Sunday, April 15, 2012

Last Night my Son Opened for a National Act!

Just when you think life has no more surprises....that's when it happens huh?

I mean there I was watching Drago kill Apollo Creed last night.

Sure, I've seen this movie 1/2 million times, but SPIKE TV is running a Rocky marathon all weekend.

RING-RING-RING goes my phone.

It's Saturday night and my son is calling....hmmmmm unusual.

But I'm thrilled none the less, and when I answer, at first I became alarmed because it kinda sounded like he was hyperventilating.

My son assured there was no tragedy to report, actually quite the opposite.....

"Dad how many national acts did you open for tonight?"

I didn't know where this was going, but from the tone in his voice....I could tell it was a JACKPOT life moment.

"Ah, none tonight, I'm just kicking it with Drago."

Tydus doesn't ask me for details, this conversation is going to be about him.....

"Tonight I made my poetry debut. I opened up for Def Poetry artist Shihan. I really can't believe it. The guy is my favorite artist and he asked me If I wanted to open for his show tonight?"

I know very little about the "SLAM" side of poetry, but my son follows it, hip hop and rap religiously.

He always has.

Apparently Shihan was being sponsored by Adidas to tour colleges performing spoken word sets.

I guess he gigged in NYC the previous night, but now....there he was in the middle of an Iowa cornfield at Luther College.

Tydus purposely switched his work shift so he could get off early enough to get a good seat at the performance.

While my son was camped out in the hallway....Shihan walks by ready to enter the concert hall.

I don't know what Tydas said, but he struck up a conversation with the poet, and truth be told, I think Shihan was impressed with how in tune my son had been following his career.

Shihan then asked Tydus if he wrote, and my kid said.....

"Yes, but I've never hit the stage like you do, but I will soon enough, you'll be hearing about Tydus down the road."

Then this wonderful man smiled at my kid and responded.....

"Good, go get your work and meet me at the stage, you're gonna open for me tonight!"

Tydus said he was scared sh**less, but he ran back to his dorm and got his stuff.

In 20 years I don't know if I ever heard my son so excited.

My mind began racing back to taking him to little league games while listening to Eminem, The Beastie Boys and Run DMC.

I don't get silent very often, but I think I was shocked from my son being shocked.

Finally I said.....

"Did you post the info on your Facebook wall so I can see your sets lyrics, or find out more about the guy you opened for?"

Then my kid says in an anxious voice.....

"No, I will in a minute, but I wanted to call you before I did any of that."

O-M-G.....I'm not gonna lie, I almost cried.

I was so grateful to this man, a guy whose identity was foreign to me.

We live in a world where media promotes cynicism, but that's not always the case huh?

This Shihan guy was confident enough in himself to share his resources with another person who had nothing to give back other than respect and admiration.

And through this action, he gave my son an experience that has changed his life for the better.

I'm still not sure that "SLAM" will ever be my scene, but Shihan, 1000 thanks.

And let me remind you.....the world will be hearing a lot from young Tydus in the near future......due to your generosity.


  1. Wow! My son is reading this over my shoulder and loves Def Poetry Jam and says "Wowzers!"

    1. That's right, Eric pretty much runs a parallel scene with my son.

  2. This is a beautiful piece. Your pride and love for Tydus just ramps through it.