Today has been a tough day for me. Actually, since the demise of my relationship over a year ago, I struggle to keep my composure on the daily. When it feels like no one understands – God seems to place the right person, place, or thing into my life when I need it the most.

A friend of mine that works at a coffee shop is often too busy to talk…but not today. They sat right beside me on their break and consoled me while I fought back tears. We are alike in the most important of ways, and to hear them validate and care for my feelings revived my belief in the beauty of life. In addition to this blessing, the first submission I played this afternoon was Cruz Ocho’s Everything Is Fine. Although I’ve never met this man, I feel like I’ve known him all of my life. While I often irrationally believe most people in this world have it all together or are with the love of their lives, Everything Is Fine, and my friend gave me the spiritual awakening necessary to get through this day. Read a few of his lyrics below:

“The cost of living is a little too high.”

“I struggle to keep compose on the daily. I’ve been crumbling and I’m dying inside.”

“My friends don’t know this lately, but I think I’m going crazy.”

“In my early 30’s and I still can’t get over this hump.”  

“I’ve been sipping spirits hoping it will erase time.”

Cruz and I are the same human being with the same taste in music – and I know this based on one monumental song. The artist hails from Aurora, IL and is best known for his work with Chicago based Hip-Hop group Highest Low who released their final album Underdogs in early 2019. To put it lightly, Cruz can stand on his own two feet as a solo act, proven without question by Everything Is Fine. ILL Brown provides a woozy, hypnotic beat rooted in strong bass lines and ooh’s and ahh’s at the level of Questlove’s instrumental contributions to The Roots.

This is, without a doubt, a flawless piece of work that finds Cruz digging into the depths of his soul for the greater good. Although he shares thoughts of suicide, crippling depression, and self-hatred, his voice never cracks or breaks. While it would be natural to worry about him – his strong delivery suggests resilience in the face of his own demons and destruction. It will take time for both of us to heal, but like him, giving up isn’t in our nature.