On February 9th, 2020 my life changed. That day was the premiere of the first ever episode of my brainchild, The Bronx Bias Podcast. At that time not many things were clear. With the Covid-19 pandemic there was uncertainty with health, safety, and the economy. In addition there was uncertainty with my career at the time. But when the first episode of my podcast premiered, I knew this would be the thing that would change my life forever. It is a true blessing that The Bronx Bias Podcast has been able to reach 100 episodes. For this special blog I wanted to let you guys behind the curtain a little and share the origins of The Bronx Bias Podcast, and also reflect on series of events that have led me here. The story of The Bronx Bias Podcast definitely does not begin on February 9th, 2020 though, the wheels began to go in motion on January 1st, 2019.
On New Years Day 2019 the Denzel whom speaks with you via the Internet was a completely different person. I was massively overweight, extremely insecure, I worked a job I absolutely hated, and I had a lot of personal and emotional issues standing in the way of my personal growth and my happiness. I decided on that day to dedicate myself to changing. “New Year, New Me!” I changed my diet, started in the gym, and began therapy to tackle the root causes of my emotional and personal issues.
(Sidebar: THERAPY WORKS! If you are going through something in your lives and/or you are struggling or having a difficult time I implore you to seek help! Seeking help does NOT mean you are soft, a “bitch”, or weak! Let go of those tired ideals! Don’t suffer in silence! You are NOT alone out there! And there are a plethora of resources available to you.)
With this new dedication to change I immediately saw dividends. I dropped 66 pounds, overcome personal challenges, became closer with family and friends, and became a better version of Denzel. Going into 2020 questions still remained, and they were simple yet difficult questions. The questions simply were “What’s next for me? And what or who do I want to be professionally?” I knew the place where I was working wasn’t the place for me nor where I wanted to be. Additionally I knew I wasn’t going to become anything with that company, so I needed to figure out what I was going to do to pursue my passions. As I was brainstorming I couldn’t help wondering why I was so unhappy at my current job. The reason was glaringly clear. It is because I am an absolute chatterbox, an independent thinker, and someone with a strong sense of individuality. I have always been that way. I can still remember report cards and progress reports from elementary, middle, and high school teachers that said “Denzel is a good student, but he talks TOO much!” At any “normal” 9-5 job fraternizing amongst your co-workers, cracking jokes, and essentially building real relationships, friendships, and networking are frowned upon. Yo ass ain't there to make friends, you’re there to do your job and collect a check period. That was the root cause of my misery working there. I felt like I was losing my creative essence, becoming robotic, and not to be dramatic but I felt my soul and spirit being crushed. I knew it was imperative to make a BIG change.
Through intense thought, research, and reflection I came up with the idea of creating and hosting my own podcast. I wanted to create a show where I could riff about the topics of the day but also shed a positive light on where I’m from and also the amazing people in the area. The name “Bronx Bias” literally comes from the reaction I would get whenever I’d travel outside of the borough and people would find out I am from the Bronx. People had and still have such a negative view on the area and I thought that title worked perfectly for the show I wanted to do. This podcast would also allow me to be creative in multiple ways, and it would let me do what I feel I do best. Run my motherfuckin mouth! Haha! Once I wrote down the title “The Bronx Bias Podcast” and looked at it I knew it was perfect! This was the perfect name for the show I wanted to make.
Now keep in mind as I am making all these epiphanies, revelations, and developing the concept for the podcast I am still working my 9-5 job. I’m working while I am getting a logo made, while I’m teaching myself about the necessary hardware and software I need, teaching myself how to record and edit, while I’m thinking about the format, while I’m recording demos, everything! My time was extremely limited because so many things were happening and I kept saying to myself “I need more time!” My lack of time started to become very frustrating, and I knew I just couldn’t stay at this job that I really didn’t even like it just isn’t possible for me. But I couldn’t afford to leave that money behind. My name is Denzel but it is certainly NOT Washington. My pockets are smaller than Gary Coleman at NBA tryouts. I wanted to leave but internally I knew I couldn’t leave money behind. Bills and responsibilities absolutely do not care about your passions or happiness. This is the real world fam. When episode 1 of the show dropped I was still working everyday, but I was so freaking thrilled I was able to put MY shit out. And the more involved I became with the show though the more I frustration I would feel with my job. My mind was consumed with this show seemingly from sun up to sundown. I was in a state of constant mental tug-of-war. Once side of the rope was pulling for the show and the other side was pulling for my job.
One anecdote I have heard constantly for my entire life is “God works in mysterious ways.” I have been hearing that quote for as long as I can remember and it showed itself in a huge way in March of 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic had invaded the world. The uproar, the frenzy, the people getting sick, and the initial deaths due to Covid-19 were too hard to ignore. Yet my employer DID NOT care about the virus at all, they did not believe it to be a serious issue. In addition to their apathy, they were still requiring all employees to show up, commute, and work at location daily. On top of that they began to issue documents for employees to sign that stated the company bears no responsibility for employees who possibly contract the virus and infected employees future employment with the company is at the mercy of the employer. Now at this point I was absolutely livid! Not only are they requiring us to commute and work on site but now if anyone gets sick they can get fired and the company doesn’t have responsibility? OH. HELL. NO. Here my dumb ass was fighting myself daily to get up and go to this place that I dislike instead of pursuing the thing that is making me happy and you come to me with this? For all I know I could be infected already and y’all want to be absolved of potential wrongdoing? OH. HELL. NO. AGAIN. I vividly remember how angry I was. I stormed up to the HR department trembling with anger and demanded answers. Answers in which they refused to give. And I found myself literally arguing with the Human Resources department about it. After about 15 minutes of back and forth heated discussion and neither side backing down they offered me an ultimatum. Either I sign the documents or I leave. At that moment I had to make a choice. Sign the forms which were essentially a death sentence, let them fire me, or option C which was very enticing, start tearing shit up in that building and bugging the fuck out like Rick James at Eddie Murphy’s house haha! “FUCK YO COUCH NIGGA!” I really wanted to choose option C but I took a deep breath and said to myself “Denzel, just leave! This is a sign from God fam! You’ve been fighting yourself coming here, doing this podcast makes you happy this job does not, and to top it off they are literally saying ‘nigga we do not care about what happens to you!’ So stop caring about them! Leave!” After that internal dialogue I calmly got up packed up my shit and dipped. I had never felt so relieved in my life. I was glad I was wearing a mask because on my way home I was smiling from ear to ear like the fucking Joker! I called my parents to tell them what I had done and to my surprise they were extremely supportive and I knew I did the correct thing for myself. From March 17th, 2020 to now has been the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. I knew my purpose wasn’t to work and rot in a bullshit office it was and is to express myself and use my creativity to tell my story. Big facts. Podcasting and this entrepreneurial journey has been the best job I’ve ever had. Even if this journey must end it is an ultimate relief to never have to answer the question “what if?!” What if I never left that job? What if I never pursued this passion? Why didn’t I follow my heart? All those questions were gone. In my opinion the question of what if is the hardest question to answer. The worst reality to me would be being 90 years old in my rocking chair questioning my life decisions and knowing I didn’t have enough time to change them.
Throughout this 2 plus year journey I’ve been able to meet so many amazing people, had so many great experiences, and I wouldn’t trade this for the world. Whether I’m podding for the rest of my life or I stop soon, this endeavor has challenged my mind, heart, and spirit in such a positive way and changed me for the better. It has helped further instill the belief in myself, and showed me how much I can do. I have self recorded, produced, engineered, written, and published 100 podcast episodes, started a company, created a website and blog, created BBP branded merchandise, and have interviewed over 40 entrepreneurs, and this is just the beginning! Before New Years Day 2019 I would have never ever thought any of this was possible! This is truly a blessing.
Finally a message to anyone out there reading this. I am the proof that you CAN achieve any dream you set your mind to! You CAN create the life you’ve always dreamed of. All you need is belief in yourself, passion, and desire and it is possible. DON’T ever tell yourself you cannot do something, DON’T ever tell yourself you aren’t good enough, DON’T ever let negative thoughts and opinions change who you are or what you believe in, DON’T ever be afraid or embarrassed ask for help if you need it there are so many people out here who can help you, always stay true to yourself, and just keep grinding and keep creating!
There are so many people to thank and I’d like to thank some right now. First I have to thank God, because without him nothing is possible. I want to thank my family and close friends for their love and unwavering support of me even though most of them didn’t know anything about podcasts hahaha. I want to thank my friend Aaron Davis for designing The Bronx Bias Podcast logo. I want to thank my friend Jamall Blake for helping me design the website. I want to thank my friends Shaquille and Anthony along with my cousin Sam for essentially being my unpaid blog editors ha! I want to thank every single guest that has appeared or will appear on the podcast for trusting me and allowing me to help share their stories. Thank you to all the listeners and readers out there I truly appreciate all your love and support. Without you this would just be a show of me just talking to myself. Thank you to everyone who ever took the time to help me out in this process, whether it was with submitting questions for the Q&A segments, constructive and even un-constructive criticism, suggesting guests, and even the folks out there who have reached out just let me know they enjoyed an episode or enjoyed reading something I’ve written I truly appreciate all of you. Thank you to that shitty job, and thank you to Covid-19. (That feels so weird to say but it is true.) Thank you to all the haters cuz y’all my motivators haha, I want to thank the BX borough and all my Bronxites out there, and lastly to quote Snoop Dogg I WANT TO THANK ME! Hahahaha!!!!
Cheers to 100 episodes of The Bronx Bias Podcast!!!!!
FROM THE BRONX NEW YORK WHERE SHIT HAPPENS!!!!