Five Points Plan Finale
This is the final installment in the series. I thank you as always, kind reader, for your indulgence.
Col. Hector Bravado
From Denver, Colorado
I’d rather die to succeed than live mediocre/I’m the extreme, either I’m richer or I’m broker/So play like masturbation and go fuck yourself/Especially if you’re from here and you ain’t picked my shit off the shelf
D.O. the Fabulous Drifter, “Memo from the Chief Operating Officer”
Big K-Dog texted me from a Broncos game a few weeks back and said they’d just run a snippet of “Wake Up” over the PA. D.O. and Dow’s club banger — custom made for their home town — had been exposed to 80,000 more people, but none of it would get anybody paid, not by any path foreseeable to me.
Many times I stood at the cusp of our initiatives and imagined us finally at the inception of some viral brush fire that would get these craftsmen the audience they deserved.
Thank G-D and D.O. that the hiphop music scene is lucky enough to have the oldskool influence back in effect! I’ve been tired of all the mainstream trash for many years! Your style is the dopest to hit the scene since The Pharcyde and Guru came on the map.
From Jason, a commenter on D.O.’s MySpace page
“All we need,” I would say to D.O., “is 999,999 more guys like him. What are there, 270 million people in this country? One in 270 people would have to love your music.”
My friend David Scott put “Wake Up” on two of the Denver sports shows he was producing for Altitude Network
D.O., who needed an operating budget of exactly $0 to make big moves, found an 18-year-old named Matt Hobbs to do a pro-quality video that we put up on YouTube, MySpace and Revver.
I used some BIAS contacts to almost, almost get D.O. and DJ Chonz a local sponsorship with a Coca Cola energy drink that would have put their recordings in hundreds of convenience stores. Almost.
We had been in The Denver Post, The Source, Westword, The Rocky Mountain News, Billboard Magazine, Vapors: Street Couture, and the IndieFeed hip hop podcast, one of iTunes’ top-rated ‘casts.
D.O. and Dow had cut an underground, unauthorized fist-pumper CU fight song that we leaked to a starting defensive lineman and debuted in the INVESCO Field at the Stadium of Mile High parking lot during the 2006 Rocky Mountain Showdown between the Rams and Buffs.
I landed D.O. a freestyle/interview on Mania! TV with CJs Anthony and Desire.
D.O. won a hands-down round in a freestyle video battle run by The Source. Then we got crushed in the next round by these cats from out East.
D.O. and Dow, either solo or as a part of Ground Zero Movement, had opened for or performed with the Beatnuts, Jah Rule, Digital Underground, Little Jon and the Eastside Boyz, KRS ONE and more.
And early this year, a copy of Industry Guys had made its way into the hands of Sharal Churchill, former head of MGM studios music and founder/president of Media Creature Music, a catalog management company that specializes in licensing their clients’ music for use in movies, commercials and the like. They offered 5PP a publishing contract in February, which D.O. and Dow signed. Something may yet come of this.
5PP followed this by teaming up with Url Gray-V and Babah Fly of Tha Fly, as well as DJ Discord of AM 1190’s Basementalism and the Crunk Bros., the only turntable crew of note in Denver besides Radio Bums, to make the Mile High Club mixtape.
With the help of Villain Design, Mateo Leyba, I got together a photo shoot and cover design for The Mile High Club mixtape, and at D.O.’s behest, got the cover of Influx, Independent Record’s in-house mag, to put everybody on notice.
But other currents obscured. I was broke. I had torn through $10,000 in savings and hadn’t been on a single job interview. D.O., who had been on an ankle bracelet (90 days of having to smoke his Black N Milds with one foot inside and one on the porch), was gone like a shot for LA within 48 hours of getting that thing off.
My folks had come back, the reality of it in the rumble of them moving in their things upstairs, settling their heavily sedated cats in after the drive back from Maine. I was 37 and unemployed and in my parents’ basement. This was not the vision. I packed my suitcase and fled.
On March 7, Tha Fly, Discord, Dow and Ase One (another gifted GZM MC and, like D.O. and Dow, also a terrific human being) landed an opening set at Boulder Theater for the resurgent Clipse on their Hell Hath No Fury tour. We had Mile High Club tees and mixtapes. And our talent, by the end of their set, had one working mic between them. For four MCs. They still got an approving roar from the crowd, Dow high-fiving the upreached hands from the kids in front. But some creative differences came to a head immediately afterwards, culminating with Gray-V socking Discord in the face backstage. Discord formally resigned from the effort the next day. A few weeks after that, Babah booked himself some out-of-state gigs sans Gray-V, effectively ending Tha Fly. D.O. was in LA, do or die.
I had enough money from freelance work from a PR firm in Boulder to keep gas in my tank and make symbolic contributions towards Big KDog’s rent while I began Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.
I’m still in regular contact with Dow and Gray-V. A co-worker of mine and I recently helped Gray-V put together an audition video for Don’t Forget the Lyrics, hosted by Wayne Brady. And I can always count on D.O. to text me a reason why they still tease him a lot.
And I still keep a copy of The Mile High Club in my car. And it still makes me shiver. You can still get the whole recording free here.