“Ever since I heard my homey died, I just feel guilty living my life”
Relatable. My friend David passed away a few years ago. We had spoken at least once a week on the phone almost every week since college. Every day that goes by that I don’t hear from him makes it all the more obvious I won’t ever hear his voice again. Survivor’s guilt fucks with you. What did he do wrong? Nothing. His life was shortened by a disease he had no control over. What did I do wrong? Nothing. The feeling doesn’t leave though. I wish I could do it all over, trade my life for his, see him happy and healthy. Mir Fontaine is singing the pain I feel whenever I think about my friend.
“Singing” is definitely the operative word here. I looked up “This Pain Different” after seeing it on a list of “new rap albums for January 2020” but I think “rap album” is overstating it. It’s not an album — it’s only three tracks. Fontaine doesn’t rap, he AutoTunes and croons. I can’t knock “Turtle Time” though. “If I could just go back, if I could just rewind/I would be less stingy with my time”. The words hit me right in my heart and the production from Wayne Campbell does the job. Gentle piano keys, nice bass hits, crisp drums, it all fits together nicely. Fontaine’s genuine emotional plea to see his friend one last time is a pain we’ve all felt. You’ve lost a brother, a mother, a family pet, a close personal friend, a grandparent, a teacher you admired, a celebrity you looked up to, whatever the case may be. An inevitable part of living is loss. As my therapist once said “The older you get the more funerals you attend.”
I wanted to praise Mir Fontaine for how heartfelt the opening song of “This Pain Different” was and I’ve done so. Much respect to the young man. Now I have to tell you the hard facts — calling this a rap album is (as noted) inaccurate and saying that Fontaine stands out from any other singing “rapper” would be a lie. Put Post Malone, OG Maco, Future and Trippie Redd in a blender and hit puree — you’ll pour out Mir Fontaine. The production is nice though. “GG” features a slow steady tapped drum and a quiet melody that compliments depressing sentiments like “Maybe I’m just meant to be lonely … that’s the reason I’m so God damn numb”. I think Fontaine might need some therapy too. He’s a little more upbeat on the Kay Be produced finale “Feel the Same” though as he tries to woo a potential soulmate.
It’s difficult to be hard on Mir Fontaine. At times I wish music like his wasn’t part of the rap genre and instead recognized as an entirely different form that was all its own. Even then I would have to note that he’s not the star of this unnamed genre because so many people before him have already done it and run it. More carbon copies of what already worked in the past don’t create the future (pun intended). Since Fontaine is trying his best and turned in a respectable effort on the very short “This Pain Different” EP I can at least say he’s not terrible, but neither is he innovative in any way.