The summer before seventh grade marked the beginning of my hip-hop career. I was equipped with Jnco Jeans—their major allure being able to carry two litter bottle sized amounts of oddities, completely hidden in either pocket—a notebook, and a dream. Never mind the fact I knew virtually nothing about music; I figured that would come later; probably after the first record deal.
My friend Michael and I would walk the streets of our lonely, 500 resident town, busting out mad beats. Michael was one of only two black kids in all of the Hermitage school district, so I felt he gave me the street cred I needed to pull off my desire of hip-hop stardom. And as a young man made of mostly 190 lbs of flabby meat and a bad bowl cut, I needed all the cred I could get my chubby fingers on.
We chose rap names for each other. I would be N-Igma, as in Enigma or a mystery, because undoubtably people would be a little confused by the husky white kid from southern Missouri who was busten’ mad rhymes. Michael would be 8-ball; because 8 balls are black and so was Michael. our wit was on full display.
The real urge to become a rap superstar was less about me and more about impressing the girl in my class that I had had a crush on since 4th grade—lets just call her Unattainable. She was a major hip hop enthusiast and had a crush on the rapper Ja Rule. I figured the only difference between Ja Rule and myself was that Ja Rule had a posse and had been discovered. I just need to get discovered and then a posse and then the girl. Or maybe I should get the posse first…
Our dreams were quickly dashed when the two of us found ourselves in a record store, face to face with our worst nightmare. There on the shelves, was a CD and emblazoned on the cover was the name 8ball. Michael was crushed. Instead of coming up with another name for him, we both agreed that the rap game just wasn’t ready for the two of us and we hung up our mic’s forever. We would give up on our dream and I would have to get the girl another way. The posse was still a possibility.
The other day I posted on my social media account, “Do whatever makes you happy, not what others think should make you happy.” and though it garnished several thumbs up, one comment really stuck out to me, like a sore thumb. It read:
“yeah you do that, see where it gets ya. :-)”
I suppose the smiley face was to show he was kidding or being sarcastic but either way it made me realize something: Change, scares and threatens people even if it has nothing to do with them. I recently decided to chase my dream—don’t worry its not of hip hop in nature–so that I can be happy for the ones around me. That threatens some people for some reason.
Our dreams are a lot like a pop star’s look: ever changing. Sometimes they go through their Lady Gaga’s meat dress stage. They’re ugly and only make sense to the person with the pork chop on their head; but wear that pork chop if you want to! Your dream may seem dumb at first, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try, because you never know where it might lead you. Just make sure they’re for the right reasons, it’s what you really want, and that you’re not hurting anyone else in the process or impeding their ability to do the same.
Now take us home Kid CuDi!
People told me slow my roll I’m screaming out f@%k that
Imma do just what I want lookin’ ahead no turnin’ back
If I fall if I die know I lived it to the fullest
If I fall if I die know I lived and missed some bullets
I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold, hey
I’ll be fine once I get it, yeah
I’ll be good.
AUTHORS NOTE: What is something embarrassing that you had aspirations of becoming as a child? Tell me in the comments below! This essay is factual and is part of my #TrueTuesday posts were I post nonfiction stories every tuesday. If you enjoy it please make sure you subscribe and check out my #FictionFridays! Thanks!