Expressing Yourself

One thing I have learned while learning to understand my emotions is that there are different categories and types of emotions. Some seem perpetual, while others are powerful and yet momentary emotions. Knowing which type of emotion you are experiencing can be the key to satisfying the need to express your feelings. Do you feel this strong sensation that seems to be overpowering every other emotion or rational thought, if so, let us call that a spike. On the other hand, if you aren’t doing anything very stimulating to the body or mind and kind of just are observing your own vibe that you have been feeling for a while, let’s call that a concrete feeling. Take enough to time to realize if the feeling is a spike or a concrete feeling. Once you have recognized the type, at least in my experience, you should be able to focus on that feeling and even topic while expressing yourself through writing.

Specifically while writing about the concrete feeling, things might come out seeming a little deeper and true to your past. Your history and identity overall will be emphasized because most likely you have experience at least a similar emotion on multiple occasions throughout your life. Even more so, others might have experienced this same feeling a multitude of times. Make a concrete connection with your audience.

Most likely, you and your audience have also experienced what I am referring to as a spike. This this type of emotion can seem very powerful. As your expressing yourself, the written piece can start off strong, then fall flat the next day. Be weary of this dilemma. Try to write down some of the key characteristics of how you were feeling during the spike. That way, you have some notes to help you reconnect to feelings in that moment, if you wish to continue what you were writing.

Write your emotions into your pieces. Take some time to realize what you are/were feeling. Feelings can be complex. Fun fact, you do experience multiple emotions at once, hence the term mixed feelings. So, when really trying to express yourself as well as get understood by your audience, give your emotions the respect they deserve. In doing so, it will seem that you are more in touch with your emotions and your audience can relate to your pieces heavily.

 

Perfect Setting

Right place, right time, feels great. Recently, I went to my friend’s house for his birthday party and the result was a full blown freestyle cipher with him and another artist that had shown up to celebrate him. A week before that I had stumbled across a basketball tournament with a cash prize of $1500 dollars to the winning team. A while before that, I rapped at prom and was then approached by the DJ about an opportunity to perform for his youth group. All these situations were examples of being at the right place at the right time. Honestly, looking back at these opportunities that I at least attempted to take advantage of, gives me a sense of accomplishment, confidence.  The fact that I, and in your case, you, have put yourself in these situations can be hard to comprehend and accept. Coming to terms with the fact that going to the right place even when you are being averted by your urges, can lead to special opportunities; will ideally propel you into more positive opportunities. If you plan to go somewhere for a positive reason, expecting a positive outcome, don´t let unexpected or expected negatives stop you.

P.S. Don´t take this to the extreme; keep it in mind when you are executing your plans for something important or even some daily things that just seem like they are out the way that day. A reflection is a powerful tool. Use it.

 

Go With The Flow

Writing lyrics is expressive and does not have to stem from a specific realistic origin. Lyrics can come from an individual feelings; an abstract and intangible element. These lyrics can be powerful and deeply inspiring. The need for a predetermined goal for the series of lyrics does not have to always be present. Sometimes just letting the lyrics flow can result in an as descriptive and expressive project as intended and more.

8 Step Guide To Collaborations (First Timers) Continued…

Lately a number of artists and friends have been asking me for collaborations on their projects; productions, lyric writing, and full on song creation (Mix & Mastering). I am thrilled. While I have been putting in so much time thinking about getting my rapping and producing to the next level I am more than excited for the challenge of working with other artists to create some amazing  works.

The biggest challenge for me will be working out a mutually beneficial collaboration schedule with these creatives. With this in mind, the tactics that have been instilled in me by my current and past jobs will be my point of reference in these negotiations. It’s time to get started!

  • Respect
  • Breaks
  • Flexibility
  • Don’t Take It Personally!
  • You are not getting paid!
  • They aren’t getting paid either!
  • Don’t be a know it all
  • Read up/research

Don’t Take it Personally!

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People are great. When they do some not so great things don’t assume it’s about you! People have just as much going on in their lives as you do and if not, more. If these people are your true friends or people that your trusted ones vouch for don’t assume they are out to get you when stuff goes wrong. Asking some open ended and non-condescending questions could help the group and you figure out what’s really the problem. Nine times out of ten it is not you personally. So when you all figure out what is troubling the group member try to help out and give thoughtful suggestions so the group can get the most positive result from the situation. Best case you all get closer to your group member by sincerely helping them through his struggle and the group comes up with a dope production.

You Are Not Getting Paid!

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Relax. Chances are that this first collaboration will not be the determining checkpoint of your entire career. Mistakes are common so roll with the punches. Be creative. Don’t be a stickler on just what you think will start getting you paid immediately; especially when the group is not all on board with the same scheme. This collaboration is a passion not a paycheck; indulge in the experience you will gain from meeting not just the potential monetary benefits.

They are Not Getting Paid Either!

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Tell them to relax! Unless you all went to a studio session with a engineer that requires payment in some form, then no one in there is getting paid either. Pushing your team to take chances and grow is good, pushing them as if they can get on board or get out is over board. It’s your first collaboration. Work with your team. Don’t work over them. When they get stressed remind them that they don’t have to worry and it’s more about the experience, playing around, and learning in the moment anyways.

P.S. The final steps will be in the next post. Stay tuned!

Significant Moment

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Given an interesting idea by an associate of mine at the time, I set out to do something no one else had ever done at Life School. I was going to make a rap song for the school and then perform it in front of the entire school during a football pep rally at the all new campus. This was big! I mean, I knew that I was a rapper and I was confident in my writing skills, this was an opportunity to show that I was ready for such a challenge.

The big kicker was that I had to write a song and memorize it in about 10 days! More like 8 days, because one of my favorite teachers at the time; Ms. Winnet had to approve the words and message it conveyed before the final plan for the pep rally was made. I was stoked, because the fastest I had ever written an entire song was 5 months… 5 months. Talk about adjusting turn around times. To put this in perspective this is like asking a turtle to become an Olympic sprinter! Like the parable about the tortoise and the hair, I was determined to rise to the challenge.

    To prepare for this I basically went through my own writer and rapper boot camp. I won’t go into detail right now, just know it had hours of brainstorming, writing, rapping, beat choosing, and a lot of inapplicable content. (In-applicable content: all content that you write/produce, and can’t utilize at that Specific Moment; it’s NEVER trash!) Exhausting about sums up how that process felt. That feeling completely transformed 9 days later when Ms. Winnet said “Alright, sounds good!” I had risen to the challenge and I was ready to show the entire school!