Confessions of a Disc Jockey
Table Of Contents
The Wonder Years
Sentiments of success inflate an ego ready to be broken. True fighters are those who go through tough times and refuse to give up. Giving up is a mental questioning of yourself. You question yourself to the point of breaking yourself and your spirit. A person will low confidence is one who will continually be used by others. Used in ways that only benefit their selfish needs.
When is the last time you’ve done something for yourself? An even better question is when was the first time you did something for yourself? Achieving sparks thrill, passion and desire. Desire to do better and be better than the person you were the day before.
Imagine playing a younger version of yourself in a game of checkers. Who would win? Would you take it easier on the younger version of you or would the younger version dominate their older competition? That’s one of those questions worth asking as you think about your path to success. As the saying goes; “You have to know where you started to know where you can go.”
Pine trees, warm air and bumpy roads create the surroundings. An inner city wearing a rural town. That describes my hometown. It can be as cruel as New York, Chicago or Detroit, but also as sweet as drinking lemonade on your front porch. Jackson features a big statue of Andrew Jackson downtown. A man loved and hated both at the same time. That one statue perfectly describes how it feels to live in the capital city. It’s a love hate relationship.
Some days it feels like living in heaven and others feel like hell. I like to think that every hometown feels that way. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that you become more comfortable in any place other than your current habitat. My hometown will always be special to me. It’s the only place I can be around the majority of my family at once. It’s the only place that we all mutually visit as we walk life’s different paths.
The son of a former waitress and factory worker, I was born in a two parent household. Our conditions not the best, but also not the worst. My parents raised two kids together as they worked endlessly to provide us with a chance to be successful. My sister and I are polar opposites, but also one in the same. I’m more of the risk taker. I’m the son who always gets into things, but can’t seem to see the end points. My sister is more of a queen. She’s always moved in ways she deemed acceptable and she won’t bite her tongue if she doesn’t like something.
Always the adventurer, my parents would tell stories of me jumping out my crib as a baby. As I grew older I would continue the trend by jumping out the car windows as my father spoke to friends and family. I was never one to be held to one location for long periods of time. I can recall my parents working many different jobs while me and my sister grew. Picking up my mom from work with my dad was a rarity.
However, I can recall waking up in the car as we picked my mom up from work one night. By this time she was working as a receptionist at a local hospital and dad was working as a grocery clerk at a local grocery store. I’ve seen my parents grind. They worked all the time. We were at my grandparents house if my sister and I weren’t at school. In my opinion, my parents did a good job at coordinating their work schedules.
Through the week, one or the other would be home with us as we returned from school and we would stay with the family elders on most weekends until things grew better. I’m also a daycare baby. My parents sought additional help throughout the week before I was old enough to start school. This was during the week and my grandparents for the most part couldn’t keep me due to working for themselves.
My parents found in the assistance of a local babysitter. She was a nice woman. I can remember her watching me and other children in her home as she also raised her own children. I guess you can say this way the beginning of me moving around. We lived with parents in different places in Jackson before settling for a brief period when I was 6.
The North side of the city is mostly where we resided. We lived in homes in Presidential Hills and on Clinton Boulevard before living off Northside Drive in Hallmark Gardens apartment complex for a short period. Hallmark Gardens is where I first saw police caution tape. While living there our next door would shoot his wife one afternoon. My sister would remind me later in life that their son was my friend in the apartments I played with the most. I had an aunt and uncle who lived in the complex as well. I always had fond memories of them as they always treated me and my sister as their own children.
I would start school by attending Pre-K at the age of 4. My birthday is in July and I would always finish the school year before it. I would later graduate high school at 17 before starting college a few months later at 18. I’ve always been a gifted child or a different child. It really depends on who was dealing with me at the moment.
In Kindergarten I feel I was a normal child, but I also had to take a speech because teachers said they couldn’t understand what I was saying. I just think I didn’t want to speak to them lol. My mom says I always had a creative imagination. She often tells a story of me from Pre-K. A local pet guy comes to visit our class and brings this pet snake. I think this had to be the first big snake I’ve ever seen. After returning home I would tell me mom about this snake and how it got loose and would eat every child in the classroom except for myself because I was special. Nobody knows where that story surfaced from, but it happened and even though I returned to school and saw a full class it still happened.
We would later move from Highland Village to at home at the end of neighboring street Cedarhurst. That’s where I would spend the most of my childhood growing up before my family later moved again when I was 12. Only this time we moved to Arkansas, but that’s for a later tale. My elementary childhood was mixed with music, sports, a little education and learning about girls. My mom was active in the school lives of me and my sister. She was active in the PTA and always made sure we were in the classrooms of teachers that could educate us.
My mom was valedictorian of her high school class and my father was an engineering major. They met while attending Jackson State University. Neither of my parents would complete their senior year as my mom became pregnant with my sister. My dad tried to attend classes for her to help her with the notes she would miss out on, but the teachers wouldn’t allow it. Me and my sister were both honor roll students, but our educational lives began taking different paths around the time I hit 3rd grade.
We had a mixed population of students at out school, but I would say it was mostly 87% percent black. During that time we still had the basic generic textbooks. They just explained abc, 123, and brief history for the most part. I was blessed to attend a school where the teachers wanted us to know about our African descent and African American history. That’s important because I always had knowledge of people who looked like myself. I would always get in trouble when I was younger. Both at home and at school. Nothing major just hard headed things.
I was a regular inner city kid at the most, but I was always different. I don’t remember a point in my life of me not having a lot of friends in Jackson. It just seemed like everyone knew me. School life changed for me in 3rd grade after all of us were given an advanced placement test and those who scored higher had the chance to start attending a local advanced school. I always thought I was smart & was sure I would pass the test, but after the results I saw most of my friends leave as I remained. My mom would later in life tell me that I remained because she didn’t want me to feel like I was better than others and that things would come easy for me. Which is something I’m thankful for, but I grew bored at school and started doing other things.
My mom would force me to do book reports when I got in trouble as punishment. Why? Because I hated reading. I didn’t like it, but looking back I probably always had a gift for it & she knew that. I would get in trouble with my teacher in 2nd grade. She was a white woman & knew to the school. I wasn’t originally in her class, but my teacher left halfway through the year so our classes got merged together. We had to do book reports and I decided to do mine on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” That she thought was too heavy for a child to understand and be writing about, but I never thought of it that way because it was just a book we had at the house. So I ended up changing my book.
I can also recall reading Alex Haley’s “Roots” at a young age. I was fascinated by the size of it and no I didn’t read the whole book, but I attempted to read it for awhile. I was a child. I was still entertained by picture books, Willy Wonka and Reader Rabbit. School was school, but I became bored especially after seeing my classmates making money. That became a new interest for me. They would make money selling us chips and candy. Of course we did this without the teachers knowledge, but I wanted in on the bathroom, recess deals. So what I began to do is hustle this thing called the “Book Fair.”
I began turning pictures from picture books into profit. See we all became bored at our desks waiting for others to finish their work so we needed things to occupy or time. I was a reader so I didn’t necessarily need the pictures with the words on them & coyly still read the book. Other students still found joy in the pictures so I decided to sell the pictures after being offered a price for them one day. So a few quarters here and there would dictate my hustle. On the cool, the first “gang fight” I almost got into was in elementary school.
More of my cousins would move to Jackson as I grew up. We were all mostly the same age and attended the same school and after school program. One day in our aftercare program a boy I knew picked with one of cousins and took his shoe. My family seeing this decided to rush to his aid. Me, I was off somewhere doing my thang and came across this with the crowd.
After seeing what was happening I sat there confused as my cousins questioned my loyalty. Eventually I would attempt to intervene, but by that time the situation had ended. My cousins and I all would later be kicked out of the program. That led us all having to ride the bus home from school and basically running up and down the neighborhood.
My cousins and I all lived within walking distance of each other and would go to each other’s house after school each day until we reached middle school. I was always into activities as a child. Music class, I tried out for the choir, attended basketball camp, a school play here and there, was a member of the school band, tried out for the basketball and football teams, and even participated in school clubs. That was motivated by my fondness of girls, but who can blame a young guy.
I would eventually play peewee football in 6th grade before continuing with the school marching band my following year. That’s the year things changed again after my dad began training to become a manager at the grocery store he worked for. He completed his courses and had to move to Memphis for a year as part of his training. While absent I had to cover the manly duties of our home. This includes making sure the home was clean, garbage was taken out, grass was cut. You know things like that.
After completing training my dad was offered an assistant manager job in Arkansas. There he worked for 6 months before being assigned to a permanent store 6 months later. That’s when we relocated and moved to Arkansas. I knew my life was different after traveling back to Mississippi from visiting my dad in Arkansas that winter. My mom caught a flat as she drove with my sister and I.
On that cold windy day, me and my mom sat on the side of the highway changing a flat tire as cars and trucks raced by us. We got it done and was able to drive and get a replacement tire before heading home. Before completing my 7th grade year I gathered all of my friends phone numbers in a notebook so we could keep in touch. The numbers would never be used after I moved. At the time I figured people would forget about me and this started my whirlwind Arkansas adventure.
The natural state was an interesting place for me. It still is. Everything was so slow and dark. I’ve seen it before while at my grandparents homes. They lived in a smaller city outside of Jackson called Canton. It would get very dark at night there due to the lack of lighting infrastructure at the time, but Arkansas was different.
We moved to a small town called Gosnell. Gosnell was outside of the small city of Blytheville. My dad was assigned to the local store in Blytheville. That was to be his location as he moved up the ladder in hopes he could eventually get a better location. The school I attended was a cultural flip flop. I went from attending schools populated of mostly 87% black students to a school with 23% black population.
The school consisted of mostly white students with a few other minority’s sprinkled in. The I would get into countless fights, find myself getting kicked off of teams, but also find my life calling. My first day attending school there I would meet my friend Xan. Xan was cool, but he reminded me of friends from back home so we kicked it tough. I also met Grove.
Grove was my guy. He lived in the same townhome complex that I lived in & was from Michigan. His family was originally from Blytheville. Me and Grove lived on an old abandoned air force base. The townhomes and neighboring subdivision was built for them, but was abandoned after their contract expired.
Me, Xan & Grove went exploring the base my first week there. There was a myth of equipment being left in the abandoned subdivision homes so we went looking for some. So we traveled up and down the streets looking for abandoned homes we could enter & explore without breaking in and getting caught. Sure enough we found piles of gun ammunition inside some of the homes. We threw them in Xan’s bag and left. Xan was always in trouble at home so I kept the stash. So there I am with a stash of gun ammunition in my room within my first few months living in Arkansas.
The local school was cool. Just smaller and quieter than I was used to. Gosnell was one of those towns where everyone knew each other. Within week’s I was making more friends trying out for the football team and apart of the 8th grade basketball team. I experienced my first bully there. His name was Roger and he was the guy that was bigger and faster than everyone, but had enough swag for all the girls to like him. He wasn’t fond of me taking some of his spotlight.
Roger made it a point to pick with me everyday before demanding me to pay him a weekly commission of $20. I saw him push around other kids so I thought it was in my best interest to just pay him. See me, I was always the cool guy and never knew a male bully. The closest thing I’ve ever experienced was a girl attempting to bully me into being her girlfriend in elementary. I had to think because I didn’t have a way to get the money.
A new bully was on my heels and I needed cash. I got the bright idea to take the money from my dad’s wallet because he had a job and made money right. So I got the money and returned to school and paid my new bully, but I didn’t feel right. I’ve never stolen from my parents and knew this trend couldn’t continue. I made up in my mind then that the bullying was going to stop.
A week of basketball and football practice goes by with the usual inquiring from Roger about this commission. So I stalled as long as possible until Roger decided he finally had enough and wanted his money. This brings us to History class where my trusted Basketball coach is the teacher. See he told his players that he would be there if they ever needed him. Roger wasn’t on the team, but I was. My 8th grade thinking led me to believe I was in a school safe zone.
While in class Roger demands the money. I tell him I don’t have it and I’m not going to keep giving him money. Roger decides that he’s had enough and was ready to render his verdict and punches. The punch stops the whole class and everyone looked up. The punch was loud as Roger had strength and punch me right across the jaw. Everyone heard the sound and even the teacher looked up as everyone gasped looking at me. I look over at my coach and we make eye contact. He then looks back down at his book as nothing additional has happened. So Roger tells me that he’ll extend my financial deadline.
After school that day I questioned my problem. I didn’t want people to think I was weak, but I’ve also never had a bully. Fights yes, but never a bully and I was in a foreign place and didn’t know who to trust. If my coach wouldn’t do anything to stop my problems then who would. People were laughing at me and I felt scared to ask for help and also ashamed having stolen from my parents to try to prevent the problem.
The following days at school were filled with laughter and jokes directed towards me. Even other kids acting like they would pick with me. This had to stop I told myself. One day while entering the building from lunch Roger’s trusted sidekick of the moment attempted to pick with me and I got hot. Fed up, I slapped his glasses off open-handed and challenged him to a fight. A request that was broken up by fellow students and teachers.
After this incident, Roger now was upset at my actions. He demanded me and his sidekick fight days later in the school bathroom. A fight neither of us wanted due to squashing our quarrel already. So we’re in this bathroom and I’m like let’s get this over. I push him and basically pop everything off. I’m a slender male, but he was an offensive lineman on the football team and pushes me in the stall. While in the stall I dodged the punches before hitting my head against the metal tissue rack. The fight was broken up soon after with exiting the stall with a knot on my head. Everyone giving the sidekick props for handling his business and laughing at my continued misfortune.
Time goes by and everything settles at school with the bullying phase done. I’m still a member of the basketball team at this point, but now I’m an unresponsive player because I know I can’t trust this coach. Eventually I was kicked off the team for becoming a behavioral problem and no longer listening to the coach. I would finish up the 8th year and join my sister in the neighboring high school. There I made the junior varsity basketball team before getting kicked off the team again after a series of teammate fights and coaching clashes.
At this point, Grove had moved back to Michigan with his family and Xan was still around, but we had a different relationship at this point. Me and Xan took different paths after 8th grade. I was introduced to my first gang initiation handbook and pistol by Xan. Xan ran down the list of benefits to me, but I wasn’t feeling it and declined the offer to join him on the mission. So we distanced ourselves from each other at the time, but we still remained friends.
Me and Xan had a mutual appreciation of music. Xan introduced me to Screwed and Chopped music. We would later did that we wanted to try out rapping together. I would then be introduced to Xan’s cousin Tim. Me, Xan and Tim would be junior varsity teammates before all eventually either being kicked off or leaving the team. We had a lot in common so we clicked. Tim would eventually be the person who talked me into becoming a music producer. Our peers were rapping at school and we wanted to do it too, but we didn’t have or couldn’t make beats, Here enters Marc.
I knew Marc from football tryouts back in 8th grade. Marc was always cool and played football, but he also made beats. Tim thought it would be a good idea for me to ask Marc how to start making beats. It made sense because I wanted to make beats so I agreed. I had an old computer and invited Marc to my house one day. There he would show me the programs to use to make beats and teach me how to sample music.
Now I’m an aspiring music producer and spending the rest of my time outside of school roaming the base and the townhome complex. Trouble was constant even though it didn’t feel that way at the time. I would always get into altercations with people because of my lingering. Some guys tried to jump me one day while playing basketball at the townhome courts. This was because of a statement I made about a female being friendly with me and Grove. Word got back to her and she told her “brothers” after being upset about the rumor.
Life was hectic for a high schooler, but I was able to find peaceful moments in Monica. Monica was the cousin of Jared. Jared and I became friends after he moved to the townhome complex. Me and Jared also both were on the junior varsity and eventually varsity basketball teams together. I met Monica after going to Jared’s house one day with Grove.
We were going to play basketball and wanted to see if Jared was in. That’s when Monica answered the door. She was cute, but I didn’t think too much about her. At the time I was trying to build a relationship with a girl I met back in Jackson through one of my cousins. However, Grove was ready to shoot his shot.
Monica would later turn down Grove and he moved away soon after. Jared and I were still friends and Monica made sure she was always around us after her family later moved to the complex. Monica and I would later become best friends after I left the varsity basketball team once again my 10th grade year. We were cool and had similar interests. Everyone assumed we were dating, but that was a no go. Monica always had a boyfriend, but I did tell Jared that me and Monica would eventually mess around after we met that day. Why? Because that’s how young guys talk, but I didn’t know my life would change that following summer.
Tim and I had developed a knack for mischief. By this time I’m 15 and I have friends, but I don’t really trust too many people. Tim would cruise through town and the neighboring areas at night. He eventually invited me along and this is when I began sneaking out the house every night. Every other night we would be in different car going to a different place. Most times we would just cruise to get out and pass time. Other times we’ll have girls along for the ride with us.
We would make different stops to different places for different adventures. Most times it was just to stop by and chat with a few friends. Other times Tim would sneak inside his girlfriends house as I played look out. That definitely came in handy as Tim would almost get caught on several occasions, but the car was ready so we was all good. Tim was from Georgia and introduced me to Atlanta underground rap. We lived an hour from Memphis so we got all the music that came from there. This was my first introduction to what would become the future of Rap music.
While out late one night I experienced my first near death experience with Xan and Tim. The road was dark and icy as our car spun off the road into a ditch and attempted to flip. None of us had on seatbelts and the only thing that kept us safe was a giant metal fence we hit. We made it home safe that night, but things would only begin to get crazier. Tim would get his girlfriend pregnant a few months later.
Tim’s girlfriends family wasn’t pleased by the pregnancy and voiced their discomfort with the situation. Tim was unbothered. That was one of the things we always had in common. Neither of us cared too much about things at that point. Tim grew up in a tough household. His father wasn’t present leaving his mom to raise Tim and his brother. They would constantly fight and she would always call the police on them. This led to both of them constantly going to jail and sent away to live with different family members. Tim was in Arkansas living with his aunt in another attempt to stay out of trouble. We hung out as a way to keep his time occupied and to stay out the face of trouble.
One day the nephew of Tim’s girlfriend decided he’d had enough of Tim and was looking for a fight. Tim gave it to him by beating up the taller, younger male. The younger male was left bloody after they were pulled apart. People were saying Tim stabbed him in the face, which I didn’t see happen as I watched the fight. We all go our separate ways. We make it to school the next day and everyone is upset with me and Xan because the younger male is bandaged up.
It starts off with someone trying to fight Xan as soon as he steps of the bus. I hear about it in my first class of the day and I’m just like “that’s a bitch move.” By the time I make it to third period I’ve almost gotten into two seperate fights. One with the guy I said pulled the bitch move with Xan and another with a guy that was upset with what happened to the younger male. After this me and Xan link up in the hallway and someone tells us that all the other guys are planning on jumping us at lunch. At this point me and Xan like bet. Basically everything that could’ve been avoided that day we already avoided so we just got ready. We enter the lunchroom and get our food and we’re sitting down eating because this fight is supposed to happen outside. Next thing we know this guy comes to our table and tries to fight Xan, but the guy’s sister hops in the way because she knew Xan could fight. The guy then turns his attention towards me and pops off. Before I knew I already hit him and now he’s laying on the lunch table and all the other guys who are supposed to be jumping us are erupting at this point.
Everybody is mad at this point and trying to fight, but things get broken up. I get suspended and the guy I hit cousin tells people he’s going to shoot me the next time he see me. Now at this point everything is just out of control. Things eventually calm down after some smart maneuvering and staying out the way on my part. Tim has his baby, but he’s back in Georgia now. Xan and I are still cool, but we’re still on our paths going different ways.
During this time, I’m hanging with Monica’s little brothers. We all stayed in the same complex and they had start taking classes with me. So I’m basically putting them on game and trying to help keep them on a straight path and not go through what I went through. Monica and I remained cool, but she had a boyfriend. She notices the change in me and likes it. Eventually we talk about everything and our feelings for each other. All this happenings during the summer and we end up hooking up during a time she and her boyfriend were on a break.
Monica gets pregnant shortly after this and her boyfriend finds out about what happened between us. He doesn’t trip tho and things go back to normal. They have a baby after that. At school I’m just doing my thing and eventually the football coach notices and this leads to me working with them as an equipment manager for my Junior and Senior years. That also helped me get back on the basketball team for my Senior season and this ends up being my first complete season with the team since 8th grade.
The school year winds down and now I’m faced with a decision. It’s either I get a job or go to college. I choose college and start applying to schools. Me and Monica talked about going to black college’s. I knew there were some in Jackson because my parents went to one and always took me to the school’s events. Monica was looking at school’s in Arkansas. We both get accepted and after graduation we part ways. However, I’m the only one that makes it to the school we chose. I talk to my parents and leave Arkansas the day after I graduate from high school and return to Mississippi. My aunt agrees to let me stay at her house until I start college because me and my cousin will be going to the same school. Also we have it set up for me to have an equipment manager job as well because he’s on the school basketball team. Things can only get better from here right?
Jackson is my home. The place that birthed me and helped me grow. Now I find my way back here. The summer before college began was spent partying and getting back familiar with the city. Enter near death experience too. Still during this summer period, me and my cousins go to a party his friends were throwing.
A huge fight breaks out and the party gets shut down. I go outside because I’m not used to Jack protocol regarding party fights at this point. I exit the building with the crowd and go looking for my cousins. While in the parking lot a gun fight breaks out and people begin scattering and hitting the ground. Me, I’m confused and don’t know what to do at this point, but people around me are shooting across where I’m standing.
Some guy on the ground asks me what I’m doing and I look down. He must’ve saw the confusion in my face because he pulls me down to the ground and tell me bullets don’t have names. The shooting stops and everyone leaves. I don’t know where to go so I follow a crowd that running and go up the street with them towards the hospital. There I call my cousins to see where they’re at and they are still inside the party. So they laugh after hearing where I was at and come get me and we go home. The summer closes with me linking back up with old friends. Surprisingly they remember me. I go to a few more parties, date a girl, smoke my first blunt and become fascinated with djing. This was due to the parties and because one of my uncle’s and one of my cousins were dj’s. Up until that point I never thought about it. We’re basically hanging with my cousins party throwing friends and I ask them about the program they use one day. They tell me and I download it. I’m basically just playing around with it really at this point. Nothing more, nothing less.
My first year of college begins with a bang! I meet some of the guys on the basketball team during the summer. When I arrive to campus it’s lit! That week I’m basically going to practice, class and having sex everyday. My dad comes into town to help me move into the dorms. He doesn’t get to meet my roommate because the dude had already moved in and wasn’t there at the time. Me and dad say our goodbyes and I’m there. I meet my roommate later that night and he’s gay. It’s kind of weird, but I’m like fuck it. As long as he don’t bother me we straight. I had the first room on the first floor on the backside of the building. It was right next to a large gate at the time. I meet this chick that night and we start dating. It’s a coed dorm, but our sides are separated and we can’t have visitation until the second semester. I put a chair outside my window to get around this and my girl would sneak in every night or she would come by real late that night.
Everything was cool because my roommate moved out and moved in with his boyfriend. At this point I have a room to myself so it’s lovely!! Ya hear me. Lovely! Me and her eventually stopped talking before basketball season starts. I also end up with a new roommate. While with the team I meet Jim. Jim is the team’s trainer, but also a rapper. One day my cousin tells Jim that I make beats. So Jim and I start to talk more. While on a road trip with the basketball team, Jim and I were in the hotel. We always shared a room if any of the other equipment managers or trainers decided not to come. We’re in this room and he sees me playing with the dj program I downloaded. So he’s like let me hear some music too because I had my headphones in. I unplug the headphones and go back trying to dj. To my surprise, Jim tells me that I’m going to be his dj because he needs a full time dj. Me, I’m down with whatever so I’m like bet! Here begins my dj career.
At the time I was still 18 and Jim was maybe 10 years older than me. The rest of my freshman year was spent meeting all the movers and the shakers of the dj scene, djing shows and starting to learn how to dj parties. Jim had a manager at the time so we always had something to do that year. Eventually Jim would split with the manager, but we continued to do events. So now I’m basically living a double life. College life was cool, but I couldn’t really relate to everyone because I was hanging with all adults most of the time. That combined with how fast I was living. That year I had 3 different girlfriend’s. One was the one from the first week of school, another was a chick I meet out of state at another school, and the other lived in the off campus apartments.
I also begin butting heads with local party promoters that year. Not because of me djing, but because of me accidently trying to date chicks they were dating. I say accidently because I didn’t know the younger people of the music scene due to me being with the older crowd. So when I would go to parties I would just approach chicks and get they numbers. Some of those chicks were dating those guys so that’s that. I also had a few randoms sprinkled in which include a 26 year old freshman. She caught me all the way off guard. I wasn’t ready for that, but definitely was ready after.
My third girlfriend that year was the coolest. She had her place off campus and used to let me drive her car to practice even though I didn’t have a driver’s license. With the license, I didn’t have one because Arkansas was small and I never wanted to go anywhere so Tim drove everywhere. I attempted to get one before I started college in Arkansas and didn’t study so I flunked the test. I tried twice after returning to Mississippi, but ended up having verbal altercations with the officers. Not the best thing to do, but that’s life. So I rocked with her for rocking with. We broke up the next year and I ended up quitting work with basketball team that first semester because of student loans and finances. I eventually got everything together, but I’m still djing at this time. Here enters my cousin party throwing friend Fred. Fred was cool for the most part up until this point. We would talk and he would give me dj advice, but he could only say so much because he hadn’t work with a lot of the older guys I was meeting. I started writing music articles and album reviews for different websites my freshman year. Basically I was building a small name for myself.
I started to hang with Fred more after things started to slow down with Jim. Because Jim was still working with the basketball team and he didn’t want to release any new music at the time. Fred was djing at a bar and would begin picking me up to go with him to his gigs. After my first semester I was confused about school, but began to work with the basketball team again because the players requested me back. Also at the time, I’m still going out to the clubs through the week. I decided to drop out of school after that second semester because I didn’t want to have those kind of financial issues again. It’s now the summer so I just focus on djing. So me and Fred are out every night. Eventually Greg resurfaces. He was Fred’s dj partner from the summer before. I also meet London. London was a guy I used to chat with online about djing. He was in the city too, but we never officially met until this point. I also meet Chris. Chris was one of the promoters and mc’s that worked with Greg and Fred. I also meet Craig. Craig was also a party promoter, but he had dj equipment that he would let Fred rent. All of us would link up at Fred’s gig every week and we would turn up.
Eventually this led to us linking up after the gig and eating every night. A month a so later we’re talking and Craig says he plans on becoming a dj soon. Me, Fred, Greg and London already dj so we’re like bet! So we meet up after this to eat the following day and we decide to link up as a group, come up with a name and begin moving as a unit.
Now here I am two years back in Jackson and I’m part of this hot young dj crew. Craig would eventually leave the group a month later and that left the other four of us there as the group. This was because Craig abandoned the name he suggested that we agreed on and left it with us basically thinking things would go nowhere. However unknown to everyone else me, me and Fred had begin to reach out to dj’s out of state because we liked some artists music we heard on some mixtapes. They agreed to send us a couple thousand mixtapes to promote in Mississippi so of course we jumped at the chance. The crazy part about it is that London and Greg didn’t know because they had distanced themselves from the group at the time too. This left me and Fred there together.
The Wonder Years
Me and Fred used to move around like me and Tim and go meet people for chats. One night Fred had a gig at a club and I was going with him. I was casually smoking weed by this time, but also smoking cigarettes and tip cigars. So we go to the club and the police search us before we can set up the equipment. Nobody is there at time because it’s before opening hours, but the police find weed on us and eventually just take it and agree to let us go work. However, Fred remains cuffed and ends up going to jail because of other issues. The promoters know I dj because I’m opening up for Fred at this point. They ask me to stick around and dj, but I call my cousin and bail because I can’t drive and we have to drive Fred’s car back to his house.
Fred ends up spending about 4 or 5 days in jail before he gets out. During this time me, my cousin, Chris and a few others develop a plan for these mixtapes that are about to come in. At this point we’re going to need this plan. As luck has it, the mixtapes come in the same day Fred gets out of jail. Me and my cousin pick Fred up from jail and go to his and package all the cd’s we receive. We distribute all the mixtapes and before you know it we’re the hottest dj group in the state. Greg and London end up returning during the process and we end up adding more group members because now we need additional help promoting our events. This created a monster of a team.
By this time it’s the second semester of my Junior year and I return to college. I also begin dating the girl from Jackson that I used to talk to while living in Arkansas. So I begin to get used to things and calm down a lot. One of the new members we brought into the group was one of my childhood friends Walt. Me and Walt went to the same middle school and even played on the same little league football team. Walt was my mc and helped me keep the party turnt up. Because at this point I began getting hired to dj other parties without Fred and was building up a name across the state for myself.
Fred, Walt, London and another group member would eventually move into a house together. The house was owned by London family. London was over the groups money and would eventually be asked to leave the group after a meeting at the house. This was because Fred wasn’t happy about him spending some of the group money on personal items. I wasn’t really mad because he spent it on food and car tires and he used to come pick me up, but here we are in this meeting. After that things got awkward because they all still lived in the same house for awhile.
Fred would later sue London’s family because he couldn’t pay his portion of the rent and blamed it on London taking the money. London’s parents would reimburse us the money. After receiving the money Fred would tell me he was going to use to money to double it and me not caring I’m basically like whatever. So Fred does this. Eventually other group members would question us about that money because it didn’t double and disappeared. Me I’m there listening to the questions and waiting for Fred to tell them what happened to the money. Why? Because I don’t know what happened to the money either because I never asked. Fred says nothing. So they storm out upset.
Earlier that day my bank account was frozen because my name was on the group bank account with another group member so their account probably got frozen too. Which basically would explain the questioning. Unable to get into my bank account I borrowed money from my parents to pay off the unexpected bank debt. They didn’t even realize I was mad just like them. Me and Fred never saw eye to eye again after that. However, we still ended up working with each other for another 2 to 3 years.
I know you’re asking the question. How did you end up still working with each other? Math basically. We were a hot dj group. Walt begin rapping and ended up making a hot song that was produced by Greg. The song ended up making it to radio and being played in regular rotation. Fred was initially Walt’s first music manager before I stepped in and helped Walt get the song on radio. This happened with the help of Craig, who was working at a local radio station. Basically we developed a formula and other artists was reaching out to me, Fred and Greg individually for our help. What happened next was we all were working with different artist in the city who were also working with each. Here at this point all of us come up with an idea to all work with each other as a group, but I’m hesitant.
Being hesitant I voice my concerns about Fred to everyone who would be involved, but they talk me into it. The main reason was based on my relationship with Wayne. Wayne was another dj and we did a mixtape together with one of the artist. Wayne and I would start working on another mixtape for a group of artists that ended up being involved in this megagroup. Wayne used to get busy so I used to ghost dj some of his mixtapes. So we start working on this tape and I already finished the whole mixtape and tell Wayne he can keep it for himself and to leave me off it.
After this Wayne and Greg decide to do this mixtape together with Greg basically adding his voice overs to the tape I already had completed. They release the tape and it catches fire in the city. So it didn’t feel right if I wasn’t apart of the group situation. Also I was managing Walt at the time and he was apart of the situation. I would eventually end up managing Walt and 3 other artists involved in the group.
While managing 4 of the artists I also developed a close relationship with 3 of the other artists. That would be Mario, Elder and Van. Mario had the hottest song at the time and we became close after doing a few events and his first couple of shows. The relationship with me Elder and Van was just more natural. We were basically the mature ones of the group and the hustlers.
The group was large so eventually me, Mario, Van and Elder took control of everything. This was due to inconsistencies with Fred, Greg and Wayne. So we would start developing the group’s events and music direction. At this point things begin to get very successful. Things were slow at first and show’s were spread out. Mario had his job and me, I was working flipping burgers at this time. I quit that job and we planned a large event that included most of the artists in the city. The event was the brainchild of me, Mario, Van and Elder. The event ended up being a success and that’s when everything changed.
Mario had just got a manager. That was great due to the way the group imploded. We would do our events at his venue and would fill the building. So he trusted us to put an event together. After that every club in the state opened their doors to us and we started moving.
By this time I had cleaned up my act and had an apartment and a car so I would drive my car to almost every event. Lisa would go with me. Lisa was one of the members of the dj group with me. She was added later, but we remained close after everything happened with that. So me and her would drive to every event and every show. It didn’t matter if I was djing, handling money or just there for support. We was there. All one of the other artist I managed had gained steam at the time. Him and Mario had songs together that took off so I always wanted to be there to try to meet the promoters to possibly set up shows for him as well.
We were on fire doing event after event, but things began to change for me. I was growing more serious about life things at the time and Lisa talked me into checking out a fraternity. It was basically the brother to her sister sorority. I checked it out and joined. After joining I gave my life to God and was baptized after confessing my sins. I saw the world different and nothing really felt the same to me. I was more reserved and didn’t want to turn up as much. We were still doing events though and they were still hitting. This brings me to what would’ve been my senior year.
The group is doing show’s out of state and have been approached by different record labels at this point. I worked with a big record label to promote their music after I helped get Walt’s song on radio. This was right before we started the new group, but I eventually quit working with the label. Our events were still being successful, but then they begin to be different. I started hearing things about how money was being split twice and the normal regular hating stuff that I ignored.
However, I had a conversation with one of the state’s OG’s during this time. He basically asked me if I was ready for the situation and ofcourse I said yea being young and cocky. He gave me game about always watching those close and to stay focused. It made sense so I listened, but I also began watching how people moved around me and I wasn’t comfortable with what I was seeing. So I eventually left the group after we did an event. The event was the same week as the group’s first major concert. Me, Mario, Elder and Van planned the event as always, but this time it failed. It didn’t fail because of us though. Everybody who showed up to the event said they weren’t sure we was having it because another dj told them we weren’t coming until later in the week. That didn’t make sense to me because me and Van promoted the event there a few days earlier. So I felt like the only way they would believe it was if someone from our team told them. The next day I met up with Mario, Elder and Van and told them I was leaving the group. At first they didn’t agree, but everyone was cool with it by the end of the conversation.
Now we’re here at Summer and I’ve been gone from the group for a few months. We were scheduled to do another version of the big event we did the year before in July, but we weren’t sure if we wanted to do it. Since we weren’t sure we just didn’t do it. Fast forward to August and we start getting calls from one of the OG’s about us not doing the event. Basically telling us the other artists in the city were excited about us doing the event and were practicing. After this they wanted to meet up with us to discuss still doing it.
We go to the meeting and some other promoters throughout the city are there and the call themselves “The Square.” Goofy name I know, but I guess they were going for the dramatics. Anyway we have this meeting and they tell us how they want to bring in big sponsors and advertising. The whole nine basically. They wanted me for my planning, promoting and djing skills because I was djing for a few online radio stations they knew Elder and Van probably wouldn’t do the event without me. Me and this particular guy that brought us to the table had already butted heads a few years earlier. I was young and marched to my own beat.
They talk us to doing the event and we planned it for September. We got artists, djs and promoters throughout the city involved this time to make it bigger and made it an all day event. As days got closer things got weird. I began having car trouble and Van and Elder let me handle the meetings along. I even walked to one of the meetings because it was about a 15 – 20 minute walk from where I lived. I started planning events around the event since I was brought in to do an event that I didn’t want to do.
Planning those events made me feel better about working with everyone. I had an event scheduled for Friday and Saturday leading up to the big event Sunday. Fred was still using our old dj group name and had an event scheduled at that club for Wednesday. That was the night we did our weekly event as the group. I wasn’t supposed to be there for the event because I hadn’t seen Fred in months.
Earlier in the day on that Wednesday a building next to the club catches on fire. So I meet everyone at the club to make sure everything is ok for the events scheduled there Friday and Sunday. Everything is good and I see Fred so we talk. He says he’s still doing the event that night. I try to talk him out of it, but he still decides to do it. He was doing it with a group I was close with because I put together their first mixtape for them. After talking to them I agree to come to the club. I get there and of course the event isn’t successful. The news reported on the fire earlier in the evening and there was still ashes and debris everywhere.
Unknown to everyone, I spoke with London the night before about going to rehab because I wanted stop smoking weed and slow down the party lifestyle. I met a chick who lived in my building and she talked me into just trying counseling. That sounded like a better idea to me because I didn’t feel like a drug addict. After returning to my apartment after the failed event I met up with Fred and Lisa. They had began hanging out after I disappeared from the scene and I told them what I was doing. I also cancelled all my events for that weekend and got my cousin and Walt to do the event for me.
I decide to still do all the gigs after attending my first counseling session on Thursday, but I bring my cousin and Walt with me because I promised them the gigs. After my Saturday night gig the OG was blowing up my phone changing the time we had to meet at the club to setup on Sunday. The time gets changed to 5 or 6 am. My Saturday night gig was like 3 hours away so after returning into the city and dropping my cousin and Walt off I headed straight to the club. I had some energy because my cousin drove most of the way back. I get to the club and we don’t have much of anything that we need for this event because it wasn’t properly planned. This was because of a last minute switch that “The Square” wanted to do and change the event from being an all day event to an evening event. I didn’t agree to the change because I didn’t think it was fair to the artist because that would’ve cut off 20 artists, promoters and dj’s on top of the people that already got cut off.
That cutting would’ve fell on my shoulders because I was the person in charge of contacting everyone and I wasn’t going. After that we get everything together and pull of the event. I was at the club from 5 or 6 that morning to 9 or 10 that night. I didn’t make any money from that event, but got the best sleep I had gotten in a long time. That was officially the last event I ever did in Jackson. After that I continued counseling and refocused on school. I got two jobs after that and began spending more time with my family and getting engaged soon after.
I got engaged before I was set to graduate. I spent most of my senior year doing mentorships and internships when I wasn’t at work. I walked across the stage, but didn’t graduate due to failing a remedial English class. I moved to Texas to be with my fiance, but our engagement ultimately fell through. I found myself working a new job, but I began djing again thanks to Jim.
Jim lived in Texas and helped me get my first 2 gigs. After that I continued doing my online radio shows by first working with a local station. Next I worked for a station based out of Las Vegas and was named DJ of the Month. I also focused on my mixtapes again. By the time my engagement fell through I was nominated for 3 dj awards and doing my own artist interviews. This led to brief tour dj work, me working with another online radio station as program director and me eventually starting my own online radio station. All those choices, obstacles and decisions have ultimately brought us here. To me delivering my confessions as a disc jockey.