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Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Currently Writing This Piece...

Currently banging this out as I sit at my desk... I don't know why. Just reminiscing I guess. I'll keep adding to it throughout the morning. Live blogging at it's best... Bear with me and try to enjoy it. Just an experiment in writing. I'm bored and need something to do today. It's an off day for the brother. Got a full body massage, manicure and pedicure scheduled for later today (that's right, why should I jackhammer the feet on my own?). Anyhoo, here's the first installment. Let's see where this goes:



He was walking with his hands in his pockets, lumbering down the city sidewalks with a brisk pace. It was October, and the Chicago winds aren't forgiving if you're dressed improperly. The outfit he wore on this day, special. It took him a month to come up with the money to purchase the matching bottom to the top of his sweatsuit. He also donned the low cut sneakers that sat in the window of his favorite athletic spot for what seemed like forever. On lay-a-way. Like his rap hero, he sported what he called 'headgear to the stars' with a little cock to the right side.

He was fresh.
To def.

Unexpected excitement and wonderment of what would be rolled around in his head. He wondered who would be there and how things would go down. This was the first basement party not on his block, and to travel this far to groove in another neighborhood made him straighten out his hat. He knew that the gangbangers on this side of the tracks wore their hats cocked to the other side. Everything seemed right in his mind. He replayed the move he saw from the basketball game over and over in his head. "This cat from North Carolina is on some other stuff" he thought. "To move like that in the air is not human. He makes hoops look good around here. Ain't been that way since... Ever." He mocks the stutter step made by the basketballer and hesitates, remembering he'll scuff his sneakers before he gets to the party.

The set is at his homegirl's house, and he knows that the neighborhood is a delicate balance of Latin angst, white flight and newly crowned black homeowners, him and his friends being the first generation of brownfaced kids lacing the blocks claiming space to play, learn and grow. He knew where she lived but never actually been in her neighborhood so the party is an excuse to learn the lay of the land. He hung out with the kid DJing the set and knew the sister hosting the party, but not that well. She had crew and they were considered 'in' at his school. Crew was small and social functions were invite only, so to be invited was a straight up hood honor. Inclusion. He felt it. Now he could show off the steps he's been practicing in his room for weeks on end. This is what he hoped his weekends would be like after leaving junior high.

9:10am
Chatter, murmurs and the thump of the bass drum was what he heard as he approached the block, he knew he was almost there. Parties on his block were supposed to be had in basements but somehow found open air because of all of the cigarette and spliff smoke and the folks that partook and didn't. Fights often broke out and on occasion, someone would get stabbed or shot. He hung out with a few of the boys on his block, gathering near the alleyway or congregating on the curb just to hear the DJ and Emcee compliment each other over the speakers. You never heard anything from the radio at these functions. This is where he discovered a whole new realm of music.

They called it hip hop.

12:43pm
As he approached the house he noticed a bunch of lighter brown skinned kids hanging out in the gangway. He was thinking "I never been to a party with Mexican cats. Puerto Ricans too? Whoa. Why in the hell are folks not fighting?" The question in his mind was answered by the sound of the DJ cutting records back and forth. It hit him like he was standing in front of a moving bus. There was a small speaker with wires rigged onto it hanging in the gangway. He had to pass these Latin kids by walking past and he had no crew. So excited about getting dressed for the party he forgot to tell the boys on the block. He also hesitated telling one kid at the corner store a few days prior because he didn't want him to tell the wole crew just for them to get stopped by the police in the subway. He also didn't want any beef with cats in this uncharted neighborhood.

"Whaddup kid, you trooped alone?" one boy asks as he holds out his hand. He slaps the kid's hand and says "yeah son, I had to come thru dolo. Tammi here?"
"Yeah kid, she at the basement door cuffing funds. It's five bucks. You straight?"
"Yeah, I've been waiting for this."

As he approaches the rear of the house, he notices a bunch of kids wearing the same outfit, practicing moves in the back yard. One kid is barking out orders while the other kids are trying to keep in sync. There is a short set of stairs leading to an enclosed porch at the rear of the house. A few girls are sitting on the steps sharing a cigarette. They speak. The head nod is in effect. There is a small stairwell leading down to the basement door. As he ascends, he notices that the basement itself is dark but crowded. With the exception of the strobe light, you cannot see the people which is good as long as he doesn't dance with an ugly girl. Everybody sees that. There is a blue light at the basement door replacing the safety light. The girl from school and her best friend are sitting at a table decorated with a small plastic tub filled with flyers and pluggers and an old metal box rifled with cash.

"Peace black, with the plugger it's five dollars..." She says with her head down organizing the money in the metal box. "Oh snap you came!" she fired as she looked up and immediately leapt towards him and gave him a hug. Was he supposed to get that kind of love from someone he speaks with on a cordial basis? He was more surprised than confused because she even called him by name. She knew who he was and was expected as well. He let go a kool aid smile that could have lit the room. "Ay yo, my homeboy is here to do his thing, y'all ready?" He had no idea what he was in store for tonight, but Tammi did.

12 comments:

Kip said...

Hey Hassan,

Chance: You are off today and are writing what ever comes to mind and heart, as you sit at your desk. You remind me of Nat King Cole when he would sit at his house and write songs, just sitting and relaxing and enjoying morning yes, looking forward to the rest of the day. I am sitting here in front of my Laptop now writing I have a cup of coffee next to me. The weather is a little cool this morning but it is all good though. I see also you have a very diverse style of writing and like I say versatility always dominates singularity keep writing with your diverse style (various topics and not being limited to one style) you may even Hassan consider having a writing career as an author. You could send in some of your manuscripts to Hollywood seriously, and continue writing your music at the same time too.

Good to see you are doing well and swell Hassan.

Take care, Hassan

“OH” Keep the writing coming through-out today on this post also. I’ll check back in with you in the morning I got a busy day ahead.

Peace treaty


By Chance

The Brown Blogger said...

Thanks Chance, good to see you stop by. I gotta visit your domain as well.

Brother, I gotta half-eaten screenplay that's been sitting since 1996 over here, and it ain't gonna get no attention soon.

Just an idea for a little black cinema.

I'm been working on finishing a few manuscripts that will be published in the near future, so the publishing things is already in effect.

And plus... I got a lot on my mind. The styles are always going to rep differently.

Kip said...

What's up Hassan,



Chance: Something told me to check back in before I start my day good to hear from you DUDE! And I see you say you do have some screen plays on the table that you are working on I should have known before I even posted that suggestion about you writing screen material that you were already hip to the game of writing manuscripts man silly me. Man I hope something drops in your favor in the world of writing meaning getting published by a publishing house or movie on big screen based upon one of your books (manuscripts) etc like you say it is already in effect and some day the balla will drop (get published and payed).

You just keep pimping that pen man.

Peace on that

By Chance

Luke Cage said...

I liked the throwback aspect of this writing Hassan. I wonder who was that young man that seemed to defy gravity and embrace the air as easily as us mortals walking on terra firma? The basement house parties with that new thing called rap was the rage all over.

The spliff and sensi of the dope sh#@ being smoked on in there besides the other musical dope sh#@ that's being dropped on the wheels of steel will usher in a new age of music. Welcome to the world of rap. Music will never be the same again. Nicely done man.

The Brown Blogger said...

Wassup Brother Luke...

Still working on it. There will be more to add. Just got caught up in mail runs, email and such.

princessdominique said...

This is a very vivid piec. I love the flow of it, I can feel the season. You know I want some more.

aquababie said...

blogger ate my comment! i really like this. i want to read more :)

The Brown Blogger said...

I guess I'll work on it this evening... thanks, y'all.

Kip said...

Thanks for showing us your versitility in writing sytles Hassan keep it up and coming homey.


By Chance

The Brown Blogger said...

There's more to comebut first, I gotta get a little physical therapy in on my shoulder. I will update and add more to the joint later today.

Gallis said...

Um...waiting!

T. S. Snowden said...

Wow! I am so glad I read this before the next! I really dig your writing...