Basketball --> Rap --> ThirstLounge
I’m sitting here writing this at 11:30pm, in what I like to call my ‘man cave’, my ‘grind room’, ‘my getaway’ inside of my home here in the UK. By the time you guys are reading this… I’ll be amongst my new extended family over in the Virgin Islands, The Thirst Lounge.
As I’m sitting here wondering what I can talk to the world about, I sip on a rum and coke and contemplate talking about various topics… So I thought, damn… Let’s just speak about how each one has manifested in to the opportunity that I find myself in today.
I was 14, I was raised in a very working-class area in the UK called the Isle of Sheppey. Job opportunities were low and crime was high. However, the island was a small place and growing up it seemed that everybody knew everybody. Admittedly school was not my most favorable of things but that soon changed when I was introduced to the game of Basketball. I was tall for my age and I seemed to be pretty handy with the rock (b-ball). I remember very clearly the teacher explaining to us that they were starting a school basketball team. I was one of the first picked and it was the greatest moment of my early school days. The excitement of thinking I would be playing on the school team was short lived as my parents told me that we would be relocating away from the area… At the time, I was a mess, I was leaving family and really close friends behind. Little did I know; this was about to be the best move in my entire life.
I moved to a much different area. The people, the fashion, the school, very very different to what I was used to. It took a bit of time getting used to the change and settling in but I made friends fast and a huge help was my continued love for Basketball. I quickly became part of the school team and was playing shooting guard, even though I was tall and I’d naturally suit the power forward spot… I had a mean shot on me! Things got more serious with me with basketball and as I continued my journey along this path, I managed to make my county team which then progressed in to trials for South East England. Basketball was my life. I remember some days saying goodbye to my mum in the morning of a school day in my school uniform, only to have a pair of shorts and a Lakers jersey (Kobe and Shaq era) and some cheap And1 boots in my rucksack. Oh yeah! And1… I got heavily in to streetball (doing tricks on opponents) and managed to get chosen for the final bracket of making the And1 UK Team… Unfortunately, this didn’t come to fruition.
The friends I made through Basketball introduced me to Hip Hop, at the time I was in to a lot of rock, indie type stuff and this completely changed when I started playing on repeat some of the rap greats. It completely opened my mind up to how music can communicate with a person. It took me no time at all to pick up a pen and write what I thought at the time, was the greatest UK rap tune of all time (That will never see the light of day again). I brought myself a £1 microphone (absolutely gangster right!?) and downloaded a free to use recording software for my PC. I would spend every night writing and recording these rap tunes. It was an incredible release for me. There are some deeper reasonings as to why rap related to me so much but this was just such a good way to vent and write whatever the hell I liked! It soon spread around school that I had started to rap and it blew up… My whole school knew me as ‘The kid that played basketball and rapped”. It was like some sort of label that I was given and to be honest… I frigging loved it. I was different, I found something I knew I could develop and mold in to something strong.
The whole music era of my life that I had is a whole different day of writing so to cut a brief run down, I was introduced to various opportunities in music, record deal, performances in front of 2000+ people, rap battles in front of live audiences, TV appearances, Radio plays, 2010 Top 5 to look out for… The list goes on, unfortunately I never got that ‘break’ that everybody in the entertainment and music business talk about and now I just revert back to why I begun rapping and that is to write what is on my mind and use it as a release. But this is where music comes in to play in regards to me becoming part of this incredible Thirst Lounge experience…
How ironic, the years of being involved in music and not getting that ‘break’ has now presented itself an incredible possible life changing experience!
I knew about the Thirst Lounge but I had started to spend less time from Twitch around the time the Thirst Lounge hit the Twitch screens. I was told by a friend about the Thirst Lounge competition when Cat had left the house and we both agreed that it would be cool to do a rap style verse and video. I wrote, recorded, filmed and edited the video[check it out on my Twitter] all within the space of 2hours. I literally didn’t have a single thought of winning the competition. I expected the other entries to be absolutely spot on and may well more appealing than some British dude dressed in a pink and black shirt rapping to a camera. But thankfully, I was blessed enough to have insane support from a whole bunch of people including poker names that I’d never even think would talk to me, let alone watch a 1minute clip of something I’ve loved doing for years. I was so so blessed to be chosen by the team and the decision for me to join the TL team was made. I was in shock, it was kind of overwhelming. I’m not the kind of dude to openly let out how I am feeling however since the decision was made I have found myself at various times just taking time to myself and thanking whatever has made this possible and truly ground myself in to knowing and appreciating what this opportunity means.
My Thirst Lounge journey is just about to begin, I will do everything in my power to give my absolute all. You will never see me slack; you will never see me be disheartened, I will support my fellow TL crew, I will do anything I can to help the channel grow and thrive. I am incredibly lucky to be involved with these group of men and women. Bill deserves my all, the other housemates deserve my all. Let’s just make this one hell of a ride… Hold on tight.