Before I became a master, I was heading for disaster. If you bump this track, I appreciate it, now. You’re listening to Sounds In My Head that I recreated, now.
Download/Stream: Sounds In My Head
The life of a rocket ship is a lonely one. Have you ever considered what they go thru once they have left the surface of this planet? Follow this rocket as he completes his mission. Rocket Perspective.
What's up fam? Hope everyone has been doing well during all of the craziness that has happened over the last year. It was undoubtedly been an unprecedented situation for the entire globe, and I want to start off this article by sending you readers my utmost love and positivity. While it has been a hectic year for all of us, it has also been a very productive year for myself, Cheeba, and Troupe Inc.
At the end of 2019, Cheeba and I had made the decision that we were going to move to Los Angeles, CA by the spring of 2020. Pretty much everyone we told, laughed at us. "It's a pipe dream" are physical words I heard in reference to us taking that trip. (I remember because it made me want to force choke the person who had said it, and tell them that their lack of faith in my force was disturbing.) All of these plans were made in November/December of 2019.
Then. Fucking. Covid. Happened.
Late January, Cheeba and I are laid off from our jobs in the restaurant business, and we spend the next 5 months living entirely off of the money that we had saved for our life-move. We ran that money out after 3 months, and it had us to the point that we were worrying about how we would buy food. I had applied for unemployment for the first time in my life in March of 2020. Now, I say applied for a reason, as I wasn't approved until June 1st, after numerous phone calls, and back and forth with the unemployment office. But finally, I was accepted and going to be paid. I remember dropping to my knees in the living room and crying into Cheeba's arms because if I hadn't been approved, we would have been homeless.
While all of Covid is happening in the world, our landlord has nothing better to do than harass us, stalk the house, send us phony eviction letters, and threaten to turn off utilities. Even the "eviction ban" brought us no comfort, and we spent weeks worrying about getting kicked from our home at any time.
Not long after my unemployment approval, comes the stimulus check. I get mine but Cheeba doesn't get hers, (still hasn't to this day.) At this point it's midway thru June. Keep in mind, we were supposed to be packed and gone by May 1st. On June 18th, Cheeba finally learns that she has been approved for unemployment as well. She gets off the phone, looks at me, I look back at her, and we both say "It's now or never." We both knew that if we didn't follow thru with our journey then, we would never do it. So we set the date for July 1st.
"I get by with a little help from my friends..."
"I get high, with a little help from my friends."
About a week before we were to start our adventure, my mom and siblings came out to help us move our belongings into a storage unit in DowntownFrederick. We laugh and hang out while moving the furniture, and for a split second I forget that this is going to be the last time I see my mothers face for a while. Big hugs and kisses, and we get ready for a life changer.
50 lb. packs on both our backs, 2 1/2 ounces of THC wax because my buddy hooked me up before we left, and we were on our way. We never fucking looked back.
The first week and half consisted of 8-10 hour days of carrying roughly 50 lbs. on our backs, starting at sunrise and ending around 5 pm to give us enough time to set up camp and cook dinner each night. We had our whole pack/unpack process down to 45 minutes, including boiling water for coffee. Each night we would unpack in the woods, take a fat dab from our roadrunner, and get into the tent before the mosquitos literally ate you alive.
Then. Covid. Hit. Fucking. Harder.
We were in a state park when we got the news that they were closing all state and national parks, and they were removing water taps to discourage hikers. So basically we were forced with the decision to continue on with no verifiable water sources, or hop off the trail in West Virginia and take a safer way across country.
We hopped off the trail. We spent 4 days at this beautiful campground in Hancock, MD, and from there we took a $200 cab from Hancock to Morgantown, WV (where I lived for 3 years back in the day.) The city was dead, but for the 2 days we were there, we got to explore WVU uninhibited. It was nostalgic showing the love of my life a place that I hold so dear to my heart. Country roads absolutely took me home.
After Morgantown, we shot up to Pittsburgh, PA, where we visited the zoo, and finished off our stay with a private performance by Sweet Earth (love those guys.) That night they also initiated a new band member, and it was so dope for them to invite us there for that. We said our goodbyes and boarded the bus to Cleveland, OH.
Cleveland did not start off so well. Our hotel decided to overbook, and inform us that they had no rooms available for us... at 4 am in the morning... in downtown Cleveland... We spent over an hour calling hotels until we finally found one 45 minutes away, with one open room. Unreal. Nice $50 Uber I might add. Cleveland showed us The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a quick visit to the Jack Casino, our first ever Taco Bell Cantina, and some of THE BEST food at a place called "Melt." It's here in Cleveland that Cheeba learns she has been approved for her US citizenship.
The Big D was next on our evolved, cross-country greyhound bus tour. We stepped off the bus, and into the first state I've ever been to with legal recreational Marijuana (Not that we didn't still have PLENTY of wax.) After dropping off at the hotel, we found the Mach420 delivery service online, and I placed an order.
The weather was terrible our whole trip except for our last day, and since 2 people were shot outside the hotel our first night, we spent most of that part of the trip in our room. Great weed tho.
On the last day In Detroit, we walked Downtown and were lucky enough to catch our last true live music performance of 2020.
Chicago showed up next, and I have to say I don't know if I'll be heading back to Chicago anytime soon, with respect. It rained the entire time, an 8th of weed cost us $80 from the dispo, and someone shot and killed 15 woman at a funeral a couple blocks from our hotel. *The pad-thai was the best I'd had on the trip thus far tho. I did get to meet a long-time Facebook friend for the first time while in Chicago, and that alone made the experience worth it.
Leaving for Denver from Chicago, Cheeba and I decided to split somewhere around the ballpark of 500 mgs of THC edibles, well aware that this leg of the journey will be 2 days of being stuck on that trainnnnn. (We basically Cannabis Coma'd ourselves.) We took a train from Chicago to Denver, and got to experience the true great plaines. It was a beautiful sight of my country that I don't think I will ever forget, (ps. it's totally flat.)
We really hippied around Denver, our hotel was super far from anything, so we stocked up on THC and snacks before we spent most of the trip in the hotel. Funds had become very tight at this point, so we were willing to sacrifice experiences to be able to keep moving along by all means necessary. There were 2 super cool things that Cheeba and I did in Denver, 1. We got to smoke weed and watch a movie with Goats. 2. I got to see one of my best friends from childhood, for the first time since high school, and I can't even tell you the love I was feeling after that bong-rip of nostalgia. We also got to visit Museo De Las Americas, which was a latin museum dedicated to music. I don't remember much of Denver, but I will return.
Leaving Denver, Cheeba and I boarded what would become our last bus ride (unbeknownst to us at the time.) We arrived in Las Vegas, NV the next morning, and our supposed "1 Week In Vegas" turned into 2 weeks in Vegas, which turned into free comped rooms every week, Monday thru Friday, for almost 5 weeks. It became very evident that there was no way for us to get to LA, and accomplish what we needed to do. Los Angeles is expensive enough, but Covid sent prices tripling for housing, and they were also battling wicked wild fires.
So week 2, we began looking for an apartment In Las Vegas. Week 3 I found an amazing job selling cannabis products on the center of the Las Vegas Strip and on Freemont. I couldn't have lucked out better.
Part 2 Coming Soon.
This episode is killing me... Depression and anxiety... Things to kill sobriety... Demons that reside in me... Running thru the roses... Everything I’m composing... Is this psychosis? I’m on edge... It’s hard for me to grasp reality now... Red Pills or Blue Pills?
Download/Stream: Red Pills / Blue Pills
In this clip, ZIG ZAG give you an update on his upcoming EP, V8R!
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Facebook, in concept, is an amazing thing. One centralized website with the capability of keeping us in-the-lives of everyone that we know and care about. The ability to see your cousins’ new baby from across the country, share humor in memes, or see astounding videos from the world you wouldn’t get to see otherwise, it’s a fantastic CONCEPT. You’d think Facebook would be revered as one of our prouder creations, as a species, but instead it has turned into a platform that peddles incorrect information, suppresses originality, and extorts its content creators.
To the people who use Facebook everyday purely for social media, Facebook can be annoying. You find yourself being “soft-banned” for sharing memes that were already found on your timeline, shared by someone else. You end up in “Facebook Jail” for days to weeks and even months! I had a friend hit a 90 day ban, purely for speaking their mind. This is quite hypocritical considering the big ole’ “What’ On Your Mind” sitting on our status bar. The problem is that Facebook doesn’t want us to tell them what’s on our mind. They want us to tell them what we’re doing. Where we’re going. Who we’re with. What we’re buying. Etc. They want to know what companies they can charge more, for advertising.
Now let’s get to advertising. The majority of the people reading this will never have to deal with Facebook advertising; and you should all consider yourselves lucky. From an artist’s perspective, Facebook does nothing less than extort it’s content creators. Now, I know I’ll get a handful that will say “Well you’re using THEIR platform; that’s capitalism”, and I absolutely agree. But my issue lies in their method of delivery, prices, demographic, etc. Below, I have posted two different ad campaigns through the Facebook ad market. They are set up for the exact same delivery and same budget. Yet my account (with a bigger following, respectively) wouldn’t even reach half of the amount of people as the Troupe Inc. Art page, for the exact same campaign. This is how Facebook extorts it’s artists and content creators. Now the sad thing is, if you pay for an ad campaign, but don’t extend it (or begin a new paid campaign after the current one ends), Facebook will hide your posts and content from the everyday feed, so that you don’t see the same organic results that you had, prior to paying them.
Troupe Inc. Art’s Facebook Ad Potential
*Ad Versions are how many types of ads we have created*
Zig Zag’s Facebook Ad Potential
*Ad Versions are how many types of ads we have created*
While the difference in “minimum reach” reach is only off by 23, the actual results of this ad campaign would be absolutely different.
For example, I have posted the results from 2 separate ad campaigns below. The first picture shows my 5 day ad campaign, in which we paid $.11 per person who saw it, and reached 154 people for $8.85.
Below my picture, is a picture that shows a 5-day ad campaign for Cheeba, in which we paid $.05 per person who saw it, and reached 954 people for $5.
Do you see the problem we have here? My campaign ended up paying $.6 more per person reached, whereas her campaign hit an audience over 7 times mine, for $3.35 less. THIS is how Facebook extorts their artists. Sure, it may not seem like much, but it makes all the difference when you’re waiting for the right set of eyes and ears to come along and see your potential. I’m sure there are other artists reading this right now, in disgust.
There are more problems with Facebook than just their extortion and censorship, it’s also the way they deploy their “algorithms”. These algorithms have been monitoring us, and blocking us for anything perceived as “hate speech” or “violent”. People being banned for quoting music lyrics, one government official being soft-banned for quoting lines of the US Constitution, etc. These algorithms aren’t here to help keep Facebook pleasant and safe, they are here to censor us and push the Facebook agenda. Facebook has become nothing more than a living zoo for the NSA, FBI, and the CIA. They don’t have to sit in vans and tap phone calls anymore, because they can watch it live from their building. Every single thing we do, is data to Facebook and they’ve already been caught selling our information more than once.
Which brings me to my next point, I am currently in a battle of my human rights with Facebook. Some of you are aware that back in January I renounced my birth name and fully embraced myself as Zig Zag. I had stated how I would always keep my legal name out of respect to my father, but that I would no longer answer to it. My family and community has welcomed this with open arms, and I have had no problems transitioning to my new name. That was until about a week ago, when I received this notice from Facebook:
Below was my response:
They replied (clearly ignoring my message)
I refuse to quit:
Now they threaten to block me in 3 days if I don’t have the “necessary documents”:
My final response:
This entire interaction genuinely makes me feel like they’re calling me a liar, to my face. So they can’t trust us to tell them what we’re called in everyday life, but we’re supposed to trust them with our data and our private information. It’s also laughable to me that they feel it’s acceptable to ask me to upload my private Drivers License info to them. After what they did with our info before (Cambridge) I’m supposed scan my ID and send it to them? LOL.
In summation, I think we need to take a long hard look at this platform and truly consider what we allow it to continue getting away with. It’s supposed to a social media platform, not a fucking world superpower. I shouldn’t need a government-issued ID to be able to use it, and I shouldn’t have to be silenced for speaking my mind while using it. And neither should you.
I’m sure the nature of this article will have my account blocked or banned, so hopefully everyone gets to read it before you get a brand new friend request from me on another profile. If anyone else has any Facebook horror stories, send them to me!
After coming home from Garefest, Zig Zag found himself in (what seemed like) a never ending avalanche of work. From editing footage, to affirming new connections, to creating new content, the work seemed like it would never end.
Until now! After tireless nights for weeks on end, Zig Zag is completely caught up on work. Well, as much as a nonstop mind like his can be. Hooray!!
If you’ve been keeping up with our work, you know that Zig Zag dropped an artist spotlight for about 90% of the performing bands at Garefest 2019. Since then, we have also released professional photography shoots from that festival as well. However, you may not be aware that Zig Zag has also been working tirelessly to bring you TWO NEW SUBSECTIONS OF TROUPE INC!!! Yes, this is very exciting news, and we can’t thank Ziggy enough for all the hard work he has put into these two new projects. Lastly, Zig Zag has been working hard to bring you the third official Troupe Inc. website update (dropping tonight at midnight!)
Now you might be thinking... sheesh with all this work, does Ziggy ever get a break for himself? We’ve been saying the same thing!!! Ziggy is glad to have caught up on all his major Troupe Inc tasks to start working on a NEW MUSIC PROJECT. Yes. You heard right. Mr. Rabbit is back at it again, this time maybe with a different story. Stay tuned for more Zig Zag news!