And everytime, the moon shines I become alive, yeah
– Kid Cudi
Before my life exploded in Grand Prairie, Alberta, I was having the time of my life, being a comedian, on the road with my good friend, Jesse Owens, and my mentor, Dave Merheje. Even though it was only three cities (Medicine Hat, Saskatoon, and Regina,) Call Back’s infamous back to back gigs became my first paid tour. And given the fact I was only a few years in the game, I felt like the man. This shit, dropping out of college, fucking up at work, all began to make sense. I remember feeling anxious and nervous the morning Jesse and I went to meet Dave. Even though I admired Dave like Richard Pryor admired Red Foxx, I was terrified of him. And as a veteran does when he feels a young buck looking up to him, he usually breaks his balls with no remorse. I fucking hated it. It hurt my feelings; like if a girl I wanted just rejected me in front of the whole school. And what made it worse, with the ball breaking, Dave Merheje is one of the best in the world to ever do it (pause.) Dave once said I was so small, I probably take baths in tea cups! Genius. Anyways, we met this joker ass puto at a grocery store, and being the health nut I am (even though drinking beers every night had me looking like a Ninja Turtle,) I was holding us up because I was buying cashews, mackintosh apples, rice cakes, and other gay vegetables for the road. Dave tore me a new asshole (pause:)
“Bro! Have you ever been on the road? This guy’s bringing apples and nuts on the road! Your like a little fucking squirrel, bro! Hurry the fuck up! Jesus! This guy has a 2 lb bag of cashews. That bag is bigger than your torso, you fuck!”
As I was filling the cashews, they spilled all over the floor like a cashew blanket. Dave dissed me the whole way to Medicine Hat. On our way to the home of the World’s largest teepee, I had a lump in my throat the entire time. I was in my head, hurt, and overly sensitive. Jesse, who knows me more than anybody in comedy, told me to stop being a baby and have fun already. I just thank God the boy Jesse brought a few CD’s, otherwise, Dave would’ve never stopped the art of chirping a puto until he cries. The CD, which I gratefully give credit to for distracting the ruthless mind of Merheje, was a burned copy of Kid Cudi’s classic, Man on the Moon. The 3 hour drive from Calgary to Medicine Hat is the first time I ever heard the album. I was fucking mesmerized, not only because it shut Dave the fuck up, but it was beautiful. It’s as if Kudi wrote the album to define the mysterious demon, called Addiction, brewing inside of my cashew bag sized body. “The Pursuit of Happiness,” “Soundtrack to My Life,” “Day N’ Night,” and “Make Her Say” all blew my mind, but what got me, what made my dick hard was “Alive (Nightmare)” featuring Ratatat. The song explained me. It perfectly detailed what happens in my body when I party or decide to have too much drinks. I loved it, and Dave and Jesse were feeling the fuck out of it too. We bonded in that car because of Cudi’s master-peice, and when we arrived in Medicine Hat, Saskatoon and Regina, we continued voyaging to the moon with Mr. Rager. It never stopped.
One night in Saskatoon, after crushing a show, drinking a fuck load of scooners, and battle rapping with waitresses, the boys and I finally retired back to our hotels exhausted. I was so fucked up, I fell asleep butt naked, left the door wide open, and left “Alive” bumpin’ on repeat, full volume, for the entire night. I’m surprised nobody complained. If I would’ve died that night, I think I would’ve left happy. The next morning, I woke up dazed and confused, and I saw Dave walk into my room, rocking a muscle shirt and grey undies.
“Bro, did you leave the door open all night?”
“Uh, did I?”
“Buddy, why is the music so loud?”
“Bro, good job last night man. You and J-Daddy are super funny. I like you guys. You guys have a good crew! You need that man! In this game, there’s always guys who will take advantage of you, play you, and not pay you. You don’t need that man! Watch out for snakes! You gotta surround yourself with boys who are positive and will always have your back! That way you’ll never stop having fun, you know what I mean? And never stop hustlin’. Always work hard and no one will able to say shit about you! Fuck what other people think! It’s about you and your crew only! This shit is Hip-Hop, man. Hip-Hop! You understand? It’s Hip-Hop.”
“And we got breakfast downstairs in ten minutes.”
And then Dave left my room like a fucking motivational ghost. And his entire speech, I felt awkward, because my dick was out. But I’ll never forget that morning and those words. My crews have changed over the years. I started off with a crew of amateurs at open mics in Calgary, which morphed into the Puppy Bowl Crew. And when I moved to Toronto, I was graciously accepted by a crew of comedians I respected and admired from across the country. Now, half of those guys either live out West, moved to the States, or sadly, we don’t see each other anymore even though we live in the same city. But there’s always love there, because each and every one of the people I bonded with in comedy made this game easier. And I hope one day I can repay them for that. For the past few months, almost close to a year, I’ve been part of a comedy collective called Runnin’ At The Mouth, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends and colleagues. I just pray our trip to moon lasts as long as I imagine.
I especially love when Dave said this shit is Hip-Hop. It is. Even though it probably doesn’t make sense to most people, I’m finally starting to understand that.
Written by: Marito Lopez