Real recognize realer.

I’ve got heat on the way. heat, heat, heat, the next entry in the Lowered Expectations series, and more. So settle down. This entry is to give props to my homie Kelley L. Carter, who received a national Emmy last night for her piece, Forty Years of Respect.

I met Kels a few years ago, at a listening party for Kanye West’s Late Registration. She was a dimepiece with a notepad, so naturally, I took a seat by her. Along with getting ready to holla, this was my first industry event – so an inexperienced, nervous Ketchums just needed someone to talk to to calm myself down.

But the way it ended up, I was the one soaking up game from her. Kels is one of those vets who puts her ninjas on, but you’ve got to deserve it. She just basically told me about her career up until that point, gave me an idea of what to expect in the music journalism world, and provided a great example during the event; while other media cats are in the room spinning in chairs and cosigning Kanye like Spliff Starr, Kels was just doing her job. We kept in touch – when she was still at the Detroit Free Press, when she moved to Chitown to work for the Tribune, and just recently, when she left for L.A. to take over USA Today. While I admittedly still haven’t taken full advantage of her the networking opportunities she’s offered me, it’s still good to know somebody’s there that’s got my back and keeps me motivated. Like I was just telling her, it can be easy to get complacent in this music journalism industry, so people like her set the bar high for me.

To be honest, you wouldn’t see me doing what I am now if it wasn’t for her, and other people I chop it up with on the regular. I’m building up my own little crew of proteges right now; that way, when I get my Emmy, they’ll post their own little anecdotes about when they first met me and what I meant to their careers. Making this world of young, talented music journalists circulate like Jeezy.

So to Kelley, congrats. To everyone else, take notes.