"The true gentleman is friendly, but not familiar." - CONFUCIUS

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I was supposed to be something else.

A college professor, happily gathering dust and grey hairs amongst piles of books written by dead people in some cluttered office on some pretty campus. A dignified author with a picture of myself smiling reservedly under grapevines in my spacious Northern California backyard on the inside covers of each of my many celebrated books. If you had told me even fifteen years ago that I was going to be an emcee, music writer/editor, hip-hop publicist and DJ, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to laugh. The idea that music could become my life never even entered my head as a possibility. But in the end, assuming that people who have barely been on the planet long enough to grow hair between their legs have any real clue of their future is giving 99% of them too much credit, so I don’t dwell too much on how things panned out. I’ve never even stopped to wonder exactly who it was that turned music from entertainment to everything for me, but as it turns out, I got an answer to that question last Christmas. Death has a funny way of making everything crystal clear sometimes. I could ooze on for pages about everything this man was, everything he changed, but I think the other music writers have already come up with quite enough adjective festivals on the topic (immeasurable, revolutionary and timeless pretty much cover the bases anyway). Therefore, I will simply sum up my feelings by announcing that December 25th is officially James Brown Day, from now until the asteroid hits. Jesus’ gift was Christianity, and James’ gifts were funk and hip-hop. And when music is your religion, that’s no contest at all. Music was supposed to be the soundtrack to my life. I’m still not sure if music was supposed to be my life. But I’m going to spend my youth finding out. And you can blame James Brown for that.