Freestyle Rap and Programming

Whenever I bring up my past as a rapper the conversation always drifts towards music. Honestly, I never intended to become a freestyle rapper. Back around when I had just dropped out of high school I met some “hackers”. They were playing an online game where the goal was to direct traffic to a specific page to level up their character, and they would use social engineering. Social engineering is tricking people into doing things against their nature. Well, one of my “friends” who played the game shifted his interest from that game to Tupac.

He ran a community and when he mentioned his goal to shift to Tupac everyone else left. I knew it was a voluntary position, but I saw becoming moderator as a learning opportunity.  Due to the fact this occurred just after I dropped out of high school I was angry at the world; That anger was caused by the fact I was nearly jumped for not asking out a cheerleader. Misery Business by Paramore is an awesome song that is thematically similar to the story, but outside of theme the stories are pretty different. Either way, it’s a better summary than I could write. Anyway, all the trolling drive by that anger led to an opportunity to become admin of the site and join a 16-person tournament.

The tournament was fairly straightforward, first to five votes or first to three if there’s a shutout. There were two obvious favorites, and I was just an alternate who had maybe a 50% win rate in battles. My first battle went well enough and I won by 2-3 votes. Despite the victory I went into the second battle as an underdog, and won by shutout. I was willing to concede even before the battle started just to make things more streamlined. My reward was facing a guy who was steamrolling opponents, and he shut me out too. However he ended up losing to an insane battle rapper, and the best one on the site.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had people strongly speculate on the identity of these rappers. All I know is this occurred in 2004 and they were both from Compton. However, the tournament winner was ultimately a homophobe with legal and drug issues. I found out about the personal issues after they used a homophobic slur to attack me, and I had to decide how to handle the situation; I gave them time and a platform to explain themselves instead of a ban. After all, they were dealing with legal, family, and drug issues at the time. The runner-up claimed they wanted to collaborate, and some bars in a popular rap song remind me of the rap I lost to all those years ago. To be clear I am not saying they robbed me of anything, but they may have creatively recycled some old material.

Anyway, shortly after the tournament ended I moved away from the site altogether. I had some legitimacy as a hacker and programmer, and that was a dead-end position. Ultimately, I have had some very cool opportunities with amazing people. It’s also been quite the learning opportunity that made me the programmer I am today. I aced my programming classes, and very rarely ever studied; I treated those classes like easy As. I do not like telling my story, but lately things have been really turning around for me. Pursue those weird opportunities, learn everything you can, and never give up. This plane between Heaven and Hell can be stranger than fiction sometimes. Lastly, I still play music but only as a hobby. I have been toying with the idea of uploading videos to Instagram, but we’ll see.

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