Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Blessing

Last week was an absolute experience, brothers and sisters. I feel like nearly every part of my being was nurtured, and I blog before you inspired. Inspired and tired, but inspired nonetheless. Let’s jump into it!

On Monday, WUTC’s “Around and About” ran a feature for the “PressPausePlay” premiere. Monessa G. did an absolutely PHENOMENAL job on the piece. We met for an interview a few weeks ago, and she culled a good number of the talking points together with scenes from the film. In case you missed it, you can give it a listen here:

We managed to do a few more interviews leading up to Thursday, and I’m VERY elated to say that things went extraordinarily well at the screening. Every seat in the auditorium was filled. At one point, I looked across the room and noticed people sitting on the floor, and, honestly, it touched me. It was such a surreal experience for me to see how excited people were to check the film out and knowing how far back all of it had been set in motion.

Following the screening, we had our panel with Nate Hill, Phillip Lewis, Isaac Duncan III, and yours truly. We talked about the film and fielded some interesting questions for the audience. What I found really fascinating was how the crowd didn’t just inquire about certain things, but actually commented and offered up their own ideas and experiences. It was a genuine connection, and those of you who have known me for any length of time know how much I enjoy and appreciate it when that happens.

The very next day, I drove to Atlanta to see one of my personal heroes, Brother Ali, perform. Over the past three years in particular, Ali’s work has truly resonated with me. He is someone who really incorporates his personal life and message into his material, and he is without a doubt one of the best writers in Hip-Hop (you can quote me on that).

I saw Ali in 2010, and, again, it didn’t really feel like a concert. Ali took time between a few songs to talk (yes, talk), and that man was preaching. He talked about the difference between optimism and hope, and I just couldn’t help but smile. 2012 has been a year of growth, development, and change. While I’m not where I would like to be in my life, hearing Ali and being able to share in his passion made me feel like I’m definitively on the right track. On the first song on his latest record, one of the themes running through it is about leaving the world a little better place than when you encountered it. I feel that I’ve done that to a certain degree, and definitely aspire to do that more. Right time, right place, right message, brothers and sisters.

Oh, I’m also honored to say that for the second time in my life, I had the opportunity to meet Ali. We talked for a little bit and I thanked him for being who and what he was. He looked me dead in my eyes and thanked me for coming to the show and told me that he appreciated my presence. Wow. Just wow.

So, the past week was full of really grand encounters that broadened my perspectives on a number of things and provided me with a wealth of new avenues to explore as an artist, creative director, and man.


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