Category Archives: street

You can’t make this stuff up #7

So after this author gets thru watching NCIS: Los Angeles (don’t sleep, excellent show, I never miss an episode), I click over to the news, and oh so many stories in, they talk about these cats in New Bedford, MA, who get arrested for making a “f*ck law enforcement” type song. At first, you’d be like, what is this, ’92? But before you grow a tie-top hat and Zubaz, the thing was, they were naming names, not just any names, but those of specific police officers, their actual probation officers, so on and so forth. No DA worth his salt is gonna sit back and let that go down without f*ckin’ with somebody.

And as 2520 as these dudes come, they aren’t exactly the Icy Hot Stuntaz. They look like they get down for real. Who knew there was a 2520 hood out there that was that style of grimy? And though the song doesn’t sound mixed very well and these cats drop F-bombs like they’re going out of style, dare I say it’s overall actually pretty dope! Old girl from “It’s So Cold In The D” should take notes. They got a future with street cred attached once their violation lid is up.

UPDATE: As stated when this author first reported for you to decide, the actual vid is lawn gawn, so this is the closest you’ll get to hearing the sound (until maybe those cats or one of their boys cut an edited version…dare I say they should be heard from again with something, LOL. Somebody will sign they *ss even in these days and times):

Click here for the full story.

#50: Worshiping criminals

the last gangster supper!BET had a documentary on a year or so back called American Gangster. Under normal circumstances, one would say it’s simply telling a story about people the general populace might not be aware of, just giving information. After all those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it, right? Sadly, however, one has to keep in mind BET’s recent history and what kind of demographic it seems to want to court. You guessed it: ghetto people!

This isn’t a rant on BET itself, that’s another post (surely one the audience has been looking for right here or on a more specifically Black-oriented blog, where the channel is frequently ripped, so let this author not lose focus here with this long set-up). And let me state now that it was among BET’s offerings that featured fairly solid production values (just like First In: Compton, a show you should follow while it’s here). The ugly part is the context one can’t miss, because if you’ve known enough ghetto people, especially males, you’d know they’re downright fascinated by criminals. And BET, having evolved into a station ghetto people turn to, apparently couldn’t resist catering to ghetto interests by airing this series, showing history a lot of ghetto people want to repeat!

Why is the ghetto world so interested in criminals? Ghetto people especially like to keep special edition Blu-Rays (the bootleg DVD just won’t cut it in these cases) of movies like Scarface, Goodfellas, Public Enemies, and American Gangster (no relation to the above) that romanticized the dubious protagonists of these flicks as the best at their respective professions. So when the real deal exists, just like high profile athletes and rappers, everyone wants to be (or be with) that guy. Wantin’ autographs and locks of their hair and sh*t. Dare I say he’s the ghetto person’s picture perfect idea of manhood. “F*ck Warren Buffett and Barack Obama, I wanna be Nicky Barnes or Freeway Ricky Ross!”

He lives that playboy lifestyle, successfully picks up all the freaks, comes and goes as he pleases, drives flashy expensive whips with equally pricey rims on them, holds down really nasty guns (another favorite ghetto toy), regularly orders bottle service at the swankiest clubs in town…he’s the epitome of hood rich. Yet while wrapping their lips around his d*ck, people don’t wrap their heads around what kinda heinous things he might have done to get to that level. And if and when they find out, they’re quick to excuse it! If duke goes to jail, he could have raped 12 kids and smoked their mothers and these idolaters of criminals are urging him to “keep his head up”…as if he’s somehow the victim. As if he’s a political prisoner, targeted for persecution by the powers that be for living and doing righteously. No matter what, the ghetto person has the criminal’s back.

The amounts of futures such criminals have probably destroyed (whether by physically killing people or some law changes due to them) don’t rate to ghetto people. They also don’t allow in their brains that said criminal whose picture is ironed on to their T-shirt would probably just as soon have them whacked if he felt one was in the way of what he wanted. But this congregation is too busy wishing they were as tough and rebellious, too busy living vicariously through the stories of these guys (as well as hating the idea of the criminal’s other enemy, law enforcement) to even consider there’s more than one side to every story. And that all heroes have elements of their lives that would make that proverbial little boy from the Black Sox scandal cry “Say it ain’t so, Joe!”

Author’s note: Yeah, so many topics could have been #50 on the ghetto bucket list, but the hot hand (immediately inspired by the f*ckery one reads over on AllHipHop) wrote this one!

#48: Talking to people any kind of way

shrewsYou ever text someone and get the response “who the f*ck is this?” and wonder why that was even necessary? You think to yourself that you could see the need to ask who someone is if you’re just curious, but did it require the seasoning of such a hostile fighting word like an F-bomb?

Ever been in line at the liquor store or the chicken and Chinese spot to see an interaction where the customer begins to flare his or her temper and begin spewing forth curses and racial and sexual orientation epithets and such as if that’s really going to get them better service as opposed to their dinner spit into? Way to resolve a dispute. The Newport you just smoked didn’t take the slightest edge off of your stress apparently.

Ever get on the bus or train knowing damn well once you get over by the local high school, parental discretion is advised? Have these kids heard nothing about how to act at home and abroad among polite and other mixed company?

Have some ghetto people lost their home training or are they simply showing they never had any in the first place? Are these folks having a series of bad days, are they just A-holes like that, or were they taught that this kind of language and attitude towards any random *ss person really is peace? And the majority of these twerps dare to assert what kind of “good Christian” they are…

Surely these same people don’t like being talked to any kind of way…unless they’re Likes To Fight Guy on the “I wish you would” tip looking to take it to someone’s chest. Oops, almost forgot, women fight with their mouth, and if you get into it with a ghetto girl, you just might shed a tear or two…because they’ll cut loose and be meeeeeeean! Really mean! You kiss your kids with that mouth, booch?

All this vulgarity, rowdiness, and belligerence from so many hood folks. Desensitized to the point zero empathy is there, zero decency, zero sense of how to treat people, even those you disagree with.

The disease has fully infected the hood, polluted Hip-Hop as a whole, the children are a bunch of potty mouths…I mean this ain’t the 50s and all that, a little colorful language expands minds every now and again…but don’t you the reader find it gets a bit over the top? Wouldn’t it seem uncalled for and inappropriate if you heard it, for lack of a better example, on Saturday morning cartoons?

What is the ghetto person’s hypertensive fascination with using cuss words?

Or the other one you should love that ghetto brothers especially drip like water? “My n*gga.”

Every five words if you eavesdrop on one of their conversations (or are forced to hear it due to the obnoxious loudness), it’s “my n*gga this, my n*gga that, my n*gga my n*gga my n*gga.” You would think they just saw Training Day for the first time the night before. It replaced “you know what I’m sayin'” earlier this decade for most overused ghetto verbiage.

It is said that people who can’t control their tongue can’t control their actions. Now if you notice such behavior in a person, why would you think it’s a good idea to make them company you keep? Or in the case of one of those Bridezilla grooms, marry it?

#46: Not caring for professional help

FtcouchIn case you haven’t noticed, ghetto people don’t do therapy.

Nope, having a shrink is not what’s hot in the streets. Ghetto folks are too “real” for that…no matter what kinda funk they could be in.

They ain’t tryna get labeled crazy or weak (though they and many of their ghetto contemporaries are as crazy and/or weak as they come…hey, they don’t hide behind guns and their crew for nothing). They think all the therapy they need is Jesus, or sex, or money (I guess they never heard money can’t buy happiness)…or exorcising their demons on others.

Is it not having the cash or insurance for it? Is it pride (read: fear of tainting their street cred)? Are these folks who say things like “only God can judge me” and other witticisms taught to them by Tupac records as they do this, that, and the third with no shame in their game really that afraid of being ostracized and gossiped about by their community? A lot of people in the hood are struggling with serious personal problems that they can’t sort out on their own. But again, many hood folks are victims (and some in turn are perpetrators) of the toxic ghetto mentality that rules out many of life’s options.

It’s funny how that ghetto mentality works. The ghetto has a thing for keeping one down and kicking them while they’re there and (while they ironically enough can’t stand haters) hating on any ideas for rising up that aren’t pre-approved as appropriate for one of the ghetto world. One can trace conditions of education and infrastructure and crime in the hood to this worldview. The ghetto would easily rather one like Maia Campbell not get the help she needs, but get caught on camera cussin’ out some hoodbooger in a tank top, as in that recent YouTube clip that made the rounds. You the reader probably have tons of new lines to impress your friends as you insult their anti-horny *sses.

It’s funny in all its seriousness.

#41: Taking rap(s) too seriously

Studio gangstas exist because rap’s biggest problem since the rise of the thugs and “roughnecks” has been the idiot fans (and some rappers’ colleagues) who feel that keeping it real actually means that rappers must live exactly what they say in rhymes (that subject matter usually being some hardcore dirt or illegal way they got extreme stacks before they first hit the mic). To these people (usually ghetto), there’s no such thing as a persona or a character, no such thing as creative license.

Somehow this “keep it real” contingent never got the memo that a rap song isn’t an interview with a given rapper.

Some, to be sure, actually do rap about their real current lives or true experiences. Or even base fictional raps on something that really happened, ripped from national headlines or their personal ones.

But one should be able to paint whatever type of picture they like without some weirdo attaching these works to how the performer actually lives. Many rappers are their own worst enemy, as these lyrical Brunos never step out of character, and perpetuate the idea that this should be the normative of Hip-Hop. Even wrestlers change it up when they get out of the polyester daduntaduns.

Overemphasizing that other idea of “realness” is what has poisoned the rap climate for so long. It’s partly how Tupac and Biggie got killed, it’s partly why so much corny E-thuggery is posted to rap sites like allhiphop.com or DubCNN, it’s partly why so many MCs (like Max B and Shyne) go catch cases and end their own careers.

It’s really disrespectful to the beauty of what Hip-Hop has been and still could be. You don’t see this f*ckery go on in rock or jazz, not even with these all-too-closely-associated R&B artists.

And it’s paradoxically hilarious that these homophobic alpha males are analyzing every square inch of the life of another man as if they’re getting paid for it. Message to that man in question who rolls like this: If another dude was on your tip like that, living vicariously through you, you’d call him all kinds of queers, right? Of course you would, the world already knows how people like you are. You don’t think you look some kinda way all in a rapper’s personal business (or that of some sports figure, for that matter)? *cue the plea copping that it’s supposedly different*

And leave it to this idiocy that you got rappers not admitting to or proud to have perfectly legit jobs or degrees in the name of higher street cred. For the sake of feeling right listening to a record, one would rather that someone getting smoked or turned out on crack actually happened, and at that rapper’s hand! As if that makes the beat sound better in the speakers or some sh*t…

#40: 24/7 Alcoholism

alki1
You know how you see somebody and you just KNOW they been drekkin’? You know know how you SMELL somebody and you just know they been drekkin’?

Times ain’t that hard and it ain’t always a party. It is ghetto to be drinking, drunk, or have liquor breath if you’re not painting the town red, watching the game, doing champagne brunch, in the studio or casino, chilling with some skins, or simply meditating by self-medicating at the end a long hard day. There’s a time and a place for getting it in, and until then, gotta be about that self-control.

Something ain’t right about the cat having the alcohol dragon behind you in the checkout at the supermarket…at 9 in the frickin’ morning. Something ain’t right if you’re drinking before driving the kids to school, then having them drive you to the store to reload the clip on the way home so you don’t catch a DUI rap. Dude tryna mack up a freak at the bus stop when his eyes are dim and watery should be shot down by her. And ladies, y’all are douchebags if you’re drinking between the invite over a man’s rest and your arrival, then having the nerve to demand respect when you don’t respect yourself or him enough to come correct with the presentation. theseeyes

This author sees you who was invited to hang out, got in the car immmediately fiending for a drink way too early in the day, and when the decision is made to play along, cop some drink and make lemons into the lemonade of laughs, you pass on sharing brew, wine, even Hennessy, in favor of satisfying your suspect Cisco fetish. Cisco, known to the hood faithful as crack juice! Your flipping the script and suddenly needing a drop-off immediately afterward to go babysit your friend’s child was addition by subtraction.

Matter of fact, calling these drinking situations ghetto is an insult to the term “ghetto.” Nah, it’s just flat out trifling.

And I don’t buy that one is expanding his mind when he’s doing dummy moves to begin with (the drink of choice being Thunderbird spiked with a Kool-Aid packet doesn’t help his case). That person is just bad at life. May as well smoke crill.

Author’s note: This entry coming up as #40 was purely coincidental….or not.

#39: The 4th of July

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Those who know the hood well know ghetto people get up for July 4th.

Why is July 4th so special? For patriotic reasons? Probably not (unless a family member’s in the military). Not many in the hood really care to appropriate the idea of Independence Day. But hey, why not enjoy the day off, and the excuse to get up with good people?

But again, why is July 4th so special? One can barbecue or grill on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends just fine…or any day in the summer.

So why is July 4th so special to ghetto people?

FIREWORKS.PIC-0211

The whole damn week leading to July 4th, the hood is awash with the report of shock and awe inducing illegal fireworks. There’s always that guy that has the M80s and cherry bombs and bottle rockets on deck, and ghetto people find that guy and get that hook-up.

Because safe and sane stuff like cone fountains and Piccolo Petes just don’t cut it. City ordinances are worth scoffing at since the police basically WILL look the other way (not hating, just telling the real). So those illegal fireworks are getting lit and put in the air like spliffs. It’s not a celebrashonnnnnn without ‘em!

And the culmination on the night of the 4th (when everyone exhausts their stash and drivers have to swerve out of the way of fireworks in the middle of the street like mines) is like a day in Afghanistan. Literally for some, because there will be likely gunfire in the mix too (not like New Year’s, but it happens).

Author’s note: Yeah, the holiday just passed over the weekend, but the relevance was too much to wait till next year for.