Warning: I’m not angry, today. So, it’s time for some old crazy sh*t. It starts with my brother and I. My little brother, who’s bigger than me. My younger brother, who’s wiser than me. He and I like to check out the cafes, sip on a cup, and contemplate the solutions to the world’s problems. We do it with class, we do it with style, and we do as often as is possible. Today being no different, he says that he’s coming by to pick me up to check out this new cafe in my neighborhood and – to show off his new ride. He gets here and when I come to the door, all I can ask is “WTF??!!”. My little brother, my younger brother, my partner in crime done gone gansta on me! He bought a Buick Skylark. This car doesn’t have any tinted windows, nor rims (which he says he needs), but what makes it gansta on one level is that it has a 1000 watt amp in the trunk. It’s pumpin’ out beats like crazy. What makes it gansta on a whole ‘nother level is that the music that I hear is LIL WAYNE. By itself, that’s nowhere near gansta. But, my little brother, my younger brother in his fiddies, “married with children”, one credit away from his PHD, blastin’ some LIL WAYNE – now, that’s gansta!
Rap has been lost on me for quite some time. I still chill with my Jay-Z, Tupac, and Biggie, but, for the most part, Rap has been dead to me for a long time. I like my music “homegrown”, and as a result, make my own mixes on my MP3 player and kick it like that. Before today, you could have offered me a thousand dollars to name one Lil Wayne song, and you’d still have that money in your pockets. That’s how out of touch I’ve been with “over-the-airwaves” music. I like to hear what I want to hear when I want to hear it. That was before my “gangsta” brother showed up at my door, today.
For those of you not from Philly, I live in the heart of a ghetto neighborhood known as West Oak Lane. It’s West Oak Lane because there is an East Oak Lane. I like to think of East Oak Lane as ghetto suburban. It’s an almost up-and-coming neighborhood, smack in the middle if the ‘hood. We stop in at this quaint little cafe and it’s all that we had expected. The coffee was great, and the atmosphere was superb. There was also an added treat, one of life’s little unexpected treasures – they served Spinach Quiche. I haven’t have any kind of quiche in many a year. I know that some say “real men don’t eat quiche”, but to that I say “whatever”. Made MY day! After contemplating the world’s troubles and their respective solutions, we decided to take a leisurely drive to extend the get-together a bit longer. Besides, this family man of a brother of mine was free as the breeze for a while longer, today.
Back in the Buick Skylark, he turns on the CD player and LIL WAYNE starts up again. Now, believe it or not, up to that point, – wait for it: I had no idea who it was that was winding his way through the sound system! So, my little brother played song after song, amazed that I was so clueless. I was , indeed, clueless, yet, amazed myself at how much I liked what I was hearing. As he dropped me off at home, he gave me the CD (“THA CARTER III”) so that I could check it out fully, and save it to my PC. I haven’t done that, as yet, but, before the day is out, I certainly plan to do just that.
I looked back on my brother’s life and the times that he’s endured. Like everyone else, he’s had his share of ups and downs, smiles and frowns, and setbacks difficult enough to make a grown man cry. But, through it all, he’s managed to always find a way to let a smile come through. I could think of many ways to describe the way that I see his life thus far, but, someone else came up with another way to describe it, a better way, as it were: that’s the way you let the beat build . . . b*tch! Now, THAT’S gangsta!! Peace.
copyright © 2008 freedom
“Let The Beat Build” by Lil Wayne
Photos from theautochannel.com and mangoout.com, respectively.