Years ago when Lucas "Amillion The Poet" Mayfield traded in his basketball for a ballpoint pen, he never fathomed a sea of people would witness him make history in the First State.
Amillion will follow in the footsteps of some of his favorite rappers and musicians, like Nas and 2Pac, when his new single, "Air it Out," is broadcast nationally on MTV. The video, shot professionally by Redd Pen Media Director Bradd Watts, will also appear on VH1 Soul, YouTube and Vimeo on Wednesday.
"When you talk VH1 and MTV, you're talking about millions of homes," beamed Amillion, 28, of Dover. "I'm excited about it. I remember [people] used to tell me a poet is a poor man's rapper. But now we're making history."
The title of Amillion's new album comes from his choice to air out his dirty and clean laundry on the track. On this transparent record he layers his buttery flow over a silky, airy beat without a chorus to discuss the glitz in his life (like experiencing the ongoing success with his 2010 book "Poetry In Motion Proceeds," also known as "P.I.M.P.") to the gloom in his life (for nearly two years he's been traveling 500-plus miles, and still does, every weekend to see his precious 6-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, who left Delaware after her mother moved to Virginia).
The video for "Air it Out" sees Amillion as the narrator with three conflicted people − a drug addict, a homeless man and a suicidal girl – who each eventually find hope, except for the homeless man who ironically uplifts Amillion.
Near the middle of the song, Amillion slickly introduces a marriage of humorous and sincere rhymes with: "Montage of a dream deferred/drunk words/sober thoughts when your speech is slurred/It's hard to find your dreams when your vision blurred/ It's hard to find a problem when you are the cure/Langston Hughes mixed with Huey Newton/add a little 2Pac mixed with some Nas fluent/because I don't need a hook to supply ya/my punch lines uppercut… like the bus driver."
Page 2 of 3 - How it happened
The video for "Air it Out" came about after he sent an email to Redd Pen Media, a talented production company based in South Jersey and Philadelphia, Pa., around February, along with an MP3 of "Air it Out" with the hope of someone giving the song a listen. Shortly thereafter, Redd Pen Chief Executive Officer and Producer Juan Ortiz responded with an email telling Amillion he and his team loved the track and were interested in working with him on a video. Two weeks later Amillion met Ortiz and his crew in Jersey to make it happen.
Redd Pen's impressive resume includes video and commercial work with celebs such as Dwayne Wade, Talib Kweli and Marc Eko.
Prior to filming the video, Ortiz revealed to Amillion that he's never recalled seeing a music artist from Delaware land a video on MTV, Amillion said.
Not slowing down
"Air it Out" is the first single off Amillion's new album, "Poetry in Motion the Soundtrack," an autobiographical project. A release date hasn't been set for the album, but it will definitely drop in May, most likely next Wednesday, Amillion said. In addition, the digital version of "Poetry in Motion the Soundtrack" will be available for free at LiveMixtapes.com, while physical copies will be sold at his website.
Amillion will continue to hit the ground running in the coming months as he'll return to the stage on May 12 in a concert featuring performers K-BO, Unity Seven, Da Realest Emcee and show headliner Christopher Williams at Central Middle School. Furthermore, he'll be hosting his Poetry in Motion workshop at the Dover Public Library on Wednesdays from June 19 through August 7, designed to help poets aged 16 and older at any skill level to enhance their craft. Around that time, Amillion will also be dropping the video for his next single, "Beauty Full," featuring his little girl. The video will be followed by a children's book of the same name.
Page 3 of 3 - The cherry on top will be his non-children's book "One in a Million," a commentary highlighting some of his tribulations and triumphs from the last few years, he said.
'How does it feel?'
Despite being proud "Air it Out" will appear on MTV and VH1, Amillion says he wants people to know he's just a regular guy trying to spread positivity to willing ears.
"Sometimes it's hard," he said. "I am a homeowner and I take pride in the little things I have, but it has been a struggle. Right now people are talking about 'your video is about to be on MTV. How does it feel?' I don't know; I'm still trying to pay my cable bill — literally."
IF YOU GO #1
WHAT Amillion in concert with K-BO, Unity Seven, Da Realest Emcee and headliner Christopher Williams
WHEN 7 p.m., Sunday, May 12
WHERE Central Middle School, 211 Delaware Ave., Dover
COST $20 advance; $25 door
IF YOU GO #2
WHAT Poetry in Motion workshop
WHEN 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., every Wednesday from June 19 through Aug. 17
WHERE Dover Public Library, 35 E. Lookerman St., Dover
INFO doverpubliclibrary.org or call 736-7030