Always educate yourself.
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We were probably the last people in the country to get a VCR and we didn't have cable. There wasn't any admiration of glamour, no, 'I want to look like them or have that lifestyle', because everyone in my town had the same lifestyle. So I didn't think, 'Ooh, a movie star's birthday!' I just thought, 'What?'
Like most lit nerds, I'm a voracious reader. I never got enough poetry under my belt growing up but I do read it - some of my favorites, Gina Franco and Angela Shaw and Cornelius Eady and Kevin Young, remind me daily that unless the words sing and dance, what's the use of putting them down on paper.
When I decided to be a musician I reckoned that that was going to be the way of less profit, less money. I was sort of giving up the idea of making a lot of money. It was what I loved to do. I would have done it anyway. If I'd had to work at Taco Bell I'd have still been out at night trying to play music.
This stand wasn't because I feel like I'm being put down in any kind of way. This is because I'm seeing things happen to people that don't have a voice: people that don't have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and affect change. So I'm in the position where I can do that, and I'm going to do that for people that can't.