It was an exciting, hopeful week for me, celebrating Michael Jordan’s legacy and preparing for my triumphant return to Baskin Robbins, until I heard the news that Fred the Godson has died of Corona. Now I’m not even sure if I want to leave the house anymore.
No but really, it’s a sad thing anytime someone dies, and this death in particular comes as a bit of a shock given that, up until just now, rappers had somehow managed to avoid dying of Corona. Usually, rappers try not to miss an opportunity to die.
Scarface and Slim Thug, who are both older than Fred the Godson, caught Corona, and they’ve yet to die from it. YNW Melly says he has it and that they haven’t given him anything for it other than a bottle of Gatorade, which is the same thing they give you if you demand to be taken to the hospital because you coughed up a little blood after sniffing cocaine, as discussed in Kanye West Superstar.
Fred the Godson may have been at a disadvantage, because he had either a very large neck or no neck at all, depending on how you look at it. Regardless, he looked like he may have had a hard time breathing even under the best of circumstances.
It didn’t seem to affect his ability to rap, but if you notice, a lot of fat guys can rap well without getting winded. Big Pun, for example, probably couldn’t climb a single flight of stairs without having to stop halfway up and take a seat for a few minutes, but he could rattle off that line about being dead in the middle of Little Italy as if he were quoting from the menu at White Castle.
I suspect that this is because, for fat guys, gorging themselves with food, oftentimes in response to emotional distress, functions as a sort of de facto endurance training. They’re more comfortable not being able to breathe from their mouths for minutes at a time, and their throats might even be expanded some (ahem) from not properly chewing their food.
Admittedly, I never heard Fred the Godson rap a day in my life until yesterday. I remember seeing pictures of him back when he first hit the scene and thinking that he had a… uh, unique look. Nullus. He was an XXL Freshman in 2011, but I think that was after I was sent packing. In fact, they may have purposely gotten rid of me before they announced that year’s group of industry plants. As many a rap music aficionado pointed out on Twitter, 2011 was a big year, with everyone from Meek Mill to Mac Miller to Kendrick Lamar. I don’t listen to any of those people, but I respect the impact that they’ve had on the culture.
Someone posted a video of Fred the Godson spitting a freestyle in what may or may not have been the lobby of a hood chicken restaurant—probably the ideal place to see him ply his craft. In a black durag and a proto-normcore button-down shirt, he called to mind the kid from the popular meme who can’t remember what a ham sandwich is called. I had a similar shirt when I was in college. It was made by Chaps Ralph Lauren. I only wore it on special occasions.
I was impressed by Fred the Godson’s delivery despite his aforementioned shortcomings, and I was amused by some of his bars, especially a line about Chris Brown putting a shoe on Rihanna. This freestyle was probably recorded shortly after the legendary Rumble in the Lambo, but it’s a testament to the timeless nature of great songwriting that I found it good for a chuckle decades after the fact. Salutes.
Take it easy on yourself,