The Big Change: A Three Step Program

My last post ended with a bit of a cliff-hanger, so let me fill in the gaps.  The past few weeks I have been thinking about some BIG changes, and I made the final decision to go through with them right before my most recent date with Sara.  What where the changes?  Mainly, shed some of my bills, so I can put all my money into this hip hop dream. I decided to go through with this bill eradication process at the exact same time that I found out my girl, Sara, has been cheating on me.

Step1: Reduce my living expenses
So it’s time to put my money where my mouth is, out with the comfy suburban crib, hello functional downtown apartment with much lower rent.  It will put me closer to Chemist, and the rest of the guys so we can work on hip hop,  and it will let me devote my cash to the project.  Clearly, this decision has been the source of a lot of tension between Sara and me over the past few days, but I tried to get her to see the big picture.  My mom’s also not a big fan of the neighborhood but hey, it’s near school or at least closer, and it’s cheap. Plus, it’s not like it’ll ever be as bad as when I lived in the D.T.W.

Step 2:  Drain my Savings
Okay bad idea I know, but there is a difference between saying you want something and truly going for it.  So I took out my savings, and I am shopping around for equipment.  I’m also saving some of it to book quality studio time.  (I did make one one stupid purchase, but let’s not talk about it.)

Step 3: Confront My Girl
I hate to think about how I found out my girl’s probably cheating, but I might as well tackle everything all at once, right? I’m going to confront Sara this weekend, and I’ll let you all know how things go.  Right now I think I’ll just tell her what I saw, and ask what’s going on.  Let her explain from there.  If I am lucky I’ll find out nothing happened yet, and I called her out just in time. In the meantime, I’d love to hear suggestions. Keep them coming!

And that about sums up my crappy week.  My life is starting to feel like a roller coaster ride.  I should get my friend to build me a graph for this blog so I can visually track my progress on this crazy road to hip hop stardom.  Alright, I’m out for today.  I got to get ready to face what I have been avoiding.

I Got 99 Problems and a —– is One

Remember how I left of my last blog post with wanting to make things right by treating my girl, Sara, to the night she deserved? Well a fellow blogger, Sarcastica, has recently been giving me some great words of wisdom, (via comments on my Punk Revolution blog and Twitter conversations – @ProphetTheRebel),  so I decided to follow her advice. I treated Sara to a night at her favorite place and topped it off with a romantic spot for two.

I decided to take Sara to dinner at a restaurant that serves her favorite style of food, a play (because we both love the theater) and finally a romantic walk in the park.  The night began perfect. She looked beautiful when I arrived, and by the time we went to dinner, things seemed to be rolling just fine.  We were having one of the best conversations we have had in, well I can’t remember how long, and I was falling in love with her all over again.  (Yeah mushy, I know, but whatever). Then, as we finished up dessert, she got a phone call and excused herself from the table. It was her friend, Lisa.  I could see her talking in the hall near the bathroom, occasionally peeking out at me as I paid the bill.  Everything seemed fine afterward except her mood clearly changed.  I kept talking to her, trying to make her smile, but she seemed distant.

We went to the play, and the whole time she kept checking her cell.  Lisa must have texted her half a dozen times, and whatever she was saying was clearly distracting her.  I tried to not let it bother me because the texts made her smile, and I was happy to see her happy, but I in all honesty, I kinds felt like we were being intruded on.

After the play, I was going to take her back to the spot on campus where we first met and had our first kiss. I had a special surprise waiting, but she wanted to just go home instead.  The whole way back, the conversation was damn near zero.  She was on her phone non-stop texting, and I felt like I was a third wheel.  Apparently, Lisa was in a crisis, and it had to be managed immediately.  I didn’t want to be an ass so I let her do her thing.  We got back, got ready for bed, curled up and went to sleep.

Late that night I was awoken by the vibrating cell in the other room. Trying to ignore it, I got up to use the restroom.  But by the time I came out, the phone vibrated again.  A bit out of curiosity and a bit out of concern for Lisa, I opened the phone.  It was from Terrance, a guy we both know from acting class, but I’ll explain how later.  My stomach dropped.  I looked through her texts and saw that the whole night she was texting him. Lisa’s name wasn’t on there at all. Finally I stopped on one of the last ones from the night, “I love you, call me when he’s gone.”

I stood there not knowing what to do.  Finally, I closed the phone walked back into the room and just laid there.  I got up early the next morning and left.  I still haven’t confronted her because, honestly, I don’t know what to say and this comes at a very bad time.  I didn’t say yet on my blog, but I decided to make some BIG life changes and they start this week.  I need some time to sort this whole thing out.  I’ll be back when I clear my head.

School is Kicking my Hip Hop Ars & Procrastinating Doesn’t Help

I started college for anthropology, but decided to focus more on the theater department.  I love the stage and feel drawn to performing.  Maybe it’s an escape for me, maybe it’s a way to express all the things built up inside. Whatever it is I connect with acting.

I just snagged a part, and preparing for opening night is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Between anthropology classes (yes I’m still studying it), working, writing for Alumni Elites and acting, it seems like there is more to do in a day then there is time.  I don’t handle stress as well as I should, and I find myself feeling overwhelmed.

Lately I should be studying or writing or preparing for my play, and I just don’t. I chill instead.  In the back of my mind I know I’m letting the work pile up, and that just makes me feel more stressed which makes me want to chill even longer.  It’s like an endless cycle that keeps making life harder and harder on me.  Worst part is it’s all self-induced, like a person who knows they need to work out and eat healthy, but all they really do is think about it while shoveling super sized number 2 meal from McDonald’s down their throat.

So how do I break this habit?

How do I get my life organized, get motivated and stay on track?

How do I sit down and do what I have to do when I don’t feel like doing it?

And how do you force out creativity when your mind is ready to burst under the pressure?

Worst yet, I think it’s taking a toll on my personal life as well ’cause I am sensing that my girl, Sara, is drifting away.  There has been a few times she has wanted to get together, but I’m either busy working on something or am in the middle of relaxing/procrastinating.  I hope she can understand and it’s not like I don’t make an effort. I try to surprise her with little things to show her that I care…like dropping by with her favorite latte, sending flowers and anything else I can think of to show her how I feel.  I need her now more then ever, but I am noticing my calls are being answered less and less. You know what, I’m going to take her out, just the two of us, I think she deserves that.

Got any suggestions on where I should take her??

It’s gotta be somewhere special! Email me with ideas at prophettherebel@gmail.com.

The Battle at Work

I’ve been at this job as bouncer for a little while now and in just two short months it feels like home.  It’s like a family here; we all just get each other.  I like chillin with Matthew, the head bouncer, we just vibe together.  He beat boxes, and I freestyle every break we get.  Its crazy man, everyone here keeps telling me how good I am and I am noticing our freestyle sessions are getting a bigger and bigger audience.  What started with just two guys has grown to 15 or more a night.  Well last night was a bit different in that another staff member had enough of my new found mini work fame and decided to challenge me to a battle.  But this wasn’t just any call out, he planned this out. “Yo, Proph how bout you step up!  You can freestyle but can you battle someone with some real skills” the man shouts.  I turn around and it became clear he had me cornered in front of damn near the whole staff and then some.  It was clear I was set up with all the cards stacked against me.  He probably knew every devastating line he was about to spit, but I couldn’t back down.  Nervously, I accepted and the battle was on.

Insults poured out of his mouth in rhyme after rhyme with a chorus of “ohhhs” and “damns” from the small crowd that had formed.  He had done his homework and devastated me for a good 4 minutes straight.  Every minute that passed his insults got harsher. Every second his rhymes got grimier as he moved in closer and closer so that by his last lines, he was inches from my face–literally spitting on me with every line.

I was done, or at least everyone figured I was, so I took a deep breath and let it all out.  I don’t know what happened in that moment. Maybe it was being so pissed at an obvious set-up, or maybe it was how everyone thought I was done but something took over me.  The crowd that was laughing got eerily silent as I came back again and again, line after line, rhyme after rhyme you could see the confidence in his eyes fade away.  No one said a word, and when I finished, I looked around at a room of stunned friends and strangers.  Two seconds later the place erupted in an “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”  I had won. I destroyed him, and took my game to a whole new level.  I went to bed last night knowing a new corner had turned in my life.  I was a different man, and where this man is going is anyone’s guess.

Enter CHEMIST

Chemist is the man! His beats are either really dark (like crazy pissed off, back the hell off kinds of beats), east coast laid back ,or techno/house -esque hip hop.

Yeah, I know what you are thinking, what the $%^*!  Those genres are completely different from each other but so what, we can tackle anything.  There isn’t a beat I don’t think we can ‘t burn up.  I was going to save this announcement for later but I’m just way too hyped! Chemist, Dwayne, my boy Alan, my cousin Marlon and I have formed the super group Alumni Elites!

Prepare yourselves, because the gameplan is to bang out the first few tracks in the coming weeks.  In fact, I’m going to take out Sara to celebrate.

Prophet The Rebel and my boy, Chemist

Prophet The Rebel and my boy, Chemist

TIME PRESENT: Love, Acting & the Search for Beats

Proph here with a quick update. Life’s pretty good these days. I spend my days at school with my other two loves:

(1) My girl Sara, who continues to shoot down my attempts at “officially” being her man and

(2) Acting at Cleveland State University.

I don’t get it, Sara and I are great together, a ying to my crazy yang. I know she loves me even if she is too scared to admit it. I keep telling her about my hip hop dreams that I’m trying to get popping, but she’s not too psyched. Apparently its not a “real job,” which is a funny excuse, as we are both in the theater department. Ya, being an actor, there’s job security! What’s the success rate in that? Whatever! She seems to think that performing, in the hip hop sense, doesn’t have a high success rate. Well, she’s right, but at the risk of sounding cocky, that high failure rate is full of wanna be rappers that never had half the drive and skill that I do.

Tonight I’m going to listen to this guy James (aka Clevelands Chemist) music. I hear he has some killer beats too, which really may get the ball rolling on this whole thing. We’ll see.  This radio stint really got me motivated.  I am determined to keep this momentum going and get music out there within the next two months.  Failure is not an option.

Looking Back to Go Forward

My first girlfriend was the woman who changed my life forever.  Four years my senior, Anesia Xiyu Mave Parkingson was the stability my life so desperately needed.  A writer who grew up in Hawaii off the Polynesian Islands, she melted away all the coldness in the world around me.  My best friend, the love of my life and then, the mother of my soon-to-be-born child.  I was scared but I knew with her, we would give that baby the life I never had.

Throughout the pregnancy she never stopped seeing the good in me and desperately tried to convince me to walk away from the gangs and violence.  She knew it wasn’t me but I just didn’t listen.  To this day I hate myself for not having heeded her words.  I lost my best friend and my baby in the blink of an eye. Anesia went to Baltimore for some kind of tutoring program. She was only supposed to be there for a couple of days. Four weeks later, a friend told me that she was dead. There’s too many memories getting stirred up right now, so I’m gonna just leave it alone. The point is.  She was my everything, and then she was gone.

Anesia’s death hit me hard…Somehow, I managed to re-focus my energy and pain into a new outlet–Hip hop. I started writing like a fiend. I battled anyone willing to battle and studied every tape I could get my hands on.  With a couple of good friends, Perry and Dwayne, we built a strong hip hop crew, honing our skills every day and night.  Perry grew up first and entered the Navy, (a man who is  an inspiration to me for how a person can change his life and really do something to be proud of).  When Perry left, Dwayne and I stayed behind with dreams of hip hop stardom.  He made beats, and I freestyled over every record he tossed my way.

But I slipped and I went back to my old ways, surrounding myself with the wrong crowd again, and eventually, work turned into play. And “play” was about sitting around getting high and half-assing everything I did.  It didn’t take long before I was kicked out of high school.  I didn’t care  then because Dwayne’s beats were hot, and high or not, my flow was grabbing more and more attention. Eventually I got my act together and went back for my G.E.D. while “forging my style,” whatever that means.  And that’s where we are now, G.E.D. in hand and that shady life behind me; college and acting during the day and hip hop at night.

The funny part about life is there is always the chance of redemption, if the person seizes the opportunity.  I’d like to think that I am one of the lucky ones who made the wrong things right–even if it took a few years. A little bit late but thank you Anesia.  I will make you proud and finally be the man you saw hidden in me.