I’m 17, and; in so many ways I’m still in the dark about my body, mind, heart, soul and my uplifted – then – down trodden spirit.. But I’m learning. I’m learning that as I feel around in life’s darkness and ignorance, I’m capable of slowly learning to identifying things. Not by touch but “by feel”. That’s right: “emotion”.
Music: I like a lot of different music. I listen to some rap and a little hip-hop. There is some gospel music I do like a lot and do listen to. But my favorite is the music my grandfather listened to and loved. The music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Yeah, I can hear some of my peers saying, “dude you’re lame. “Some go so far as to say “f*** this dude, man.” Hey, it’s all good.
So let me break it down for ya! Let me break it down for my young peers and for the older folks as well. I’m going to break it all the way down.
Some of you like “rap and hip-hop” and some of you may like reggae, gospel or soul. It’s all good. You take your music with you – it has an emotional tie with you, your spirit and soul. That only you can relate to. To all my peers let me keep it real with you. Especially you wanna be thugs from the wrong culture. First off “Rap Music” doesn’t make you all that. You see you don’t have to allow that music to push you to the street, dude. Cause once you hit the street? It’s on baby. There’s no turning back. Once you step out there – you can’t step back. The streets don’t give up nobody.
You see, and I’m just keeping it real, “if that music’s all you got, you live by it and it carries you to the streets – it on. Those streets won’t give you up, dude. It owns you and it’s only promise it gives is prison or death – you can’t step back….. you have nothing to step back to. It’s you and rap – and destruction. Once you’re all up in it – baby it’s got’cha.
Let me flip this for you. Let me break it on down a bit.
You see when I’m talking about rap and the streets! I’m speakin’ on “Gangster Rap.” Give you a sense of code and honor doesn’t it? builds that ego up high for ya’, don’t it? Brings all the gangster out in ya’. I got’cha baby……. I’m on board with it. And when that ego gets good and inflated you’re for real ready to step out. You ain’t no buster. Your Gangster. All you got to do now is get your “street props.” That music says to you, “come on man, you got no time for these bitches and ho’s. We got to go get ours.”
Street’s don’t want no “emotion,” man. You can’t stay alive and get yours if you go emotion. Man, listen, you get the drop on some dude and you don’t take him out – that dude’s going to see it in your eyes – that hesitation. May be it’s pity, may be it’s a sense of reasoning. But I’m telling you, and just keeping it real with you, “if he’s for real street, hard-core – you’re through”. You’re going to be one more statistic. One more street causality. You can’t run….. gang members and your brothers won’t let you… that dude won’t let you.
So, for the music (gangster rap) to do it’s job proficiently it first “builds your ego and sense of pride.” Giving you a false sense of who and what you are. It’s second, more deadly application, is to kill your emotions. To beat your soul down. Taking your sense of love, pity, mercy and conscience. Leaving behind an emotionless shell. streets have no mercy – you can’t either!
Remember when? When I said, “Gangster Rap” would take you to the streets”. When I said, “it will build a sense of false pride and inflated ego? When I said, “it will give you a false sense of code and honor?” When I said, “Street’s won’t let you go” – it has it’s own sense of code and honor, sense of pride and rule of law and it kills your emotion!” Remember I said I was going to flip it on ya? Let me go on and flip it!
Emotion, Spirit and Soul: When I’m talking about “Gangster Rap and Wanna-Be’s” – I’m talking to the dudes walking around Wal-Mart in a town of 6,000. You got your hat on backwards, your pants down around your ass and profiling without a shiny freaking dime in your pockets. So, you ain’t all that. You never been on 7th or 8th Mile in Detroit. Never been on 54th and Euclid in Cleveland. You never been on Roosevelt in Philadelphia. If you have then you know what I’m talking about.
You see the difference between the “For Real Thug” and you and I is they can’t step back. Streets and their peers won’t let ’em, bro. You see when our surroundings start getting all twisted, chaotic and closing in on us – we can step back into the quiet room, close the door and put on our “Lame-Ass Music” and feel our spirits be lifted. Your soul renewed. Emotions start to restore you, your soul and your spirit is lifted to new and better heights. All of the sudden the worlds not so chaotic and choking you…. but remember this when you’re feeling the rejuvenation of soul and spirit – “those you want to emulate – they don’t have that luxury… ”
Yeah, for all you who say my Grandfather’s music is lame – the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s is “whack” – I might be reaching around in my “darkness and ignorance” to feel emotion, but I have an up-lifted spirit and a renewed soul. You can have the same.
A little gangster is cool…. but keep something in reserve for the times when you need to step back… Just keeping it real, bro. That’s all!
And, to you parents out there. Don’t be gettin’ all caught up in your social network, your job, you politics or other civic self proclaimed need – take all the time you have and need to keep those streets from stealing your kids. Just remember this, one day they’re gonna get a drivers license and They’re going to want to explore and the place they explore might not give them back…. They’re your gift from God. Start acting like it. Protect them from what might kill them some day. Still, just keeping it real with you..