I’m 29, And I’m An Aspiring Rapper (I’m Also A Lawyer, But Don’t Let That Stop You From Judging)
There’s a duality in a lot of the shit that we millenials are. I say “that” rather than “who” because, in the circles we run in, so much focus is on the action rather than the person. Five minutes into a conversation with my fellow urban professionals — you know, my brunch party goin’, #travelnoire hashtag usin’, go to the museum but still Juicy J lovin’, “what’s the last good book you read?” askin’ counterparts — and you’re gonna hear “So, what do you do?”
Well, here’s where the eyebrows raise for me. I tell people I make really awesome rap music. Almost uniformly, dudes dismissively go, “Hmm, that’s wassup,” before going to retrieve their next drink. Or, even better, the women go, “Soooo how do you actually make a living?” To that one, I always hesitate. I scrunch up my face and say “Ummmmmmmm, well, I’m an attorney.”
Then, I get the “Ohhhhhhhh, ok!” Now, I’m in. Now, I’m accepted. In seconds, I go from the “wannabe” to the “already is.” If you meet me, I probably look somewhere in between, to be honest. My style is a bit too formal for your “rap nigga” category but, I guess still too relaxed to look like somebody’s lawyer. Nevermind the fact that I actually am both. Who needs facts when we have pre-conceived notions to keep us warm at night though, right? But wait, here comes the confusion. “So, you’re a lawyer trying to be a rapper? How does that work? You rap about the courtroom, lol?” they ask.
No, you lame ass muhfucka. That’s literally the worst, most terrible thing you’ve thought of today and I know I just met you but, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt. Well, that’s what I want to say, at least. I keep my composure, though. After all, these people may be my future friends, fans, clients etc. Can’t be burning no bridges.
So, here’s the thing: Everybody has dreams, right? Mine happen to be creative in nature. Yours may or may not be but, that’s all good, too. When you’ve actually made a decision to pursue those dreams though, that’s when you realize how much of an island you’re really on. That’s when you realize that, before anyone believes in you, you have to think and do all on your own. That means you’re self-funding your start-up. You’re financing your app design. You’re buying your own cameras or, in my case, you’re pressing up your own CDs and planning your own performances…all of which costs money.
So, I tell my inquisitive but confused peers, “Being an attorney is my job.” I’m either gonna be an indie artist slangin’ these nuggets at the Chick Fil-A or, I can be fortunate enough to make a lil’ more money as a lawyer to invest back into these dreams. It’s that simple. When you’re a firm believer in doing whatever the fuck you want to do well, that’s what you do. At the end of the day, my dreams make me happy. I bet your dreams make you happy, too. Go do them, go live them, go be them. Here’s the honest truth: If you can’t roll that shit out on your own, you’re just gonna be waiting on someone else to make your dreams happen and that cannot fly, bro. It just can’t. That’s prison. And, despite all the craziness going on in this country right now, we is free people.