If It Ain’t Getting Me Ahead…

7 Jul

So, growing up, by some people’s standards, my siblings and I were somewhat “privileged.” We lived in a house, that my grandmother owned. There was always a decent car parked in the garage. We had a basketball hoop, a vegetable garden in the back, a hafl-ass flower garden in the front. My grandmother was a nurse, my aunt was a beautician, who owned a salon, and my mother stayed home with us, but she did have childcare certification. We ate well. Stayed well-dressed. And on occasion we hit rough times, like living with a broken boiler or bad windows for some years, but we never actually went without.


As an adult, I know our lives were simple, but good. The good in my childhood undoubtedly outweighed the bad. We were basically raised to work hard and play harder, and if you have a gift explore it. We were also told on a regular basis, even when we were total entitled little assholes, that we were smart, attractive, and funny, and that if people didn’t want to be around us, that was their problem, and they were missing out.


We didn’t make friends easy, especially me because I was quiet. But a lot of the kids we went to school with lived in the projects around the corner, and the fact that we veered off down the block with three bedroom private houses on the way home, didn’t sit right with a lot of people. So sometimes we got picked on. That came to an abrupt halt when some kids followed us home, teasing us, and I decided not to do anything, but let them follow us. They foolishly followed us right into our backyard, where I let my German shepherd/collie off her leash to chase them down the driveway. They had no idea that she wasn’t vicious. She was just big, and happy that we were home, and had brought more kids to play with.


Anyway, not long after that, our house became the hangout. See, unlike a playground we could ball in our yard all day without interruption. My family sometimes ordered pizza and shared with the kids, or if there was some extra fried chicken, they’d share. My grandmother was raised in Fort Green projects in Brooklyn when she arrived from the south. She had 5 siblings. So she knew some of these kids running around in our yard might have to battle other siblings for a second piece of chicken, or maybe no one was home to cook in the first place, or maybe they didn’t want to have encounter certain things before entering their home so they stayed late in our yard for a slice of pizza knowing there was dinner on their own tables.


There were times I still encountered envious people and I would try to downplay my childhood. Like, yeah I lived in a big house but, our boiler was broken, and our fence was held up by a rope. Then I grew up for real, and my attitude changed. Fuck that shit, my childhood what bomb. Hi-5 to my mother, aunt, and grandmother for giving us everything we needed and wanted. Thank you God for their constant love and encouragement. I will not apologize for the fact that my siblings and I were blessed beyond measure. You mad about it? Tough. Go get your own, nobody is stopping you. My family worked hard, and the last thing I’m gonna do is walk around denying their blood, sweat, and tears. Fuck that.


That brings me to what inspired these thoughts. One of my brothers has been involved in one of the weirdest ongoing fake Internet rap wars I have ever witnessed in my life. It’s fake because its not rooted in art, but rooted in real envy and hatred. My brother never did anything to this guy. In fact, they used to create together, but because one day things didn’t go his way, homie has been fire angry ever since. He used to be close friends with my other brother. Okay, okay, lemme be real… he was never a real friend. My brother, lets just call him Pop, short for popular, because he was literally a really popular kid. I was the oldest, Pop was second, and my other brother, who we can call Number Three, was the third. We were close in age, but everybody knew Pop. I don’t think anybody even knew my name then. I was just his sister. I knew his so-called friend was never a real friend. He always displayed a little jealousy in subtle ways, even when they became adults. He always seemed to be determined to sabotage something. Every year he would come up with these elaborate birthday plans to celebrate with Pop since they were the same sign, and every year the plans always fizzled out. The last one I actually witnessed was utter bullshit. Homeboy supposedly made a table reservation at a local club. When I got there I found out, there was no promoter they had spoken to, no manager they had spoken to, no reservation, no deposit… nothing. Dude showed up hours later, after my family secured a table and bottle package. He arrived by train with about five other guys and bought ONE bottle of Hennessy, and the lot of them drank that ONE bottle of liquor.

But back to the fake beef though… so in the process of this beef dude keeps inviting Number Three to two things: fight me or suck my dick. Mind you, homie is in his thirties, and Number Three is still in his late twenties. I am baffled as to why he has time for either event. Like, don’t you have a job? A life? Hobbies? And this is supposedly stemming from a music situation… my nigga go write a song! Not a freestyle. Not a dis record. Go write a got damn song!


The shit is super duper uber weird. He’s written a dis record or two about my brothers, and is steadily stalking Number Three on social media. I have never seen anything like this, and I am literally creeped out. Reminds me of that scene in House Party when Full Force is talking about Kid… Lets roll to the video tape:


It’s literally just like that.

The things he’s been saying and obsessing over reminded me that although Jay Z hit us with 4:44, and in the past few years we’ve had Kendrick Lamar and J Cole spitting deep shit to make us think, be inspired, and uplift us, there are still people out here harboring envy for things they didn’t have in the past. Their jealousy is making them so sick, they obsess over people and situations, as opposed to working towards what they want. Since Black people aren’t too quick to address mental illness, I’m sure nobody is side eyeing homeboy, and asking if he’s okay. And then there’s the spiritual aspect, like are you sick or possessed? But I can’t even get into that, because Jesus’s greatness wasn’t used for our benefit in this country, so he can’t address Black American problems.


But nah, dude makes me wanna ask, “my nigga, you aight?” Unfortunately though, he’s just an example. There are way more out there just like him. Do I think we can all come together and sing Kumbaya? No. But I do think Black people could get so much further if they weren’t studying their neighbor 24/7. I just don’t have time to feed into what doesn’t inspire me. If I don’t like you, I won’t know you, or shit about you, simple as that. So I don’t understand Internet stalking, to curse people out. I halfway wanna say to these types, “You’re Black in America, how in the fuck do you have time for this kind of stuff?” We have to be three and four times as good as our white counterparts just to have life’s simple pleasures. How could you possibly make time in your life for anything that’s not nurturing your soul and improving your life?


I’m all about progression and moving forward. I know this one vent filled blog is not going to make a huge impact, but if I had access to a bigger platform, that would be my main message. Get tunnel vision when it comes to your progress, Black people. Stop worrying about who had what, and what you didn’t have in the fifth grade. What you’re doing in the moment to better yourself is always what matters most.




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