Robert Ferdinand has never been one to dance around the delicate topics so many others spin their wheels trying to avoid.
The Tampa emcee has been skeptical of Chance the Rapper’s tendency to be be corny as hell, and in August, Ferdinand — better known as Gat$ — tackled black males' mental health and braggadocio on “No L’s.” The track was the anchor on a boom-bap’d, jazzy 2016 LP, By Any Dreams, and now the 28-year has really peeled it back even more as he prepares the release of a new EP, bleed out, you know what you did (due November 11).
A new video, “Patient,” was released to ease fans back into the world of Gat$, and Gat$ has also shared that this next year will also be one he spends looking for something like a miracle.
Last year, Gat$ was officially diagnosed with sickle cell anemia after being misdiagnosed with various other ailments since the age of 12, and he just learned that survival probably means he’ll need a bone marrow transplant.
“I've [come] incredibly close to dying too often in the past year, so I'm going to go full ahead with trying to obtain the procedure,” he wrote on Facebook. “It's scary thinking about trying to find a donor (in case my blood brother isn't a match) and having to go through chemotherapy again, but I feel as this would be the only way to save my life.”
Gat$ told CL that the four-tracks on bleed out, you know what you did mostly chronicle his personal battle with people, being in the hospital and sickly and being black in America.
“It’s mostly about struggle, and what the struggle makes you do,” he said.
Friends have already reached out to see if they can be donors, but he’s opened the call up to anyone who might be interested in helping. He’ll have more specific details about what kind of donor he’s looking for in the coming weeks, but anyone seeking to help can reach out to Gat$ on Facebook. He’ll also chronicle the journey on his website.
“Realistically, I have a year before it would happen, but, I'd be out of commission for at least a year after. It's a solemn thought, but I rather be in a bubble than dead,” he Gat$ wrote. “So with all that being said, let's make this year of art count.”
Watch the clip for “Patient” below.