Photo by Hunter Cates
From Takoma Park, Maryland, to the Bay to L.A, Yihenew Belay (known as Heno.) has lived his life infatuated by the potential of what life could be once acknowledging the known unknown as inevitable. He’s lived through the streets, addiction, depression, hypersurveillance and the trials of forging one’s path as an independent artist. Death was the only guarantee, and that granted him the freedom to be. A dark utterance on a train ride became his album’s namesake: Death Ain’t That Bad. And as Heno. speaks with Michael — our host, and an artist grappling with that question all his life — the Maryland comrades send a beacon out for nomads, for Black folks, for dreamers gazing into the void and taking steps nonetheless.
Michael Penn II (aka CRASHprez) is a rapper and a former VMP staff writer. He's known for his Twitter fingers.
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