Everyone has music that is personal to them and I like to connect the dots and tell stories behind the music

August 29, 2016
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Everyone has music that is personal to them and I like to connect the dots and tell stories behind the music

Everyone has music that is personal to them and I like to connect the dots and tell stories behind the music

“I went to college to major in marketing and communications, but couldn’t get the math down, so I majored in journalism. I interned at The Jackson Free Press and went to Ethiopia through Ole Miss to cover music for a magazine. I have always been a music and hip hop guy. That music is so sample-heavy that it introduced me to everything else. Who is Miles Davis? What is going on with James Brown? That unlocked a discovery of music that I want share. Everyone has music that is personal to them and I like to connect the dots and tell stories behind the music. That is my entryway into journalism. I do hip hip when I get the chance, but I don’t have much time to do it. Writing these stories puts me next to the people who are my idols, the people I have been inspired by. Young, black youth culture gets overlooked so often and there aren’t a lot of people who can articulate it in a way that mainstream media can understand, digest and deal with. It gets to be so much friction on both sides of the equation. It is frustrating for the people who are locked out and the people who feel marginalized from the inside and have a chip on their shoulder. To be an agent between the sides is a big responsibility. I feel these are the stories people want to tell and be told. I was in breaking news when I came to Mobile and got to tell the stories of people in communities that are hurting and who feel like they don’t have a voice in Mobile. I felt best-equipped to talk to the people in these neighborhoods so they wouldn’t fear the media and would understand where we are coming from and that we weren’t trying to take advantage of them. I am from Memphis and away from home, but they took me in, I was their nephew or son or cousin and they were rooting for me the way I was rooting for them. We helped each other. That gave me a lot of comfort. I have been here for ten months and just started covering entertainment. It won’t always be about hip hop, but I have been a bit of fish out of water. I didn’t grow up with nostalgia for Lynyrd Skynyrd or Led Zeppelin, but you would be surprised by the music a black kid growing up in the South hears and what seeped into our culture. It is a reflexive climate of music. Country and the blues being the same thing, they are just two different sides of the plantation. My family is about Stax and Hi records. There was a time when R&B, country, rock, soul and jazz, even a little gospel, were doing a lot of the same thing and making people dance. Our generation will carry on the music and our idea of what is relevant is important too. I want to be comfortable to play music again but it is a balancing act between playing with people and covering them. I am following Lawrence Specker. People have such reverence for him. He comes alive in his stories and I understand why people gush when they meet him. It took me six months to just to understand what is going on here. I want to get better at building a relationship between communities and reach Mobile in a way that I haven’t yet. I have to be open and meet people and bring them into the conversation. I want people to get to know me. Social media and the Internet are wide and vast and I want to present Mobile and Alabama to the world.”

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