I grew up on a steady diet of Motown, Rock, and R&B from the 60s and 70s. Not complaining, but I wanted to hear what every other 14-year-old was listening to, so I sat down on a July afternoon in 1997 and listened to Top 40 radio for hours, making a cassette mixtape of the stuff I liked.

That was the day I heard the Notorious B.I.G. for the first time.

By the end of the song (“Mo Money, Mo Problems”) I knew I was going to be a rapper. For me, it changed everything.

Since that day I’ve been pursuing that dream. The problem was, I never really defined what the hell that meant, or how the hell I was going to accomplish it. I moved to NYC, rocked a ton of open mics, recorded an album, and formed a band…and waited to be discovered.

Didn’t happen.

I turned 30 and started to wonder if I had missed out, if I fucked up my opportunity, if it was too late. I grew up equating “success in the music industry” as superstardom, and that wasn’t even close to happening. As the years went by, a creeping dread set in that I should maybe put my dreams to bed, find a “real job,” and settle. I used this as motivation to give it one more shot, and put 110% of myself into making something happen.

This album was my do or die moment.


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