This article as well as the song below is inspired by the real life story of Reggae artist Boom Viniyard. Take a listen to the song before reading the article.
Listen to I Survive by Boom Viniyard.
Aaliyah died when she was 22 almost 18 years ago this month; I’ve almost died at least four times—I am 50. Do you think God keeps us alive until we have fulfilled our purpose?
The first time I almost died I was 7. I was a kid in St. Vincent playing in the river when I fell off the waterfall, and started to drown. I kept sinking and sinking, when suddenly this older girl noticed. That’s when she jumped in and saved my life.
The second time I almost died, I was 16. Now in St. Croix, I was riding my bike when me and a car collided. I was wounded really badly, but I hung in there and lived to tell the tale.
Now the third time, I was an adult living in Florida. What almost killed me here isn’t necessarily the gun, but the nefarious intentions of people I wrongfully trusted. Hanging with the wrong people is more dangerous than any gun. Know that. I was robbed at gunpoint for four pounds of marijuana, cold steel pressed against my face. Unlike the first two, this was no accident, and had I been silly or prideful, I’d be dead. Things aren’t worth more than you are.
The fourth time, I had a choice: live in New York or Texas. My oldest daughter told me not to go to Texas. She couldn’t really articulate why though. She just had a bad feeling about it. She said she just didn’t think Texas was the place for me. Two weeks later while driving in Texas, I got into an accident with a truck. I have no idea how I survived that one. Me and the truck collided, and I literally blacked out.
While those are all times when the life was directly almost squeezed out of me, there are many more times that I could have or would have died, but because I didn’t go to that protest or that party, I am still alive. There are times when I could have ended up in prison for a long time, which in a way is like death. Looking at a correction officer and looking at a demon is the same thing. Yet I am still here. It begs the question: What is the meaning of life? And after all these years of being on this path, should I quit? If I am being kept alive by a higher power to fulfill a purpose and I haven’t died yet, maybe it’s because I’m on the wrong path. I have been making music for 30 years, and my dreams never died. But at what age should one quit? When should a person quit chasing their dream? Almost 18 years ago Aaliyah died having already released several albums to commercial success and having successfully broken into acting. I am 50. Should this be my last album? Should Boom Viniyard retire?
If you enjoyed the whole inspiration behind “I Survive” then also check out