I recently attended an online marketing and branding conference and one of the suggestions they made is to not make relationships or connections with somebody if you cannot bring value to them. If that would be the case then a lot of up and comer in this industry would never have a voice. In the summer of 2006 I sent my first professionally recorded single called Hip-hop Redeemed to DJ Wade O from Wade O radio and at the time he was the biggest media figure in CHH. I was 17 at the time and still figuring out my sound, but Wade O was still patient and took the time to guide me and was honest that my flow was a bit choppy, but encouraged me to keep pressing. I brought absolutely nothing to that table except for eagerness and a willingness to learn yet Wade O built me up. Fast forward another year and I’m really trying to make waves with my music. I hear of a local guy named Bobby Bishop and found his phone number on a booking website (creepy I know) and called him up out of the blue. Again, I had nothing to offer Bobby, but he took an hour of his time to get to know me and invited me out to a local show that he was doing. Through Bobby, I met Lamar Callahan who allowed me to open a few shows for him and that's where I began getting my own confidence.
Now almost 15 years later I am still doing the same thing looking to build with mentors and leaders in the church and trying to grow as a good husband and man of God. I have nothing to offer these great men, but praise the Lord they have decided to build into me. In my mind, this is the Titus 2 Principle. We need Paul’s to help the Timothy’s both in the Christian life and in Musical life. This idea of a transactional relationship has a sort of shallowness to it that I am not comfortable with at all. If we’re just seeking to do “what is good for our brand” by weeding out younger folks or people who don’t bring much to the people we may be stifling something great. I’m no expert either as a rapper or Christian, but I do try to hear people out and build where I can. It is through these things that we strengthen the community.