“If you’re on the north side and you feel like you’re being neglected,” he said, “give it to me, and I’ll play it. It’s that easy!”
Hip-hop, he told me, could be examined as if one might study society at-large under a microscope. “You can really look at the things that are both the most beautiful and the most ugly about our society, not just through hip-hop, but through how hip-hop is treated.”
It stirred the earlier epiphany of music’s life-changing, life-saving nature. “At any point in time,” I asked, “when and how did music save your life?”
“Oh, that’s easy!” he said. “Around pre-teen, age 9, I had a pretty great life. My parents got me cool stuff and I was doing well in life, but I just hit a point when I was really sad all the time. I’m still not sure what caused it, but it was around age 9. I didn’t want to be around anyone. I wanted to be alone and figure out my own emotions.
“That was the year I discovered hip hop,” he continued. “Whenever I had those moments when I couldn’t handle living, music was what I went to to make me feel like I was part of something. And that saved my life. Literally.”