WHAT'S GOOD ORCA?!?
HERE'S WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE ORCAMANE
On this road of being an artist, I’ve learned that validation is tricky. I’ve learned to take it with a grain of salt, I know it can blow your head up or put a chip on your shoulder. I’ve had significant moments of validation in my life that have helped me along this journey.
When I first got to the I.E. in the early 2000’s, I connected with a label called VooDoo Nation Records, they had a band on the label named Dogface Gods. I looked up to their professionalism as musicians. They were great performers & always held their composure on stage when things messed up. When they complimented me on my music & performance, their validation helped me build my confidence as a musician.
When I was recording my first studio album, Beautiful Darkness, I was getting features from different artist that I respect. During this time, Dirty Birdy was an emcee I looked up to from a far. I seen him in the Source Magazine under their Unsigned Hype section, he was a frequent guest on The Wake Up Show with Sway & Tech, his bars were raw, his flows were unique, he was dope world wide & he was considered one of the best in the I.E.; I wanted to be that too back in the day. Jynxx was engineering my album & knew Birdy personally, so me made that call for me. When Birdy came through to the studio, he was really nice & down to earth, he blessed me with a lot of gems & I realized we had a lot in common. We both are raw & aggressive on the mic & both are humble & kind human beings. He told me I was dope & has shown me a lot of love since then.
My first time attending Paid Dues was 2012. It was my first time experiencing a hip hop music festival like that. I knew that I wanted to perform on one of those stages by the time I left. The next year came around & I decided to campaign to get on the festival. They sent out an email asking people who they wanted to see at the festival; I took that as my opportunity. As I’m campaigning, I had some doubts. Am I worthy? Am I dope enough? Have I really been putting in work? Do I have a fan base? Once I got the call from Murs that I got the opening slot, that gave me the answer of YES to all those questions. But, with that validation came the tricky part. I thought that getting on Paid Dues would make it easier to get blog placements, show bookings, interviews ect. i was dead wrong! With more light came more critics & more doubters & that made me mean, I wasn’t my humble self anymore because I was trying to humble those people. I let them change me. Through this, I learned to take it all with a grain of salt but also appreciate everything.
When I dropped my second studio album, Granny Said, I was nervous. For me, it’s a hip hop project about healing, overcoming & triumph. The album is me all the way. My Granny is on the cover art & I get to give her, her flowers now. From Murs & HipHopDX listing it at #8 in their top 10 albums of 2018 & the responses i got from everyone, it made me feel like a made the correct choice of being myself.
When I dropped my second studio album, Granny Said, I wI’ve been building with Hit-Boy for a minute. Being an artist in the I.E. & seeing what he’s doing musically, is something that is rare out here & he still reps. For him to show me love on a recent track was very much appreciated. Then he played my project for Nas & that was a childhood dream, knowing that Nas has listened to my music & gave it a compliment, was something more than majestic!
Validation is great, it feels good but it’s just a moment. Don’t let it alter you or your focus. Appreciate it & keep working.