Tag Archives: hood

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.

#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.

#38: Michael Jackson

RightOnMJRegardless of overall ghetto ideology, understand this: Ghetto people, hood folks, whatever you want to call them, fox with Michael Jackson, always had, always will.

The thugs, the smokers, workaday people, hoochie mamas, uber snobs, churchy folks, foreigners who own the shops, every single generation alive right now and they kids, any living condition you could possibly think of, fox with MJ.

The hood was on those Beat It and Thriller jackets real tough along with the sequin gloves and weren’t afraid to admit it. So many artists the hood appreciates got some of their early and/or current steez from Michael. Dr. Dre in his World Class Wreckin’ Cru days. Ginuwine. Usher. Ne-Yo and Chris Brown. Cats that were singin’, rappin’, producing, startin’ record labels all likely dreamed of being involved in a Michael Jackson cut. Because the world watched him like Monday Night Football, or more to the point, the World Cup. He may not have been in the hood long beyond blowing up out of Gary, Indiana as a child, but he was the son of every hood, and many in the hood ate due to his existence.

Trust, you saw bootleg t-shirts of the month when his albums and concert tours were churnin’? You gon’ see ‘em this weekend with EXTRA strength!!

Surely many wondered as this author did (including before even the news broke) how large the story of the death of a guy like Michael Jackson would be. An icon probably matched only by Michael Jordan, maybe Madonna…but we’re not gonna go there today.

Could this be the day pop music died, as said on the news? As with the foundation he laid mentioned above, probably not. The show went on when Pac and Biggie returned, the show went on when Elvis died, the show went on when so many others died (or fell off), so the machine will keep churnin’. But again, with the foundation he laid mentioned above, the legacy and doors opened are arguably unmatched.

The term King Of Pop wasn’t just a marketing tagline. It was already understood before it was even coined to promote the Dangerous album, back in ’91. When Jam first came out, this author could have swore that was Chubb Rock on the mic, until I was informed it was Heavy D…but I digress. Back on that generation thing, it was one thing that the Jackson 5 were them boys in the 60s right next to Elvis and the Beatles. It was another that they fit right in in the 70s with all those disco and funk acts. But in those damn 80s though. Certain elements of pop culture were just…larger than life in the frickin’ 80s. Knight Rider & A-Team. Dallas & Dynasty. Lakers & Celtics. Transformers & G.I.Joe. Hulk Hogan. Mike Tyson. Michael Jackson. Elements of culture that rocked those who grew up in the 80s and beyond. Game changers.

MTV got on board because his videos were EVENTS, like the Super Bowl or the Olympics. Punk *ss MTV were the folks who wouldn’t play a single record that wasn’t by a white rock artist. Ray Parker Jr.’s “The Other Woman” was turned down because he had a white woman on his arm and MTV didn’t want to upset the likely racist viewership they were courting in such places as the Bible Belt. MJ’s music had the clout to apply the undeniable pressure necessary for MTV to cut the crap and play not only his material, but Lionel Richie! Jacko arguably made Yo! MTV Raps, Fade To Black, MTV Jams and Black Real World cast members possible.

Oh yeah, that wonderful nickname. Jacko. Short for Wacko Jacko, as the Brits would call him. Yeah, the hood knew that something was off with him. And we ain’t talkin’ the initial nose job: no one really tripped when that happened. Pallin’ around with Emmanuel Lewis, no big deal (back then anyway). Could even look past having a pet chimp. But when all the other stuff rolled in regarding kids that looked noways Black and Jesus Juice and some of the other…eccentricities made headlines every frickin’ week for some 25 odd years, the ghetto didn’t clap to it…

But oh, bet your bottom dollar that albums like Bad, Dangerous, even History and Invincible, were for them trucks. Many a Suburban piloted by the Billy-est of Bad*sses had some Michael subbin’ right in the mix with one of those Lil Young Boy rappers. And you better believe the parties and barbecues with the fam went hard when “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” was thrown on the same way they would to the latest freaky dance cut.

NBA commissioner David Stern said recently, and I paraphrase, that there are two things that unite a people. The house of worship (church, synagogue, the rally, masjid, what have you), and the house of sports worship (you know schools, cities, and countries get up with great pride for its team winning a title). Michael Jackson was, and is to this day, yet a third.

By the way, what a busy news day: death of Michael, death of Farrah Fawcett, the Iran craziness, NBA draft…this author remembers two others like this. Sammy Davis Jr. and Jim Henson passing on the same day in 1990, and Johnny Cash and John Ritter returning the same day in 2003. And that thing about deaths of famous people going in threes is some wild space sh*t…but again, we’re not gonna explore that one.

#34: Police issues

fpigs187
Ghetto people spend a lot of their days hating, fearing and/or complaining about police.

Now to keep it funky, there’s much grist for the mill of police hatred. A true blue ’bout it, ready-to-set-it police hater would have been a good friend to have in the 50s, when a lot of the police in many cities were racist white Southerners who gave police the reputation they have to this day. A reputation constantly worsened by modern incidents like that one that happened on New Year’s in Oakland, as well as Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell in New York, mishaps with the special needs kid and numerous shootings in Inglewood, the recent endings of chases in El Monte, CA and Birmingham, AL, and so many others, rightfully giving your friendly neighborhood police hater some ammo.

And these incidents need to be bravely challenged, exposed early and often. The police may police us, but we police them too. We give them power.

Generally, however, let’s face it. Your average police hater is the type of cat that loves to do things he frankly shouldn’t be doing. And on top of that, ain’t even doin’ big illegal thangs. Just a loser doing a bunch of petty loser activities wasting time. Many of the police constantly poppin’ them are simply doing their jobs and probably wouldn’t even be interested in said loser’s funky *ss but for whatever law is on the books. Real talk, not that I advocate or condone crime, but if you gon’ hate police, hate them because you have penitentiary chances to take and they’re what’s standing in your way. Hate ‘em for some real sh*t, not because you were dumb enough to blaze and drink in public when you know damn well that’s asking for trouble.

Not all po-pos are the kind bashing in the heads of Black and Latino males who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. While it does go down, to think that is what will happen guaranteed in any encounter with police, and that that is all police are good for, amounts to sensationalism. Of course, you can’t tell many ghetto people NUH-thin’ because they’re convinced it’s crazy sexy cool and politically correct to hate police for livin’. It’s so bad you have some silly bastards who are quick to yell “F.T.P.” at the top of their lungs, but hide the fact that the boys were who they called when the Caprice or their place got broken into. Wild as hell.

Even wilder is that it isn’t like a ghetto person is guaranteed to be shut out from being one. I mean hey, they’re always hiring, it’s a ticket to having one’s sh*t together, and there’s some power to be had in that profession. Street cred, not so much….

Trust, I’m no right wing douchebag who thinks police are all good all the time. Plenty of them are scumbags, and I hate that douchey, bristled mustache a lot of them have. But hating police just because they’re police officers? Even if a relative or good friend happened to be one? Something ain’t right with a person that has that feeling. Those folks are more often than not armed to play themselves right into getting f*cked with by the boys when they really don’t have to (like these idiots here):
Plain and simple, the hood needs to take a holistic approach towards the idea of police and the police need to take a holistic approach towards how they treat the hood. Both need to exercise some empathy and dead the assumption that the other is up to no good at all times, because that assumption has them making asses out of one another.

#30: Sagging

saggingIt is told that in American prisons, the sagging of one’s pants was an indication that the male inmate was gay, and ready to get busy sexually. Up until the 80s, it was done on the streets chiefly by the most likely candidate to go there, gang bangers (surely one had to wonder about some of these dudes, considering the above urban legend). Then when baggy jeans became the trend in the early 90s, suddenly everyone was sagging, going lower inch by inch every 6 months, until finally some cornball decided that the sagging had to go underneath the *ss cheeks!

What possessed the first ghetto goof to go underneath the cheeks with it is beyond me. Is it to show off the skidmarked boxers they wear that no one else really cared to see? And when is the logical end of going penguin gonna hit the scene as some doofus just leaves the waist of his pants around his ankles and calls it a day?

The other mind bogglers about sagging are that:
a) so many of these cats wear these expensive jeans that were already too long for them to begin with (as so many ghetto types are shrimpy short dudes with Napoleon complexes) then sag in them and scuff the cuffs (which they don’t have the decency to splurge and have hemmed, since they’d rather have the weed money) so they’re just dirty and chewed up, and…
b) now that skinny jeans have hit the hood, people are sagging in those and defeating the purpose.30baggy190.5

Worst of all, no one gets the idea that not only is it extra suspect lookin’ for all these wannabe tough guys to run around sagging, it just looks sloppy. Not to mention that the little thugs within the sagging community may have some police to run from or someone that owes them money to run after, but how can that successfully be done when they have to constantly pull their pants up to avoid tripping over themselves?

Ghetto minded people do so many paradoxical, corny, backwards things…and most all of it has a tendency to take off.

Does this author believe that folks should be fined and thrown in jail over it? No. That’s just wrong, and the legal system has bigger fish to fry than policing bad fashion. Leave that to the public at large. And bloggers like yours truly.

#29: Special occasion corner vending

PIC-0131We all know the hood loves hustling…and we all know the hood loves hustlers.  This might be what allows a certain breed of hustlers to turn on a dime.  A brother once told this author that hustling is about finding what the people want or need and providing it for them.

Easily this is what’s going on when those damn tents get set up on every block during weekends, holidays, big concerts, event sports, and such.  Team car flags, the bootleg T-shirt of the month with the name of the ghetto hit song on the front, weird throw rugs, umbrellas when it rains, what have you.  Back after the September 11th attacks happened, these folks were literally on it the very next day with American flags.  One would swear there’s an all-purpose corner hustle warehouse all the street vendors converge on where the aforementioned is available along with the usual oils, incense, and fake Jordans.

I even once saw this Mexican cat selling boxing and martial arts equipment (because ya never know when someone passing by was thinking of training with a heavy bag for their living room).  As said in a past post, it’s a bazaar every single day in the hood.

But by far this author’s favorite is when the people pop up with them funky *ss gift baskets (AKA ghetto grab bags).  Without fail, every Valentine’s, Easter, Father’s Day, and especially Mother’s Day weekend, there they are…sometimes one on all four corners of an intersection.

PIC-0132And what’s in these baskets?  Myriad bullsh*t, basically.  One could probably slap together baskets with Smarties left over from Halloween, used panties, a jar of styling gel, dried-out incense, old condoms they got from the free clinic, bootleg DVDs they’re done watching, a pair of earrings that gave their previous owner keloids in her nose (!), and a stuck-together copy of King magazine, with a bed of dead grass clipped from their front yard, wrapped up in a see-thru trash bag and make a killing.

Since no two are alike, surely there’s some ghetto woman tacky enough to have a basket collection in her house akin to some nerdy fanboy who collects Transformers. Probably wants the hypothetical gift basket I just described.  And some shrew(d) of a hustler was just given the idea to sell it to her.

Hell, there’s probably some cornball parent who bought one to stash away for the daughter’s prom gift…

#28: Do-rags

PIC-0106Condoms for your head.

It used to be that the fellas would only use do-rags to hold down their pomaded and brushed head of hair while they were indoors, and took it off when going out to show off their waves. Do-rags were for a man what rollers are for women.

When the cornrow craze kicked in in the late 90′s, however, suddenly the ghetto faithful were rockin’ do-rags as accessories. Sweaty *ss, grease-smellin’ do-rag would be worn all. Day. Long while heads were just out ghetto adventurin’. Walkin’ the block, blazin’ on the corner, having sex (or jacking off in the alley if one were so unlucky)…all with a do-rag on his head that he never felt the need to take off. Do-rags were suddenly for a man (or thuggish-ruggish lesbian) what a bra was for a woman.

Even guys who were stone bald to the point you knew their hair was never coming back wore them, regardless of having a scalp with the shiny finish of a bowling ball.

To make matters worse, fools would layer two or even three different colored do-rags on their dome, with one of those douchey baseball caps (stickers and all, of course) tilted on as a cherry on top, and you better believe that whole clusterf*ck on his head is matching the fake Jordans on his feet. Add in all the aforementioned activity and those synthetic fabrics had to have someone’s head, rags, and cap smelling like sauerkraut with everything all discolored a dark gray like the insole of some hood girl’s ripper slippers (bought from the same shop to line the Koreans’ pockets even more).

And of course the logical end of this fashion statement is the ridiculousness pictured above, sold in 99 cent stores everywhere. You know once something hits the shelves of a 99 cent store, it’s officially done to death.

With the hipster/skater look all the current rage, the do-rags aren’t as prolific as they were when cats were bumpin’ too much Dipset. But you already know there’s nuff ghetto males keeping it alive everyday. Just like those hood urchins who still had jheri curls in the late 90s or leisure suits in the 80s.

#27: Thuggish-ruggish lesbians

SnoopHas it gotten to the point for you that when you run thru the ghetto and see some shorty dressed extremely baggy, you have to check their chest for taped-down tiddys?

OK, for a minute there, I wondered if I was the only one.

Call ‘em what you will, butches, studs, all that bomb sh*t, and call SGPL and its current author what you will, mean, ignant, whatever, but we’re gonna keep it funky here for a moment and go in: the hood and lesbians go hand in hand. Trust, it’s no coincidence that Snoop Pearson was a fan favorite on The Wire.

These are the girls who were reaching for the Tonka trucks instead of the Barbies at Toys R Us. Quite tomboyish up to middle school, they usually go full-bore and come out around tenth grade. Once that happens, it’s a party, y’all…

They dress baggier and saggier than dudes, they get crustier smoker lips than dudes, they style their hair in cornrows and “dreads” more often than dudes (as well as straight women), and they’re getting in all the hood activities ghetto dudes are known for. Even competing with straight males for the available pool of single ghetto women (see future post). Anything guys do big, the thuggish-ruggish lesbians are doin’ it bigger, count on it.

Many are harmless girls who just wanna have fun, but make no mistake either, some are quite hardened, nasty characters, though they may look like little boys who throw on their older brother’s clothes that they’re not big enough for yet. Real talk, you couldn’t possibly imagine these girls having periods (do they?).

Anyways, unlike any other place, for some reason, whether it’s always been this way or the rise to power was recent, the hood seems to be a lesbian factory. Your local ghetto yields a much higher proportion of open lesbians than anywhere else, and especially butches and studs. The WNBA needs to get its fans (and players) from somewhere, eh? It’s no surprise a lot of female rappers emerge from this farm system either.

CleoSeriously, the ghetto is damn near Girls Town as the Yang to the Boys Town Yin. It’s an amusement park for lesbians where big rainbow lollipops are available for free.

Even funner (and incidentally, funnier) is this fact: as homophobic as ghetto males are, lesbians are often ironically enough one or more of the gang right along with ‘em, with the street cred the guys provide. New meaning to the term ride-or-die chick. One in no danger of becoming anyone’s baby mama.

Hey, somebody was bound to say it.

You can’t make this stuff up…

Caught while out on the daily grind, this woman’s just dancing her *ss off on the corner, really feelin’ herself, with a crummy transistor radio in her hand:
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From the pose above, she might have been jammin’ to James Brown…
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…or maybe “Bag Lady.”

Speaking of chicken…

pic-01071Sometimes the hood brings the pain in embarrassing fashion.

Kentucky had a promotion today where they were giving away a piece of their Grilled Chicken in order to jump start people paying for some. So your esteemed author figured to swing over to one after the morning business was wrapped up.

I walk in, there’s a line six deep, and I figured I was gonna need to grab a Snickers as I would be in for a long campaign. But that was the pick-up line. The order line was clear. Cool! So I order a couple of Snackers and ask for a free thigh, pay and wait, figuring things would be straightforward.

Not 60 seconds later, a line snakes in back of me ordering with the rush of someone who’s been smokin’ that water. Should be neither here nor there, one would think. You think?
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Five minutes pass, day laborer types were taking back pieces of chicken that were exposed to the dining area, and the workers were putting them right back under the lamps! (Suspect much? They gave those same pieces out to unsuspecting folks in the drive-thru.) Suddenly this furious pack of old ladies and county broads gets worked to a rich lather…and me with my hurt back listening out for the new material.

“Why don’t they just give us the chicken?!?”
“What are y’all doing back there?”
“At another Kentucky, they would just make a box and pass it out!”

All the loudmouth foolishness you can handle in one afternoon.

One woman sees a Latino cat given three sodas and immediately assumes “Look at them, see? They givin’ they people the hook up.”

OK, cut the crap, lady. Are you seriously assuming they would pull something like so blatant? You think Latinos are incapable of ordering and paying for something? Nah, they’re just randomly dropping free Pepsis on their own kind to stick it to you. Gotta love how the racism comes out when folks get angry.

(As I write this, what’s up with Leonardo DiCaprio with a Grambling cap on his head at the Laker game? Plus, Denver whacks New Orleans 121-63. Goddamn Bizarro World in the NBA…but I digress….)

Five more minutes pass and at that point, they were about ready to break out pitch forks and torches. One twentysomething brother (see guy pointing, top pic) finally goes off, rushes the order counter, yelling “F*ck that! I want my money back! F*ck this sh*t!” I had to call him on that, just as I did the aforementioned civil rights activist.

“There’s babies in here, money. Watch your mouth.”

Of course he didn’t care. And neither did the rest of the mob, so wrapped up in needing their chicken fix that all sense of decency went by the boards.

How about going off like this at the city council meeting to get things done? Where’s this anger about the local gang making trouble or about Black-on-Black crime?

But nah, save that anger…for when goddamn chicken isn’t in your hands fast enough. Preying on people that are doing their jobs as fast as they possibly can. At a place you’ll continue to patronize at that. Not to mention being ungrateful for something that’s free and really isn’t that important in the bigger picture.

All seriousness, the hood is at once a beautiful, vibrant place and its own worst enemy.

Bet tomorrow it’ll be like that at El Pollo Loco too.

And the new product? It’s decent, nothing to write home about.

Anyways, any of you experience similar incidents?