Greetings everyone in 311 nation! Welcome to the latest edition of the fan spotlight. Without further ado, I give you the story of Maurice Kemp!
While Maurice a.k.a. Mo knew of 311 since the mid 90’s, but he was mostly into the industrial and house scene at that time. It wasn’t until the late 90’s when he started hanging around with some young, cool ladies who were really into the band that he started hearing more of their songs, specifically more of the blue album. He thought the energy was astounding and being a metaphysical being, their lyrics talking about energy being a color made him want to know more about them. He bought the 311 Day 2004 DVD and had it on repeat for an entire summer, then bought the greatest hits CD and Don’t Tread On Me. “They said Lift the roof off your Soul, Fuck the Naysayers and I’ll be here for Awhile. With all that they say Love your Life. I was hooked by the meaning of it all. Went live 2005 in Atlanta, GA and never looked back.”
That first show for Maurice was at the Hi Fi Pavilion in Atlanta in 2005. He’s been to 15 shows total so far and of those the cruise in 2017 was his favorite event. “I never ever thought I’d go on a cruise period! So that right there is a huge check mark off the bucket list. So many amenities, cool peeps and the buffet…lol. For a stoner it was perfect. The water, the beach , the sand, the ship, and of course the music.”
The song “I’ll Be Here Awhile” is Mo’s anthem. “The old skool 311 home version reggae beat with this meaning is a pledge for all of us that we will survive and deserve to be here for a while through rage, solace and healing. I dare not to say anymore otherwise I’ll start crying. I do have to say that this band has brought down some walls that hide my emotions.” One of his favorite lines from a song is, “Smoke the weed that come from Northern California, don’t do no cocaine that come from Columbia. That the thing that mash up your nature, mash up your body and mash up your culture.”
Washington, D.C., is where Maurice was born. “Not a city nor state so filling out certain paperwork was and is always interesting.” Then in his early years he was raised in Trenton, New Jersey by his mom and grandmother after his parents divorced. “These women were very interesting together and apart. Although they were on the same path of righteousness for the community, my mother went the Burning Bra, Black Panther, Military single woman route while my grandmother started a NonProfit for children and adults who needed a community center. As strong black women in the 70’s they also raised many eyebrows politically as well. This is my foundation.”
Mo’s mom remarried to a military man and he became an army brat, moving from place to place, which he said made him develop a social awkwardness because every time he made friends, he would then be moved away from them. Then there was some family drama that eventually forced his mother to uproot them and move them out to California. “My first earthquake was life shattering lol. My sister and I were in school and after it was done they were like, go back to class. LOL. Hell no. Our young behinds got on a bus and headed home crying to momma that we needed to go back to NJ. Til this day I never regret growing up there. Hollywood, concerts, the weather and me learning street smarts was awesome. Oh yes and especially the 420 and after hours house meet ups. PLUR!”
Maurice’s life went down a dark path for awhile, including jail and attempted suicide. He ended up in a hospital and then was kicked out due to lack of insurance. Eventually Mo ended up in San Francisco thanks to a friend, and he said that’s where his journey really begins. “With the foundation of community, the anger from society and the strength from not being afraid to die. San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Albuquerque, Hawaii, Texas, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Germany, Milwaukee are just a few places I, dubbed from one of my friends, the hippie nomad has lived.” Eventually Maurice ended up in Hawaii where he was able to obtain unemployment and work at a hostel for his room. “Room right by the beach and skydived 15000 feet with a bunch of Irish folk for my birthday. Maui Wowi 420 on my side. I moved to Germany to get away from the USA and learn about other cultures.” Mo is truly a unique individual, who can only be described using his words that he wrote: “What sets me apart from others is that I truly and with every bone in my body, follow my own path and rules. I go with feeling, a bit of logic and full on street. With that I take on the consequences and loneliness. I fund my 311 addiction and with most of the things in my life with pure energy. I put it out there and get it back. I’m a minimalist who doesn’t like material objects except for my skate shoe fetish and who has, even homeless, given his last dollar to someone else. In order to read and learn more about the Mo please contact him intimately. Thank you and have a good one. LOL.”
As if Mo wasn’t already interesting, his middle name is very unique. “CHARM. Acronym for Charles Harrison Alphonso Richard Marcellos. My uncles on my fathers side and his name Charles which his name before was actually Maurice. Before what? The adoption. My family is crazy. So when he was younger his mother had to go off to work. Deadbeat drunk daddy needed money and sold my dad. The buyee then adopted my dad. From Maurice Miller to Charles Kemp. Oh and being hippies that my parents were Charm comes also from the Lollipop. Freaks!”
Special talent for Mo is that he has a picture perfect memory. “I can learn things just by looking.” Guilty pleasure is that he sits down for at least an hour each day and listens to music through his headphones, pretending to be the artist that is playing. “From dance moves to live action shoots, my mind goes on a full adventure. Like literally somewhere else. I’ve practiced those moves live that when i hear the song live I am back in that video. I’ve knocked things off the counter doing those moves in my chair. It’s really ridiculous and animated. I surprise myself how far I actually go and get into it. I’ll make a video one day.” Some musicians Maurice loves are Earth, Wind, & Fire, Ministry, Journey, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Beastie Boys, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, and Madonna. “Music is my salvation.”
To 311, Mo would like to say: “Your constant impact on the community throughout the years through verse, melody, actions and sound minds give me hope!”
Now to all the other 311 fans:
“Thank you for showing me a way to live without so much anger. Unfortunately I never had the chance to get help and even though I can now, you guys helped pave that way. Helped me believe. These past 2 yrs of being the ‘311 fanatic’ has been an honor. So I leave you all with this: Hate is committing murder in your heart!”
Maurice, thank you for sharing your story with us all! As usual thanks to everyone in the community that reads and learns about your fellow fans. This community is such a wonderful entity to be a part of. Until we meet again my friends, stay positive and love your life of course!
Much love – The Runt