I was born, the youngest of 6, on April 19th many moon ago in Philadelphia (Aries in the House Whaddup with That!). Being the youngest, you learn to pick up on a lot of things by just watching your older siblings. I tried to keep up with my older brothers with everything, but most importantly, I tried to copy my sister playing the piano.
According to my mom, she heard someone playing the piano. Thinking it was my sister, she was surprised to see me on the bench. I dont remember that, but I do remember music being very easy for me to understand, more than anything else.
Rhythmic ideas seemed to be already in me, until someone would try to explain it with technical words, then and only then would I get confused. Vocabulary has never been my strength and words to this day seem to cornfuze me.
When I was too young to remember, we moved from the east coast to the midwest. Wichita. Yeah. What. Throw your dubs up! Thankfully I found my tight group of friends, "Whaddup all yall in Ta Town!" and yes, I found the key to my inner musical personality through good old fashioned herb and whatnot.
During those formative years, I learned not only of performance and technique, but of competitive performance and the focus that goes along with that. It's a truly daunting experience, having to memorize at least 30-45 minutes of solo musical repertoire and then perform it in front of a panel of judges. Who is who to judge music anyways?
Well, it didnt kill me, although there were times when I would get so nervous that I couldn't walk without shaking, or I couldn't even swallow my own spit, and my heart felt like it was beating on the outside of my throat and brains. I still love to play those pieces every now and then.
I think it was the seriousness of competing that led me to take guitar lessons, just to get a different view of music. And that I did. My first lesson, Craig gave me 2 video tapes. 1. The World According to John Coltrane
2. Sun Ra - Space is the Place.
I highly recommend both of these. What an eye opening experience.
I didnt fully understand what was going on in these videos until years later, and still have things pop into understanding, but it did open my mind into other musical genres. It brought the world closer to me.
Boston didn't seem that far away anymore. So that's where I went.
The Bean. Where I learned oh so many things. My first day at Berklee, roaming the halls, I met Mr. Headnodic. We've been friends ever since. This dude has such an amazing record collection! I swear, it might as well be it's own research school or something. I'm always learnin about new (or old, but new 2 U) Music.
After jamming out till the wee hours of the mornin, night after night after night, I met up with E.K.G. and spomped around the northeast, spreadin the funk. It was awesome!
After the funkulators disbanded, me, Headnod, & Moe formed into Mission. Now all y'all that are in the know, know Mission. Moe knew this dude Definate in Pasadena and finally convinced him to move out to Boston and join the band.
I remember wondering to myself, "Who is this crazy dude?" while standing next to him, waiting to go on stage at the Elbow Room in Greenwich Village for one of Mission's first shows. Turns out that the crazy dude is one of the most impressive emcees in the world, Raashan Ahmad.
Well, it wasn't long before he convinced the whole band to move out to California (where it didn't get so cold in the winter, although it doesn't get that hot either)
We landed in Oakland after numerous misfortunes.
Let me name a few.
1. Getting rear-ended by an 18-wheeler semi truck!
yeah, all our equipment in the trailer.Smashed! my MPV.Totalled! and it all happened the night we left Boston. Talk about throwin a wrench in your road trip.
2. Having to split up, Me & Raashan getting a new U Haul and driving up to Wisconsin to meet up with Headnod and Moe who had to take the bus. And then doing the same thing trying to get to Cali.
3. Getting the U Haul stuck in the desert and having to get towed out.(although it was a really beautiful sunset)
4. Getting pulled over.
5. Getting thrown in jail.
6. Being in jail in Utah.
8. Court in Utah.
Now let me tell you, we high-tailed it to Cali. Only stopping to eat, shit, and fill up on gas at the same time. When we finally made it, we crashed on Dave's floor. for about 2 weeks.
Mind you, with the insurance money from the crash, we were able to put out our 1st EP. The self titled Mission EP.
The rest is history
Here's the Crown City Rockers video for
"I Love Being a B-Boy" (Earthtones) :
Here's a lil' homemade video I did for one of my songs
"The Doldrums" (Natural Phenomenons) :
I had the opportunity to work with P.U.T.S. and layed some fresh keyboard
tracks on "The Wiz" (Fun DMC) :