Monday, August 28, 2006


Yeah, I said it. Anyone who knows me knows that I have always had a fascination with blues, "jook joints", rock and roll, acoustic music, pianos, strings, trumpets, and any type of big band music. My mother Esther, my Grandma Cille (RIP), and my grandfather Willard always kept some type of music pumping into my system. I remember the smell of collard greens on the stove and the sound of SOUL 73 KKDA blasting across the kitchen as my grandma Cille requested me to sing for her. Normally it was the same song "Dont worry my toot-toot." I know you remember that song. Every once in awhile a good blues song would come on and my brother and I would sit there and air guitar on the floor, really feeling the music. I knew then, that I wanted to be a rockstar. My mother sat me down to watch "The Color Purple" and the only thing that I pulled away from that was that I wanted to move a crowd like the band moved them at Harpo's. Throughout the years, hip hop has changed so much that I started questioning whether or not, I even wanted to be included. Here's a little secret......I AINT NO CLOSET OR SHOWER SINGER!!!! I said that because I realized after seeing "Idlewild" of all things. My voice was never meant for these little cookie cutter R&B songs that most people have always written for me or felt that I should sing and I was writing.
I normally play around with singing because there is a deep rooted pain when I sing. Everything that I have ever been through flows through me and comes out in a woozy blast of tenor that causes my tears and fears to surface. Therefore, I have always hid or halfway did enough for it to be on beat. Truthfully, Ive been tired of that. Ive held back for so many years in so many situations because I didnt know what everyone would expect from someone with so much pain in their voice. Then, I realized, so many situations have befallen so many people without a voice, that that pain may just BE NEEDED.
So much creativity was shown in the film through a genre that most African-Americans might find offensive. (Amos-N-Andy, shuckin' and jivin', runnin' hooch, backwater jook joints) Still, the core of our music comes from these places. These dens of flesh and alcohol were where our musical history was built. Where REAL hustlers began without really doing any REAL damage to their communities. Sure, homes were broken because of infidelity and the need to live through hedonism at whatever watering hole, but those are the decisions of men. The piano players and guitar strummers who REPORTEDLY through hearsay sold their souls to the devil for the gift of that instrument, hence the devil's music. Ive realized that the art of what hip-hop truly began as has been lost. Maybe people like Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton have been right all along. Never afraid to do what it is that they felt they should be doing. No record label conformity, no perfectly packaged album with the prerequisite "club banger","joint for the ladies, or "street shit".
Something woke up in me when I left that theater. The need to really push myself beyond my levels of comfort. Out where you're either crazy or too quirky, a fool or a genius, but the line blurs way past that normal "he's a good rapper or he's a great writer." Something went off in me as I watched the former "two dope boys in a cadillac" become icons over their careers and immortalize themselves for doing something that other rappers had yet to do............MAKE A MOVIE WHERE NEITHER ONE OF THEM WAS A THUG OR A GANGSTER OR EXTREMELY HARD. As I stand about to face a very severe event in my life, Id like to know that at the point of my return from this down point, my mind is completely ready, focused, and clear. If you know me personally, then you know exactly what I am about to endure. If you dont, let's just put it this way. In hip-hop, you gain credibility, sometimes before anyone even knows your name, when they can tap into a website and verify that at some point, some time in your life, there's been a picture of you standing in front of documentation of your height, with all of your vitals and government information attached to it. If you can't figure it out, then I will most likely be back before it matters to you. To give you more, look at this post and check the next time that I post here. Look at the TIME that has passed.
Anyway, Idlewild called me and they want me to move back. When I get through handling my business, I do believe that all my bags are packed and I will jump on that flight. Will you be there for the ride?


No comments: