Somewhere in 2018 after digging and researching and learning, my journey came to a soft completion. Soft because although I made the decision to leave religion, it wasn’t the end of my studies or learning.
I finally had the courage to put my flag up and let it be known that the God of the bible was an asshole. Now that shit definitely got responses. (Laughter)
I began to clearly see the difference between this biblical character that flooded the world, that sent his people to murder and slaughter men, women, and children for pieces of land, and how he influenced this chauvinistic mindset towards women.
Job the biblical figure of the old testament, was a perfect and upright man. God made a “bet” with the devil if you will that costed him his children, health and all he owned.
As I was able to sit and think about this literature, this biblical figure we call God, at the very least he is excessively cruel. Furthermore, it seemed extremely petty and might I even say human to insert himself in certain manly affairs.
Bringing things to a real-life scenario, I can only speak for myself when I say I do believe in a higher power. The sun, moon, weather changes and other things that no man can control at least makes you see it didn’t happen under the power or intellect of humans. To my atheist friends… Sorry (Laugh)
Depending on the day, I call it God, The Universe, Source, The All or maybe Energy. However, I’m wise enough to separate it from man’s concept which is supposed to be this all powerful, all knowing being everywhere at the same time all the time, entity with human traits.
Jealousy, wrath, anger and for whatever reason, this God is in constant need of praise and worship. Damn near like a 2 year old. Anyways.
Now. The focus of this chapter.
My beloved Hip-Hop. The real reason for this epic rant that’s long enough to be a book…….. Maybe. I was 7 years old the first time I heard the “Rappers Delight”. It was so fun. The beat was dope. The words were catchy. It was carefree.
And then, down the line, I heard another song that was pure Hip-Hop. Not just rap and having fun but this song was different. It made you think. It was painfully entertaining. Somebody talking about broken glass everywhere and people pissing on the steps like they just don’t care. Sheeesh.
I didn’t know where it came from, nor did I know what it was, but I was hooked. I was a victim to a beautiful addiction. I hadn’t heard of Rap or Hip-Hop before, but I knew this would be a part of my life forever.
Even when I dissed my beloved for religion, it was still very much a part of me. I wasn’t rapping to music, but I was still writing poetry.
In its purest form, rapping is just poetry on steroids. Words that are set to the rhythm of a musical backdrop.
A gift was given to each one of us upon our arrivals to this plane. Plane: a level of existence, thought, or development…………………………………………………… A dimension if you will.
A gift is something that comes easy for you to do that you get joy or passion from. It almost seems like God, gave something to each individual, so they could personally communicate with him in there own way. But also, as I alluded too earlier, it can be used to share with this world we live in.
Kinda like a child. If mama gives the child some candy and other kids are around, most likely, the child will want to share the candy with everyone around.
Some people have worked themselves into being doctors and lawyers, but they may be gifted with painting and cooking.
I know you’ve probably heard something to this affect before, something like, Whatever it is you love to do, whether your paid for it or not, if your good at it, that is your gift.
I was blessed to be able to write, make music, speak in front of large groups of people, and rap.
These things come easy to me and I enjoy doing them even if no money was involved.
I feel as though my gifts and talents are to be shared with people to help think and inspire. I want to add value to someone’s life.
At the end of last year, I produced an EP (Short Album). It was released on January 10th of this year. My goal was to give people hope that regardless of the trials and tribulations they’re going through in life, if they continue to press forward, there is joy, prosperity, and love on THE OTHER SIDE of their pains.
This was the first project I made that I was completely in love with and proud of.
My music was produced well, my topics related to the times and what I was going through, and I was able to translate all that into my lyrics.
Throughout my life, I’ve had plenty of names and identities when it came to me being an artist. Torrey T, MC Fresh T, Grandmaster Torrey T, Mr. Letho (pronounced Lethal), Jesse Mudde, Jesse Mudde Letho and finally, the name I hold today that I will ride out with, Wet.Dirt.
Plenty of names that chronicled different phases of my life. I was a metaphor type rapper, a pro black conscious rapper, a political rapper, someone who just wanted to make you dance rapper, and the type of rapper that would say damn near anything to get any type of rise out of people type rapper.(Did that last one make sense. Laughter)
Many MCs go through phases when there trying to find themselves.
The importance of understanding who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to say to be of service to the masses is what it’s all about in my humble opinion.
Being grounded and finding your true voice as an artist, is essential and what makes an MC, the one who moves the crowds, what they are.
MCs are timeless. They make music and create ideas that can last well beyond whatever time period it was created in.
The MC, in my opinion is far more important to our culture and times than preachers and politicians.
True MCs can bring life right to your front door in its most beautifully ugly fashion at times.
MCs have the power to make you lose your entire shit in an emotional break down or give you the words and lessons to build businesses and wealth.
They encourage you to celebrate every great blessing in your life while at the same time, knowing things can be tragic at the next turn.
They can also move you to sit down, shut the fuck up and just BE for a minute.
Over the past 8 to 10 years or so, I’d been in and out with my music. I was discouraged that I had never made it as a rapper. I felt guilty for not fully using my potential to get the results I wanted.
I felt like maybe it just wasn’t meant for me to be the artist on that big stage I once coveted. Maybe I’m not good enough to make a living off my music.
I was depressed about it and ultimately, I quit. I figured it just wasn’t meant to be.
I felt like I had gotten too old to pursue this dream I’ve had since I was 11 or 12 when I wrote my first rhyme.
I would hear comedians and radio personalities bashing older folks that rapped and I didn’t want to look like some 40-year-old nigga chasing a ghost.
Then June 30, 2017 came, and Jay-z dropped his 4:44 album.
Wonderful piece of work by the way.
What was significant to me was the things he was rapping about.
Jay-Z is just a couple of years older than me. Our love and admiration for this artform is the same. He came up in the same era I came up in, so we probably fell in love with hip-hop around the same time.
I do agree that in its essence, rap music is for the young people but the artform is not exclusive to young people.
If you have the skill and passion to create and that’s what your gifted to do, RAP, age means nothing.
Jay-Z wasn’t rapping about money, cars, and getting girls, he was rapping about his current realities of life. The trials and issues within his marriage.
I’m definitely not quoting him. But he seemed to be expressing that one could reach a point in life that having all the money to spend and luxuries that come with it, can mean nothing without a strong foundation that includes love, family and friends.
He spoke about being a better husband for his wife and a better father to his children.
Here I am sitting at the bottom of this pit. Depressed and all but giving up on my gift and dream to really do something for Hip-hop, my family, and most importantly for myself.
God gave this gift to me and I felt like I failed in using it. Then this nigga Hov threw me a rope and a light.
I don’t have to be these other rappers and pursue what they’ve accomplished. I just need to be me and accomplish what it is for me to accomplish without the influence of anything else. I’m an MC with my own route mapped out.
Long story short, tell my story.
I came across some YouTube videos of the great KRS-1. Some were interviews and others he was lecturing on Hip-hop and its origins.
One of the videos, that was an interview was him expressing the importance of MCs finding their own identities and creating a true name for themselves.
The name you give yourself as an MC should be a direct reflection of who you are and what you bring to the culture.
I was in the studio one-night recording in Oakland. At the time, my rap name was Jesse Mudde Letho. I pronounced Mudde as mud.
A friend of mine said wet dirt in a hook on a song we were creating.
Somehow it never occurred to me that mud is just water and soil. When the soil gets wet, it turns to mud. Duuuhh
After I watch this interview with KRS-1, it hit me. I started to really think about who I am and what I am as an artist.
I started understanding that my name was no accident.
It was more than something that I thought sounded dope. It actually had a meaning that quite possibly, had I not taken my spiritual journey and asked questions, may not have ever known.
My name is what I am. Life. We all come from the earth. Dirt. Soil.
The earths physical contents include water. Oceans, Rivers, and Lakes.
Even us human beings consists of 70 to 75 percent water and the air, breath, brings the water and earth to life. Breath is spirit.
Wet.Dirt is more than something created or giving too me. Its who and what I am physically and spiritually. Now that’s dope!!!
I’m a God MC. I am life at its lowest existence and as high as sitting next to the sun without getting burnt.
I am what God sent to the world to be an inspiration to the voiceless. Hope for the hopeless and to tell the strong what the weak are not able to say.
It was the last leg of the course on my journey from Religion to Spirituality. Self-discovery was complete. Now the real growth and fun begins.
I am life. I love to learn. I love to love. I love to share what I have learned especially if it can be of value to someone else.
I love Hip-hop. There’s no way I could have made it through life without it. My beautiful addiction is far more than just a beautiful addiction. Hip-Hop is my being. My existence.
I love that I have found out who I really am and what I’m sent here to do while having the freedom to pursue it.
I fully believe with everything in me that Hip-Hop was sent here by that same higher power that hangs the sun in the air, rolls the tide of the ocean in and out and blows a wind we can’t see but definitely can feel.
It is spirit. The MC’s, DJ’s, Graffiti artist, break dancers, and activist that choose to express themselves while speaking and writing thought provoking literature outside of a poetic form, are all human expressions of that spirit.
Black folks on this earth, in this country we call America, have suffered far beyond what we could physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally imagine.
Before Hip-Hop, Black folks who stood up on our behalf to bring awareness, inspiration and hope were silenced in dismissive fashions or murdered, so God sent something that can never be killed and will live forever. Hip-Hop.
Our true African identities and spiritual natures, were stripped away in the skullduggery of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
A slave is nothing. Or even less, property. Slaves are involuntary workers with no say.
They can be treated however those that have rule over them see fit because there simply property. People were treated this way! Like property. Black folks.
When I think about the fact that we were actually stolen from Africa or worse, business was conducted and we were allowed to be taken, I get pissed. I really get pissed when I think about them motherfuckers never coming back to reclaim us. However, I do love my brothers and sister over there and one day hope to visit and see where all this came from.
While we were basically here to fend for ourselves and struggled mightily, eventually, our cries for help and prayers were answered.
We were given a tool that provided us the platform to scream loud enough so the world could finally hear while at the same time giving us something that can be completely ours as American black people.
Just think, beats, a microphone, and this spirit moving through the descendants of ancestors who unjustly perished.
Us. Black Americans. This is OURS. Hip-Hop. Hopefully, my journey can be a manual to help free others. Peace and blessings.