To say the least, this year has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs that tested not only my strength but my character as well. In the past year I have lost my closest friends, gained new ones, some unexpected enemies, hit milestones, survived unspeakable living conditions and much much more. As I sit and reflect on my life in the past year I have only God to thank for the man that I am today. Today I stand 27 years old, wiser, still alive, accomplished and still learning everyday.
This year saw me touching some of the most prestigious stages I've ever performed on, such as The Vans Warped Tour, the grand opening of The Brooklyn Commons Co-Working Space, The A3C Festival and more. I got to travel because of my gift which is normally not the case for most people in their lifetime. Traveling taught me how big the world is and how much of it there is to see. It taught me that there were more people out there like myself, who all have dreams, aspirations and the mindset that I have grown to find in my own life. Alot of people grow up seeing the same streets, the same people and it leads them to believe the rest of the world is like it is outside of their door. I am thankful for the foods I've tasted, the conversations I've had and the amazing people I've met in my travels this year. Shouts to Massachusetts, Atlanta, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Philly for life experiences I will never forget.
For the second time in my career I was able to release another full length project entitled While You Were Sleeping. Not only did the project score me a distribution deal with Black 17/ SONY RED but it opened the door for me and my day ones to start an LLC making me a 27 year old chairman. I often reflect on this because these are things I dreamed about from the couch of a friend who is now CEO of that LLC. I own my own publishing, every final decision is mine and every failure is also mine as well. The album not only superseded my first (The Prologue) it took me to places I never been and connected me with fans across the world. Over 130,000 streams and growing. This year I was featured on 2DopeBoyz, AllHipHop.com and sites that I have been reading as a kid hoping one day my name would join the list of my favorites who graced those blogs. Did I mention fucking Gary Vee featured my music THREE TIMES in his Vlog series lol. BRUHHHH!!!! WYWS is my most personal work and to this day I am proud of it and thankful to all the people who made this project possible.
Also for the second time in my career I sold out a show in my second home of Brooklyn NY. A life changing moment for me reaffirming my words still meant something to people. I used to stand outside of Arlene's Grocery when I was homeless dreaming one day I'd even have $10 to get in let alone sell out a show there. This year also saw the founding of The Artist Kickback. It has literally become my second life. A chance to give knowledge back to so many aspiring creatives who deserve the keys to their future from humble power players who haven't forgotten where they were when they started. This organization started out as an idea and has seen over several successful events, the launching of creative clubs, sponsorships from the Help USA, Hot 97, Taco Bell and countless others. I was even able to deliver over 200 tacos to a family shelter that I could very well be living in. We have given birth to Kickbacks in Atlanta, Northern California, Virginia and Maryland. Who knew an idea I had in my room would resonate with over 350 members nationwide and growing.
Sad to add that I have yet to see my family. Something I can only blame on myself and my pride. As an artist it is hard to maintain a stable financial life when your dreams have to fund your next meal. There's nothing that feels worse than going back home empty handed when your entire purpose for leaving was to come back with everything. I know the trauma of feeling financial unaccomplished has contributed to my distance from my family. It is something I have to work on internally and if you're reading this, never allow anything to keep you from the people that love you the most. Family is forever. And when it's all said and done you don't want to lose the ones you love knowing you had every opportunity every day to make them feel loved. A family that loves you doesn't care what you have and what you don't have. They love you for you and your energy is enough. Advice I'm still learning to heed.
After a depressing break up with a woman I loved for years, I chose this year to live alone again no matter the circumstances. I needed to be strong on my own and learn not to let loneliness make me make decisions that will effect the hearts of others. Locked inside a small room and home studio in East NY Brooklyn with no hot water, no stove, and barely any light, I experienced conditions that I thank God for to this day. Talk about being humble. Despite the cold showers and the hot plate meals I got to meet people who I consider to this day family and some not so much. Its funny how that works doesn't it. That in our lifetime we come across ppl who we end up loving almost in an instant. And then you come across people who will serve as your lessons. The lessons that came with those living conditions would teach me the consequences of having opinions. It would teach me the consequences of pride and wanting to win, not just in life but in my own selfish vanity and moral superiority. Being noble means nothing if you always have to prove you're right. It's not our job to save people. To force our beliefs and our lifestyles on others just because they work for us. Sometimes you have to leave people to their own path, stay to yourself and focus on your own journey. Harsh lessons learned.
The lessons didn't stop there though. My own laser focus lost me my closest friends. I've never had alot of friends growing up, nor do I know what that word even means anymore. I was selfish. I cared only about my own ideas instead of also realizing that those who were supporting me had great ideas too. Where was I when they needed me? My own financial constraints kept me from being able to support my friends. I blame only myself for everything that happens to me in this life. I made bad choices with my words, with my actions and they cost me people who I will love to the day I die. I am ok with that lesson and I am ok with the friends I've lost. Because every boy has to grow into a man on God's time. These hard lessons have brought me closer to the friends I currently still have, who still love me for me. Who have taught me that my energy and my time is still enough. I have been working on that part of myself. Overcoming my anxiety and fear of people. It has also made me quieter and less prophetic lately. Keeping my opinions to myself and choosing only to let my work speak for itself. I have a strong desire to effect the world in positive way. I'm learning that I can do that in many ways, most of which don't require a cape or a podium for.
I also faced attack. Attacks on my character, my integrity and my soul. Every decision you make, every word you say, it all has consequences. The people who attacked me once loved me. And again I blame only myself for the things that happen in my own life. Phone calls weren't made, relationships weren't preserved. Despite whatever wrong those people may have done, I controlled the outcome. My decision to let those people die in my head still stands. I wish them nothing but the best nor do I have any ill words to say about them. They are only human and have the right to feel what they feel. I'm a Sagittarius, my cold shoulder is unfortunately embedded in my personality. I'm no stranger to cutting people off, temporary relationships and musical responses. I'm aware of a lot of things people don't know I know but I've chosen silence. I'll take their secrets and their stories to the grave even if they chose not to do the same. Your moral code is not everyone elses, remember that. The good you've done for people won't matter when their mad at you. Just pay attention to what their anger transforms them into. People can be dangerous because their still growing and unfortunately their mistakes can end up breeding our demons.But note to self: Care more, show up, check on those who check on you and watch for bad energy and cut it off early.
I am thankful for the people still in my life. For the spiritual connection I have gained with God. There is no barrier that exist that can block my path to greatness. There are no words that can be said to assassinate my confidence in myself. The words that people use can either break you or build you up. I learned not internalize people's perceptions of me, but to hear them and make positive changes within myself without completely forgetting that I am beautiful despite my perceived flaws. I am thankful for my new home, somewhere quiet and away from everyone. I have been able to learn myself, talk to me, talk to God. I embrace the silence out here. I hope in the next year my career sees a new album, new relationships, new opportunities and financial growth. OH YEA!!....SAVE FUCKING MONEY! Forgot to say that. That's important lol. Rest in peace to those who won't get to see a new year. They may be physically absent but their energy will never die. Happy New Year everyone. God bless you. May your lives see peace, focus, happiness, love and spiritual growth. Love yourself.