"I got your picture right here," Keith said as he came around the corner.
I was walking around downtown Mobile taking photos of some of my favorite buildings when I heard his voice behind me. Just down the block from the Saenger Theatre, I was focused more on the line at its entrance than my quiet corner.
He dismounted from his bicycle explaining, "I'm riding a bike while carrying a keyboard."
He asked if he could sing for me as we introduced ourselves. Sure, I said.
"I won't ask you for money. I don't have a permit for that, so I can't play and ask for money. I'm having a great day, because I already made $5 and I'm hoping to stay somewhere nice tonight. All I need is $15 and I can stay somewhere real nice tonight. Just ten away. Do you want it funky?"
His choice, I replied. Keith pushed a button and the music started. And he rapped. He sang about rappers who can't perform without autotune. With a melodic voice and obvious talent, he sang for me.
"I can play while I sing, but right now it's easier just to push the button. I wrote the music myself.
Give me a mic and I'll put'em to shame."
Yes you will, Keith. I hope you found the last $6 you needed to get that nice place to stay tonight. Thanks for letting me take your picture.