Years ago, when I would play shows as King Famous in New Brunswick, New Jersey, I would walk into venues with a portable cd player and microphone.
On the cd would be my rap tracks, and since I didn’t know what type of microphone they would have, I made it habit to bring my own.
I remember trying to walk into Maria’s Cantina with my cd player and mic, stopped before I could get into the door.
The host said “Hey man, you can’t do that here.”
“Do what?” I said. He pointed to my portable cd player and mic.
“That - you can’t rap here.”
I do understand the house rules. But you are asking for trouble when you try telling a young King Famous he can’t rap in your place of business.
Being born in New Brunswick I've got respect and pride for my turf. So instead of starting a fight, I went home with my mic cable between my legs thinking, how was I going to play anywhere and everywhere if everywhere didn’t like rap?
Unfortunately rap had become glamorized as “gangsta” so I was fighting a broadcast perspective and I wasn’t going to win. (see my first album Versus The Robot Factory on me fighting battles I know I can't win.)
But then a thought hit me. I’d pick up the guitar.
I could play any basic chord progression, and rap the lyrics and any establishment or host that didn’t like rap would get it anyway, disguised as folk music.
Years later, the joke is on me as I stuck with the guitar as an instrument. When I’ve been without one, people have given me theirs without me asking. I’ve had the pleasure of playing just about everywhere with it and as far as storytelling and music goes, it has helped me form better songs and tales.
Star Fields is a collection of some of my mainstays as well as somethings new.
While practicing at home, or playing for an audience, the more I sing these songs, the stronger their experience becomes.
I’ll always be King Famous, the MC from Jerz. But with my classical guitar, I don’t need a microphone or a portable cd player, or electricity. I just need to pick up and play.
And to this day I’ve never had anyone look at me and my guitar and say “you can’t do that here.”