How Could I Hate Kobe!?

The passing of Kobe Bryant has sent my mind on quite a ride. As a teenager, I didn’t like Kobe. It was little to do with actual sports and everything to do with who I thought he was. I had the mentality of “Who is dude?” “He has yet to do anything great but he demanding to play for the Lakers!?” “And they about to honor that!?!?! HELL NAW!!!”

I would spend the rest of my teen years and early 20’s loathing Kobe Bryant. I was anything but a fan. I made jokes and was ready to slander at any given chance just because. I sit here a grown man and realizing how foolish I was to do that. Not because he is no longer with us, but because I have grown much like he had. My life experiences changed me and my approach to life has changed. Wildly enough, I can pinpoint the time when I turned the corner on my disdain for Kobe.

It started with Steve Nash winning back to back MVP’s. I liked Nash, but it was no doubt in my mind that Kobe was better than him. I had no clue how the NBA saw otherwise especially when I wasn’t anything near a fan or supporter of Kobe. Steve Nash won the MVP in 2005-2006. The season I recognize as “The greatest offensive season I’ve ever seen from one player”. That season, we watched Kobe frequently score 40 and 50 point games. Sometimes scoring 60 or more within 3 quarters. It’s also the season he scored 81. And the reason why it was the greatest to me? Because a lot of those teams the Lakers blew off the court. Kobe was all time great at both ends of the floor and basketball looked unfair when he played that year and the year after. It was truly amazing and even with no love in my heart for him, I had to respect him.

Time passes and I eventually turn 27-28. To be honest, I had no clue of what to do with my life and never really made plans. I had realized that I wandered aimlessly for a decade. I did things. I was good at a lot, but I had no real path to happiness or greatness. A switch flipped in me and I really wanted more. I wanted to be great. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be admired for my accomplishments. I knew I had greater purpose, but wasn’t really sure how to get there or what that purpose really was. It was during those times, I began to understand the level of greatness I and many people around me hated in real time.

Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Floyd Mayweather, Kobe Bryant. Some of the names synonymous with Greatness and Hate. I never hated Ali, I just thought you could argue he’s not the greatest. Being from Illinois, I should have been a bigger Jordan fan in real time. Tom Brady, I never hated, but then again, I didn’t begin to pay attention to him until 2006-2007. Floyd Mayweather, I still don’t “like” as a person, but I have a respect for his craft and dedication to it. Kobe rebuilt and solidified himself with the change from 8 to 24 and got my attention.

Kobe Bryant became a person I truly began to admire because he made me fall in love with having a winning mindset. The “Mamba Mentality” became inspiring to me, but I had to change and want more out of life to understand it. When I was 15 to 25, I had no knowledge of self or purpose. I had no clue who to be and why. I didn’t really have a “role model” I just saw certain things and people I would want to be. I had no real idea of what it meant to put in hard work to achieve something and marvel at the accomplishment. Looking back, it’s very easy to see why I didn’t recognize or appreciate certain levels of greatness. I had no idea what it was like to be great myself.

Now, I’m in my 30’s and I regret how I have wasted time. My lack of direction has given me anxiety about the future because I feel I could have accomplished more if I made real plans and real goals. I now relate to wanting to win bad and wanting to win often. I don’t like to hear excuses. I get extremely agitated when I hear can’t or won’t. It’s hard to respect those that don’t at least try to create solutions. If I had that in my mind at 15, who knows where I’d be. But even at 27-28, I was still strapped with plenty of time. Kobe did a lot of great and amazing things and unfortunately his life was cut extremely short. I don’t know him personally, but I doubt that he left this earth with any regrets. That’s something I want to have when I leave this life. Accomplishments and no regrets.

I want to work hard, play hard, accomplish all I can and leave it all on the floor with absolutely nothing on the table. I look at what people like Kobe and Nispey Hussle created in their short time here and feel in my soul I can do it too! I’m in between both their ages. I have the same 24 hours. I can focus, work, elevate and manifest the life that my mind holds. I just have to spend everyday trying to unlock it.

Kobe Bryant; Thank you. Thank you for being a symbol of consistent greatness and excellence. Thank you for showing me what it really takes to win. That you for helping me realize what a small mind is and how greatness is truly internal and is only criticized by the unfocused, misdirected and weak. That you for wanting your life to be polarizing, because it was the ultimate testament to anybody that truly wants to be great at anything. I hate the fact I am sharing these words in your demise, but I will always cite your legacy as a way I want to live.

Rest Easy Mamba.

Camp From The Port: Episode 004: Latchkey Stories Pt 2

We left off with Marcus finding out I was 23-24 in #ATL. We pick it up there as I share an untold personal story with a silver lining around that time. That leads us to talking independent #music moves and how I got almost everything I wanted as a #rapper without a deal.

We switch gears totalk Zeke, Jordan and Kobe and wonder if Greatness can pick talent. Then we switch gears again and talk #Capitalism and how it relates to the Jay/Roc Nation, Kaepernick and #NFL situation. It’s new content, different angle and alternative perspective, I promise.

It’s a lot to unpack on part 2 of the #CampFromThePort episode. #podcast #media

Woke Up Feeling Like The Best…As Usual

I had a lot of thoughts and revelations in the shower this morning. One of them is that June of 2019 will mark my 10th year of being a broadcaster. Within that 10 years, I worked for full time for a corporation for 6. I’ve spent the last 5 years creating and developing podcast. 2 of them I’ve been recording back to back since winter 2017.

I’ve been very fortunate to get high profile opportunities, sit down with record label representatives and create and recap some very cool moments for die hard fans and loyal listeners.

You can’t tell me I’m not a success in this industry. I’ve achieved some remarkable things and I continue to work like I haven’t done anything. That’s the real passion and love I have for Industry. I don’t want to stop working, creating trying and breaking new ground. I’m supposed to be here and I work to prove that no matter where I work and for who that I want to be here.

I’m living in the joy of independence now. I’m creating the type of content I want with no feedback or backlash. It’s comforting to my soul when I can create without limits. I truly feel good when the canvas is blank and I can do anything I want with it. That has restored everything that was in me and things I didn’t know I had inside of me.

I feel like I’m the absolutely best in the world at what I do. People don’t like when you say that though. When you think you’re great, people confuse it with arrogance. When you’re self assured, they call you cocky and don’t believe you have humility. That’s why you got to keep working and not worry about what “they” say.

We can live life listening to those that want us to feel and be average or mediocre because they are ok with it. Those are the ones that feel threatened because they don’t try to get better and they feel they’ve already made it as far as they can go. So they try to throw that mindset on the people that want more than they ever imagine.

I’ve decided to be me at the highest level. I’m not dimming my light or holding back anymore. I was meant to be great. Greatness doesn’t hide nor can it be contained. I strive to be the best, so I should say it. It’s not to put others down, it’s to lift myself up. So when I say I’m on the best hip-hop podcast in the world it’s cause I truly believe it. Just like when I say I believe I’m the best interviewer in my market. I put in the work to talk the talk. I’m thankful for every opportunity and I work even harder to earn the next one.

If I don’t say it who will? I have to love, appreciate, support and push myself before anyone else will. I have to toot my own horn. Who’s know my theme music better than me? Some of the people that know me best and watched all my rises and falls, still don’t like and share 10% of the work I put in. I never worry about that. I just always remind myself that my greatest support comes from within and up above. And as long as I keep working, learning and earning, I can leave this earth satisfied that the job I did was well done.

Have a great morning and keep busting your ass to be the absolute best in the world at what you do!

I Want To Be Great For Vain Reasons

I want to share a personal flaw with you. I want to share with you this bad habit I have of calling out people that I feel suck or are inferior when it comes to their profession or craft. This isn’t me yelling at the TV during my favorite sporting event or even me critiquing rappers, which I also love doing. This is more personal. This is me looking at the broadcasting industry I choose to be in and the people in it and the work put in or lack there of.

Do I ┬áthink I am the best? Hell no! In fact, I would love to get more game, insight and have more people to call mentors as I build what I hope is a 20, 30 and beyond year career. I just get upset when I see people not taking full advantage or squandering an opportunity. Daily and hourly, I listen to media personalities. Some are super dope and really putting in work and making the most of their time. Others not so much. The not so much people are the ones that bother me. They are the ones who have gotten a great opportunity and feel the race to be great is over. At least it sounds like that to me. They don’t mind being mediocre, going through the motions or doing just enough. It irks my soul and somedays, I can’t let it go and say nothing about.

We live in a time where “popular is the new talent” and now a huge following will make people see a skill-set in you. To a degree, I’m not upset at that. What upsets me is when you get that opportunity and you don’t try to become at least “pretty damn good” at what you were given an opportunity to do. I was told within my first week of media school that it’s about “Who Knows You” and how that will be a huge part in your future opportunities. I’ve watched that happened. Sometimes I can salute it and say “great work!” Other times I’m like “it’s been X amount of years and you’re still not even pretty good at this; Why?”

My last gig, I wanted to be at bare minimum pretty damn good at everything. I learned my job, the basics of other people’s jobs and then wanted to try my hand at doing those positions or helping. Now, that definitely rubs people the wrong way. Hence why I call it a personal flaw. However, I just think that’s how it should be. We should want to be great and know all that we possibly can in our chosen industries. How will you stay in if you don’t know more than your current job?

One day, I’m going to have a social media following so huge that I will get handed a TV or Radio Show just because “I’m popping right now”. When that happens, I’m not going to mail it in. I’m going to practice even more. I’m going to gain more information, write, rehearse and repeat and consume myself with being great at the opportunity provided. I’m going to do that for my right to critique. It’s not even a competition thing for me. I want to be great, so I can say “Dude, you suck!” and the only thing that can be said in return is “Well, everybody can’t be you” or just an insult. I can deal with that. That means the work ethic, the skill and the talent is all there and I am maxing out on it. So when I make a statement of your lack of effort or quality, it really should be taken to heart. The best isn’t always number 1 in this media game, so I don’t feel the need to focus on that. But when it comes to men and women in this game making the most of their time and opportunity. That’s a completely different ball game. That ballgame should always be played to win. Cause now more than ever, there are no guarantees and a wasted opportunity will lead to less chances taken in the future. For years I’ve heard stories of how “so and so” did this and that left a bad taste in my mouth so now “I won’t waste time doing this again.” You’re right, it shouldn’t be that way, but it is. That’s why I hate to see others half ass great opportunities. Opportunities that I would never take lightly or slack on a day.

Yeah, I want to be great for vain reasons. I’ve come to accept that about myself. However, notice how I don’t ever hope or wish anyone fails or never gets a shot. Understand this is me saying that I just want people to try harder. I’m not a hater. I just like to listen, watch and associate myself with quality work. I don’t like this “Popular, Green Ribbon Era”. I’m not out here to earn completion points. I’m trying to be remembered as a legend in whatever I put my effort into. I just wish everybody else felt that way.