Jrnl Entry No. 8.7.2001

I feel like shit for a couple of reasons. I can’t seem to make tracks, or at least I don’t think I’m making tracks that niggaz would want these days. If I was making these tracks for people back in 1991-1996, I’d be all good. I tried putting together this track using these horn riffs from this Jazz CD yesterday and I couldn’t get it to come together, and even if I did get it to come together, no one rhymes to shit like that anymore anyway.

I can’t stop thinking about Sausha for some reason. I wish I could be with her right now and I am longing to see her and make love to her. She was so sweet to me. She may be a big hoe, fucking every nigga in Warren she can get her hands on and I wouldn’t know it because I’m in New York. But as far as I know, she was the sweetest simple, and sexy girlfriend I’ve ever had. I need a woman in my life and she would be the perfect one I think. I keep having these little thoughts in my head, “—-, fuck this Hip Hop Music production shit and move back to Ohio and be with Sausha. Maybe move to Akron or Cleveland and we could be together and live happily ever after.” But what and the hell would I do in Ohio? What and the hell am I doing here in New York? I’m just torn on a few issues.

While I like Watrina, she is young and has other things on her mind besides being with me. I assume she is how all New York women are, busy running around doing whatever, whether that whatever is messing with other guys or taking care of life’s business, there is only little time for sex and relationships. Like last night, she was getting home at 10 P.M. Now where she was coming from, I didn’t give much thought to it, and I didn’t ask her neither. I picked her up from the train station because I wanted to see what her weave in her hair looked like. I didn’t like it at all except for the front part where she had her natural hair braided. The back was filled with garbage Shirley Temple curls that don’t look or feel like hair.

The other thing that is bothering me is my job. I need more money that is one thing and I know I am not gonna get it here. If I go and work for any old company just for more money, it’s gonna be the same cycle as with Circle K, as with The Italian Job; 2 years then boredom and ready to find a new job and I don’t want to go through this again. I want to work somewhere that I’m excited about working, will stay there and excel in my profession. The other thing is that I just want to be settled; have a good woman making nice money so we can buy us a house. I want to do something also besides work for someone, but what besides produce music, I don’t know? So maybe my wife will have an idea and be ambitious enough to follow through and make it happen. Watrina has ideas but she is far from my wife, wanting to be my wife or even becoming my wife.

That is basically why I am feeling shitty. I just turned – and what do I got to be happy about? I should be happy that I am a college graduate. I am happy that I have reliable transportation. I am happy that I am able to take care of myself: cook, clean, dress myself. I am happy that I have a beautiful daughter and she knows me and loves me and talks to me on the phone. I am not happy that I have no money. I am not happy that I can’t drive my car into the city on the weekends because you can’t park nowhere. Who has money to park in a parking garage and pay $5 to $8 an hour to park your car, or park at a two hour meter which there are never any open spaces? And if you do find a space at a mater, two hours is not enough time to do anything; or less than that, most meters are for one hour.

I spent like three hours in the Barnes & Nobles book store Sunday reading Richard Wright “Native Son” I found a free spot to park just as I was about to start heading home. Native Son is a good book, sort of what I’m goin’ through right now, a dilemma between what I want to do and what will the white man let me do? Only difference is I am actually doing a little with my life working as a dead end accountant instead of hanging on the streets with my friends doing nothing. I am not happy that I seem to be in the land of opportunity for everything that I like to do, but yet no one seems to want to help me take advantage of those opportunities. I am not happy that I do not have a steady woman in my life who is aching with ambition to start something like I am and we can start it together. I am not happy that I am reaping what I sewed with Lauren from Watrina. Lauren loved me so just like I have thoughts that I love Watrina. I went out with my friends on the weekends. I split up my time with her because I was also fucking Rebecca at the same time. Watrina is doing the same thing right now. She likes me, but she’s probably fucking with someone else and could give a fuck less if I am in the picture or not. She probably has a dick that is equally as good to her as mine, just like I had Rebecca in my case of losing Lauren who gave me equally good sex. I am not happy that the woman I think I love is in Ohio. I am not happy that I was going through this same feeling about Lauren last year around this time exactly; talking about marrying her and shit. So maybe this is just a side effect of what I am thinking about Sausha that I will go through every year during the summers until I get married for real. So maybe I love Sausha but I really don’t want to be with her at all. Maybe I’m just feeling really lonely right now. I guess I am bored and maybe these thoughts are a result of my boredom. Maybe I’m money broke and these thoughts are a result of my brokenness. Is money the answer to my problems? Is a woman or wife the answer to my problems?

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS IN ALONE AND LONELY TIMES?

Jrnl Entry No. 6.25.2001

I received word and written notice that my performance at The Italian Job sucks and if my performance doesn’t improve, my employment will be terminated. Personally, I think they should have been fired me because my performance has been sucking. I have no desire, motivation, or interest in really working here. My only interest in working here is paying my bills.

I don’t know what’s going on in my life right now, but I feel like I am in a real slump. I know why but I don’t know what I can do about it. I want to be working at a record label or producing Hip Hop songs for people to listen to, or I want to be doing both. The music industry consist of friends, of friends, of friends. It’s a real coterie industry; from the artist to the executives in charge, they are all friends of friends. I don’t have any friends in the music industry; therefore, it will be hard for me to get a production deal or a job at a label. Sure I could hand out beat tapes till the end of time. Sure, I could send in resumes every three months. Both of which, at one time or another, I have done so, and I got nowhere. So I’ve concluded that resumes and tapes are not the answer.

I’m just breezing through life right now. I think sometimes about what I could be doing to get what I want, but I don’t think I am thinking hard enough. Maybe I’m in slow motion about this because even though I complain about my life, the most important of life’s necessities, I have: clothes, food, shelter, bills paid, car, daughter taken care of.

As far as the music goes, some may say it’s good I’m not desperate and doing it for money. That statement is half true. I want a Range Rover, a Benz E400 Class and a Lexus GS 400. I want a nice 4 or 5 bedroom home, not a mansion. I want a nice amount of money, enough to have to not worry about money. Music is how I think I’m gonna get there, but then again, I don’t have the answers to none of this shit. It is all a toss-up, and where will you land, who the fuck knows. I’m just gonna live the bullshit life until further notice; fuck it.

I make nice beats I know. I also make some bullshit that I don’t like so I ain’t just being eccentric where I think all my shit is the best a mutha fucka could hear. Hell, ain’t nobody got the best shit that one man could ever hear. After one hot song, there is gonna be another one to follow, and another after that, all by three different productions teams.

I said to myself that I’ll probably just one day give up the dream of getting on in the music industry and just do the shit for my own pleasure. People say don’t give up, keep trying and trying. I don’t know, it just seems like a lot of closed doors out here in the world, and I ain’t the nigga to just keep knockin’ and knockin’ and not getting’ no answer. Like I’ve ended other letters, Fuck it. I’ma live. I need to stop complaining about this shit because I’m tired of complaining also. Just realize that I’m trying as much as I can. Life is fucked up and even when you try sometimes you still come up with nothing. So in essence, life ain’t what you make it because I’m trying to make my life what I want, but it seems I ain’t makin’ shit!

WAS THERE A TIME YOU REALIZED ALL THE ACTIVITY YOU’RE ENGAGED IN TO MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE, WAS ACTUALLY NOT MAKING YOUR DREAM COME TRUE?

Jrnl Entry No. 4.19.2001 “Rufus Blaq”

Sunday April 15, 2001 coming home from Hezikiah Walker’s church in East New York Brooklyn, I got off the A train at Nostrand Ave. I got off the train in pursuit of this female that was giving me a little eye contact on the train. She was completely not my type but at this point in time with no girlfriend, no sex, no nothing, I figured I’d lift myself up and go for it regardless of the fact. See, she got on the train with three kids. She was thick/fat with some big ole tidies. She started saying to the kids as she noticed me glancing at her, “y’all ready to go home and see mommy huh?” I took it as she was giving me the hint that these weren’t her kids, which if that was what she was doing, it was a good hint. At this point in my life, I don’t care how horny I am or how fine you look, if you got more than one kid, you gets no holla from me.

But anyway, I get off the train and follow her, but I decided not to talk to her. I’ve never been around Nostrand Ave and Fulton before and I noticed that it was like the old 125th st in Harlem that my friends and I used to visit from Ohio. So I goes looking around for a little bit. After about 10 minutes of walking around I stopped at a store before I was getting ready to catch the train to go home. As I get in line at the store, I see this guy who looked familiar to me. I hesitated a little, and then I shouted out “Rufus.” It was Rufus Moore AKA Rufus Blaq.

Now this kid from Youngstown, Ohio I met years ago when he and his dance crew “Eazy Access” used to perform at local talents shows in Warren. They could never compete because they were like professionals and everybody loved them. And when my fraternity used to throw parties on the college campus in Youngstown, he and his crew would always be there. I’d always big-up (sat whats up to) Rufus and the crew and they’d do the same in return. Rufus was also cool with Derrick “Dink” Trimble (R.I.P.), my frat brother. They kind of resembled each other and Rufus would say that Dink was his brother.

Now I remember at one party Rufus was coming in with his crew and they stopped to talk with me and some of my Frat brothers. Rufus said that he was about to move to Atlanta “to become famous.” Those were his exact words. I didn’t exactly know what he had planned on doing because I only knew him as a dancer. So I kind of thought he was gonna try to become a dancer/choreographer for videos and tour shows. So anyway, he disappeared and the crew told us that he moved to Atlanta. About a year later, I saw him at this after hours hang out spot in Youngstown on Market Street. He got on the microphone on top of the bar and he free-styled a nice rhyme for the crowd. He told me that he had written a song for Erick Sermon on some sound track. I think he also told me at that time that he had a record deal with Giant Records. I was like “cool.”

He went away again and about a year later, I seen him on a video with Pudgy The Fat Bastard and Young Zee doing a remix for the group “SOLO” and their song “I Got Heaven Right Here On Earth.” I thought to myself that his album should be following shortly. I had also heard a DJ CLUE mixtape with this LOX song on it, and the last verse, this cat sounded like Rufus. I could never talk to anyone who knew him and what he was doing so I couldn’t verify that it was him. He had made it into the Hip Hop record business. I was happy, never one to hate on anyone for accomplishing something. In fact I was also glad because I knew him and could probably talk to him about the music business since I had been interest in it also.

His album never came out on Giant Records. I thought he was coming out on So So Def Records because there was an ad in the source with all the So So Def artist listed, and one of the artist on there was Mr. Black. That was the name I heard Rufus call himself on the intro of the “I Got Heaven Right Here On Earth” song video, and since he had moved to Atlanta, it made perfect sense. About a year later, I saw him in Warren at this talent show after party at the Regency Hotel. I wanted to talk to him and get his number and ask him some questions about the business but it was in a loud party so we chatted about whatever. By this time I had discovered that the So So Def artist was not him and I asked him how is that gonna work in the business with both of them having the same name. He told me whoever comes out first or whoever rocks the hardest will be Mr. Black. I also asked him about the LOX song and I recited this lyric of his, “Is you doin the stickin or is you gettin’ stuck / Is you doin’ the fuckin’ or is you gettin’ fucked.” He told me that it was him. He gave me his number in Columbus, Ohio where he was staying at the time. I tried to call him a couple of times. I think I talked to him once.

About two years later after that, I gets a call on my voice-mail service at my moms house and it’s him tellin’ me that he was gonna be on the Vibe Show that night with Salt & Pepa. I don’t know if he was just happy and called everyone he knew or was I special somehow? So I watched and taped the show and he was on there with Salt & Pepa and he had a verse on their new song “Are You Ready”.  A couple weeks later, I seen the video and he was in it. About three/four months after that I heard a song on the radio by Salt & Pepa called “Gitty Up´ and he was on it at the beginning of the song. I knew it was him. I knew his voice. And then I saw the video for it and he was in it. He was on, and I all I wondered to myself was HOW? How did he do this, get with the leading super star ladies in rap, legends, Salt & Pepa?

After about a year after that Salt & Pepa debut of his, he had a single out called “Out of Sight.” I saw the video for it. I liked the song. It had a catchy hook to it. It wasn’t exactly hard core Hip Hop like I hoped it to be but hey, that is the way the music industry was moving in that time, away from hard core which didn’t sell that well, to the mainstream trying to sell platinum. At initial listen, I didn’t like the album. For one it had like three remake beats on it, and I hate remake beats especially the kind that they were using at that time. The greatest of all time remake beat, ever in Hip Hop was The Isley Brothers “Between The Sheets.” For two, he wasn’t flexin’ skill like I knew he could because I’d seen him rap before. And what was on his album was not what I expected from him. I just listened to the album the other day, which was called “Credentials”. All except for those remake songs, I liked it. He had a few hard core beats on there but he wasn’t flippin the skill like I’d known him to do. Maybe his producer Chad Elliot was against it.

So now, I ran into Rufus in the store and he gave me his numbers. Prior to running into him in the store I had asked for his number from one of my frat brother’s producers Pace Maker. He wouldn’t give me Rufus’s number, which I understood. He told me that he had to check with Rufus first. It’s been a year and he still hasn’t been able to check with Rufus about me getting his number. Technically, he didn’t know if I knew Rufus or not, and it seems as if he was not trying to find out either.

Now I’ve spoken with Pace Maker on many occasions about Hip Hop, about my beats, about his beats, and about my Frat Brother Stephen “The Fat Rapper” Collins’ Hip Hop career. I met Pace once in the studio in Ohio when they were recording one of The Phat Rapper’s songs. I thought him to be a cool cat and I liked him. We (him, me and Stephen) went out to eat after we left the studio that one night. I sent Pace some of my beats to get some critique on them and he did the same. He didn’t like but two or three of the thirty song snippets I sent him. I liked about six of the fifteen/twenty snippets he sent me. I think he is a talented producer, who if I had an album coming out, I’d rock to one of his tracks. I’ve written lyrics to two snippets on the tape he sent me. Outside of Stephen not letting me produce a song for him, and Pace not wanting me to produce a song for Stephen neither, I thought we had a pretty cool connection; until I ran into Rufus that is.

Rufus told me that Pace was in New York recording a song that he produced for Angie Stone through Rufus’s hook-up. Now if this is true, Pace came to New York and didn’t try in no kind of way to get in touch with me so that I could kick it with him and Rufus. And just before I bumped into Rufus, I had e-mailed Pace to talk to him since I hadn’t e-mailed him in a while. He said he hadn’t talked to Rufus in a while, that Rufus was a busy man and he still hadn’t asked Rufus if he could give me his numbers or give Rufus mine. So finding out he came to town and didn’t even try to holla at me tells me that we do not have a cool connection. It also led me to think that Pace is trying to keep me away from Rufus because he knows Rufus is well connected in the music industry and wants to keep all the hook ups for himself as a producer and not let me get any hook ups through Rufus. So until I find out different, I ain’t fuckin with Pace no more. And I ain’t tellin him that I finally got in touch with Rufus. My last test to find if Pace was really here is to ask Rufus Manager was he here. She’s straight up and will straight tell me. I asked both her and her boyfriend who was also Rufus manager and they confirmed that Pace had indeed been to town; a snake fake mutha fucka who doesn’t want you around because that may lessen an opportunity for him in the future; crab in a barrel ass nigga.

So, I gets in touch with Rufus and what is Rufus doing at this time? He’s writing R&B songs for this production company to submit to labels, mainly J Records, which has a little (well A LOT) to do with Clive Davis after he got let go from Arista Records. I called Rufus about three or four days after I had his number and left a message on his voice mails telling him how lonely I was and needed some friends, some women, etc. He calls me later that night around 11 P.M. while I was working on a Hip Hop track and he tells me to come to this studio.

I get there at 245 Canal St b/n Centre and Layfayette. He plays me this song he wrote called “Blowin’ It.” It was a nice song and he had a rap verse on it. He played a few more songs for me and they sounded nice also. Rufus told me that’s all he does is write songs by day, record them by night in the studio. He tells me about the production company, Ark Angel Productions and the camp there of rappers and singers that he’s bringin’ in. He listened to a few of my beats and said that I could produce a few songs for his artist, “Stack”. He heard a lot of weak stuff though because at this time I was tired with music and wasn’t making much and I wasn’t carrying around beat tapes anymore. Like the previous year, I wouldn’t leave the house without a tape in my hand.

Rufus said that I could be a part of the family because I was his friend who showed him love way before he was an artist on any label or signed to any production company and because he has mad love for my Frat Bro. Derrick “Dink” Trimble (R.I.P.). Being in the frat will help in the short or long term. If I hadn’t joined the frat, Dink wouldn’t be my frat bro. I wouldn’t have been able to talk and poly with Rufus before the parties started. He never would have looked up to me, which I think he did because I was an Alpha and a college student; thus, he probably wouldn’t have been and wouldn’t be accepting me as someone trying to be his friend, and trying to slowly get him to get me into this music game with him.

Rufus was like the best dancer in the group I recall. Kehl was also the man, and Ferino did weird shit on the dance floor. I liked them all because they were little somebodies. Like I said before, I’d always try to be cool and surround myself with people who had a quality about themselves. Rufus and Eazy Access had that quality. Rufus has, as far as I can tell, accepted me as his friend and into his music family. I’m goin’ over to his apartment today after work.

Rufus has projects goin’ for Angie Stone’s new album; Blaque’s new album; Salt’s new album; and Olivia, who’s signed to J Records, her debut album. He had the girl who sang the hook on the QB “Ooochi Wally” song, in the studio, and they banged out a nice song together. He writes these R&B songs with that hype-ness and energy that he used to put into his freestyle rhymes that I expected to be on his “Credentials” album. He’s definitely goin’ places with this music and will be plenty paid through a publishing deal very soon if not sooner. I told him the music money doesn’t matter to me. I don’t want your money, and I won’t pressure you to put me on in this music game. I love being around the music and I’m thankful just to be able to come to the studio and watch niggaz work on new songs. I told him that I was happy for him and will never hate or be jealous of him because of what he has that I don’t have. Rufus is a very down to earth artist and I hope our friendship can grow stronger and more personal and musically as well. Whether he knows it or not, I admire him for jumping from Youngstown, Ohio down to Atlanta, back up to New York and actually made it somewhere in this music maze. He’s already done what I’ve set out to do by leaving Warren, Ohio to be here in New York. I also, just as I always have, admire his talent. I’m not religious so I can’t say that it was divine intervention that I bumped into him and I think he’s a good friend to have. He’ s currently being faithful to his girlfriend of three years, Aiesha, not to say he ever cheated on her because I don’t know that. They just had a daughter, and Aiesha is still bangin’ as far as looks and body go. He believes in God and just wants a happy life with is family and music. Through my wishes, may he be blessed with all he’s been working for all these years and more because I want every black man to succeed in whatever it is he wants to succeed in, and I would hope that every black man would want the same for me.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A FRIEND OR ASSOCIATE THAT MADE IT INTO SHOW BIZ?

Jrnl Entry No. 5.24.2004

So I’ve finished my business plan, I think. I plan to take it to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to have the so-called executives there review it for a potential loan. You know me with my pessimistic self, I think they are gonna dis it just because I am black and because it is for an entertainment label. These white mutha fuckaz don’t want us to catch up to them in economic status, but at the same time they want us to be so civilized and polite and cultural like them. Well we can’t be that cultural when we are broke and can’t even afford to go to most of the Broadway shows which feature black stage actors and black subject matter.

I still haven’t found a job yet. It’s been a year and a month now. I don’t know what is going on here with this job situation, if the job market is still tight, if the economy is still down. It seems so, as I only get like an interview per month. Sometimes I think that it is to be that I run my own label like I am thinking about doing. I’ve gotten fired from two jobs in a row. I can’t find another job. Mutha fuckaz in the music industry are ignoring me when I know my shit is good enough to sell. So in my spare time I’ve been writing my business plan. I’ve read a good book concerning marketing and promotion of music. Maybe this is what my life is supposed to be. Maybe it will all work out just fine. I mean, after all, music is the only thing I have a real passion to do, and they say you should follow your passion and dreams.

My passion lead me to move to New York. I guess accounting was just a stepping stone to get me to New York in the position that I am in now to really just make my dream come true. I’ll be — soon and I’ve done like three or four things in life that I wanted to do. I graduated from college, I bought a brand new car, I moved to New York, and I dress in a way that I am satisfied with whether that is dressed up, casual, or leisure.  Those are all things that I take pride in. My body is in good shape. If I had a good job making good money right now, I’d be on top of the world. But job and career are the only things that I am missing at this time.

I’ve somehow gotten a better attitude about Watrina and Queen. It has been a rough winter but we got through it. I guess this spring will mark a new beginning for us, I hope. We have many more fights to get into as I’ve talked to married couples and found out. They say there are more bad times than good. And that has been exactly the case ever since we moved in together. We’ve been fighting ever since September 2003.

Back on the job situation; I’ve applied to part-time jobs and still nothing has come to me. I’m gettin’ grey hair and shit from worrying I guess. I need like $100,000.00 to start this independent label off the right way to make some noise and get some attention in the music industry. I’m tryin to do this for real not just be out in the street hustling my CD for $5.00 like these other non-sense niggaz who don’t know shit about marketing, promotion, business and publishing and a few others topics that are important to know for making it in the music industry.  I think I have an advantage over these fools out here, but I probably don’t. The music industry is such a toss-up, who knows.

I’ve been having sort of a dilemma. If I get a full time job, I won’t have the time to promote my CD like I want to; go out of state with it to colleges and do shows and shit. But at the same time if I don’t get a job, I can’t support myself and help Watrina with the bills and shit around here. She wants to live big and it’s gonna get to her sooner or later that she can do the same financially as she is right now without me, probably even do better. As of now, I’m living off of like $20.00 a week, which is cool with me because I have all the clothes and shoes that I need for right now, going out is not that important to me right now as I did a lot of that earlier this year. And going out hasn’t brought me any important connects, just bullshit mutha fuckaz who want to get in the game just like I do.

I told Watrina that I am not going to shop for the next five years. I said that last summer and I have shopped since then. Last year was practice, but this year I have to adhere to it because one, I have no choice; two, my mind is somewhere else right now. Whereas I say that I won’t have time to put into my CD when I get a job, I do plan on putting most of my extra money in it. 

In the next five years something has got to happen for me for real. I gave myself five years from the time I reached New York, but at age — that five years will be up, and realistically I don’t think any drastic changes are going to happen in the next year. When you really look at it, five years realistically wasn’t enough time to accomplish anything in the first place. 

I came here bare ass, not knowing a soul, not knowing where to go to meet people, let alone people in the music industry. It has just been in the last two years that I started seeing the music people hang out and how phony they are and how disrespectful they are to new artists, even new artists that are right in their face in their town. See, I thought that sending Demos from Warren, Ohio and getting noticed would be impossible. I assumed that being in New York, standing right next to a nigga at the bar who claims he is a manager or that he knows A&Rs; that the response would be different. At least if I wouldn’t get on fast, I would make some progress. I haven’t really made any headway into the industry, and the only way I see that I am going to make some headway is to make that way myself. NO ONE IS GOING TO GIVE IT TO ME! I think I said all of this in a letter before. I guess if I say it enough, it will become a clear concise mental picture (CCP). If you think it, and you can see it, it will come to be. I’m ready. I know I am.

This will probably be the biggest risk of all my life, or at least so far in my life according to me. Some may say moving to New York was a big risk. Well that is their small minds. Moving to New York wasn’t shit. It was a matter of having a good enough job and knowing, thanks to my mother, how to budget my money to cover my living expenses. My accounting degree didn’t hurt neither as a far as budgeting goes.  Now with this company, if I get the money to start like I really want to; it will be the real test of my accounting skill and budgeting. It is going to take some heavy budgeting to get as much advertising and promotion out as I possibly can.

Jrnl Entry No. 7.27.2001

Well what is there in my life right now? I have put the smack down on Watrina and let her know that if she really likes me, she better quit with this “just friends” shit, and stop talkin’ to other niggaz on her cell phone while I am right there with her.

I just completed my resume cover letter to send out to some record companies. I’m trying to get a job at J-Records, Clive Davis’s company. This guy Clive is going crazy. He has like five acts out, all R&B, at the same time and they are all doing well: O-Town is platinum, Jimmy Cozier who has a hot song on the radio. Busta Rhymes Flip Mode Entertainment is gonna be distributed by J-Records. Now with all this activity going on, they need accountants hopefully, and I want in. I think that job would be the answer to some of my problems right now, or a job at a label that I am familiar with and know a little something about that has a Hip Hop and R&B department.

My job just frustrates me more and more each day. I have been given the warning that if my performance doesn’t improve, I’ll be fired. I think they are gonna end up firing me because I have no interest in this place and building materials. The people here are not people I can relate to: Italians, a gay guy, a Hindu Indian, another gay guy who tries to talk like he understands black language to a certain degree, a Jewish man, an Irish man, and a Spanish Columbian girl. I don’t give a fuck about communicating with none of these muthafuckaz. And as I’ve written, we pretty much don’t communicate, don’t even speak.  

My daughter went on strike talking to me for like a week and a half. She wouldn’t talk on the phone to me twice when I called. I called like three times the next week and she wasn’t there over her grandmother and grandfather’s house because I suppose she and her mother have been spending time at their new house as Janelle calls it. Victoria called me and let Janelle talk. I asked her for her phone number and address since it was becoming apparent that she just wasn’t forking over the information without me asking for it. She said, “you’ll get it.” I’m like can I have it now? So she gave me the phone number. That’s all I need for right now because I ain’t got nothing to send her in the mail. I don’t know what the hell Victoria thinks I want from her. My daughter sounds older and older each time I talk to her. It’s a joyful noise when I get her on the phone. I love it and I try to keep her talking to me as long as possible asking her questions, and her only answer is, “I don’t know.”

I told Watrina that I don’t plan on having any more kids. She asked me, “If you and I were to get married, you wouldn’t want to have a kid with me?’ I told her that I can’t afford it financially or emotionally, another split up with a child of mine. Things go bad, it’s all fucked up and I ain’t takin’ another chance with another kid, of me and the mother not ending up together. I think personally that a lot of women have kids for all the wrong reasons; some even have kids by a well-to-do gentleman just to get a child support check. It will never happen to me again. NEVER!

I just got off the phone with Watrina. She wants to come and see me when I get home from work. I told her that I didn’t want to see her with red hair that she got put in her head to go to Jamaica. I told her I don’t like weave. I don’t like weave. I will not approach a woman with weave in her hair. I cannot see myself falling in love with a woman who does not have her natural hair unless I compromise, or it looks really natural. And even still, I will crack on it till the end of time. You can’t run your fingers through that shit or rub it, nothing. I’m about to stop telling people that Watrina is my girl and just refer to her as “this bitch I’m fuckin’ with”; because we really ain’t got too much serious going on at least not on her part. She likes me but she ain’t thinkin’ on the level I’m on right now about relationships. She’s a nice girl, but she ain’t lookin’ for what I want so whatever is gonna be with us will just be.

My life is a big ass question right now. Will I find my wife? Will I get on in this music game? Will I stay in New York for much longer? Will I find a job that I’ll take serious and excel at, particularly at a record label? Watrina mentioned to me that she doesn’t understand how people say that they are searching for a wife or husband, you just meet that person. I started to explain to her that she was that person to have: intelligence, security, stable, good looks (maybe), good sex (maybe), etc. You search for a person who has as many of those qualities as possible. Or you want a person who just comes into your life on a humbug and you get into a relationship with them, to have those qualities. If a person doesn’t have the qualities that you want in a mate, you two are not gonna make it.

As to the question of how much longer will I stay in New York, I don’t know. I’m thinking of making a career change to Jr. High School math teacher. I think I would like to do something like that, but I don’t know if I’m gonna stay in New York permanently because you can’t make it here unless you are rich or very well paid. It seems as if I will not get very well paid as an accountant. And everybody says that teachers are underpaid, but yet when I was in school, they all drove new cars. New York is the pits: expensive, unsociable, crowded. Those three things make this not a very nice place to be trying to make a living in. I’m just barely surviving right now here.

Watrina has an idea to start a denim manufacturing company. I told her I’d try and help her collect information and help in any way I can. Hopefully she’s serious and we really do this. That could be my ticket to financial freedom. Financial freedom only comes through working independently for yourself.; working for someone else if that someone is a friend of yours or they just like your work ethic will also get you somewhere. But for the most part, working for someone else, you’ll be working hard and getting really no recognition for your work. I just thought of an idea to start a Hip Hop and R&B Distribution company. I wonder what would it take to get that off the ground. This thought is only coming as a result of Watrina’s idea to start a clothing manufacturing company. She’s in the fashion industry and I love the music industry that I just can’t seem to get a piece of. It is right here in my face, but I can’t grab a hold to it and pull myself in, and it seems as if no one else wants to pull me in neither.

I still got Windexter on my mind. He is friends with DJ Clue’s manager and the A&Rs who will be working out of Desert Strom Records. I’m about to sell my soul to get into this music business. I came up with the idea just to break the ice that I should sell my tracks for $5,000 off the books for a track on an album that sells platinum at a royalty rate of $.05; that is cheating myself out of $45,000. But no one is gonna pay a no name, no hit Hip Hop producer $50,000 so I got to do what I got to do to get in this game.

There is this BET/BILLBOARD Hip Hop & R&Bsummit at the Hilton Hotel on the 6th Ave Aug 28 – Aug 30 2001. It cost $500 for registration so I won’t be registering to get in to attend any events. I’ll probably just go and hang outside. I know madd kids is gonna be out there rapping and shit. Maybe I’ll pick up an artist that I can work with to rhyme over my songs that I’ve produced. I’m working on this banging joint right now. It was initially supposed to be called the Harlem Shake, but it’s too slow to be a Harlem Shake dance song. I need Tilly to play toms over it for me. It’s gonna come out dope, just another song to put in my vault for nobody to listen to. Maybe one day I’ll stop but no time soon, and then again, maybe I’ll never stop. I’ll just continue to make songs all my life just as something to do in my spare time even if I never get on as a producer.

Me and Watrina are supposed to starting working out in the morning at the track in Astoria Park over by where we live. I really didn’t want to do this because I have to be up at 6 A.M. running around a track and doing push-ups and sit-ups and shit. But then I thought it would be a great way for us to expand our relationship and get closer by spending more time together. My frat brother Mortier Maison said he went and worked out with his wife the morning after he met her and they ended up married. So I figured I’d give it a try. Watrina is falling for me more and more each day I think. But then again, this is New York and bitches and niggaz got games for ya ass. So where as I think she is being sincere, she could just be spending time with me for something to do and not really liking me at all, just a fling. In my case, I like her so I’m just flowing with the flow. You know I love my damn self so if she flakes out on me, I’ll be alright regardless.

But sometimes I wonder am I a fool. It seems as if I have been trying to get a woman and make her mine for me to marry in the future ever since I was about 23 years old. There was Lauren whom I thought I loved and wanted to try and spend the rest of my life with. Then there was Victoria who ended up pregnant and I was thinking maybe she could be the one. Then there was Sausha who was very nice and I loved her the most, more than the two up above. She was just behind me as far as life goes; no gainful employment skills, no college education. She wasn’t willing to follow me along to NY to try and live my dream partly because she couldn’t and maybe also partly because she didn’t want to, and maybe partly on my part not wanting her to also. Now I have Watrina whom I think is very nice, considerate, doesn’t seem to be a dumb materialistic girl like a lot of NY black people are. I am thinking that we could last awhile. I seem to think this about these women, but two years later it seems to end for some reason or another. What is it in me that wants to have a steady woman? Why don’t I want to be a player? Maybe it’s a result of aids and the fact that I hate sex with a condom. Maybe I’m just a sucka for love.

All of life’s little questions, or rather my life questions. I ain’t got the answers. I ain’t searching for them too hard neither, or maybe I am which is why I feel depressed and down sometimes. I wish my life would all come together: money, one woman who I love and she loves me, nice house, nice care, nice investment for the future. Maybe one woman is the start to all the rest that I think will give me piece of mind I don’t know.

Jrnl Entry No. 10.20.2000

The year 2000 has come and is just about gone. I have sat and looked at everyone living their dreams and accomplishing their goal. Suga Shane Moseley, Marion Jones, Maurice Green, David Justice, Lenny Krazleburg, DMX, Rock Wilder, etc. I look at these people, happy for them that they have achieved what they wanted to achieve. I wonder as I look at them, how did they achieve it? Well, there seemed to be some type of forum for most of these people. Take Marion Jones for example. She decided she was going to run track instead of play basketball. She trained hard every day in practice. When national championship or Olympic trials came around, due to her training, she won the necessary races, and boom, she’s a star. In the Olympics, she won gold in the 100 meter sprint. Now endorsements will come her way offering her millions to advertise a product. She’s set for life. David Justice, who knows when he decided to start playing baseball, but he decided some time in his life. He eventually probably played for a minor league team, and then got picked up to the majors. Now he is going to the World Series for like the third or fourth time in his career. He has hit two major home runs in his career to either win his team the World Series or get them into the World Series.

The point I’m trying to make is that for people like Marion Jones and Suga Shane Moseley, there is or was a forum for them to contend in. After so many contentions, if you win most of them, you will be the star. For me, there is really no forum that I can hop into. I want to be a Hip Hop producer. There are many Hip Hop producers out there now like DJ Premier and Pete Rock and Rock Wilder who are stars in the game. As I look at them, I wonder to myself, how did they get there? There is not a place where producer can go and play their beats against other producer’s beats, and whoever is judged to be the best gets to produce a song on an album that is sure to go platinum, and net you, at the least, depending on your deal, $80,000.

I’ve heard that in this forum of Hip Hop artist and producers that you have to know somebody in order to get in. If you know nobody, how do you get to know somebody? Everybody you meet, like I met Dazon of Murder Inc. one night at Club Cheetah; if I’d told him I was a producer, he would have paid no attention to that. How, how, how is my question. I can make the hottest song of this century, but if I know no one to get it into the ears of someone connected in the music industry, my song is useless. It’s not the same as for a basketball player who starts in Jr. High School, then plays in High School, then to college. If he has built his skills to perfection, he has a chance at getting picked to play in the NBA. All while he is in college he is watched by NBA scouts who will either get him picked in the NBA, or if he is no good, he won’t be picked.

Some may think I want this Hip Hop thing to happen overnight for me. I’ve told the story of my Hip Hop yearning which started 13 years ago. I’ve got Demo tapes. I’ve been producing beats in my head for years with no outlet to get them into real sound form. Now I have equipment to make the beats in my head real. Now I’m in New York where everything happens, but where do I go from here? There used to be a lyricist lounge spot in the early 90s where MCs could showcase their talent. A few MCs like Mos Def, Rah Digga, Talib Kweli have come to be where they are today because of this forum. Now there seems to be no forum especially for underground Hip Hop. The industry is killing underground Hip Hop, which is what I have loved from the beginning of my interest in this shit. Now, if you don’t sell a million or 500,000 with your first album, the label drops you. Back in the 80s, MCs like Kool G Rap and the Gangstarr group had 3 albums, none of which sold gold, but they were still in the game with a recording contract.

So the market for my production is getting slimmer and slimmer by the day and year. No one wants to give a new comer a chance. That seems to be the way it is but yet in still, it is not that way. How did MCs like Roc Marciano get into the Flipmode Squad? How did the producer Jay Dee get to be doing songs for and a part of a production team with A Tribe Called Quest? How did the MC Consequence get to be featured on A Tribe Called Quest Beats Rhymes and Life album? That was also the album that featured Jay Dee as a producer, so maybe Tribe just said “we are gonna let others shine on this album.”

To me it seems to be luck of the draw. I don’t know where to go to meet MCs or producers or artist for that matter to showcase my skills. Everybody says go to the Fat Beats store in the village. This place is a record store, not a lounge or a club. I went there one Saturday and I met two producers. I got their numbers and called one of them, but he never returned my call.

I’m thinking of starting a Bonny and Clyde group, or a group of girls because the industry has nothing like that. But even if I start this group, how will we get in with the industry or showcase our skills? How do I find a manager? I guess I could start asking people these questions. And maybe that is the key, a manager. Pay someone 20% of what I make because I know no one and they know everyone or someone who I’ll maybe never have a chance of knowing that could get one of my songs out to be heard by the people. There could be a chance that I could do it by myself, but I think that chance is very slim. You hand people a Demo tape of you, and they never listen to it, or they never get back to you.

Maybe my stuff is no good enough. I don’t know. All I do know is that this situation is depressing me. But I’m stuck because I believe in myself and I don’t want to go anywhere else. I believe it can happen because it has happened for so many people: Teddy Riley, Pete Rock, Premier, GURU, DJ Mark The 45 King, Marley Marl, DJ Clue. Wait a god damn minute; all the people accept for two are life-long New York residence. I’m from Ohio. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe there is no problem at all. I’m searchin’ for answers. I’m searching for direction in this journey; peace of mind with it.

Try god, is what you say huh? I tried him when I was younger. I prayed so long, I became an atheist. I prayed and prayed for a record contract, but still to this day, I have seen no record contract nowhere in sight. Jay Z confessed that he was a criminal before he became a star. But yet in still, he became a star. I’ve been a fairly good boy all my life, and I have not received one big dream. Well, maybe one, which was to get a Honda scooter when I was 13 years old. I got it and that was probably one of the happiest moments of my life before my daughter was born. Janelle being born was a happy moment which has turned grim because I have to go to court to see her like I want.

I guess I have been blessed as people say. I’ve been blessed with a college education, a job, a new car, my dream of living in New York. Well, let’s back up a moment. My dream was never really to live here, my dream was to be here to get into Hip Hop. Hip Hop is my dream, not New York. I wanted to come to New York but if there was no Hip Hop, I don’t think I’d be here, or would have wanted to come here. Hip Hop is what made me take my first trip here, not New York just in itself. I’m searching for Hip Hop but is seems hard to find. The Hip Hop I’m searching for seems to have died, and now a new species is being born, well, is born.

All I want is to have a song on an album and get paid a royalty for it. I don’t want to be the top hit maker, or the highest paid for that matter. I just want to be a part of albums coming out on labels, and get paid a fair amount in the form or a royalty check every quarter. That seems not too much to ask, or that it shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish. But this industry is selfish, and doesn’t seem to want to let anyone in unless it’s a crime partner or brother or close friend. I’ma make my mark somewhere in this shit. SOMEWHERE!

Jrnl Entry No. 12.6.1999

I gets home from Warren last night about 12:20 A.M. I figured I’d ride through the city to try and find me two boot leg CDs. I was gonna get Rakim and Raekwon. Yeah, that’s right boot leg. I told myself, especially since I got bills now and no money, that I am not spending another dollar on Hip Hop CDs until I make some cash in the rap game as a producer or rapper. I have been rapping and shit since I was 14; that is twelve years. Its time for Hip Hop to support me a little. At the least pay off my car or credit card or something.

So I’m riding down around Times Square but I don’t see anybody with any CDs on the streets. I passes by 43rd St. and I see a crowd of people and cars lined up. I decides to ride down the street and I sees mad bitches and niggas lined up to get into this club. I tell you that is the shit I love about New York. You just ride down the street on a particular night and you can run into a fat ass party going down till 4 A.M. in the morning. The spot was called Club New York. I guess it was hot for the night.

I went and parked my car on 39th Street and walked back up to 43rd Street. I walks by and stands outside the party. I’m seeing Yukon Danali’s, Navigators, Acks, Benz V12 600s. Just as I was about to leave because I didn’t have the $20 or $30 that I know it cost to get in, I seen CLUE and a bunch of niggaz following him walking up. Now DJ CLUE is like a house hold name in Hip Hop. I’m just looking at the Nigga like an ass hole. I don’t know what was going through my mind. I leave the spot and goes back to my car because I gots to go to work in the morning. As I’m walking back, I’m thinking to myself “damn, I should have said something to that Nigga about me being a producer trying to get on.”

Its like when I see these people, I’m at a lose for words. I prepared me a little speech last night though. Its goes a little something like this. “ A Yo CLUE whats up? How You? I’m a producer trying to get on in this industry. Why don’t you do me a favor and take my tape. If you like it and think you can help me give me a call. If you don’t like it, don’t call and I’ll see you again. I know you don’t know me but can you do that for me?”

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to approach niggaz every since I got here. I’ve seen Funk Master Flex, Lord Finesse, Grand Master Dee of Whodini.  I talked to DJ Premier, but I didn’t ask him to help me out. I just ask him how do I go about getting on as a producer. He told me to go to the clubs. I’ve been to a couple of clubs and seen nobody. When I did see the couple of people I mentioned above, I didn’t know what to say to them. I talked to DJ Big Kap but he brushed me off real quick because I really didn’t know what to say to him. I tried introducing myself to him, told him my name and shit and asked can I talk to him.

You got to get at these niggaz at least as an introduction. You got to get straight to the point, and that might not even get you nowhere. Just get at em every time you see somebody. When you see em again, holla at them again. After a year or two, people will notice you and see that you are determined and will maybe help out. THAT’S WHAT I GOT TO DO! TIME IS MONEY!