Need a gift for a gifted musician?
In November of 1996, at the age of 15, I was ejected from a vehicle, traveling 70-80 MPH, into a the rocky side of a hill that was blasted out to pave a roadway through it. I suffered traumatic brain injury, breaking my upper and lower jaw, breaking and losing cartilage from my nose, losing 5 teeth, and mangling my face pretty good. I was hospitalized for 15 days, and put into an induced coma for 6 days. I was not expected to live. When I lived, I was not expected to be more than a vegetable. When I was barely coherent, I wasn't supposed to get much better. Today, I make rockets for NASA. Not really, but check game.
I first got introduced to Hip Hop in Sacramento, CA in the autumn of 1999. I had recently been kicked out of my mother's home in Las Vegas, NV (where I grew up), and moved into a 2 bedroom unit in a 4-plex with my cousin (who was staying with his best friend and his best friend's mother). My two new roommates were graffiti writers, spending most of their time working in their black books to create a new, 3-d piece to hit up on some wall. I told them, "I hate rap crap. Hip Hop sucks!" They said, "You've never really heard Hip Hop, then."
With some resistance, I gave "real Hip Hop" a listen, and quickly fell in love! My earliest influences were The Pharcyde, Dilated Peoples, Jurassic 5, Ill Harmonics, Mars ILL, Deepspace5, and anyone who was Uprok Records at the time.
My father is a poet (google "Clarity Pyramid" to see a style that he created, which is actually taught in classrooms around the world!), and was my inspiration to start writing as early as 12 years old. A couple years before I heard true Hip Hop, a few people told me I should be a rapper. They said my poetry had that type of flow. I told them, "No. Never." But, once the spark was ignited, I new what I was here to do. Almost immediately, I started writing raps.
Coming from a background of punk rock and grungy alternative, I'd like to think I brought some of that influence over. If it's not obvious in the beats, maybe it's in my lyrics, in my cadence, or in my flow; or maybe in the fact that I always feel like I have something to say.
It's a curse and a gift. Constantly thinking that I know something that people should know. Constantly wanting to see and be change in the world. Constantly having to check my ego at the door. Or, maybe even scrape it off the floor after I let it humiliate me.
I'm just a person. Within the songs I write, I try to put as much of that as I can fit between the lines.
I hope you enjoy the sounds, and the words that are to come!