MIDWEST GLOOM: WILL IT EVER SHINE IN CLEVELAND?

Proph here with a lil pity party.  I was trying to keep optimistic this week…Really I was. But ya know that phrase, “When it rains, it pours?” In my case, it should be “When it rains, it’s a level 5 hurricane!” I’m serious. This week’s recording session went okay.  I say okay because as I started rapping, I realized I wasn’t feeling so hot.  First, it was just some pain in my throat, then I felt a little light headed and now, well now I feel like crap.  It’s hard to breathe let alone move, and I can’t afford nor do I have the time to go to the hospital. I bought some food before my work check was deposited into my account.  Needless to say, I over-drafted my account, and the bank won’t stop charging me late fees.  When I looked this morning, it was up to $400, and I don’t know what to do to get them to stop.

I pulled it together for my little sister’s Birthday dinner, but between the illness and the setbacks, I’ve gotta say that I am officially down and out.  I’m keeping up the optimistic facade to my boys, but the truth is I am a bit dead inside.  My history with women has been problematic to say the least.  Just a couple of weeks ago,  I was gonna to pledge my everlasting love to Sara, and looking back now, I don’t think she really understood how much I cared for her.  I would have put in the time and effort to make it work.  I would have been there for her if she gave me the chance.  But she shut me out.  Ya know what the last things she said to me was? “I don’t love you.” Then she said that I was just a good time. And I couldn’t expect her to stick around with a guy who has no car, no job, lives in a poverty-stricken apartment, and is chasing a dream of becoming the next big hip hop artist from Cleveland.  She said she needed a future, and I was just a fun stop along the ride.

Before our big date fiasco, I had kept some of the cash from my savings and bought her a ring. It wasn’t an engagement ring, a promise ring…actually, more like a ‘thank you’ ring.  I was going to give it to her before our first hip hop show as a way of saying thank you for sticking around.  Now instead of me giving it to her, I’ll be giving it to a pawn shop.  Maybe someone else out there will buy it and give it to someone who loves them, because that future just ain’t in the cards for me.  Sorry for the pity party, but it just ate me up today, and I needed to get it out.  The last straw was waking up to find my pet Iguana had died.  So I think I’ll rest, feel bad for my self for a little and then pick myself back up like I always do.

After all, this drama has to be good for one thing…song writing. Listening to Kid Cudi’s latest single, Day N’ Night, made me think about how life’s problems seep into the hip hop scene and turn into great music. After I heal up, I’ll just take all this hardship and put it into my hip hop, but for the time-being, this is one defeated Prophet signing off.

Happy Birthday

Proph the rebellious rebel here taking a break from chasing my midwest hip hop dreams to give a shout out to one of the few women in my life that has always been there for me.  My sis, my friend, Ppalonian.  I just wanted to tell her and the world how proud I am of her.  You took the road less traveled by those from our neighborhood and did the good thing, kept your head on right and stayed in school.  You may be my lil sis but you’re an inspiration to me.  All of Cleveland, or at least my blog and it’s readers, wish you a happy Birthday!  This is one hip hop punk who’s proud to have such a great sister.

Midwest Showdown: A Cleveland Hip Hop Standoff

Cleveland weather ain’t the only thing that’s unpredictable. I got to be honest, Prophet the Rebel had a crazy week but what else is new, right?  Who said being the best in the Midwest would be easy?! Hell at this point, whoever said doing anything in this hip hop game would be easy?

We all got together the other night to rap, and lets just say Alumni Elites imploded.  Picture this, a small apartment with Chemist on the PC, Dwayne on the mic and me sitting on the couch with two friends.  We are having a good time when in the middle of Dwayne’s freestyle, Chemist mutters in an undertone something like “Wow gangsta rap again, yeah, you’re real hot shit!”  Dwayne stopped, ripped off the headphones, looked at Chemist and said “What the f@$k is that supposed to mean?”  The room just froze as they stared at each other.  (You could cut the tension in the air with a knife.)

Chemist fired back, “I know you think you don’t need us, so why are you here?”  That’s when Dwayne shot me that look like you told him, you bastard.  After that, all hell broke loose.  It all came out how Dwayne wanted to drop the group, how him and I were the only thing good in the group, how Chemist ain’t finishing his end of the beats and the rest of our dirty laundry.  A few times I thought some blows were bout to be traded all in the name of hip hop.

Needless to say, the Midwest will never hear from Alumni Elites as a group, but you’ll still hear something because we broke off into individual hip hop artists instead.  When the dust settled, Dwayne was not happy about my squashing the rap duo talk, but we did agree to work on a new music partnership.  It’s mainly Chemist and Prophet now working on 3/4 of a solo project.  The two of us are going to get working now.   By the time, I’m done typing this all out, Chemist should have some beats for me to get started. So I’m going to head upstairs and start recording today!

So really, what used to be a group project is now a Prophet the Rebel solo hip hop album.  Keep in mind though that Dwayne’s still in the picture, and he’s going to let me use half his beats for my solo album, and Chemist will produce the other half. It’s all on my shoulders now to write some original hip hop music.  Cleveland’s style of gangsta rap is just not for me so they best prepare for something fresh and new.  I guess this may mean a bit less writing for the blog, and more writing lyrics. I promise to keep the blog updated though.

I’m going head first into this rap music to help me get over my ex and make my life better.  I have something to prove to her and myself.  Hell yeah, I can’t believe I’m doing this.  In fact, as long as you aren’t too critical, I’ll post a song on my newly minted Prophet The Rebel MySpace page next week.   It won’t be a song proper. It’ll just be a one time freestyle take over on one of my friend’s beats.  That way you can put a voice with the pretty face.  When it’s up, keeping in mind it’s just a quick take, please email me with your criticism.  I better run, Proph out.

NUTHIN BUT THE TRUTH: The Road to Hip Hop No Where

I failed to mention this before, but at school I forged a really great friendship with this guy, Randy aka Mooch.  Aside from my boy, Perry, who is in the Navy, Mooch is the closest thing I have to a brother these days.

Mooch pulled me aside today for a heart-to-heart with me.  I was kind of shocked and not exactly sure where this was coming from, but what he said needed to be said.

“Proph, you’ve got serious talent–rapping and acting.  I see a star in you every time you take that stage.  You’re outshining the veterans around here.  And your freestyles, are not just unique, they are absolutely killing anything I’ve heard lately.  Hell, the hip hop freestyling you did on the radio show caused my cell to blow up with calls from people asking about you.  You are probably one of the best emcees in Cleveland, no in the Midwest, and yet you still haven’t done a thing, not even a single song. It’s been just talk.  Your life is stagnant and last semester you were failing classes too.  I could understand if you were working more or if you were in the booth recording more, but you aren’t doing any of that!  What’s your excuse?  Why are you failing school?  Where the hell is this album?  We are all getting older man and if you don’t take advantage of life now, it will pass you by.  I have connections. I can manage you, get you gigs. I can help, but you have to get things rolling.  I don’t want to see you waste your life and talent.  Hip Hop needs someone like you right now.  More importantly, you need you right now, or at least the you that’s ready to step up.”

He was right…No, he is right!  I walked home last night motivated, but depressed.  I gave up so much to be where I am right now, and here is still nowhere.  My career is dependent on others, who have yet to step up to the plate.  I can see what I want. I just don’t know how to get it.  I’m getting to the age where I don’t have the time to figure this all out. Will I be Isaiah Isaac,the aspiring hip hop artist for the rest of my life? Or will I be the hip hop artist, Prophet The Rebel?  (Is this what they call a quarter life crisis? If it is, this sucks!)

I walked around town for an extra hour tonight (in the rain) instead of going into my place.  I needed time to think, and I couldn’t take another night of useless freestyles and battles that move us nowhere closer to an album. Let alone, thinking about my recent girl problems. After all that thinking, this is where I stand…I need to find something to light a fire under my boys’ asses.  I need us all moving in the same direction and to strive to be Cleveland’s best hip hop group–to producing the best music the Midwest rap scene has ever scene,to being the very best in this game.  I know it’s in us but I have no idea how to inspire others.  I thought my recent sacrifices would do that, but so far, they haven’t. I can’t force people to make something. My hands are tied.  I need them to succeed. I need a partner who will work as hard as me, and instead I have a bunch of people more interested in playing video games and chilling than making music.  I’m starting to feel a bit screwed. I guess you could say that I’m a Prophet who’s looking for a savior.

P.S.- I have to admit though, Sarcastica’s faith and comments do go a long way in keeping my head above water, so she deserves a big thank you and shout out.  Now go read Sarcastica’s blog people!  (It’s less chaotic then mine, only slightly, but it’s much more interesting.)

Dwayne’s Coup – True Underground Hip Hop

Prophet aka the Rebel here with an update on chasing the Cleveland hip hop dream.  Well, this week all I can say is its funny how God tests you.  Soon after my last post, there was a slight coup. Dwayne wants us, as in just him and me, to do things alone.

We were kicking it, and after a freestyle over  one of his beats, he says, “Man I love Alumni Elite, but let’s face it, we are the best in the group.  Plus, no one’s done shit.  Chemist isn’t finishing his beats, and the other two just don’t have the time with their lives being so hectic.  After all this time we don’t even have one damn song done.  You and me, what do you say?  We are the only true rappers. We are the future of rap; we are carrying all these guys.  I say screw them, and let’s do this hip hop thing. Just you and me!”

We went back and forth for about an hour, and he made a lot of good points. Alumni Elite seems to have worked on paper but not  in reality.  But as good as it was to freestyle with Dwayne, all we rap about is the same tired gangsta shit.  That’s not what I want to put out there. Cleveland’s underground hip hop scene…No, the whole hip hop community deserves better.

So I said flat out, “I don’t think us branching off is the right thing to do. I do think that we need to rethink our direction though.”

He seems pissed for now, but hopefully we can move beyond this.

Of course a little of me wonders if this really is the right choice…Sex and violence sells.  Maybe that is what we should stick with. Thoughts anyone?  Should Proph become your stereotypical rapper, or should I stick with my guns and go against the grain?

Be You

Another change in my life recently occurred.  I have a bad back, a really bad back that got messed up in a sparring match back in the days. Probably due to my work and finished off by moving my furniture, my back has literally become a pain in the ass.  So much so that although I loved my last job, I had to move on.  Bouncers with bad backs don’t last long.   I decided to pick up a job surrounding myself with something else I love…video games! A friend of mine was working at Gamestop and got me a job there, and it’s been great so far.  Well the job is great, the waiting at a freezing ass bus stop is not so much.  The thing is, even though I moved on a bit, the free stylin battles from my old gig followed me to my new one.

Last night, an old friend came to visit me and brought his cousin, a man who quote “was a real emcee.”  He heard Prophet on the radio and you guessed it, wanted to battle me.  I asked my boss if I could step outside for a second, and we were off.  He was good, real good actually. But in the end, I won.  He told me how great I was and asked me if I had any tips, which was a first for me.  Most people aren’t that respectful.  I thought about it and realized that I did have some advice.

I told him “Be you!”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“I mean be you!” I said. If there is one thing I have learned recently, it is that you need to be true to yourself, truly be you.  “Look, you got skills man, but I can tell your trying to be a cross of Lil Wayne & Soulja Boy.  And when I look at you, your clothes, the way you talk, its obvious that that just isn’t you.” I continued. “Either you’re posing in your dress, or you’re posing in your rapping style, and I am betting it’s the rapping style you’re copying.  I get it. Those guys are big, and it’s easy to emulate whats on the radio…what your friends like, trying to please everyone but yourself…But that kind of a lifestyle can lead you down a dangerous path. Trust me, I’ve been down that path, and it ain’t pretty. You end up losing the ones you love and hurting yourself.

As those words came out of my mouth, I realized that I wasn’t following my own advice.  Yeah, I have come a long way from my days of acting like a thug, but here I was rapping with the Alumni Elite about guns, drugs, bitches and real life.  The only one of those topics that was “me” was the real life part.  I decided right then and there that whether my crew likes it or not, I need to branch out musically and do what feels right. I don’t care if the streets or the underground or the radio like it or not.  When I am me, that’s when people gravitate towards me. So you’ve heard it right here right now. It’s time to really be me, a nonconforming, undefinable punk in every sense of the word.

Out With the Old, and In With the New

With my life savings literally in my hand and the first month’s rent down on my new place, I chose to invest the rest of my extra dough in a sound card and a semi- decent mic. (Well, at least as decent of one that I can afford right now.)

Of course the crew is hyped up about me moving closer to them and ponying up for a new mic. We’re planning on having a free-style session tonight to break in the new equipment and re-hash our music plans.

For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I’ve got my priorities straight. I’m ready to do this.    Yeah, yeah…I know you’re all reading this thinking BLAH BLAH BLAH, What happened with the whole Sara-thing, right? To which I’ll casually respond: When did a hip hop blog become a love story? Nah, I’m just playin. Well…She’s gone.

That’s right. I came back to the apartment this morning, and there was a note on the kitchen counter. I guess you could say it was your typical “Dear John” letter. Sara said she was done with the relationship, and she was moving on. I’m not gonna lie…I’m crushed. Sara, even with all the ups and downs, was my comfort, the one constant that I still had left in my life. She was the one person that I could go to when I needed to get away from the shit that the rest of the world dealt me time and time again.  Plus, with this new direction in life and in my acting and musical career in tow, it would have been nice to have some solid support from her.

So I’m moving on…At least I have some friends in this building, and plenty of work to keep my mind off of her.  I’ll try to use this time to stop thinking about this whole breakup and get both my life and this blog re-focused on the goal, creating hip hop music.  So,  with my love life behind me, and my hip hop career in front of me, it’s time to focus on Prophet aka the Rebel.

Watch out, Cleveland. I am on my way…As soon as I figure out how to plug in this damn mic and sound card that is.