I remember it like it was yesterday, almost, lol. I was 10 years old at the time, and I was visiting my Aunt and cousin in Atlanta, Georgia for the summer. At that time I wasn’t really into music, and didn’t really know much about hip hop. I was more into playing sports and video games. My cousin, on the other hand, was big on music, in fact the whole city of Atlanta was majorly involved with the latest developments of Rap and R&B.
It was one day in particular that we were watching MTV, and Kris Kross comes on the screen, when my life changed forever. Hear I am a young kid, for the first time in my life watching a music video, not just any video, but a video of other kids close to my age, jumping around and rapping to some hot music. I remember me and my cousin laughing and jumping around with them. I thought to myself, “That looks like fun, rapping. I think I can do it”. It was that summer a new music artist was born, and I fell in love with Hip hop and music.
When I got home that summer, I got a notepad and begin writing rhymes. I would go to the school yard and practice performing my rap songs in front of my friends and classmates at recess. I became pretty good! I got together with a friend of mine, and we started rapping together, I called myself “Fresh” and he was “Smoove”. It was at that time that we began to perfect the art, and actually write Hooks and full songs with 16 bar verses. We wrote our first song called “That’s Just the Kool in Me”.
One day at school, a teacher, who had heard about our song, asked us to perform it for Black History month. It was on!! I got on stage, and had the time of my life, I enjoyed all the cheering, plus the clapping from the other students. I remember going through the halls hearing other kids singing and whistling the chorus, that’s when I told myself I wanted to rap for real. I went through the Yellow Pages and found a music producer. I let him hear the song over the phone and he said that he wanted to record with us. Excited, I told my mom about it, and I got my first obstacle / rejection. She was not interested in taking me to go record, as a matter of fact she didn’t like hip hop at all.
Here I am now, with no parental support for my talents, and no beats. It was at that time I had the clever idea that if I joined the band (playing the drums) everyone would get behind me, and I’d become an instant Superstar! I know what you’re saying “Yeah right”, lol. Yep, it didn’t happen that way, but in joining the band I learned how to play instruments, and later started composing music for the band in high school.
It was in college though ( Prairie View ) where I started making beats. I would make instrumentals for myself, using fruityloops, and invite friends over at party’s to freestyle with me, even gave Houston rapper, Paul Wall, a personal invitation to lay down a few bars with me. The rap artists on campus would hear my beats that I was making as hobby, and offer me money to buy them, I would always refuse though, saying it’s not the quality I want to put my name on, it was just for fun.
After building a reputation as a rapper I was confident to quit school, and go “all in” as a rap artist, but my parents and family had other plans for me. When they got wind of my plans to drop out of college, they decided to do an “intervention”, lol, like I had a drug problem or something. At a family gathering, my cousins, uncles, aunts, and my parents all pleaded with me not to drop out. My parents made it sound like it would be a huge disappointment if I went through with it. It was my Aunt, who came up with the idea that I should produce the music, that way I could continue school.
I promised to finish school, and started focusing more on music production. I got me my first professional keyboard, a Roland Fantom, and began uploading my beats onto Myspace, The beats became very popular! Within a 2 year time period I had over 40,000 friends, and had been hit up by A&R’s and a lot of independent artist who were interested in my beats. My first major influence to really take my craft seriously came from a Major rap artist named, Petey Pablo. He emailed me and said he liked my music, that I should take it seriously, to reach the next level. I took that advice to heart.
Fast forward to the present, I have worked with countless independent / Major artists, made various contacts & connections with many people in the music industry / radio, and have been online with my website Mo4Beats.com for over 8 years. Even though a lot of time has gone by, the love I have for music has not faded, and I am still a rapper at heart.
Being a musician / rap artists yourself, I’m sure you can identify with parts of my story, and probably have your own tales of obstacles, rejection, nay-sayers, and family / friends who don’t support your dream. It’s not the music you make or the lyrics you write that determines your success in the music business, it’s what you do with the music you create. Your passion, hustle, and determination is what audience connects with, and that’s also what the influential people in the business look for as well.
You can be the most talented artist in the world, but if you aren’t willing to invest your time, money, and creative thoughts into your music, you will never achieve the level of success you desire. The world loves the “Underdog, we all like to see a good fight. It’s inspiring to see a person take all the blows of life and overcome every obstacle to reach the top.
Will you fight for your dream? What will be your story? Let the world know through your hustle and through your music. Live your dreams!
I look forward to the road ahead that I will face as musicians. It will not always be easy, quick, or glamorous, but the experiences are always worth the journey. It is my hope that you’ll take this journey with me.
If you’d like to here the latest track in my musical story, click hear to hear my latest beats / instrumentals.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and for making it all worth it.