Music Industry Nights 

You never know a person, until you see them in the intimate presence of wealth. I’m not talking front row at a concert, but within touching distance. When the opportunity to be comfortable or attain a bit of money presents itself, you’ll see the most savage of human behavior quickly rise to the surface. 

We as human beings yearn for comfort, stability and excitement. Why have Food, water and shelter when filet mignon, champagne and penthouses are available? Why argue with someone who can’t take care of you, when someone who can invigorate you is within arms reach? 

Everybody wants the good life, right? 

Back in the early 2010’s I brushed shoulders and spent time with a few of music’s biggest names and then up and coming artists who would be big. My initial life dream was to be a super-producer and have smash records all across the world, but evidently Allah had other things in store for me. 

Like creating this website and sharing my experiences. 

For all the aspiring creatives reading this, I want to make a very important statement. 

Talent is only a PIECE of the puzzle. 

Networking is fucking key. The creative business is about your reputation and who you know. How good your face card is. I’ve squandered and passed on opportunities that other people would’ve killed for, not because I was being wasteful or haughty, but because I knew that there were more available. 

But, to the story. 

An older girl who I went to high school with back home became very affluent in the city because of her wit, skill, charm and beauty, respectively. Thanks to a mutual friend, she heard my music, was impressed and linked me in with her then boyfriend, who was a, no fuck that, THE producer for YMCMB. 

This nigga was a star man. It was late 2009 Early 2010 and because of the smashes that he’d produced (Gonorrhea, I’m Goin In, Super Bass, Bedrock, Steady Mobbin and Bottoms Up) he had the industry and the city on fucking FIRE. 

So in a matter of hours, I went from being another random nigga dreaming and making beats on his iMac to an intern for Young Money Entertainment. There were no spam emails, no playing beats in a large room, no sob story, no résumé, no audition, just a phone call, an exchange of information via Twitter and voila! I was in. 

The crew was solid. The Talent, who was the financial and social back bone. Champ, an aspiring rapper and potent weed carrier, JR a narcoleptic singer-songwriter and me, a young, well dressed up and coming producer who had a way with words. 

I garnered the nickname “Clutch” because of my ability to come through in high pressure situations. When the strip club was dying down and we needed to get some dancers back to the studio? It was my time to shine. A group of women The Talent wanted in vip? showtime. Remembering 17 Waffle House orders without writing them down? Let’s get it. I WAS the closer in the group. The talent was too haughty to go and gather women himself, Champ was too brash and JR wasn’t well kept, so it came down to me. 

And I’m good at everything. 

Now, after bagging hundreds of women, hundreds of store runs to the gas station for Shells and liquor, and remembering practically everything for this dude, I was a solidified member of YMCMB. I got put on payroll, got one of those familiar YMCMB sweaters and all. I remember sending a photo of my first paystub from Universal to my mom. Regardless, I had proved my worth and earned the right to sit in on the highly sought after “Closed Sessions.” 

  

A closed session is an invite only, holy grail, golden ticket , recording session where a very high profile artist is set to be present. At this point I had seen some “Stars” and local guys before, MempHitz, Trey Songz, J.Holiday, Travis Porter, etc. but never any Superstars. Big time artists are very particular about who’s in their creative space, as they should be, so this shit was a big deal. 

I was at my day job when I got the text from the Talent. 

“Yo Clutch, closed session tonight. I need you to work, come through the lab on Spring street. 10pm sharp. Bring a box of swishers and some Hawaiian Punch.” 

Bet! 

That night I got what was then fresh as fuck, meaning I probably looked like a fat Big Sean, and showed up to the studio at 9:15. There was a small mob outside buzzing, trying to get in on what was going on. They were probably attracted by all the fancy ass cars parked out front. I walked up to snooty ass comments and muffled hate, mostly from men, who wondered how I could cut through the mob with so much confidence. 

Hoes started choosing as well. 

When I got buzzed in, there were remarkably more people than normal in the lobby, including the fucking owner who you never saw like The Claw from inspector Gadget, and security at the door, which was peculiar. The studio manager told them that I was YM staff and she hugged me and instructed me that the Talent was in the back, Using the big room. 

The studio was industrial outside and plush inside with soft lighting and red paint. platinum plaques lined the walls and thick bass vibrated throughout, touching a familiar rhythm inside of me. 

As soon as I turned the corner to access the hallway to the big room, I smelled the most potent weed that I’ve ever come across in my entire life. I mean, I’m easily 100 feet away and I’m smelling the shit through the door, which had a fucking towel under it. It smelled like someone cracked open the pack right on my lap. 

I open the door and a nigga who I can only compare to the Incredible Hulk, reaches for his gun and looks to the left where my boss, the talent, gives him the “Ok” signal. 

In this beautiful, smoke and alcohol filled room, there’s my crew, some unfamiliar faces and about thirty of the baddest bitches that I’ve ever seen in my life. There was enough ass and titties in the room to make a teenage boy pass out from excitement alone. 

The music was great and fresh. Hearing high quality music in the raw is an experience in itself. People are all in there bouncing around and vibing to some shit that hasn’t even come out yet. It’s exclusive, you know? 

As I survey the room, focused on the women and the ambiance, I hear an oddly familiar voice ring out…

“Aye that’s ya man? What’s his name? Clutch? aye clutch, close that door behind ya, you letting all my good smoke out, ya heard me.” 

My stomach dropped, I mean my shit hit my feet. It couldn’t be who I thought it was! 

I looked in the center of the room and there’s some camo shorts, a white tee, and a backwards Yankee fitted. Every bit of 5’6″, locks hanging from under the fitted, smoking the fattest blunt I’ve ever seen and smiling with a mouth full of brand new veneers was Shrimp Daddy, The Birdman Jr., Tunechi, Lil Fucking Wayne himself. 

That night he gave me one of the most important lessons of my life. Find out what it was next week on A Life of Friday Nights. 

– King Malcolm

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