The Not-So-Dope Shit
On this date, twenty-five years ago, I released my first "rap tape" curiously titled Aegri Somnia: A Sick Man's Dreams, and in hindsight; I should have just stopped there and found a new hobby. As I write this piece, I'm playing the cassette in the background and I'm torn between cringing to death and laughing my ass off because it's so incredibly and undeniably terrible. I don't recall how many copies of this I made and passed out, but holy shit; this is the kind of thing that I should've never let anybody hear. I was fourteen at the time, and prior to this I was recording my own talk show/comedy tapes which usually consisted of me doing various voices and playing sound effects. I had a dual cassette boombox with a built in mic, and that along with a kiddie record player and a Casio MT-500 keyboard completed my very first studio installation. Although I was well into hip-hop at the time, I never fancied myself as a rapper or an emcee, let alone a DJ or a producer. If anything, and I say this very delicately, it wasn't until I started listening to the Dr. Demento Show in 1988 that I took any interest in writing rhymes and rapping, however I had no rhythm, no delivery, no sense of timing, and no concept of production outside of pressing a record button. For as terrible as this first project was, it was what set me off on this musical journey that I still travel today.
I have to wonder how different my life would be if I never made this tape or the two or three dozen that followed. Where would I be right now? Would I still possess this burning passion for sound? Would there even be an Aloha Miscreant? Regardless of all of the possible scenarios, I'm so incredibly grateful that I immersed my life in music and stayed home on Friday and Saturday nights writing wack-ass rhymes and looking for sounds to sample.
Here's to another twenty-five years of drums, synthesizers, obnoxious rhymes, scratches, guitar riffs, jam sessions, blown amps, records, turntables, cassettes, beatboxes, and everything else that makes my heart go boom!