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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life or Death by Music

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Page 4 of 4

There was once a time I stayed up late due to leisure and boredom. Now if I'm up late work is being completed on some front. I partially manage myself because my career isn't on auto-pilot at the moment. I'm deal with multiple personalities from people on my team 24 hours a day. I haven't written a rap song in months and I used to write a few songs a day. The team has gained and lost staff members all in the blink of an eye. I am constantly stressed out and ready to snap on someone at the drop of dime. I help stage manage my concerts. I book myself and organize the events surrounding my name. I'm deal with opinions from jealous rappers that will die here suddenly turning into the world's greatest music critics. I'm in a good position but nothing is guaranteed and I'm hardly ever content or happy. I've had convos behind the scenes that could potentially change my life. All I can do at this current moment is keep pushing. I strive on out working the competition because talent isn't more powerful than hard work. Progress prevents a artist from experiencing burn out. I'm usually in good spirits as long things are moving forward.

Here's the problem with progress: you can't control how fast it moves. You can't summon it when you want it. It doesn't bend or kneel to you. Progress often arrives when life demands it to. I don't have another year to wait and ponder on the future. As a solo artist I've never won a Riverfront Times Award. Right now I'm writing a weekly column for the RFT Music blog so I guess the universe is a comedian. Here's the truth about my life: I am frustrated 90% of the time. The wheels are moving but they don't always move in the manner I want them to. I'm not into rap music for the showboating aspect of it. In fact, that's the aspect of rap that I hate the most. I spend the majority of my day trying to find a way to get you to remember me. This is my job as an unsigned indie rapper. I don't have a gimmick and I'm not the flashiest guy around. I've always believed in myself, now the hard part is convincing you to match my level of belief.

I am an indie artist in an awkward position. I am not complaining because I am grateful. There are three million rappers in St. Louis City and all of us are fighting to get out. I often remove myself from the rat race by focusing on the bigger picture. I'd rather compete with the guy in Los Angeles or New York. I walk down the street to the corner store or go to the barber-shop, seeing the same faces on a daily basis and I feel like I'm in prison. I go home, sit on my couch, open up the MacBook and start conjuring up a plan to expand my goals. Sometimes something wonderful happens and other times nothing at all happens. I work at this every day, all day so I couldn't imagine how screwed in the game a rapper that is half timing it is.

I've learned it doesn't get easier. It all gets more chaotic than you might imagine. I feel weak because truthfully the little bit of stress I am feeling is nothing compared to the stress levels of those in higher positions than myself. I'm about to start drinking more if I don't find a remedy soon. I feel like the next step is probably making some money and hoping it eases the tension. This isn't the rap blog telling you about how awesome the life is. This is the rap blog telling you if I don't get this money I'm jumping in the Mississippi River. All of my closest friends are frustrated and in a daze. All of our families feel like we've lost a bit of ourselves. I love music but I hate the theatrics. I feel like the day I take off is the day you'll figure something out and eliminate me, so I won't stop. You reach a certain point in your career and you start changing. You don't care about the subliminals and the sub-tweets from other rappers.

You don't care about whether or not your music fits in with what every other local rapper is doing. You begin to look at the world as nothing but opposition. Yes, there are beacons of light in the midst of the opposition but overall you start seeing everything as a potential roadblock. So you shift things inside your spirit and gear up to fight every challenge before it gains momentum and derails you. You realize if you don't do it no one else will do it for you.

The problem is, all these things create different levels of frustration within you. How do you cope with knowing no one else wants this life as much as you do, but they all stand in the way as you reach for it? This is how you view the world after a certain point. It's harder for you to become a fan of new music because you've trained yourself to view any new music besides yours as the enemy. The pursuit of happiness has completely changed your life and there's virtually nothing you can do about it. Welcome to my life, a non-stop saga of personal up's and down's. The forever revolving doors of wins, losses, highs, and lows. I try to inspire as many people as possible. I love inspiration because it makes you feel human. I love struggle also because there's something spiritual about it.

My life right now is a mixture of both. I'm a fighter though, and that's just the way it is. I'm not ready to roll over and die so my only option is to endure and make something happen. I'm the underdog in most situations because typically I don't know any other way to live. There's a spirit of desperation inside most underdogs and this is the reason we succeed. So here we are, let me give myself another 365 days to get it in gear. Hopefully I'm still here next year at this time. Well not here exactly but somewhere on this planet having the time of my life enjoying the spoils of success and happiness. I'm sure by then we'll have a different set of problems and turmoils to discuss. I don't sleep for a reason. The goal is to spread this music around the world. This is what it feels like to be closer than you've ever been but not quite there. I'm learning about myself and the way I cope with the uncertainty struggle tends to produce. I tried everything else but prayer seems to work for me so I believe in it. God has bigger problems than my rap career though, so I'll have to continue doing my part.

I'm an American: we urinate and take dumps in fresh clean water. There's a water crisis taking place throughout the world but we don't give a damn. Our version of poor and is considered middle class in the third world. I have the nerve to ask God to help me out with some petty rap songs. Unfortunately, it's just one of those things, I feel like I'm special enough to send this type of request up. It's all about destiny and determination coming together to formulate the big picture. It's deeper than rap music for me personally. I'm in different zone these days. I'm ready to win and I think that's why people relate to me. We're all ready to win deep down inside.

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