The fondest memories I have of my childhood (6-12; since most of the things before that are a blur) were made in Cameroon. I remember gathering around the TV with my older cousins, neighbors, and whoever else was around to watch American movies, sports (mostly soccer), or music videos (mostly Michael Jackson’s). After whatever we were watching was over, one of us would always jokingly say: [[broken French to English translation [ACTIVATED]] “that was nice, but when are any us ever going to get there.”
Everybody would crack up; and in the back of their minds, probably believing that statement to be true. Hell, truthfully speaking, I know I did! It wasn’t necessarily that we weren’t ambitious or optimistic. It was merely the simple realities that we were faced with. Believe me when I tell you, I was like “Richie Rich” in comparison to the vast majority of my peers. So if I DID NOT believe that to be a possibility at the time, why would they?
I thought of that because, although we saw anything inside of that box-set as unattainable because of where we lived, we also saw it as such because we felt like you needed a reason to be there… A Talent! Sadly enough, now that these “pipe dreams” that we had as children are in my reach, I’m beginning to wonder if grabbing for them is even worth it!
After a conversation I had with Phella last weekend, I spent the whole week wondering what I’d write about in an ACTUALL blog. I feel like I speak so much through my art & poetry (you’ll understand why after you hear “Foreign Exchange”) that I don’t feel the need to say any more beyond that. Coming to think of it, when I’m being Karl (not Karl Anthony, or “The Karlster”) I’m just a naturally quite person. In fact, I often tend to feel stupid when I’m alone after I say too much around people. It’s like I said in “Smile”, “I tend to dumb down just to be more relatable”. If I may have a “Charlie Sheen moment”, I don’t think the average human can even begin to process my train of thought when I’m being my REAL SELF.
Now, after a week of blasphemy via youtube (i.e. the ignorant white girls joking about Japan amongst other things), and any other sort of media outlet in general, I find myself asking: What is the higher purpose? I mean, what does fame and fortune REALLY mean in today’s world? What do we consider entertainment?
Take somebody like Kim Kardashian for instance. She maybe one of the biggest names in the media; and although her spotlight was bright enough to make her family members shine, let’s not forget that her claim to fame is a sex tape… is that really all it takes nowadays? Because if you rewind time to just a couple of decades ago, you needed areason to be here. You either had to stand for something, or be EXCEPTIONALLY good at what you did to matter! Now I feel like you only have to get a "reality tv star" drunk, video tape it, and you’re set! And not to sound cliché, but the reason why I have not taken this route is simple: I don’t want to be famous.
I honestly, just want to let the world hear the story of the Cameroonian kid who came to America with his family, struggled to fit in, didn’t fit in, decided to stop trying, and shared his experiences with whoever would listen; in hopes that the next kid would learn from his mistakes and gain from his experience. Obviously, I'm sure those things (fame and fortune) will be inevitable after I’ve accomplished what I have planned. However, it’s not why I do it. I often tell people when asked, that if there was a way for the world to hear my music without them knowing me at all, then that’s the route I would take!
I remember not being able to stop grinning at Da Fam’s last photo shoot (Da Fam 2011). After I thought about it though, I realized it was the concept of “looking cool” to appeal to the public that I found amusing. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the experience, because I did. Like I do everything else that music has allowed me to be a part of so far. It’s just that I find that “look at me” concept to be very childish in a sense. So it brings that childish side out of me.
At times I find myself wondering if a Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali and the Marilyn Monroe’s of the world would have had twitter accounts, or even the facebook “like me” pages. The conclusion that I come to is negative. They didn’t need to chase the “cool”. They were already shinning so bright that the crowd had to take notice. (Hence Uncle Charlie being able to pull 2,000,000 twitter followers in a day. #WINNING!)
So “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”! That’s the approach that I’m taking towards everything for now on. I’m going to do my part by delivering my best effort everytime, and you’ll either love it, or hate it. I’d never want for anybody to feel obligated to listen to music. That’s supposed to be one of, if not the most therapeutic activity in the world!
I had more to say but I forgot, so there might be a “part 2” to this.