When he heard that his old Surrey home was being demolished, Merkules wanted one last walk down that old town road, so to speak.
“This is where it all started,” he posted to his 1.1 million followers on Facebook, where “Merk” frequently riffs on his Surrey roots.
“This is where I wrote my first raps, recorded my first song on a PlayStation mic, where my parents took all my friends in as their own children. So much history here. It’s the end of an era. RIP to the old crib in Green Timbers.”
A week later, he gave the Now-Leader a tour of the property, during one final look at the house he called home until about a decade ago.
“Wow, this is really surreal,” he said. “It’s weird seeing the place gutted like this.”
The house is where Merkules honed his rapping skills, during a period of isolation there following a brutal attack he suffered at age 16, while walking home from a New Year’s Eve party.
The attack was a subject of his Scars album of 2015, when he first spoke publicly about what happened to him and his friends that night.
Now in his late 20s, Merkules has toured to hundreds of cities and towns across North America, Europe and Australia – and hopes to again soon, post-pandemic.
In the summer of 2019 Merkules returned “home” to headline a hip-hop show at Cloverdale’s Shannon Hall, years after the good ol’ days of performing at the Olympia, a Central City-area restaurant that offered a stage where teens like him could drop rhymes and develop their talents.
His 2020 album “Apply Pressure” features a photo of the alley “boxes” – metal electrical boxes – where he used to hang out with friends.
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) May 7, 2021
On Facebook, he posts new music on “Merk Mondays.”
Also on the social media platform, Merkules encourages fans to talk about their mental health.
“Never be ashamed of having mental health issues,” he posted. “Most of us do, but only some of us choose to admit it. You’d be surprised how much we all have in common.”
Merk later got his manager to set up a phone number for people to text him, if they wanted a word.
“I won’t always be on there replying but I’ll try to when I can, as soon as you text it you’ll automatically be tuned in for exclusive access to contests, prizes, updates, new music, etc.,” he posted. “Some (robot) will respond right away and then we can keep in touch. The number is 310-564-2198. Let’s go!”