Once Upon A Time, I Was A Rapper....
The other day, I was going thru some crap in my home office. It was a bunch of cables and shit, you know, like RCA's and USB's and the like. I came across this audio jack I bought years ago, it's one of those headphone type of jacks. I bought it at Radio Shack so that I could hook up my stereo to the PC via headphone jack to the audio input on the back of my computer. I wanted to be able to upload old tapes of mine to the computer, so that I could clean them up, edit them, and ultimately, save them to disc, so they'd be available later on. The main objective was this old tape I had of this rap group called the "NuBreed".....
'NuBreed' was an un-signed group hailing from Highland Avenue, Greensboro, North Carolina. The members of this group were MC Roo (Anthony Earl Roland aka Chewy), South Paw (Dwayne Hamlet aka John Brown) and Lostnoiz (yep, me motherfuckers.....). Once upon a time, I was a rapper.
The approximate timing of this recording was 1994. These were crazy years for me, as I was full swing into my drugged out phase. Weed was as regular as food and water, not to mention the acid, shrooms and 'x'. MC Roo and Lostnoiz shared a rental house in the heart of the ghetto, right besides 'Smith Homes', near the Greensboro Coliseum. South Paw, affectionately reffered to as Bru-man (from the Martin Lawrence show..forget the name...) practically lived there with us. Every night, we'd sit in the small living room, smoking bongs and blunts, playing techmo bowl and listening to hip hop. We LOVED hip hop, particularly and all wanted to be a part of it. So wwe started our own group, which I named 'NuBreed' (NU...derived from 'NUbian, and BREED meaning our [Roo, Noiz, SouthPaw] kind..).
I went out and bought a mixer, a microphone and 2 shitty turntables (which I quickly returned when I discovered that I could 'scratch' with..) and hooked all this stuff up to my stereo, an old rack style, silver faced bastard. Me and Chewy (and Bru-man most of the time...) would sit in the 'Florida Room' (our plant filled dining room) and write lyrics for hours with the smoking bong setting between us. All the prior mentoined equipment resided in this room as well. When we felt we had written enough material, we'd turn everything on and burn the mic, usually recording everything we did on cheap cassette tapes, until early in the morning. The neighbors didn't seem to mind too much, the crack house across the street straight didn't give a fuck.....
Needless to say, 'NuBreed' never got signed to any label. Hell, we never even completed a demo. South Paw is suspiciously absent from these recordings as well, as, I assume, he was at his girl's house at the times of these recordings, whomever was his girl at the time. Erica, I would imagine. Most of these recordings are forever gone. Again, this was 1994, 12 years ago, about 5 or 6 moves from the present, and seemingly, a lifetime ago.
In, I believe 1997, MC Roo, Anthony Earl Roland, died.
He died in that same house on Highland Avenue, in Greensboro, North Carolina. The same house we'd shared for more than a little bit. He died
in his and Pam's (his girlfriend) bedroom, laying on his back with the phone off the hook, with a connection to 911 still live, from what I was told.
This era is still a blur to me, as I hadn't completely sobered up yet. South Paw had called to tell me, though I had foreshadowed this in my own
creative outlets in my new life in Winston Salem (more on this later...). On the way to his wake, I smoked a fat ass joint, which I shared with Jody,
my girlfriend at the time. She questioned it, and I told her,"He would've wanted it this way....." and I still to this day, believe that. When we arrieved
at the funeral home, I saw people I hadn't seen in years (Chewy and I went to high school together...Southeast Guilford High School..). I
walked into the viewing area and saw Pam. I walked up to her, without words, and hugged her strongly. "He thought the world of you..." she said.
I then went over to his casket. He was laying in there with a football jersy on (he loved the Washington Redskins more than life....). I put my hand
on his chest for a moment, hoping that whatever energy was still there, would suck up into me, so that he could live on...within me.
I don't remember a whole lot about the rest of the day. He was taken back to Waldorf, Maryland, where his Dad lived, to be buried the next day
(at least that's what I recall...)
Years later, I don't know where Pam is (Pam Ingold!!!! dammit), Bru-man moved to Atlanta years ago and has a new life with kids and everything (Dwayne Hamlet, John Brown!!!) but we haven't talked much
since I moved to Winston Salem. I do, though, have this cassette tape of MC Roo and Lostnoiz, 2 of the 3 MC's of 'NuBreed' in my possession.
The last few days, I hooked up the stereo to the PC with that aforementioned Radio Shack jack, and uploaded this entire recording and I have
started to give it the final mix, the 'NuBreed' demo.
It maybe 13 years late, but it's now getting the attention it deserves. When it's done, I'm not sure what I'll do with it. I've lost contact with
everybody who would probably care and, maybe, that's why I'm now doing it. When you die, who's gonna remember you? 10 years after
you fucking die, really, who's gonna remember? What are they gonna remember? Why are they gonna remember? What if all folks remember
is the mistakes you made?
MC Roo made alot of mistakes. Anthony Earl Roland made alot of mistakes. Chewy made a ton of mistakes.
Don't we all?....
MC Roo made a rap group that was ahead of it's time. Anthony Earl Roland made Pam Ingold happy. Chewy made alot of friends.
This one's for you, Roo, I remember you and I'm sure alot do too. Soon the world will have access to your music and then you will live on forever....
NuBreed is coming......