Time to Start a Movement Blog 1
The year was ’97, I was 14 and it was summer break. I was at this amusement park called Great America with a group of friends, just walking around and my best friend was on fire. He was making the right jokes at the right times, with quick comebacks. He walked right, talked right, and was just on fire, all day. It was then that he turned on me and said, “Look at this fool, all SHY, not saying anything… He talks WHITE.” I’d been called an Oreo before, but having your friend turn on you hurts. My chest felt tight, my heart hurt, and I felt small. Felt like changing schools and starting over with new friends.
Weird but thats what happened when I passed this test and my parents put me in GATE, which stood for Gifted And Talented Education. I was the only Black boy in class, and there was one other Black girl. Why were all the other GATE kids White? I built up a lot of anger behind my confusion, and it all came out years later when I was driving my car as an adult… I had to pull over because I could no longer do it, like a water balloon filled with too much water. I couldn’t be that angry “Oreo” anymore, and I spoke about it on the radio. Wanna hear? Actually no, lemme slow down and stay on track and get to the actual music part of the story. We’ll get to that other part soon. 🙂
At the same time my parents put me in GATE, my Mom also forced me to start playing music. I didn’t want to do it at first, but that turned out to be the best move of my life (Thanks Mom). Music let me get out all my confused, angry feelings. I learned to play rock music like the White kids in my class, but I already loved rap music. Being a rocker/rapper back then was too ahead of its time because it made mean even bigger oreo, but I didn’t care… I had music. so I put-up a finger and hung out with other musicians. Outcasts, like me.
This rap, rock, outcast mentality I had was like a seed that later grew into a tree with all types of friends and styles that I weaved into my own weird and wild style of music, speech, dress, talk and taste. People from all over my city (Sacramento: the most diverse city in the nation) in almost every music scene, the LGBTQ community, and stretching up and down the west coast into the south, back up into the northeast and then back down into Nicaragua… even into Vietnam! These music fans are all part of my musical tree. I have a habit of linking weirdos from all cultures when I play – I call it, the Brian Rogers Neighborhood effect.
I’ve been called on to play for Chris Tucker at his private party and I’ve opened for Blues Traveler. I’ve played for prisoners in Folsom Prison and even Bono of U2 caught a show once at a small club in LA – that was crazy because in junior high I listened to the Joshua Tree album on repeat. Maybe the craziest moment though, was opening for Warren G., one of my favorite rappers growing up…
But even with ALL that said –and I mean this from the bottom of my heart– its still YOU, the listener, that makes ALL of it worth a damn.
What I really hope, is that you feel inspired right now. I hope you feel good about your own weirdness when hearing my music. I hope when you see a new email from me, you forget about all the games you play at work or school to fit in, and you feel like you. I hope the content we release gives you the peace, courage and absolute certainly to live YOUR dreams, YOUR way, speaking as “white” as you want lol.
But for real, I HOPE you hear all those different accents, cultures and styles in my music… That’s why I made my most colorful album, “Dreaming Seed”, for you to click on here and enjoy. 🙂 (At least I hope you enjoy, and I hope you are not too cool but really weird so you can be part of Brian Rogers Neighborhood 😉 )
Thanks for listening and watering our Dreaming Tree,
Please leave a comment below and I’ll comment back!