In 6 Days

In exactly 6 days my official last day working in a corporate radio structure will be 3 years old.

I remember every emotion I went through during that time. I was extremely hurt, angry, hateful and on edge. I felt disregarded, disrespected, unappreciated and felt as if I was suppose to believe I didn’t matter. Those kind of emotions send you on a whirlwind. One that is tough to recover from. All you have is revenge and payback on your mind. Your attitude is “fuck everybody that doesn’t fuck with me” and if it’s fake love, fuck you twice! I was there; Firmly in a hellfire and ready to scorch any being in my reach to their soul if they opposed me. Needless to say it was a bad time.

I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but in reality I had no plan. My exit strategy was accelerated and “help” was minimal or non existent. All the true planning I had was rooted in emotion. I was going to work, but the only actual plan I had was to be happy, feel better about myself and get in an environment where I was loved, respected and appreciated. I wanted to be all of those things so bad in an industry I felt I was born to be in. I was never trying to leave the game, just my environment. I never once thought that I wasn’t supposed to be in broadcasting. However, I did have no clue how I would remain in it with all the emotions flowing through me.

I wasn’t even sure if I should apply for media jobs based on what I had been through. I wasn’t convinced that “things would be different or better” changing companies or markets. I was extremely jaded on what would be the reality. I also looked at the people that “agreed with me” yet maintained position just fine. Again, I was jaded. It doesn’t matter how they function, it’s about me. How am I doing? What will I do to make things right for me? That’s what matters. Not how others words and actions don’t align correctly.

So many reality checks about this game and the people I met in it prepared me for life as I see it now. I understand that “family” talk is just business and many people will only help you as much as you can help them. That new understanding helps me never take certain things personal. One of the most valuable lessons learned was, Many people can’t really help you cause they can’t really help themselves. Some people are not where they want to be and have too much ego to help you get a step closer to where you want to go. That’s a couple valuable lessons of life and industry business for me.

My downtime back in my hometown gave me a chance to exhale and restart. I got back to working smart. Having no shame in starting from the real bottom and on the outside. Not being concerned if the likes, calls, texts and friendships got light or non existent. I wanted to be in the media and entertainment industry, not be everybody’s popular friend.

Fast Forward I work 2 jobs. One Entertainment industry related and making strides. I do 2 podcasts a week and developing a third. I’m writing my ass off, put out a book and the people that genuinely mess with me are still here. I WIN! I live for me and not the perception of what’s popping. Layla’s Daddy can’t be a lame in a quest for clout. Her Daddy works; And the work is the work!

I won’t lie and act like I didn’t try to go back to the place I once loathed. I thought a different market would be a good second chance for me. As the process broke down, it was clear that I would have ass to kiss, would need to “humble myself and be grateful” to be back, because I’m basically still a piece of shit human being to a few too many people that still hold power there. Another valuable lesson learned. My desire has changed so much that I know our paths will cross again. I’ll leave it at that.

In 6 days, it will have been 3 years since I started over. On that 6th day, I will be in my hometown around family, love and with great peace of mind. Everything I was searching for when I pulled up 3 years ago, in my hometown, in the middle of my family reunion, with no career, but plenty of faith.

ICB Reflection…10 Years Later [Abridged Version]

Image by Jorge Guillen from Pixabay

From My Facebook Page

June 8, 2009
Cam P is informing everyone that as of Now THE SILVER MIC will not be happening because North Beach closed today…sorry we just got the news today

That post above came at the worst possible time. It was part of a snowball effect of “bad” that I was hoping would lead to some good and soon. Let me start somewhat from the beginning.

North Beach was a night spot in Downers Grove. I had assembled a team that I thought really wanted to help me further my rap career through throwing theme parties. We had two successful shows, but by the 2nd show, it was clear a couple people didn’t mess with me and the decisions I was making. Add that to me not taking a dime out of the first party earnings and putting it all into the 2nd party and well, people showed their ass in ways that was very unbecoming. Things go from bad to worse as I get info about an underage drinking bust that happened that would temporarily close down the venue. What does that have to do with my ICB reflections? Well, I was planning on using my cut of the money to pay for school.

I was a fresh 28 years old and even though I pretty much hated school, I had just recently enrolled at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting’s Lombard Campus. Why? Because I hated retail! I was tired of my life as it was. Plus, music wasn’t really as fun as it used to be. By 2009, I felt many people bailed on me in many aspects. I was going to broadcasting school because, it was a new avenue and a new chance to make something out of myself doing something I felt was cool.

I kicked 2009 off flirting with the idea of getting my Masters. Long story short with my retail schedule and financial status, I had no idea how I was going to make that happen. That thought and a conversation would lead me to meeting with a guy named, Tim White. He would kick a bar to me that would truly change how I lived the next 10 years. “Cameron, if you really want to be in radio or television, I can get you there with less time and a lot less money spent with getting your Masters.” Say no more, I’m sold. I’m broke, but I’m sold!

I really entered ICB with a lot of hope. My original plan on Day 1 in class was to get all the info and knowledge I could and land myself a radio gig in Dallas, Texas. That truly was the plan. I learned Day 1 of class that Dallas is a “Top 10 Market” and that I truly may need to be great to get that look. That didn’t shake me, it motivated me. And from there, I was off to the races!

“It’s not what you know or who you know; It’s who knows you” – Rich Renik

Looking back personally, 2009 was a really depressing and life changing year. I was truly in search of something that would keep me in positive spirits and make me happier with life. What I found was the heaviest drinking year of my life, unhealthy weight gain, erratic anger, sex as a healing and coping mechanism and more debt from a new school. The silver lining of it all was I was enrolled in ICB and love me or hate me, I was killing it! I became a standout student to know of, in a very talented class of individuals. I really felt I was pushing my creativity to another level in another avenue and it made me a better person for it. It felt good to excel in another lane but in an entertainment connected industry. But much like other instances in 2009, when it felt good and I thought I did right, something would go left, even in school. My mouth and my passion for what I do and seizing opportunity almost got me kicked out of school. Some “lady” was trying to go out her way to “humble me in the radio game” because she didn’t like the fact I told her and anybody who had anything to do with me not being able to do N.L.E Radio with J.R. Bang on a very important day to Kill Themselves. If I remember right, she printed out the FB post and gave it to the director of the school, potentially going out of her way to “end my career before it starts”. The very cool thing about me is knowing how to make people feel a written word I’ve given. My apology was overwhelmingly strong and kept me in school, despite her wish to have me gone. From that day, it was clear that I would have to overdo this because even if I felt it came easy, some people were destined to make it hard.

I went from Broadcast Enemy number 1 to Best Broadcaster Male, with perfect attendance. I felt I was respected on a whole new level. I was deemed one of the students that would definitely “make it” out of our class. Which is the best class in ICB history, June Days 2009.

I would go on to finish ICB, have an internship and land a full time radio job with a classmates assist in 12 months. That’s still considered remarkable based on how hard it is to get an “in”.

Truly I was beyond blessed considering the state I was in physically, mentally and emotionally. Did a make a lot of mistakes? Yes. And I’d make them all again because they all put my survival mode to the test. Real life, I’d make a few more. That’s another post for another time. I didn’t tell y’all about things like the girl we thought got nabbed by the Craigslist Killer, the slanderous vmail from a dude that was dating my co worker from a job I held, 6 years prior. We didn’t discuss “The Purple Dress night” the 4am call, or the day my daughter was conceived and how one persons lie had me speaking and living false truth. SPOILER ALERT! That’s probably all going to make one of my next books. No way I can give you my full ICB experience and everything that surrounded it in one post. I do look forward to sharing with you soon though.

A lot can happen in a year and I didn’t realize how real that statement was until 2009. I’ll elaborate when the time is right.

And I’m Going To Make It Because?

Today, I took a moment to look at what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and it made me think, I don’t stand out. In 2018 there are literally thousands of people who call themselves broadcast journalist, content creators and “media” but yet only a handful are truly out here making it happen on a great scale. Half of the battle is cutting through. I finally sat and had a moment to reflect and I couldn’t think of the “special thing I have” that helps me stand out and cut through.

I’m sure my approach in questioning is somewhat unique. I would even venture to say my voice and personality contribute. What about my look though? What about the quality? Am I doing too much or not enough in those areas?

It was very important for me to get better in the actual interview/conversation process. I think that is being achieved right now. Next, it’s finding something that helps me cut through. I won’t force it, but I am thinking. Something can always be done under the act of self improvement. Not that the content is not good on it’s own, because I definitely believe it is. I just want what I do to be undeniable to everyone that views it.

Inspired By Quincy Jones

I waited for the hype to die down from all the “scandal” and “hoopla” from Quincy Jones’s Vulture interview and I must say I was thrilled to soak up some music game and history from one of the greatest producers of music ever. His words were riveting and it makes me wonder why so many people were hung up on Marlon Brando and his escapades.

Quincy Jones said something so profound in this interview that it made me reevaluate what I am doing with my life and passion.

I have never in my life made music for money or fame. Not even Thriller. No way. God walks out of the room when you’re thinking about money.

That is an incredible statement from a man who helped create the biggest selling album in music ever of any genre. It made me think about my writing, broadcasting and future. My passion has been greater than ever for media after leaving a paying job for media. I’ve enjoyed writing more for myself than I have for any other outlet. God is definitely in the room when I’m in my own wheelhouse and just enjoying myself. The things that feel right don’t have to come with a price. I’ve learned that over the last year and his words hit me so hard that it let me know, I’m definitely in the right frame of mind as I continue to create.

Moving forward I don’t know what to do besides create. Create for me and for the love of the craft. Would I like to be back deep into the media game? Yes! Will I work towards it? YES! However, the dollar amount attached to the opportunity won’t matter as much as I made it matter years ago. There is something to be said about being in this industry for “the check” or “the bag”. It’s truly a reason why we get so much fluff and crap in regards to content and people. I never wanted to be that. Quincy Jones made me realize, to be great, remembered and successful. I won’t have to be.

Thank you, Quincy Jones.

Knowing My Star

After a dream I had a few days ago, I’ve been in heavy thought of “my star” and what it really is, in a broad sense in the media and entertainment world. It really made me think “what are my gifts?” “who am I?” “what can I do?” and after a twitter conversation with comedienne Mo’nique, the answer finally hit home.

I won’t say the style of media that I do is rare or different. It’s just unfortunately the style of media and entertainment that the Black Delegation doesn’t really mess with it. I’m not here to “read” “go in” and be the “voice of the hood”. I speak with diction even with slang and pronounce phonetically. Now, that’s not saying that “Black folks only want ignorant news and media” but these are the people that are deemed the most “authentic” “real” and “speak for the culture”. It’s disappointing because I feel I’m all those things and a lot more, but for some reason, the needle hasn’t moved on what I’ve done. That’s why I took step back from BehindTheRhyme.com and focused more on my personal brand and talking more about things like pro wrestling, anxiety and my pursuit of greatness. I’ve always wanted to do me and by nature it has put me in a different lane. That’s how I know I stand out just because. It’s effortless and I like it.

As for me. I like to have knowledge, talk history and really connect with my audience and give them something that they retain for the day. I like to smile, use uncommon words and know out of the blue facts. I think I’m cute and I like to dress to impress if I can. It’s not a flashy or arrogant thing. It’s just the simple nuances that come with being me. I need to focus more on that aspect of me. I think that’s when the game changes and my audience becomes real and vocal about my talent and all that I can do.

One day, I’m going to get thrown in that Will Smith, Nick Cannon and Wayne Brady lane. Now, I personally have great respect and admire all these gentlemen. Will Smith is one of my “Men Mentors” so this isn’t bad to me. Although these men are successful, wealthy and have done a lot for their craft and their people, there have been pockets of time where they’ve gotten negative stigmas and labels amongst the Black delegation. I never understood that, but if being like these men and being in their lane is going to make my star bright and put my physical where my mental is, it is what it is. I’m going to double down on it and go get the life I desire. I can only be who I am and I understood a long time ago that some may not like that.

Finding your star is understanding what you want to do for life. Knowing your star is what makes it shine bright so the world can see it. I finally know my star and I’m not afraid to let it shine.

Praying Revelations

This weekend I took a moment to really look inside myself and see how empty I’ve been without living in my passion and purpose. I sat, prayed and just talked to God about what I’m doing and what I want to do. What I got was answers to questions that I didn’t really know I was asking.

Without giving away too much right now, I understand that one bad experience doesn’t mean everything will forever be bad. It doesn’t mean that every person and every entity will operate the same way. I can’t let the actions of a few be a representation of all. I didn’t dedicate time, energy and sacrifice so much just to leave with nothing or to be on the outside looking in.

So I’m going for it. It’s time to impact with my contribution. It’s time that I really prove that I belong because I am intangible in every way.

I don’t go to church. I don’t even consider myself a Christian or any religion for that matter. However, when I talk to God and I pray to God. He provides me with calm and answers. All I ever want is answers. This last talk helped me realize that I need to go deeper into living in my purpose. How I need to go forward, keep fighting and understand that it won’t come easy because I want to be great. I think and move with the soul of a rebel to blaze a trail for a revolution. Those are the people who not much is given to, but everything is earned and rightfully deserved. I want to fight the fight and earn. So I have to pick up my sword, spit the blood from my mouth and take full charge at what I know is mine. This is only round 2.

God, Thank You. I can do nothing without your guidance.