23 and Graduated featuring Dapper J
Where do I begin? I'm 23-years-old from Upper Marlboro, MD (PG COUNTY BREEDS GREATNESS) which is about 30 minutes from DC. I went to the illustrious North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where I graduated May 2015 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Journalism with a concentration in Electronic Media.
My HBCU experience was EVERYTHING and then some. Being five hours away from home, I definitely had a lot of freedom and the south was a completely new experience from the suburban lifestyle I had while in Maryland. In high school I wasn't able to achieve all my goals I had set out for myself. So when it came to college, the goal was to have no regrets. Even though I have a few regrets, I can say that I am satisfied with what transpired over my four years. From the long nights working with Major Motives (a production company a few friends and I started in 2012), to running the Journalism department, A&T winning the MEAC, Obama being re-elected, forming my "SQUADD,” spring break vacations, endless party stories, girl drama and more. I definitely had the time of my life. One day, I'll write a book and/or make a movie on my college life and it will be a New York Times best seller or a cult classic.
One of the things I touched on was Major Motives. Melanie Page, Cora Taft and I had JOMC 220 together in the fall of 2012, Mel reached out to everyone who was willing to listen and help her start a production company and launch a web series. I kept tabs on her all of freshman year, I knew she was someone I wanted to work with. From our initial meeting in the Memorial Student Union (I miss that place, but the new one is going to be AMAZING), our trio formed along with Melanie's friend Maya and our mutual friend SteFon.
The "Starting Lineup" as we like to call it, dominated A&T from the Harlem Shake craze, to our web series, parodies, hip hop cyphers and an award winning short film (youtube.com/majormotives | check the numbers). When it came to the cyphers, it was my idea to show off some of the best rappers our school had to offer and the funny thing is, it was only supposed to be one. Once the first one garnered some traction, we did more and more. Each one has a distinct memory because I was able to gather the rappers, select the beats, select the time and ultimately make it happen.
For the most part college was awesome, I did so much,
Now of course, every great journey has its trials and tribulations. For me, having a rapper that I was trying to help out, label me as a bad communicator, hurt me. I was just trying to help everyone and anyone who knows me, knows that how I am the same person on and off the internet. Also, my grades slipped but the following semester I got them back to my liking which is one of the many reasons why I graduated Magna Cum Laude.
One of my most notable challenges occurred on my last day of undergrad before finals. I had a documentary due at 5pm and we didn’t start on it, I was bringing singer Jacquees on a surprise visit to A&T, my grandmother called me to congratulate me on my accomplishments and couldn’t wait to see me graduate (it ended up being our last conversation as she passed a few days later), I had an exit presentation the next day that was not up to par and my girl at the time had failed a final and didn’t know what to do. Needless to say I shutdown campus with Jacquees (https://youtu.be/fqafqE8IkrY), had everyone going crazy, we finished the documentary and received an A- on it, my girl passed the class still and my exit presentation was top 3 presentations I have ever done in my academic career. Are there regrets I have, maybe, but at the end of the day, I can sleep comfortably knowing that I did everything in my power to make A&T the best years of my life to date.
Life from undergrad to the newsroom was another challenge because I had conquered school but the real world will humble you. I had a BS job at Safeway stocking meat. They laid me off because I couldn’t get the work done fast enough. That was probably the lowest point of the summer because I felt like all the expectations I had on me just crumbled. I bounced back by freelancing with My Mind On Sports (a sports site covering everything in local sports), interned at the Hollywood Hangout, an upstart internet radio show at the National Harbor and the Lord works in mysterious ways because I got an interview with WJLA (ABC7 / News channel 8). Not even going to lie, I had an ok interview but a week later I got the job. Probably one of those moments that showed me I made it. I told my family and friends and I thought I got mad love on graduation but this was another level. The transition was interesting because I work in the wee hours (4am-12:30pm) of the morning and that schedule takes a toll on your body. Other than that, it’s cool to work in an environment where anything can happen at any given time. The sporadic feel at work is the most rigorous but my favorite part by far. To whoever is reading this, we could talk for hours if I to tell you everyone I have witnessed in the newsroom.
I also have a podcast called 1000 Jumpers (available on iTunes and Soundcloud right now). Shout out my cohost Robert aka Bobby G who came to me with the idea as a hypothetical shot in the dark. I told him I would have the concept done by GHOE15 and sure enough it was. We recorded on November 10 and we have been nonstop ever since. The podcast is an extension of our friendship because you see I’ve known him since 10th grade but from 11th grade to senior year of college he wasn’t in school with me anymore, so we kept in contact primarily with our spirited phone debates. We figured why not let the internet get a piece of the action.
When it comes to career goals, I definitely want to appear on ESPN as an analyst, be a producer of a couple of documentaries and just be recognized as one of the greatest that ever did it. When my name comes up decades from now, I want it to be held in high regard and future greats use it as a benchmark of success. My advice to anyone reading this is to never give up, have fun with your passion and empower whoever learns from you to become better than you.