One Day...For Now My Letter
Dear J. Cole,
I know I'm only the millionth person to say "I know a million people have told you this before, but this letter is different", which, as painful as it is for me to say, makes my letter so very insignificant in your eyes. I'm a 16 year old Puerto Rican aspiring rapper, who lives in Miami, FL that has material, but no flow or ability to fit it into an instrumental. When you were 12, you already knew the fundamentals of rap if not more and at 15 you had already created, in my perspective, a work of art known as "The Storm" along with notebooks full of raps. At 16 I still haven't even finished a song they all go incomplete, because I either stop and move on to another one, or get frustrated because the song never sounds like me. It's why I admire because you have a way to put such powerful and meaningful words in such a pattern that it sounds good on whatever beat you create to go along with it. I wish I had that same gift because I have such a love for this game and feel that I can provide the world with wisdom. Obviously the wisdom does not come from experience of life's horrible trials and kicking me while 'm on the floor, the worst experiences of my life came from the first thirteen years, which included my father's abuse towards my mother and I, thankfully sparing my only and little brother; my so called friends bullying; and through all of those compiling inside me, my attempted suicide in 5th grade in the middle of class, I just stood out of my chair and choked myself with my bare hands, I was so foolish. Anyways the lowest point in my living conditions was living in 1 room 1 bath apartment forcing my mother, brother and I to share the same bed, but now my mom is currently in the process of purchasing her own house. I should and do consider myself blessed, thankful I didn’t have it any worse than it could have been. I've always been a loner, but that's because I choose to be. I only have a small group close friends, "The Crew", but that's it, I usually spend my time looking at the world from the outside, and living, but just drifting along in the inside. While most of my generation is on the go, I like to sit back and take in life and appreciate its simple aspects. My observations have made me disappointed in humanity and the direction it is headed in. At 3 years old I listened to my first rap song on MTV, it was "My Name Is" by Eminem, since then I was hooked. Rap became my shelter from the pain I faced, a way to escape to a place where people shared something in common with me, pain and deep aspects of life. I did have a period of time where I listened to the mainstream, until it became saddening to see how unrelatable rap had become, so I just remained listening to the Legends of Underground and Old School. As I started elementary I found a new and cool thing about myself, I had a knack for storytelling, which later turned into writing. I used to win Writer of the Month almost every month; the medal I brought home was the only thing I could be proud of at the time. When writing requirements became more advanced, my writing skills followed, they became more abstract and free written. I was able to my thoughts and emotions on paper, give my writing more of a purpose to add with the creativeness and imagination. People have always told me that I have a future with writing some way, somehow. I've used writing to get myself called down to my counselor's office. Before she could give me her concerns about why the material was so depressing, she was giving me appraisal for my ability to express my thoughts so well in writing. My on class journals I read aloud made girls and teachers cry and guys tell me "Damn, your s***'s deep...” I even use them to flirt with hoes, writing down "my feelings" for them, although I've never had good luck with the ladies because of my lack of self-confidence, indifference of the world, and not being able to find a fine hoe that was real too. I soon started to see a correlation, when I'd write, I'd also listened to rap, leading to the conclusion I do both for the same reasons. Then I listened to you. I'm not going to lie I slept on you, until Friday Night Lights dropped. The first thing I heard form you was your Tim Westwood freestyle. I told the boy who showed me that video, "That nigga's tight”, in my voice you could hear my criticism, I was comparing you to the greats, obviously not giving the rightly deserved gratitude, because you are one of the greats. Following up with that freestyle though, I listened to The Warm Up, and I was truly blown away, each track was so real, so poetic, filled with wisdom. I went in as one kid and came out of it as another, your views of life so clearly and artfully expressed in those songs. Dead Presidents II, Dollar and a Dream II, Grown Simba, 'Til Infinity, World is Empty, Can I Live, Knock Knock, Last Call and the rest of the track listing, was purely phenomenal. At the same time, a surge of YouTube rappers were coming along, all candy ass rappers, talking about what it’s like to be a kid, kid this and kid that, all following in the footsteps of a failed project known as Mac Miller. This in small part, and being touched by your music, inspired me to rap. I wanted to be part of the movement you had created for rap, I wanted to be the nigga that stood out from everyone else, accomplish what others couldn't, as you have been credited for doing. But I didn’t want to be like you either, you feel me; I strived on creating my own character, my own persona, just with the same general goals in mind. Then I fell out due to my regression back to my dysthymia (a minor, but more chronic form of depression). Just recently I've picked back up, along with my aspirations to do something with my life and to give back to my mother, my best friend and the biggest supporter in my life.
But I've realized that even though I use multi's, have a span of vocabulary, and a decent use of punch lines, my raps have no structure or flow. When I try and read my raps aloud, each line sounds like I'm either racing to keep up or trying to slow down. It sounds forced and not like me. So for the past week I've been staying up until 4:30 in the morning, reading a plethora of rap blogs and trying to study raps I listen to in a new way. I'm in the process of learning how to count bars, and how to fit the right amount of syllables in each, and basically just develop a flow. I only get an hour of sleep, go to school and start the whole process again. It’s sad to say I haven't progressed, my friends have told me if I can't find a flow maybe I'm just not cut out to be a rapper, but that's pushed me even more to keep finding it, there has to be a way, a light at the end of the tunnel, I just can't see it right now. So instead today I took the time to write you this letter to see maybe if I told you all my problems it would hit me, but it hasn't. But I can't give up; I just can't, because in the near future, you and I are going to be having conversations about me signing a deal with you. If I sparked a sarcastic chuckle out of you, I just want to say I know how forward I sound right now, but it’s the only way I can see it, the only way I can keep pushing for success, it’s the only time I've ever done it in my life, it’s the one thing I haven’t pushed away, just because it’s too hard, so again I tell you WE WILL be talking soon. You'll remember this letter I sent you, when we speak, whether it is over the phone, in your studio, office etc. and I will rise above all the other rappers who you're probably already considering to sign as I write you this now. I will be that investment that was worth every penny of it. You're going to sign me and I'm leaving it at that, the word is bond; I have to give every part of me to keep it. If you've made it this far in the letter I thank you for taking the time and reading this and do not expect, but would hope to receive a reply regarding anything of what you read from here.