So ages 18-28, I refer to as the blurry years. I spent the prime years of my life partying often in an alcohol/cocaine induced state of mind. During this period I also fathered two children but was still wading in the waters of selfishness and immaturity. I managed to stay gainfully employed however I ran the streets with the hustlers and when in Rome, you do what the Romans do. In the late 90's my life just really spiraled out of control which ended my relationship at the time as well as the lost of my job. I entered yet a even darker mindset and right at the beginning of the new millennium, I found myself once again in the county jail.........
Through the wonder working power of God I was able to walk again and finally was released from the hospital. Equipped with a new mercies, a new mindset and a new faith, I assumed I was ready to embrace my old stomping grounds, so naïve. However, I eventually surrendered to the constant temptations. Having to wear the groundbreaking halo neck brace was mentally and physically exhausting. No matter where I went, I was always the elephant in the room. And though I knew the public wasn't accustomed to seeing someone with a metal neck brace before, it still was overwhelming. So I had to deal with constant inquiries of my condition from complete strangers as well as mockery with nicknames such as Terminator or Robocop. Basically, I felt like a walking science project and all I wanted to do was just be normal again, to just be Ron again. So once again I leaned on the bottle for support. Being inebriated numb my sensitivity to what people thought, it also made me comfortable in my own skin again. Yet for all that alcohol appeared to give me, it took even more, as it ruthlessly opened the gates of hell in my life. Once again I became a slave to addiction as I abandoned the instruction and disciplines of my faith.
In the summer of 1991, my life came to a crashing halt, literally. A night of hanging out with the homies ended in a bad car wreck in which I suffered a severe neck injury. Hospitalized for 40 days, with a temporary bout with paralysis, I had time to think. It was here where I came into understanding of God's amazing grace. The physician informed me that according to my injury, I was in the .1% survival rate. It didn't take a mathematician to calculate that the Lord had a hand in this. At my request ,my mother got my pastor on the phone and he lead me to Christ.
My passion for rhyming eventually took a back seat to alcohol and drug abuse. While many artists claim these vices assisted in inspiring creativity, they had the complete opposite effect on me. My addictions were like vampires sucking the life out of all my ambitions, hopes and dreams. I now refer to this passage of my life as the blurry years. Nas hit the nail on the head in his hit song, "Street Dreams : a case of beer on the staircase,I wasted years."
Rich sent a copy of the talent show to some labels and one appeared to show interest but those flames slowly fizzled out. Me and the crew went our separate ways shortly after that. I continued writing songs in my pastime but the lure of thug/drug culture was drawing me in. Personal life struggles overwhelmed this young impressionable teen and when the streets were calling I eagerly answered. This started the downfall, as rap legend DMX said: I was slipping, falling and, for an extensive period, it seem like I couldn't get up. Through it all my pen remained my best friend, in whom I confided my deepest thoughts and feelings.
Rich was the drill sergeant needed to hone the core skills I already possessed. Through an intense rehearsal schedule, often into the late night hours, I learned voice projection, stage presence and how to hype accompanying performers. The hard work paid off as we manage to become a stand out act amongst an amazing plethora of talent. That night in the spring of 88, I rocked the mic and the crowd. This transition from the audience to the stage, Ron Love,(original stage name) emerged as an emcee and that cemented hip-hop as my first love.
As I turned to walk away I bumped into my old dancing partner Kid Fresh, who informed me he was auditioning as a rapper. We decided to partner up once again and now with a homie on the team, my nerves were somewhat quieted. As we entered the auditorium we encountered a local legend, Lil Richie. It was truly amazing to witness the huge talent that God had placed in such a small frame. Rich pretty much took us under his wings as we formed a group on the spot. We made the cut off the strength his name alone. Lol, I'll never forget the look on Rich's face when he read my rhyme for the first time. He was like," I'll write yall raps for the show." Lol, nothing like discovering the rhyme you thought was so hot was really wack........to be con't
My love for Poppin came to a screeching halt in 1987 when the dance form faded out of style. I was a devastated teen on the verge of mastery of the popular dance style and just like that it was gone. Rapping had forged it's way to the forefront of Hip Hop culture so I had no choice but to spread my wings and fly with the currents. During my freshman year in High School, Carver High began having auditions for it's annual talent show. Herald as the Apollo of our region, local legends were made in this city-wide talent showcase. I had only rapped in public once at the time and it was a very unmemorable performance for most except for me. I knew from the first time I came to the Talent Show, in the early 80's, that I was on the wrong side of the stage and that one day I too would move the crowd. So I stood outside of the auditorium where the auditions were held, in the words Biggie, " my heart beat was like Sasquatch feet." In my hand was a crumbled up piece of notebook paper with my best written rhyme and all I had to do was go in. Overcome by nerves, I turned to walk away from my dream and then........to be con't
I wish I could say this was when my I began writing dope rhymes right away but that wouldn't be the truth. Actually my love for rapping was side tracked when discovered Breakdancing/Poppin. We all know that the dance is the first bride married to music. Dancing is universal in language and I must say I truly loved the art form. Was I the best, no way. Did I think I was the best? Absolutely! lol. I participated in dance battles up & down the east coast, from N.C. to New Jersey and further down S.C. Poppin instilled discipline because you had to live, sleep and eat the lifestyle. I was always thinking, creating and rehearsing new moves. It through this vehicle of hip-hop I encountered Chris Wheeler aka Kid Fresh. I had no idea how gifted the kid with the thick eyeglasses was until after he embarrassed me in a dance battle. We partnered up and called a truce.........to be con't
My music is the most clearest reflection of Ron Stop, past, present and future. I've always loved music from the very first time I played that Commodores 8 track, "Brick House". My cousin and I were at my Aunt's house the very first time I heard the Sugarhill Gang's, "Rappers Delight." It was one of the most amazing things I ever heard. We played the album over & over, trying to learn the words. Needlessly to say Aunt Linda's became the hang-out place as we dug in the record collection regularly. My uncle had this small boom-box which had a swiveling microphone attached to it. Me & cuz spent countless hours imitating the different rap groups we listened to, I gravitated to the mic while cuz fell in love the wheels of steels. Thus the seed was sowed and passion was inevitably born............to be con't. :)