Two things: My grandmother died in October. I could write about her life and her passing, and what I produce could still be bad (even if I'm moved by the memories of her). Which is to say it could be done without any sense of language, without detail, without insight, without making you think differently about a universal experience that nevertheless wrecks us all. Seriously. I could do it. You wouldn’t like it. My sentences would dribble out like saccharine notes on a piano, and my voice would be whiny, thin, and, ugh, so white. (Disclosure: I am white.) And then, remarkably, after brief platitudes about how my grandmother and I will be reunited somewhere, Wiz Khalifa would turn in just the laziest bars about “how hard work forever pays.” I’d attempt my singing some more, in this piece of bad writing. Wiz would rap again. That’d be that. It would clarify nothing. It would reveal nothing. It would be very bad and empty. No one would benefit. No one would be saved. —Ross Scarano