One year ago today I performed at a show that will forever be one of the most life changing moments of my life. It was a moment of racial awakening, a moment of love that you had to be there to see. I always wanted to share this story in hopes it would bring about more peace and positivity so here goes...
I was given the opportunity to perform at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint Brooklyn. I had come to find out that a friend from the radio station had set it up. It was such an honorable moment because he's met so many artist he could have recommended but he chose me. So I hit the train, I got off and walked 15 mins to the venue (I know what fucking train did I take right). So I get to the block and on my "non working" iPhone I looked on the iPhone map and tried to get an idea of where I was and I could have sworn I was in the right area. Come to find out I was and the bar just didn't have a sign. This low key excited me because the best venues don't advertise cus their just fucking dope.
So I get inside and the room was.... Different. There was no rap music playing. The DJ was playing everything. Rap, pop, jazz, indie. Was amazing honestly. Then the opening act went on and gave me the dopest Australian indie shit I ever heard. I must also acknowledge I've never heard Australian indie so don't judge me, just listen to the story lol.
After that it was my turn and I thought as I looked around, there's almost NOOOO black people in this venue. Will my songs be accepted, do they even like rap? Silly question, right? I made a judgement based off the skin in the room and I found something wrong in myself. That because of social history, I've learned there is and probably will be tension when other races are in one room but I thought maybe that energy is coming from the state of how things have been and maybe we should acknowledge the present. That we are in one room.... TOGETHER.
So with that in mind I took the stage gave my story and played a few songs but on stage I created something new. I addressed the elephant in the room and I told the crowd. Do u see this hair, I'm black. Do u see this pigment, I'm black but I want u to know I love you! I told a crowd full of white people I love them and when I said that the rooms energy changed because the crowd started to love each other and love me back. We didn't want to acknowledge hate, we didn't want to be negative we just wanted to love together. Not to ignore the horrible things going on but we also didn't want to ignore the beautiful things going on too.
After I left the stage I thought my night was over until I went around the corner and inhaled "the earth's lovely essence". I met up with a white family who had attended the show. But they were there to see their rapper friend and they were from Wisconsin. The queen of the group had told me how beautiful my performance was. But it wasn't the music she raved about but she raved about the message. She said that's what we needed to hear in a time like this. To love.
And in this moment I thought my night was really over. I had found the lesson of the night. But then I decided to grab one last bite at a pizza spot. I ordered two pepperoni and waited. As the pizza order was called I came up to a lady who had mistaken her pizza for mine. Noticing her mistake she apologized and my love meters rose.
I said "You know what there's two, I'll take one and u take this one." Never met the lady before but I asked myself this is my human family, why can't we share? And the look on her face I will never forget. She was shocked to see genuine love from another person of color towards her. I knew it struck a chord because after accepting the pizza she came back and said thank you with tears running down her eyes like a faucet. She hugged me tight and said thank you 7 more times. And I said to her, your my family and I love you. She cried harder. And the room went quiet as everyone stared and smiled and for the first time in a long time there was love in dark time in a small pizza shop in Greenpoint Brooklyn.