DreamChaser Chronicles #2: From Slaves to Leaders
Dreamchaser Chronicles #2: From Slaves to Leaders:
March 11th, 2015 is another historic day for me. On this day, I made my way to the University of Cincinnati to do yet another lecture and performance for the UC Africana Studies program. I want to thank Dr. Earl Wright II (a fellow North Memphian) for bringing me out and giving me the platform to tell my story, and most importantly OUR story. Let me give you a little historical background of the place. The University of Cincinnati was founded in 1819. That’s 196 years ago. Guess what Earl and I would have been in 1819? A CEO? Maybe a Doctor, Maybe a just a regular tax paying citizen with the right to vote?–how about none of the above; a slave. I flashback to the moment when Earl and I were driving from his beautiful home in Northern Kentucky heading to the university, I thought about 1819, I thought about us being there in that time and how different it would have been for us just a short 196 years ago. This flash back moment led to me posting a status on Facebook that captures my feelings in few short characters, it read:
I hit the students with my soon to be classic talk, HipHop Speaks: Music, Change, and the New Memphis Movement. Black people have went through tremendous turmoil just to get to this point that we are now. Some may say, “Aw, that was 200 years ago, get over it, stop harboring on the past and the negative.” I don’t even have to go back 200 years (I do and I WILL because that’s our history) to show that white people in America at any moment in history tried to keep us down. The delivery of the work went through flawlessly.
I also broke it down to the students that it ain’t all political rap. I proved my point by dropping my single Cake. We are in a time and space that is critical for our culture. As an artist you have to represent multiple things and wear multiple hats. Artist are humans, not robots. I am providing the space that will allow us rappers to be viewed as intellectuals, musicians, historians, turn up gods, twerkers, etc. In the words of Andre 3000, “The South got something to say.”
I do this for Memphis, I do this for equality, I do this for America, I do this for Hip Hop, I do this for the ancestors, I do this legends who gave me advice, I do this for a living (I’m that nigga).
Apr 2, 2015