The Power of Time and Truth

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Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis City. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His next project War Machine 2 was released this Tuesday, June 5th and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For The Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get War Machine 2 here.

Every week in I'm Just A Rapper Tef discusses modern life, hip-hop, and the deep connection between them.

Shattered dreams are among the hardest things most people will deal with in this lifetime. I think this is something that fuels me to work harder.

Tonight I saw an old associate at Corey Black's Poetic Justice open mic night. He was an emcee I was familiar with back in the MySpace era and he wasn't really that bad of a rapper. When I think back about it he was really talented and had a few songs I enjoyed a lot. I don't know the story of his entire life but he always seemed like one of those rappers who was constantly in process of trying to balance real life issues and creative issues all at once.

I want this guy to win because he's talented so I'm going to try to do what I can to work with him when the proper time arises.

In the current music era I haven't seen this guy in years, and he hasn't been as active as I'd like to hope. But it's all good. We all have our own plight - that's just the way life works. My story is different than your story and so on. Today I talked to the homie Saint Orleans for a spell while at a photoshoot with Octavius (Made Monarchs) and Tech Supreme. Saint O. is always a good conversationalist when it comes to anything music related, mainly because I can understand and feel the hunger in his voice/spirit.

He's from New Orleans but he lives in St. Louis -- hence the creation of the name Saint Orleans. I don't know much about his personal life besides what he has chosen to share on record, but his story has the overtone of survival and perseverance.

Last week I was in L.A. filming a music video, and I was humbled. I don't believe in using the word dream in reference to my goals as an artist. But in some sort of strange way I am in the process of fulfilling my dreams. I work hard and I'm always stressed out beyond compare. There's nothing I can do about it right now, but when I'm 80 yrs old I'm sure I'll have something to think about.

Rome wasn't built overnight so it just takes time and elbow grease to get where you desire to be in life. I just managed to always find a way to place myself in the pocket for the right plays at the right time. I've been blessed and I'm very fortunate, but I have a ton of more work to do and the struggle has really just started.

I wish I could tell you it gets easier but it doesn't and now I'm at a point in life where the story is more complicated than it's ever been. So I find myself thinking about the artists I know that are jeopardy of not fulfilling their dreams and it hurts my heart to some degree. I just want to jump inside of their brain with a bullhorn and yell to the top my lungs "keep going don't stop"!!


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