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This is a very long entry. Consider it as unofficial liner notes.
I’m kinda at a loss for words right now. Well that’s not fully true. It’s more like I don’t know exactly what story to tell because there are so many that need to be told. I guess the main one that needs to be told is that Don Speaks is finally available for the masses and we are graciously giving the project away up until August 12. All you’ve gotta do is like the Facebook page and you get a free download. When I say available I’m talking iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and damn near any digital retailer worth a damn. That’s a pretty big deal.
Even bigger when you consider that I put this one out via my own imprint. I guess you can say it’s a label. Maybe I should start calling it that but it feels weird because then I’d be a label owner. Weird in the same way as when Shouting At The Screen fans call me a comedian. Yes, I’m up there telling jokes but I don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to be called anything but what I’m primarily known for. When I DJ, sure I’m up there DJ’ing but it’s so weird telling my actual DJ friends that I DJ from time to time because they’ve earned their DJ stripes in the same way that I’ve earned my rapper stripes. I guess when you flip it all on it’s head I’m earning stripes too huh?
Honestly I just look at all the things I do as being a creative, a working creative. It all comes from the exact same place, my heart, mind, hands and mouth. I pour myself fully into everything I do and in a weird way make no separation between writing a rhyme or recording a podcast. Hence the name of my label (weird), Working Creative.
If you go back to the very first blog entry on this post it was from a guy who was sitting at a thankless job praying for somebody, anybody to listen. From that day on I fought long and hard to get from behind that desk and succeeded in at least figuring out a way to feed myself and keep a roof over my head without going back. That’s not to say I don’t have a job though. I actually have several jobs that consume pretty much my every waking moment. If it’s not an album or a show I can’t even fully explain to people how I keep my lights on but I still manage to.
I’m not a hard bound anything. Rapper, DJ, writer, comedian, band/tour manager, label owner (still weird) or whatever else you wanna pin to me, I’m all of it. I Am A Working Creative. I honestly don’t have a choice but to be everything because I’m not granted the luxury of depending on anyone else. That’s a false luxury anyway. The true luxury is hunkering down with a dedicated few and fighting as hard as you can for a dream. In no way is this about claiming ownership of any victory, it’s actually about getting in front of the bullet and taking a few on the chin instead of adding insult to another’s injury. I’ve worked with several wonderful labels and a few awesome managers. I’ve had wins and losses with all of them as well. I’ve also never (fully, sorry. I’m human) faulted them because I never shielded myself from the business. It was a very reluctant decision I made early on but probably the best thing I decided to do outside of give music a solid try. The education has been priceless and seeing people flip out over a map, go ape shit over a fitted cap or swoon over a perfectly executed album concept is just the icing on the cake.
So here we are that by a twist of fate and green lights from a few gracious people I get to present to you my collaboration with Dash Speaks on my platform, Working Creative. I’m beyond proud right now and I don’t fully know how to articulate just how heavily I’m beaming inside. A chance meeting with Parker and a random ‘wanna rap on my beats’ text from Dash has turned into an absolute monster.
I can’t even lie I was kinda scared of how this would be received. Yeah it seems like a departure on the heels of Rubber Souls or in remembrance of Brooklynati but for me its not a departure at all. Did we forget the absolute gem that was Suburban Sprawl?!? This is just the way that this moment in my life sounded. It perfectly captures my journey through gentrification, self employment, heartbreak, self reflection and brotherhood. All of the usual ‘Donwill’ tropes are there. Nothing is missing, just this time its done in double-time. As far as features go it’s just art further imitating life. Hanging out with Weekend Money, Fat Tony and Spec Boogie may seem disparate until you bounce around Brooklyn with me and watch me not only dap up everybody but also have genuine conversations. It’s a departure on paper but a very accurate depiction of my life in action.
With that said I hope this one is as fun to listen to as it was to make. Lord knows these sessions defined 2013 for me. I’d be remiss to not explicitly shout out Dash Speaks, They Call Me Parker/PRKR/SeventyMHZ (NIGGA PICK A NAME) and Weekend Tony. I’m also eternally thankful for anyone else who helped in this project’s creation, anyone who gave it press and anyone who pressed play on it. . You seriously have no idea how much you all mean.
Until next time…