I just saw a re-tweet on my timeline that read “RIP ‘surfing the web’, 1991 - 2007. Survived by Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and RSS. Been dead for more than five years and no one noticed.” I laughed a little bit, and got to thinking. You know what died, too? Conversation. In an age where dialogue is hard to come by - I mean, why call your friends when you know what they’re doing based on a status update? - it’s refreshing to sit and talk with people and share stories. Lucky for me, I’ve been engaging in a lot of that in the last two days.
It started at the Assemble Media office, where the Traklife Radio show is hosted. The Rick & Ray squad was invited by Mike Mendoza (DJ/writer for the media co), who wanted to build on cross-promotion ideas. What was supposed to be a meeting turned into on-air time. We talked about our talent collective and what they’re up to. We talked about our upcoming event with Ahmad (yes, Back in the Day Ahmad). And I was able to tell the greatest story I’ve ever told - how Rick & Ray got its name.
And then it was off to the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in LA, where I was a guest speaker (along with my partner, Jovin) to a group of high school students for a leadership development program. I wanted them to leave the lecture influenced by hard work and living what you love. I spoke about what that meant for me as an owner of two companies. But I might have been the one that was influenced. When we were done telling our stories, we were open to questions and just started shootin’ the shit. Life’s hard for most of them - gangs, gentrification, police raids, drugs. No matter what people say, there is struggle here, and it’s heavily affecting the youth. I was really nervous going into it. I don’t know why since I’ve done this before. Maybe I was in denial, maybe I didn’t want to see at-risk kids and understand their experiences. But for what it’s worth, I’m glad I did it.