Tag Archives: death

#57: Teddy Pendergrass

This author has an understanding that death is generally sad, but that many deaths can actually make you smile. In these cases, after you say “aw, damn, s/he died?!?” you smile because you think back to someone’s heyday and the legacy they left. You can smile if someone has lived a life that was fairly full and healthy. Like that guy that came up with Gumby. You hear that he passed and you begin to think “man, I used to love Gumby!” Ghetto people might think of Eddie Murphy doing Gumby on SNL or a Gumby fade back in the new jack swing era…but I digress.

The deaths that don’t bring smiles, that are sad as hell, are those where one was robbed of promise and potential upon death or somewhere down the line prior to death. Like young actors and athletes. Say, Len Bias or MC Trouble or River Phoenix. Someone where the next big thing they were up to was just around the corner (see John Ritter, for example).

Or in Teddy Pendergrass’s case, he didn’t get to continue or finish his career on his terms. The man gets paralyzed in a car accident in 1982 and that was that. Similar to how you think about what might have been had Jay Williams of Duke and the Chicago Bulls not hopped his tail on a motorcycle and crashed it or had Christopher Reeve not had that horse-riding accident or had the D.O.C. not crushed his voice box or Lauryn Hill not decided to start poppin’ out babies by a Marley kid…or if John Belushi and Chris Farley didn’t have drug issues…or if Eazy-E had wrapped it up…no telling what they might have had left in the tank, what ideas they had swimming in their heads. Death or no death, it’s always sad when the end comes way too soon, and the whole deal is cheapened into being a moment in time.

Ain’t like this author can’t live with that, one doesn’t need it to be 1979 or ’86 or 2001 or whatever, f*ck all that, one should embrace the future, the show gotta go on. Still though, all rambling aside, back to the point–what was the point? Ah, doesn’t really matter. The ghetto knows one thing though. Teddy cuts sure came in handy for getting some draws off. Those of you about 28-35, just ask ya mama. Her ready *ss probably threw hers on stage when he rocked the Total Experience back in the day. Couldn’t have him, so she settled for your daddy!

Don’t shoot the messenger.

#16: Tupac by Guest Blogger Mr. Focus

Okay people here is the deal. Several folks have contacted me about taking over the website. Since I can’t decide who I want to take over the website, I will post the entries as they come. Based on the responses I will decide which person gets to take over the website. Enjoy this entry by Mr. Focus!

Let’s be honest: Tupac is the Elvis Presley for ghetto people.

Why? The man is dead as dead could be, but there are folks who pray to a Tupac altar in their house every day, keep an airbrushed shirt on their back, and look for all the subliminal instructions he left for them in his music as they wait with bated breath for Makaveli 10 to hit the bootleg man’s stock. Tupac is the rap Jesus ghetto people needed.

Once a conscious rapper of sorts, debuting with Digital Underground as a dancer, then rapping in African garb, Tupac Shakur morphed slowly but surely into the embodiment of all things hood. Tattoos in places that will have you rejected at job interviews. Wearing wifebeaters all the time with a bandana tied just so up front and the mustache lined to perfection. Brash, extremely vulgar, hypertense, with a fuse shorter than the circuit breaker in the back of a building on Martin Luther King Blvd.

And after “I Get Around,” ghetto people ate it up. Every Walkman, every radio and video show, every apartment, every Tercel and Tahoe had to get it in to the tune of three Pac songs an hour. He made you love your mama and keep an eye on your baby mama all at once. Catholic school girls were his groupies and guys who were nerds in middle school had their thug bars up in time for tenth grade with a Pac record as the textbook. There’s incense and energy drinks named after him and the whole shot. Tupac is a billion-dollar industry.

Not to mention think of how many fights and shootings broke out in house parties, classrooms, clubs, and on street corners across America. Over a damn rapper. Even if it was simply the mention of Biggie Smalls’ name when that rabid Tupac freak was in the room. You’re probably closing your closet door to hide your swap meet airbrushed, bedazzled Pac shirts right now as you read this. And you should, because it’s that shameful.

UPDATE:  Thinking everything was just jokes about the 2Pac energy drinks, as I’m sure you were, it turns out one really exists, as told by this candid liquor store photo:
As Sade would ask, is it a crime?