Big K.R.I.T. Wus (T)Here.

 

I found out about Big K.R.I.T. (King Remembered in Time) like any other modern day rap artist: through a teen-aged pudgy white suburban co-worker. I first questioned, what was a kid from the suburbs doing listening to a rapper from Meridian, Mississippi? Then I realized there are some things you just have to accept. The kid’s first name is my middle name, Andrew. Aside from having a common name, we have a common interest in hip-hop artists.

I took heed to my namesake and downloaded the “Big K.R.I.T. Wuz Here” mix tape from the Datpiff.com … just like everyone else in this modern day of music transactions… The song “Moon and Stars” Big K.R.I.T. featuring Devin the Dude was my introduction in the world of Big K.R.I.T…The fact that he featured Devin The Dude instantly won player points…

I then listened to the full mix tape, aside from Mr. The Dude, I recognized two other artist: Whiz Khalifa & Curren$y. I became familiar with other featured  artist: Smoke DZA, Big Sant, and months later via Big K.R.I.T’s remix to “Moon and Stars” I was introduced to Killa Kyleon who is a lyrical problem! 

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I checked out Big K.R.I.T.’s youtube page… as everyone does in this modern day of music transactions… I was impressed with the videos for “Somedayz”  and “Hometown Hero”

But it was the video for “Children Of the World” that moved me.

In the song “Good Enough”,  Big K.R.I.T. says:

“I was just waiting on this moment in my grand mamma’s kitchen/ An artist from Mississippi- like, who would care to listen?”

… At that point, I was listening. He began to speak to the things that I was going through in my life…

No need to go into depth about my life- but the subject matter shown through his lyrics should give you a frame of mind…

… K.R.I.T. Quotes ….

K.R.I.T. Quotes about the Hood:

“He looked at me with so much pain in his eyes/ like he ain’t know: being Black and poor came with a price.”

” Bums warm they’re weary souls over warm flames/ Junkie can’t find God watch him find his vein / preacher walk right by-like he ain’t see a thang.”

“she short on rent, landlord tripping/ tired of eating noodles that taste like chicken… don’t really like hoeing- aint hard to tell, but when all else fails- pussy always sells.”

K.R.I.T. Quotes About Pimpin:

“I came out my momma’s womb breathing life into this pimpin.”

“…Cause I looked up to the pimps,/I’m not saying it wasn’t wrong, but they had the freshest fits/ the cars and the broads and the kicks… that’s something to strive for when you’ve never had shit.”

K.R.I.T. Quotes about women/ relationships:

“If I abuse myself daily, who can I love?”

“say she gotta friend, and word is she really dig him. I’m dealing with the pain. I lost her and I know it, I’m praying for the strength not to show it…”

“And even when I was at my worst/ like, ‘we got to make this work’.
My girl found time to leave me, too broke to give a fuck, though…”

K.R.I.T. Quotes about money:

“In a world full of kings- you’re worthless, if you can’t buy the finer things before you exit…”

” The junkie scrape change for the dollar menu/ that what he said but the rock is what he really into/ gave him a dollar anyway/ cause who knows/ maybe the dope boy’s babies baby needs some new clothes…”

K.R.I.T. Quotes about America:

“Obama cool, but he ain’t sending me no free checks”

“I’m feeling like ‘what the fuck?’ / they want my soul
Like my ancestors’ ain’t enough /
If I can’t trust my own government, who can I trust?”

“pass the collection plate / niggas thought shit was gone’ change on election date.”

K.R.I.T. Quotes about God:

“Did too much dirt to talk to god nowadays- get the dial tone.”

“I don’t understand- how you fit that many rings on a helping hand?… tired of deception but I’ll pay his kids tuition, cause I’m trying to get to heaven…”

“My conversations with God always seem leave him speechless.”

Over the past 6 months Big K.R.I.T.’s quotes have appeared in my facebook statuses and tweets… as most people do in this modern day of music transactions… it’s a sign of respect: it says, that the artist eloquently stated exactly what I was going through at that point in my life- almost like he was right there…Big K.R.I.T. wus (T)Here.


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Poem: Leaders and Followers

My teen years...in loose leaf

Before this blog, my writings would go into these composition books. I have accumulated exactly 30 note books (rap books) and I have never lost 1..I believe that the basis of all good writing is poetry, and now that I’m writing in many other forms- I’d be a fool to forget where it originated. Every so often, I’ll post a poem or two. some old, some new. …and that line sounded like Dr. Sues. hahahah anyway

No need to go in order, I’ll just post it as I see fit…

Today’s entry is from November 11th 2008.

(posted tonight because of a chain of events in my life and tonights State of the Union speech. enjoy.)

Leaders and Followers.

Angel’s halos hang around aimless gangstas

and God watches over single mothers as they strip naked

however 12 demonic spirits make decisions that put Black men in prison

and the preacher teaches that there is 1 God who looks over this world we live in

so why do we have to go to your church to bare witness

players prayers answered on faulty cell phones

dropped calls- resorts in dial tones

while kids at home all alone roll up bible paper with cush

forever disabled stuck on the sofa cushion

the pope and Bush, the Dhali lama, Muslims Jihad-ing, and genocided from Darfur to Rawanda- mo problems than just Obama can conquer

we need benevolent mobbsters

need single moma’s to pop-lock-and drop it- straight to parent teacher’s conferences..

the game is follow the leader, the question is: who do the leaders follow?

Foolish Pride…but That’s How P-Ride.

In middle school, I hated free lunch. You know how embarrassing it was to stand in that line? I don’t… Cause, I never stood in it. I’d sit and be hungry before I ate free lunch.

In high school, I hated going to the store with the foodstamp card, you know how embarrassing it is to whip out that colorful EBT card in-front of a store full of people? I don’t -I’d wait for everyone to walk out of the store before I made my purchase.

And now that I’m in college. The stage in life where everybody is struggling. I find the hardest thing in the world is to ask for financial assistance.

This is the classic example of having so much pride that I’m not willing to compromise my morals for money.

And this boggles the mind…

Is it an extension of the same middle school and high school shame?

Is it a Black folks thing- where we only brag of wealth, and shamefully hide our short comings?

Is it a man thing- where societal gender roles say: Pendarvis, you’re a man now, and your role in society is to protect and provide; and since you can’t provide for yourself, you must protect yourself…and your self-esteem?

This is deeper than the grumbles of my stomach on the late night. This more emotional than the frustration I feel as I try to call my family back home…and my phone is cut off.

This is the battle between morals and pride when your money gets tight.

Thursday night, my hunger caused me to swallow my pride: I asked a co-worker and long time friend, Jeremy Odoffin, if I could have a micro-wave TV dinner tonight cause I couldn’t afford to buy anything to eat.

On the first floor of the college dormitory in which we work, we sat and talked over the freshly microwaved blessing brought to me by Marie Calender.

Jeremy said, “At a point, you have to sit and question- What is it about society that put you into a position where compromising your morals is the only means to survival?”

I sat. I questioned.

what is it?

Why did I not eat free lunch in middle school? Why was I ashamed to use food stamps in High School? Why am I still ashamed to ask for a TV dinner in college?

I AM A MAN

I am a man.

haven’t I seen that slogan somewhere before?

The civil rights movement! thats right!

They had so much Black Pride that they collectively decided not to compromise their morals.

Many African-American’s took to the streets baring signs that read: I AM A MAN. Simultaneously, King’s Dream and Malcolm’s speech were about holding America accountable to the freedom promised to all citizens as defined by the US Constitution.

I should be able to wake up in the morning and be able to pursue my true happiness uninhibited by the societal requirements for survival…the societal requirements that cause many men to sale dope and rob innocent citizens…the societal requirements that cause many women to strip and prostitute…the societal requirements that cause many people to throw their morals out of the door when their money gets low.

When it boils down to it, I’m not going to sale dope to my community in order to eat tonight. I’ve been there, and I’m never going back. I’m not going to drive around women so they can dance for money, and give me a small percentage in order to pay my phone bill. I’ve been there, and I’m not going back. And I’m not going to plot on the pockets of intoxicated individuals who have more money than I. I’ve been there, and I’m not going back. I’m not going to compromise my morals and I take pride in that.

Ironic, some might this piece as a man calling out for help, and truthfully there is a touch of that present in my prose. But more evident than my need for financial assistance, is my need to see my self as a self-sufficient man.

In closing: I find it funny how, when I don’t NEED something, but want to see if I can get it for free, it starts off as a game: “can I use my words to get this or that” is the concept… and if I don’t get it, it’s kind of humiliating and humbling all in one. But when I sincerely NEED something and want to see if I can get it for free, it starts from a place of slight humiliation and complete humility…but when I don’t get it …its not a game.

Yea, It’s not a game.

Photo Essay: A Walk Down MLK Ave. in South East D.C. on MLK Day 2010

He fought for Love. He fought for peace. He fought to uplifting Christ. And he fought to take down racism… But in the end Dr. King knew it was all about the allotment of resources in America.

His famous, “I Have a Dream” Speech, could have easily went down in history as the “Bounced Check ” speech. He spoke of America’s failure to include African-American’s into the greater society post-slavery. He acknowledged African-American’s role in the disenfranchisement, as many passively accepted what was given.

And now, 42 years after Dr. King’s assassination we have been given a National holiday in celebration of his birthday, and a Martin Luther King Jr. Ave in every major US city.

Every Martin Luther King Jr. Ave I have ever been fortunate enough to bare witness to runs through the most economically downtrodden part of the city.

I decided to take a walk down Martin Luther King Jr. Ave in the Nation’s Capitol, and this is what I saw…

Dr. King's Ave. in South East Washington DC

Martin Luther King Jr. Ave in South East Washington D.C. is a main artery through a predominantly African-American community. The area is in the transitional phase; the dilapidated structures of yesteryear still loom as a reminder of the 1968 riots after King’s death, the influence of crack cocaine in the 1980’s, and the economic turmoil that has plagued many Black communities since their creation- and through the current recession America is facing.

vacant housebuilding frame.Historically Black Community: For Sale

And like Every Black community in America, there were check cashing stores, liquor stores, heaps of trash in the street and graffiti on the walls

check cashing storeLiquor store. Good Hope.trash heapStanton Crew

But right next to the graffiti was something that started to open my eyes to the depth of the spirit present in the Anacostia community….

Islam on the riseSheik

Islam was far from the only religion present, in fact the number of Baptist churches was comparable to the amount of corner stores…Baptist church signUnion Temple

Fittingly enough, while attempting to take a shot of the church, another dominant force in the community conveniently intervened in my photo…

Cops and God.

But the governing bodies are also taking initiatives to aid the community…

A Government Savior?the plan...

dept. of Housing.

I don’t doubt the necessity for government aid in the Black community, but nothing trumps knowledge of self and knowledge of the land in which you reside. And in the community of South East Washington, D.C. there are numerous reminders of how fertile those grounds are, and how deep Black roots run through here said grounds.

Malcolm X centerFrederick Douglass' houseClara Muhammad schoolThurgood MarshallBlack owned Fish spotPeaceBlack familyBig Chair

And most of all… the words and image of Dr. King himself

MLK mural

On January 15th 2010 Dr. King would have been 81 years of age. To his memory, I give my respect.