The Other Side of the Game.

            I absolutely love the pursuit of this dream. I love the writing, the recording, the creation of new ideas and songs that were not there when you first walked into the room.  Working with talented producers, performing, learning new equipment and software, the collaborations, hearing people you have never met or are only seeing for the first time fall in love with the songs that I create. People being touched by my lyrics, going to new places, meeting people that you have looked up to along the way. Finding out that those same people enjoy my music and are watching me.   

  

            I love being able to look back and see just how far I've come, and I am excited for all of the things that are yet to come.  I love the pursuit of this and all of the things and people along the way who have added fuel to that fire.  I could and would probably say that it’s one that is not easy to contain and maintain, but again that would be somewhat dishonest of me because as I said before I love seeing this through.  I love seeing all that I have learned, and being able to go into new places and speak intelligently about things that were at one time a foreign language to me.  Above all I love music, whether I am creating it or I meet another amazing artist that's driven just like me. And, for as long as I can remember, this is all I have ever wanted to do with my life.  I had it all mapped out how my friends and I would come up together creating hits, traveling the world, building up an empire based on this love of music and a passion to be creative, innovative and great together. 

  

              But there is another side to the pursuit of this that most people don't see, or maybe you do and don't know that you are seeing it.  There are things that will try to dampen your flame. People with empty promises and hidden agendas.  People that root for you to fail. That you would think would be in your corner (family, friends, inspirations etc.). Those around you that are not understanding of what it means to really try to do this, and what it takes (long and weird hours, the costs, the spontaneous changes and personal sacrifices that you make to do this). 

  

           Losing friends due to growth, business, or for lacking vision, drive and support.  Losing the people that you saw with you in that vision due to some of the reasons that I have mentioned above, as well as to circumstances beyond your control (RIP Arthur, Jason, Earnest, Shamar).  Those are just a few of the things that are both the unfortunate gifts and true curses for artists.  I say unfortunate gifts, because those are the things that provide us with the material that makes the listener feel like we are tapping into your lives and telling your stories (although our own stories had to take these twists and turns to be able to do that).   

    The true curses, things such as losing people that you once called brother/sister and not being able to be around people that you once considered family without things seeming awkward. Respecting those individuals and living by certain codes that won't and don't allow you to throw people under the bus, or speak negatively of them.  A lot of the time our story (or bits of our stories) come out in the music. But you choose to hold certain things in because you still care for people (and how others see these people).  You accept the changes and proceed, no matter how much they bother you (I'm sure some of you reading this right now are like why not communicate or fix things?  Answer: It takes all parties involved to do that). But anyway, I digress. It’s things like losing close friends, that will sometimes cause you to wonder if the pursuit of your dream is worth it. If you love this like I do, the answer will always be a YES from both you and those that really know you because they know your passion for making your dreams come true and no matter what they want to see you win. Hopefully anyway.  One day perhaps those fences can be mended and family (will always be family) can feel like family again.  I want to see all my people win, at whatever it is they want in life, and I want to be able to share my wins with all those I hold dear to me.   

  

         In the pursuit of your dreams, understand that not everyone will understand your drive. Not everyone is gonna understand your stepping out of your comfort zone to grow into the person that you have always seen yourself as.  There will be days that you will look in the mirror and question whether or not it’s you or the people around you who have changed.  Growing up does that.  I look at all the people that I admire and what they went through to achieve the greatness that they have. Their stories are filled with personal losses and overcoming obstacles. They all saw and accepted that evolving would not always be comfortable, or easy, but it was necessary.  Along the way you meet new people that will share in your drive, and the things that you want to do. People that understand what it took to get to where you are and where you want to be. I've always prided myself on being a loyal and honest individual, sometimes to my detriment but mostly just because it’s the right thing to do.  

  

            This journey changes you in many ways. One day you wake up and you are going through your routine, and it just hits you that things aren't the same. Not in a bad way, but just in a different way.  You find yourself stronger and smarter. You find yourself going from seeking guidance to being someone that people seek guidance from.  You find yourself with a hunger to be around people that you feel can continue to grow you further and wanting to put more and more time into what you love to do.  You want to create new memories (instead of just reminiscing on old ones). You want to establish new connections. You want to do and be better. You want to be proud of yourself. You want to make others proud.  You begin to see the world differently and all the people in it.  And while you may not yet, be able to do all that you want to do, you find yourself trying to figure out and do all that you can to be able to do more, for both yourself and others.   

  

              I can't expect everyone to understand and neither can you.  When you believe in something, most times those around you don't see and won't see what you see, until you are able to show it to them.  I plan to continue so that all who know me can see that you can achieve what you put your mind and heart into.  The journey will not be easy.   This game at all levels is a lot of smoke and mirrors with people just playing the part, trying to make it all look easy and carefree.  I want to tell my story and your story. I want to motivate and inspire you. I want my wins to be motivational and my losses to be lessons for you to learn from, to make you aware of what could happen, to prepare you for when those days and changes come along.  I want to leave my mark as someone that created something that will last and influence people long after I'm gone.  I want that very love and passion to put me in position to be able to assist others with their dreams, to make things better for my future kids and those to come behind them.  You know the music, you're getting to know the artist, this is the other side of the game. 

  

RR

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