As I reflect on my grind, it has been almost 20 years since I came up with what would be known as, Inflewential Records. As I woke up today, I felt the feeling of missing the struggle. See, I was struggling for so long, that I had gotten used to that feeling. That is a dangerous place to be. It is a feeling of belonging that should not be there. I did not belong in the struggle. I say this not to stunt or to say I do not have struggles any longer, but to reflect, as I like to do, on how far I’ve come.
The other part of that struggle I talk about is the struggle as a creative trying to create; and get the world to appreciate your creation (while also earning some scratch to get by). The nights we spent in the studio til 4am recording. The nights we traveled to Philly or Newark, NJ at 11pm to perform at a hole in the wall, only to make it home at 5 in the morning, knowing we had to get up at 6 to go to our 9-5. Just the many sleepless nights chasing this dream. You see for me music and poetry are my outlet and to make enough money to survive on just that, was my ultimate dream.
My point in all of this is to say, do not neglect the journey. It is where the most fulfilling things are in life. I’ve met some of the most talented people performing in those little spots. I’ve solidified friendships. Lost friendships. Made business contacts, and had conversations with many different personalities. I once performed in a strip club for execs of Sony and Universal. I remember being told we were dope but needed to overhaul our subject matter. We even performed in the legendary Apollo Theater. Through all of this, what is most memorable wasn’t the struggle, it was the experiences (you can make a case that they are one in the same). What I realize is that I miss the experiences that came along with the struggle.
Keep moving forward and elevating. Keep your mind open to new processes. Always appreciate the experiences; it’s not always about the outcome!