Acclaimed New Zealand hip-hop artist Louie Knuxx (Todd Williams) died of a heart attack in Melbourne on August 13. Author Dominic Hoey has written a poem in tribute to his good friend.
The dead are always laughing at us
And once we lived together in a rotting house, writing down our dreams, lotto tickets to lift us from our pasts.
You know I don’t remember much of nothing Todd, but I recall this…
Your love of violence and your love, both equal in their ferocity
You, the only person that could make me watch sports
You, begrudgingly promising to push my wheelchair when my bone disease finally won
You, Backwater Romeo, bringing beautiful women back to one of the many garages you called home
That time we left the city to take ketamine in the ngahere, and all you brought to eat was 10 packs of sizzlers
That time in Melbounce, MDMA churning the liquid night, you beating up someone wearing a t shirt with your face on it, him screaming “I love your music”
That time you got subs in your brokedown car, drove the streets of Roskill blasting The Smiths
How you held me in your heavy arms while I wept, about love and shit
How you never gave a fuck but then somehow you always did
How you lived under a bridge and wrote music for the weirdos and lovers like a Kurt Cobain with hands
The last message I got from you asking if I was ok “yeah just busy with work” like a crazy person
After we got the news, drunk asking myself what would you want at your funeral or wake or whatever they call that shit
crying listerning to your sex raps with your whānau
Driving back to Tāmaki from your mum’s, the car breaks down like you don’t want us to leave
And fuck, neither of us had no time for god but since you died everything feels poignant
Faded polaroids of a life, I am an unreliable narrator at best
But I know for a fact that near the end, you’d won that lotto, left the dead weight of your past so far below
and I was proud
we were all so proud Todd
wish I could tell you one more time
To contribute to the fund to bring Todd Williams home to his whānau and cover the costs of the funeral go here.
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