We made our way to Ky-Mani and collectively stopped for something to eat to kill some time. We sat in the restaurant near Grand Central Station, and I watched as patrons stared at him in amazement. The feeling of celebrity was intoxicating, even though it wasn’t my own. Simply being near that level of recognition was enough to motivate anyone in the pits of despair. Ky-Mani would be performing at the United Nations later that day, alongside Matisyahu and Gentleman. Keeping my professionalism and composure, I opted for water at the restaurant, knowing that a beer would send me down the dark path of ego. As we made our way through the gates of the UN, greeted by the flags that wrapped the prestigious building, I was dumbfounded as to how I had gotten there. Flashbacks of my life flooded my mind with every step, and I tried my best to make sense of this journey. No one in my family had ever stepped foot in the United Nations, and having that honor felt like I was taking my bloodline to the next level. As we were escorted through the facility, walls decorated with the faces of past and present leaders, I took in the atmosphere and reassured myself that I wasn’t dreaming. In a quiet waiting room, we sat alongside Matisyahu, and I dug up memories from working at Guitar Center to make conversation. “I worked at GC Queens, and the store manager told me he put you on to Reggae music.” Knowing exactly who I was referring to, the conversation became one of peers instead of artist to fan. We laughed and talked as a group before they would take the stage for sound check and performance. The sun fell, and as darkness ended my experience at the United Nations, we made a stop on our way out, during which Storm took a photo of Ky-Mani, Matisyahu, and myself, giving me a memory he felt I had earned that day.

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