Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Don’t push me, cus I’m close…*

Boondocks mugshot

Rant #319a^6! (factorial, b*tches)

I love my people (Black people). Not a day goes by that at some point I don’t love being Black. Yes, those of you who aren’t, you are missing out, hahahaha. (The inevitable “but” is mounting.) I don’t know how best to explain it. One example is how I habitually bestow a generic ‘i got yo back’ nod without question when passing other brothas. I figure the last things we need against us are other brothas/sistas.

BUT … (exhale)… D*MN if i’m not close to that ebony apathy; the point where Black people just stop caring. ‘Caring about what?’ you ask. Other Black people; cus we’re f*cking up right now. You’ve seen that brotha/sista here and there, the one that’s done well for himself and now seems to have no kinship or even subtle bias in favor of the African diaspora. I’m starting to understand how he/she got that way. Cus we all learned our history (well, maybe not all of us… which would explain a lot in terms of our success-story extremities) and there must be a point at which each of us felt like we should do something to rise up, whether selfishly or more so in a Black-Nationalist sort of way. At some point those Horatio Alger brothas had to be like “Man, the rest of y’all are on some bullsh*t! Holla at me when you have your first million. I’ll be in the gated communities. Peace.” Anyway, that dude doesn’t seem so unforgivable anymore and i am probably just one dumb muphucka from sighing “f*ck it, good luck”.

I swear the percentage of times I see Black people that I hope no one else is seeing is rising. Everyday on my way to work downtown I see two main types… brothas whom I can believe have a job & dudes whose incomes have questionable legality/origins. I almost want to ask “what are you really trying to do with your life?” but I've resigned from simply shaking my head at the answers to ultimately not wanting to know. Now, sure I don’t know who is who, but I bet I’m a lot more fair in making these snap-judgments than most others. (I’m trying to avoid even thinking about BET… but dang-it I just went and mentioned it.)

See, I remember folks being like let’s boycott BET til they stop cooning (making Black folks look bad or making the most shucking/jiving ways “hot” or “fly-y-y-y--y-y--y-y--y”) and thinking "that seems a bit excessive". Yet, somehow over the last 3yrs though they just fell off the deep end to me. It's not a deliberate attempt to boycott the channel, BET just plain does not appeal to me anymore. Clearly I am no longer the most averagely Black brotha. I am no longer BET's demographic. Somehow I carry myself too well for that now. Really? When did that happen? This doesn’t bode well. I mean if BET ain’t for normal Black folk anymore, where are we supposed to go for some “home”. VH1 Soul? You know how much that kinda cable cost? Clearly Viacom did not have us in mind. Then again even if BET is starting to ease on down to coon town at least the Boondocks is on now.

Did I mention that my exasperated ‘f*ck it’ somehow means “do ya thing” or "have at it." I know, I know. 3/5’s of me is on that Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, “We need to rise up” tip. But that ‘f*ck it’ fraction is spreading like mayonnaise (no pun intended, whiteness -> mayonnaise); I’m thinking that those of us trying to do better will do so and eventually reach their goals, while those on that street game BS will get weeded out in the same institutionalized traps we’ve been falling into since 1964. (I don’t see anything as our fault before then because we made some amazing accomplishments even with America openly against us… i.e.> Paul Robeson.) Sidenote: I don’t know why America is trippin’ over us… we’re like 10 percent of the nation and despite the paternity prominence displayed on [pick a day-time show, even the judge ones] “we are not the fathers” TV. I mean to say our numbers aren’t really rising at an alarming rate. Calm down, Lady Liberty. Terror alert ‘happymeadow green’ (viridian).

Maybe it’s cus we stopped having leaders to call us out on some bullsh*t until recently. Apparently it’s too little too late though. I ran into this one brotha who apparently was ‘so relieved to meet a young brotha with a good head on his shoulders’ (pause). He runs some youth program and the youngins were on some mess to the effect of “I wouldn’t vote Barack cus he’s not a brotha; we need to elect Hillary cus that will put Bill back in the white house. He was the first Black president!” I mean I knew we were f*ckin up but WOW. Sadly, too many WOWs are arising. He was speechless at the youth. He told me I was the highlight of his day like 3 times before leaving. Now this was a brotha in his 50s who has clearly lived through Jim Crow and such he is starting to lean into “f*ck it”?! Finding refuge in young cats like me? Where am I supposed to go? These kids bett’ not be the future. I’m not so sure I wanna be my brotha’s keeper anymore. I don’t “walk it out” (most cooning dance ever in my book) … thus that ain’t my brotha really! Dilemma. I wanted to find these kids and debate them until they cried or were suicidal … or whoop some down-south sense into them. Either way, why are they in our gene pool? Why do they suck at life? I blame the parents. Sidenote: We also joked about the Boondocks; he’s more than twice my age. How great is that?! Clearly he was the highlight of my day.

When trying to understand the misguided youth of the day, people always point to rap as the pied-piper with it's fife of ignorance. I don’t fault rap (and i do consider hip-hop vastly different. It may be falling off, but at least it’s trying). Anyway, the rappers aren’t the real problem. Shoot, they just tryina get paid. Hell from a business sense I got to give the mainstream rappers props (this is the only way that will ever happen). Aside from putting a whole bunch of n*ggas to work. Here you have taken a marginalized experience (aka hood life), polished it, packaged it and sold it back to your own people (and anyone else gullable enough to drop bills) til they are addicted to it, believing that it’s that “good sh*t”. You are the suppliers and more than likely have ties to most of the other dealers giving the people their fix. Hell, if you really want to bank, you team up and run train on they pockets knowing they will fork over the last of they paycheck to get them new mixtapes/albums. From there, cast off anybody that doesn’t feel you as a hater or “conscious n*gga” and roll on 'bout your business. All the while hoping that your audience keeps forgetting the fact they you are perpetually bragging about what you have/what they don’t have AND grounding yourself in a street life you clearly don’t have to live anymore (IF you ever did). Minions praising you as a business man not realizing that it’s the cats in fine print on the back of your album that are really balling. Companies whose execs probably can’t even spell your stage name let alone tell you apart from the next one. Why should they… they are your pimp. "Ho hard and bring it home to us!" Now go play dealer for us. Hell, that hustle is so beautiful… i’m one dumb muphucka away from droppin a mixtape. I’d need a name though… some reference to a ‘crispy’ shoe preceded by ‘Lil’. A hustle built on the back of a true artform. Well, B.I.G. was right… I never thought that hip-hop would take it this far.

See, I remember the gunshots outside my window living in H-Town. And anybody that’s really had some hood experience is probably trying to move out that joint. Well, was… Now someone is profiting off us literally buying into the belief that these gentrified sections of city separated from any development is where we want to be. WOW! … Shoot, how do you not jump the moon and start respecting how gangsta that hustle is? You convinced the people who had everything took from them that smart is wack, that they want to be at the back of the bus, that jail is cool, that getting shot is a merit stripe, and that the hood is where they want to stay. Bravo!! Er I guess... ghetto fabulous?

It all comes back to the people though. Some are hoes and some are CEOs (the real kind with stock options and IRAs). Those of us who want more will find some way to get it, provided they really want it. Else they’ll stay where they are… or do some BS and get trapped. Happens… (maybe I should write a book on this, but supposedly we don’t read anymore. Shoot, even I don't read as much as I'd like to.) Really it’s just too late to go on about my people. If you are in it, you know. If you are mad, you should be. If you ain’t mad, I understand. I mean I could care, I should care, but... ‘f*ck it’ I got bills to pay.

Peace & Blessings

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