“Where Did You Go?” The Force Pushing Rob G Forward
I recall the years I spent in hospitals, treatment after treatment; watching my daughter slip from my fingers. The feeling of helplessness was overwhelming me and all I could do was pray that God wasn’t yet ready to take my angel from me. When Rob and I talked about the loss of his wife, I imagined what I would have done if my own child had not won her battle against cancer. It isn’t just losing someone you love, it’s the process of watching your loved one fight with every breath to stay with you. Then, to witness them ultimately losing that fight, is accompanied by an emptiness that can consume even the strongest of us.
We spent a week on the road, show after show; club after club. We drank and laughed as I watched an atmosphere form around us; until even those across the room could feel our energy. I remember watching Rob as he greeted people, snapped pictures and offered a welcoming smile to all who approached him. By the end of even the first day, I no longer saw him as a singer, celebrity, or even a public figure. He was Rob, a man coping with the loss of his wife. A man that felt the same helpless feeling I had but whose prayers weren’t answered. More importantly, he was my friend and a man who wanted anybody around him to simply have a good time.
The struggles that we talked about were very similar to the story of many of my friends who have made it in the music industry; working a block, doing whatever it took to survive, legal or illegal. The grind to be on top is a hell of a process that many cannot or will not be able to complete. There are those among us however who refuse to quit no matter what obstacles are thrown in front of us. “Reppin My Block,” is Rob’s grind story. Through his music, he has told a story of hardship; his story. As I listen to the radio, I hear my friend; singing his life into my speakers. The pain he feels was not evident before, but now…I hear it in his voice, his lyrics.
Friday night, we went to a popular Houston club and sat in VIP with Pitbull and David Rush. As we worked our way towards VIP, the bouncers got bigger and the crowd grew more hostile. Everybody was gathered around to see the stars, snap pictures and hopefully, receive a handshake. I got lost in the crowd and gave up trying to fight my way into the corner where the others had posted up. Two giants stood in front of me, guarding the area where the others were partying. Then, I see Rob peer around the security guards searching for me. As I climbed around, I felt a great welcoming feeling which only grew as he introduced me to everyone as his homeboy. Once I was stationary, he left to work the room. I watched him laugh and smile and snap pictures with anyone who asked him. No matter who they were, he offered them the same attentive smile, many times thanking them for their support. He is a man’s man who remembers exactly where he came from and enjoys every second of where he is going.
As Rob and I sat and talked about the future, he shared his passion for the music industry and his goal to become an international artist. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of new material he has worked on. As I listened to the tracks, I noticed a diversity not yet discovered. Each song attacked a different market and I imagined the many radio stations that could easily feature these hits. His goal to acquire the business sense needed to become an icon is undeterred and, through it all, I only see one regret. That is that his wife will not be by his side as all of his prayers are answered. My advice for my friend is simple: never give up on your dreams and keep pushing. Even though your wife is not here physically, I doubt she isn’t watching you with a smile on her face and an unrelenting feeling of pride in what you have become.
“Where Did You Go?” The Force Pushing Rob G Forward
Although corporate America is taking small towns by storm with their SuperWalmarts, Targets, Walgreens and so on, there are a few locally owned businesses in some rural areas refusing to lay down without a fight. I, personally, live in Killeen and other than the obvious; Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Home Depot, Staples, most thriving businesses are owned by people who have lived here for years and are simply trying to “make a buck.” The problem however, goes back to a 1980’s tv show jingle, Cheers. “Everybody knows your name.” Well……not only does everybody know your name but everybody knows your business. Small towns are notorious for third-party conversations, talking behind people’s backs and generally excellent at spreading rumors. It sort of reminds me of that game we played as children, “telephone.” Robert slept with Christina’s best friend Rachel, while Christina and Robert were dating turns into…..Robert got Rachel pregnant, gave her herpes, ran off with the kids, babies weren’t his to begin with and now Joey is sleeping with Christina who has herpes from Robert, then passed it to Terry who beat her up, she called the cops and now is spending 18 months in jail for meth possession. What the Fuck????? It seems to be almost safer not to speak a single word to anyone, lock yourself in your house and rent DirectTV movies until you’ve seen them all, buy a bottle of wine; slam it and pass out in a pool of your own vomit. The one thing I’ve noticed about small towns, i.e. Killeen, is nobody really seems to give a shit about anyone. Friends????? They can be counted on one hand. And when I mean friends, I mean true friends.. Ones that have never spoken an ill word behind your back, not fucked your boyfriend, husband, girlfriend or wife, been there when you had a flat and were stranded on the side of the road, or even $20 to turn your water back on. I remember my wife posting a comment recently on Facebook saying she was sad and hurt. This post had nothing to do with us but it wasnt 20 minutes before a guy I considered a “supposed friend” for years was calling her phone, not mine, asking what was wrong with the two of us. Now either I’m a complete paranoid schizophrenic, or he was hoping there was some kind of opening where he could sliver his way in and at the very least, spend one night with my wife. Everybody in this town knows she’s my wife and everybody in this town drools over her just the same. She is, without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous women on the planet and I don’t fault him for trying but I do fault him for hugging me the next time he saw me. I remember my cousin and I joking about my wife, well before we were married, or even when her and I weren’t together. He said, “Bro, I LOVE you, but I would LOVE to fuck her even more.” I didn’t like it but respected his honesty. For those of you who have lived the Killeen scene long enough, you know exactly what I’m talking about and you also know why we can’t get anyone from the outside, celebrity or musicians, if you will, to come here. Nobody will help their “friends” promote, unless they personally benefit; not to mention, the word is out. Killeen is not worth a fuck. My wife and I, mutually, have decided to alienate ourselves from the fake club managers and dj’s and bartenders and door girls and strippers and bartenders and bouncers and friends of owners and managers, girlfriends of owners and managers, boyfriends of strippers, husbands of strippers, girlfriends of strippers, male strippers, Hooters altogether and so on and so forth. Hell, my best friend might as well be the Orkin man who kills my bugs every other month. Killeen could fall off the Earth tomorrow and I can guarantee very few would be “sincerely” missed. It’s nothing more than a melting pot for lowlife trash who have absolutely nothing going for themselves but can’t leave, for whatever the reason may be. Do you know the ones who have made it from here???? The ones who have branched out, reached out, traveled, and went and got their reputation and following; because if you try to start a business, develop a following, or even “fit in,” and Killeen is your “Target Area,” I have a better idea. Come to my house with all your investment money. We will call the fire department, request a controlled burn, and put it all in my dumpster and sing “Kum-Ba-Yah. Oh please let me apologize, just in case I spelled that wrong……don’t need to give anyone a reason to hate on me…….LOL
PEACE BITCHES, FAKERS AND HATERS
We met on a Friday, fell in love on a Saturday, held hands in a theater on a Sunday, ignored each other on a Monday. We broke up on a Tuesday, I broke her heart on a Wednesday, and realized I couldn’t live without her on a Thursday. Friday just passed, can’t we fall back in love… now that it’s Saturday again?
Far too often, we repress our feelings, in order to save ourselves the hurt involved in losing a love. The problem is, such regression can blind you to what is in fact staring you in the face. How can you survive, if you don’t fall, how can you live, if you won’t risk, how do you love, if you refuse to feel. Many times, as humans and more importantly, as men, we hide our true feelings which can create a domino effect entirely opposite from our planned agenda. We want to appear tough, larger than life, and always in control. Let me ask a question though, how did man discover he could sky-dive and survive…… Someone had to fall and pray the parachute worked. It all boils down to one scientific yet practical theory: trial and error. The error is part of life…the error is what helps us succeed…the error is a NECESSITY. We spend too much of our lives protecting our feelings and not enough time expressing them.. If you love her, you need to tell her, show her, feel her, adore her, admire her, and trust her. In other words…….. JUMP
Last weekend, I spent Thursday through Sunday, with my boy Paul Wall. The weekend started at Big Hev’s house where we ate an absolute feast. There was crab legs, lasagna, steaks, shrimp, and sides that ran from corner to corner of the kitchen. I walked downstairs in the split level house and seen Paul posted up on the couch. In usual fashion, he stood up to address me while shaking my hand. As we sat scattered around the house, consuming our meals, Paul engaged in small talk with the other guests. There was no sign of any celerity, just guests of Heavy’s; hungry guests. After we ate, we all got ready for Paul’s show at Club Sodo in Colorado Springs.
When everyone was ready, I had asked Paul to sign a couple of shirts; one for a friend’s son and one for a female friend of mine. Even though I felt awkward asking my friend to do this, he didn’t hesitate at all. I was excited for the little boy who probably would cherish that autograph for a very long time.
We loaded up and headed to the small club to watch Paul perform. I need to take a minute and credit the club owner, John and the staff for making our entire group feel at home and comfortable. Even the fans were very responsive and friendly. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole atmosphere that Colorado Springs had to offer.
There is a presence that some artists bring to the stage that is seldom matched and Paul Wall definitely has that sort of charisma. His team knows exactly what they want to do and exactly what they want to accomplish as far as getting the crowd electrified.
After another stellar performance, we headed straight to Denver. Paul was going to be in the studio all day until soundcheck and another show. I spent the day relaxing and recovering at the hotel; until time came to hit the club. On our way, we stopped to grab Paul from the studio. We listened to the two songs he wrote and recorded and even though he happens to be one of my favorite artists, I was still rather impressed by the diversity he showed in the new material.
By now, I believe everyone in the car from sniffling and coughing, more than likely due to the change in climate and elevation that we seemed not to be used to. But, I saw no signs of quitting in anyone, especially Paul who exited the vehicle with his usual flare. This club had a much different aura to it, but we were ushered through the tight crowd and were led to the stage. The crowd was intense and Paul Wall was equal to the task of matching their intensity. Once again, he lit up the audience, sick or not and even extended his performance due to the response we were getting.
By the morning, Paul was on a plane and I was exhausted. Hev and I headed back to Colorado Springs for a day of rest and relaxation. I am not the type to be star struck, especially because I am used to being around great performers; yet I still always need a moment to consume all that happens in a performance weekend.
At the end of the day, there is not a bad word anyone could honestly utter about Paul Wall as a performer, a man, or a friend. He has taken what this World has offered him and made the most of his talent, which started at a slow grind like most do. Wow, how lucky I am.