Andrew Burrows pays tribute
The news came in late on Saturday night 21 June. At a traffic light at Prince Charles and the Fox Holl Road, there as an accident. There was an altercation between two people so the talk is and one got stabbed and cut as a result of the argument. Result, one man dead while trying to make his way to the hospital. The man turned out to be the Bahamian rapper Mdeez, whose proper name was Dayvon Knight.
Andrew Burrows, the former Director of News, at the Broadcasting Corporation, posted this tribute on his Facebook Page
On June 6th, around 11, I tried to call him. I had just finished putting my bags in the car and I was on the road to LPIA to get on the Bahamasair flight to Long Island. It was already raining and as much as I dislike driving and being on the phone, I needed to talk to him right away.
I had just seen his social media post highlighting his upcoming shows. We’d been talking for a few months about his next music video that I would have the privilege to produce and direct. This was supposed to be the one that took him global. He’d been working up to this point and he and Big L were very very happy with the treatment I wrote and apparently, so was the record company. I needed to talk to him about the schedule because I also knew that my timing had to be right.
He answered the phone. I could tell he was driving too. He said he was in a rush trying to catch a plane. I laughed and told him I was doing the same thing but my flight wasn’t for another hour so I was all good. We agreed to talk when he got the airport. He had Big L with him so we could finalize a few things once and for all about the music video.
We didn’t get to talk then. My flight got called not long after I arrived and I sent him a message that I would buzz him later that evening. He replied with a dollar sign and wrote he’d be working but cool, no time is too late. We didn’t get to talk then either.
This past weekend, I saw his social media post about his efforts to fight hunger in his area. He’d been doing it for a while now with a group of friends. They’d pool their own money along with some donations and they’d prepare food for the hungry and distribute bags. He knew I had an interest in the subject and told me my work on the homeless documentary and what he was able to see on the streets made him go full ahead into it. He didn’t want to be just another artist. I spoke to him last Sunday. I asked him if he was ready for me to do a short film on their feeding program. He had told me “no” the other 11 times before that I asked. He didn’t want to make the folks they were helping feel undignified and he definitely did not want anyone to think he was doing it for the publicity. I was finally able to convince him to let me film the next one because his movement had started to catch on. I joked that he was already putting it out there so we may as well do it right. He said “since you put it that way Fam, let me talk to the crew but I think we can do it.”
He and I never used names. He called me Fam. I called him Fam. We also never really had an argument about anything. Ever. He’d ask for something and it would be yes or no but never an argument. Likewise. I wanted to do a video for his song “Tiffany”. He said no. Then he joked and said he’s probably going to get fussed out by his cousin, my niece, Tiffany Reid anyway and if I was involved, then both of us would be in the dog house. I told him that’s okay, Carlos Reid would pray for us to which he replied “The doghouse got room for three.”
He was always lightening quick with jokes like that.
I called him yesterday morning. Or maybe it was Wednesday. He said he was on his way to meet up with Avvy Int’l. I told him to tell Avvy Int’l I needed a size 10 pair of those toe shoes he had on in Exuma but I needed them chocolate brown. It was a joke he knew but he said sure. We chatted for a little bit about the music video. I told him I had found the model and he updated me on the record company’s reaction. We agreed to talk when he got a chance to take a break later that day. We did speak. I told him about the visuals I had prepped and that I needed him to find me 100 black balloons. I explained how I’d use them and he was stoked. He said this video was going to be bananas and he couldn’t wait. We talked some more and in the moment, I said to him “Fam, it’s finally happening!” He knew what I meant. We always ended a call with some version of “I love you Fam”.
From the very beginning, I was his biggest fan, supporter, enabler. He told me no matter how big he got, I’d be a part of it whenever I wanted to. Whenever he wrote a new song, weeks before he sent it out to ther folks, he’d send it to me. I heard “Well Fresh” months before he made the video. I wasn’t ready then but he shared the ideas. Same thing for “Screws Loose.” I told him he was in great hands with Farreno. When he was working on Classics, he told me he had a song that I couldn’t say no to. That video would be mine. I told him sure I would do it provided he made a song for the new season of Shock Treatment. We sat down and I pretty much cowrote it on the spot with him and Mack in the Day AKA Dmac Bahamas‘s junior.
And now this…gone. In the middle of his ascendancy. Snuffed out. He was to be the first Bahamian to hit the stage at Sunsplash in Kingston, the biggest reggae festival in the world. He had a new song that would be the first single, “Bad Company” with Starface. I’d direct that video right here in Nassau and maybe in Jamaica too. Now he’s gone.
I know there’s a lot of talk about how it happened and I’ve assured a few of you directly that it’s not exactly as BP and other initial wannabe news sites are saying it is.
His aunt is my sister in law but we never use the “in law” part because we’ve always been one family. I’ve never seen anything like it. His late mom, her sisters and uncles were all like my brothers and sisters. This is not easy for them to see and hear the various versions of what has happened. I’m sure I’ll get the go ahead if the outlets don’t correct the facts first but suffice it to say, this is hard for all of us. He was….is…was a great person thru and thru.
RIP DayvonMdeez Knight. I lve you Fam!