Travie McCoy honors those he lost with “A Spoonful Of Cinnamon”—listen

travie mccoy
[Photo by Thomas Falcone]

Gym Class HeroesTravie McCoy has come out of a difficult quarantine with something positive: poignant new music. “A Spoonful Of Cinnamon” marks the end of his quarantine and is his first release since 2015. 

“A Spoonful Of Cinnamon” is a glimpse through the window into what McCoy’s life has been like for the last year. The highlight of this song are the lyrics, which speak not only to his struggles during COVID-19 but to the lifelong struggles faced by an individual who grew up biracial. They stand defiantly over mellow, retrospective instrumentation.

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The track is accompanied by a powerful music video directed by Dale Restighini and McCoy. It starts with a content warning that the video may be hard to watch for some, then shows an ethereal-looking McCoy singing between shots of people filming him on their phones. The images eventually show McCoy facedown on the ground, the knee of a police officer on his neck, sweating and screaming while people film around him. You can watch the video here or below.

McCoy explains how bitterness doesn’t make the medicine of life go down any smoother. In fact, it only hindered his healing process. McCoy experienced the death of his best friend, constant news about police brutality and a pandemic. He was left with a message for listeners: Don’t let the bitterness choke you.

“This song sums up my experiences through 2020 and honors people in my life that I had lost,” McCoy says in a press release. “ I wish I had more time in the song to honor more people I lost. There was a moment where I was getting weekly phone calls to tell me people I knew had passed away. I’m bipolar, and being isolated was a strong reason to relapse, but I didn’t and made it through. The year gave me a great song to pay tribute to the people I love.”

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McCoy first hit the music scene with the creation of Gym Class Heroes but has been inactive since the band went on a summer tour with the Offspring in 2018.

However, McCoy has stayed busy during his hiatus. He posted, “I’ve been quiet for a long time FOR A REASON. I’ve realized over the years it’s better to show people what you’ve DONE, as opposed to what you PLAN on doing….. so to all my friends, peers, and supporters, this is what I’ve DONE! Can’t wait to show you more-I’m Hopeless” to his Twitter account June 14.

Despite Gym Class Heroes’ inactivity, their music is still making an effect on people to this day. Their hit “Cupid’s Chokehold” featuring Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump has gained huge popularity on TikTok. The track has appeared in over 380,000 TikToks.

McCoy shared his reaction in an interview with Rolling Stone.

“About a week-and-a-half ago, I knew nothing about TikTok,” he says. “But I had to check it out and see what people think of the song. The lyrics encourage people to shout out their partners. It’s an overall positive message, so it’s great to see people spreading the love…It’s fucking awesome, man.”

Travie McCoy “A Spoonful Of Cinnamon” lyrics:

01-21-2020
The day the lord took my best friend from me
I kind of find it funny but not really though
I should’ve been 6 feet, 20 years ago
I never forget all the laughs we had in the hoopty
Whipping through the country
He had a way of making cloudy days sunny
But what I miss most was when he would sun me
“Like Travie do this if you love me”
I love you, Bob

2-0-2-0
So long to the bitterness
Just a spoonful of cinnamon
You know, I know
This knee on my neck is causing me to choke
Like a spoonful of cinnamon

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Last year I flew to Jessup, Georgia
To meet my papa and my nana
The family of my mama
All of my life I was scared
He never cared for me
Because my father was Black
He couldn’t handle that
I could see his shadow in the doorway next to the windchime
That’s poetic justice ’cause it looked just like the same as mine
He hugged me
Then he apologized for lost time
And then I lost them both
And damn near lost my mind

2-0-2-0
So long to the bitterness
Just a spoonful of cinnamon
You know, I know
This knee on my neck is causing me to choke
Like a spoonful of cinnamon
Feel like I’m stuck in a hole
It’s kind of cynical
Downing these bottles is getting old
It’s not the way
Too many funerals
Biting my nails down to cuticles
It’s not the way
Over again and over again

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2-0-2-0
You probably think I had season tickets to funerals
I’m so sick of seeing Rest In Peace T-shirts
I swear I prayed so many prayers my fucking knees hurt
And COVID got us all stuck in the house like Mouse Trap
And ain’t know telling when the hell we goin’ to bounce back
Plus it’s open season on the melanin inclined
We all had shitty years, thanks for hearing mine

2-0-2-0
So long to the bitterness
Just a spoonful of cinnamon
You know, I know
This knee on my neck is causing me to choke
Like a spoonful of cinnamon
Feel like I’m stuck in a hole
It’s kind of cynical
Downing these bottles is getting old
It’s not the way
Too many funerals
Biting my nails down to cuticles
It’s not the way
Over again and over again

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