By Joy Lynn Clark
I met Tez and Shystie in 2001 at a Ghostface show. I was invited by a promoter friend of mine and I was scheduled to perform at a venue nearby in a couple of weeks. I was glad to meet my friend and he passes me a VIP lanyard and we go upstairs. We see the show and then my friend wanders off to go and schmooze afterwards. I grab myself a drink and decide to go and do my own mingling.
As I head downstairs, Tez tries to stop me and introduce himself but I have really got to go and I dismiss him quickly and then I practically run to the ladies room.
On my way back, the bouncer stops me and I realize that my lanyard is missing. I look up the stairs and noticed that the girl that was near Tez is eyeing me closely. I eventually talk the bouncer into letting me up anyways. Tez approaches me again and I am not sure that I should be talking to him but he is persistent. I also have never seen this guy before and I go to these shows all the time.
On the other hand, my time is running short for my high-rise on the near Southside. I had jusy left a salaried gig at a tech start up to do contract work and go back to school. I hadn’t had a contract in a while and I might have to move back into my grandparents building. The only thing available is the basement.
I am frustrated but I move back north anyhow. Money Wise it was a waiting game, either I get another contract or wait for a loan. I totally needed to get my life back on track and I had no time for this persistent, yet sort of charming, If I was in a better mood, guy and his friend, “Shystie”. Well ain’t that the truth, I think that’s the girl who swiped my lanyard.
I move back north and I am miserable about giving up my place. Dude keeps calling my cell and I am ignoring him. Eventually, I pick up. He Invited me to a head little bar that I’ve been to a million times but never seen him at. While we’re getting to know each other I confess that I am looking for work. He Introduces me to this guy that I see around here all the time and, he offers me a street team job that I gladly accept.
Tez calls me early the next day (and by early I mean like two or three and I was thinking like nine or 10). I wasn’t really ready and I was dressed business casual. I popped in a CD and I told them about my latest beats. Shystie was in the backseat and I am still unsure of this girl.
We ride around the northside and do some store drops. We are banging my music in the ride and I am pleased that Tez and Shystie like it. Next we take a siesta lunch and blunt break and chill before we do the night circuit.
Next, we need to split up and Tez jumps in the ride with some other street team guys and Shystie jumped in the driver seat. As we pull up near the venue, we start looking for parking. We walk up and there is a massive group out front. I see my stepniece, Jahquea and it’s hard to connect because these dudes right in front of us had a massive brawl. “Go to the car!”, Yelled one of the guys from the street team. Shystie and I go back to the ride. I am bummed that I am going to miss this N.E.R.D. show but this is a hot mess.
Shystie is unlocking the driver side door and some chick runs up from nowhere and grabs her. I run around to her side and snatch the girl off and I take her down. Then a cop comes and takes me down. He’s totally treating me like a criminal and I am facedown on the concrete with a knee in my back. I’m trying to explain and finally the cops let me up enough to check my ID. My leather is ruined and I have some nasty bruises now.
I really wanted to go home because I look like a brawler now.
Eventually, I settle into my new lifestyle even though we got off to a really shaky start. Every day I do production, go to school, sell mixtapes, do street promo, and get emails for the mailing list inside the club. Boy was I having an awesome time.
Tez, Shystie and I decided to record some songs. They were pretty cool and when my loans came in we decided to rent a place together. The three of us looked at lofts, apartments, and condos but we eventually decided on a four bedroom house in a Trendy neighborhood. I set up my gear in one of the rooms and we each had a room of our own. After we sign the lease, Shystie flakes out of Course.
Tez meets me downtown by my school as scheduled. He takes me over by Crucial Conflict’s studio on the southside. We make introductions and I hand them a CD with some tracks. I really thought that “Countrytime” was the pitch so I know that I included that one. Shystie wasn’t with us on this particular meeting but I strongly insisted that I made the tracks and that I did the production work myself.
you can find the Friday, Tez, and Shyste music in the early music tab