Ha, at least that’s what my boy Harold Melvin used to croon, along with his Blue Notes, in smoky dancehalls across Philly and later the nation. While I appreciate the effort musically – the song easily ranks as one of the most covered tunes over the last half-century – I have to disagree with the sentiment.
Growing up on the streets of Conroe, TX, just north of Houston, I developed a different philosophy. Maybe it was all the haters, maybe it was chip on my shoulder from living in a small town or it could be that like the heroes that inspired me as a kid (MLK, JFK, MJ – all them alphabet guys) I wanted to be bigger than life. So, with my basketball in one hand and a mic in the other I set out on my quest, alternating between long stretches in the Fourth Street labs and stretching over fools on the way to the basket at courts up and down I45 from Huntsville to Haverstock.
I was in a zone, my mode – and yeah, people were starting to know me but I wanted more. And that’s what I finally got after a chance encounter while I was a student at Texas Southern University opened up the world to radio to me. At first it was hard. I gave up basketball and girls for early mornings spent learning and filled with errands and late nights at the club doing promo work, while others my age danced the night away clueless to the responsibility that awaited them in the ‘real’ world. But the work paid off. Now lots of people know me. From H-town to L.A. and New York Man, I’m International like Yao Ming.