My Biggest Failures Of 2018

TruthCity Live At Sofar Sounds NY w/ DJ Ambi G (Photo By: Nina Vargas)

TruthCity Live At Sofar Sounds NY w/ DJ Ambi G (Photo By: Nina Vargas)

I know alot of people like to post about their accomplishments towards the end of the year. Everybody reminisces on their accolades, streaming numbers, relationships. As amazing as those things are, I think the most powerful experiences in life are those that leave scars. Mistakes are where the true growth happens. No one posts their failures. We’re all trying our best to look like we’re winning. One thing I always tell my friends when we’re having discussions is “I’m ok with being wrong". It’s within my incorrectness that I find growth and knowledge. This year has been a year of perspective, growth, understanding and uncovering of who I am and who I want to be when it’s all said and done.

Coming off of 2017 I had been involved in a relationship that at the time I felt would be my last. As always, I was wrong. Love is a beautiful trauma, though. It shows you more about yourself then you would like to see. Your partner holds up a mirror to you to show you the things you may have been ignoring or scared to face. That image of ourself sometimes leads us to anger. Leads us to doubt, self destruction, and even shame. I remember the breaking point. The woman I was dating at the time had said to me, “Why don’t you ever have any money?” I was triggered. Money had always been something my mother used to get upset about, chastise me about. In short, Money can really send a lot of us into a rage because it reveals the actual conditions and unfortunate truth about our future should we continue thinking we don’t need it to survive. I yelled at her. “What do you want me to do!?” “Leave me then!”, I yelled…. She left. She never picked up my call ever again. There I was alone. Alone with my thoughts. I had just moved out of NY, away from friends, further from family and in that moment all my demons came spilling out.

In those moments you replay back every moment. You look for signs. Its like pressing the rewind button in your memories looking for moments where you went wrong. There were a lot. I learned that I was jumping into love to fast. Saying “I love you” too quickly. That I was clinging to relationships because I didn’t have a true relationship with myself. That I should always be able to sit in a room alone and be happy. I should be able to talk to myself. Confine in myself. That moment brought me closer to God. I realized that sometimes when you’re in a relationship, your partner’s voice can feel like God’s voice. I found myself again.

I drifted from myself musically this year as well. Something that is hard to admit but something I want to publicly acknowledge. My music became more aggressive. Angry. Violent. Life had beaten to the point of resistance. I dyed my hair red to express the anger I felt was in my heart. As raw as the music felt, I started to feel that I was drifting away from the messages of my past. My single “Trap Music In My Uber” found light but most of the 25, 30 songs I had made for my project, I shelved. Deep down in my spirit I knew it was something I wouldn’t be able to live with.

2018 also brought me health troubles as well. As thankful as I was to God and the universe for giving years and years miracles despite working only for myself at the time, I was overworking. I wasn’t sleeping properly. I was in my head 24/7. Thinking about albums, tours, love, my life, my family, everything really…. sometimes all at the same time. Eating fast and quick meals, running off an only an hour or two of sleep. Then one day…. I remember I had a studio session lined up and I had been up all night. God had told me to go to sleep, but I was obsessively looking for anything to keep me busy. I slept for an hour and then got up, mind racing with the day’s tasks in mind. I grabbed a salad from the corner store, walked into my session and begin to work. That day had all the makings of tragedy attached to it. Lack of sleep, a hot summer basement, weed smoke, loud music blaring through my headphones, a mind full of thoughts and an unclear mind. I got up to get some fresh air and went crashing to the ground. Lights out.

All I remember was black. No voices. I couldn’t see. All I could hear was my own voice. It was like someone turned the lights out and I wasn’t there anymore. I had a seizure. I remember thinking I had died. I was cursing into nothingness. Begging God to bring me back. I promised I would eat better, stop smoking, work less. I regained consciousness. My friends had told me my heart stopped, I was twitching, eyes rolled into my head. Scary shit man. My life changed.

The 3 months after that were some of the toughest of my life. A doctor had told me I was having brain malfunctions due to excessive overthinking. I didn’t even know that was a fucking thing. How could you think too much. I’m a creative. All we do is think. The more I dived into neuroscience the more I started to realize how powerful and important mental health was. The doctor offered me a pill, but I remember something my mother told me when I was a kid. Don’t ever let no doctor prescribe you a pill for something that God can cure. I refused the pills and sought self treatment. I remember that day having a crazy headache. So bad that I rummaged through my medicine cabinet looking for something. I found an Advil in the corner of my cabinet and took it. My headache eased. Then one day I had another and I looked for another Advil but couldn’t find one. I realized in that moment that I was looking for a pill to make me feel better. Something I vowed I would never need. I prayed. And prayed. And prayed some more. Those 3 months after my seizure were traumatic. I suffered heavy mental trauma to the point where I was wake up in cold sweats scared to go to sleep. The darkness in my mind felt like the seizure. Everything felt like it would happen again and it kept me up every night. Friends recommended sleeping apps, meditation, vacation.

Eventually I found solace in facing my fears. That I would not live my life being scared of death. That death is inevitable. All I have is today and I refused to waste it living in fear. If I go tomorrow, I want to be able to say today was amazing. I never experienced another seizure after my first health scare. I gained control of my thoughts. Control over my life’s energy. I found peace. But boy what a fucking experience lol.

This year I also gave up control of my brand. One of the hardest things for me to admit. During the last few months of the year I had become heavily obsessed with my brand. What my identity would be in the industry. I started looking at everyone around me wishing I had better clothes, better content. Wondering what people thought of me offline. Maybe I should talk like this, dress like this. I added new additions to my management. Suddenly everything was about selling a perception. Being at places I wasn’t. Following people I normally wouldn’t want to be associated with. Changing my name so more “important” people would do business with me. My IG stories became littered with sex, braggadocious innuendo and ego rants. I found myself every week having trouble sleeping, troubled with the messages being peddled through my brand. The saddest part about it all, it worked… We gained more followers, more clicks, more LIKES. People were entertained by the negativity, the bravado. It was almost hard to walk away from. It was sad to watch honestly. That if I talked this way, dressed this way, went to these places, did these antics people gravitated. I had more women in my DM than ever before. And in a sense, some of these things were who I am but they weren’t the things that I wanted at the forefront of my overall message. I put a stop to it all. And I’ll never forget what happened next.

I was told to have what they call “magical thinking.” I had a belief that the world could be a peaceful and loving place that cared about positivity, god, self love and butterflies. I looked for the good in people rather than seeing them for who they were. That the world I wish to create wll never exist. It was in that moment that I realized that the magical thinking that I had was exactly the thinking God had blessed me with. As creatives, we all see and hear things that don’t exist. That’s why we are creatives. We pull sounds from our minds that don’t exist. We put together words, rhythms, designs that had no actual conceptuality before we thought of it. The same can be said about the peace we wish to see in the world. That how you see the world will be what is for you. If you choose to see hate, choose to see the dark hearts in others, then that is what your reality will be. I can’t explain to you how food came to me on days I didn’t know how I would eat. I can’t explain to you how I found money in the street on a day I had been stressing how I would get on the train that day. I can’t explain how I have encountered some of the most kindest souls walking this Earth. Magical thinking I guess…

That moment taught me who I wanted to be in this world when its all said and done. I want to speak light. I want to speak positivity. There’s enough hate in the world, enough anger, enough jokes, enough clowning around. But there’s not enough positive messages, positive images, enough self love, enough social commentary. I knew in that moment that The Prologue II was where I wanted to center my focus. The TruthCity who gave the world inspiration, motivation, light and guidance. My handlers tried preached to me stay away from politics and religion. Don’t take on the responsibility of changing the world. Naw. The world needs changing. If I am only but a small example of what the world can be, then that’s how I want to go out. May every word I utter be of love. May every moment I share with others be filled with joy, enlightenment and true connection. I’ll never be perfect. I’ll never be God. But I aspire to get as close as I can.

Happy New Year.


Your Story Is More Important Than Your Single

One night I found myself at an open mic in NYC's Lower Eastside. I love open mics because it brings me back to humble beginnings. When I was learning the stage, learning eye contact, learning how to promote myself. A young rapper had taken the stage an as always I was front and center. I like to give the artists on stage my energy. We all need those one or two ppl who will help show the audience its ok to engage. Throughout his performance he maybe mentioned his name twice at the most and the rest of the performance was all promotion. "This is my new single", "just dropped this last month", "this is from my upcoming album".... blah blah blah blah. I seen this so many times I felt like I should write a blog post about it cus its always disheartening when an artist doesn't realize their story is more important than their singles.

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