To the young people who have been exposed to or otherwise affected by the so called “Thug Life”, “Hood Life”…
Or what is drivin’ down the street in an old beat up hoopty, pickin’ up and smoking up and hopin’ you don’t get eaten up by the bullets emptied out in the backroom, video games flickering while your dealer hasn’t seen sleep in 3 weeks, shining his pistol, baby in the middle, door wide open and POP POP POP though the back window.
What is SWC? What does it mean to me? Ridin’ down the street, a body laid down with no heat. NO blood on the ground, just after opera this crime seemed unique. It wasn’t fresh it was served cold, in front of what seemed to be a normal household.
What is an OZ? 16 laid out on my coffee table each a felony for me. Why is my dealer grippin’ my wrist and pullin’ me close, remindin’ me that this is the third cost. Just for a smoke, a taste of what it felt to be free of the grasp of what we felt was babying, residue collecting and dusty flecks in the air, knowing that you’re trying to care.
I was your ages once before, so I’m not just guessing. Living and learning in my double major, case of the living. Surviving versus ideological living, dreaming and wishing you know what it was like to undo what ever hoodoo got you stuck in this, boohoo.
Cryin’ fixes nothing, that’s what my math teacher taught me. Pick up a pencil, act like its Christmas tinsel and hang around your imaginary Christmas tree. Getting gifts like light bill, water bill rent and insurance, gas bill, exterminator, knowin those bugs are a lot luckier than you or the lover now perpetrator. Tellin’ lies of how you’ll never be the female gubernator, legislator, supreme law interpretator.
Or what is, and I quote,
“Gimme the loot gimme the loot!
I’m a bad bad MAN!
Where them haters at?
Ever since I could remember I been poppin’ my colla.
I’m a balla, and if you gimme ya phone numba I’ma call ya Georgia!
Tell somebody you need help in the middle of Brooklyn, how you doin?
Jockin Jockin my fresh I just kick push kick push coast through the valley of death,
I take a look at my life and it comes around Mary Mary, family matters!
Up in my hoooooood,
How do you want it?
Front back and side to side,
I’m a bad motha SHUT YO MOUTH!
I SHOT THE SHERIFF!
Rain on meeeee.
End quote…got me speaking Swahili.
Just in case you didn’t know, that’s how you say thank you, two words leading to the solution of many things.
You young lives like mine have something greater: knowledge. The ability to read, write and do a little math. Because in this lifestyle called The Game, you will need it. You will need to know how to read when ready charges are pressed against you. Your ability to write will give you a chance to explain to your family why you’ll need money for the soap and food granted you while in jail because you had failed to abide. Or to the homies you know would like a crazy tale, while you try to find the courage to exhale beggin’ for bail. How quickly friendships turn stale.
More than anything you will need your math to devise what will become of you and your expenses in the next 20 years of your life.
Take note of your peers, who too have learned to read and write and notice their drive like yours, the skill to read right through The Game to know it is a trail to rock bottom, cotton mouth shame.
I speak nothing further from the truth to you all, and from a heart once empty…
There is nothing to gain from a game of who to blame.