“In a game full of liars it turns out that I’m the truth. Some say that rap’s alive. It turns out that I’m the proof.”– J Cole
I never wanted to mix journalism with music — and then it happened.
I’ve played around with rap around the same time I was developing my journalism career. I even kept the same name I had in high school — Microwave. As the years went by however, what I had created as a writer was much more important to me than music, and working mostly with prep players, I had to keep music to the wayside. I didn’t have the cleanest lyrics and while I was going to change eventually, my focus was more on becoming the best journalist I could be.
Well, I had a burner account (before Kevin Durant made it deplorable) and I tweeted something along the lines of “my friends want me to continue making music, but I’m not sure. But I’ve still got bars though.” At least, I thought I tweeted on my burner account — it was on the professional one and a member of Kinston’s basketball team replied and said “I want to hear something at the next home game.” I knew I couldn’t play it off, but I did say “I’ll be at your road game against Greene Central tomorrow. If y’all win, I’ll freestyle in the locker room.”
The date was Feb. 5, 2016.
Kinston trailed late in the game, but closed the deficit to three before freshman Damian Dunn hit a 3-pointer from 25 feet to tie it. Then in overtime, the Vikings trailed by four before Anthony Berry Jr. and Dominic Williams stepped up with a 7-0 run. After Dunn’s charge essentially sealed the game, I tried to do my interviews with hopes the player forgot.
Jeremiah “Papa” Fields didn’t forget.
It wasn’t a great freestyle in my mind and I was watching my language throughout. Yet, the team went crazy because nobody saw it coming. Honestly, I thought that was going to be the end of the story until the next day — I was leaving a game when several players from another school asked me when I was going to rap at their next one. Apparently, there were videos posted via Snapchat and Twitter, ones I finally saw years later and died laughing.
Sometimes, you can’t hide from your past. I try not to do it on a regular basis, but on occasion I’ll have fun. I’ve put out some recent projects on streaming sites and even dropped a music video earlier this month. I’ll leave links because eventually it’ll get found.
For now, I’m just that journalist who can string some words together rhythmically. I’m cool with that.