As I attempted to balance working three jobs, going to school, and being an artist it became apparent that something had to give. Eventually, I left my minimum wage job, which freed up some much needed study time. Unfortunately, I was battling a serious case of “senioritis”, so I didn’t always use the time for studying. Nevertheless, I was on pacing towards graduation, staying just above broke, and making music, so life was good.
I had also become a leader and mentor to a few guys on campus, where I led a bible study in the university union once a week. For me, there was great joy in seeing others succeed and achieve. In fact, I had led a group like this in high school, but this time I was more mature and it produced a better result. Before, I learned how important is was to be an example to others. Now, I began to understand what it meant to be a servant leader.
During this time, I started to make other significant changes. I’ll highlight a few of them as follows:
Financially, I started managing the little money that I had and quit frivolous spending on shoes and clothes.
In October of 2000, I took a $150 paycheck and bought the first Retro edition’s of the Jordan 11’s (White/Black-Dark Concord), which cost me $135. Yes, you calculated that right. For two weeks, I survived on $15…smh. This was actually my second time purchasing virtually the same shoe. I haven’t bought a pair of J’s since.
Professionally, I was forced to acquire more professional attire and pay attention to the way I presented myself to others.
I encountered my first college class with a dress code. I was actually denied
access to class the first day! They said, “No T-shirts! No jeans! No
tennis shoes!”, all of which I was wearing at the time. I actually had to
get fitted and purchase clothes before the next class (two days later).
Artistically, I became more bold in my expression of what I believed in. I made a lot of songs that were very cut and dry, truth versus falsehood, which attracted some and alarmed others.
One time after a show, a guy told me I would be a dope rapper if I talked about “drugs, getting money, and h@es”. He tried hard to convince me to switch up my message. I wrote a song in response to his notion called “40 Stripes”.
Spiritually, I began to dive into my faith more. It was important for me to know not only what I believed, but why I believe it.
I started visiting a local bookstore so much that I started helping their customer’s when the workers were busy. Eventually, the company offered me a job. I read everything I could get my hands on not knowing that I would put most of the information to use.
#undergrad #LSU #collegedays #October2000 #jordan11 #retro #concords #lastpair #growth #senioritis #abovebroke #suitandtie #mentor #Godovermoney #40stripes #bookworm #knowledge
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