If you have read any of what I had written on here before, then you would have probably guessed that I was into hip-hop at least a little bit, well enough to write my own lyrics. However, I did go as far as to perform a couple of times, and it really really is harder than it looks.
One of my friends was supposed to be performing on that day since it was the “official” last day of school, but he had an exam so (surprisingly enough) he told the head of our sixth
form that I should be a suitable replacement.
So I seized the opportunity and agreed to it without much thought, and before I knew it I found myself on stage with another friend of mine who is a good beat producer and one hell of a beat boxer (yep he was supplying the beat
with his own vocal cords!):
I am the one in blue here, and the first thing I thought when I saw this picture of myself performing is probably the same thing you are thinking…what the hell am I doing with my right hand? What is that gesture? Family and friends have told me that I am a very gesturing person when I talk, I make a lot of actions and gestures that I am barely aware of, now I don’t know if that is good or bad, but I do know that it can be comical!
The first thing I performed was an a capella, which is a rhythm and poetry piece without any beat (similar to deaf poetry). Some did not really know that a thing existed and looked confused as I noticed, but they settled in. The piece was of quite a serious nature concerning war and suffering which made the atmosphere a whole lot more solemn, but I made sure to liven it up again!
When I got up there, and realized everyone will be staring at me and my friend I felt nervous (obviously), my heart basically would just not stop beating fast and I was a little shaky, and here is what was really hard to do:
1. Being animated – asides from those silly gestures I really had a hard time being animated and lively or moving about. I felt really stiff and was unsure of how to act, especially since the audience were not all very hip-hop orientated (there were teachers there after all!) and I didn’t know if I was good or not. I mean, imagine if I was shockingly bad, then I would not move a muscle and spare everyone in the same room some humiliation.
2. Speaking/rapping with confidence – You know what everyone says about hearing their own voice when recorded? They hate it! And I do too! But even worse is hearing it played back as you speak live so that kind of threw me off a little, nevertheless I carried on and went ahead with it. I also have a very deep voice and it was just pure weirdness hearing that voice rapping like that…
3. Breath control - There is a reason that I made this one bold, and that is because it is a big problem for me. We take breathing as a subconscious process for granted, but when you rap and try to keep in rhythm with the beat you have to consciously breathe at times just so you won’t sound like you are being strangled. But I find that as you get better with writing and practising, the rhythm will start to fit in with breathing pattern and remembering to breathe and rapping can be done simultaneously.
Reflecting on that strange day, I think my performance was really really bad despite what a lot of my friends say. It is just one of those things that you can’t believe went well, nevertheless it has made me more determined to practice and practice and take on performing once again!
Oh and if you want to know what I performed, it was this piece mainly which was also written by me.
Peace and love!