of old boyfriends who did her wrong, terminally ill puppies and starving children in Africa all at the same time; but she's acting.
There's no acting in the "RIP Ty Crack" video. The singer is upset by the homicide; who wouldn't be? What's interesting is that she DOESN'T cry (unlike Lavato, who must have raw onions nearby to pull off those tears) but seems focused upon pulling off her tribute in a way that is almost like a musical professional who knows "the show must go on."
Yet the video is a "true tribute" in the sense she appears to be singing directly to Tyrone Washington, not trying to make the show all about her nor playing to the other people watching. Since this YouTube video has a mere 40 views at present, it's clear Smashnicwil87 wasn't doing a lot of self-promoting. When she says "I can see your halo," she is saying that directly to Tyrone Washington in heaven, where she believes him to be; she's not playing to an audience, at least not as her primary purpose.
Will the magic powers of the internet will somehow communicate her intentions to Washington? The video has a childlike quality of faith like small kids who ask if they can somehow dial heaven and talk to their dead brother. There is something about this song, and the way it is delivered, which seems to say...
"If I put my song in a bottle, and throw that bottle upon the waters of the internet, it will reach him on the other side. I can't go there directly, but the internet can reach all the way to heaven and Tyrone will hear my song."
When people are killed, somebody grieves. And what are the killers doing?
And wondering, uneasily, if all this internet discussion will somehow bring forth witnesses and evidence.