Monday Ramble #52 – “The One”

Monday Ramble #52 – “The One”

I wrote this post over three years ago. I think I was pondering marriage and considering being single forever at the same time. I was speaking to people about the topic, gathering information and searching for the answers to help me decide if I was going to be one of those career-driven, offspring-less, successful moguls or if I was going to be a vulnerable human sacrificing financial freedom to join forces with some woman that I believed would remain in love with me forever.

The combination of having a family and experiencing wealth is what I desired, yet it didn’t seem possible. How was I supposed to tear down my ego to let someone in, and simultaneously shed that same ego to find income and explore the true root of my passion beyond music? It’s interesting to review my old thoughts and see where I am today. I can smell the uncertainty in my written words as well as the spoken ones on songs. Who knows what I will feel like in another three or four years? 

 

A few of my boys and I were having a conversation about love and crap like that, and one of them posed the question, “How do you know when someone is the one?”
I said, “You just know.”

That wasn’t right. Then I said, “If you sleep with a girl and you don’t want to teleport to another universe afterwards, then most likely you’ve found her.”

I didn’t really have an answer at the time, so that was the best I could come up with.

The rest of them chimed in (I’m paraphrasing) that the mission is to find a woman who you want at home to raise your kids, be your wife and your best friend initially…until the friend part goes away, the passion diminishes, and she just becomes your roommate and bill paying-partner that is the most tolerable out of any other women you’ve been with while you still do your thing on the side discreetly.

I didn’t like that scenario.

My other friend said that when you find “the one” you feel love in your soul in a way that can’t be explained in words. He said when he met his wife it was inexplicable and he knew she was “it” for him. He was confident that he had experienced his last first kiss, and that he would give up anything and do anything in the world to make her happy. He said she was not without flaws but perfect for him, and her expectations of him were just what he wanted in a relationship.

I haven’t spoken to him since their divorce but I would love to know whose fault it was and how that changed.


This elderly man told me “the one” is really you and in your life there are counterparts, companions, and partners that you meet along the path that you have connections with at certain points in your life.

He said the person you date when you’re 24 might not be a match for you when you’re 31, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t right at the time. Then there comes a time when there’s a person that you find that you would like to share your bloodline, time, thoughts, memories, family and space with. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tryouts

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Whether it’s high school basketball or cheerleading or the school play or the dance recital, there’s something scary and equally exciting about a tryout. Even the word “tryout” sparks a bit of anxiety. It’s the youthful version of the audition. It places people in a position of authority and can crush dreams, inspire greatness and introduce politics simultaneously.
Now that I am assistant coaching high school basketball I have a different appreciation for tryouts. I am on the other side of the curtain. I can respect the fear in the young players’ eyes, the worry they have about doing well and the power that the coaches have when making decisions about who makes the team.
When I flashback to my first tryout I was in 8th grade and I had just started playing basketball. I was pretty terrible but for some reason I thought I could dribble. I got cut.

2010-06-19

And the funny thing about it is that I wasn’t upset. I was so driven to make the team and it had very little to do with basketball. All of my boys were on the team. In fact, anyone that was popular was on the team. It was like a rite of passage for any dude in Philippa Schuyler middle school with some type of social status to play on the basketball team. We only played about three games, with the student-faculty game being the biggest event of our season. Making the team was truly imperative for me.

With that said, I marched in Coach Davis’ office and demanded that I be on the team. I tried out as a forward and I told him I may be better suited to play guard. So he let me try out again and ultimately I made it. I did it. I didn’t accept no for an answer when I was probably not good enough to make it.
A year later I tried out again but this time I was a freshman at Brooklyn Technical High School attempting to make the J.V team. I didn’t even imagine trying out for varsity. I played all summer in preparation for that moment, but to be honest I just didn’t know how to play. I watched guys play in the park and I emulated them but no one taught me how to shoot, I never did a dribbling drill, and I had no idea how to play defense. I was 5’7” and frail. The only people I knew that were trying out with me was my boy Kijana who lived around my way and he was much better than me. And my other boy Steve who went to junior high with me was also at the tryouts. Steve was taller and bigger than me, he was also better than I was and he didn’t seem scared at all. To make matters worse I was unsure about what to wear to the tryout. I remember Coach Davis saying that he knew Mr. Rock, the JV coach at Brooklyn Tech so maybe it made sense for me to wear my Schuyler jersey at tryouts. Nah that’s thirsty…I thought to myself. I decided to wear the t-shirt from a tournament I played in over the summer thinking that would show that I had some experience.
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The Reason I Retired

I get asked every once in awhile why I discontinued releasing music at the moment. My generic answer is that I need to take a step back or I’m not in love with the hip-hop genre anymore. Those answers are honest but they might be incomplete. The dream I once had as a youngster has changed. Music has changed, its popularity has reached new heights but the characteristics of a star artist with fans and respect are not the same as they were before. I don’t view any of these differences as negative.

 

Well maybe the lack of wordplay and substance can be described as a drop down from what was going on years ago. And possibly hip-hop’s obsession with mollies, combined with the lean-sipping sensation fused with an all-time high of auto-tuned sound alikes could be deemed as a far cry from the golden era.

But for the most part there are new artists creating waves of music that cross genres, leap over stereotypical boundaries and they redefine what rappers sound and look like.

 

So why did I pause my progression? The real question I have been asking myself is what was it all for? Read the rest of this entry »


Ramble # 71 It Is (Part 2)

When I heard the news about Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old biological son dying because the mother’s boyfriend assaulted him, I cringed imagining what that pain would feel like as a parent. Then I felt a small bit of relief when I got the news that Adrian had never even met the child. That doesn’t lessen the blow for someone out there who lost a relative that had only lived for two years.

adrian_peterson_3x4And the kid had a father who was the caretaker, and that guy had to learn of his child’s death due to the hands of another man in a situation he most likely had no control over. How does one just accept something so tragic? How do you just wake up everyday with that weighing on your soul and just keep existing? I think if I knew some ancient Asian secret to cure my emotional pain and get over it, I most likely would deny it because there’s a time when we wallow in sadness as if it is therapeutic. Every bit of attention from others and every moment of mourning, as difficult as they seem at the time, also appear to be necessary.

There’s therapy based around this ideology that teaches subjects to embrace their private events, especially previously unwanted ones. The process aims to help individuals clarify their personal values and to take action on them, bringing more vitality and meaning to their life process, increasing psychological flexibility.

That term caught my attention simply because we stretch our bodies to become more flexible, we compromise our spending so our finances can cover what we need, we even expand the confines of our emotions so that we can reach new boundaries of love. But to alter our way of thinking, to modify our reaction to the factors that routinely bother us, doesn’t seem like second nature to most of us.
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Ramble #68 Colored TV

The other day I was watching a rerun of Family Matters, and at the same time I was flipping the channel to check out The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

There’s something disturbing about seeing Jaleel White in suspenders and thick glasses in HD but the episode itself was the typical simple plot with Steve professing his love for Laura publicly, and it kind of sickened me yet I was entertained. I went back and forth to the young Will Smith at a pre-marital counseling session with Lisa, (Nia Long) the girl he never married and I flashed back to the days when these were primetime TV programs.

I remember being a young kid and catching Good Times, What’s Happening?, The Jeffersons and one or two other shows that had brown people in syndication, but on the weeknights and weekends there were actual shows that featured African-Americans or whatever you want to call them. I don’t mind the term “black,” although I don’t know if it should be capitalized or not. I mean I know; I just don’t always feel like it.

Black-Sitcoms
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The Solution

With so many headlines surrounding the Trayvon Martin verdict, it reminded me how much we feel compelled to use social media to express our thoughts about popular topics. When the shooting first took place it was difficult for me to post a status, write a blog, or pen a song that would provoke thought without sharing too much of my opinion.

I do not have all the facts in this case. I did not follow it as closely as some people did. I do understand the racial significance, but outside of Trayvon’s ethnicity I hate to think of a young man having his life taken for no reason while Chief Keef is still running around spreading ignorance. Just kidding young Keef.

Speaking of things I don’t like, having only six jurors sucks. I saw the movie Runaway Jury, and I watched Law and Order a few times, and I learned that both sides got to pick jurors. That’s as close as I got to law school. Read the rest of this entry »


Ramble #66 “Up-And-Coming”

It finally happened. I wasn’t sure when it would go down, but I’m actually writing words down again. Well I am truthfully typing them into a phone and a computer but you know what I mean. I wasn’t writing blogs or music this year until now.

I think I had to take a step back from it all because I almost forgot my mission. For the last few years I had been caught up in staying relevant, showing consistency, and ultimately I became a victim of doing something so long that I needed to see some grand result for the years of effort, and for the naysayers. I don’t know what a naysayer is but I’m guessing it’s someone that says nay quite a bit.
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