Answering the Mailbag

Garrad Lee (left) might seem like he’s creepin’ behind Daniel Guaqueta, but he’s really just enjoying the vibes.

Garrad Lee (left) might seem like he’s creepin’ behind Daniel Guaqueta, but he’s really just enjoying the vibes. Photo by Andy Culpepper

I figured because it is the beginning of a new year, I would open up the ole reader mailbag and respond to some of your questions from last year.

I may or may not have made up some, er, all of these letters because the holiday season completely wiped my brain out, leaving me with no ideas of what to write about this week. Nevertheless, these are questions I hear from time to time from people I meet in the real world. Saying that I am opening a mailbag just sounds cooler.

Garrad, what is it like working at the Free Press? Is that your only job?

I don’t actually work at the Free Press. I write my column every other week as a freelancer. Beyond that, I teach western civilization and African American history at a local community college.

You write and talk about hip-hop a lot. How did you get into that?

Hip-hop is the music I started listening to when I started thinking music was cool back in middle school. I have gone through a lot of musical phases, but hip-hop has always been there at the base. To be honest, I don’t really listen to too much hip-hop these days—at least not like I used to. But I got into pretty much all the music I listen to now through hip-hop music, from chasing samples and references in songs. So, while I currently listen to mostly things like jazz, Afrobeat and funk, I got there via hip-hop.

These days, my relationship with hip-hop is probably more academic through my work with conferences and lecturing on the history of hip-hop, which I am very interested in. I find it very comforting that hip-hop has followed me into my adult life, and I try to pay it back through my work.

So, I was at Sneaky Beans one night to hear a DJ on the front porch. I saw you standing near the back of the crowd with a group of people. I thought to myself, “There is that Key of G guy. I’m going to go say ‘what’s up.’” When I get there, you immediately started ranting to me about your dislike for bands who don’t have a bass player. You kinda creeped me out, dude.

Yeah, that happens, both the ranting and the creeping out. Sorry about that. What I was trying to say was that I am intrinsically bothered by the ever-growing number of two-piece, guitar-drums bands. I need the bass, or what Devin the Dude calls “that boom.” I actually do like some of those two-piece bands, especially local ones, but it is something I have taken to complaining about, if for nothing else than to get conversations going.

I just remember the days when all a guy needed was to be in a band was a bass guitar and a van to carry around the band’s gear. What is happening to all those guys? Should we start a support group? That’s all I am asking.

What’s up, Garrad? I am a rapper (or singer, writer, in a band, etc.) from Jackson, and I think you should write about my music. How can we make that happen?

If you perform around the city, I’ll more than likely see you at some point. Come speak to me, and give me a CD or something. I am always looking for local artists to write about, so find me on Facebook and direct me to your music if you don’t see me around. Or email my editor Briana Robinson at briana@jacksonfreepress.com. If I like your stuff, I’ll hit you up.

Who would win in a fight between Lemmy and God?

Trick question. Lemmy is God.

Thanks for reading Key of G. Have a great 2013, and keep the letters coming.

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