12/3/2015: “Arriving Somewhere But Not Here?”

I think, and I freestyle these and kind of just type out whatever pops in my head, I think this will be a weird one.  If ever there would be that lives true to the Talk Strange name, I think this would be the one.  Why?  Because, I’m in a weird place.  The weirdest of all places.  Kansas City.

The city that gets it’s rep from the country side, that has a pretty decent amount of violence, a city that gets all four seasons (which I am personally a fan of), and really the only city I’ve ever known.  So that leaves me, the forever dreamer, am I in the right place?  

It’s a question I think every one of us artsy people ask ourselves.  Like, can it really happen here?  I started reading Steve Martin’s book “Born Standing Up”, which reminds me of this bad habit I’ve picked up.  I start something then have this issue of following through.  In fact, it’s really only a couple things in my life I’ve held onto: music, and the music.  Which bothers me, because the making of music is a pretty small part when it comes to being successful.  It’s like a quarter of the job, the other quarter is: promotion, networking, podcasting, music video making, show making, there’s so much shit that goes into it.  I’ve never, well maybe once after a really good day, but truly never felt like I’m caught up.  Probably because I don’t feel like I’m where I need to be at all in my music career.  

I’ve been lucky, me and my manager have hit a stride I feel like, I’ve slowly developed an almost cult following in Kansas City of people that probably go through the same shit as me.   Which begs the question, because the more I read, the more I realize – Steve Martin had his shit going on at a young age.  He was out there, broke like me, living life performing and giving it all he had.  He struggled but he found a way and that ladies and gents is what I want.  That’s what success is.  I feel like, I don’t know.  

I mean, people hear Kansas City and they write you off.  There’s media here, but the media here won’t make you.  Not trying to dog on my city at all, there’s a ton of talent here.  Most of the time I share the bill with them, but it took me a good while to garner a group of people that come to my shows.  Steve was out there, living life while I spend every waking minute of my life perfecting this craft.  I love it, but I’m almost 26 now.  Cold Shoulder isn’t charting yet, The Right Way isn’t charting yet.  It should of happened by now but that type of thinking only fucks it all up for ya.  Takes the fun out of it and that is the biggest injustice.  Lack of money already claimed one friend, how many more will it get?

I’m not angry, I just wanna know what I gotta do.  The waters seem murkier than ever, and I hate to say it but the day job is getting harder.  Not actually harder but mentally, it’s getting harder.  It’s harder in the sense that, I know what I want, how come it’s not mine yet?

Maybe this isn’t as weird as I thought it would be.  I didn’t really expect to spill out like this but this is just how my mind works.  I wanna see the light at the end of the tunnel, eventually.  It’s gotta be there.  People gave Tech N9ne shit for moving to Cali for awhile when I was young.  Now in this position, I get it.  He moved back, respect to him for doing that, I’ve seen him at a couple shows.  I doubt that he knows who I am, not that it matters.  

I know I can’t be the only artist in Kansas City that thinks the outside world holds Kansas City against us.  There’s plenty of talent here, a lot of these kids just need some direction so they don’t end up like Les Paul.  This post is getting long and I don’t really wanna go into that but I knew something was wrong.  When I first started out, he was a supporter and then it just seemed like he held something against me after a few years for some reason.  I hope he gets it together and drops the album he’s been talking about,  I don’t think success solves any mental issues but I do hope his quality of life improves.  

Anyways, Kansas City, I love you.  I always will, but the world doesn’t understand us.  All I can do now is hope someday it will, and the world gets to know the talent in this city because there’s a lot.  Especially right now. 

Your loyal-but-not-fully-oiled friend,
Joe.