People often ask if I have any regrets from running SpeedontheBeat.com for nine or so years.
For the most part, I tell them that one of the only regrets I have is that I was unable to interview Big K.R.I.T. and that everything else on the site, good and bad, was a learning experience. Life is funny like that; it’ll give you learning experiences in the most innocuous ways.
For example, I had the chance to interview Aurora Jolie twice before she went full conspiracy theorist on the world. Do I regret the interviews? No, because people–at the time–came to SOTB for camgirl and porn-related interviews and I had an obligation to fulfill those desires. Plus, the interviews were a learning experience. I got the chance to learn about Jolie on a personal level and, while I didn’t agree wholly (or even partly) with everything she put down, I respected her right to say it. I still don’t agree with everything she says and I’ve wrestled with taking down the interviews. I haven’t because I feel that they can serve as a warning of sorts for free speech. You can say what you want, and I respect that, but it doesn’t mean I have to agree with it. Thankfully, the interviews didn’t delve too far into the rabbit hole.
The same can be said about my interviews with Reyna.
I was in my late-20s and dealing with my mother’s death over the year or so between my first and second interviews with Reyna. That’s not to say I didn’t know what I was doing. Far from it. My head was in the game like it should’ve been. I kept the conversation going with Reyna to try and keep it away from just talking about her nudes and her sexual side. People could go on Twitter for that. They could go to her Snaps or her IG for that side of Reyna. Instead, the Reyna interviews were the epitome of my site’s slogan as they made people know more about Reyna the person and less about Reyna and her Nude Queen persona. I look back on those interviews reluctantly because of the way things played out between Reyna and I over the last two years. Long story short, I was in the wrong in the end, to a degree. I admit that. Things happened between my original contact with Reyna in 2013 and my last correspondence with her sometime in March 2020 that brought unwanted eyes to her. For that, I’m sorry.
But do I regret interviewing her? No. The interviews accomplished what I wanted them to; they brought new eyes to the site and are still one of the reasons people search for me. Plus, people got to know her as more than the lightning rod for controversy her social media made her…I think.
So with that in mind, I do have a bit of regret for not turning SOTB into a forum for the Baltimore music scene earlier. Sure, I wrote about Baltimore and DMV hip-hop. But had I been more on the ground during those early years, I’m sure that I could’ve helped the scene grow more. Folks from local music publications reached out to me when they started their sites, saying that I inspired them. If only they knew that I wish I could’ve done more. People will always say that they found me through another artist I covered, but I have never been able to shake the feeling of “maybe I could’ve done more.”
Hindsight is 20/20 and the only thing you can learn from your mistakes/miscues is how to be better from them. Because of that, SOTB has become less of the site it was in its infancy (a personal blog about my music, some sex stuff and maybe an anime review here or there) and more of what I wanted to be from the jump. That is, I wanted it to be a safe haven for indie artists while also fostering the next generation of writers and creatives through my pen and the pens of those I’ve enlisted to work with me through this process.
I’m about to enter year ten of SpeedontheBeat.com soon. Thanks for sticking with me through the site’s growing pains and here’s to (hopefully) more years of supporting dope music and artistry in all its forms.