Playskool

I remember being in about 2nd grade at Kemp Mill Elementary School and for some reason this student Marilyn and I were like, unattended. I remember us being in the coat closet and pretending we were in a TV or radio studio; I think there were headphones back there. I remember us pretending we were On-Air and me being “unprepared” on camera and improvising by grabbing some hangers. I remember this moment because I’ve always been fascinated with audio equipment and instruments. One of my most memorable childhood toys was a tape recorder that had a microphone attached. I’d talk, sing rap and whatever else into that thing!

My nickname growing up was pot (the irony) because when I learned how to walk I’d wake up before everybody else, pull out all the bowls, pots and pans I could reach and bang on them. As I got older I’d take buckets and other random shit from around the house and make a make shift drum set. I broke several pairs of chopsticks jamming out. I went through about 4 keyboards in my lifetime.

Back then, I think I thought you had to be really good at math and computer science to pursue audio production. Because I lacked the confidence, I didn’t take time to learn it.

Being a know-it-all had its downfalls; I never wanted to ask for help for fear of being made a mockery of. I say this to say, I am here today with that same passion to be an artist in my chest. The lesson here is do what you want when you want because if it’s your passion and if it’s your purpose, you’re just going to be pissed off at all the time you’ve wasted not chasing your dream. Ask questions, the only stupid questions are the ones that go unasked.

I always loved to read and write short stories as well as poetry. My 8th grade art teacher, not English, told me I had excellent writing skills and this gave me a sort of confidence I ran with. I wanted to always be recognized as a good writer because I felt talentless otherwise. My mother is a chef, my father played soccer and my sister is a hair stylist; I was just a bad ass spoiled kid.

I realized rap music was a lot like poetry being recited over a beat. I started writing down and memorizing every lyric to every song I knew (remember when the lyrics used to be in the CD sleeve?!) Before I knew it, I was writing my own lyrics.

When I was about 12 or 13 I’d call the local radio station 93.9 WKYS to rap on their “roll call” freestyle segment. I still have the cassette tapes I recorded of myself on the radio.  My partner in crime was Marcus aka @LyricalMar. We used to engage in “rap beefs” with other participants and formed a sort of 2 member “clique” if you will. I don’t even remember how we met, but our friendship was certainly solidified through rapping on the roll call.

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Pooch Man, P Stew and Steph Lova were my role models. I wanted to follow in their footsteps. My mother even took me up to the radio station to be On-Air with them one time. It’s been well over 10 years and I still have the autographed photos from The Squad. I cherish it.

My mother and sister LOVED hip-hop and rap music. My father wasn’t really into hip-hop as much as he was reggae music. There was never a time in my life where I wasn’t immersed into hip-hop and reggae culture, including the music, the message, the fashion, the lingo and so on. It is so much a part of me that I cannot disengage from it.

Somewhere transitioning from child to adulthood I was led to believe that music and the entertainment industry is for fun, not for making a real career out of. This deterred me from pursuing my passion and my know-it-all antics returned. I decided I’d go to school and be the smartest person my friends knew. The issue about being smart is, it’s subjective. I knew a bunch of shit that I wasn’t passionate about or even cared to spend the rest of my life making a career out of.

Thanks for reading!

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