Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Price of Wonder

I refuse to believe there is a such thing as coincidence. Everything happens, good and bad, because it is all part of a strategic plan. Whoever's plan that may be, is up to you.

Two weeks ago, my best friend randomly decided to move up to New York City. She had just graduated from Florida State University, and she wanted to pursue her event planning/marketing career in a place other than Boca Raton, Fl. She would be the only person I could see surviving in NYC, because she has that promise. She is the most motivated and inspirational girl I know.

After I visited her, and spoke with her on the day she was leaving, I was inspired to go to the Big Apple myself. I hadn't traveled out of the state in years, and I need to venture out of my comfort zone, even if I was weary about it.

It "just so happens" that my boyfriend, CJ, was asked to do a job up in Manhatten. He became aware of this about one week after Jenna left. He asked me to come.

"Wanna come to New York?"

"Maybe... when?"

"Next week."


For those of you who do not know me, I have terrible anxiety/panic attacks. That is 95% of the reason I have not made it past Orlando in five years. Seeing my best friend so willing and able to put her doubts aside and just GO and TAKE RISKS, inspired me to do the same.

Two days before I leave, I "just so happen" to get a message from Joyce He, label manager of Jamla/IWWMG Records. She said that she saw that I was going to be in NY, and was wondering if I wanted to go to the NYC Premier of "The Wonder Year," a documentary about 9th Wonder, made by Kenneth Price. This was once of the most amazing opportunities I have ever gotten in my life.

The point of this blog is to tell you about this film. However, just the fact that I was able to watch it at a PREMIER event, is a story in itself.

Walking into the venue and seeing all of these incredible faces, Yung Guru, 9th Wonder, Rapsody, and so many more, set the tone for the evening. However, nothing could compare to the hour and 20 minutes that "The Wonder Year" itself gave me.

I will talk about the film in a general sense, and mention things that especially stood out to me, because I want every single person to see it. I don't care if you like hip hop, I don't care if you don't like music, this film is a tool to educate, inspire, and entertain.

EVERYTHING is talked about in the film. Everything from 9th's childhood, to his split with Little Brother; the good, the bad and the ugly.

There is no holding back.

9th points out in the film that he has people that love him and people that don't like him. We all do. However, if you judge or question his career, make sure your accomplishments can take up an entire wall of space before doing so.

Exhibit A: Taken by Sharif Karim. 9th Wonder's Wall of Accomplishments
 Despite the fact that this documentary was incredibly entertaining, it taught me so much.

Before knowing about 9th and who he really was, on a personal and professional level, I was that person that would automatically discredit artists who have made it big. Essentially, I would consider them "mainstream" and lacking substance. 9th taught me that a dope artist is a dope artist. "It doesn't matter if they sell 10,000 albums, or 500,000 albums."

In the documentary, you will also hear commentary from artists like Drake, J. Cole, DJ Premier, and many more. You will also hear about his experience with his first sample he sold for $50, to his contribution to Jay Z's "The Black Album."

One of my favorite things he says in the film was how everyone is a rapper, everyone is a dj, no one is a fan anymore. It's so true! No one is JUST A FAN. What is the music for if we can't enjoy it? He puts these kind of things into perspective.

Finally, in "The Wonder Year," the audience is able to meet Patrick Douthit: Father, professor, friend, fan, school boy, brother and son. You see his hometown and get a sense of where everything started in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

9th is going to kill me for this

If this film couldn't get any more inspiring, the director, Kenneth Price, was actually doing this film for his college thesis...

This film, whether it's the production or the content, will give anyone motivation. Anyone at all. Whether you like hip hop or not.

So the Price of Wonder? Priceless.