Heems is an Indian-American rapper who was once apart of famed yet semi-controversial rap group Das Racist, which formed in Brooklyn, New York before disbanding circa 2012. Nonetheless Heems has continued his journey as an artist, going on to form Swet Shop Boys alongside Riz Ahmed. Last year, he actually came out as queer.
Today, Heems is in the news for an entirely different reason, but it’s one we’ve grown all too familiar with in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Heems’ father has passed away after suffering from the Coronavirus, and the rapper opened up about it to CNN.
Heems’ father was only 67 when he passed away, he had been living at a Long Island nursing home when the pandemic broke out, and caught the virus. This is apparently despite the fact that Heems’ had thought that his father was tested for COVID-19– buthe hadn’t been tested due to a lack of nasal swabs, as it turns out. “Why do I have to grieve with the notion of a supply chain?” he asks. We’ve been seeing many stories about the lack of testing readily available for those who need it.
Heems is still grateful for all the healthcare workers out there on the frontlines, adding, “I don’t operate from a place of hate or anger…” his voice trailed off, “but they never got swabs?”
“He was a prime candidate for something like this. But still that doesn’t ease my grief,” Heems continued later. “He seemingly went in his sleep peacefully. That is the narrative, at least, that I hope for.”
We’re sending our condolences to Heems’ and his family during this difficult time, and we’re hoping everyone is staying safe and staying home.