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Journal Entry #1: The Underdog Story (The Director’s Cut)

October 28, 2012

I hate the underdog story.

Underdog stories tend to gloss over the good parts, the parts people want to hear. No one ever wants to hear about the work and the blood, sweat and tears. It’s too damn long, too damn boring, and not even close to entertaining.

No one wants to know that Kurt Warner bounced around from practice squad to practice squad, played for the Iowa Barnstormers in the Arena Football League, and played in the short-lived NFL Europe before winning a spot as a back-up quarterback for the St. Louis Rams. That’s too much work. Too long. Anyone could have done that.

There’s always Michael Jordan’s story about how he got cut from his varsity team as a sophomore in high school. Only thing was, he was dominant in the junior varsity level and earned a spot in varsity the very next year. He worked his ass off to prove his worth, lack of height be damned. Of course, you’d get looked at funny, because Mike was a talented athlete and he dominated the scene and hadn’t looked back since that minor setback.

For every underdog story, you get two people warning you to have a back-up plan in case something happens. You see others making moves, while it feels like you’re stuck in the same area. Then you gotta look at others in the face, as you’re still there.

I’ve been trying to make a dent since I started making beats back in 2009. I’ve taken small steps and have slid further backwards since that time.

Compounding matters is that I don’t do what everyone else does. I’ve been told (numerous times) that I shouldn’t sample. I’ve been told that I should focus on making club bangers. I’ve been told that I should change my name.

People have laughed at my name. Questioned Mini-Spidey (Who wouldn’t?), as well as my age. Just nodded my head as I was talking, possibly speaking a foreign-fucking-language but too afraid to look like assholes to tell me.

There’s no love for losers.

Some people have heard my beats. A select few liked them. The ones that rap and shit want them for free. 80% of those freebie seekers better come back to reality.

Someone dear to me told me that my shit is dope and that things will look up. I won’t dispute that, but some days it’s disappointing, because I know better. I think.

Sometimes, you need to hear it from somebody who’s known. Someone established, with a good fanbase. By a good fanbase, I mean one with 40,000 followers and 15,000+ buy their album. A true fanbase.

Me, I needed to hear it from a producer that I was inspired by. I needed to hear it from 9th Wonder.

I needed to hear about how he slept in a two-bedroom apartment with 5 other people while making beats. I needed to know that he worked at a UPS Call Center, as well as a Planet Smoothie while making beats in 2001, because I thought I was alone doing the sampling thing while working. I’m glad I’m not the only person that had to deal with the disappointing look from family as I quit school to make music.

Because it makes the damage I’m looking to do more gratifying. Because I can continue to do damage and not constantly have to complain about bullshit. Once in a blue moon sounds better.

Because it makes the underdog story more realistic. Because losers need love, too.

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