Real World Turns Real Life

Real World: Hollywood is normally my guilty pleasure escape -- a place I turn to laugh about the petty things in life. But tonight's episode included some very serious, very sad stuff. Brandon's death was a shock.

I asked Nick to elaborate on his friendship with Brandon in order to give you a better idea of who he was and why he will be missed by so many...

There are so many good things I could say about Brandon in the short time I knew him. From the day I met him, I knew that he would help change my life. He made me comfortable with hosting, gave me techniques to make it feel natural, and told me stories that boosted my confidence. He would say “throw some Nick flava to it” and it always made me laugh. He’d confirm my accomplishments with a simple “Word”. I’d say “B, how was that?” He would say “That was nice… word!” in his ebonic tone. Ha ha. That always cracked me up.

Brandon was not just my mentor and inspiration, but my friend. He believed in me. He didn’t ever have to say it because he knew that I knew. Around the time he had gotten sick again, I had been calling him to hang out at his office and shoot some footage. That’s when he called and let me know he was in the hospital. He sounded so upbeat and positive. I felt for sure he would be back on his feet soon because he was a fighter.

Brandon's passing gave me determination to fight on for my dream because he shared my vision.

Since the show, I’ve been in touch with his assistant Carson about hosting and stuff they have got going on in Brandon’s honor. There was a benefit concert set up by his friends in LA that I was unable attend. But I’ve spoken to his mother in assisting with a scholarship in his honor they have started at his college. I’ve also gotten in touch with the cancer research institute in helping promote awareness.

I’ve never had anyone close to me die. Brandon was young, smart, ambitious, and on the verge of starting a new life with his fiancé, but in an instance his life was gone. It has made me cherish my life and health even more. And although Brandon is no longer physically here, he lives on through me. So the next time you see me on stage and I give a subtle head nod, don’t mind me, Im just saying w'sup to my Buddy Brandon, watching me throw some Nick flava on it.