How Social Club Saved a Misfit’s Life
Joshua Cotton preordered Misfits 2—Social Club’s album dropping on April 29—not because he’s a Social Club fan, but because of how he became a Social Club fan.
His freshman year of high school, doctors diagnosed him with tachycardia, an irregular heart rate disorder. Cotton, a now 20-year-old native of Richmond, Ind., is a Christian. He took his condition head on with a God-and-I-got-this mentality.
This mindset expired. He fell into a depression, concealing it to those around him.
“Doing my best to fake it, I was the kid who was always upbeat and smiling,” Cotton told Wade-O Radio’s David Daniels.
Through his depression, Cotton developed a cutting addiction. It haunted him throughout his high school career.
“I knew God’s love,” he said, “but I wasn’t feeling God’s love.”
Cotton hit an all-time low after graduation. Broken by his addiction, he tried to kill himself.
A 19-year-old Cotton grabbed all the ties he could find. He tied them together. And then, he tried to hang them and himself from a ceiling fan.
The ties broke. Cotton survived.
Through his attempted suicide, a single, close friend of Cotton’s was exposed to his grief for the first time. For the previous five years, Cotton had kept it a secret from all.
Then Cotton found Social Club. Over the past few years, the Christian hip-hop duo of Martymar and F.E.R.N. has ushered a mobilization of kids who don’t fit in, the Misfits Movement. When Cotton discovered this movement, healing began to occur.
“I’m not alone,” realized Cotton. “A lot of these people go through the same stuff that I’m going through … These are just people that all came together and decided, ‘Hey, if no one else wants to accept us, how about we get together and accept each other.’”
As soon as he heard Martymar’s and F.E.R.N.’s testimony, Cotton started to wean himself off cutting. On June 27, 2013, he stopped. Less than a month later, Social Club essentially released the theme song to Cotton’s rehabilitation.
Social Club dropped Summer of George, its last project, on August 24, 2013. And Cotton felt like he could’ve co-wrote Martymar’s verse on the song “Majestic.” (His verse begins at 2:30).
Almost blew my brains out at 17/Fully-loaded bad kids with suicidal tendencies/Never had a lot of friends, I’m stuck here with my enemies/Swamped inside a classroom, I felt like I could never leave/But then I heard He came down to rescue me/I mean He came down here for little me…
“Just replace that first line with, ‘Hung my neck from a ceiling fan at 19,’ and the rest of the verse is pretty much my testimony,” said Cotton.
Through Summer of George, Cotton credits Social Club for saving his life. And behind his desire to share his story is the awareness that he’s only one face in a sea of misfits — the same mentality Social Club makes its music with.
Martymar and F.E.R.N. never tried to start a movement. They just rap about their lives for those with lives like them.
F.E.R.N. is a pastor’s kid. But on his 18th birthday, he stopped going to church. Trading the youth group scene for the club scene, he started using and selling drugs.
Police eventually arrested him for possession of three ounces of cocaine. Those three ounces cost him about a three-year prison sentence. Not jail, but insecurity imprisoned Martymar, who’s unsuccessful attempts to be accepted overwhelmed him growing up.
“From kids that shoot up their school to the ones that hurt themselves,” said Martymar, “those are the ones we’re called to reach. Those are the ones we are called to lead. We love them because they are us … We are intentional with our music — we know these kids have problems. They are real people with real life issues going on. Every song is for them.”
Cotton has dedicated his life to impacting people like Social Club has impacted him. He wants to attend college to be a promoter — which he’s done for Rock N F8th, a Christian clothing company, and The Spot, which hosts Christian hip-hop concerts in Richmond. There are two people close to Cotton’s heart who he has already touched with his testimony: Martymar and F.E.R.N.
“When we hear Cotton’s story,” said Martymar, “it fuels us to go even harder. We love him and want to just give him a hug and pray with him. We do that at every show. We hug every misfit and tell them we love them. Don’t under estimate the power of a hug. We love these misfits. Jesus loves the misfits.”
To learn more about the Misfits Movement, listen to DJ Wade-O’s interview with Martymar and F.E.R.N. about “Misfits 2.”