On April 28, 2019, my grandmother was admitted to the hospital. I stayed every day and night at the hospital with her until May 16, 2019, when she died. My grandmother passed away on May 16, 2019, and about a week later, I was already in the studio recording the “Goodbye” song. I was even crying in the studio during the recording process of the track.
The song was officially released on June 11, 2019, and the music video for the song was released on September 15, 2019. That song has been the most personal thing I’ve ever put out there as far as any form of art or entertainment goes. I was in the hospital with my grandmother for almost a month until she passed away. I was practically living at the hospital during that time. I would practice the song and rap it and perform it to her while she was asleep in a morphine-induced coma.
During that time, I also lost my job because, according to AT&T, the company I gave five years of my life to, my grandma dying of cancer in a hospital wasn’t a good enough reason to get time off from work. I was 100% transparent with them about my family emergency. I was ultimately told by my job in the most cold-hearted way that if my mother or father had been the ones in the hospital dying instead of my grandmother, they would have cared enough to grant me a personal leave of absence from work. I then told them in the most fucked up way possible to go fuck themselves. My grandma needed to have a family member there watching over her 24/7. Putting my family first over that piece of shit of a job is something that I will never regret. Family always comes first!
My grandmother visited the hospital frequently about a year before because her blood count kept dropping, and the doctors did not know why. The doctors just kept giving her blood transfusions, and by the time they found out that she had cancer, it was too late to do anything about it.
Around that time is when I started writing the lyrics for “Goodbye.” If you haven’t watched the music video for “Goodbye,” please do so right now! Because from this point on, I’m going to be breaking the song apart and explaining things that you can only understand if you have watched the music video.
In the song itself, there are some parts that I’m only speaking in Spanish, and that’s because my grandmother was Cuban and only knew Spanish. In those Spanish spoken verses, I’m talking directly to my grandmother. You can catch those verses towards the beginning of the song and at the end. In the music video, you can see the English translation of those verses. The music video has many hidden messages and shows you a complete picture of the story, especially if you stick around after the song ends.
Towards the credits, there is actual home video footage of my grandmother. The home video footage recordings are the last moments of her life on earth.
In the first verse, you can hear my struggle with death and the reality of what was happening. I was trying to find some logic and understanding behind the whole thing, and logically I thought that if I did commit suicide, I would end up in hell. Since hell is at the bottom and heavens above, I would at least have a chance to see my grandma one last time. When you are in that deep state of depression and thinking about suicide, your mind starts thinking of crazy thoughts like that, and at the time, it sounded like the most logical thing to do.
In the second verse, I describe my grandma’s beautiful and wholesome personality in contrast with the shitty-ass people that we live with in society. Everybody loved my grandma! I mean everybody! Family, neighbors, and friends would all visit my grandma, spend some time with her, and taste some of her home-cooked Cuban food. It was all love in grandma’s place! In the second verse, you can also hear me again trying to make sense of everything and understand what just happened—justifying my grandma’s death as a punishment for sin.
In the third verse, I start looking for another excuse to kill myself. My mind starts thinking about how much my father doesn’t love me. My mind starts to use that as an additional excuse to kill myself. Looking back at it now, if I didn’t have such a strong support group on my side with people that loved me, things could’ve easily taken a turn for the worse.
The music video is full of little easter eggs and hidden messages that some people caught on to and others missed. One of the obvious hidden messages are some references to my foot fetish and my previous “Feet On My Face” song. During the song’s chorus, you see me sitting on a couch drinking some beer. If you notice, the beer brand that I am drinking is called “Toe Brew.” Also, in the scenes where I’m standing outside on my balcony, you can see in the background that I have one of my “Feet On My Face” music videos playing on my computer. All of this is just to remind the audience that although I’m going through a rough time in my life, my fetish will always be a part of me, and it’s not something that I can choose to live without. I was born with this fetish, and it’s always going to be there no matter what I’m going through in my life.
Another symbol you see is the red carnation flower in the tombstone, which was simply my grandma’s favorite flower. My grandmother and grandfather (who passed away back in the 90s) had green thumbs for growing carnations in their home garden. After my grandfather’s death, my grandmother would decorate her home with that flower in memory of him.
By the time my grandmother passed away, I knew that my life wasn’t going to be the same anymore and that I would need to make many changes in my personal life. I knew that she did not approve of my lifestyle choices. In the song “Goodbye,” I’m not just saying goodbye to my grandma or the world, but I’m also saying goodbye to the people I used to surround myself with. I knew right then and there that if I survived this emotional tragedy, I would have to make changes in my life and leave the past in the past to make a better future for myself. In the music video, you can see this message symbolized towards the end of the song, where there are polaroid photographs. On the polaroid photographs, you’ll see actual photos of other Juggalos and me.
If you stuck around towards the very end of the music video, you’d notice that I did not use my grandmother’s government name, and instead, I used the nickname that we all used to call her. Everyone used to call my grandmother Mema. Both in the Cuban culture and southern parts of the United States, it’s very common to call grandmothers Mema. In the English language, the nickname is also spelled Meemaw or Memaw. In Spanish, it’s spelled slightly differently, but no matter how you spell it, the pronunciation still stays the same.
My grandmother’s government name was a common Hispanic name. I don’t think I would’ve had any privacy concerns if I would’ve publicly released her actual name. I used her nickname instead of her real name to make the song more relatable so that most people could connect with it. I tried to make the song so that it can relate to anyone’s grandma and I tried my best to keep the identity of who I was talking about a secret (until the end) to preserve that goal. I wanted the song to be relatable to anyone’s grandma or grandma figure in their personal life so that way the person can connect with the song at a much deeper level. The song has no curse words, and I did that on purpose out of respect for my grandma.
I did get a lot of negative backlash from people when I first released this song. Some people’s comments had to be blocked and reported on social media because they were just straight-up heartless assholes! I remember reading one comment from some kid saying that I was selling out, and I would start making emo-rap music from now on and go mainstream.
Another thing that people would tell me about the song is that they would’ve liked it if I cleaned up my vocals more and had the sound engineer use Auto-Tune or something similar. The truth is that I purposely instructed the sound engineer not to clean up my vocals too much because I wanted people to hear and feel my pain. If I would have cleaned up the vocals way too much, I think it would have taken away from the pain I was feeling that came out in my voice. I think I made the right call by instructing my sound engineer not to clean up my vocals too much, just a little. You literally can hear me hysterically crying throughout the song. That is actually me crying inside of the recording booth. I cried for about 10 minutes inside the recording booth, and the sound engineer just mixed all that into the song.
I hope you all enjoyed this backstory to “Goodbye.” I hope this is a song that you can relate to somehow. “Goodbye” is available on all the music streaming platforms. The song was meant to be a tearjerker, but please understand that this is not how I am feeling right now. I know the subject matter of this song is a bit difficult to accept, but it’s how I was feeling at the moment. I am currently in a much better state of mind, thanks to all of you. It’s been hard to move on without her, but thanks to all of you and the family and friends that have reached out, I have slowly recovered from this emotional tragedy in my life.