Archive | May, 2017

Most Perfect Rap Song Ever Written: Shook Ones, Part II

30 May

I was well into my thirties before I saw the infamous rap battle from 8 Mile and I’ve probably watched hundreds of NBA games before I recognized the beat that arenas were blasting on the PA’s. So where was I the first time I’d heard Shook Ones, Part II? Honestly, I have no idea. But I do distinctly remember the exact moment that I realized that Shook Ones Part, II was quite possibly the most perfect rap song ever written.

My relationship to Mobb Deep’s music is analogous to going to high school with someone you knew of in high school, but didn’t start hanging out with until realizing you were classmates on the first day of community college. The first time I’d even heard of Mobb Deep was 2Pac’s dissed em on “Hit Em Up.” Other than Nas and Wu-Tang Clan, I wasn’t messing with too many east coast artists. My music tastes emulated my older cousins’ who were listening to west coast rappers like Ice T, N.W.A., Too Short, and we of course supported all the down south rappers that were popping at the time.

I could lie and I say that I loved Notorious B.I.G. but, Puff Daddy’s presence made anyone from the Bad Boy camp suspect to me—I wasn’t feeling Biggie until well after he died. I got into Mobb Deep much much later, but the first song and video of theirs to make an impression on me was the late 90’s single from the “Murda Musik” album, Quiet Storm. It would take a few more years and multiple visits to New York City for me to actively study east coast rap, but when I finally listened to The Infamous, (and subsequently Shook Ones) I got it.

 

One of the first things that jump out at me is that Mobb Deep was only 19 when they made this album. This blows my mind. I too wrote raps when I was 19, and the nicest bars I ever wrote were:

 

I’m not a genie/ I can’t grant you 3 wishes/ but rub my lamp hard enough/

And I’ll grant  you 9 inches

~Polished Skillz

 

Pretty deep huh?

 

Hip Hop has always been a product of its environment and in the 1990’s, New York had taken a turn for the darker. The music reflected this turn, as gritty acts like Wu-Tang, Biggie, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, represented a side of New York that you couldn’t find on Times Square. Acts like Big Pun , Boot Camp Click. Black Moon, Heltah Skeltah, Capone N Noreaga, Nas (at least his first 2 albums) epitomized the mid 90’s sound that we associate with New York. New York City to country bumpkins like myself  was a place where you only went to get mugged, stabbed, shot, or freeze to death. The grim perspective in Mobb Deep’s Shook Ones does nothing to dispel those early teenage myths that I once held.

The lyrics in this song are some of the starkest ever put to paper, giving us a peek into the realities that most Queensbridge youth faced on a daily basis (former NBA stars Ron Artest, Elton Brand and Lamar Odom all hail from Queens and have their own stories to tell from this time period).

As a high school teacher, I’ve occasionally sat a young teen down and forced him to digest the lyrics for Shook Ones–just to give them some perspective. The song’s hook  is a warning to any phony gangsters, wanna be ballers, and fake tough guys. The first verse by Prodigy is one of the nicest bars ever put to wax.

 

 

 

 

I got you stuck off the realness, we be the infamous

you heard of us

official Queensbridge murderers

the Mobb comes equipped with warfare, beware

of my crime family who got nuff shots to share

for all of those who wanna profile and pose

rock you in your face, stab your brain wit’ your nosebone

you all alone in these streets, cousin

every man for theirself in this land we be gunnin’

and keep them shook crews runnin’

like they supposed to

they come around but they never come close to

I can see it inside your face

you’re in the wrong place

cowards like you just get they’re whole body laced up

with bullet holes and such

speak the wrong words man and you will get touched

you can put your whole army against my team and

I guarantee you it’ll be your very last time breathin’

your simple words just don’t move me

you’re minor, we’re major

you all up in the game and don’t deserve to be a player

don’t make me have to call your name out

your crew is featherweight

my gunshots’ll make you levitate

I’m only nineteen but my mind is old

and when the things get for real my warm heart turns cold

another nigga deceased, another story gets told

it ain’t nothin’ really

hey, yo dun spark the Phillie

so I can get my mind off these yellowbacked niggas

why they still alive I don’t know, go figure

meanwhile back in Queens the realness is foundation

if I die I couldn’t choose a better location

when the slugs penetrate you feel a burning sensation

getting closer to God in a tight situation

now, take these words home and think it through

or the next rhyme I write might be about you

 

[Chorus:]

Son, they shook…

’cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks

scared to death, scared to look

they shook

’cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks

scared to death, scared to look

 

livin’ the live that of diamonds and guns

there’s numerous ways you can choose to earn funds…earn funds

some of ’em get shot, locked down and turn nuns

cowardly hearts end straight up shook ones…shook ones

he ain’t a crook son, he’s just a shook one…shook one

 

[Havoc]

For every rhyme I write, its 25 to life

yo, it’s a must the gats we trust safeguardin’ my life

ain’t no time for hesitation

that only leads to incarceration

you don’t know me, there’s no relation

Queensbridge niggas don’t play

I don’t got time for your petty thinking mind

son, I’m bigga than those claimin’ that you pack heat

but you’re scared to hold

and when the smoke clears you’ll be left with one in your dome

13 years in the projects, my mentality is what, kid

you talk a good one but you don’t want it

sometimes I wonder do I deserve to live

or am I going to burn in hell for all the things I did

no time to dwell on that ’cause my brain reacts

front if you want kid, lay on your back

I don’t fake jacks kid, you know I bring it to you live

stay in a child’s place, kid you out o’ line

criminal minds thirsty for recognition

I’m sippin’ E&J, got my mind flippin’

I’m buggin’ think I’m how bizar to hold my hustlin’

get that loot kid, you know my function

cause long as I’m alive I’ma live illegal

and once I get on I’ma put on, on my people

react mix to lyrics like Macs I hit your dome up

when I roll up, don’t be caught sleepin’

cause I’m creepin’

 

[Chorus:]

 

Son, they shook…

’cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks

scared to death and scared to look

(he’s just a shook one)

they shook…

’cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks

scared to death and scared to look

(we live the live that of diamonds)

 

they shook…

’cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks

scared to death and scared to look

they shook…

’cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks, crooks..

 

livin’ the live that of diamonds and guns

there’s numerous ways you can choose to earn funds…earn funds

but some of ’em get shot, locked down and turn nuns

cowardly hearts end straight up shook ones…shook ones

he ain’t a crook son, he’s just a shook one…shook one

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah

To all the villains and a hundred dollar billas

To real brothers who ain’t got no dealings

G-yeah, the whole Bridge, Queens get the money

41st side (he’s just a shook one)

keepin’ it real (you know)

Queens get the money…

 

There is a hunger that comes through in their lyrics, overlaying one of the most sinister, nastier beats to come out of that era. Havoc and Prodigy created a ubiquitous masterpiece that has stood the test of time. Not only is it one of most perfect rap songs ever written, it just so happens to be one of the realest.

 

 

BM

 

profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @clickpicka79. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com. 

 

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Donnie’s Little Girl

27 May

 

 

This current administration has officially become so dysfunctional that its entertaining. If so many people weren’t so adversely affected by this dysfunction, I would say this is stuff of hilarity. Feels like the perfect time for us to get our first presidential reality show up at the White House.

Can you imagine the confession room on daily basis with the likes Sean Spicer, Kelly Conway, Mike Pence, and the Trump family running around the White House? You telling me you wouldn’t watch that shit? It’d be like Real World, House of Cards, West Wing, and The Apprentice all rolled up in one.

There are going to be some national best selling books on the Trump family if we somehow survive the fallout from the next 8 years.  The Melania Trump autobiography will be flying off the shelves because you know that’s going to have some dirt in it–unless Donald made her sign a non disclosure agreement when they got married. Could you imagine how embarrassing that golden shower story was?

Even if its just conjecture, that is an absurd rumor to have floating around about your family. Imagine how that made Melania feel? Even if he didn’t fuck those women and he just sat in a rocking chair jacking off while they peed on each other, that would be enough kill any marriage. You couldn’t just call it #fakenews and keep it pushing. That’s a series of conversations that have to happen.

I’m actually disgusted with myself for how attracted I am to Ivanka. She embodies everything that is wrong with the American white chick, but she is fine as hell. She is “you need seven figures in your bank account to even get a date” hot. Ivanka Trump is “I wanna fuck but I’ll settle for a hand job” kind of hot.

I bet there is a Schindler’s list of college boys who had to go to the campus ER for cases of the blue balls. She looks like the type of woman who will stop jacking you off if you don’t come in the first 5 minutes. That’s prolly the most work her dainty hands have ever seen.

Poor Jared Kushner has to fight the Canadian Prime Minister and the POTUS for his wife’s attention. I bet his heart just dropped when he saw the eyes she was giving Justin Trudeau. She looks the type to weaponize her vijajay. Withhold some loving to get what she wants. She prolly made ole Kush wait so long to get the panties that he went stir crazy when she finally let him in there. It was prolly game over after that–putty in her hands. That pussy been monetized since birth. That’s why kushner is brokering all these shady business deals to cover the millions of dollars he is accruing booty taxes a year.

 

BM

profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @clickpicka79. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dangers of Driving at Night

25 May

Maybe all it took was a little smoke

a cup of coffee and a 1 am road trip

to really understand Tom Waits’

“Heart of Saturday Night”.

 

I’ve often felt like 3 AM was a specific sweet spot

for listening to Neil Young

on late night intrastate drives–

the sloppier the production the better.

I once enjoyed those late night excursions.

 

But those were much safer times.

My mission tonight was to get home undetected

by any potential predator–policeman or otherwise.

Caught in a storm

and each passing 18 wheeler

provided an additional challenge

of avoiding any major splashback

that could result in a wreck.

 

Its not like I’m afraid to die.

I am not.

But the anxiety of having projects unfinished

or things left unsaid, does get to me sometimes.

 

Which made this weekend that much sweeter

having had the chance to be reminded

what it is like to spend time

with a woman who was equal parts,

funny, smart, kind and beautiful.

 

So much I wanted to tell her:

like how being with her is so easy

and that the reason for my silence 

Is that I’m so impressed that she turned out to be

as remarkable of a person as I originally thought she would be.

That I respected her ability to recognize

how unique and how special she really was.

 

But I certainly could say none of these things

if I didn’t make my destination.

 

No matter how grumpy tomorrow looked for me

I could still wake up,go to work, and eat my Kolaches

if I survived.

Otherwise, they’d be free game to the investigating authorities

for whomever was brave enough to sweep

the glass off the crushed box of pastries,

and take a huge bite of a sausage puff

without a trace of irony in their face.

 

But it was too dark.

Too late.

And too rainy to entertain such fantasies.

I’d better focus on the road.

There was another trailer trying to pass on my left.

 

~Edward Austin Robertson

 

 

 

 

 

That Moment When You Realize You’re Washed

21 May

 

I’m just now coming to terms with being washed. You know how I know I’m washed? I’m in bed by ten on Friday nights. I prefer cheese pizza over any other toppings, and all  my favorite music is from the 90’s era. I feel like a 60 year old in a 40 year old man’s body.

#WASHED

Could you imagine a dating App for introverts? It’d be the worst idea ever. People would just creep on each other’s profile pics and make up reasons not to message first. No one would get laid.

 

 

I’ve been working on my own dating APP. Its called @myworst.com with an @ symbol. I wanna cut thru the smoke and mirrors of the dating game. Get to the heart of it—like that Don Henley song.It’d be just like every other dating site. You create a profile, gas yourself up or whatever, but then you gotta put at least 3 of your worst photos onto the site, so that people can see the truth. The rougher the photo the better. We’re talking hangover face, diarrhea face, I’ve got cramps and I’m bloated face. Because the person you went to bed with and the person you wake up next to can be two completely people. #nosurprises

 

Think about how assuring it must feel to sit across from someone at the dinner table and know that they were still felt attracted to you after seeing your worst photographs. That person went on your profile and thought “eh if this is as bad as it gets, then I’ll give it a shot” Anyone looking to invest? I’m a have this off the ground by the next SXSW interactive. Tryna change the game.

 

 

I’ve been working in education for the last 5 years. It’s a mixed bag. On one hand I like working with kids and at times it is ridiculously fun. On the other hand I’m implicitly contributing to the school to prison pipeline. Teaching public school in Oklahoma really burnt me out on it. I spent more time fighting white supremacy brainwashing than I did teaching history. I eventually stopped going to department meetings because I got tired of explaining why a team mascot like the Redmen is considered racist,  or why you can’t show a class full of black kids the “Butler” & “The Help” and pass it off as history.

 

The admin was always quick to suspend kids and I’d have to advocate on their behalf so they wouldn’t get behind the blackball academically. I remember having one “come to Jesus” meeting with a kid and his mom, and the discipline dean and guidance counselor. It was absurd. This kid was fucking around and had like a 12 in my class because he never came to class. Anyway, we finally got to a good place in the meeting,when the guidance counselor asked what his goals were for the rest of his life. This mutherfucker says “ I wanna go to the NBA.”  

 

Crickets.

 

It got mad quiet in the room, before thankfully, another teacher asked the mother, “Mrs. so and so, what about you? Do you have any goals for Denzell that you’d like him to accomplish?”

 

There was a collective sigh of relief. Then mom said, “I want him to go to the NBA too!”

 

The dean and the guidance counselor looked at him and said “well you never know where you’ll be if you work hard” and “make sure remember to leave us some tickets when you make it big.”

 

I said “THATS IT! I’m outta here. This is bullshit!”

 

Finally I calmed down enough to talk the kid and his mom after the meeting.

 

“Look I heard what you said in there about Denzell’s future and I think it’s important that we don’t put all our eggs in one basket for him. Listen.  There’s no nice way to put this… but your son sucks at basketball. we need to find a plan B for him. I’m serious. I’ve seen him on the court and he’s terrible. He doesn’t box out, he can’t dribble to his left, his shot is trash, and he doesn’t know how to move without the ball. Before you report me to my supervisor, just hear me out for a second. Now I’ve seen your son’s grades and I must admit, he is pretty decent at math……..Have you guys ever considered him selling drugs?

 

Now hear me out…I can make some calls to some people guy who can get you started on the entry level. You’re young, so if you start now, by the time you’re 21 you can afford to start your own crew. This doesn’t have to be your career, but just a good way to get your foot in the business world. Think about all the things you can do with that money Denzell. You can open up that tea shop your mother always talked about owning. You can invest in the stock market and diversify your assets. Hell you can even start a rap label and perhaps even sign the next Fetty Wap. Let’s be honest, if you don’t graduate high school, you’re probably going to jail anyway, may as well go in having some work experience.

 

I like giving back to the community. That’s part of why I teach so I can be an example for these kids to look up to. I wanna be to nerdy black teenagers what Dan Savage is for Queer kids. “I promise it gets better junior. Don’t let my occupation fool you. I could’ve been anything in life besides a teacher. I just got lazy”

 

 

Growing up is tough. Growing up in today’s world is even tougher. So many more pitfalls for kids these days. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like growing up with things like Snapchat, Facebook Live, and internet porn. So I get it. I like to think of myself as less of a teacher and more of a guide through the turbulent seas of adolescence.

 

I had it rough as a teenager myself. I went to school in Dallas for a little bit and I got fucked with relentlessly because I was a nerd and I reeked of the suburbs.I would finish my work as fast as I could then go and hide in the library because I knew my bullies didn’t know where it was.

 

I kept toothpaste and a toothbrush in my locker and sometimes after lunch I’d look up from the sink and see a bunch of kids watching me and laughing.

“ See man I told you Carlton brushes his teeth erryday after lunch.”

 

 

 

But I remember what it’s like at that age. Its sucks. I always felt like I had no control over my life. 8 hours of school where adults treated us like prisoners. My parents were uber strict and my only outlets as a kid were music and sports. So I get it. Not to say that I totally get the youth of today or that we always get along. The other day during pickup some 15 year old tried to fight me. I dunno if it was all the trash i was talking or pushing him a little too hard on a foul, but he was mad agitated. One time down the court, he yelled to his teammate, “I’m a beat this old man’s ass if he keep fucking with me.”

 

I looked at him when we got down to the other end of the court. “Can I help you?” He said blankly.

 

“Why are you so upset young man. We spose to be having fun. Life is too short to be mad all the time.

 

“ Shut the fuck up talking to me wit yo washed ass. Why you out here anyway man, you old?  What? You think this an afterschool special or something? You better get on fo’ you get spit on. Old muthafucka. Kick ROCKS NIGGA!”

 

 

Trying times though for my people, now more than ever we have to utilize my black people instincts–or as you white people call it, “Paranoia”. My negro spidey senses, are what have kept me out of fucked up situations.It’s the ability to quickly calculate the odds of every decision resulting in a run-in with white supremacist.

 

If you invite me to your state, your city or your home and I decline, it’s probably because my third eye told me not to. The same reason I don’t jog in white neighborhoods is the same reason I don’t go camping. You’ll never catch me out at Glacier, or the Redwoods or any other National Parks. Nope I’m just as likely to run into a white supremacist as I am a grizzly bear. At least with a grizzly bear I’ll get justice because someone will have to shoot it. They’ll just take the white supremacist to Burger king.

BM

 

profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @clickpicka79. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com.