Tef Poe's Juggling Act: Lessons Learned from James Brown
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 project The Hero Killer was released on January 21st and will followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For The Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.
As an entertainer one of my biggest inspirations is James Brown. He was ahead of his time not only creatively but also on the business end of things. He had the mindstate of mogul, dominating the music industry in a time when that sort of thing was unheard of. He did it all with style and what appeared to be an effortless stride to the finish line. Every week with this column we try to give you something you won't get anywhere else. This week I decided I'd just talk candidly about the hectic nature of my life as an artist right now, and maybe offer a little bit of insight..
I still want to write a comprehensive column entry every week and fulfill my obligation to our faithful readers. I love writing this column because it forces hip-hop heads to read and a lot of us just don't take time out of our schedules to do that.The lack of literacy is an incredibly large problem in urban America, and just maybe by being someone's favorite rapper I can use this public platform as a means to help correct this problem.
This year has started off at a very critical pace for me. Everyone doesn't always become a fan of an artist directly through the music they create, so I juggle a few hats at a time. I'm always under the gun in one area or another and now everything is moving faster than it has ever moved. Last week on 106 & Park's Freestyle Friday I had to summon the spirit of David Freese to get me out of there alive. There were a few weeks in between then and my last match -- the industry typically shuts down for four weeks after the holidays. Over the course of the break I tried to keep my brain sharp but I honestly didn't do much writing. We spent a few weeks finishing up Hero Killer and piecing together the campaign we'd build around this project. Trackstar the DJ was in the midst of prepping for Killer Mike's European Tour so he needed the music ASAP. During the first round of last week's battle I took a deep breath and then suddenly everything hit me at once like a massive tidal wave. My brain refused to work while I was spitting my bars and I couldn't connect my punches.