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  • Blog

    Six Years Sober


    Last year, my fifth year sober, I didn’t get to write my yearly sobriety post on my sober date, May 15th. Oddly enough, it wasn’t deliberate at all–it was because I was extremely busy at the time.  My latest album, King No Crown, had just been released and I was getting ready to head out on the road for a ten-week tour across the United States with Supastition and DJ Rare Groove.  I remember telling myself to sit down and write it the week before, but it ended up being impossible to get enough time (and enough quiet) to sit down and write it.

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    Thrift Store Adventures: Winter Wardrobe


    My only errand that day was to pick up a pair of cheap sweatpants that I could rock during my workouts. I was sure I could find a pair for the cheap at the thrift store near my credit union.  It would be a simple mission: grab the sweats and get out quick.

    Well, it didn’t quite work out that way.

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    Consistency is Everything


    I have a couple of pieces of paper that hang on the basement wall where I do my morning workout.  On these pieces of paper I track information about my workouts.  The information goes back to the end of 2013 when I first decided to try to keep track of it and has the date of the workout and the number of reps I did on the bench press.

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    Five Beats That Influenced My Production


    One of the most common questions I get asked is what influenced my production style. It’s a great question, but one that is somewhat hard to answer because I have so many different influences.  There are many more than I can list in a post like this, but I will explain five of the songs that influenced me the most as a hip-hop producer.

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    Everybody Needs Time Off

    everybodyneedstimeoffThere’s a saying that goes, “choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” that I’ve always loved.  The saying really sums up what it feels like for those lucky enough to have careers that they love as opposed to the all too common situation of having a job that they hate.

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    We Finally Have A New Van


    Hello friends and family.  As many of you know, we suffered an automobile accident while on tour this summer that totaled my van.  Thanks to the contributions of many of you, we were able to get another one!  I’ve been quite about the process because the last 3 weeks of being home from the road has involved a lot of driving around the city, state, and neighboring states looking at 15-passenger vans.  I know it sounds like a drag, but I met a lot of cool people out there that I otherwise wouldn’t have met (I describe a lot of these adventures on the most recent  episode of me and DJ Rare Groove’s Super Duty Tough Work Podcast).

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    The Aftermath: Day Two

    Read Part One Here


    I woke up this morning with mixed feelings. I was energized by the fact that my fans wanted to see us finish the tour and chipped in to help buy a replacement van, but a little bit discouraged because I hadn’t been able to actually find an alternative van to buy here in Moline.  There was literally almost no 15-passenger vans available in this city, and those that were available were cargo vans or at least 100 miles out. Even more discouraging was the fact that I hadn’t been able to even find one to rent. Renting wasn’t my ideal solution, but I was ready to do it if I couldn’t find anything solid to buy.

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    The Aftermath: Day One


    We woke up at 5:30 am on the day following the accident, to make our way back to Clarence, Iowa where my van had been taken to try to get our things.  Clarence is a really small town about ten miles from the scene of the accident, but about 50 miles from where we were staying in Moline IL. Our goal was to get there by 7:30am when they said they would be getting in.

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    My Tour Van is Totaled and I Need Your Help


    Although almost every day on the King No Crown tour has been memorable for one reason or another, today is a day that I will probably never forget because it is the first time that I have ever gotten in an accident on tour and the time I came the closest to losing my life. I am still pretty shaken up by today’s events but I will explain.

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    El Paso, TX – King No Crown Tour Recap


    I’ve had a lot of success in El Paso in the past. In fact, prior to last night, I can’t say I’ve ever had really bad experience there, which is saying a lot considering I’ve been going there and headlining shows for the past ten years. My first time playing in El Paso was the week before my 1988 album was released in the spring of 2005. It was also the first time that we experimented with trying to play a week’s worth of shows in a single state that wasn’t Ohio. The show itself was great and we made a lot of contacts and friends that I still keep in touch with to this day. I actually really dig El Paso, especially the people there.

    But last night was one for the books.

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    Dunedin, FL – King No Crown Recap


    To be completely honest, I had never heard of Dunedin, FL until I was booked to play there last year.  Since 2011, I have been coming to Florida and putting in a lot of work here, and even though I had played a lot of markets down here, I don’t think I had ever mentioned the city’s name get mentioned.  It wasn’t until my guy Swamburger mentioned that his former roomate Jon had just moved back there that it started coming up in conversation.  I found out that Dunedin FL was just outside of Tampa, had a growing hip-hop scene, and might be worth a shot since my last Tampa show went really well.  I’m always down to try new markets out, so Count Bass D and I performed there for the first time in 2014 on the Respect the Architect tour.

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    Knoxville, TN – King No Crown Tour Recap


    If somebody was to ask me the difference between Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee I would probably say this: playing in Nashville is kind of like dating a pretty girl who knows she’s pretty and playing in Knoxville is like dating a pretty girl who doesn’t know she’s pretty.  Both girls are pretty, but there’s something really incredible about a beautiful woman that doesn’t carry herself like she just knows she’s the shit. Conversely, there’s something kind of annoying about a woman who’s pretty and carries herself like she’s the prettiest girl in the room wherever she goes. 

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    Raleigh NC – King No Crown Tour Recap


    I’ve always had a good vibe about Raleigh, NC.  Part of it has had to do with the fact that when Illogic and I played a show in Chapel Hill in the summer of 2013 in front of about 10 people (summer shows in college towns are usually a bad idea), the entire crowd had driven in from Raleigh.  Seriously, not a single person from our show was from the city we played in.  Another part of my love for Raleigh comes from the fact that, even though we had a pretty bad show that night, I met a few really awesome people from the Raleigh scene that I continue to keep in touch with.