(Unfinished Ramble 2) How Do You Pray?

Written August 29, 2015

Do you bow your head and close your eyes? Do you speak to your Creator as if He is always watching? Do you ask for forgiveness? Do you bless your food so that it doesn’t kill you while simultaneously taking a moment to reflect on the gratitude you may feel? And what happens when you bless food anyway? Or is that just a comforting move based on habit?

talladega-nights-prayHow do you pray? Do you pray when you’re in need? Do you call on God to get you through a time that seems hopeless? When someone close to you passes away, are you asking for strength from The Almighty? How about news of your own sickness? Is that the time when you call on a higher power in desperation? Can you imagine what it’s like when someone undeserving of pain or illness gets dealt a horrific hand? You’ve been there and wondered why. Why are there children with a terminal disease or afflicted with incurable conditions?

Are fatal accidents really accidents? And if they are, does a verbal safety request prior to those tragic occurrences get ignored? Do all prayers get answered in some form? They say we attract what we desire or even what we fear. So maybe when we’re praying for financial relief or some possibly life-altering opportunity, the path we yearn for may have some detours based on an ultimate goal. If that sounds confusing, I mean that a “No” today could be leading you to a greater “Yes” that you already requested. Read the rest of this entry »

When We Die

One interesting fact about me is that I write rhymes, blogs, and scripts in my sleep. I guess that means figuratively because “writing” is actually replaced by typing in my phone, and I don’t do it while I’m unconscious. Maybe the word I’m looking for is “compose.” I don’t know how rare that is, or if it makes sense to people, but the process always tripped me out. I’ve been doing it since my collegiate days. If I had a song or concept I was working on, I would simply think about it as I was close to falling asleep and start to put words together.

Whenever it worked, I imagine that I must have had a dream about the song, and amidst dozens of dreams involving everything under the sun, somehow whatever I was trying to compose would sneak in and take form. When I would wake up, which was usually in the middle of the night, there would be whole verses and compositions already written. And my mission was to remember them. So if you’ve ever heard a song from me, or read one of these rambles, 82% of the time that I came up with them, it was in between 3 and 6AM and I was literally trying to recall lines and phrases that seemingly already existed.
Earlier this week, I got the news that a homie, colleague, and I hate to throw the word “friend” around but I’ve known Pumpkinhead aka Robert Diaz for so long that we weren’t just rap buddies…I learned that he passed away suddenly.

pumpkinhead1He wasn’t a victim of police brutality or some random shooting, or a car crash, or anything wild that can cause his friends to aim their frustration about his passing at one specific place. It was apparently a pain in his stomach that led to a hospital visit that would be his last.

Just the thought of him being a few years older than me, with a child on the way, and leaving the earth without warning is instantly frightening. It’s alarming because it wakes most of us up to focus more on our health, our family, and the importance of our impact while we’re here. Well that’s what it does for me.
Read the rest of this entry »

Monday Ramble #48 “Arrested Development”

For those that may almost care about this little known fact: I have been either arrested, detained or stopped by authorities on four occasions on or surrounding the actual date of my birthday.

This of course leads me to believe that God has likely cursed the day I was born and wants me to know that any chance of celebrating the anniversary of being brought into the world will be thwarted if he has any sayso.

Ok maybe God didn’t do that, but it sure feels like it.

And don’t get me wrong, I know the deal, everything happens for a reason…what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger…Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and blah blah friggin blah.
I was in a cell for two days without food, a visible clock, a decent seat or real sleep so pardon me if I’m not choosing the spiritual path on this fine day to cope with my misfortune.
It could’ve been a lot worse for me so I’m not tripping.

And I learned a lot during my short stay with my fellow cell buddies.

I met a few rappers, I met a bunch of rappers, a young dancer that smacked up his girlfriend, a coke dealer whose girl wouldn’t take the rap for him, a man with kidney failure that had his dialysis treatment halted by jail, one guy that got locked for holding a train door open for a kid, another swiped his Metrocard for someone he didn’t know and got accused of selling swipes, and I even ran into a fan or two.

The system is the system, and once you’re arrested, they want you to go through it as an inconvenience that will hopefully deter you from coming close to doing any sort of crime again.

“To Protect and Serve” should not be the mantra of the police force. I don’t even have the extreme “eff the police” view that some folks have but I will say that they are more like a fraternity than a gang.

The force is made up of individuals who may not actually change because of the badge, but they use the power of the badge to be who they really are. They could have been corny in high school, in love with firearms, obsessed with power, all of these characteristics lead to folks that forget about helping a community and become concerned with numbers, provoking fear, and making sure they go home in one piece.

All that means they’ll do whatever to ensure their safety, including making you feel like the assailant and victim all at once.

I don’t know what it is about freedom that’s so precious. Until you lose it, then you know exactly what it is. Asking permission to use the bathroom, or to use the phone, not knowing what time it is, and not seeing daylight are the small things we take for granted and they can be snatched from us because another human being has the right to do so.

You are subject to restrictions because of the laws built in the space you reside in based on a certain time period, and these guys are the protectors of those laws…supposedly.
Smoking weed in one area of the world is illegal while somewhere else it isn’t. Killing in the hood is unlawful but murdering for your country is cool. And this is the justice system we humans made up. A jury of your peers will decide your fate if you ever do something that extreme. But what if you don’t do anything extreme but you still end up in a precinct?

For some of you this sounds foreign. Why would a police officer detain you or even harass you if you weren’t doing something wrong? It is because that is their job. It doesn’t mean firemen have to be arsonists or doctors should spread diseases but the best security guard in the world may get praised more for handling an incident over a low incident rate.
Was I supposed to feel cool that some people in Central Booking recognized me as an emcee? I didn’t. Was I supposed to have a lawyer on retainer for instances like this? Maybe definitely.

Should I feel like I never want to go through that process again so I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure I don’t? That’s their plan. Or is it?

When so many cases get thrown out for being foolery, the system may seem to suffer and waste time but I still had to pay a court fee and that Booking area will be just as packed tonight with charges that won’t stick, teens that won’t be as affected as I was, and dudes that have been there so many times that they’re on a first name basis with officers.

I can tell you that two days away from the world is nothing compared to real time in prison. The difference for most people going to jail is that they wake up that day knowing they’re going or aware that they are about to do something that may land them there.

The similarity is that both are treated like a number and like someone that deserves to be behind bars.

So here I am, still mad at myself, disappointed for missing my own bday shindig, trying not to hate the law enforcement occupation, and you were waiting for a Watch The Throne review.

Well I heard it, I watched it, I learned a lot about Jay’s watch collection and his new fixation on the “ugh” adlib, both of their bank accounts, and for some strange reason I’m anticipating a Drake album. I know right, I made that face too. Shout to Ye and Jay though for making people pay attention and attempting to do some groundbreaking stuff.

Update: By some strange happenstance I ran into the officer that arrested me when I was leaving the studio last night, he said he wanted to let me go and then laughed when I told him I spent two days in there. He laughed alone.

Tell me your authority story…

Ban “Otis” freestyles!

Monday Ramble #39 Thank God?

Monday Ramble #39 Thank God?

There are people in your circle, maybe some relatives or a few friends that happen to be somewhat, slightly “over-religified,” and you may not know how to tell them.

Does someone mention the Lord a little too much? Is Jesus coming up in convos that he need not be in? Is Christ getting tagged in anecdotes, banter and overall everyday life by an acquaintance of yours while you cringe with the hopes that they would just let some occurrences be handled on Earth? Just send them this post and walk away.

The other day I thanked God that I didn’t leave my Blistex in the house. Then one time I gave him thanks for getting somewhere safely. One was trivial, the other, a little more understandable. But some folks have a habit of handing God and/or Jesus awards for things they have nothing to do with.

You know who I’m talking about. Those people that thank God the drive-thru was still open or the ones praising Jesus because their corns on their toes went down before sandal season, I get it. God Almighty fixes it all.

Does He or She really though?
There are instances where I’m not so sure the shout out to the deity of your choice is in order.

The bedroom.

I know it may slip out. A “Oh God!” here, a “Thank You Jesus!” there, but being thankful you lasted long because she was gonna talk about you was most likely all your doing.
“Praise Jesus he wasn’t small,” technically you may have a case but I’m uncomfortable now…you know what I mean. Leave God out of it.

I’ve heard spiritual shout outs that the traffic slowed down…that the line at the DMV wasn’t long…that the babysitter was available so you could go to the club…that your spouse didn’t check your phone when you forgot to lock it. Really? We’re thanking God for some obscure things and I’m sure He’s saying, “Wasn’t me.”

But that doesn’t stop you does it?

I know we’ve been on teams where we pray before a game. Sometimes we ask to be injury-free but other instances we ask for Heavenly assistance for a victory.
Now I’m sure there’s some thanking going on once the game is done but don’t assume He chose your team over the losers.
God doesn’t pick one squad over another because you had a better prayer.

Ok so maybe you’re thanking God for the chance to win, or the will, or the physical strength but have you ever prayed for someone else to sprain an ankle? Well some of us are too specific.

Thankful those shoes were on sale? That you won that eBay auction?
That shawty’s man went away for a week?
God’s not accepting your award my friend.
Now that I think about it, according to the Bible, God did choose David over Goliath and he had Joshua kill a lot of folks and he did destroy the world with a waterslide so maybe he does pick sides.

You know I was in deep thought a few days ago when I saw a small part of the movie, The Ten Commandments and I noticed Moses with all his plagues and tricks that got the Pharaoh to let his people go and I wondered if God is a racist.

I mean he got the Hebrews out of bondage, bodied the first-borns of everyone, changed water into blood, parted a sea…but all the Negros got was Harriet Tubman and an underground railroad.

I guess it took some time to work out the kinks and now we’re all cool on the surface and if you think about it, Moses’ folks got jacked again years later with the whole Hitler debacle.

Well it wasn’t really the same people but you know what I mean. I guess God isn’t a racist after all; maybe he’s just slow with deliverance.

I’m sure glad I’m not a slave now. I wouldn’t be a good slave at all. And if I was in Moses’ place back in the days, and I found out I was really Hebrew after I had been an Egyptian prince, I know I would have kept it on the low and changed the game from the inside. I would have kept the perks, got the crown and then let my people go, he took the difficult route because of God and whatnot. It made for a solid story though.

So I guess I wouldn’t make a great slave or a strong deliverer. Well thank Jesus I’m not in the olden days. Is olden a word?

And when you thank Jesus, does God get jealous or does He think it’s ok because they’re like intertwined or whatever. I don’t know too much about religion but I think the Bible has some cool fables…I mean facts.

I don’t know why snakes don’t talk in today’s times, or why hair doesn’t give you strength, or why I couldn’t walk through fire, chill in a whale’s stomach or fight a giant… and the closest thing we have to miracle workers are David Blaine and Criss Angel but I’ll take it.

Thank Christ you read this…oh and sorry if I offended you and your beliefs. I’m not really sorry. Happy Easter!