DreamChaser Chronicles #1: Bed Bugs to UCLA

Dreamchaser Chronicles #1: Bed Bugs to UCLA:

I had always dreamed of the moment that I’d be taken serious with my music career, and that moment came in a 2014 interview on News Channel 3’s  show “Live at 9.” Since that moment I have performed all over the country, recorded with Grammy-winning producers, and met Hip-Hop moguls. Dream come true right? Yes, of course. What I could have not dreamed of however is having the voice of a generation, the voice of a place, the voice for the unheard. I didn’t ask for all that shit when I was crying in my room just wanting my dad to respect my music dreams. All I wanted was some fast cars, some bitches that would do whatever I say, and some money to stunt on all these hating motherfuckers. That was at 15 years old.

At 22 years old, my life has already changed: complete 180. Just one year prior I was depressed, and I mean very. My bed was taken over by the most vicious colony of bed bugs this side of the Mississippi, hell, both. I did not care that they crawled all over me as I slept. They had became apart of my sleeping pattern. Sleep, wake up, smash a couple, scratch, and go back to sleep. I didn’t have the energy and most importantly the self-care to take care of the problem. I felt like I deserved to be sleeping in a bed with bed bugs everywhere. On top of all that when my then two-month-old son came to visit he would have to sleep in that same bed with me because I didn’t have the money to buy him a crib. One day I woke up to change him one day, turned on the light, there were bed bugs all over him scattering out the light. I just broke down in tears; I knew I had hit a new low. I was surrounded by demons, and all I had was my music. I put my all into it to make a better way and to pull myself out of the funk. The music didn’t save me, though. I saved me by loving me. I could have won a Grammy in 2014 and that would have not fixed all the problems that I faced. I had to love myself, I had to choose me in order to choose music, my son, and eventually find my wife.

I digress, though. I actually came here to stunt. In 2013 I dropped out of college, mainly because I didn’t have a car to get there everyday, but also because school wasn’t my passion. I didn’t even know what my major was. Fast-forward to January 2015, and I am boarding a plane to Los Angeles California to deliver a lecture at UCLA. Two years after dropping out of college, a top university was flying me out and paying me to lecture. I told you I came here to stunt. But what could a 22-year-old rapper from North Memphis be talking about to a class full of students at UCLA? Well, first off don’t let the age fool ya, I have lived three lifetimes. I’ve almost died, twice. Almost drowned at 3 years old, and was nearly shot in the face at 15. I am here for a purpose, and I am fulfilling that purpose. I want to tell my story, I want to tell the story of Memphis, I want to shed light on the inequalities that made me grow up in a neighborhood where all of my childhood friends were dead or in jail by the time I was in high school. Urban America, the America that lives under the mighty scope of white supremacy. Welcome to it. I survived it, now I am here to continue the fight of justice and equality like MLK, who was assassinated in my city 35 years before my birth. Old school folks always told us to stay humble, according to Webster’s humble is “of low social, administrative, or political rank.” I did that before with the bed bugs shawty; aint no way I’m staying humble no more. Put me in your history books. You’ll thank me later.

Mar 25, 2015