I love creating something that I wouldn’t have alone. I love being able to see another person’s imagination because it makes me feel safe to be myself around them. If I’m safe to be myself, extraordinary things happen, when someone feels safe to be themselves with me, more extraordinary things happen.
WE WILL DO THE ABSOLUTE MOST TOGETHER.
Ask my baby brother, who has done the most with me. Ask anybody who’s been in the company of us together and ask how much of the most is done. The most peaks with us. It only goes downhill from there, on so many levels. One of the original doing the most partners I have is Anthony.
Most of you know him as Goog.
I was the youngest child for about five seconds before he surprised us in Deutschland, so my gift to him was that nickname. Googie. It was supposed to be Gummy Bear, but when you’re 21 months old words don’t always come out right; they just come out cute. Poor kid’s been stuck with it for 34 years.
I give the best nicknames.
We were weird, creative, and pretty much vibrated at the same level at all times. I don’t know how other siblings got down in their house but we shared imaginary friends.
WE SHARED MADE UP PEOPLE.
They had voices and everything, and I can remember off the top of my head at least six of them. That’s a lot of made-up voices to keep track of between two small children. As our interest in music expanded, we took on more vigorous pretend games, an outlet to showcase our perfected voices in our little community; our absolute favorite rainy-day game was called Radio Show.
Radio Show was our take on Tom Joyner’s Morning Show back in the early ’90’s. We popped a tape in the deck, plugged a pair of headphones into the microphone outlet, and pressed record. We relied on unscripted banter and edited our own music by pressing pause to skip over any profanity. Which means we already knew the words to whatever we were playing to anticipate it. A couple of pre-teens (I was thirteen and he was eleven) editing Dr. Dre’s The Chronic for a pretend game. Our remaining imaginary friends from our childhood came on as guests often. Our banter is usually enough for us, to this day it still is, but Litchume and Cindy (a couple names that I remember) started to bore us. Plus when you’re trying to be cool, you kinda start to abandon your imaginary friends.
They were predictable; we had complete control over what they said, even if it was hilarious.
We needed a challenge.
Without thinking twice about if we would get made fun of we invited our friends to play with us, who willingly went on as guests. Still not sure how I talked my seventh-grade boyfriend and my other friends to play along, but Y’all know who you are and if I dug through my parent’s stuff enough I could likely pull solid gold recordings up that will make you feel a lot less cool than you thought you were in the seventh grade.
I don’t blame you guys; my brother and I have made a lot of things look fun that hasn’t always turned out to be fun.
Or safe, for that matter. One thing that comes to mind is us and the neighborhood kids taking turns walking out on a half-frozen pond while we shared a single cigarette between the seven of us.
Or that time I talked one of my friends into eating her boogers because I found mine delicious and wanted to eat my boogers in peace.
I mean, we survived but still.
I think the last time we plugged it in and fired up I was a junior in High School before our older brother left. I think that’s when I stopped playing Barbies, too. I eventually plugged my Barbie fix with the Sims, but our Radio Show eventually faded away, only to be brought up during inside jokes at family gatherings.
Fast-forward a billion years later. The old boom box is gone and I’m living two hours away from my first recording studio. Rham Cunningham calls me in with an amazing opportunity- to bring the game I shared with my baby brother to life. I’m excited and fearful at the same time; it’s not every day your homeboy calls you up to his station and invites you to do something you did for fun before it was actually called something.
Back before computers and editing
Before we even owned a microphone
Just a set of headphones plugged into the boombox I got when I was twelve.
A tape with handwriting pressed into the deck
Pressing that record button.
Here we go, Y’all.
Do the most with me.
Join me on the best collaboration of my life, OUR podcast, Out Loud.
Let’s see how far our imaginations will take us this time.
I’m not gonna call in our imaginary friends or anything, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.