Two days ago Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis McCoy released a new song in support of the Staying Alive Foundation and in recognition of World AIDS Day (December 1). XXLMag.com recently chopped it up with the rap rocker about his personal experiences with the disease.
According to McCoy, someone very close to him died of AIDS when he was younger. Ashamed to talk about it at the time, he regrettably admitted that he didn’t honor her properly by ignoring what had happened.
“There was a tremendous amount of guilt that comes with that situation because, at the time, I was so young and there’s all these stigmas attached to HIV and AIDS, it was something that we kept under raps for a long time and I felt really guilty for it,” McCoy shared with XXLMag.com.
“So it was kind of a way for me to pay back and pay respects to her,” he continued. “Had it come out that this person died of AIDS that I’d been close to for so long, I could imagine what I would have went through at school… I feel like, being a part of this and doing what I’ve done with Staying Alive is almost closure on that situation. Not only that but being in a position where you are impressionable on your generation and they look up to you… if I can get kids to wear a certain type of sneaker or listen to a certain band or be up on a certain artist or what not I can get them to think twice before they make a dumb decision that could cost them their lives.”
MTV named Travis McCoy as the 2009 Ambassador of their Staying Alive Foundation, their global campaign dedicated to HIV/AIDS issues.
The new single, which McCoy hopes will get people talking about HIV/AIDS, is titled “One at a Time” and touches on his belief that it’s going to take every person to raise awareness to the international HIV/AIDS epidemic. The single is currently available on iTunes. —Brooklyne Gipson with additional reporting by Anslem Samuel