Dear Hip Hop,
How are you? It's been quite some time hasn't it? It's been nearly 6 years to the date! I released "Sink or Swim" in June of 2014. A lot has changed since then.
Back in 2014, I was burned out Hip Hop! It sucks to say but I had lost my passion, my steam, my drive. You were my love Hip Hop, but I took what I loved and turned it into something ugly. Let's back track some more...
I remember I fell in love with you back in 2000. When I was 12 years old, I remember going into my sister's room and borrowing her CDs so I could listen to you! I used to listen to the Lyricist Lounge CDs and Tony Touch mixtapes. That's when I heard REAL Hip Hop! Music from people like Gang Starr, Royce da 5'9", Heltah Skeltah, De La Soul, Mos Def, Big Pun, Kool G Rap, Biggie Smalls, Punchline and Wordsworth, and so much more. Rhymes, beats, bars, punchlines, etc. I was hooked! I had to do it for myself.
I used to scribble rhymes here and there but high school is where we took it to the next level Hip Hop! I used to call myself "Symptom" because I was kinda ill haha. And in high school is when I started battling people during lunch time. You remember that don't you Hip Hop? People banging on the lunch room tables or beat boxing, everyone gathered up in a circle, and just having fun. That's when I earned the name "Virus". I battled a senior twice in my freshman year. The first time around, I lost. I was still developing my craft. However, I earned the victory the second time around and that's when one of the students at the Open Mic told me "You're way sicker than a Symptom, you're more like a Virus!" And the name stuck with me ever since.
After high school, I decided that I wanted to pursue music as my career. I wanting to go to a studio but I had no clue where to go! I remember getting a flyer for a big battle at Sub-T and one of the top prizes was a studio session at a place called The Bank. At the time, I was only 18 so I wasn't allowed to go into Sub-T so I went ahead and called The Bank anyways. Lucky me, The Bank was in my neighborhood and that's where I met Wes.
Do you remember our first session at The Bank Hip Hop? 18 years old, super nervous, we recorded the very first "Nonpareil" over the DJ Jazzy Jeff beat! That would be the start of it all. I did it for the love and to express my art; to showcase my craft.
From there, I actually decided to take venture out into being in a group. Sam, Steven, and I formed AP aka Advanced Placement. That's when we did our first show, at DeVry University for their Battle of the Bands. We were the only Hip Hop group, everyone else was on their Rock and Roll tip and doing mosh pits haha. It wasn't our scene but they showed us love. I remember Sam forgetting his words to one of our tracks and I had to spit it for him haha.
AP recorded a few songs but ultimately the group fell apart. Everyone wanted to go their own way so we did. That's when I decided that I would focus on my solo career and not be apart of a group again. Too much stress, I'd rather carry that weight fully on my shoulders.
This is where I'll end this letter for now Hip Hop, we have so much more to reminisce and discuss! We'll chat again soon, I promise.