Being out of your comfort zone can be very challenging, but if you believe in yourself and your abilities you will eventually prevail. Like Peter, one must get of the boat so that he may dare to take a chance and walk on water.
It was my Jr. Year of College at the University of Southern Mississippi and the school decided to put on its own version of the classic show, Show Time at the Apollo. Only a few people around me knew that I rapped But I wanted to find a way to let the entire campus know about my music and movement. So when the chance came to sign up for the schools talent show I took full advantage of the opportunity. After making the cut of the audition I was told a surprise celebrity will be present to host the show. When this leaked out into the student body, people began to talk and speculate about who would be coming. The gossip built a lot of anticipation which understandably attracted a large crowd for the show.
On the day of the audition I met the leader of a Hip Hop band called SMAASH THE BAND. They were like local celebrities in the city. After a brief exchange with the bands leader he told me if I wanted some music played for the show let him know. I actually decided to take him up on his offer and so we scheduled a rehearsal session. My plan was to spit a hot 16 for the crowed over a familiar beat that would make them lose their minds. I decided to have SMAASH THE BAND play “Niggas in Paris” which was the hottest track of that year from Jay-Z’s and Kanye’s classic album Watch The Throne. The rehearsal session went very well, this gave me a lot of confidence. As I heard the guitar and drums play live, I really got FIRED UP! I had only 4 days to prepare. Once I wrote my verse I said it over and over and over to myself to ensure I had no slip ups.
On the night of the show just as I expected the auditorium was completely filled from the balcony all the way to the floor. The secret celebrity host began to walk on the stage and I remember thinking to myself how beautiful she was as she glided in her red bottom heels across the stage. Her Jeans hugged her curves perfectly and she spoke with a Southern New Orleans Accent. The crowd was ecstatic to see Toya Wright, former Wife of Rap Star Lil Wayne. I was told that I would be going on third, suddenly it began to set in that this is really about to happen. I felt nervous, my heart began to pound, and I noticed my palms were sweating. I felt like Rabbit in 8 mile right before he choked in front of the large crowd. The first act approached the stage and as soon as she opened her mouth, her voice cracked! Maybe she was nervous, but what ever happened the crowd booed her and immediately she began to tear up, by that time, the sand man came along with other dancers and swept her OFF THE STAGE! THIS SHIT IS REAL I thought to myself.
The second act took the stage and he was a gospel rapper.
I thought to myself the audience would surely take it easy on him being that he was uplifting Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The beat dropped, and the music was DOPE but as soon as he started rapping the crowd yelled BOO BOOOOOOO BOO!! I even heard one student yell GET THE HELL OFF THE STAGE as a group of girls laughed. The sandman once again came out with his crew to clear the stage. Knowing that I was next I was on edge Toya called my name and I began to walk on the stage. I felt nervous and a little hot. ALL EYES WERE ON ME as if I were the ghost of Tupac. The leader of the band looked at me with an expression that said “Good luck”. Suddenly the instruments began to play and because it was a familiar beat the crowd instantly began to vibe. Once I opened my mouth lava began to pour, my confidence shot through the roof as I saw a group of bad, fly ass girls standing in cheers. It was like a domino effect because it seemed shortly after that the rest of the audience stood up and began to cheer. I had them in the palm of my hand, I FELT LIKE I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD. It felt better than money, sex or any other great feeling a man can experience. I was addicted.
After the show everyone began to immediately tell me of what a great job I did and how exciting it was to watch me perform. I even got a number from a lady I’ve been wanting to talk to. She told me how much she loved my performance and asked where can she find my music. Luckily I came prepared and gave her a cd. I passed out my music and it seemed like everyone wanted a copy of my latest project. That night will always go down as a success for me because I decided to step out of my comfort zone to reveal stretch my talent.
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