What We’re Thankful For

Illustration Harry Gassel
November 22, 2013

16 artists give thanks

It's FADER Thanksgiving tradition to ask a group of artists what they're giving thanks for. This year, we found their answers to be as unique and candid as the music they make: Sky Ferreira's thankful her record finally came out, Wiz Khalifa and Isaiah Rashad are thankful for their sons, Ty Dolla $ign's thankful for haters, Popcaan's thankful for Clarks, Kelela's thankful for smoothies. As RiFF RAFF put it, "It was a beautiful year !!!!"

Sky Ferreira

It was a big year. I’m really happy I got to release my album. Releasing the album and having it do well is something I really didn’t expect. I’ve had a lot of support from people I didn’t expect, either. I also met Cole this year, so I’m thankful for that. Cole was probably the biggest thing outside of music. I have too much to be thankful for; I can’t really pin it down.


My collection of Moon Rocks

My Beethoven Essentials

My Swiss Bank Account

My Debut album dropping Jan 28

My 2 Bestfriends Drake & Bieber

My new Family The Kardashians they named me KODY Kardashian Rob made his mom adopt me i can't wait to Eat Lemon berry Lobster Stuffing & Cookies n Cream Egg Nog

It Was A Beautiful Year !!!!

Isaiah Rashad

I’m thankful for my homie for introducing me to Dave Free, which got me signed to TDE. I’m thankful to not be at home at my mom’s house or in school anymore. I’m thankful to be 22. People tell you the sky's the limit, that you can do whatever you wanna do. But you gotta get to a place where you can see that: everything you might wanna do and all your possibilities. I just got to that place. Every time I get stressed out I’m like, Shit, I’m 22! I’m gonna figure this out! I got hopefully 50 more years of life left to give a fuck about. At this point, there’s nothing that I regret.

I had my son this year. People tried to warn me when they found out I was having a kid, like: You’re gonna feel different, you’re not gonna know it until you know it. I know that shit now— feeling like an adult and assuming responsibility. Being young today, like with social media, there’s always something new to worry about and something else happening. You can forget what’s really important to you. With having my own family, I’m thankful that I’ve got bigger things to worry about now.

Wiz Khalifa

My son Sebastian Taylor is the biggest blessing. I am also thankful for my wife, my parents and all my family. I keep Thanksgiving very close with my immediate family and friends. Every year is different, but I am trying to build traditions. Next year, I'm looking forward to continued health for my son and family, wonderful herbs to keep the peace between everyone, and putting out another great project.


Basically, I'm thankful that it's finally working the fuck out. I'm thankful for my parents and for being able to make music with such talented people and then share it with the world. I'm also thankful for coconut kale smoothies at Naturewell, Lindt dark chocolate truffles, and blue dream.

Fredo Santana

I ain’t gonna lie, for the last three years Thanksgiving has been hard. I ain’t really been around my family. The last two years I think I ate White Castle. I didn’t even have a plate. This year I’m trying to eat good. I’m thankful for Chief Keef—for him opening up a door for me to be able to do my thing. Opening up my record label, Savage Squad Records, I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for God and my family and just to be living. In Chicago a lot of people don’t make it to be 23.

Quavo of Migos

I thank God that everything is going positively right now. Offset is home, I got my family and everyone is healthy. Every year my family rotates whose house we are going to, between aunts and uncles and different people. This year it’s going to be at my momma’s house. We’ll all spend time together and eat. Next year I'm looking forward to keeping the group together and staying consistent.

Ariana Grande

I've been lucky enough to fulfill many of my childhood dreams, getting to do what I love and being taken seriously. Work aside, I've also been through a lot this year. I feel like I'm growing up and learning a ton. My family is all healthy, my fans are happy and I'm happy. This Thanksgiving should be interesting—I'm eager to see how my big Italian family welcomes the new vegan to the table. Next year, I’m looking forward to hopefully becoming a slightly less awkward human being.

"Basically, I’m thankful that it’s finally working the fuck out." — Kelela

Kevin Gates

I don’t really celebrate the holidays. Someone might ask, “Don’t you want to see your momma for Thanksgiving?” But every day I’m with my family. Why can’t we be family? Why we don’t all people have the same love and compassion for each other? The people I’m around, that is family. We’re having Thanksgiving right now. I like to eat good every day, not just on Thanksgiving.

With the situations that I’ve been in and the attempts made on my life, I was not supposed to be here right now. So I’m thankful for everything. I think I’m the most happy camper you might ever meet. I’m not in for the tangibles. We can go get a hundred Mercedes Benzes right now, but at the end of the night, they ain’t gonna do nothing but take up space in the driveway. They’re not gonna get in bed with you. My only wish is to be appreciated in my entirety. Not “Kevin, you a good rapper,” “you a good singer,” “you dress nice,” but in my entirety as an individual. I’m a caring and compassionate person. When I don’t get that compassion back, it really hurts. I hate to not matter. But as long as I can record and get all my feelings out, I’m a happy camper.


I’m thankful that 10 years after pursuing a professional career that I’m here. I’m thankful for my current spirit and agenda. I’m busier than I’ve ever been and I truly look forward to working. I don’t have any music that circulates in traditional mediums: TV, radio. I feel like people have found their own way to my music and what I’m doing. The people that love my music are taking care of the people and things that I love in the world, and that’s like a dream come true. So I’m enjoying my independence and the control that comes with it, even if it means more work. I just finished the Stranger Than Fiction tour with Don Trip and Kevin Gates, two of my favorite rappers and two of my good friends. Thanksgiving week I’m going to release my third album in four months. I’m doing a turkey drive the day before Thanksgiving in my old neighborhood. It’ll be cool to be able to spend the holiday with my family. Having been gone for a month straight, I appreciate that much more .

George Clarke of Deafheaven

I turned 25 last month and I'm surprised I've made it this far. I've spent most of my youth idling and scraping by. My work ethic can be questionable. I'm patiently waiting for the day I awake in a hospital with news that my headaches are being caused by a golf ball-sized brain tumor, or news that one of my parents was in a horrific car accident. So I'm equally surprised at how well 2013 turned out. Deafheaven gained a lot of praise and I was able to meet some great people. I feel lucky that I'm able to spend time with friends all over the world. At home, I'm grateful to share my time with my loving and supportive girlfriend. This lifestyle is very straining on relationships, but we've somehow held out. Part of me finds it romantic to think about if I just stopped here and didn't continue with anything. Maybe I'll rent a cabin in the middle of the forest, refuse to make payments on it, slowly starve to death, and have my body found when the owner drives over to evict me.

"I’m thankful just to be living. In Chicago a lot of people don’t make it to be 23." — Fredo Santana

Vic Mensa

I’m grateful for having a car now. At one point, I didn’t have a car, and I had to drive my mom’s car back to her after being in the studio all night, so she could go to work early at Chicago Public Schools. I got in this bad accident where I totaled her car. It spun out on the highway and crashed into the median. I was unscathed and I didn’t die, so I got out and prayed on my knees and I’m not even really a religious person. I’m grateful for that, that I didn’t die. I’m grateful for my band [Kids These Days] splitting up and me being able to find myself more as an artist and as a man. I’m grateful that the deal the band had signed didn’t hold me, and for being independent now, with control over what I want to do. I’m grateful for all the money that’s finna come into my pocket and ungrateful for all the money that’s not in my pocket. I’m grateful to J. Cole for calling me when I was on 69th Street in Chicago and inviting me to come out on tour with him. I’m mad grateful for everyone that took part in the Innanetape; everyone that cut corners and did a lot of shit for me, just off of love. I’m grateful for my girlfriend helping me keep my head above water, because sometimes shit just gets stressful when you’re doing something dope and not everybody knows about it. I’m also grateful for the people that do know about it—people that my shit means something to. It’s an amazing feeling to be understood the way you want to be understood. Not that I always want to be understood.

Ty Dolla $ign

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love to eat. My family’s got this cabin and shit. We’re gonna go up there and hop on the lake, go fishing, do all types of rich nigga shit. I’m thankful for everything, every blessing. I’m thankful for the haters, because I can just be cool, be nice to them and hurt them with fucking success. It’s all good.


Jamaicans don't really celebrate Thanksgiving on a particular day, but mi haffi just give thanks every day for everything mi have: my daughter, my music, my friends and family, my fans, even my Clarks collection same way. I made a whole track about giving thanks that will be on my first album. Next year, I'm ready for everybody to hear the things that me and Dre Skull have been working on.

Dan Casey

I had a pretty rough year. My family is definitely the number one thing I’m thankful for, and my friends. Everyone who helped me put out the Dan Casey album basically donated their talents. The guy who mastered it, my buddy Matt, he did it for free. My friends all played for free. So I’m really thankful for that, to have a group of musicians in the Bay Area who believed in my music enough to help me when I had no money at all. When I came out with a rock n’ roll project I didn’t know what a lot of people would think. I thought some people might not pay attention, but people tuned in and supported it.

Dan Vidmar of Shy Girls

This year was a wild ride. I spent a lot of time making new music, enjoying the outdoors, learning new recipes, and doing a lot of traveling. I'm thankful for my health, especially my mental health. I'm thankful for the community I live in. I'm thankful for the U.S. National Parks system.

What We’re Thankful For