I’ve always dreamed to rock the mic, the stage and everybody’s mind when I step onto the stage. Simply put, I wanted to impress anyone who’s never heard the name O-muse with the words and the cadence of the flow. I thought I had it all figured out. Got to play my first shows last year and it was an awesome experience. However, as an artist there is always an expectation. There is always a small ounce of conceit that consumes you. I felt like everyone would relate, I felt like everyone should be feeling the words coming out of my mouth at every second and when it doesn’t happen, when reality gives expectation a backhand to the face, a little piece of me began to think that maybe I’m not cut out for this.
So I started to avoid shows. I started to shy away and lose confidence in the flow. For a little while I almost about lost it all. Then I remembered…
Why in the world did I even start rhyming?
It was never to look cool (obviously since my first freestyles consisted of rhyming butt and what and fuck).
It was never for the money (I actually spent about 1500 bucks just making my first free mixtape FLOWdefined and felt absolutely no remorse)
Was it the power?
Maybe a little. As a child I grew up feeling ignored. Not just by my parents but by the world because I was just some small Asian kid that felt he didn’t belong because the words that came out of my mouth seemed so insignificant to everyone (being a skinny, small statured little boy didn’t help my confidence either). I’m sure we’ve all had those moments where you say something and someone else within the conversation completely changes the subject as if what you said was totally irrelevant to anyone and anything. Only to me, it meant a lot more than just ignored words. It seems like every time it would happen, I’d get deeper and deeper inside this shell. I’d have NEVER thought that I’d love and almost idolize others for being able to rhythmically speak to a crowd over music, until school and my school commute began to take its toll. Driving 2-4 hours a day in traffic, wasn’t exactly what I was used to when I went to high school down the street. I began to get very short and irritable with everyone and in some instances began to lose feeling. Nothing was as pleasurable, school was boring, I didn’t know where I was going and I’d have to wait in 2-4 hours of traffic smoking half a pack of cigarettes by the time I got home.
My high school friends though. I’d always see them spit these lines and laugh and just say stupid shit, not because the words meant everything to them, but because it was just fun and a little bit of a relief to express yourself. You’d still have friends even though you said the most ridiculous shit like (I’m gon’ fuck me up in the ass cuz weed is green like grass) or whatever high school boys try to rap when they have no sense of context or meaning behind their cadence. It was funny. We all laughed. I loved those times even though in high school I was afraid to spit at all.
Fast forward to a year after high school and I was spittin in front of my friends, my family, and random ass people.
But why did I start?
It was all of the laughs, all of the good times that we had. But also it was because I began to notice in my college years that not only could you express yourself and find a comfortable spot in your own identity, you could help others find that same spot. You could help other realize things that they would never normally think if they had never stumbled upon your music. I had always been a huge fan of Kanye West growing up. College Dropout really spoke to me (All Falls Down probably being my favorite Kanye song at the time). The story that was told was not only a form of deep expression, but an insight to another person’s life that you could relate to and empathize with. And from the empathy came emotions and feelings that I’ve never felt before (especially since Kanye tells a story about a woman being judged and confined by societal norms).
So in the end you just have to realize why you do what you do.
Whether it’s rappin a 16, performing brain surgery, or goin to school to be a corporate hotshot lawyer and stick to that.
That original spark should be the reserve fuel for the flame.
Meaning, as empty as you might feel, you’d still have your origins to keep you goin. You still have those memories of why you began and a reason to keep pushing. So. Keep. Pushing.
goals for march:
clear the stomach of gastritis for good.
run 6mph for 30 minutes straight
save save save money for audio equipment and shows.
950 is the goal. let’s get it.
what I do, not who I know.
I’ve always wanted to be recognized for the things that I do. Especially in an industry where success is based a lot on who you know, what we do is less emphasized. The complexity and beauty of sound, the thought in the lyric is overshadowed by this need to be KNOWN. What I’ve always believed is that if you were so spectacular at your craft, you don’t need the co-signers, you don’t need recognition from the top dogs in your industry, you just need an idea. Mostly an idea of who you are. You are what everyone else is not and the goal for anyone should be to make that absolutely clear.
What do you want to do? Such an elementary but deep question depending on your perception. But it underlies your reason for living. Why you were put on this Earth is a mystery, even to you, until you find and create your own purpose, again something I strongly believe.
I love music and would ultimately like to create my own genre of music. I’m not sure what exactly it’s going to sound like, but I know that this is what I want to do and how I want to change the world (no matter how minuscule the change). However, in another part of the globe, there are men and women mastering the art of olympic curling or freestyle ice skating. These talents, which I perceive as non-applicable to my life, has gained lifetime significance in the eyes of an olympian curler or ice skater. So who is to say that the music that I will create is more significant than an ice skater’s invention of a new skating maneuver. To a person who idolizes the sport of skating, my music may not be as applicable or significant. To a person who idolizes music and its integrity, ice skating may not be a topic that one would dedicate his or her life to. So who says which is more significant when a new idea in a track or a newly invented skating maneuver may have equally contributed to the lives of those who are beginning to find themselves through their particular crafts.
In the end, you just have to remember what you promised to the world. What you promised you would do and what you promised you would accomplish for the world. Seeing the world this way has allowed me to establish a more comprehensive understanding of anyone’s passion for their craft. Anyone who is skilled and radiates passion with what they do should be recognized as a person who has accomplished their dreams. I feel there is a lot to learn when it comes to developing your craft and ridding yourself of the fear of criticism and vulnerability at any point of the game (whether you’re a Kendrick Lamar, or a new emcee like me that performs local shows). One day I’d like to be known for what I have done and who I am in the game for it, not just a sucker known because of what others have done and my association with them.
Your life doesn’t need any dull moments, but your life does not owe you fun. Go make your own.
i’m just tired of this unspoken hostility.
i’ve been afraid and embarassed to really tell people where my life has been and what i’ve been doing these past couple months. fear is such a weak emotion.. but i’m still growing. i’ve been afraid of inconveniencing anyone else with my problems. for those who have been around me. you’ve known that i’ve had my little battles with gastritis. recently, these small battles have began to wage war and i was taken in to the emergency room this past end of January. for those who aren’t familiar with gastritis. a “gastritis battle” for me is random nausea and a lot of bloating. a “gastritis war ” for me is chronic nausea, fever, vomiting and bloating due to the excessive swelling in my stomach.
in order to cure these symptoms i was told to heavily regulate my diet. this means no fried foods, no soda, no alcohol and select foods that irritate only my stomach (everyone’s gastritis is unique for everyone). this in itself, i feel is limiting me from really spending time with people that i really admire and love. i’m really beginning to miss my old body. the one i used to believe was almost immortal has now been living with chronic and random nausea for about 6 months now. i can still confidently say that my life is better than most people (thankfully). i have access to medical care and i was able to seek help. but it does really suck to have to refuse drinks, refuse meals, and refuse basically anything that’s fried (i love that shit!) but, looking at the bigger picture. i have an awesome life in comparison to others who are constantly abused verbally, physically, with no support of their own character, who have no roof on top of their heads to really call home, the list goes on and on..
the point i’m really trying to express is that. i’m tired of this unspoken hostility. a lot of people try and tell me that i’m the one who “disappeared” when really, life happened. i’ve been going to school, working a part-time job, and writing new tracks in between those times. all the while i’ve been having stomach procedures, check-ups and weekly chiropractor visits. the rest of the time that i do have is spent with my girlfriend who has really been my rock, holding me down and really giving me new perspectives of the world. it’s like experiencing an image with various lenses, the change is in the small, beautiful details. but every image is beautiful no matter how distorted because it’s a new image. it’s a new experience, something new to add to your visual memory. something to shape your opinion, either negative or positive, the important part is knowing. experiences with my girfriend taught me that.
people are so adamant in telling you that you haven’t hit them up and shy away from fault that they never think of the vice-versa.
i have been guilty of this too. we all just have to really work on being more empathetic and stop thinking that this world is egocentric. the world doesn’t revolve around mine, yours or anyone’s experience. it’s a compilation of 7 billion experiences and counting. can you convert 1/7 billion into a decimal? that might open your eyes to how small the human really is and it’s shocking to see how big one human could seem just by the words that come out of the mouth.
an absence of anyone in anyone’s life should never be perceived as an act of malice and assume hatred.
the absence of anyone before being beautifully reunited should be perceived as an act of happiness because the absence of anyone in life means that they’re also invested in their own lives and are opting to take their own roads aside from yours to find new experiences. these are the kinds of people i want to enjoy my music. the kind of people who look for others’ success before their own and are in turn brought success not because it was their aim, but because it was a product of their work for others in whatever work that they do.
keep fighting. keep putting in that effort.
I’m still giving support to the people i feel deserve it and who have made pretty big impacts in my life.
stay grounded. always count your blessings. the life that you’ve had for 20 years could change in a matter of seconds. be prepared.
Sincerely and love always,