“Hurry up and get changed, nigga. We going on in 5.”
I could hear the eagerness in Remy’s voice. We both knew there was going to be some kind of turnout but neither of us had expected over 500 people! This was insane. It was, by far, going to be the biggest show of the year thus far. Junia had really hooked us up. Unsure of where the nearest bathroom was, I dashed into the skyscraper behind the stage and proceeded to go to the highest floor that the elevator would take me to. 26th. “Seems high enough,” I thought to myself as I began digging in my backpack for my neatly folded “CC” American Apparel shirt. With the elevator hallway deserted, I whipped off my black V-neck and threw on the shirt for the first time. Yeah. This felt special. Not the shirt, but the moment. I was about to rock a crowd of 500 plus people with music that I made. Music that we had made. God knows Rem and I had put in countless hours at the LOFT completing our debut mixtapes. And they were finally done. My thoughts then, immediately shifted to the release party we were organizing. Would it be a success? Would people even come out? What about press coverage? The sound of someone introducing the event outside brought me back to focus. Shoving all but my purple Canucks fitted into my bag, I hurriedly pressed the down button and in no time, the elevator arrived. As it declined, I thought what impression I had made on the professor, leaving 15 minutes early. After all, it was the first day of school. And first impressions count for a lot. Was he going to have a negative reaction to my presence? My responses in class? My assignments? I didn’t have time to concern myself with the answers. I had a performance to kill. As I approached the stage, I could, once again, see the excitement in Rem’s eyes.
“Let’s give ’em a show, nigga.”
I could tell he was eager to get on stage. Chemist also, looked eager, but was more reserve in his excitement.
“Okay, so I’ll be down where the crowd is, I’ll start on the right side of the stage and work my way to the left,” Danilo said, breaking my train of thought.
“Yeye, no doubt,” I responded, “Just snap whatever you can,” barely containing my own excited self. A minute hadn’t passed before all of us (except Danilo who was photographing us) were each handed a cordless mic and told to get ready to go onstage. Listening to the final comments on the United Way fundraiser, I was sure the MC’s voice could be heard across the street. The mic was that loud.
“So without any further a due, I present to you CCereal, Rem & Lah Chemist as LOFT Music!!”
I made a tug to pull up my slim, light blue, faded jeans, headed up the short flight of stairs and onto the stage with confidence. It was time to show and prove.
An excerpt from A Smart Story, Chapter 30: Back to the Books