It’s been about 4 1/2 years since Watts started posting pictures of him heading to the river and eventually drowned. The images included pictures of him saying “Consider cutting my hair for my funeral”, “My last meal” and “It’s time to see if my watch is actually waterproof”.
However, 2 days before he left, he posted a 30-minute beat tape on his Soundcloud and Youtube. More of a suicide note than a traditional mixtape, it features dark, experimental and anachronistic instruments interspersed with sound samples about mental illness.
Overall, this is a very disjointed piece of music, not for entertainment, but for expressing and referencing pain. Towards the end, at approximately 27:50, the body can be heard falling into the water, followed by wheezing, unable to breathe. Finally, a sound sample of life flashes before your eyes before death, and the music gradually morphs into slow percussion until complete silence.
Watts took this as his fate, leaving behind a work of art that will live on forever. It’s a tragedy because he’s young, has potential and looks like a creative kid. I heard about it when it first happened, but I’ve been thinking about it every other week since then to remind myself how bad this option of leaving really is.
Mental illness is an ugly predicament that no one can really get out of, we all have ways of coping with it, but it’s up to us to stay strong and believe in ourselves. No matter how “bad” the program was, this kid had enormous talent and potential, and his self-mutilating death will always be a sad sight, but a personal reminder of my desire to be present at my celebrations.
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