Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More than just entertainment ...



I am a hype guy. A hype man in hip hop is a back-up rapper. The whole role of a hype guy is to back-up the main rapper.  He yells and runs around on the stage to help get the audienceexcited. 


Music writer Mickey Hess expands the term as follows: "a hype man is a figure who plays a central but supporting role within a group, making his own interventions, generally aimed at hyping up the crowd while also drawing attention to the words of the MC".


That so me. This is all about and my best friend ST. I know it sounds crazy,but this is really all about y'all seeing what's he's doing over there. Getting you in the know and involved with what's going on over there... 


Wikapedia says, The quintessential hype man, for many fans and musicians of the era, was Public Enemy's hype man Flavor Flav, whose exuberant approach to the art in the group's recordings and videos made him, arguably, the first household-name hype man, a figure more famous than many MCs. He established many of the conventions of the craft, such as an outlandish sense of style (epitomized by his wearing of large clocks around his neck) and a vocal style that contrasted dramatically with that of the MC (his falsetto was a counterpoint to Chuck D's baritone).


ST is Chuck D and I'm Flavor Flav


I dont have a big clock around my neck, but I do have a goat. You know it’s so funny, originallyLeeRoy was just supposed to help share the weight. He wasnt supposed to be a gimmick in any way, shape, or form. Im a city kid. Not only did I not have any experiences with goats, but I assumed that a guy walking on the side of a freeway with goat would scare people away. I didnt think people would want to talk to me. I mean, if I saw a guy with a goat, I aint talking to him. Nonetheless, LeeRoy is the main attraction. People come up to me and sayHey nice goat. In turn I tell them, Yep let me tell you about Africa. Let me tell you about ST. Which leads me into my story. I need to finish where I left off in Idaho Springs.


After I had that strange conversation with that girl on her knees, I continued meeting people and talking to people late into the night. Darren, Dawns husband. I remembered his name, I REMEMBERED HIS NAME! Haha. We went back to his house. He invited the people from thetable I was sitting at to his place to meet the goat and keep talking. We drove back to his house and met the woman, the guy, and the guys girlfriend. Im sorry, I cant remember names. Darren opened up the garage door and turned on the lights. We hung out in the garage for a little bit and I went in the backyard to get LeeRoy. We walked back into the garage; LeeRoy just stood in the middle of the circle. He stretched, arching his back really high, yawns, looks at each individual, and stood there with his front hooves together. Back straight and with his head up, standing at attention, as if he knew it was time to show goat. Everybody asked me the typical questionsDoes it hurt his hooves? What does he eat? How much weight does he carry? Does he sleep in your tent? He just stared at us. After a little bit, LeeRoy turns his head and looks at me as if to say, Can I go now? I want to go back to bed. It is so funny that we havethis secret language, me and him. We talk in silent code with just looks and subtle mannerisms. I know what he is thinking. I can tell when he is about to give someone the horns. He gets a look. I know when he wants to lay down. He does this thing where he slightly transfers his weight from right to left on his front hooves; not really picking them up off the ground. Anyways, he wanted to go back to bed so I took him out to the backyard again so he could sleep.


After that we sat on the floor in the garage. The guy and his girlfriend were cuddling up. Darren stood the whole time. We started talking about Africa. I talked about how I met ST. Talked about the ups and downs of our friendship. I dont know if I will ever tell these stories, but our friendship has almost been destroyed   multiple times. Could you guess it, 3 different girls were involved, but it all happened just in the few years prior to this project. Ive got to say thatforgiveness, grace and mercy have been huge, huge hallmarks of our relationship. We talked about Africa. I told them about how ST was called to Africa, how him and Fred started the whole thing and my eventual involvement and partnering up with them. I told them about poor living conditions, what we are trying to do, the goal. It got real. It got really deep, emotional, and intense. The three of them started crying. Darren was just staring blankly. I was taken aback by the moment. The guy was telling me that he was inspired, but the very next thing he said was, I could never do anything like that.


I dont know how to reconcile those two ideas. You are inspired to do something, it gives you drive, but not to do anything after that inspirationWhat is it, what stops a person from trying? What stops an inspiration from turning into action? I didnt know what to say to him then. I struggled. I wanted to invest in him, to encourage him. And I did. I could tell, I could see it. He didnt want it.


Sometimes when I talk to people I feel like it is just entertainment to them. I feel like it’s just touching stories. When I see the tears and see the response I think, clearly something is going to happen. This is a moment. This is a moment of change in that persons life. However, thatdoesnt always happen. The story wasn’t a catalyst to change for them. The story was touching and brought out emotion, but never really created movement. Obviously this doesn’t happen all the time, but I will say this: I can tell when a family really wants me to come to their house because they want to support what I am doing and help and provide for me. I can also tell when a family brings me to their house for entertainment. To be able to tell stories to their friends that the goat guy was at their house. To be able to brag that they had a goat in their car, they had agoat in their backyard. I dont care because it gets the story out there. The people that truly want to help tend to ask more questions about the orphanage and the people who want to be entertained only talk about the goat. We were out until about 4:30 that night sitting in the garage. Eventually everybody left and I went to bed.

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