Taking my love for Hip Hop to another level started when I took a course called "Rap, Culture, and God," spring semester of this year.
After taking that course I decided to enroll in the Hip Hop minor offered here at the University of Arizona's department of Africana Studies, having introduced the nation's first Hip Hop minor (maybe even the world).
This, at the moment, was what I thought would embark me to become not just a fan of Hip Hop but a student of Hip Hop (and it did).
As summer vacation soon approached, I decided to see if I could possibly apply what I had learned so far into the field. It felt like a long shot because I was, truly, fresh off the boat and was well aware that there was much more I needed to learn. But what can you lose from putting yourself out there and seeing what can happen, right? I knew I was passionate enough.
So there I was, visiting all Hip Hop related websites, many of which I frequently visit and others that I had stumbled upon for the first time. I looked for that "Internships" tab or the "Contact" tab, typically at the bottom of the sites homepage and sent in my resume and cover letter.
Time passes and I receive a reply from the Editor in Chief of HipHopDX.com, Justin Hunte, simply stating, "Our internships are based in Los Angeles. Will you be able to work out of Hollywood for the duration of the program?" And all I read was possibility.
[Of course, there was a process of e-mails being received and sent, questions being asked and answered, and clarifications from both sides to be made within this period.]
Although I only had two weeks to make it happen, I did.
I put in some extra hours at work, collected enough money to change the tires on my car, moved out early from my apartment at the time and found a place to stay in Los Angeles.
From one morning, one decision, and one summer, my life changed forever. I went from a fan, to a student, to an intern, to a contributor of Hip Hop. Now... I am all of the above.
The internship lasted a little over two months and I returned home right back in time before my senior year of college started.
Within those two months, I met and made friendships with some amazing people. Not only that, but I worked under some of the most talented and respected (in my eyes) journalists in the industry.
Before departing the HHDX office, Justin Hunte had what he calls "exit interviews" with each of the Summer 2014 interns. Exit interviews are simply meant for seeing the interns perspective on the program, what improvements can be made, and reflecting on the experience, usually lasting about fifteen minutes.
Of course, my exit interview lasted no where near the fifteen minutes. I mean, who could blame me right? I was talking to the Editor-in-Chief of HHDX! "The Company Man." The man who changed the course of my summer, offered me the opportunity of a lifetime, and now I had the time to sit down, one on one with him.
One hour later the interview ended with me asking him all the questions. I learned an abundance of information in this one hour just as much as I did over the course of the two months. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I did learn a lot! If it wasn't for the DX Daily we easily would've been out there (in the patio where the interviews took place) for at least another hour.
Needless to say, in that one hour outside under the California sun, I got a horrible shorts tan. Three months later and I can still see the tan lines. It was all worth it though!
Even though I wish we had more time to talk that afternoon, I got enough from that interview to recognize Justin Hunte on the site and do a write up. I know eventually, I will be able to add more to the story. But until then... I hope you enjoy what came from the one hour that I had with "The Company Man."