How Do I Just… Start?

(getting over the fear of starting and just doing what you love and working with the information you have)

I’ve been blessed by being able to listen to podcasts or music all day at my workplace. Since I’m at work for more than half of my day, for years and years I’ve been stressed that for those eight hours I’m not actually doing anything productive; now, however, since I can listen to podcasts, I feel like I can be somewhat productive. To be honest, since early November I’ve been listening to true crime podcast after true crime podcast. I couldn’t get enough, but then I realized a lot of my anxiety throughout the day was due to jail talk within those podcasts, so I decided to take a break.

I kept my eye out for episodes and shows within my other interests, interests that are within my side-hustle, my goals, art and writing, and somehow Stitcher understood that I love hip hop. Like, a lot. And an episode, of a podcast that I’d never listened to before, came up on my homepage whose name was something about the origin of Crime Mobb. So, I listened to that and it brought me back to high school and my influx in finding my space in the hip hop listening scene. That, added with the fact that I knew these rappers and loved learning about them, and I was elated as fuck. I was at work, feeling hype as hell. I browsed the shows’ other episodes and eventually found one that was named something about the RZA. and freaked. And then listened to it and became even more hyped. I was doing monotonous tasks for eight hours a day all while being able to learn about things I missed learning about and it made me feel SO good.

Listening to hip-hop journalism podcasts made me wonder if I could be doing that, or better yet, ask myself “why wasn’t I doing that?” Which then made me list a thousand reasons, most of which are legitimate concerns, about why I don’t think I could do that; like, the first reason is that there has to be a core fact about hip-hop that I should know before being involved in it and being a credible source(right?); but, I didn’t know that core fact and why would I want to be a journalist of something if I’m not looked at as credible? Next, I think the most credible journalistic sources of music are those who actually know about the production of music. I don’t know jack shit about music and how it’s made or why it sounds the way it does, so I don’t want to say a song is good simply because it “sounds good.” If I could produce/play/make music myself I would be able to listen to a song and know if it had a cool riff or bridge or beat, but something more in-depth than that, and it’d be some great insight and make sense to actual hip-hop artists. But I don’t think I could relate to them like that.

It’s just so overwhelming to want to be a journalist of something when there are already so many experts, and it just takes so much damn time to become an expert. I’m constantly becoming overwhelmed about all of the musicians I like and how I haven’t listened to all of their stuff and how if I want to say that a rapper’s newest album is dope, I can’t actually say so if I haven’t listened to their other stuff. Listening to previous albums would allow me to relate them to each other and observe growth within the artist which, to me, is so important to look at.

I’m just constantly so overwhelmed by the enormity of everything, how in-depth everything has already been looked at by other people, and where I should start or stand in the road map of it all.

What are things you all have started delving into recently and how did you get over your fear to just start? Do you prepare for something or just dive right in?

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2 thoughts on “How Do I Just… Start?

  1. Couple things, first studying something requires 2 things: indelible curiosity, and a degree of comfort with being the dumbest person in the room. Secondly, you can love something for its own sake. You don’t have to have a working knowledge of it, for it to inspire that afore mentioned curiosity. When people write love letters they are explaining to someone what they don’t understand. Write your loveletter to hip-hop.

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