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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Then and Now

I had to take some time to think this one out; normally it's just mind vomit, but I thought I'd reflect on who I was when I started rapping vs who I am now.






The goofy nigga in the black jacket and glasses was me; back then my rap name was Rook Dev. The irony in the name was that I was HORRIBLE at chess...like, I don't even remember how certain pieces were supposed to move frfr. But I picked the name because I felt like the way a Rook moved was an honest reflection of how I moved in life; straightforward. The double meaning could reflect the bird known as a Rook. The humor in that is that Rooks can be mistaken for Crows; something reflective of my state of blackness...like the same, yet different.

I made MANY a misstep; for one, I half-assedly took it seriously...which isn't serious at all. And that is okay if you are casually rapping, but I legit thought something special was gonna happen...like I would make music, the sky would open, and God would magically save me from poverty...lmfao cuz.

Everything was so new to me, and socializing among local rappers was something I was really excited for...until it happened. I was carpet bombed with egoism, middle men, and lazy, finessing, conniving people with selfish agendas...and it kinda took the wind out of me. There were good people among them with positive words for me, but the negative took it's toll ultimately. Being a decent person wasn't enough to rise out of my circumstance; I was mocked frequently, people talked wild shit about me...dawg, it was terrible. I lost my ability to record after my last mix-tape for awhile...and it wasn't money, so much as it was about willpower, and my lack of such in the face of antagonism.

G.N.S. Prod. by The Seatbelts

Another thing that shut me down was my lack of desire to perform the music I created; it wasn't all horrible, but I never went hard regarding the next steps I was supposed to take; I performed at house parties, I did a random venue or two...but nothing clicked. I couldn't move tickets. I had to BUY my Goddamned performance spot...is that REALLY performing? I don't think so. Some people had words of encouragement, but deep down, I felt disheartened by my results and folded on myself. I basically made 3 mix-tapes from the time that I started, till the time I stopped ( Masters of the Universe, 82 Lincoln, Chocolate Soy Milk), with random songs in between. I pretty much deleted everything, and I regret that, but here's what's left of it.

Rook Dev Chocolate Soy Milk


My last tape was posted sometime in 2012. 5 years later, there are a number of circumstances that differ; my living environment, my relationship status, the situations I put myself in, the number of kids I have, my mental health, and ultimately, my disposition as a person. I think I am still polite and courteous, but there's something different. I would like to think of myself as more mature, but I dunno really. I know I don't smoke as much weed as I used to, hahah.

The content of my music sort of changed now that I look back; there is no doubt in my mind that living on North-side changed me, but I don't know for sure if that is for the better or not. What I can say is that my music is, as it was before, a reflection of who I am and how I'm living...I simply am a different man. I changed my rap name, as many do, to reflect my current self more accurately; I based it on what I do for a living, and that is draw construction documents (blueprints).

In the same vein of Action Bronson being a chef to support his family, I design buildings to support mine...residential, commercial, industrial. I wasn't a big time drug dealer; whenever I did what I did it was simply an act of desperation so my babies could have diapers and rent could be paid on time. I'm not an ultra violent person; I walk an extremely thin line as a person that lives in the projects and gets up and works among design professionals who create for a living. I've held company with a myriad of people. I don't rap about shit I don't got, unless I'm referring to things I would like to have in the future. I don't catch bodies in my bars, that shit feels wrong...some things need not even to be conjured up. I'm regular as hell, just recollecting events in my life. I hope people understand that, and enjoy my music.

I start recording next Thursday...it'll be interesting listening to to Dev Structures and comparing it to Rook Dev.




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