26 June 2017

Penny Newsletter - #02: The Power of Vibes

Now that I finally got the first newsletter out, I have to turn right around and make some more magic. There's nothing I like more than a deadline that I can procrastinate against.

Song of the Moment this week is “Happy” by Ashanti (I’ll even throw the remix in there too). After a great Father’s Day on Sunday and the fact that it’s officially summer, this is the feeling and the song that comes to mind. It doesn’t hurt that it samples another summer groove, the Gap Band’s “Outstanding”.

So I’ve went back and forth about what to talk about today, especially after last week’s NBA Finals think piece. I was going to post something I found about Fear The Walking Dead but I realized it was more of a hot take, especially after the last episode. So I thought about talking about hot take culture and how it dominates almost every narrative when it comes to sports, music, entertainment, etc. Then it felt a little too meta to be writing a hot take on hot takes so to speak. I had another idea… but I forgot it (which reminds me, write your ideas down. I have the Google Keep app for this reason and I still don’t do it. EDIT: I remember. It was about my ego. I may come back to this point). I wasn’t going to talk about WWE or how good I thought the Money In The Bank PPV was… so here we are.

If you have seen one of the greatest TV shows of all-time, Scrubs (and if you haven’t… it’s on Comedy Central from 5 to 7 pm EST), you know one of the longest running gags was Dr. Perry Cox’s inability/refusal to give Dr. John Dorian (JD) any kind of praise or show him any kind of evidence that he cared about him. Now, before we go anything further, there has been generations upon generations of children raised by parents and grandparents that showed them no emotion. Daughters and sons have buried their primary caretakers without even so much hearing the words ‘I love you’ from them ever. So the fact that Dr. Cox didn’t want to give this gratification to JD was based on two things: Dr. Cox had an abusive childhood and Dr. Cox is a narcissist who loves being right and basking in other people’s misery. With that said, it was understandable that Perry wouldn’t change his ways for JD, despite the many times he had shown JD he cared without truly saying it. But John Dorian wanted to hear Perry say the words because John Dorian can’t leave well enough alone. Long story short, in the Scrubs series finale, JD uses an intern named Sunny to get Dr. Cox to say how he really feels about him while he was hiding nearby.

I come from a very affectionate family. As strong as I always thought my dad was, I never felt like he was distant emotionally. I’ve always been an emotional person and I’m sure that directly comes from my biological mother, who also was very emotional. For better or worse, I’ve always led with my emotions first and it made me seem irrational, angry, and maybe a little obsessive at times in my youth. I’ve since reeled it in a bit but I still get caught up in my feelings pretty regularly.

The good that has come of this is I tell people exactly how I feel about them… well the good things. There’s still times I should open my mouth to defend myself and I take the nice guy exit instead. But when it comes to you knowing how much you mean to me, I convey that well I believe. I always make sure to mind my manners and thank people for everything and if push comes to shove, I’m going to tell you I love you. I don’t care. I was always told that tomorrow isn’t promised so I’m not leaving anything to chance.

Over the years, it’s been working pretty well for me. I see the difference in the way people treat me; in who wants to be around me. I spent years holed up in my room growing up so it made sense that I went a little wild when I went to college. But even through my years of, let’s face it, me being a piece of shit, I came out the other side as a perfectly capable adult. Every day that I wake up to my wife and daughter and the opportunity to make the most out of another 24 hours is a blessing. I can’t help but take it there; it is what it is.

I got a text from E on Sunday for Father’s Day and it meant a lot to me so I replied back accordingly. Judging from his response, I think what I said to him meant a lot as well. I don’t think we get to that point without there being years of groundwork though. For the first 6 years of our friendship, we were friends, but we were using each other to accomplish other things as far as our respective musical outputs went. I even went so far to cut ties with him completely musically when I lost my mind in 2011 (I still need to write about the #28YearsLater era).

In 2012, I reached out to E for the first time to not just accomplish my goal of getting his valuable input on the new music I was making but really because I needed a friend. The things we learned about each other in the time we spent doing anything else but our own music was invaluable. We became best friends; brothers, whereas before we were more like acquaintances. The relationship I have with him is something that’s become a big part of my life.

I’ve become a firm believer in positive energy. But even recently, I haven’t been practicing it. As some of you may know, I host THE WORLD’S GREATEST PODCAST, Hyphen Nation. In a similar situation that birthed The Mind’s Mixtape volume Three, someone else’s podcasts were getting attention from a friend of mine… and I didn’t like it (this comes back to the ego idea I had earlier). So I DM-ed him on Twitter and called him out for ignoring me. For starters, he didn’t lose his cool since I came at him out of nowhere over a tweet. He simply explained that he didn’t know I had a podcast. This just goes to show me that I’m not promoting enough, just like I’m not recording enough episodes in recent months. So I apologized, he still subscribed to the podcast, and he was cool with me being a jerk.

But I’ve still been in my feelings about this other podcast because it’s getting social media attention and I’m not. It took me a minute but I finally got my emotions under control. I need to put in work, just like I did when I was frustrated as an average rapper. Because of the hard work I put in, I became a slightly above average rapper. And I’m way more confident in my podcasting skills, so you can only imagine how I rank myself there.

Positive vibes beget positive vibes. You would think I would’ve taken that away from Jamaica along with a pregnant wife. I’m going to rededicate myself to positive vibes and putting positive vibes into my created content and into the world. Just like I’ve seen my relationships with people change, in due time, I’ll see more people respond to my content in a positive way. And the positivity can only grow from there.

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