Is it really possible to land your DREAM job, only a handful of months out of college? Apparently so. But I bet you’ve never had a first day like this before…
Here is how to work for your favourite rapper:
The first day of work is never easy. You hope that your new peers will like you; you hope your new boss will be impressed. Well, today is your first day at your new job… except your job is a cross-country rap-tour, your peers are world-class musicians and your boss, who invited you on said tour, has won a triplet of Grammy awards. He’s 24, and he’s your favorite rapper.
As a 22-year-old yourself, freshly graduated, you harbor the powers of the internet and somehow secure the dream job from your thrifty confines in Sydney, Australia – a temporary shelter from the true responsibilities of the motherland – Canada. Life can happen as swiftly as a resume goes viral, and since your application happened to do so, about three weeks will pass before your first day on the job.
“Welcome to the tour! What do you do here?” You’re not really sure, yet. But you’re excited anyway. “I’m the intern!”
Fortunately, your meager sense of professionalism will protect you from coming across as too much of a fan during your first encounter with your new colleagues, and boss. A littered table, a MacBook Pro (acting as a rolling tray), and several extended hands are the first things you encounter. Don’t say much; being known as that quiet new kid is better than being known as the ‘OMG do you remember the first thing that kid said to us??!?’-guy. Your new boss and his friends will take in the Bulls game before show time, so just chill. You’ll spend most of your first day quietly strolling about, meandering as if a regular – notebook out, diligently note-taking as if this will give the impression of a sort of established journalist rather than the internet-kid-turned-shitty-blogger that you are/were/may well become.
The first few weeks will be blurry, abstract, and smoked out. Every experience eye opening; some burdening, most reddening. The hotel rooms are bigger than your future. Every time someone asks you “So… I know you’re the intern, but what do you actually do here?” you become less sure of yourself. What nobody will warn you about touring with 90 others is the loneliness. Individual loneliness, but collectively as well – impersonal, half-day rendezvous the crew will make at each venue or hotel will leave much to be desired. As a family though, the growth is rich. Around those deeply eased by each other’s presence, quickly, you will find comfort as well. You’re thankful for this family, even if you are never truly able to externalize these feelings besides rolling out of your bus-bunk each day and greeting everyone with whatever designated handshake you’ve become privy to.
As your tenure continues, the daily happenings (consisting of: movie-club, games 21, chain-smoking Backwoods, and digesting barely-palatable catering) feel like second nature. As routine as the schedule may feel, the lifestyle will be anything but. Unforeseen circumstances constantly arrive and must be dutifully accounted for. Appointments will have to be re-arranged to accommodate story time with Dave Chappelle. You will have to fit in dinner time drinks with Fonzworth Bentley. Physical activity is a must – try hoops with the Migos ft. Myles Turner, or perhaps a private volleyball game at Bonnaroo. Downtime will consist of a quiet New York eve; a casual 5-star meal, family style, followed by GQ’s NBA Playoff viewing party should suffice.
Of these experiences, you’ll want to tell your friends everything, yet you physically won’t be able to tell them about the moments of which words won’t muster meaning, nor the aspects that encapsulated the experience because you still can’t describe them. It’ll take a while.
By the last few weeks, you will be exhausted. You will be fucking exhausted. You will be energized by the amazing creatives and beautiful people in your constant presence. Like Tyler, you will be a walking paradox. While watching your boss –your boss– take the stage in his ‘worlds best dad’ tee, tweaking each sound-check to perfection, the concept of a ‘finish line’ will disappear from mind. Watching the gang roll five, ten, sometimes fifteen deep on whatever miniature motorized vehicle they can get their hands on, like a biker gang beckoning the kingdom, you will understand the importance of your closest circles. Reminders of displacement and trajectory are constant; Skype calls to friends and family remind you exactly how far away from home you are, yet how far you still have to go.
After adjustments, by tours end, you will come to a realization: there’s no right way to work for your favorite rapper. In fact, there may not even be a way to work for your favorite rapper. Compensation won’t come to mind, nor per diems – you would’ve done it for free. After all, a story’s worth a thousand resumes.
Prior to your journey, you will have been bred with cautionary reminders to be wary of your wishes. Post, your outlook will relax. There’s less to worry about than you think. Seamlessly, 32 shows will pass and your admiration will never waver. Hell, you might just come out of the other end with 1 or 2 timeless stories and a new group of people to call ‘family’.
My time as intern for Chance the Rapper is something that could never be justifiably summed up in words (trust me: I wrote thousands of words on tour, scrapped multiple ideas post-tour, and over a month later I’ve finally come up with something I can be proud of). It was a time of transition in my life that marked a shift from slightly hesitant sometimes-blogger putting off getting a real job, into a confident multi-faceted creative with a taste of how great it all could be – and the newfound realization of the person that I’m meant to be.
In the past I’ve noted my feelings of sorrow for those in life who never truly realize what they are meant to be, but until the Be Encouraged Tour I never truly had an opportunity to interact with so many people who had seemingly reached the level of content in their contributions to the culture that I too hope to reach one day (and yes, I hate the phrase “the culture” just as much as you do). There were many times that I questioned myself and wondered why exactly I was where I was, but I really do feel that I was graced with this opportunity for a reason.
I can talk all I want about my run-ins with various celebrities including the ones I lived with for 2 months, or how a taste of the VIP lifestyle changed me, but the first moment that really left shivers down my spine was a slightly more natural one:
Night 2 at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO.
The band intros happen nearly halfway thru the show, and after the ovation for ‘Mr. Nico Segal’, ”Sunday Candy” begins. Suddenly, it was if the heavens literally opened up for a second; right as the vocalists harmonized the lines “Come on in this house, cause it’s gonna rain, Rain down Zion, it’s gonna rain”, the most peaceful light mist fell from the sky until the end of the song and as suddenly as they started, ceased. Something about that moment made me realize that I, or rather we, were doing something right, enough so to please our God & Mother Nature & the sky themselves.
(Corny right? Oh well.)
Chance is exactly like the man you’d picture him to be, as a family man, business man, and friend, so instead of another biography, the last thing I’ll note is possibly my favourite quote from my entire trip with him. He once forgot to put on his signature ‘3’ cap before a show in the second half of tour, and as his assistant Colleen reminded him of it he turned and said with an insightful smirk, “you know what’s funny? If I didn’t put this hat on tonight, there would’ve been a Complex article by tomorrow rationalizing exactly why I didn’t wear this hat”.
What more can I say? What makes him such a great person is his understanding that while many of us care to sensationalize the few shreds that we get may get from him, he can better use his influence to spread the type of community-boosting positivity & joy that he is now so well known for.
All that is really left to say, once more, is thank you, Chance.
-A how-to, by hospey.
follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey