So I’m back in time and don’t ask me how I got here. It’s the Summer of ’97 and I’m looking for “Camp”. It’s me at 16 years old. If I remember right, he’s going to be walking down Empire in tears.
Yep. He’s hiding in his hat. Let me pull up quick.
Camp: Sup, Dude?
Quotes: What’s up, Camp?
Hey, fuck what Mr. O’Neal talking about! You can drive! Matter fact I bet by the time you’re 35, the two actual accidents you get into won’t even be your fault.
Camp: Wait, you know me? How you know where I just came from?
Quotes: For another “Only this would happen to you moment”. I’m you in 2018.
Camp: Man, I didn’t want to say it, but I thought you looked just like me. I know who my dad is, but maybe you were like my brother or something. Cause that’s definitely a possibility in The Port. Dude this is crazy! Wow, I didn’t age bad at all! Finally gained some weight too!
I’m taking talking to myself to a whole new level, right now!
So, what are you doing here!? Wait, How did you get here?
Do you work for Bad Boy??? Are you and Nas homeys!?
Quotes: Let’s walk to the crib and talk. I can’t explain all that and well, as of right now, No, but hey anything is possible.
Camp: Well, You From the Future…Tell me the possible!
Quotes: Man, dude. As I sit here and look at you and understanding where I been. I’m not sure how to approach this. I had in my mind to tell you all the things you definitely should and shouldn’t do, but man, that could lead to some drastic changes that may even effect this conversation.
Camp: Dang for real!?
Quotes: Yeah. Like, I want to tell you, “Change the school you’re going to pick after high school” but if I do that, you may never meet two of your closest friends. One of them is going to be the Best Man in your wedding. It’s also going to be the place where you meet the girl who is going to become the mother of your first child. Notice how I said meet. And you definitely don’t have a clue who she is right now.
Quotes: Even if I tell you to drop out of that school after the conversation you have with a Professor in the first semester it will change some things. You build too much history from those years, even if it doesn’t get you to where your mind is and wants to go right now.
Then, I would like to give you financial tips, but man, the struggle you will endure will help you build the mindset that I have right now.
I would say, although a few people you trust are going to tell you too late “I wanted to tell you not to move there” that situation is going to grow you up and let you know who to depend on and why. It’s also going to be the spot that helps you start a real path as a rapper.
Camp: Wait hold on. I rap?! Like my own s**t? Not beat making or just being around it, but actually rapping?
Quotes: Yep. It’s already on your mind now, but just give it some time. It’s going to end up being a great chapter in your life in spite of all the pitfalls that come with it.
Camp: Ok Dog, so you don’t really want to change anything the more you think about it, but can you at least tell me what you’ve learned being me? You already know how I feel being here in The Port. I dream way too big to stay here. I just don’t know where to start or who to ask for help. Not even sure if anyone will help me. I just know I got to get the right information to make something happen.
Quotes: Listen, even at my age, we are still in that fight for the information and the right connections we need to get the life we desire.
Camp: DAMN MAN! I AIN’T FIGURE IT OUT IN MY 30’S!?!?! FUCK!
Quotes: Relax dude, because you’re 30’s aren’t over yet and it only takes one day to change everything.
Camp: That’s true, but damn! I thought I’d have millions by 30. Did I get to the Record Label or The Shopping Mall that I built here?
Quotes: No. Not yet, but there is still a lot of time. Now to answer your question about being you.
Realize that you’re special. You stand out, you’re charismatic and think differently and that’s ok. You’re not that shy, but you are a loner and you define you’re own cool. Don’t sweat the ignorant folks both black and white that you will encounter that will try to play you because “you’re not from the hood” or because you have great diction with your words and above average vocabulary and like more than “hood nigga shit”. Embrace the fact that you are a versatile being that marches to his own beat. Push yourself to the limits. Be inspired to be you, no matter who rocks with you.
Also, channel your anger, fear, frustration, pain, pleasure, love, happiness and turn them into goals and real passions that you will never get tired of. Don’t let anyone friend, foe or family tell you “it can’t be done” because 11 times out of 9, they never even thought to try what you’re thinking about.
Camp: 11 times out of 9. I like that. I got to use that.
Quotes: You just did though….
Camp: HAHA! You right. At least I didn’t lose my quick wit as I got older.
Quotes: Oh, you’re sharper than ever now, My G. Just wait and see.
Camp: Check it out, dog. It sounds like you still living off of promise and potential. Where are we at right now as “US” in 2018?
Quotes: Well, WE are coming off one of the hardest years of our life. We recognize the power of our words both spoken to ourselves and written for others to interpret. We gained, lost and have better understanding. Your wife and your daughter are beautiful. You are on the brink of greatness, you just have to have patience and don’t give up. That’s hard at my age now, especially when I think on the time and money lost, but life is a marathon and well, it’s not over till we die.
Camp: I feel that. Sounds like you still feel the best is yet to come, dog.
Quotes: Hell, it has to! As low as we’ve been, the unbelievable come up at a new height is all that could be on the horizon.
One last thing. Never lose your unconditional love for people and continue to wear your emotions like your favorite outfit. People want to understand a man and his emotions. We seem to shine very bright when we do that.
Camp: …Ok…I’m going to sit with that one.
Quotes: Good idea.
Well, I’m out of here. Don’t worry we’ll talk soon. Cause the 16 year old spirit in me will never die. I want to work as hard and as much as you do right now. If only we would have chased passions more than money…
Camp: What’s wrong with chasing the money??? Cam??? CAM!? Damn, where his ass go!?
As I watch myself continue to walk home, I wanted to hop back down there and give a life altering financial gem that would change our course forever. Then I remembered when Mike Tyson told us “There’s no Test without a Testimony” and realized I better just leave myself alone. I can’t change the past, but I can make a greater future. I want to get the answers to the questions I’ve had since 16. I want to have the team that wants to build towards common goals. I want a lot and I understand, it’s still plenty of time to get it.
I been talking to myself all my life. Partially because I felt I was the only one that really took time to listen to me. As I hear myself, I’m reminded of the kid that really wants to be great and always knew he could be great, before society tried to tell him different. As I’m listening, I know I’m just one moment away from doing everything that 16 year old kid knew he would do and I thank God for that.