It was 1995 and I worked in a call center for a wireless phone company that doesn't exist anymore. Back then, I was just another customer service rep on the call center floor. I use to think I was hot shit with my music production though I really didn't know anything yet. I used to go around telling people I was a music producer at my job even though all I really was was a pianist who "thought" he had the upper-hand simply because he was trained in music. The truth was, I knew nothing about the music business back then but still had a huge ego for no real reason.
All I knew was at this point in life I enjoyed writing drumbeats with a cheesey drum machine called the Alesis SR-16. It was kinda crazy because I remember talking so much trash to my friends bragging how I knew so much and how much of a genius I was with equipment. That when I finally got my hands on my 1st drum machine & 4 Track Cassette recorder, I was completely lost. Which made me look like a complete ass to everyone around me. I was offered to borrow my bro's friends 4 track recorder and his drum machine which I gave up on how to work them after the 1st weekend of having them. After that weekend, both of these items literally sat in my house and collected and extreme amount of dust on a wooden standup shelf I had in my bedroom at my mom's house. So really this was just a tool for me to use to brag to people that I was a "record producer". So I had to give them back which I did willingly but I recall being very upset with myself for not putting more effort into learning both pieces of equipment.
You see, up until this point myself & my friend Keno, (Which was my rap partner in my group) had only recorded off other people's instrumentals on a karioke machine. Let me break it down for you. I took my hard earned money and bought a $100 karioke machine which had dual cassette decks on it so we could play an instrumental on 1 side, and then insert a blank tape in the other side, plug in 2 mics and start recording our raps over other peoples instrumentals. Sadly, we thought we were the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well anyways, I got a call from Eric (my Bro's Friend) late one night & he told me he was in a financial jam and was willing to sell me that drum machine he let me borrow for $200. Well me being the hustler I am I think I chewed him down to like $160 and my best friend Alex was over at the time.
So we hopped in his car and we went over and picked it up. I brought it home and was confused once again. I turned off the machine & went to bed mad at myself for not understanding how the damn thing worked. Well after like a week of finally figuring a few things out about how to use it. I somehow hit a button and all my damn drumbeats were gone. Now I was pissed so I got desperate and asked my brother if he knew anyone that could help me. My bro Bill introduced me to his friend Mike. (Shout out to Mike and Eric for giving me my start. And also Keno for telling me I should make hip hop beats since I was a talented piano player) Anyways, once I met Mike and told him my troubles he asked me to bring the drum machine to him and see if he could help me out with it.
The next week I went up to his apt and after about 3 hours we figured out the problem. You see, there were 2 modes on the machine. Pattern mode & Song mode, Pattern mode was where you composed your drumbeats. Song Mode was where you took a bunch of different patterns and combined them all together and made a song out of them. So we figured out I somehow switched to song mode by pressing the song/pattern mode button which toggled between the 2 modes. After Mike switched me back to pattern mode I sat in the corner of Mikes home studio on his drumkit seat behind his kit with a pair of headphones on making drumbeats figuring out more about the drum machine. Mike didn't know it yet, but he just lit a fire under my ass which I can say was the exact moment I became ambitious.
I went home that night and got on my big brother's computer and printed out the owners manual for the SR-16 drum machine. And it became my goal in life to learn that machine inside and out. After that I was screwed in life. I spent all the money I had on upgrading my music equipment. I bought a crappy keyboard called the Yamaha DJX. Then I bought a 4 track cassette recorder, then a better mic, a boom stand, a better mic stand, midi cables, better guitar chords, a sampler, etc. It was kinda like the studio in hustle and flow but with a bunch of white guys. You see, when all my friends were out drinking, smoking weed, and getting into trouble. I turned to music instead. So basically (By choice) I sat in my little crappy studio and composed music and wrote songs. And honestly, I wouldn't change that time for the world.