Friday 5 June 2020



"Hands up, don't shoot, I can't breathe: Famous last words when you look like me." One of the many lines in 'Running Outta Time' that show raw emotion, effortless flow, rhythm and rhyme — an emotive response from LA-based TxTHEWAY to the murder of George Floyd by police officers.

"My brother Brian is busy marching today but he's really the catalyst for this song," he tells y/n via email. "Since social distancing went into place he started diving head first into music and would send me several beats and scratch ideas every couple of days."

'Running Outta Time', with its simplicity, its gleaming yet careworn feel, is one of those ideas. The nebulous vibe of the instrumental, the delicate skittering beat, feels soft — comfortable even — and paints a gentle, intricate backdrop to a track already laced lyrically with tenderness. Though it's a "space to not be okay", TxTHEWAY explains further what is at the heart of 'Running Outta Time'.

"This song is us processing," he says. "It's us asking for understanding while letting our brothers and sisters know that we understand. If people leave from this moment with nothing else, we hope they take that understanding and share it among friends, family members, and coworkers."

Both from Broward County, Florida — TxTHEWAY now based in LA, Brian Fender in New York — the track artwork depicts a childhood photo of the brothers with added crosshairs: a harrowing reminder of the reality, and a reflection of the humanity, and inhumanity, explored in the track; notably the interruption of a gunshot as Brian Fender delivers the hook: "Many things in this life of mine that I survived / Many wrongs I wanna right, I hope don't run outta time."

"Even though the music came to us easy, the subject matter did not," says TxTHEWAY. "The more we watched the news it became clear that even in this new world, even as humanity fights Covid-19 (our invisible enemy) there is another enemy in front of us that is older and just as sinister... racism."

"As we watched the life slip away from George Floyd we saw ourselves, we saw our own mortality, we recognized how easily that could be any person of color. We, like George in his last moments, are running out of time."

From Brian Fender's bouncing, optimist flow and TxTHEWAY's imploring and melodic "Someone say a prayer for me / Promise you'll be there for me", to the detached determination of the instrumental, the softness of 'Running Outta Time' makes digestible the hard-to-swallow reality, bitter hardships delivered from the heart.

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