A Peace of Mind - Reflections on Secret Sessions
I stand out.
There is no ego behind that statement. It is an objective observation. I'm big. I have a weird sense of humor. I laugh with my whole body. People sometimes can't quite pin down what race I am. I'm smarter than average. These are all things that make me who I am. And it's not that I'm unique; it's that I'm noticeable. My whole life I've been painfully aware of this.
When I was younger standing out felt like a liability. I didn't have the emotional tools to understand why I didn't fit in. You start to worry you'll always feel that loneliness, that disconnect, and that it's your fault for not liking the things the other kids liked, or being too awkward/anxious to participate in things that I liked. Yes, I had a few great friends along my journey. And yes, I ultimately learned that you should always be yourself and that quality beats quantity any day with respect to relationships, but remember this is younger me. Let's show the kid some kindness.
Nevertheless, here we are today. I'd taken this crazy long break from performing/writing/anything consistently creative. I download a copy of Reason one winter after tax return season. Honestly when I downloaded it I was trying to get a song idea out of my head. nothing that panned out (Yet), but I was obsessed with hearing this thing I'd imagined. Some of you definitely don't understand how a single melody would compel someone to spend $500 on a piece of software. Others are like "pssh, $500? Casual..." Needless to say, the tools are only half the battle. Working on the Daywalkerz EP helped me understand the tools I had, and it motivated me to seek the advice and counsel of experts to help build the skills needed to finish the project. I give mad respect to Dre, Dreamtek, Ronesh and everyone else I turned to for sharing knowledge and offering direct feedback on tracks. I know the project isn't perfect, and I am always going to be my own biggest critic, but I am legit happy with it. And I am happy that others seem to be happy with it too. It stands out. It has a point of view. And yet it bumps. I was able to take a snapshot of a moment in my life and imprint it in my muscle memory as a song. There's no substitute for the power that has over your anxiety of fitting in or even having the desire to.
Last night I got to perform a "secret sessions" set at the studio where we recorded Fresh Faded and Driving in the Dark. Tek was spinning and also hit me with some love on the vocal EFX, which was super ill. The energy of the spot was undeniable. Dreamtek and the Seven Oddities crew has been super supportive from day one. I respect their hustle, they respect mine. I met other people who all mutually respect each other's hustle, and are using whatever platform they can to build. Hip-hop is a game where fitting in is somewhat irrelevant. Your goal is to stand out. And like I said, I stand out. The difference, is now that I actually believe in myself I no longer take it personally when people think I'm bragging.