Experiencing Real Life: A Conversation with Gerald “ReaLife” Beamon By Jhantu Randall

“I could be like people I’ve come across and want the glory for myself, but I want to see those around me shine just as bright as they’re supposed to,” @ReaLife

It’s a dark, gray day with occasional flurries of snow outside the Hollow Earth Radio station on 21st and Union. While the cold outside could cut through bones, inside was a completely different environment. Inside there’s a man wearing a green Seahawks beanie sitting on a couch outside the recording booth chatting with his team before they go on the air. He is Gerald Beamon, known on stage as Tacoma rapper, ReaLife.

I met Gerald about a year ago at a show we were both performing in. His stage presence, words, and charisma were more intoxicating than the drinks at the bar. After getting to know him there, and through various other events, I never thought our paths would cross outside of a venue. So, naturally, when he agreed to let me follow him today I was both nervous and excited for the opportunity to learn from someone I admired.

After introducing me to his team we sat down to talk before his radio show went live. The discussion started off about how the Universe puts blessings on the path(s) of those with vision who work hard to achieve their goals. We talked at length about how any decision you make can lead you back to your original road, so there’s never a wasted opportunity. Becoming further intrigued by this man’s philosophy, I began to ask more questions and took notes as he gave careful and honest thought before answering. While most of us grew up wanting to be the national act we’d hear on the radio, Gerald went another direction. He was inspired by the vibes and allure of the hometown scene.

In Gerald’s youth, Motormouth Jones, a local artist, was one of his biggest influences at the start of his journey writing poetry. He honed his poetry skills in class, but told me that even before that he always had an ability and passion to create. Eventually he would listen to songs on the radio and put his own rhymes over the beats he heard. Gerald mused about how music runs in his family, about how his grandmother was a go-go dancer, his mother was a singer, and his father was a DJ. Now this 35 year old father of 3, who works long days at a moving company, has taken his dream of a music career and turned it into a viable reality. Gerald has expanded his vision and creativity to launch a radio program in just 5 months.

As the show on Hollow Earth Radio KHUHLP 104.9 Seattle begins, Gerald can be seen outside the booth pacing back and forth as he listens to the broadcast. Between song breaks he enters the room and tells everyone what needs to be done, but always with words of encouragement before returning to his production duties. When I asked him about his managerial style he told me about the name he and his artists go by, The Crown of Kings.

“I could be like people I’ve come across and want the glory for myself, but I want to see those around me shine just as bright as they’re supposed to,” he says when I ask him to elaborate. He continues by saying he believes in the creed of ‘Meet one, Teach one’ where he hoped that people he gave an opportunity to would someday go out and do the same for another and watch as it spreads. Hearing all this I asked him what drives him to do this for others? Most people you talk to only are out for themselves, but Gerald made it clear that being a rapper was his first love, his therapy and expression to the world, but the other ventures gave him more control over his overall situation. All of it stems from wanting to build a foundation for his kids and family to build on.

Gerald “Real Life” Beamon is currently booking shows up and down the west coast with his team in hopes of building on the foundation that he has already created in a short amount of time. To hear this artists music for yourself, just go to www.Soundcloud.com/ReaLife253. The melodies of the songs may throw off the casual listener but his lyrics are destined to connect to the essence of what drives someone to make their dreams come true.

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