While plotting out an aim for the content of this issue I had the idea to hit up my friend, Milo. I had first become acquainted with him in October 2011, at a time when much of my energy was spent posting music for a Minneapolis-based hip hop blog. Milo was a college student whom had just recorded his first project and was in the process of reaching out to media outlets… or whoever would lend an ear. I remember the subject line of the email as if I were reading it yesterday, "Nerd Hop? Art Rap? A response to the drudgery." Click, I opened it immediately, listened to the tape and responded to his email. Excited that I had taken the time to check it out, Milo responded, "Currently I am in the library studying Plato's Phaedrus. You've made this notably more tolerable." I liked this guy.
So over the years we stayed in contact, keeping close tabs on each other's progress and achievements. When I reached out to him about contributing, I didn't have much of a direction in mind. I knew he was a thoughtful human so I titled the email, "But seriously, what's on your mind?" and offered up a vague set of parameters, "Memoir? Short fictional story? Philosophical ramblings? The platform is yours, christen it wisely."
He replied promptly, telling me that he had been keeping an eye on Greenroom and was hoping I would reach out. "I have an idea for a piece worth writing, I think, that speaks to my own situation as well as a number of kinda aimless young people; namely, dropping out of college to pursue x thing. It'd be a compelling first person write up and I could probably wax a little poetic in there, too... I also have grandiose visions of a divergent monologue in there concerning the aesthetics of broken iPhone screens."
We went with option #1. What I came to find was that Milo’s piece was representative of the overall issue, finding a sense of self.
Growing up with two iconic creatives for parents, Zoe Kravitz sought to escape their shadow and find who she was through her own creative expression, forming Lolawolf in the process. Travis O’Guin is an entrepreneur who made the switch from the furniture business to starting his own independent record label at a point when he was just a few years away from early retirement. Cipriana Quann was a model that realized the fashion industry had suppressed her natural beauty so she switched to the role of a journalist and blogger, and has gained major recognition as an advocate for women experiencing a similar set of pressures. Lotfy Nathan was in art school studying painting when a fascination with local dirt bike riders inspired him to switch his focus from the paint brush to the video camera, documenting their story on film. Vic Mensa was the frontman in a live hip-hop band playing festivals around the country and attracting major record label attention, until he decided to go solo.
And then there is Milo, a rapper that decided to take some time off from an esteemed Catholic liberal arts education to tour the country in his mom's Prius, playing basement shows in exchange for enough gas money to get him to the next basement show in the next town. A couple years ago I had a realization that I needed to find my own sense of self. I dropped out of college, with only a few credits left to be earned, to start a magazine about music, culture and wellness because it felt right. And now you’re reading it. I have found that more often than not, the hardest decisions are the ones that come to define our lives.
06 – Dilla’s Delights
14 – For the Love of Lube
16 – Vic Mensa: Solo Dolo
30 – Lolawolf
36 – 10,000 Hours: Adam Garcia
44 – Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon (print only)