New Roland Articles: The L.A. Beat Scene and Ras G
A quick summary of my latest projects.
When he reached out about some new writing opportunities in February I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to balance them with teaching. The teaching/writing balance has been a real struggle for me this past year.
In the end I said yes to his proposed articles and I’m so glad I did.
I’m a bit rusty with long-form articles. I have one in process for another website that is way, way past deadline and I feel awful about it. But it’s a hard piece and I’ve struggled to write it well. That made me questions my ability to pull off these Roland stories.
I had also had some nervousness and self-doubt about two of the articles Ari proposed. One was an L.A. Beat Scene listening guide. The other was a profile of the late legend Ras G. I’m from the east coast. The last time I visited L.A. was in 2016. I found myself questioning if I could tell these stories the right way.
I ultimately said yes because I’ve been heavily influenced by Los Angeles producers for much of my of my writing career. I thought I might be able to highlight some hidden gems like Jonwayne’s 404 Blueberries while weaving in interesting historical details about the albums I selected.
I was excited and nervous to have the opportunity to write about Ras G. He was deeply loved by many and the music he made inspired countless people all over the world. Trying to write about him and his art is a daunting and overwhelming task—a process not to be taken lightly.
When Ras G passed I wrote a quick overview of his work but resisted doing something long-form because I wanted time to digest and think about his legacy. After holding off on writing something in-depth about him for a year and a half, I felt ready to talk about his music and his life in more detail.
I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to speak with his brother Bryan, who was incredibly kind and generous with his insights and time. It was an honor to have his family’s involvement with the piece and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Bryan’s help.
In the end, I can’t grow as a writer if I don’t push myself more. Maybe I wasn’t the most qualified person to tell these stories based on resume and geographic location, but I’m proud of the work I did.
I’d love it if you gave both articles a look. I’d like to hear your feedback and thoughts if you decide to read them. I also want to thank Ari Rosenschein for giving me a shot.
You can read both articles by clicking the links below.
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