IS IT ME? PART 13

As much as this hurts me inside I have come to grips with the fact that I do not look scary at all to strangers. I can have my earphones in bopping to my music with the meanest of faces on a dark New York street and some elderly Caucasian lady will tap me on the shoulder and ask me for directions without hesitation. I want to say “Don’t I look frightening? Why aren’t you concerned that I’ll rob you Miss?”

But I never get it out, and this happens quite often to me. I have been in the middle of conversations, or on the phone on the street and some person that I know I could easily take down and steal all their valuables just trusts in me to lead them on their path the right way. My hoodie and attitude mean nothing to people and that sucks.

I guess that’s why this retarded kid in the park the other day decided he would throw his football at me and it would be cool to initiate an impromptu game of catch with someone he’s never met in his life. This kid had to be about 8 yrs old, his mother was either watching from a distance or sent him over while she hid.

Anyway, here I was 4 minutes into it back and forth looking for an out when it dawned on me that catch is just that…catch. You throw and you catch, that’s it! There isn’t a score, no winner and no clock; the game of catch isn’t a game at all. It has no end and I had no way of finishing this torture other than running away from this excited youngster who might’ve been alone in a park. Then I started thinking maybe this was a prank and I was being filmed, or maybe this was a test from God to see how patient I am or there could be some beautiful, model Mom that wanted to know if I was a good stepfather candidate and this was how she felt out potential partners.

As I was running away I thought about how many times we as humans get caught in moments of discomfort. People go to extreme lengths to not be uncomfortable. However we all find ourselves in situations where we wish we could instantly disappear: A trip up the stairs in the party, not enough money on your debit card, surprise gas release, caught in a turning lane and you don’t want to turn. They are the tiny fractions of time that really aren’t a big deal but we just wish we could push fast forward.

We’re at a BBQ and I don’t remember her name, but she knows mine and we just had a 30-minute conversation about music, basketball and acquaintances we must both know but yet still no bell has rung. I’m texting her description to my boys…no help, handed her my phone when she offered her number to keep in touch but the drink in her hand caused her to say “you just write it in.” And now my friend walks up and I have to introduce her…

“Oh this is my peoples right here…we go waaaaay back, well we had a different name for you back then, what do you go by now?”

But her name was the same as it is now. And I still have a number in my phone under the name “Hey” because I didn’t take the time to remember even after all that but if she ever calls that’s what I’ll say, “hey” and pick up right where we left off.

Even that is not as bad as talking to a woman that has her cleavage exposed and she catches you looking at them. See the thing about cleavage is; well see cleavage is…is sort of like a separate entity or “entitty.”  Two pushed together tatas that are halfway smiling at onlookers live and breathe on their own. Once a female with cup size decides to let the girls out then they have eyes and a mouth and they communicate with the public.

You can be saying one thing but your cleavage says the total opposite. If you bring cleavage to open school night to talk to your kid’s teachers then they are having a different conversation than the one you’re having. While you’re talking about your rugrats, the male teacher is asking if you’re a single mom, your breasts are saying “kind of but it’s complicated,” he’s asking them for details, next thing you know your kid is doing much better in school, is receiving awards and special attention and hasn’t learned a damn thing.

However your mammaries have changed the world, your double D’s have given birth to straight A’s! So with that said, you know what you’re doing Miss, don’t expect me to focus on your words if you wanted to have titty talk. I can’t focus that damn well. Just say what’s on your mind and their mind or just let me look at them and say hello.

I’m saying all this to say, cleavage is a beautiful thing except when it’s not. If you’re a married man and your wife’s homie’s low cut dress has you diverting your eyes to the floor every second then who’s to blame for this madness? Not you sir. The uncomfy moment of getting caught looking at your boy’s fiancée’s rack is your fault? Hell no! They are apparently out for some reason. And even if that reason has nothing to do with you it doesn’t matter. The breasts have a mind of their own I tell you and they have an ego that needs to be fed so as you look at them and she looks at you it doesn’t mean you want to motorboat her or you’re wondering what her areolas look like or if her nipples are small or big; you’ve seen tits before. You’re just being courteous and giving them the look they were asking for. If anything she should say sorry instead of doing the ‘pull up the shirt adjustment’ as if she didn’t know her breasts were speaking to the entire room. That’s why I stopped going to church.


IS IT ME? PART 10 GROWING PAINS!

They say you learn something new everyday, I’m not sure who they are but here are some things I didn’t know yesterday:

-Bill collectors are friendlier when you call them first.

-I am chemically addicted to Blistex lip medication.

-Babies really can be unattractive.

-My ability to consume massive amounts of food is not a mutant super power.

-I don’t know how to pluralize the word “Bluetooth”(bluetooths or blueteeth?) and what disturbed me most was that my “give a damn” meter has reached an all time high to a point that I am now unfamiliar with myself.

What I mean is that in college I gave a damn about a few things, I got pretty good grades, my hygiene was on point and I digested at least 2 of the four food groups daily. By comparison, in my high school days I could not find damns to give to anyone. Nothing had a consequence at all; I stopped doing homework, I never filled out a college application and if any activity conflicted with being cool then it was a no go.

I don’t give a damn was my response to statements like “your girl might find out…” or “he’s gonna kick your ass…” or “if you don’t do it you’ll fail the class…” All I fired back with was “soooo?” or “aaaand?”

I never gave a damn but now I’ve got a whole mess of damns to give. The time-space continuum has shifted and I can just see my old self in these situations of today saying “No! Don’t give it, they don’t deserve that damn you’re about to donate.” But yet still, the new me responds to informative statements with: “Good point” or “I understand, makes sense to me, you’re right.”

I am totally attentive to things that may cause cancer, I’m completely open to reading directions and I am almost, kind of, sort of aware of when I use profanity. I just met this guy in the mirror that says things like “I don’t think I had any vegetables today” or “how many drinks did I have so far?”

What the hell is his deal? Where’s that daredevil that didn’t know the difference between buzzed, tipsy and smashed? Where in the world is the guy that ate fast food 8 days in a row, stood in front of microwaves without fear, had 5 “friendgirl” girlfriends, freestyle battled for nothing and would actually travel to a new place without a printed out mapquest page or navigation?

Who is this strange man sending out caring emails and text messages before boarding planes, this dude who hasn’t worn his du-rag outside his home in years? Do I know this human being that would prefer a good meal instead of a party? Or for that matter over almost anything. He still goes to sleep at strange hours, his pants are baggy and he writes ignorant, immodest raps but he also blurts out left field phrases like “I need more dress shirts” and “I can’t wear a hoody to that event…” WHAT? We used to wear hoodies everywhere duke.

Is there a reason why he’s ready to leave the club at 2 when we used to arrive at 1:45?

When did his cholesterol level sneak into his daily thoughts? He bought a high-powered toothbrush over a new Ipod.

How did the words “credit” and “score” find their way into the same sentence when he’s talking?

We used to ignore things like tip jars, friend’s birthdays and women carrying strollers up or down stairs. And we used to pay extra attention to things that mattered like a perfectly shaped buttocks in a crowded mall or name brand garments we couldn’t afford but we purchased anyway.

What’s that? Adulthood you say? I know I’m not alone but maybe no one understands how long I’ve been young and dumb. My Benjamin Button dream is fading before my eyes. What’s next for us? Gray hair? Rocking shoes to BBQs? A tour with KRS-1?

If you have to make plans to hang out on the corner, then it’s really not authentic hanging out on the corner. It used to just happen!

A friend of mine told me he thought the answer was to find a young girlfriend in high school to keep him hip and with the times. But I found out…I mean he found out he was just being used for his algebra and geometry knowledge. Dang. I discovered the only way to thwart this growth is to start hanging out with really old people so they can say things like “when I was your age…” And then you secretly laugh at them and not because you want to but only for the simple fact that younger people have probably laughed at you on numerous occasions and its only right to keep the cycle going.

-The Present


IS IT ME? PART 11 the rap taboo list

“I am not a rapper!” You may have heard this phrase from some of your favorite emcees over the years. Some of them want you to view them as hustlers or criminals that just happen to magically be good at putting words together. Others just can’t rap too well and don’t want you to judge them harshly. Either way, with all the issues concerning Rick Ross’s past and the whispers I hear about one guy going to college for nursing or another guy getting knocked out, I’ve decided to compile a tough rapper taboo list. Maybe that’s not an accurate title but if you’re a thug emcee on the rise then these are the top things you want to avoid being labeled or things you simply want to stay away from until you reach that level of success where it doesn’t matter.

10. A JOB
Having a job is not the worst thing in the world which is why it’s low on the list. However, it depends on what you do as an occupation and what you spit on the mic. If you kill people and flip weight in your songs but you take orders and flip burgers at work that’s not going to add up. If you talk about life and times in your rhymes and you’re at Verizon or UPS then no one’s going to crucify you. You can always say your 9 to 5 is a front while you hit the highway on the weekends “pushing them keys” or whatever the popular term is. But if you know that’s not your thing and your co-workers are going to hear your raps and say “Howard! I didn’t know you sold drugs.” It’s going to mess you up in the streets. It may be strenuous to work and keep it on the low while pursuing a rap career so my suggestion is throw the gig into the music. If getting up early every morning puts rims on your ride, Pradas on your feet and funds your mixtapes then you’re a step ahead of that guy selling his CDs on the corner that can’t buy a bottle at the club so it ain’t all bad.

9. NOT DOING CRIME
I’m not saying go out and do crime but at some point you need some friends that can at least say you did some type of dirt. And I’m not sure what kind of criminal act you should get into that won’t land you in a penitentiary or get you killed. But this is the thug rap guy price you have to pay. Shooting someone after your career has begun is a little late but if you weren’t a bad ass before the booth then you have to get into trouble without it looking too deliberate. Think who you can stab up or who has a good weed connect or maybe find some goonish cohorts to associate with so people can say “they be wildin'” instead of “he be wildin’.”
The challenging part of this is promoting it. Getting a few bullets in you was the best way years ago but even that marketing plan is old now. Facebook and Twitter are the new age word spreaders. Just imagine switching your status to “got dem thangs for 18.5” or “just made it back from one of those trips, cops ain’t catch me, thank God.” Or keep it simple “sellin’ crack right now!”

8. NOT GETTING CAUGHT
Prison is no joke. Any artist that’s been thru the system is more focused on not returning than glorifying it. If you sincerely believe that jail is somewhere you can build a rep, secure street credibility or add to your thug résumé then you need to put the mic down, stop reading this and visit someone in a correctional facility. That’s all I have to say about that…back to the sarcasm.
7. HIGHER EDUCATION
If you have some type of bachelors, masters, PhD, high school diploma, world record SAT score or even a GED then you better cover your tracks. People will find your report card, scan it and tell the world about your academic accolades. I know you weren’t thinking about your future hardcore rap dreams when you were studying and getting those A’s or when you even decided to show up to class on time but its too late now. We know educated rebels seem cool in a sense but the mystery about how a “gansta” obtains his knowledge is the intriguing part. Science awards, dean’s list honors, or just finishing school period are all blemishes on your record. Of course there are exceptions to the rules but dropping out of high school is the perfect peak for an education level when you’re a tough killer. Any pictures with that silly graduation cap or proof that you took it further and got degrees is bad news. Although in the case of a John Forté, who I remember as a smart kid, he didn’t publicize his illegal life much and then actually served time for it. But never mind that, you can’t erase the past but be aware that brainiacs and bullets don’t match in the rap game.

6. FAMILY MAN
Everyone has parents and grandparents and all that. But exposing the fact that you have one woman or a wife can be touchy. The husband image doesn’t always match a gangsta but you can work the angle if it’s done carefully. The people want to believe that you can have any girl you want at any time. They want to think that you will not only shoot anyone but that there’s no way to hurt you other than coming right at you. Having kids is kind of ok because that shows a little bit of a human side but don’t go overboard and do songs about them. Unless of course they’re tough guys too. Throw them into your rap beef, let them hold weapons in videos and put them on a song or 2. If you’re going to have seeds then they might as well be promotional tools. Get the world to know them on a first name basis like Eminem’s wife and kid if you’re going to have a family. If you’re not going to do that then get rid of them, they’re dead weight.

5. AUTHORITY AFFILIATION
If you’ve ever been a policeman, correctional officer, state patrolmen, park ranger, school crossing guard, mall cop, town sheriff or hall monitor then rapper should not be added to this list. I don’t know what the hip-hop community exactly has against law enforcement but it just seems to be one of those occupations that we disagree with. It’s like hearing someone is a pedophile or an alien or something if they’ve been on the force. We scrunch up our faces and look at them in disgust as if they are part of a gang…and we almost view that gang like the Klan. I don’t think like that but the public does. Maybe Rick can spin his scenario to make it cool to be a cop and things will change. Can’t wait to see that…

4. PUBLIC POVERTY
Thug and baller don’t always go together but there are plenty of times that artists have the big chain to go along with the threatening talk. The large pendant and the cool gear silently scream “I’m rich” to the people. So if you’re ever out to a dinner and can’t pay the tab without blinking or you’re on the line for a party and you make the “hell no” face at a bottle price in front of people the word might get out. Keep a baller with you if you’re not the money man. Say things like “I don’t keep cash Ma” or “My mans got it.” Give the bathroom attendant mad one dollar bills if dudes are looking. If you have to take public transportation then dress as flashy as you can with 2 chains out and if you get into a situation that might expose your financial hardships like an after the party diner trip or a female request for something while eyes are on you then just walk away.

3. ON-CAMERA EMBARRASSMENT
In this Youtube, upload footage era, people are just thirsty to see someone get into a predicament where they fall from grace. The more you build yourself up, the more folks want to see you fall. Cats will try to rob you and not even for the money or jewels but for the look and the views. They want to knock you out and film it or have your chain on ignorantstuff.com making themselves hot. This is difficult to avoid but if something’s going to go down, try and peep for the cameras because as long as no one captures it then it’s your word against theirs.

2. HOMO THUG
From “pause” to “no homo” the hip-hop world has never been shy about its fear of homosexuality. Nobody wants to be thought of or perceived as a fruit. We’re so paranoid that we “pause” sentences that may contain words or phrases than can be taken in the wrong context but the truth is the gayest person in the world wouldn’t catch 80 percent of the things we pause.
I remember interning at Roc-a-fella and being shook to say anything that sounded like it could be remotely close to something sweet. I didn’t see Brokeback, I’m not going to check out Milk and yet I don’t hate anyone for their life decisions but we all know the worst possible thing a rapper can be is a same sex offender. For the females it’s not that bad but for the male emcees, a gay rumor can kill you. Wendy Williams threatened to expose the gay rapper years ago and had the industry going nuts…pause. If you happen to play for the other team then you might just want to be a music executive or something instead of an artist, you’ll climb up the ladder much faster from what I hear. Again, I have no beef with those who like to hang with hard legs, I just know of all the taboo things to be, this is by far the biggest no-no there is. So if you have ventured into that world then you should kill anyone who knows or pay them off…no I was right the 1st time…yea you better kill them.

1. LYING
The bottom-line of it all is even if you do data entry or you’re a chauffeur during the day that has never been to jail but has a masters degree in botany and you’re only crime is Limewire downloading and you live with your grandparents, wife, 2 stepkids and one child of your own and you’re a habitual informant that drinks from other people’s unfinished champagne bottles in the club and the footage of you getting smacked up by your down low boyfriend is on the internet you can still be a hardcore rapper…if you tell the truth. Hip-hop heads are strict but they respect authenticity over everything. So just say “Yea that’s me, so what!?” And you’re straight…unless you’re not straight but you can still make it and come out on top…pause.

-The Present


IS IT ME? PART 8

Is it me or does anyone else kind of hide when they see an old schoolmate that they were sort of cool with but not really THAT cool with?

Not to be Hollywood or anything but maybe you just trick yourself into thinking that person may not remember you so you don’t want to embarrass yourself. But the truth is you really just don’t feel like engaging in a small talk session. Isn’t small talk one of the most interesting interactions ever created? Two people trying to read each other’s body language and fit in years of living into minutes or possibly seconds.

Imagine running into an opposite sex acquaintance from high school, junior high school or in some cases college or an old job or something. The indecision starts with the greeting; do you just wave hello or move in for the touch and talk? Once you’re close enough, do you high five, hug or do you hug AND kiss on the cheek? Who knows? And when you’re done with that, there’s the rhetorical “how’s it going?” Or “what you been up to?”

If mind reading was ever a necessity in life, this is one of those times.

You honestly don’t care what I’m doing and me saying “same old thing” might cover it. But nooooo, I have to give detail don’t I? Then I have to ask you the same thing. And you know what you’re gonna do? You’re gonna tell me. And you should, because my dumb ass just asked you to didn’t I? Yup.

For me, the worst possible question is: “You still doing music?” Maaan that gets my blood boiling. They should really say “Please tell me you gave up your dreams by now? I don’t see you on TV or hear you on the radio so you must not be popular, I gave up on my dream and I hate my life so please join me and hate yours…” But that thought remains silent in their heads as I say “Hell yeah” and my ego kicks in and runs down my award wins, magazine appearances, record deal, Myspace and WordPress pages, and lastly I reach in my pocket and search for a CD for them to check out…

Well that was last year. This year I’m saying things like “Nah I quit music, I’m actually a whiffle ball coach on the weekends for a midget league, that’s my true passion and during the week I’m a phone sex operator for an exclusive amputee hotline. That’s where I make the real bread so if you know of anyone that lost a limb but is looking for lust take my card.” Then I’ll look at the strange look on their faces as they try to figure out if I’m joking. Then I’ll hand them the card and it will look so real that they’ll be sure to tell everyone. Next time I’ll have a different story and a new card for the next old “homie” I run into.

Truthfully, Facebook cured the need for these types of run-ins. I used to think Myspace was juvenile but now it has become helpful and even replaced the business card and the first date. I fought the forces of Facebook for as long as I could but there’s something about seeing the pics of the girl that dissed you in 6th grade and chuckling inside as you see how fat or busted she’s become. Then realizing the jokes on you when you see she’s fat because she’s a married, wealthy doctor with a mansion and a chef. Anyway Facebook was confusing at 1st and I didn’t want to be poked, vampire bitten or made someone’s pet but I can appreciate speaking to people that I assumed fell off the face of the earth just because they weren’t in contact with me. Don’t we all think like that?

Well this is really all about one thing that is puzzling me: Twitter! I’m not gonna lie. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Twitter but I don’t want to be late and not cool either. I know I don’t like people following me. I’m paranoid as it is. Now everyday there’s more people following me and I hear I’m supposed to follow them…and then they see my convos? Do I have this wrong? And then I want to add this feature to my mobile device? Yea? That’s really what I want? How did my cyber life get so complex?

Do I really want to know that another lucky guy got rich overnight because they thought of one of these friend connecter sites that was right there in front of me but I was too busy writing raps? Thanks smart guy! You think all the ideas are gone and then bam!

Twitter pops up. I guess I can see why my site: justwannahititorgetfurtherinmycareer.com didn’t work. It was a little too direct. All these sites exist just to avoid real conversation. I wonder where we’ll be with these in 20 years.

To think that The Jetsons was created over 40 years ago and we still didn’t catch up. Then again the Internet would’ve helped Spacely Sprockets and Cogswell Cogs but I’m still waiting for flying cars that fit in your briefcase and robot maids that take care of all your personal needs…and don’t want to small talk.


IS IT ME? PART 9

I know that I’m on my own planet with this one but there’s something that I’ve always wanted to do in my life even though I have never found the strength or the courage. It may not make any sense whatsoever but it has been my dream for a while to speak like Yoda from Star Wars when I do on camera interviews. I always thought Yoda was so mysterious and insightful and it would be different to address people like a Jedi master when they ask me what’s going on in my world… “Working on new album, Stimuli is.

Very hot, songs are. Happy, I am…” I’ve tried it in a few conversations and people laugh at first but I always stop before they get annoyed or weirded out. I don’t know if it would even be funny or if the interviewer would look at me like I’m crazy if he/she didn’t know me but I’m sure they would wonder when I’m going to stop. But I would just keep going with it, predicate before subject in every sentence for like a half hour and right when they think, ‘maybe this is how this guy talks,’ I would probably forget and just speak regularly.

While everyone is talking about Chris Brown beating Rihanna up and saying things like “She should’ve used that umbrella” or “How can she breathe with no air?” I’m not gonna go there. Instead of making hydro jokes about Michael Phelps or thinking of some cool way to incorporate the Stimulus package into a song/marketing plan with my stage name in it, I’m analyzing TV commercials trying to figure out how can I get down with the Geico movement.

I know insurance is big business but how much money are they bringing in that they can afford 5 ad campaigns simultaneously? The cavemen, the talking gecko and the stack of money with fake eyeballs on it staring at people are not really crazy concepts but they work pretty well together. I’m just waiting for the day these marketing geniuses realize that an artist on Geico records (me!) would win.

I’m sure when Burger King decided to reinvent the “King” himself with the big head mask guy they knew they had something. Where was this dude when I was a kid? If he’d been around I’m sure he would’ve given Ronald McDonald a run for his money. That stoic face, the robe and tights, the fact that he plays football and breaks in people’s homes; then shows up in their bedrooms with a sandwich is truly hilarious to me. Granted if he would’ve been at my 7-year old birthday party I might have ran like hell in fear but someone might have laughed. And years later…I would have too.

Does Subway really think we don’t get the sexual undertone with the $5 footlong song? And how come it sticks in my head whenever the commercial comes on? Damnit, it’s there now!

Does anybody else watch Yo Gabba Gabba! and Hip Hop Harry? I mean anyone that doesn’t have kids. Kids shows have better music than the radio.

Is anyone going to tell Tyler Perry that the Madea plays were cool and the movies were comedic in a slapstick, predictable sort of way but as far as television goes that’s another story? Meet the Browns is nowhere near as funny as House of Payne…and House of Payne isn’t even funnier than Major Payne was…which wasn’t funny at all. The only thing I feel watching House of Payne is actual pain. I’m exaggerating but I do feel a bit of pain for our race and for anyone that would think this or that Flavor Flav show are representations of Black sitcoms. Don’t mind me, I just get bitter because I don’t think I’m over Homeboys in Outer Space.

All this television talk got me to thinking about the cast of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Not Will Smith or Alfonso Ribiero. Carlton had some directing gigs, I see Ashley’s on her grind but what about the rest of the folks who used to work with this clowny rapper everyday for like 6 years?  I saw Vivian Banks, I mean the old, original Vivian on the Bernie Mac show but before that I was worried about her and if she was still in the doghouse for bailing on the family. How come Karyn Parsons (Hillary) didn’t get the call for I Am Legend or Pursuit of Happyness? Isn’t she as pretty as Salle Richardson and Thandie Newton? And what about the big head kid that played little Nicky? He’s got to be like 20 something and his claim to fame was hanging around Tyra Banks and Will Smith when he was a kid. The moral of the story is you never know. If you’re the Ron Johnson or the Dwayne Wayne of your school or workplace, don’t be mean to Lena James because one day she may just become rich or marry someone really wealthy and she’ll be too busy to come to the reunion shows or even pretend she knows you if she bumps into you…sad, life is.

-The Present


IS IT ME? PART 7 INAUGARATION

In my last entry I referred to the Inauguration as the “Inniggeration” in jest and some would even say in poor taste even though I meant no harm by it. I know that the partygoers eager to make connections, meet people and see “stars” represented only a handful of those at the actual event.

 

After seeing the masses come out to support Barack’s entrance into the White House from rappers, actors, athletes and everyday people of all nationalities it truthfully warmed my heart. It made me think that the dream Martin Luther King envisioned was something from the distant or maybe even near future and not something existing in a lifetime from the past. When Dr. King spoke of his dream it seemed like something so foreign and inconceivable at the time but now we’re scratching our heads and wondering if The Secret really works.

 

Someone asked me how I felt about the Inauguration’s events and I admitted to having mixed feelings. On one hand I thought 150 million dollars for a country in debt just to celebrate the President getting sworn in. Is this what comedians joked about for years if a Black man was to make it in the White House?  Fried chicken on the menu, homeboys in the Cabinet, a Summer Jam appearance in the future, I swear this dude checks his own Facebook page but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway we were partying hard for a weekend that symbolized overcoming centuries of obstacles with many more to go and all I could think about was how bad Bill Clinton must feel for not getting any of this. Well not really but it crossed my mind for 2 seconds.

 

My cynical view is overshadowed when you think of how important this is for each child that will work harder to become what he or she wants or every person over 50 that went through blatant discrimination and actual Constitution changes that affected their freedom. Hell yeah it’s time to party! All races and creeds should be throwing their hands in the air as we approach a higher level of consciousness.

 

But there are some totally on the other side that don’t care at all about being happy for Obama’s election, they are more focused on what his election will do for our country. They are the people that want to see what he will do before we jump and down. Some are racists, some are Republicans, some are simply pessimists that don’t care to be a part of history but just want a better life and they look to America’s leader to make that road a little easier.

 

I however, am somewhere in the middle. I watched the screen as millions gathered, networks broadcasted, tears flooded eyes and bodies shivered to support a new day for the United States. I saw footage of performances, I watched television specials interviewing athletes and entertainers and I myself witnessed an overall attitude change in those around me and it truly is beautiful.

 

As I joked with one of my boys about the celebration resembling the movie The Wiz’s “Brand New Day” performance when the wicked witch passed away, I thought deeply about that comparison and likened our nation to that trip to Oz. What I mean is that while we complain about education in schools, or about the kids simply not learning or what they have access to on the net and on TV; the truth is we’re really similar to that Scarecrow that had brains all along. And if we can travel to DC just because we want to can’t we get up and just go help in any part of the country we want to? Couldn’t we have gone to New Orleans the same way? Wasn’t it possible to march for every brutal police incident or standup for every social injustice? See the Tinman didn’t really need anyone to tell him he had a heart in his chest. You get where I’m going with this…America, sort of like Dorothy is waiting for something. We scream “yes we can,” we wait for “change” to come but the reality is we are the changers, we have the intelligence, compassion and courage and all we have to do is click our heels and do shit. As I’m writing this now I’m moved to do more. I’m not sure what more is which is probably why Obama is our Wizard in real life.

 

Or maybe I should just shut up and join the party. Maybe I should just look at the face of the Black grandmothers and great-grandfathers that lived through the Civil rights era and realize that we’ve come so far as a people that we should just sit back and breathe and enjoy it for a second before we get all analytical and go striving to move the whole earth. Maybe 150 million is somewhere within 40 acres and it’s ok to enjoy a victory. Or maybe the next time you think of Barack and what he’ll do for the nation you’ll think of what you’re going to do for the nation too. Or maybe that’s just me.


IS IT ME? PART 6

Have you ever just wanted to shoot someone? Not to kill them but just…never mind that but I just realized the difference between having fights in elementary school where the worst possible outcomes were losing and getting in trouble compared to being an adult where hitting someone can result in jail or death. Consequences suck. Sometimes you feel like really just poppin’ a cap in people. Whether it’s a bouncer at the club or an industry person that thinks they know it all. I’m sure you feel that way about a supervisor or co-worker, manager or A&R, you may even feel like hating on some undeserving rapper but shooting him may just boost his career.

 

I have to see Notorious by the way. I went to the premiere in Atlanta but I left before the whole drama (no pun intended) went down. Speaking of drama I spoke to DJ Drama before all that crap happened and as I glanced at his big pendant I started thinking about adding that to the list of stuff that needs to halt, pause or maybe take a rest in this entry. I was going to do a top ten but now I’m thinking these are things that people SHOULD keep doing to help me stand out in the world.

 

-The big pieces on chains that are worth less than they look are wonderful for our people and great for hip-hop. Look at the trends Yung Berg has started and all the joy he’s brought the youth that passed around his transformer pendant.

 

-Also on my list was the word “swagger” that has been gradually becoming more and more frequent in today’s world. We all used it to describe someone’s amount of cool juice in the past. Then in hip-hop it became the word to denote the thing about an artist that had nothing to do with their songs, rhyming ability or status. It was simply said, “Rapper can’t really rhyme but he has a crazy swagger.” Which meant that he walked confidently, dressed trendy or had a Fonzerelli thing going on that would be tough to put in to words and still sound hetero. So “swagger” just kept growing to reach interviews, songs and Sportscenter. “Swagger like us” was almost the last straw until Old Spice’s “Swagger” line of body spray topped that. Sometimes we push words to their limit and the poor word was never meant to hurt anyone. Keep it going guys.

 

-And while you’re at it continue to rock Mohawks. If you recently decided to cut your hair into a Mohawk style and by recent I mean within the last 2 years you would be at the tail end of a strange trend that has become infectious. I mean it came back in a while ago and when Diddy rocked it for the marathon it was on its way out then. So we may see the kids rocking the hawk and think it’s cute and teenagers looking cool but if you’re an adult trying to standout then the word “trying” is what you should cut on one of the bald sides of your head. But my message to you is, keep it! Thank you for helping me.

 

-If you’re a grown person with a T-mobile Sidekick and you like your inbox having a limit just so you can flip your screen around and be on AIM all day then screw what everyone says about you. Sidekicks rule!

 

-Oh I have to give a big shout out to all those dudes using the Internet as the forum for beefing with other rappers. Video blogs, interviews, threats on camera even showing weapons is the smartest and best marketing tool ever. I mean it’s so much larger than the DVD era. Someone can just type in your name and see you saying the most gangsta things and when they actually see your face they believe it, I know I believe it. Cyber beef is the bestest. If I don’t get me some this year I’m finished.

 

 

-Lastly, to all the police that are still beating people up because they’re a little darker than you and they seem more dangerous than the average citizen well if you don’t mind riots here and there then keep it up. It’s not like you’re going to go to jail or get in trouble for it and if you’re worried about those brown folks coming together and making a change don’t stress it. That badge is all you need. We know the police are here to serve and protect but sometimes we get out of line and talk back and we forget that maybe you weren’t cool in high school or you can’t please your girl so you need to let out that anger. I apologize for all Black males Mr. Policeman, but be careful because the riots in Cali could catch on and this new president dude seems to be making an impact.

 

Seriously though, I’m all excited about Obamamania but I was really afraid the Inauguration turn into the inniggeration. I’m glad it didn’t and I know there are some humans that wanted to experience something unprecedented live and be a part of history but unfortunately there are some that use things like that as an excuse to get into some idioticy. All in all it was a great day that I will elaborate on some more…