Gimme' a beat, a microphone, and hundreds of people who love Hip Hop. Put them in a venue together while serving fresh tacos, fried noodles, and Jarritos soda, now you got something huge! Mission Underground Los Angeles 2015 (MULA) was by far the most realist Hip Hop experience I have ever had. 3 days of non-stop music, networking, and passion was all that filled my lungs, and that's all I really needed. Well, I might've needed an inhaler 'cause everyone's bars were sickening! (Not too mention that LA smog is a real thing. Lol)
My girl and I flew 2000+ miles across the Pacific Ocean from our smog-free island home and landed safely in the smog capital itself- beautiful Los Angeles, CA. After getting situated at our hotel and familiarizing ourselves with the commute to MULA, we arrived early at the Mad Ave warehouse in LA on Day 1 of Mission Underground. We were quickly greeted by a group of young men already having a little freestyle cypher across the street. As the hours went by, the small group turned into a large crowd of hundreds of people. We lined up, checked in, and proceeded to complete our missions- the live auditions. The event opened up with a number of welcomes from the TBP host, owners, and a motivational speech. The first 2 days' focus was the Live Cypher Draft- the live auditions to make it to top 12. Every participant was talented and hungry to build their networks and music portfolios.
There were cameras every where, people selling and handing out CDs/Flyers/T-Shirts and all kinds of merchandise to get their name out there. I came equipped with business cards and stickers and shook hands with so many dope artists, even seeing some familiar faces I follow on social media. As a female artist though, it was particularly great to meet other "femcees" in the large pool of our male counterparts. It was also great to see all the parents and significant others that came to support their kids and family members on this big step in to the Hip Hop scene.
So after hours of shaking hands and networking, it was finally time for my audition. They had my group situated on the side of the stage as we waited for our time to go up. I shook each of the participant's hands and we all walked on together. My heart was beating so fast I honestly felt like I couldn't hear anybody. Luckily I had my girl standing right in the middle with IPhones locked and loaded to record my audition for friends back home. Although I slipped a bit in my first try, I recomposed myself and did my best to show the audience and participants what I got as a Hip Hop head from little Honolulu. After I did my set, I was jubilant to have so many people receptive to my lyrics and shake my hands, especially from guys. I have never performed in front of an official Hip Hop crowd and to have them "feel" my words and delivery, was a success in itself.
Although I didn't make it to top 12, I know that this is only the beginning of my excited journey in my musical and business pursuits. I honestly want to thank each and every person that donated to my IndieGoGo fundraiser. You folks honestly have know idea how much it means to me that my Hawaii people and family from around the U.S. literally funded me and my girl's trip to MULA. You all give me the strength to continue doing what I love and building my brand. I hope to see you all in the crowd next time I perform here in Honolulu and hopefully back on the mainland real soon.
Be sure to check out my two part vlog at the top of this page or visit my Youtube channel by clicking here. Below is my audition video shot by my girl, but the official recording will be posted on TeamBackpack's second channel in June.
OTDHipHop is an independent music blog and network, curated by Rapper/Blogger Jehzan Exclusive.