This is Real Rap never thought I'd ever Face the Truth//That When you Hustle for Your Dreams its Hard to Separate the Two" ~ Tai Slumz (Who Am I)
These double meaning self reflected bars hold a very deep meaning to me....
Growing up in the "Slumz" (Pun Intended) there aren't a lot of options for young black minorities no matter how dedicated or ambitious. I developed a strong passion for not only the music I grew up listening to but a passion to pursue it as Career. Millions of young adults find themselves as High School Seniors or first year college students at a Cross roads of life. Face with possibly the most life defining decision of their accumulative years...."what do you want to be???". Now this might sound like a question better suited for my bright eyed 5 year old daughter who has all the time in the world to figure that out (Rich & Famous *fingers crossed). However now is the time that the average person is faced with this life decision. The Key word in that last sentence being "Average" I've always strive to be an above average individual. I never was the structured, standard path driven person a lot of accomplished Doctors, Lawyers and Politicians were in their younger years. I was the dream chasing, ambition risk taker that knew only the limits I set for myself. So you see I didn't have that problem....that blank stare in the mirror with that paralyzing self inflicted inner debacle "What is it that I want to do?". No. I knew exactly what I wanted to do....my issue in fact was bigger than "What" I was stuck on the "How".
It was said by the Late Great Notorious B.I.G. "Either you slang rock or you got a wicked jump shot" We've all seen the Ball Player turned Rapper (I don't get it either) but what we've all seen much more of is the Hustler turned Rapper. This is a scenario that we all hear so often that we have come accustom to just writing it off as the overly common attempt by a suburban kid's turn at rap stardom achieved by selling out to corporate America's interpretation of whats commercially marketable & ultimately profitable music. On a 9 out of 10 basis this generalization is completely accurate...but then you have your artist that occupies that small percentage and who actually happen to derive there compelling music content from factual real life accounts in that lifestyle. Which brings me to the original thought that inspired this tangent plagued blog entry.
If there are only a small amount of artist that has actual lived that life and has manage to break through and make the successful transition from Hustler to Major Recording Artist....How many talented rappers are there running around Hustling because they haven't broken through? It's really common for a Hustler with dreams of making that transition to get stuck in that lifestyle even after the transition has begun (i.e. Gucci Mane, Lil Boosie, Murder Inc, etc). At any rate its really just food for thought....
I have a record on the Welcome 2 the Slumz Mixtape called "Who Am I" that's really personal to me because its my reflection of what this blog entry means and how it relates to me as a person and artist so check it out and let me know what y'all think....
FREE DOWNLOAD: "Who Am I"
"I'm my own competition right//
now welcome to the dark side, you can catch me in a different light//
hard to catch me slipping right?//
liaison to the truth its a fact if you listen right//
a kid from the hood, I was misunderstood//
I gave em good for nothing that record to touch home with//
all the drama growing up, that I had to come home with//
your mama put you out like "Who you getting grown with"//
so its hustle hard or homeless//
and brova that's some cold shit//
A Dollar and a Dream will get you to the corner//
Make a run for it knowing that Success is at the Border//
This is real rap didn't think I'd ever face the the truth//
that when you hustle for your dreams its hard to separate the two//
Pour my troubles in a cup, seems to levitate the mood//
I mean escapism without ever really breaking thru//
when it rains you know it pours and you ain't ready for the news//
you keep running from them black clouds//
feeling numba then them crack vales//
Teachers want to conference and they wonder why you act out//
Mind on ya money and them runners in the crack house//
grind when you hungry & ya come up all mapped out//
the Plot getting thicker right, Im wrong if I aint living right//
see the pen calms storms with these songs that i sit and write//
baby mom drawling over jawns that i didnt pipe//
wilding out ran off & got married to a dead beat//
trying to do for my daughter now and she aint trying let me//
twisted web of deceit and yeah now i know im caught up//
spending money on a family i cant call myself a part of//
see even though i get fly, Im bitter on the inside.......