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“I didn’t want to run from that. I wanted to be honest about what happened.”

16 SEVEN JULY / AUGUST 2015

T

he people at Tedashii’s label weren’t feeling the first half-dozen songs he wrote for its follow-up, though. The Texas-born hip-hop artist wrote and recorded five more songs, sent them to the label and got the same response. “It sounds like this isn’t really you,” he recalls his label telling him. They were right. Tedashii wasn’t delving into what was really on his heart: the death of his one-year-old son in March 2013. After the second round of rejected songs, Tedashii came up with two more, including “Dark Days, Darker Nights,” which would become the fourth track on Below Paradise. “My days be long, nights seem long / Calling on help and nobody is home,” Tedashii raps over staccato snare beats and wailing guitars. “All by myself and I feel so alone / Cold world, yeah, and I know it’s for show / Worst day of my life and it’s just getting badder / Asking Him why and looking for answers.”

Tedashii sent the song to his label. They liked what they heard and asked him if he was comfortable mining the depths of his pain on the rest of the album. “I said yes, I’m going to keep writing this way,” the 38-year-old told SEVEN during an interview via Skype this past May. “I didn’t want to run from that. I wanted to be honest about what happened.” Tedashii didn’t mince words in the news release his label put out when Below Paradise hit stores in May 2014. He described the loss of his son as the worst day of his life and an event that changed him forever. “The comfort of life with no pain was gone and I saw the world in an entirely new way,” Tedashii wrote. “I felt forsaken, alone and in a place of darkness that has been kept masked by a focus on only the good side of this life. The reality of being a Christian and suffering so harsh a thing was hard for me to grasp.”

SEVEN - Issue 43 (July/August 2015)  

Music. We’re surrounded by it, entertained by it, inspired by it, moved by it. But what lies beneath can often be equally as compelling as t...