Many of you have watched me adjust to a life of order. The weird days, the peaceful days, and the resentful days. I’ve never been the hold on to anger type, really, but it’s human to look back at things you would do differently, knowing what you know now.
Today I was reminded of another cycle I’ve been breaking in real time; the place where you go from ‘intaking as much information as possible because you’re inquisitve/aware/woke’ to being overtaken by knowing so much. Hitting the off switch, even in a time before we had all this ‘media’, is not one of the things I was taught; it’s something I’ve had to learn. And relearn. And relearn again.
Make no mistake, I think it’s important to think about if x happens then y might happen, then z. Obsessing over ‘z’ when x is still in play though, that’s a flaw of mine I own up to.
Getting more comfortable daily knowing when and where to hit the ‘off’ button, and turn my attention back to matters at hand. Always a process, but the results are starting to show up.
So on that note, new week. Track 1. Let’s do this.
Planned to go in a different direction today, but when the mood hits you…
Like a lot of you, I’m still buzzing on how much I enjoyed ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and the memories of that era of hip hop.
So let’s segway by starting the week here.
I had an idea in mind…if the numbers look like this by the time I think the judges see it, I think I’ll be in good shape.
And I asked you guys for help…
And you guys blew past what I wanted in less than 24 hours. I apologize for underestimating you.
Anyway, go back and ‘Funny’ it up some more. Can’t hurt right?
And enjoy today’s song!
‘I have no sympathy for those afraid of mystery; come get with me, I promise passion and ecstacy!’
Enjoy your weekend…
So as you can imagine, I have Grown Man Responsiblities now, 24/7/365. That means my time to play video games ain’t what it used to be. So yes, I picked up GTA V on (the morning after) opening day, but in the past week plus I’ve played it maybe an hour…TOTAL. Yep, I’m an adult now.
So I’m checking it out, and it’s cool. Hey, there’s my city in ‘virtual form.’ Figueroa and Olympic. Hollywood Boulevard. Santa Monica Beach. Cool. Not overwhelmed though like I’m used to with the series.
And then I jump in some random car…and one of my anthems starts up. Right up there with ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’, ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ and ‘Wanna Be Startin Somethin’ on my greatest Track 1’s of all time…
So many battlefield scars while driven in plush cars
This life as a rap star is nothin without heart
Was born rough and rugged, addressin the mad public
My attitude was, “Fuck it,” cause motherfuckers love it!
WHATTTTTTTTT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!! DAMN THIS MISSION, WHERE THE TATTOO PARLOR AT?!?!? EAST COAST AIN’T GOT NO LOVE FOR SAN ANDREAS?!!?!?!?!?!?!
So anyway, after I found my shirt, I played for another half hour or so. It’s a classic Grand Theft Auto already. If you’re a fan of the series (and like me) can only, maybe make time for a few games a year at this point in your life, this needs to be one of them.
And on that note, have a good weekend. WEST SIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just finished re-reading Manning Marable’s analysis of Malcolm X. Marable ends with his belief that Malcolm would have denounced the 9/11 attacks as being fundamentally against everything Islam stands for, despite the claims of those who carried out the terrorism. Marable’s thesis at the end is Malcolm should be held up as a symbol for hope and dignity across all cultures, in the way he’s an icon among the culture he fought the hardest for (the black underclass).
I use that introduction because that definition of Malcolm is very symbolic of how important, in a much larger sense, the ideal of ‘community’ is in Islam. It’s tied into how we greet each other (Peace be unto you, and unto you be peace). It’s tied into our facing the same direction, using the same physical prostrations. It is, I believe, why we are considered to perfect half of our religion when we marry. Beyond our internal community, I also feel that it extends to our larger sense of ‘community’, and our interdependence on each other as beings who are ‘renting’ this physical space we’re all sharing for however long we’re meant to share it.
A few of you know this, but 2Pac has been my example more than Malcolm when it comes to community works. Specifically, 90 percent of your service is off the radar; only you and God and the recipient needs to know about it. I’m not suggesting you’re wrong if you want more ‘credit’ for the good things you do, but I may be questioning who you need credit from if it’s truly a selfless act. Truthfully if you find it in yourself to do anything for others, you’re one of the good ones. This came up in the dinner conversation I had last night, and most of us see it whether you live in a metropolis or not, but the gap between the haves and the have nots isn’t getting smaller. That’s just the way the world is going; what’s a little worrisome now though is that the haves seem much less inclined than ever to have empathy for the have nots. Yeah, this could be a whole blog into itself, so let me get back on point…
As I’ve settled into my ‘spot’, I’m very thankful to have likewise found the right wavelength where I can contribute in whatever way I feel comfortable to spreading good karma in the world I live in. As I’ve been telling friends recently, I bring 100 percent of my ego to my professional life, so it’s nice to balance that with trying to make the world a better place in relative anonymity.
Last Ramadan post for the year next week.
On the list of great 2Pac singles, this one (kind of understandably) is way down the list. I only think I hear this once every couple years. So I was still hyped when it came on the radio and I still knew all the words.
And is that a young John Singleton in the background trying to look hard? I think it is…
Can’t close my eyes cause all I see is terror
I hate the man in the mirror
Cause his reflection makes the pain turn realer
Times of Armageddeon, murder in mass amounts
In this society where only gettin the cash counts
I started out as a beginner
Entered the criminal lifestyle became a sinner
I make my money and vacate, evade prison
Went from the chosen one to outcast, unforgiven
And all the Hennessy and weed can’t hide, the pain I feel inside
You know, it’s like I’m livin just to die
I fall on my knees and beg for mercy, not knowin if I’m worthy
Livin life thinkin no man can hurt me
So I’m askin — before I lay me down to sleep
Before you judge me, look at all the shit you did to me, my misery
I rose up from the slums, made it out the flames
In my search for fame will I change? I’m askin…