DreamChaser Chronicles #3: Chick-Fil-A to Soldout Crowds
People have asked me did I feel like I deserved to be in the company of some of the TedX Memphis Speakers. The most politically correct response is, "No, I am just happy to be here, blah and blah!" However, I grew up learning from the most politically incorrect person of the early 2000s. In honor the 10th anniversary of me witnessing Kanye West say on live TV that "George Bush doesn't care about black people," I answer that question in the only honest way I can think of right now. FUCK. YES. I deserved to be there. (Deep in my head, well not that deep, I thought to myself: do THEY deserve to be in the same company as ME?). The TedxMemphis organizers did not have a slot for for a weaklink, and if they did, I sure in the hell wasn't it.
It goes way deeper than what many of you may have witnessed in the last year or two. Yes, I have done some amazing things. But people don't ever really know the back story; they just see you accomplishing amazing things and say, "he came out of nowhere." Nope, I came out a neighborhood filled with violence, I came out of an abusive home, and I came out with my soul and dreams intact. Before anyone knew me as Marco Pavé, before I became CEO of of my own label, I had become master of my own fate, in the rough and tough streets and an abusive home in North Memphis, in the 3rd grade.
Geoff Calkins from the Commercial Appeal asked me, "How many people know what they wanted to do in the 3rd grade?" I said "not many that I know, but I was serious as a heart attack." However, it took about 14 years for the plaque to build up in universe and show people just how serious this heart attack was. Along that 14-year stretch I avoided some circumstances that could have literally killed me. I've had friends to die, friends to be locked away for 55 year sentences, I was nearly shot in the face--all the typical "hoodlum" shit. My saving grace was my music. I kept that so tight to my heart and soul, even when I was being bullied at home or at school. I kept it close when my dad called me worthless and compared me to the neighborhood crackheads. I kept it close from dead-end soul-sucking job to dead-end soul-sucking job.
One of these jobs was one I got in 2012 at Chick-Fil-A on the University of Memphis campus. That shit was TURRIBLE. College students and their entitled attitudes will drive you up a wall. And on top of that the job was temporary, I only had employment when school was in, so on ANY break, I was not getting a check for however long the break lasted. But since I was brainwashed and felt like I needed a job to be a man, even if every day they made sure to remind me that I wasn't one because of the low wages and the way that I was treated, I still kept that job so i could make sure that I brought home $350 every two weeks--like a boss!
I don't even really remember what happened between me and Chick-Fil-A. Maybe we had a long conversation one night about how things weren't working out. Maybe I sent a text and told her (I assume it's a she because it's called Chick-Fil-A) that it's over with a few emojis. Maybe I wrote a letter and left it on her door. Either way, we broke up. So, I went back to being single (jobless). I had been in abusive relationship after abusive relationship. Kroger, McDonald's, Williams-Sonoma, Vista Inn (the place that gave me the fucking bed bugs from this post), Central Defense (yes, a 120-pound security guard), and too many more to name. They all hated me and I hated them I'm not sure why we stayed together, but we did for at least 6 months to a year at a time.
Then one day in 2013, the moment I had a 2-month-old baby boy in the world at all times, I decided to listen to my 3rd grade self and become the full time rapper that I always planned to be.
To skip past all the BULLSHIT I was told after I made that decision, I am going to fast forward to 2015. I have this amazing website that you are currently visiting. I just got married to the most brilliant woman on the planet. I just launched my own company and became my own boss (so I guess I prefer masturbating to abusive relationships), I launched a scholarship to support high school seniors pursuing the arts. I was selected as a fellow to teach Hip-Hop and music business in the city schools. I've been invited to lecture at four major colleges and universities. And, of course, I was an inaugural Tedx Memphis speaker. So, FUCK. YES. I deserved to be there. I deserve to be here.
It didn't hit me until a few minutes after I went on to speak that three years ago, I was working at the Chick-Fil-A across the walkway from the Rose Theatre and now I was delivering a Ted talk there. The difference time and believing in your damn self makes!
I will save the details of my talk because the video is about to drop and probably go viral :)
Just know that I will forever be an activist for the arts so artists won't have to go through so many abusive relationships with women like Chick-Fil-A.