Growing up, I never once thought of being a rapper. Never.
My only brush with the genre came in elementary school when regularly given the choice between writing a half page poem and a one page essay. I chose the poem every time. I switched up the choruses of popular songs and rewrote the verses, inserting my friends’ names’ into the story line. The class loved it, but the laughter that ensued after hearing my classmates’ names made my teachers nervous. Eventually, they asked me to stop using people’s real names, so I stopped writing raps. I mean, watching my nine year old friends listen attentively, not knowing what I was going to say next or who would be my next “victim”. That was what made it fun.
After that I didn’t give rap much thought. Middle school…no raps. High school…no raps. It wasn’t until almost my junior year in college that I penned my first 16 bar verse. A rather strange turn of events would rekindle my desire to formulate my thoughts in stanzas.
I remember being in Champs Sports in Cortana Mall and seeing Eminem’s “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” video playing. I remember thinking to myself, “man, this dude says whatever he wants and is rich and famous for doing so. How would I express myself if I was in his position?” That thought stuck with me until I eventually felt inspired to express my thoughts on a pen and pad one day. One day the inspiration hit me while I was sitting in my room — East Campus Apartments at LSU — I hopped onto Napster (circa ’03), the only place I knew of to find beats at the time, and the first beat that came to my mine was ironically “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”. I downloaded the beat on my Windows ME computer, hooked up a computer mic, and pressed “record” on an audio recorder. When I played it back, I thought, it sounded a little rough, but had potential. I had to master the art of recording with such a low budget set up. I had to record close enough to the mic for it to pick up my voice, yet far enough away as not to feedback. Once I got the hang of it, it was on!
Mic Check. Test 1
Once I made a clean recording, I needed to get some feedback to make sure I wasn’t tripping. To minimize embarrassment, I asked two of my roommates at the time to come check out some new music I “found”. When I played it one of them said, “It sounds good. Who is it?” The other looked at me suspiciously and asked, “Is that you?” After an awkward pause, I came clean. My secret was out… They actually thought it was good. I was kind of shocked. Nevertheless, I grew more and more confidence in my writing. The next step was to share one of my songs with a producer friend of mine…
Tell us your story
Have you ever been inspired to do something creative? Who did you share your idea with? What was their response? Fellow artists, share the story on how you got started expressing your art to the world.
The beginning, beginning (part 2) drop next week. Stay tuned. Connect with me at:
#Eminem #CleaninOutMyCloset #ChampsSports #ECA #LSU #WindowsME #Napster #Computermic #Feedback #Oldschool #Firsttimerecording #stoppause #life #times #vibewitme