Writing this blog feels like wiping the dust off of TRON at Flynn’s arcade or something. Only, I seem to go through cycles and say this damn same thing over and over again through the years so why bother even expressing it? Half the time I think of some shit and say “Hey I’ll write throw that up in a post” and then 2 seconds later say why bother, shrug, and never actually get to it. Case in point the story I’m about to tell you.
I had laid low for a bit and after some prodding from Mike Mars aka Dynamo Habeeb; decided to go ahead and perform a set at the DEADITES Halloween show at the Lucky Dog, as I’ve often done. Now – anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t love performing live. I like to be the man behind the curtain mad scientist like spending hours on meticulous details and unleashing my creation on the world. Some people think that’s blasphemous for a musician but it is what it is – I like creating and encapsulating the end product and putting the MUSIC out to stand on it’s own; not so much sharing the process or myself.
So there I was that night performing to a smattering of people who were trickling in before the main events; and as usual I have a mean scowl on my face because I always feel my music in particular comes across poorly live verses recorded. Maybe I’m too wordy, or not as visually entertaining or interactive or whateverthefuck. I get done with my set, angrily accept kind words from people who dug the set and head to the bathroom to wash up and get myself together.
So I’m in the bathroom when a dude dressed in what I can only describe as disco era or an extra on Anchor Man … says to me: “Hey man I saw your set out there. You were awwwwlright…..” So I’m washing my hands and staring incredulously back at the dude. Typically that type of reaction is ALWAYS followed by something that I didn’t hear it yet. How do you even respond to that? I give him a brief “Cool thanks”. Sure enough there it came. “….. yeah, I do music myself. I ‘rap’ down in Baltimore”.
BINGO! The trend continued. I give him another “cool” while I try to finish up. Dude asks me “let me ask you how old are you? You’re old right?”. Now my mix of lost patience and curiosity is starting to get the better of me. “Whatta ya mean!?” I ask. Dude says “You’re like late 20’s / early 30’s right?” “’Cuz you kind of got an old school flow like 90’s hip-hop…” I’m staring at this guy wondering WTF is going on here in this bathroom. “…but like, you talk about a lot of emotion stuff I guess… like Atmosphere”. “It’s not like the hot shit now, you know, that flow, that swagger”. At this point I’m some sort of combination of cringing and wondering what else he is going to say. He goes on … “But hey, if you are just doing it for the love; well then that’s FINE than ….” Well gee I can go on with my life then now that you have given me your blessing, condescending prick. At this point I have to GTFO of this bathroom before I spontaneously combust. “Yeah, that’s why I’ve always done it”. And I leave.
Are you fucking kidding me? I got off the stage in a bad mood but now this got me steaming for the rest of the night. Normally I wild out a little bit at this show since it’s a great time but all I could think about was this reaction and how I get these types of dudes saying this to me regularly.
Fast forward a couple of hours later and I’ve managed to sauce myself up a bit with some rum. I’m at the urinal pissing when I notice our resident artist/ critic at the next urinal. He catches me out of the corner of his drunken eye and starts what I can only describe as a half drunken terrible freestyle. I don’t recall the details that well but it had something to do with “letting the semi pop”, “move bricks” and at the tail end this Paul Rudd on Jenny Craig looking dude casually drops “… blah blah … all these ‘niggas’ in Worcester!”. Wait .. WHAT!? “Ahhh … all these NIGGAS in Worcester, ehhhhhh?” I say as I’m walking to the sink. “Oh … uh … you know man, when you’re in that ZONE!” he says nervously. I just keep washing my hands. “Oh I see…” “That new Meek Mills is FIYAH!” he rambles on to himself. Dude goes “Hey man, can I get a picture with you!?” Are you serious right now? “Naw, I’m all set” I tell em. “Let me get your info so we can collab!” he drops next while fumbling for his phone. I’m like “here’s the website … look it up”. And walk out.
I don’t know why it took me until that moment to realize what a fuckin clown that dude was but more importantly; that I absolutely don’t give a fuck what the accepted norm and standard is for hip-hop at any point. If me being a deviation means I am NOT ideal to this type of crowd / thinking / people … thank – FUCKING -god. The fact that dude does not feel me or my music … is a bigger compliment than I could ever ask for.
I have a 90’s flow
I am more substance than swagger
I’m more Atmosphere than Meek Mills
Most hip-hop folks won’t dig my music
And I am glad for that.
Thank you – douche bag – for reminding me.