Thursday, November 18, 2010

I used to rap, and it wasn't all bad

When I was a teenager I spent a lot of time online.

Many of you know that I love writing. But what none of you know (except my wife) is that I used to.....well, I used to be an online rapper. Yes, you read that correctly. After you stop laughing, let me explain to you how that came about.

I was fascinated by the online world. I loved how anyone could express themselves and just put it out there for anyone to see. Back then, I wasn't really into blogs. However, I was really into poetry and also into hip hop. Hip hop, not to be confused "gangsta rap" or anything like that. I really liked intelligent lyrics that made you think. And if those lyrics had a catchy beat, then that was a plus.

So, after searching for a online communities of that kind, I found one. I began to write lyrics. Let me make clear that I never rapped, as in with my voice. I can't do that, but I did write a lot of lyrics. I also got into battles with other "rappers." I was so recognized in that community, that I became a "Living Legend." A Living Legend was a status assigned to the most popular and skilled rappers. Everyone thought I was older than I was. And I'm pretty sure everyone thought I was African-American. As a "Living Legend," I had a special password to a special forum that only other legends had access too. It was pretty fantastic.

So what was my rapper name? It was "Prince."
Okay, okay, you can laugh some more. Why was it Prince? First, let me make it clear that I had no idea there was someone who wore skin-tight clothes, and questionable apparel for a man, named Prince. I was raised in Cuba until I was 11, so I wasn't very familiar with American pop culture (my wife would say I still need catching up). I chose the name "Prince" because in my early teens I was a huge fan of the Fresh Prince of Belair. It was my favorite show growing up, although at the time I understood half the things being said.
Even with a rapper name like Prince, I still managed to earn "respect" in the online rapping world. So much so, that an actual underground record company mailed me a contract. Yes, if I had signed, I would have probably been known in the rapping world by now. I was a 16-year-old boy from Cuba with an offer to sign a record deal. The executives of the companies all knew me from the website and wanted to meet me in person. I was scared, so I turned the offer down and disappeared from the web. It was time to move on.
It was a "freestyle" web site. In the hip hop community that means improvisation. The actual Web site, which is not in service anymore, was
I don't seem to find any of my old rap battles. But thanks to some research, I did find some of my comments on other posts. This is how I wrote back then, just fitting in with the community.
"No doubt, the vocab and wordplay waz dope. If I'm not mistaken this is directed to hip hop, not only to hip hop but to words, to art." - Prince (1296 posts by then)
Who would have though, right?

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