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What You Really Need to Know About Ursa Major

I hate making things all about me, but as we approach my EP release, and my first headlining concert... I think its time. For once.


When we were having the foundation meetings for The Label Noir, we had plenty of questions. About ourselves, about each other, and about what we want to represent. One of the deepest questions we dared to ask each other is: What if we fail.

It was an awkward moment. One where a group of young men of color had to face some ugly truths: There were no expectations for us. In fact, more people expected us to fail than anything else. The worst part is... we had no concrete answers. We knew we were fueled by hope and dreams, but nothing so tangible. A few hours later though, I came up with the answer I wish I had said earlier: We had me.

Ursa Major is becoming a brand that means something, but before anything else, "Bency" meant something. So here I go.

When I was in 10th grade, I failed my first state test. Math B regents (in case you were wondering). I failed it by 3 points. I didn't actually need the class to graduate, since I was on an advanced regents track, but I studied all summer, and got a 70 the second time around.

2 years later, I somehow ended up in an AP Calculus class. Personally I hate math, so I have no idea who kept putting me in these classes, but by now I literally had no clue what was happening. I'd literally show up with my rhyme book and write rhymes all period. The guidance counselor held several meetings with me asking me to drop the class. My answer was simple: "I've never dropped a class in 12 years, so I'm not going to start now." There's no happy ending here. I got a 1 on the AP exam, aka I failed miserably. Wrote some great rhymes though!

Let's jump to June 2014. One month before my wedding, I'm at the gym playing ball. Finally got into shape enough to play a few full court games, I'm feeling good. Grab a steal and I'm running on a fast-break. The defender is way faster than me and is about to block my lay-up, so I stop short. So short that my knee twists, collapses, and I drop to the floor. 2 MRI's later tells me I tore my ACL, MCL, and partially fractured something in there. In that moment though, I got up, asked them to check us the ball, and tried to inbound it before the defense was set. If it wasn't for the guys who called the ambulance, I would have tried to keep playing.

Bottom line is this: For better or for worse, I don't quit. I've never really learned how. I don't walk away from things. Instead I figure out how to make them work. Or don't and fail miserably. I jokingly refer to it as saying "I have not shame." Really though, I always ask myself what's the worst that can happen?

Before you try anything in your life, ask yourself that question. If you can live with the worst case scenario, then go for it!


News News News:

Monday, December 19th: Solomon Peck and I are opening for Jonathan Quash. Great man, inspiring professor, and a seemingly effortlessly talented musician. His project is coming out and he's performing it at CUNY York College in the Performing Art Center. We'll be there opening for him at 7:00 PM SHARP.

Tuesday, December 20th: Polaris EP Available for iTunes Pre-Order.

Saturday, December 24th: If you don't celebrate Christmas, like me.... you should come out with me to the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe. I'm thinking about jumping in and performing there for the first time ever. Any support would definitely be really cool.

Sunday, January 1st: NEW YEAR'S DAY! AKA recovery for all you drinkers. Also, the DIGITAL RELEASE DATE FOR POLARIS EP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 3rd: Polaris EP Release Concert!!! We partnered with The Earwaxx Sessions to create a Label Noir Night! With performances by nikmoody, Noble Nobu, and labelmate and co-owner Solomon Peck, this will be a special night. We're going to be premiering some new merch and have plenty of surprises and giveaways in store too. Be there and keep helping Real Music Rise.

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