“You better lose yourself in the music, the momet, you own it, you better never let it go go” I look into a mirror, staring at myself feeling calm and ready from outside to drop bombs in an upcoming rap competition. While the music is blasting in my ears, a surge of anxiety sweeps over my mind. “wah eh….” An abominable smell rushes into my nose and my singlet is smeared with my vomit. In deep, I feel nervous.
I am Terry, an Asian-American whose father emigrated from mainland of China to pursue his dream in this magical place, a beacon of freedom and opportunity. However, my father did not make his dream come true and the cruel reality dragged him back from his fantasyland. He is now working as a car washer, earning a minimum wage every month for the family. Frankly, my family is languishing at the bottom of society pyramid.
In the first 2 years of school, I was a victim of racial discrimination and was mildly abused with nicknames like “son of dust” at the starting, but as time went on the terms became uglier. Punching my face with fists and throwing me into the dust bin happened more often as if they would form parts of my routine in life. I hated my father as a car cleaner and desperately want to get rid of what I had been treated as a rat in school, by putting a vengeance back on the villains. They should taste the fear from me as well. The mental anguish that caused an excruciating pain in my school days had led me astray from being an excellent student. The hatred which had been haunting me for a long time exploded. I became an ache in the eyes of teachers’ later on and was known as somewhat of a troublemaker spoiling for a fight. My father always told me, “Son, no one can beat you if you are strong enough.” That was a sentence echoing in my mind when I was involved in a fight. I was hopeless.
I loved music and was fanatical about rapping, as I realised it was the only time I could be myself when rapping. The words from raps could keep me alive from being that intractable adolescent who was taken over by the rage and depression. The rhythm of the song sounded like a mesmerising canticle sang by angels to cleanse my soul. I knew the obstacles faced to be a famous Asian rapper in America. The popularity could be gained only through individual brilliance in my songs.
“Hey dude, get out of the toilet, you’ve got to be on the stage right now, are you ok?” someone shouts behind the door. I take one last glimpse at myself and the sentence that I have been told for more than thousand times repeats in my mind, “Son, no one can beat you if you are strong enough.” After passing through a narrow corridor, I turn out to be on the stage, glancing down at the crowd below my feet yelling wildly in fury. “Asian dog, get out of here,” they shriek fiercely as if they were the irascible protestors being tyrannically oppressed by the brutal and immoral governors. Some of them may resort to throwing cans and bottles at me. I cringe, but now, I have one opportunity to seize my goals. I am not going to let it slip.
Just half a year before the rap competition, I started writing songs about my friends, family and all the dramatic issues in life that caused my sentiment whirling emotionally. A certain numbers of songs had been uploaded to internet and the comments at the beginning were viciously negative. Indeed, it was demoralising and destroying me from publishing my sheets again, however, my determination to be a star wasn’t descended.
Now I am just one step away to my dream and there is a gap in between. I feel like my body is shaking and my legs are trembling. The singlet soaks with the sweats. I grip the mic tight in fear. When the music is on, I chok and nothing comes out from my mouth.
After releasing my 5th song called “indecision”, this abruptly created a stormy hit on Youtube and over 5000 public views had been made just within a week. More viewers craved for my music and unexpectedly, even a music producer was enthralled with my songs. He would like to sign me up a record label if I won the forthcoming rap competition. I hesitated as I did not have any live experience on stage. I was frantic when an opportunity was presented just right in front of me itself. “Can I capture that?” I questioned myself.
“Haha, this chick can’t even blurt out a word,” the whole crowd starts laughing at me when one of them contemptuously screams out the sentence. The words sound as if it were a knife with venom plunged into my chest, piercing through my heart without a second of hesitation. The music producer is waiting and the judges are staring at me impatiently. Suddenly, I catch a glimpse of a person in the crowd, a person who has been taking good care of me but yet receiving a ‘thank you’ from me. That is my father. He is looking at me affectionately and he is moving his lips as if he were whispering to my ears in silence, “Son, no one can beat you if you are strong enough.” At the moment, the time is frozen and the music is slowly trailing off. All the memory between my father and I is playing backwards to the time we played football on the yard, the first quarrel we had when I was 10 and the moment I saw him weeping for his miserable life behind a door. “Tonight, I want to dedicate my song to my dad whom I hated him very much to bring me to this sickening evil world. And now I own him an apology. Sorry, Dad. I miss you,” I bow my head and express it in sincerity. “Father, I know you trying hard to shelter me from the world, when it spins, when it twirls….” As my rap rhymes in the air, the crowd is astonished with
surprised by the lyrics. Instead of mocking at my presence on the stage, more and more audiences are nodding their heads and hipping to the beats. Hands waving fanatically in the air and the thrilling screams for my name really sweep off my anxiety I had before and exhilarate my spirit of being a performer. I am getting more comfortable on the stage.
I know, at the moment, I have captured my opportunity.
“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment. Would you capture it? Or just let it slip?”
-inspired by a song called “lose yourself” from a white rapper Eminem