Thursday, August 20, 2009


west end,atlanta,joshua

I saw Carlton Mackey on a Friday at Atlantic Station. I believe it was the 17th of July. It was a week and a half before my 24th birthday. The whole month was a celebration. I had just seen Mackey like a week prior at the same spot with his wife Kari. On this night I was with my crew: my brother Jeremy, my cousin Victor, and my best friend Nesta. I screamed "We Major" which is our favorite saying whenever we talk or bump heads. I said, “Yo, I’ve been calling you”.

"Your number changed," he quickly responded.

I gave him my new number and they went into the movies.

We ended up getting together that same Saturday in the notorious WEST END. I thought I was meeting him for a photo shoot, but what I was in store for caught me by surprise.

While I was on the train I was worried about being late. Carlton was like Malcolm X when it comes to TIME. As I get older, I see where both of them come from. You can’t just be playing around. You have to seize every moment straight up.

So when I get to the West End I hit Carlton up. “I’m leaving right now. Give me 10 minutes," he said. He called me right back because he heard distress in my voice, I guess. " Yo, you good dawg?"

I said yeah I just have to clear my throat. He said "Aight, well get right. We Major Dawg!!!” That got me ready.

When he got there at the station we dapped it up and drove around the corner. We sat in the car. Carlton said, “Do you have a song for the people?" He started ranting about how I may have changed and jokingly asked me if we needed to rent a club for my new music.

So I pull out my mixtape and I play it nearly track from track… rapping it until finally I got to the last song which was titled "Pavement Dreams". After listening to the whole song Carlton said, “This is it. This the song for the people". He said "this aint just no photo shoot -we shooting a video!”

Immediately my heart started to beat fast. I was crazy nervous and Unprepared…but Ready. We shot footage from abandoned buildings, to the oil and shirt man where he had tons of Michael Jackson shirts. Its funny because my dad and I got into a big argument earlier. He asked me was I going to buy a Michael Jackson shirt. I said I doubt it, and we had a big argument. Now, here I was days later purchasing a Michael Jackson shirt that now I cherish alot because of what he meant to me and how he affected the world musically.

hustle,michael jackson,oil,street,life

So we shot more footage, the West End is Grimey; it’s Gutter; it’s Hood. It’s also everyday people working…like the fruit man who was on the selling fruit reading a book about being a great salesmen. He also had some good fruit, either that or I was just hungry.


We saw the man with the dummy who was professing to the world that God was coming back and that Ronald Regan was the anti-Christ and we need to get right with God, he had an interesting story. We shot footage in the car while Carlton was driving and filming (don’t try this at home) and I was rapping.

Just the Passion that was in that day from both of us and especially Carlton was just Magnetic. Fa Real!! The rawness of it all was amazing. We’d just pop up at certain spots and film and take photos. It wasn’t HOLLYWOOD. It had no video treatment. It was all in his head. It was just “walk Josh, turn josh, Rap josh, comeback josh”. It was special especially when we got on the Marta train we filmed footage. We took pictures all the way to the airport and if we had the money like that, we probably would have got on the plane and went somewhere else and filmed.

marta,atlanta,hip hop music

I looked at that day as days to come as an artist -filming music videos and taking pictures (which took us only two to three hours). It was like a defining moment in my self.

In process of making the video or editing it Carlton was listening to my mix-tape and to Pavement Dreams in particular. He called me back and spoke to me about both the song and what I was thinking about at that time. I was very up and down. Some lines were deep and profound and some were vulgar and derogatory. It had no consistency.

During that conversation, Carlton challenged me to dig deep and do the song over. With access to the world on my computer and my mind spinning with thoughts, I dug deep and re did Pavement Dreams. I came at it as me…as Joshua. I thought about my self and the graveyard shift that I work chasing my dreams –that’s Pavement Dreams. I thought about my friend KK who wants to be doctor –goes to school, works, has two kids, but is not giving up on her dream. That’s the Epitome of Pavement Dreams. Carlton Mackey who is constantly pushing his Dream, his brand to a world wide fore front. Taking photos in Italy to Africa to New Orleans to Cali to Jesup, Georgia all across the globe –that’s Pavement Dreams. Also to my father who worked very hard to see his two sons just make it in life and not go to jail for selling drugs or robbing or becoming a murderer, which is very common in my hood. That’s Pavement Dreams.

street,hustle,pavement dreams

It's amazing how one conversation or one event can change your life forever. Everyone has some type of Pavement Dream. I challenge everyone or anyone who reads this to dig deep, sit think and find your Dream or whatever it may be that you may want to accomplish and hit the pavement and start doing it. Pavement being a metaphor for your route or whatever you have to do to get there. Keep ya head up and Never Give Up…and keep God First (fa real that’s Important!!)

joshua,biography,i am

All Photos by Carlton Mackey.


  1. I am now following your blog. Sweet photos in this post. Good luck on your music career, let me know if your every palying in the LA area.

  2. Hi, I love the photos, very sweet, and I enjoyed reading your blog. You know, you should write a book if you haven't done so already. I love how you describe things, and the dialog, etc. Everything. You make people really visualize things. I felt like I was there walking and observing everything you described, very vivid details. Great Blog!!! :)