Sunday, May 20, 2012

Collaborations! Pt. 2

Hey Everybody,

When we last left off, I’d just put the finishing touches on my part for the Collaborations Atlanta show. While I was doing my research though, I realized that I had fallen back in love with Hip-Hop. For some time now, I’ve tried to downplay the influence that the culture has had on me and I haven’t been really inspired by a lot of the material I was hearing from different rappers. However, over the past two months, that has changed. I was seated at my sister’s computer and I realized while watching some interviews from Atlanta’s own Killer Mike just how much influence Hip-Hop culture has had and continues to have, both on myself as well as MANY others. I’d lost sight of that for a while, and I’m ELATED to have reconnected.

So, switching gears slightly, not too long after I got myself together for the show, my sister came home. For the next hour, I laughed and ate with my niece and nephew, and it was such a wonderfully affirming experience. Being around them and in the midst of a house filled with love did wonders for my spirits before I had to leave to go make the DONUTS at The Beam.

Around 4:45, I set out to the venue for the dress rehearsal. When I got there, I had the opportunity to see a number of the people I would be sharing the stage with throughout the course of the night and what they would be doing. I saw dancers, rappers, video artists, etc. I took it all in and, honestly, felt really inspired. Inspired and ready to hit the stage.

Before too long, it was time for the show to begin. Consuela and I were the second act of the second set, so I sat in the audience and watched the first act in its entirety. I love being able to do that because I get to be a fan before I have to transform into a performer. I thoroughly enjoy that kind of duality. Best of both worlds, baby!

When the first half of the program was over, I relocated to the dressing room backstage to mentally prepare. There, I had a nice little conversation with a girl who was stretching out (she was going to be doing a capoeira demonstration later in the night). It was an unexpected gem, and it was cool to actually talk about what we were going to be doing while in the preparation process.

Eventually, it was go time. The host called my name, and I stepped out on the stage. I put my water down, fought with the microphone stand a little bit (broken mic stands are ALWAYS fun), and then it was on. I ran through the breaking poem, and I was completely in my zone. I executed both poems precisely the way I wanted to, and the crowd received them very well. I couldn’t have asked for more.

I have to say that it was INCREDIBLY HOT in the venue. I’m quite sure there was no air conditioning. When I walked off the stage, I was dowsed with sweat. I changed out of my dress shirt and into a wife beater, and then I reverted back to being a spectator.  I sojourned back to the audience to watch the rest of the show and had several people tell me along the way how much they enjoyed my performance.

Maybe twenty minutes or so later, the show was over. I got to talk to a few of the other acts, network, etc. It was big fun. The energy was fantastic. I’m really pleased with how everything turned out, and I’m still taken by what the experience provided me, which is way more than I touched on here. I’ve been telling everyone that I didn’t come back as a better artist per se, but, more importantly, I came back to Chattanooga as a better MAN.

Well folks, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll be back in touch shortly. Until then, be good, have fun, and keep positive energy around you!

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