Late at night, when everyone is asleep, I go to the basement and rap.
I sit in front of the MacBook, pick an instrumental, and flow at the microphone.
I mumble a lot and hardly make sense. I rhyme a few words, but it’s mostly a guttural stream of vocal inflections. Kinda like a cavemen, but in the style of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
I sound totally stupid.
I listen back to what I record and shake my head, frustrated with the lack of vocabulary I’m able to summon.
I can’t seem to draw from anything.
I rhyme “face” with “mace” a lot.
When in doubt, I revert to rhymes that are imbedded in my subconscious, like:
“I get on the track with a master flow” and “take you to places that you don’t hardly ever go”.
It’s really bad. I sound like a dude who’s trying to sound like a dude who knows how to rap. And after 15-20 minutes, I’m sick of hearing my voice. My lack of creative confidence as an amateur wordsmith beats me down.
So, I try to write something.
Here’s an example:
What the hell is a green smile?
I seriously don’t know
Maybe, like, that smile you get when you’re really stoned?
It doesn’t make sense. The first half was about not smoking weed and the second half reads like I am smoking weed.
But, it doesn’t matter.
I start the instrumental track, look down at my lame ass lyrics, and attempt to flow them with the beat.
I sound like a grown ass man who’s trying to read a poem for the first time, except I’m singing the poem like a lullaby and none of the words are coherent.
No greater truth, no introspective expression; no real sense other than nonsense.
And, I’m nervous the entire time.
Why do I subject myself to this level of discomfort?
I don’t know…
But after I’m finished, I go for a jog and day dream about the future. And even though the future I dream of doesn’t include sold out rap shows, daytime radio freestyles, or music videos with all the “honeys”, it does include risk. And, I wanna be prepared.