Posted on Friday, April 5, 2013

Why The Esquire?

I won't bore you with a long story...ha! I love long stories. Shut up and read!

Admittedly, "The Esquire" is an odd name for a rapper (but at least it doesn't contain Lil, Young or Dogg). The origins are also odd and completely nerdy. I graduated from UPenn in 2003 and found a job in Philly. I had to permanently move from Tampa, FL; so in the 3 months between starting work and getting my own place I lived with none other than Timothy Brindle in his glorious studio apartment in North Philly. It was a great season of growth, study, confession of sin, listening to sermons, in depth conversations, evangelism and more.

In the midst of that time, we both discovered our mutual appreciation for the Puritans. And so, naturally of course, we started talking in what we though Old English Puritans would've sounded like. Because that's what you do after listening to a recitation of Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God" (which is a phenomenal, heart-rending sermon, by the way). This led to the creation of the very informal Puritan speech club which included several others fond of their theology who also liked to take a stab at sounding like a 300 year-old, smart, dead guy.

Fast forward a year and the time had come for me to send out wedding invitations with my lovely bride. It was time to address Timothy Brindle's envelope and just writing Timothy Brindle was not good enough. I don't recall the exact address but suffice to say, it contained a couple references to his excellencies, a few honorariums and a title or two to boot.

Well, what do you know, the following summer Mr. Brindle was ready to tie the knot and in the mail was a spanky new invitation addressed to Sir Benjamin Otero, Esq. I worked with lawyers at the time, not being one myself, and had seen plenty a "esq" at the end of a name but discovered that it was just a general term of honor, not tied to any occupation or nobility per se. Just a way of saying "swell chap".

And that leads to the present; 8 years, 5 children and a few states removed. The name Esquire has stuck but not necessarily in a joking manner. My aim in hip hop is to be an esquire, a swell chap, a noble man; not in the sense of entitlement but in character, behavior and expression. My desire is that the rap music that I produce would call my brothers and sisters and those who are curious to be like the ultimate Esquire: the Lord Jesus Christ.

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