In the beginning there was The Cold Crush Brothers, Eddie Cheeba and Kool Herc. Then God said, let there be Sugarhill Gang, Funky Four Plus 1 More and Kurtis Blow. Now I feel like I'm supposed to have say something even more clever to write after this stellar opening but honestly its all I got right now.
The idea of this blog has come from my slow but steady pursuit of having an outlet of creative expression coupled with exercising my discipline to write. As you can probably tell by now I am a product of the Hip Hop generation- the OG generation. So I should really start this masterpiece with, "In the beginning was mommy and daddy and on November 19, 1970 I was born. Their "us" became "we" and by 1979 I fell in love with Prince and hip hop." My dad is a music enthusiast and it was through his eclectic tastes that I learned of The Eagles, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane and more. My mother, never wavering in her music selections, introduced me to the world of Doo Wop, the Motown sound and the blues. But it was my older sister who brought hip hop home in 1978. This is my earliest recollection.
Years went by and my love for music grew as I did but as a teenager in the '80's hip hop was my constant. So much so that my first internship in college was working for Luke Records in Miami, FL the summer of 1990. After a small stint in the corporate world, I landed a job in Los Angeles at the then infamous Priority Records-home of the "out-lawed" gangsta rap sound. Sixteen years later and almost 40 years old, I look back on my young adult life as fun, exciting and gratifying. Now at the cross roads of changing my life and career, music has now found a different seat on the Dana bus- no longer driving but still riding.
Lauryn Hill recorded one of my favorite songs. I have many, especially when it comes to hip hop but this one is special because it came at a time in my life when I needed it most. Even though I have had the pleasure to work with her recently, she still has no idea how her art encouraged me through a challenging time. "Everything Is Everything" is track 13 on her multi-Grammy winning classic THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL. In 1999, I was miserable and burned out about my job at Priority. My very loving relationship with my boyfriend was coming to an end and I was terrified to make decisions to end them both. A friend who was an executive at Vibe Magazine at the time had mailed me a copy of the record. Sitting in my self-imposed prison at the office after hours, this song came on and changed me instantly. I found strength in the words. I thought she wrote the song just for me. On more than one occasion, I really thought that she did. Within 2 months my relationship ended and I had quit my job. Life seemed to be working in my favor again. Even though the storm wasn't over, change had allowed me to find more courage and to breathe a little deeper. Exactly the two things I needed in the following months as the winds of change turned into a hurricane. But that's another story. So whenever I smell change in the air or if I'm smack in the middle of life's upheavals, I put this song on repeat until the quiet returns.
So as I've grown as a human being, fundamentally my life has changed. What I used to think was important, how I love and treat myself, how I love and treat others are just a few things that have dramatically taken on a new landscape in my life. My connection to Spirit has profoundly impacted my decisions and what motivates me comes from a much more awake state of being. Thus, giving birth to the name of this blog. This is not designed to be my soapbox for politics, music or religion but a place of honest expression about my life and how I see the world. My goal is that as I write for my own cathartic purpose, that my words, my art, will positively touch the lives of those who find their way to this page. I am hip hop and this blog is my scripture.
Love and light to all