This past weekend I had the privilege of performing in front a room full of kids. Endless Vision creator, Bobby Johnson, orchestrated a fantastic show that ended with a lot of smiling faces. I was surprised by the turnout and I was surprised with the cooperation from the kids at the event. Walk with me as I take you on a journey from this past weekend that has helped me that the vision is undoubtedly endless.
A couple of months ago I ran into Bobby at the local park. I was out there playing catch with my son. I think Bobby was doing the same. We chatted a little about some past and present events we had going on. He then mentioned about an upcoming event he had going on in August and I immediately accepted his invitation to come and speak.
Prior to this event my son has only witnessed me performing onstage one time before. This happened at a wrestling event where I had performed my good friend, Eric Chapel’s, entrance song. The first thought in my mind was to bring my song along with me to this next event.
There’s also another young man who went with me. His mother and I had gotten close based off of being some real cool people. Her son kind of looks up to me so I figured I’d bring him along with me. I also think he’s very bright.
That Kid Got Bars
My squad and I arrive about 5 minutes after 2pm. I was expecting the event to start around 3p. When we walked into the Elks, I was greeted by my dude Bobby. After I soluted him I then looked up to see a packed house. There had to be at least 50-60 people inside at the time. Keep in mind, the Easton Elks Lodge isn’t a big venue. It’s actually almost tiny and still very effective.
My son wanted to play outside with his friends. The show wasn’t scheduled to start for another 45 minutes. While everyone was enjoying the free barbeque, My squad went outside to politic a bit. While out there I ran into a fellow artist, Inferno. I congratulated him on his recently battle rap win. I then introduced him to my son. After I told my son how good Inferno was at rapping, my son’s reply was “I know how to rap too.” This was the beginning of an amazing spectacle.
Not only did my son blow everyone away with his rap skills, he just kept going and going and going. It was like he was possessed by the rap Gods. Keep in mind that he is only 7 1/2 years old. You would’ve thought he was auditioning for a battle against Murda Mook.
I Have an Idea
For the past two years my son and I have been practicing our rap flows. We mostly did so while in the car. I knew he was an entertainer at heart but I didn’t think he was ready until this moment. He was practically daring anyone to step to him so that he could show off his rhymes. This display showed me that he was free of fear. He didn’t care what anyone thought because of his belief in himself. This was the true definition of confidence.
After his performance outside, we all went inside to get ready for the show to start. I expressed to him how proud of him I was. As quick as I could invite him up on stage with me was as quick as he said yes. In other words, he didn’t hesitate to accept my offer. He was so excited he told his friends and they quickly became my new friends. At first I was only planning to do a brief poem and following up with some encouraging words. No way I had a great idea that would not only give a good show, but also display a greatness message.
It’s Show Time
Around 3p, Bobby makes his announcement to start the show. After giving a brief word about how far the movement had come, he introduced a stand up guy I’ve known most of my life, Dee Skinner.
Skinner had always been a very dedicated and driven individual. We’ve been on the same football and basketball teams. He always had the leadership type of role. Currently he is married with a household full of young men. Knowing this guy, he is definitely shaping up to be a great leader in his community and beyond.
Dee gave a very good message on how parents need to watch what they say to their children. I’ve seen plenty of times when parents consciously and subconsciously put their children down verbally. As Dee Skinner was saying, everything you say to your children has an effect on them whether it’s negative or positive.
I agree that we should always lead relationships with love, encouragement and truth. Any less would be totally uncivilized. This is why Dee’s words rang true to me. His speech meant a lot to me for the simple fact that I grew up around some people who treated me like I wasn’t enough. I was looking so much to be accepted that I stepped far outside of my character to seek approval. There is no doubt in my mind that the words and actions of the people close to you shape how you see yourself and others.
By the time Skinner was finished speaking, the crowd grew to about 70-80 people. This was great. Great for Bobby, great for Skinner, and great for the community.
Bobby introduced me onstage and I was absolutely ready! I brung my son and his cousin along with me as promised. First I did my thing. Crazy thing is, I was so comfortable in that atmosphere. Maybe because I was surrounded by kids. Not exactly sure but everything flowed like a river that day.
When I finished I only had a short word to say to everyone. Adding onto what Skinner was saying, I just made it clear of how important it is for us to take care of our children.
Now it was time for me to bring Lil Taj and his cousin onstage. At first he seemed kind of hesitant. After a few encouraging words, they were ready to flow. I began beat boxing like we did earlier and TJ let the rhymes go! I must’ve been beat boxing for 3 or 4 minutes before he started to slow down. The crowd was great and the event was solid!
After the show I felt so inspired. I was inspired by Bobby, Skinner and my son. It felt so great knowing all have similar things in common and we are all aiming to build strong families.
I use to hang out with Bobby in High School for the beginning of most days while waiting for the staff to unlock the doors. One thing I will always remember about him was how unique and thorough he was.
There was this one time we had an assembly. The speaker picked Bobby out of the crowd. He was teaching us how to conduct ourselves when we first meet someone. You know the classic handshake where you speak with authority? Every time I shake someone’s hand I am reminded of the example with Bobby and the speaker. His display was with so much authority, it’s influenced me to always communicate in such ways. BIG shout out to Endless Vision and it’s potential. I can only see things go up from here!