Grown Up Firsts

By Joy Lynn Clark

May 22nd 2022

Before I met Tez and Shystie I did lots of promo while in college. However, my first gig was in a pizza spot/bar on the north side of Chicago where I also went to school. I mention school a lot but, I was at city College studying liberal arts. There I met a cool guy who did lots of promo work outside of school. I loved getting into all of the hip-hop, dance Hall, and dance music  shows.  In addition to that, he also helped me get a job on campus and, we were on school clubs together.

I was thrilled when he got an offer to do his own gig at the bar and he invited me to be one of the performers. The other performers were Kuumba Lynx  and MIC.  They did performance poetry and I would do poems or recite my raps. It was awesome!

I was so excited to meet the, “graphic designer”. My guy announced as some girl pulls up in front of the club and he grabbed the box of flyers from the trunk. “Oooh” I think to myself my name is on it too. “These other cats. . . And Joy”. That graphic designer girl was on the move that night but, I was hoping to get a better introduction at some other time.

By Halloween our event was successful and the joint was packed. I love this gig, the city, and my life as a student.

Eventually, my friend introduces me to the graphic designer. She was already a college graduate and I thought that she was cool and professional. What really impressed me was her nice job. We hit it off and it turned out that she did not live too far from me. We ended up exchanging information and we kept in touch over the years from the northside to the southside.  Eventually, I graduated.

In those first couple of years we went out from time to time but we really bonded when I finally got a decent job. Before that I couldn’t really afford to go out without rolling with the street team. I had a few jobs, the publishing company, the movie network shop, And then the tech firm. Then she had a couple of jobs One was at a bookstore and the other was doing design for a movie poster company.

Boy did I feel like a grown-up with my tiny salary and cool apartment. Although I didn’t make much, my new Besty and I can go all sorts of places. I love that she would meet me downtown for lunch, shopping, and clubbing. I even started ordering martinis. Classy.

I also started my first website. I published my original poetry and copies of AP stories that I found most interesting. One day while I was surfing and streaming music I found an E flyer for a cool looking rave in New Jersey.

I recognized a lot of the names on the flyer. Imagine my surprise when this girl agrees to go with me.  We buy our plane tickets and book our room. I am still shocked that she agreed to come. Our hotel was near Philadelphia and the venue was just over the border in Jersey.

This thing was huge! Whistle was in a venue the size of a shopping mall. My girl was cool as long as we could watch the playoffs. I couldn’t believe that this girl was a Laker fan but, with these choices I’d be one too.

After watching the playoffs then, we head on over to the event. Every kind of electronic style was represented.  I ended up meeting a cool guy by the name of Roobix Kube.  What a tripped out name I thought but I wanted to have some cool peeps out this way to link up with next visit. I let this DJ know that I make dance music, rap and sing. I have partied harder in my life, but this was kind of a business trip for me. I also promoted my website a bit.

Luckily for me, my friend and I didn’t need too many vacation days. As soon as We return, my stepmom invites me to go with her to visit my stepbrother who is stationed in England.  I am stoked about my first visit to Europe!

I also met a guy from the west side who makes a lot of dance tracks but he gave me some hip-hop.

Joy Clark is a writer, producer, vocalist, and publisher. Lexington, KY

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