Watching The Defiant Ones- A FANTASTIC Documentary about Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine- is bringing back memories of me chasing my own music industry dreams, on a much smaller scale but with no less ambition, with my brother and street friends fronting me capital and being my protection as I waded into the various projects or dangerous neighborhoods in DC & PG County as a talent scout to find young kids who had real street cred but wanted to be rappers to build my record label.
From different motivations- me who was always told that I had a great ear for music which stemmed from a great fanatical love for music paired with my brother et al who had a fanatical love for making money by any means necessary- we combined forces and different perspectives of passion and the street ethos (of which I was only a voyeur from a safe distance) to try to make Ish happen and put DC on the musical map outside of Go-Go. I would decide whether these kids actually had the talent to be rappers and if so, would work with them by grooming their art & image, putting them in studios, pairing them with the right producers, meet with radio folk to gin up interest, Trying to set up Distribution deals outside of just printing your own albums and selling them out of the trunk- heady stuff for a female in a male dominated field.
However, unlike Ruthless & Dr. Dre, the street fueled capital I had access to, the street violence that was always on the periphery, a move to NY that was filled with pipe dreams, wild music industry parties, broken promises, eventual Illness (hyperthyroidism/graves disease) and plain bad luck led to conspiracy, FBI investigations, murders, snitches, people involved going to jail for 30+ years, and me moving back to DC a physically mentally broken & financially broke woman. And just like that, the Dream -my Dream- was shut down. But I still loved the game and it set the stage for me finding my way to Salsa. Thank God for those experiences and my life- wouldn’t trade it for the world.