This project was another opportunity for me to try something new.
A few days before I started this project, I was gifted a drum set. We have many instruments in my home—multiple guitars, mbira, cello, hand drums, looper, etc. But the drum set was new, and I wanted to incorporate it.
I have no idea how to play, so a good friend of mine, Brian Yoder, came over and gave me a crash course. I am, without a doubt, terrible at it, but it’s super fun. If you ever get a chance to bang on a drum, do it.
My wife and I are always looking for fun ways to create via many different forms of art. Music comes the easiest, as she is a musician. So that is what we do more often than now.
We chose the song because it’s one of my favorite songs. Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, is an incredibly talented artist and paying homage to such a cultural icon is something I always look for excuses to do. The drum solo is a lot more complicated than it sounds, as is the guitar sections, so it was a challenge.
The reality is the song uses multiple drums and numerous guitars to get the sound. Also, while using different effects on the drums to get a hard to duplicate sound. I also have an electric drum set in my garage, but that’s not mine, and I don’t know how to use it. So I didn’t.
He is walking around and pretty much every current famous Black artist is in it, just having fun and chilling in the video. In the end, you see Michelle Obama hugging Kanye West, and we all know he needs a lot of them. It’s a great video with a beautiful message. So often were portrayed in a negative light, so I always appreciated the video.
Eugene Weekly (EW) is a place that changed my life. In 2019 I was awarded a grant funded by Google to write for Eugene Weekly. It is a very prestigious award, given to a very selective group of people. I was one of 10,000 applicants.
Writing has changed my professional trajectory and I now have multiple freelance gigs that keep me afloat. I’m not about to buy a sports car or anything, but my wife and I are in the process of buying our first home.
EW is my place to learn and grow as a human. When I am in my office, I can use my brain in a way I often cannot. I can either boost a person to new heights or expose them to the vile creatures they are in those walls. I love it more than anything I have ever known, other than my wife.
This project is a culmination of all the things I love. My wife’s music, my new drum set, my beautiful Black face, with accompanying grey beard, and of course my puppy (who was being surprisingly well mannered.)
An opportunity to show what I love is something I cherish, and I’m fortunate to have the skills and machinery to do so. This project was fun. I’m rather sad this class is ending. I hope you all like my song. I got myself some online drum lessons so that you will hear more from me.