Ride or Die

Too many people take our culture in its popular form and make vulgar that which we hold sacred. When I left, I buried my brothers. Now I bury my sons. This will end.

Return of the Repressed:

Some Shit I got to get off my chest.

What not too many people realize is that Drexside is a war zone – where cliques get crushed and nations rule. What do you do when the police pick up 15 and 16 year old boys? Good boys. Honor students, athletes, and captains of the football team, Mathletes, AO champs and drop them in enemy territory? Canaryville, Bridgeport, Avalon Park, Gage Park, etc. and hope like hell they get the shit beat out of them. What do you do when you live in a world where the good die young? You man the fuck up and Do or Die. When you’re facing 43 Latin Kings or 25 pissed off rednecks who seem to blame you for their being unemployed, while their tanked on meth and Pabst who you gonna call? Where do your loyalties lie when the people that put you there are cops and the only name that saves you from having your teeth permanently implanted in a curb (think American History X) or your head beat in with a bike lock ain’t Jesus but Fort? What do you do when the unemployment rate for black males in your area is around 50% and after the 22 Mc Donald’s, Pizza Hut, Dominoes and various and sundry delivery jobs are filled? You get in your mode and you hustle your ass off.

I don’t advocate or agree wit the life that most lead in this corner of the world but I understand. So I have a little more patience when these children don’t understand why they should stop bangin’ when that is the only thing that keeps their bellies full and their lives going. I have little patience for sub-urban fetishist who wear long T-Shirts and sports jerseys, rock jeans, Jordan’s and baseball caps and scream “Nigga” while they imagine how hard life has been in the burbs. I get tired of silly girls claiming, “I’m a ride or die chick” when the toughest decision they have faced is where to get their nails done.

I understand that the commercialization of urban culture has created a Frankenstein’s monster of social and moral pathology. But most of you just don’t get it. Yeah it comes out twisted but there is something to be said for concepts like “Homies,” “Crew,” “Nation,” Clique,” “King,” “Chief,” or “G.” These are ideas that "form the backbone of a life spent defending something – you use them as a punch line." There is something beautiful in the concept of the "block." It extends beyond community or village – it is, in fact, a culture and a way of life that has roots older than you could imagine. I don’t agree with its pathologies but I stand forever on its virtues. The shit you see on TV is not the way it is nor is it even half of the story. Get your mind right. The venom and poison that comes across in the popular media does not come from the hood, it comes from the board rooms of corporate America, from companies like Viacom, BMG, Time – Warner, and Sony. If you have beef with the bullshit that passes for popular American culture talk to them, if you want to beef with gangsters: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

You want to end the bullshit – pay teachers more, improve the education in schools, stop draining money from education into publishing companies, train the youth and create jobs that pay a living wage.

There is no "can't do."