Sometimes I try to avoid feeling the enormity of now, and sometimes I know I need to feel it. Now is my best opportunity to put myself into a situation where I can make a living from my music. Of course, regardless of whether or not I achieve that goal, I am tremendously thankful for everything music has given me. It saved my life after my mom passed away, as I used it to hang on. It has taught me things about myself that I would never have known otherwise. Music has enriched my life in ways money never could. I have had countless incredible experiences because of music, from making real connections with people, to performing while a bunch of college students were moshing right in front of me, to living out of my car and seeing the country.
Music was also my way out when everything fell apart in Chicago. I had gained 30 pounds in 8 months due to stress eating, and for the first time ever in my life I felt alone. I’ve always been a strong person, and honestly enjoy being single (I’d happily trade that in for the love of the right woman, but I won’t give it up for the wrong one), so I had never really dealt with loneliness before then. Thanks to music, I had a way out. I quit my job, and was intentionally homeless for a few months while I toured the country, living out of my car. When I was down to my last $5, and my credit cards were all maxed out, I went back to delivering pizzas. I also lost all of that weight I had gained in Chicago because I was truly happy.
My fans have been absolutely unbelievable. Many of them know my music better than I do, and that’s amazing to me.
Now is so enormous because of everything I’ve put into music leading up to now. I released “Intro To My Mind” in 1997, and as far back as 1993 I gave my casette to a talent agent. She said “rap is on its way out and you should do something that’s you.” I am doing something that’s me. For 14+ (and depending on how you look at it 18+) years, I have been working to make music my career. I have quit my job a couple of times in an attempt to do this. Both times, I ran out of money very quickly and had to go back to work.
Now, I’m essentially getting ready to try it again. I’m not actually quitting my job this time, but I’m taking 3 weeks off and there’s no guarantee I’ll have full-time hours when I come back. In the fall, I’m choosing to work less in order to focus on music more. It means I’ll be moving into a cheaper place, and will likely have roommates again. These are sacrifices I’ll happily accept to have a better chance at reaching my goal of making a living from music.
If I were to use common sense, and look at historical data, trends, the economy, etc. there is absolutely nothing saying that what I want to do is even possible. I’ve never had a profitable month from music. I lost probably $600 the last time I went on a tour of similar scope (2006), even though I slept in my minivan almost every night. The most money I’ve ever made from a single show is $200, etc. Thankfully, I don’t always use common sense. In this case, I’m not using my degrees either. My math and stats degree would definitely say I’m crazy, and my business degree (and Miami University as an institution) would be insulted. That’s alright. I’m doing it anyway, because love and passion are more powerful to me than money and logic.
I have put a tremendous amount of time, effort, money and energy into promoting the release of “liberty island,” and the upcoming tour to support it. I’m going to enjoy the tour, regardless of the outcome, but there is a definite enormity to it. “liberty island” is by far the best CD I’ve made (I won’t compare it to other artists because music isn’t about ego for me; it’s simply better than anything else I’ve done). Because I have room to grow as a musician, I believe I can make something better in the future, but if this disc isn’t good enough I don’t think my next disc (M” – pronounced M Double Prime) will be either. This is my chance. NOW.
When I stop to think about it, the enormity can be overwhelming, so I try not to think about it too often. I just keep doing what I’m doing, and hoping that enough people catch onto it to gain momentum. I wouldn’t want to stop trying right now and have things just magically happen. I want to earn my success, and will keep working hard to attain it.