Input on how SupaHotBeats convinced him to share his harrowing Columbine experience
Which of the shooters were you in a class with?
Dylan. I was in a gym class with him. It was pretty bizarre. Thinking about it now, I realize how bad the kid really had it. We were in a gym class together, and it was like the kid just got tormented on a daily basis. So to see these things happen to somebody and then to realize these were the buttons being pushed and the breaking point of somebody so young. And not to say that anything that happened to him was justifiable for him to come in and shoot people, but you can definitely see where he was worn thin from the pure abuse he got.
It was a day-in, day-out type thing. And he was just a different kid, you know? He'd come to gym class wearing his...he'd have his gym uniform on that we all had to wear, but he'd wear like military combat boots. So he was just this target that everybody in the class just loved to pick on. It was pretty insane to see it all kind of unfold and then realize this is the kid that came out of all this torment and bullying.
So he stood out to you even before any of this happened?
Yeah, yeah, just because he was the target, man. Like we had -- there was this game called 'biff.' It was like a dodgeball game, but it was like an every-man-for-himself game. They would line the whole class up along the walls of the gymnasium, and the teacher would just drop like twenty dodgeballs in the center of the gymnasium, and then they'd blow the whistle and everyone would just run up, grab a ball, and then it's like you just throw it at whoever. And [it was a] once you hit somebody, you're out type of thing. The goal was to try to hit somebody and get the ball to come back to you, so you were on the attack rather than the defense.
And it never failed. At some point in the game, multiple kids would all just get in a circle around this kid and all just attack him, just all hit him. One person would hit him low in the nuts and he'd fall down, and then they'd all just start hitting him in the face while he was laying down. It was crazy to do this to a seventeen year old kid. It's nuts. And it didn't click [to me] until years after, that I was like, 'Man, this is what this kid had to go through on a daily basis, just because he was different.'
How did he react to that? Did he get angry or lash out?
No. It was just like lifeless, man. He just took it, and then he would just get up and walk away. Never said a word. Never anything. He would just lay there until they were done, and then he would just get up, and it was on to the next game or class was over, and then he'd be back the next day. It was crazy, man.
It was weird, because we'd sit in this hallway before class started. You'd go get dressed in the locker room, and then we'd all kind of like sit out in the hallway lined up along both sides of the hallway before class would begin, and he was always one of the last ones to walk in to get ready.
So we'd all be sitting there, and it was almost like cinematic, man. Like, he would come down the hallway and it was just like slow motion, like he's just walking and all these kids lined up on both sides of him, and he's the only person walking down the hallway with camo pants, combat boots, a hackers T-shirt, his trench coat, a beret and sunglasses on. You just saw this one person walking down, and it was just an every day thing. And so once I finally put all the pieces together, that memory of him walking became really embedded into my memory of those events.
Did you ever have any personal interaction with him?
No. Never. I never did. And that was, like, the sad thing. Being a new kid in the school, I found myself partaking and joining in on the other side of it. Not...I wasn't the one that was circling around him and throwing shit at him, but I was one of those kids that laughed and kind of joined in on that kind of side of it. So, seeing myself as that, is just, like, fucked up. But you know, at fourteen years old, what are you really going to do? You're not going to go in there and try to stop it, and now you're going to get your ass kicked, too, type of thing was, like, the mentality. I was more like in the distance, in the cut with everything that went on. But, yeah, I never once had any personal exchange with the kid.
So this marks -- this song, "Spirit's Fly," marks the first time that you've actually dealt with this in song, or dealt with this lyrically?
Yeah. I mean, there's been like very, very minimal points that I've touched on something, in terms of saying something like, 'At fifteen years old, I was forced to be grown up' -- things like that. But it was never anything where, like...nobody would really understand what that meant. It was just kind of like my own personal way of exuding that. Without me telling somebody that this one line is in reference to this, it was never to the point where I was actually like, 'This is my story of what happened at Columbine. Here you go.'
Here's five minutes of your time to understand what a firsthand look at crazy ass day at Columbine was like. The storyline I tried to pull with the song was that there is success and it's not living in darkness and everything just because of the tragedy, which a lot of people tend to do. There's still people that refuse to talk about it, as opposed to me, where I'm like, 'Let's sit down. Let's chop it up.' Because this is a story that people need to hear.