#MNR: IT’S ONLY A TEST
“I’m from the ghetto, so yo, this is how I shed my tears.”
Life is good. Even if I perish tonight, life is good.
I’ve spent far too many days feeling down. I could explain further, but it is of no importance to do so. Pick a reason to be down – I’ve probably been there. I’ve taken every blow life has dealt. Yet, I’m still standing. A wise woman once reminded me of this long ago, when I was extremely low on self-esteem and self-worth. I didn’t have an epiphany (no need to fake). But I did take heed and store it in my mental treasure chest. It has been the best piece of wisdom I’ve ever received, and I’ve received plenty of prudent wisdom. But this time – this time, I got out of my own way and let God. I don’t know who is going to be blessed by this, but to God be the glory.
I don’t want to transition directly into f*ckery, so...how about the nice weather we’ve had the past couple of days? Ok. I’m good.
How the fuck are y’all doing? I hope everyone is good. If you aren’t, hold it together and see me after class. I got y’all. Now, for those of us feeling like 3.5M in blue faces, grab a seat and pull up to the roundtable. You are free to pour of the libations and are encouraged to roll up. I’m higher than Keith Hernandez during and after a 1981 road trip to New York, just not off the yay. That was that good shit too, 100% fentanyl-free and straight from Pablo Escobar & Associates. Damn...a one-on-one off a glass table from the ‘80s does sound...
Chill, nigga. You wildin’.
My bad y’all. I was having too much fun. I’m just playing. I’m just serious. But back to the fuckery.
Good evening, and welcome to Monday Night R*w, frequented by stoners and bail-jumpers alike. I’m your friendly host, Mr. Ty Nitty Monday. Y’all could be reading any of the 4.74B blogs on Phil Knight’s internet, but you’re here with us. Please tip your hats to CEO as he passes infused snacks and bourbon shots to all. He’s a benevolent and gregarious individual. And he’s a fucking pro with the THC oil. Get at us if you are in need of his services. Supreme love and respect to all the ardent readers of this blog. We do this for y’all. Big ups to any new readers. We appreciate your patronage. Tell a friend, you heard? I even have a message for anyone who doesn’t particularly like us. Eat a dick. And thank you for reading. Yes, this is for you. Heifer.
For the record, I was a hater way before it became popular. Y’all MF fake and act like y’all like a MF. I don’t. Fuck him/her and five niggas who like them. I’m not a hater on a person’s success; get yours my nigga. I’m a hater of hoe ass niggas. I refuse to act like a hoe ass nigga is or ever was cool. I’m not mingling with a square in my atmosphere. Y’all can hee-hee with them. I’m going to the bathroom after I go outside to smoke a J.
For any of y’all reading this blog and thinking, damn – this sure took a solid left turn from the intro. That’s a fact. In the words of my guy (the great, late) Sean Price, “I’m like that.” It took me a long time to realize that I have an attitude problem, but ever since – Roll Tide! I apologize if I offend you unintentionally. I didn’t mean it. I’m a jerk. To know me is to love me, or something to that effect. If I intentionally offend you, oh well. Tough titties, but somebody gotta suck ‘em.
I’m so glad that winter is coming to an end. I need some warmth for my old bones. It didn’t get too crazy this winter, but we had a little bit of action. The week the temperature dipped into the teens was my toughest time of the winter, but once I felt that type of chill, the rest of winter was a breeze. But damn it, come 3.19, I’m kicking winter TF out like Marty Mart. Time to go, bruh. You’ve tormented us for far too long. Ease your punk ass down the damn road. Good riddance. Remember winters past when you had to smoke outdoors? That shit was treacherous. I forgot who said it, but one time someone said that you shouldn’t smoke if you can’t smoke inside during the winter. Fuck that nigga. Shut your punk ass up. If I want to smoke a J in 29-degree weather, pass me a MF lighter and a bonfire. Please and thank you.
They said they want that old Monday back. That “piss in the hole where a toilet used to be in a stall in the old GWB bus terminal” Monday. That “light his reefa up in an upscale establishment ‘by accident’” Monday. That “he got put out 20 years ago and still isn’t welcome today Monday.” But y’all aren’t ready for him. Y’all would just read in astonishment and talk about me after prayer meeting Wednesday night. Do what you must. This is for the day one aficionados. Y’all been aboard this train since the @iamdjgreen era. Yes. I’m still ig’nant. And yes, I’m still riding with y’all.
“Fuck all that! Shut yo’ bitch ass up!” What if that happened in the break room tomorrow morning while you’re over-sugaring your coffee and fighting the sleep apnea slowly corroding your body? How would you react? Would you stare in astonishment? Would you record it on your phone? Would you too swing on that bitch? Would you do all three at the same damn time? I just want to know for research purposes.
Pass me one of those left-hand cigarettes, good brother.
Please forgive me if I ever stole out of your medicine cabinet.
BLESSED EARTH DAY TO MY BROTHER NICK “BIG DAWG” BROOKS. LOVE, INFINITE. #NFL
Y’all know where the fuck to @ us.
#MNR: SING ABOUT ME
“If art is a crime may God forgive me.”
Genuine love is almost surreal. We witness and experience so much fake love that it often affects the interactions we have with those we meet in its aftermath. But when it’s real and authentic it is indelible. You and I are a half a generation apart in age. By the time I was figuring out who I was as a human, you were on your way up north on an attempted murder charge. I used to hear some of the stories about you. You got money and held shit down. And you loved to bust your ratchet. You gave the state of New York what you owed it and came home hellbent on picking up where you left off, and you did. Eastside get the money, long time no cash. You and I becoming palz was meant to be. Your family and mine fucked with each other heavy. I learned a lot from you. You loved my moxie and genuine nature. We trooped through the hundred blocks, from Spanish Harlem to Highbridge. You held me down. You made an out-of-town move with the homie and got caught up in some shit, but you returned to the hood after a few months of iron vacation. It wasn’t too much of a stretch (like I’m even qualified to say such a thing), but you weren’t able to properly attend to your health in a county jail five states away. That didn’t improve when you came home. I had no fucking idea. I’ll never forget the last call. It was after two in the AM. You told me that you were on the block and that you wanted to see me. I was on bullshit. I said I was coming down, but I was faking. It was late and my fat, lazy ass had no intentions of putting sneakers on my then edema-swollen feet and walking downstairs. I figured I’d catch up with you next time. Cousin called me three days later and broke the news. I cried so much that my boss gave me the rest of the day off and drove me to the bus stop, and the Lord knows I tried to hold the waterworks back with everything within me. I’ve never fully recovered in all the years since. I’ll never be able to make that one up to you. I apologize, my nigga. I promise to rep your name and essence until the day I am no more. Only you could leave this earth the exact same way Frank White did. How befitting. You were truly a King of New York.
You were such a beautiful soul. Your taciturn nature was the polar opposite of your big sister, yet you were just as demonstrative when necessary. You went from little sis to coworker, and children and adults alike were blessed by your presence. Little did we know that you were a talented artist, but we quickly learned. After reliability and a pleasant demeanor, the most important positive trait one can desire in a coworker is that they’re the same person each day. We don’t want to have to decipher which personality a coworker is going to display. You were the same ole D, every single day. It is imperative that I mention the difference you made in lil bro’s life. Your and his personalities meshed perfectly...fire and ice. His loquacious nature was the perfect complement to your lowkey demeanor. You two were a beautiful couple. He has always been a spark plug, but he glowed when he was with you. I knew that you suffered from an infirmity, but I guess (at the time) I was too wrapped up in my bullshit to really ponder its impact. I remember you missing work from time to time, but you always bounced back strong. Then I got the word that you passed. I was devastated. We all were devastated. But my God, I know in my heart that a piece of lil bro perished along with you. I thought of you two today. I texted him to see how he was doing. As always, he quickly flipped the script and made sure that I was ok. He’s amazing. So were you.
My biggest battles in life have always been internal. At times the glass mirror gets tough to watch. Am I a good kid from a mad city or a borderline sociopath with a good upbringing? Am I oft underappreciated and overlooked by those I love, or do I even deserve to be loved? Do I matter to anyone, or does it even matter if I’m some John Doe in a coroner’s freezer a few states away? The world has no idea how much I drift back and forth from Black king to Black trash. I know that I am somebody. But does it even matter? I don’t feel like I receive the love I give. I know I’m not a priority in anyone’s life, and that’s ok. I’m well beyond the woe is me treatment. I am at a point where I am acceptive of the ultimate letdown that life can often be. I’ve learned that being altruistic doesn’t matter to most people. I’m not disappointed in that because altruism isn’t based upon reception. I will remain selfless and help others because it’s the right thing to do as a believer. I no longer expect anyone to go the extra mile for me in any regard in life. That’s ok; no one owes me a damn thing. I do hope that the people who loved me tell my story in a proper manner when I am no more. And that’s if anyone even cares to hear it. I sincerely hope they sing about me, but I don’t expect them to.
Y’all know where the fuck to @ us.
“My whole persona’s – kind of laid back like a recliner. And since a minor, I been fucking with marijuana.”
“Top floor motel suite, twisting my cigars. Floor model TV, with the VCR.”
Good evening, friends. Welcome to tonight’s episode of Monday Night R*w, where we serve nothing but uncut truth with a side of marijuana. I’m the proprietor of this establishment, Tyrone Monday. The gentleman seated directly in the cut is my brother, CEO. Take your coat off and have a seat. Feel free to light as much satin as you wish and pass it pon de left-hand side accordingly. We promise to do the same.
There’s nothing better than smoking a J to some timeless, obscure 80s R&B. I’m talmbout “Guilty” by Yarbrough & Peoples. Y’all let your nostalgia run wild and keep it going from there. There’s this thing I do on IG. I recall obscure and/or forgotten R&B tracks from 20+ years ago and use all 60 seconds of “Story” to play an audio clip of the song. It’s all about which minute clip of the song you choose. It’s quite strategic. I use the text to tell a story about what the song means to me mixed in with the contextual history of the song. It’s one thing to know a song and to enjoy/love the song. It’s another thing to have been active when the song first hit the airwaves and had its push. That includes hearing it at cookouts, parties, clubs, in car stereos, every damn where. Back then. Back when. I try to provide context on the vibe at the time and how it relates to the enduring legacy of the song. Check me out on IG. I follow back.
I had to block my first cousin on the Gram. I love that nigga like a brother. I’m not mad at the man. He’s very successful financially. He takes care of his sons. He loves his mother. But he’s lost himself. He’s on some other shit. That’s cool. Do you, my nigga. Your opinions are your opinions. But I’m not trying to argue back and forth with you on social media, my nigga. You’ve got it. You also have my math. But as for IG...super blocked. I know you, my nigga. Ease up, selector.
I can’t lie, y’all. Popeye’s got the chicken wing game in the cobra clutch with that 6-piece garlic parmesan. Make sure they put on extra garlic parmesan sauce (pause if necessary). That sauce and spicy wing mix is the best one, two since Jason Williams and Mike Bibby. I’d steal out your auntie tip jar for the ends on a 6-piece. Crackhead junkie status. I’m low-down and dirty, but I’m not ashamed.
What a fool believes, he sees. The wise man has the power to reason away. What seems -- to be, is always better than nothing, than nothing at all. If love can come, and love can go, then why can’t love return once more? Who’s got the power? So said two wise white men.
I’m on the lookout for my baby Conya Doss. “Stay” is one of my favorite songs of the 2000s. If y’all find her, please let me know. I have some things to tell her. INSTANT UPDATE: I found her, y’all. She dropped a single last September, y’all. And she’s still fine, y’all. Yee!
I was never the one to need motivation from anyone other than myself. Self-motivation is what has fueled me throughout my life’s journey. It all boils down to desire. I want it more. I want it more and I’m going to work harder for it. I’m relentless. It belongs to me. You cannot have it. If you don’t feel that way about it/her, then why are you even making the attempt? Just get out the way. Just get out of my way.
Motivation? Look, nigga. If you don’t feel that way, don’t even worry about it. It’s not meant for you. She’s not meant for you.
My favorite high school basketball player in the class of 2024 is my guy Tahaad Pettiford, senior point guard for Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, NJ). Tahaad is a 2024 McDonald’s All-American and the ESPN 27th ranked player in the class of 2024. He’s the number 2 ranked player in the state of New Jersey and an Auburn signee. I saw him play at Kennedy in Paterson in a high school showcase. He’s the truth.
Make sure you good folk tune into the Hope Somebody’s Recording This podcast. Check it out on YouTube. Those brothers speak on relatable topics and keep it a hunnit. It’ll help you flow through your workday.
You’re on the clock, Cheesy. I’ve stayed away from politics on purpose, but ‘round ‘bout 3.25, I’m on your helmet. Until then, it’s love, peace and hair grease. I’m out through the back door. Catch me on the come-up.
tymonday.com: @tymonday on Twitter & IG
crewunb.com: @crewunB on Twitter & @theunbearablescrew on IG
#MNR: SGT MONDAY’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
“Said I left my mojo...left my mojo in my favorite suit.”
“I get by with a little help from my friends. I get high with a little help from my friends. I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.”
We’re Sgt Monday’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. We hope you will enjoy the show.
Off the jump ball, big ups to my second cousin Ursherr (Usher) Raymond and his brilliant Super Show Halftime Show performance. Big ups for bringing two of my best tenders along for the performance, my first baby mama Alicia 88 Keys and my newest tender, H.E.R. My boy sang live and bust all his famous dance moves. He definitely freaked it in skates. Salute to the punk ass NFL for putting a real one from my era on the halftime show. I knew won’t no way in hell my favorite Ursherr song was going to be performed during the show, so I’m going to shout out “Seduction” just ‘cause. That’s my shit.
Big ups to Fat Andy for his third Super Bowl ring. It’s been a good minute since an NFL team went back-to-back. Reid is my favorite Eagles coach ever; I’ll always big up my guy. Patrick Mahomes is officially the baby GOAT. Three ‘ships at 28 is crazy. Magic/Jeter/Brady type shit. Congratulations to the Chiefs. Fly Eagles Fly!
Kobe/Yogi/Russell type shit. Bossy/Jackson/Messi type shit. RIP to Bill Russell, Lawrence Peter Berra and Mike Bossy. My hockey enthusiasts know who Mike Bossy was. The Jackson is Reginald Martinez. There is only one Reggie. And there was certainly only one Yogi.
Tell me an album is iconic without telling me it’s iconic. Bet. You don’t listen to the album until you’re into your 40s, but when you do, you realize that throughout your life you’ve heard lyrics and melodies from several songs off the album in advertising and sampled in music from other genres.
I feel that Season 3 of Raising Kanan is the best of the series thus far. For full context, I don’t watch anything else in the Power universe. I only watch Que’s boy (IYKYK). I had an immediate affinity for Raising Kanan because 1992 was my freshman year of high school. It’s the clothes, the music, the culture. It was the time when I began to figure out who I am. I like the writing. The characters are well-developed and show layers. Everything revolves around Kanan. We see where his cold nature comes from; Raquel is a southside Jamaica, Queens monster. These three seasons have shown Kanan’s descent into the southside underworld. Jukebox is easily my favorite character. She’s the perfect blend of Thomas family virtues, some good, some bad. Marvin and Lou are the heart and soul of the cast. I love Marvin’s character arc. Unique is...unique. I shalt not droppeth any spoiler alerts. There are still some who aren’t current in their viewing. If you aren’t caught up, catch up. If you’re still sleeping, wake TF up and tune into the series immechiately. Peace to the entire Southside, from Baisley to Guy Brewer.
It is imperative that I take the time to properly acknowledge Black History Month. As a scholar of contextual United States history as well as one who is well acquainted with the U.S. Constitution, I feel that BHM is more than the amazing figures who have uplifted and edified our race and culture. It is also about contextual history, in all its ugliness. It is about our plight, struggle and triumphs. It is about never forgetting from whence we came, from Mother Africa to the shores of the Atlantic in shackles and chains in 1619 to present day. It’s about everything we’ve endured in between. It’s about all of us. All of it is Black History. You see it every day. You see it in yourselves. You live it. People love to talk about the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, and rightfully so. It was an amazing team effort that showed our moxie and resiliency. But many don’t realize that the boycott lasted exactly 12.5 months, from 12.5.1955-12.20.1956. Few today even know or take the time to consider what it was like to not use the only mode of transportation that would take you to work for over a year. The sacrifice. The struggle. All 381 days. Every single day of that boycott was Black History, not just the first and the last. The triumph is the pinnacle, but the struggle is the essence. Black. History.
Reaching the mountain top is the prize, but the journey to it is the glory.
Stephen A., please stop simping for these pilgrims. That Clark Kent shit is not it. It’s nasty work. This Megyn Kelly shit isn’t the first incident. Just stay out of the discussion if you aren’t properly informed. That bitch has a history of saying bigoted shit. That bitch is a racist. Fuck outta here. I don’t know what it is that makes you run to the defense of a bigoted, ignorant pilgrim, but get that shit the fuck outta here. Expeditiously.
And for all you bigoted, racist ass fuck boys and punk bitches who talk that dumb shit every time “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is performed at a major sporting event, let me enlighten you on a couple of things real quick. The song was written in late 1899 by the brilliant James Weldon Johnson. At the time, Black America was already 20 years deep in Jim Crow segregation. We fought for 250 years for our freedom, only to have it stripped after the 1876 presidential election between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden. Hayes sold Blacks out to the Dixiecrats in exchange for their presidential backing. In return, Hayes guaranteed that the federal government would turn a complete blind eye to whatever the Dixiecrats wanted to do with Blacks. The result was the Great Compromise of 1877, which led to the dismantling of Reconstruction and inception of Jim Crow. We went through damn near a century of Jim Crow until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That song meant hope in a time when we were still being openly lynched. Still deprived of our civil rights. A time when our intellectual elite couldn’t attend “white” institutions of higher learning. The song wasn’t written in 2020. Its history is long and deep. Fuck off. You troglodytes make it easy to...
Anyway...do some fucking research, you ignorant snow roaches.
Peace to all the lovers out there. Wednesday is your day. I can’t hate. Show her how much you care. Send him your love – with some new Apple headphones/pods/whatever. Take her out. Take him out. Buy her chocolate. Buy him kush. It’s that special time of year, baby. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Meanwhile, I’ll have some Bobby Womack playing while a Raw cone of kush takes away all the troubles of the day.
tymonday.com: @tymonday on Twitter & IG
crewunb.com: @crewunB on Twitter & @theunbearablescrew on IG
“All I need...You know just what I want, so do I.”
“Niggas chased my uncle down. Through God’s grace, the gun jammed. I found comfort in his pleasure, meaning I slept the best through gun sounds.”
“You gon die if they say you touched me. Got used to tucking this iron, but lions will never play with monkeys.”
Benny the Butcher
“I’m a cowboy. On a steel horse I ride. I’m wanted (wanted). Dead or alive.”
Jon Bon Jovi
My current favorite song on earth is “Show Me the Money” by Snakeships and Tkay Maidza. That is all.
I’m from an era when you had to be precise from head to toe to step out of the house. For example, never have I or would I ever make a trip to the bodega in dirty or flimsy clothing. That’s non-cipher. Pure nasty work. I’m not attending the function without a fresh hairline. I refuse to. If the cologne isn’t foreign, I’ll accept it graciously and give it to one of my students when I remember to bring it to work. Strictly foreign. I move a certain way. I always have. I always will.
As a portly gentleman and card-carrying member of Fat Niggas of America, it troubles me to see some of my hefty brothers outside in these streets looking extra nasty: stained shirt, dingy sweats, untied cooked sneakers with the tongue flopping, and ashy from lips to elbows. I won’t even mention the natural (hair). From what I see in the movies, niggas in the ‘70s did not get clipper/razor hairlines from their barbers. They just let the natural hairline flow. That doesn’t work for me in regard to every male who has existed since Roger and Dwayne from What’s Happening!! It troubles my spirit when I see my big brothers guilty of all the above at the same damn time. But it’s possible to change the course. They can reclaim their dignity. It is possible. I’m rooting for them. If you know any brothers in need of some good advice, refer them to this blog.
Fresh is the minimum, the tags don’t matter. From thrift store shoppers to couture tag poppers, it makes no difference as long as you’re proper. As a fat nigga, I face certain challenges that regular body types don’t have to worry about. For twenty years, all the mall has meant to me is Wetzel Pretzel and cologne shopping. The couture boutiques don’t have my size. Neither do the department stores. Ditto for shoe stores. Online shopping made that issue semi-irrelevant. Sure, I can (and do) shop online, but I lack the ability to try things on before I make a purchase. That doesn’t matter when it comes to Polo or Nike because I know how their products fit my body. I’ve spent more than enough paper over a long enough period of time to know. But still...it ain’t easy.
So, basically, all I’m saying is, shouts out to me for being the flyest fat nigga alive. I’m 51 pounds down, and comfortable in an NHL authentic over the tech hoodie. And yes. My Nikes still match my Lo hat. Q-Tip is quite proud of me. I know a kid who was 15 with about 15 pairs of Mike Amiri jeans. He was a fly little nigga. He still is. Ain’t no damn way I’m owning 10-20 of any type of clothing that on the low-end costs $800. But that’s his thing. I do what I do. As an early adolescent, I thought Grand Puba was the flyest nigga ever. He introduced me to Girbaud jeans a half-decade before Cash Money made its affinity for the brand known. He was one of the first to rock Lo and Hilfiger, a couple of years before they exploded onto the scene. For full context, the Lo Life crew (IYKYK) put Polo on the map for NYC Black culture, so I’m not trying to misappropriate credit. I didn’t know about the Lo Life movement back then. I knew who Puba was. He set the standard.
Ever since, my goal has always been the three C’s: clean, comfortable and consistent. Clean is the first and most important aspect of being fresh, as they are literal synonyms. It doesn’t matter how fly your clothes are if they’re dirty. If you have to wear clothes to the point that they are a bit dingy, you are not fresh. Get your dirty ass the fuck up outta here and wash your shit. Make sure you wash your ass, too. Change your drawz. Comfortability is paramount. Wear what fits. It doesn’t matter if it’s snug, as long as it fits. I’m a fat nigga who refuses to wear loose, floppy ass clothing. At the same time, I’m not spilling out of my clothing. I’m nice and comfortable. Last is consistency. You must have an extensive wardrobe to be fresh. You can’t be caught out in these streets OR on Instagram regularly wearing the same four outfits. Perhaps the greatest tweet (amongst so many) I’ve ever read was from a Nubian queen who proclaimed that she’d never let a nigga with three outfits hurt her feelings. I cried for about a half-hour. But she was deadass serious AND on point. You ain’t got no clothes, a close relative of baby girl’s declaration, is one of the funniest live-action disses I’ve ever heard. Don’t ever open your broke ass mouth to talk shit to me if you wore the same pair of kix more than once this week. I don’t care if it’s work, going to the Wal Mart, taking your lady out to eat, or whatever. This vitriol is directed towards fake fly niggas, not humble, everyday people. Ain’t a damn thing wrong with wearing the same pair of shoes to work or wherever you go. We are thankful for shoes on our feet. My angst is directed toward fake fly niggas. Don’t embarrass yourself by talking that fly shit. We know your kick collection is way under 25. Way under. Way, way under. And take your dirty ass coat to the cleaners. And please buy another coat.
You can buy the whole store, but they don’t sell swag. I believe it was Jewelz Santana who said something to that effect. He was absolutely correct. It doesn’t matter how much you spent if your swagger is on zero. The term hype beast is nasty work. I hate seeing a duck ass MF on the internet with thousands of dollars of shit on while simultaneously looking like a got damn joke. Go sit your lame ass down somewhere. You look extra stupid. Like I said, the price on the tag doesn’t mean a thing. Keep the three Cs in perspective and do your own thing. We all have our own style. There’s nothing wrong with seeing someone wearing something and liking what you see. Just make sure that you add your own flair to it if you want to emulate what you see. Looking like a carbon copy of someone else is a technical foul. Hop off. It’s nasty work.
Big ups to all my ladies and my folk who get fresh at all times. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
I couldn’t imagine my theme music being anything other than a jazz piece with a trumpet solo. It would be neither happy nor sad; it would just be. Just close your eyes and listen to the sound of the trumpet. As soon as you relax and exhale...there I am.
And we are...world, world, world famous.
CONGRATS TO MY SUN CHRIS MARTE. HE'S D-1 BOUND. I'M NOW A COPPIN STATE BASEBALL FAN.
RIP SAROYA JOHNSON
tymonday.com: @tymonday on Twitter & IG
crewunb.com: @crewunB on Twitter & @theunbearablescrew on IG
#MNR: ANGRY SMURF
“Slide down 2-fifth, nigga I’m to the #eastside.”
People who know me casually or in a professional manner would probably tell you that I, Ty Thompson, am a benevolent and gregarious human being. They would be correct. I am both benevolent and gregarious. Those same people would probably go a step further and insist that I am a teddy bear. They would again be correct, but only partially. I am a teddy bear – half teddy. I love unconditionally. I always treat my ladies like the queens they are. I never call them out of their name or speak in a condescending manner. Never in this life would I lay a hand on them in a manner that isn’t loving. I treat my niggas like the brothers they are. I don’t disrespect, emasculate, or belittle them. I don’t make moves on their old ladies. I treat their girls as my sisters. What they don’t know is that the other half is all grizzly. 8’6”, 625 pounds. I can run up to 35 mph, I can decapitate you with a single swing from my mitt with razor-sharp claw attachments. I can climb a tree to come get your dumb ass, or I can just shake that bitch until your silly ass falls to the earth and I decimate you.
Yeah. That’s me. Ty Grizzly. I have an attitude problem. It rarely makes an appearance, but when it does, it can get late early. It mostly rears its head in public interactions with transit operators, stupid ass humans, and other MF of the like. I don’t carry a firearm. I am not Michael Jai White or one of those MMA niggas. I am me. I’m with the shits and I haven’t been scared since Spring 1995. I don’t start shit, but I am a willing participant in any associated fuckery.
I’m lying like a MF. Sometimes I’m the Firestarter.
I have no regret or empathy if I feel I’ve been slighted or violated. It is what it is, and it’s up ‘til it’s stuck. Anytime it’s fuck me, it’s ALWAYS fuck you. That’s the way it has to be. There’s no love outside, just ugly. I’d rather be the aggressor than the pussy. I’m no Tough Tony. I am very aware that there are men walking these streets who have the fighting acumen to hurt my entire frame. I’ve never been a dumb nigga. I certainly would never walk into certain death. But disrespect is disrespect. And even if you are one of those MMA niggas, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Patience. I’ll see you eventually, but you won’t see me coming. I’m the type of nigga to be posted by your down-low weed spot. Surprise...
Calm down, Monday. You’re scaring the casuals.
Ok. Allow me to reapproach. I meant everything I’ve said thus far, but I’d like to speak on the time(s) I’m not satisfied with my grizzly attitude. I’m noticing that I tend to have a high level of hostility when I’m aboard transit. I know we are all in proximity, and I respect that aspect of transit. I hate it when others aren’t respectful of my bubble. Watch your fucking step. The last time I was in the X, an African man on the BX40 smooth stepped on my London grey Vapormax...and left a black smudge. I almost had a Fred Sanford (IYKYK). That MF is lucky that 1) he had his daughter with him 2) he was exiting the bus 3) I didn’t feel like paying another fare, as I am seemingly the only slow MF in NYC who pays to ride the fucking transit buses. I could be lying, but I swear I saw a Baptist pastor steal a fare on the BX35 the last time I rode that dirty MF. I wasn’t mad at him; so does everyone else. Everyone except me, apparently. GET BACK TO THE DAMN TOPIC, MONDAY. My bad, y’all. I was having too much fun. All jokes aside, I was going to see ‘bout that acorn-headed bastard. Through the blessings of God (and the repellant spray I use for all new kix) the smudge simply wiped off. NO MONDAY, THE OTHER POINT. THE ONE ABOUT NOT BEING SATISFIED WITH YOUR PISSY ATTITUDE. Oh yeah. Tonight, I wiled up an [CENSORED TO AVOID HATE CRIME SPECULATION] man on the 166T because I felt that he should have chosen another seat. Yeah, I was that type of shitty today. Today was one of those. That man just wanted to sit down like everyone else. I only paid for one fare. The nerve of you, Monday. You need to calm that dumb shit down, good brother. You’re better than that. I know, I know. I have my reasons for feeling the way I initially felt, but they are not a collective excuse to be an asshole. Like I said, the good vitriol is great, but pissy vitriol and shitty actions are bad. Really bad. Like Aeon Flux bad. And I’m not talking about the animated series. I’m talmbout the 2005 film with Charlize Theron.
We cannot allow fuckery at any level. I have to level up when it comes to transit hostility or any time I’m on my bullshit for no rational reason. I’m as wrong as two right shoes for my actions, but I just don’t like most of yous.
What? I’m not going to lie for the sake of making it seem like my contrition borders on amazing. Ignore the benevolence and gregarious nature. I don’t like most people. I am that I am. Don’t step on my feet without an earnest apology or violate my bubble and we’re chilly cool-cool. And oh yeah...if I board the bus and I have a 3-zone pass, bitch don’t ask me where TF I’m going. I’m going home, you idiot. Ask the [CENSORED] where they’re going.
Before y’all execute me, asking where I’m going implies that I’m stealing a fare. I’m not a thief. I don’t like the karma.
Even if you do execute me, I said what TF I said. If you don’t like it, send a CashApp and leave the reason why in the note. $TyMonday$. Please and thank you.
Crew niggas to the exit, we out.
tymonday.com: @tymonday on Twitter & IG
crewunb.com: @crewunB on Twitter & @theunbearablescrew on IG
TIME TO CASH OUT
By Ty Thompson
Brian McGuire Cashman has been the general manager of the New York Yankees since the organization’s mythical season of 1998, when they went 114-48 and cruised to a World Series title. ’98 would be the first of three consecutive world championships, giving the team the distinction of being the last to three-peat in Major League Baseball. Going three for three to begin one’s career as a GM is more than noteworthy. It’s historic. It immediately made Cashman the premier GM in all of sports. Oh yeah. There’s just one caveat: it’s imperative to mention that that team was built by the great Gene “Stick” Michael and Bob Watson. Michael, during the time in the early ‘90s when former owner George Steinbrenner was exiled from the team and MLB for unscrupulous actions, built the Core Four of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte.
Cashman has one World Series all to himself, winning the Fall Classic in 2009. Even then, the Core Four were still vital parts of the well-oiled engine. Pettitte returned for a second run after spending time in Houston while The Captain, “Jorgie” and “Sandman” remained stalwarts for the club. Cashman’s footprint was certainly evident, as key players Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Hideki Matsui (World Series MVP), Mark Teixeira and fan favorite Johnny Damon became Yankees during Cashman’s tenure. The team’s starting second baseman Robinson Cano, before his performance-enhancing fall from grace, was poised to eventually join his namesake in Cooperstown. Cano was perhaps Cashman’s greatest prospect before Aaron Judge, signing with the organization as an amateur free agent in 2001.
2009 is far in the rearview of Yankees lore. The Yankees failed to win a World Series in the 2010s, marking the first decade in a century that the Yankees didn’t hoist the trophy at least once. The 2020s haven’t exactly been a beacon of hope thus far. Large payrolls and lofty expectations have not equaled ultimate success. The New York Yankees, the most valuable franchise in baseball according to Forbes at $7.1B, struggled to escape the cellar of the AL East of 2023. They finished 19 games behind division winner Baltimore, and it took a 17-10 September to (barely) finish above .500 at 82-80. The organization ended up missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016, posting its worst record since the nascent days of the Michael rebuild in 1992. Just a year prior, Judge and his record-breaking MVP effort led the team to a division title before eventually being swept by the World Series champion (and hated) Astros in the ALCS. Even the most positive of Yankees fans (if you can find one) have struggled with morale the past decade or so. The glory days of ’09 might as well be centuries ago in the Bronx. Sure, this was only the first time since ’16 that the Yankees missed the playoffs. That’s not bad at all for about 29 clubs. But not at 161st St and River Avenue, #BXNYC, in the house that The Boss built. In there, it’s all about #28.
In the land of the YES Network, it’s easy to place blame at the foot of Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees owner and son of George. “The Boss is rolling over in his grave!” some say. True Yankees fans long in the tooth are quick to remind the forgetful that The Boss would have made any and every move possible to return the World Series trophy to its most acquainted home. That perhaps was the greatest aspect of Steinbrenner’s allure to the fans. He may have been (and certainly was) overzealous at times, but every fan knew the best interest of the team was always his only objective. There was no price too heavy to prevent The Boss from pulling his checkbook out. Fans just don’t see the same thing these days. Many are quick to point out that megastars like Justin Verlander, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and currently Juan Soto have been available to be fitted for pinstripes over the past few seasons, but “budgetary strategy” has prevented such measures. Almost all that resentment is aimed at Hal. But further analysis may serve as defense for Hal and increased scrutiny for Cash.
The 2023 Yankees were $55M over the luxury tax threshold, second in MLB to their interborough rival Mets, whose season didn’t quite go as intended either. The Dodgers and Red Sox, two franchises with hefty purses and world championships in the past calendar decade, spent less on team payroll than the Yankees. Their number two ranking obviously means that they outspent both 2023 World Series participants (and everyone else in the 2023 Postseason). So, if Hal isn’t quite the pinchpenny Yankees fans paint him out to be, then what is the problem? Better, who is the problem?
It's Cashman, and it’s time for Cash to go. It’s time for the Yankees to cash out.
The simple reality that the Yankees organization faces is that Cash has had far too many misses and not enough hits the past decade. Bringing Gerrit Cole into the fold and re-signing him long term (9 years/$324M) was a hit. Cole has been a steady #1 since he joined the staff rotation and may walk away with some hardware this season. Despite pushback from a few social media general managers across Yankees Nation, Cash did what had to be done in giving Judge a huge (9 years/$360M) re-up. Cool. The problem lies within the misses. There have been quite a few over the years. Let’s tailor the focus to the past year or so.
The first miss came on August 1, 2022, when Cash made a trade with Oakland that brought RHP Frankie Montas to the X. The move looked to be more reactionary than strategic, as Bleacher Creatures were seething over Cash’s inability to land elite and available RHP Luis Castillo. The Reds were looking to move him, and everyone in the sport knew it. He and Cole could have possibly been the best 1,2 punch in the game. Cashman passed and Seattle pounced on the opportunity. Official hindsight from the Monday Morning Quarterbacks Club shows that Castillo was an all-star for the second consecutive season. Montas missed most of 2023 with injuries after an underwhelming performance with the Yanks in ’22. Bummer. After a solid whiff on the first swing, there’s only one thing to do as a perfect follow-up: whiff again.
A day after the Montas deal, Cashman, apparently disenchanted with the idea of having two quality lefties pitch in front of the short porch in right field, made the decision to trade Jeff Montgomery to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader. Cash was eager to bring a solid CF to the team after finally atoning for the reality that the Aaron Hicks signing was yet another disastrous acquisition. Apparently, the potential of the young CF was more than enough to trade a solid southpaw amidst his prime. The Yankees CF of the future lasted exactly one year before being waived on August 29. Yes, waived. And as for Monty? How did things work out for him? Well, after a cup of tea with the Cardinals, he was traded to the Rangers. He started Game 2 of the 2023 World Series. He won a ring. Cashman essentially gave him away for nothing. Good morning, good afternoon...
The Yankees entered the 2022 Winter Meetings determined to reel in a big-time arm to bolster the rotation. Cole was Cole. Nester Cortes was the toast of the town, going 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA and earning an all-star selection. Things got a bit muddy from there, as the injury bug had bitten Luis Severino once again and Domingo Germán struggled as a starter. With that in mind, Cashman cast his line into the free agency pool and reeled in LHP Carlos Rodón for 6 years/$162M. Rodón was supposed to be the final piece of the puzzle. He was tough as nails against the Astros lineup, holding them to 2 or less runs every start of his career before becoming a Yankee. Unfortunately, injuries (a motif in Rodón’s career) limited him to just 14 games started. He went 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA in 54.1 IP. But hey, at least he did eke out a 5 inning win versus the Astros in early September when the Yankees were a light year out of first and battling with Boston to see who’d inhabit the basement of the AL East.
Goodnight. That’s a whiff and a punchout.
Brian Cashman has rested on the glories of days past for far too long now. The abject debacle of 2023 only exacerbated things. Children born the last couple months of 2009 will enter high school next fall without the Yankees having won a World Series in their lifetimes. Perhaps this kind of mediocrity would fly in a mid-market city with a championship or two to its credit, but not in New York. It doesn’t matter how defiant Cashman sounds in expletive-laced tirades at MLB GM Meetings. The proof is in the Yankees’ lack of success the past decade-and-a-half. The Yankees need new direction in the front office.
It's time for the Yankees to Cash out.
Cot’s Baseball Contracts
THE KYRIE CONUNDRUM
By Ty Thompson
Originally posted on #MNR blog, January 30, 2021
#MNR: The Kyrie Conundrum
Picture it: Jersey, 2009 (Sophia Petrillo from Golden Girls voice). This fairly new phenomenon called YouTube was still in its nascent stages, for the most part, so even with the internet having been in full swing for some time, the high school baller mixtapes were yet to be superfluous. Still, legend of this brilliant young point guard from St. Patrick High School & Academy (Elizabeth, NJ) made its way up the turnpike and into my ears. They said he could handle the pill like Rod Strickland and shoot it like Chris Jackson (IYKYK). I had to see for myself, of course, so I began to do my research. He stood about six feet tall at the time. His pops was a baller as well, a #BXNYC native. The word was that his team was the best thing cooking in Jerz, from Bergen County to Camden. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the kid’s name was/is Kyrie Irving.
Kyrie, a sixteen-year-old junior at the time, ran the show for the eventual state sectional, group, and Tournament of Champions (New Jersey’s outright state champion) winner. The team included future North Carolina guard Dexter Strickland and future Kentucky forward and NBA vet Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. They were coached by Kevin Boyle, who now coaches the NBA factory disguised as a prep school in Florida, Montverde Academy. They were the talk of North Jersey.
Around the same time, I’d just begun to work for a local newspaper, the now defunct Examiner.com, based in Newark. My work consisted of writing freelance sports articles. Kyrie was my first piece of copy. I’d like to think that I introduced the phenom we now know to some…who gives a shit? But, for the record, he is everything I said he’d become. He’s one of the best basketball players on this planet. He was a McDonalds and Jordan Brand Classic All-American, five-star recruit to Duke, and the first pick of the 2011 NBA Draft. He’s a perennial all-star, NBA champion, and Olympic gold medalist. His chop game (handles) is a step above A-1 (and A.I.). He’s the best below the rim finisher in the sport…ever. He’s everything I thought he would be, and then some. But no one’s perfect.
As I recall, word of Kyrie’s “diva” mentality began to surface the season after he won the whole damn thing alongside King James, Kevin Love, J.R. Spliff (respectfully), and a few other soldiers (2016 Champions). The scoop was Kyrie did not want to play second fiddle, bride’s maid, or Harold Melvin after Teddy P. moved from the drum set to lead vocals. He felt he was just as good as Lebron. I mean, he did hit the eventual game seven winner to seal the first championship in Cleveland Cavaliers history. He did have a lights-out series. He did cement himself as a top-notch assassin. But in his heart, he felt it was time to be THE man. Fuck that Robin/sidekick shit. So, he departed Cleveland via trade for Boston (I had to pause cuz I just vomited a bit thinking about the Celtics). He said he planned to sign the re-up and remain a Celtic when the time came. Not quite. Injury kept Kyrie from fully competing down the stretch in the 2019 Playoffs. To the surprise of many, the Celtics, led by rookies Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown, made a spirited run to the Eastern Conference Final…WITHOUT KYRIE for most of the second round and the entire conference final. The whispers began to become audible. This was Kyrie’s third significant injury and Kyrie was injury prone, so it seemed. There were rumors that the locker room was a better environment without him. Cool. Kyrie took it in stride. He also took his ass to Brooklyn to play alongside former NBA MVP and fellow champion Kevin Durant, who also arrived in Kings County, NY via free agency. And here we are…
The Nets headlines should have been thoroughly dominated by news of the James Harden trade and how Brooklyn now had the most lethal scoring trio since the Big 3 in Miami, Agent Zero, Antawn (Twon) Jamison, and Caron Butler in D.C., and Run-TMC in Oakland (Golden State). However, it was forced to share the headlines alongside coverage of Kyrie’s sabbatical from the team. Kyrie said it was to deal with personal and family issues. I will not ever question a man who states the need for a step away from work to tend to family business. Family business is always paramount. This step away came amidst reports that his head coach Steve Nash was informed a mere half hour before the game. Yikes. Furthermore, Kyrie was later seen on camera at his sister Asia’s birthday celebration – unmasked, breaking NBA COVID protocol. The cement truck seemed to have sealed the deal when Kyrie’s teleconference with NBA reporters from a couple days ago began to be scrutinized. Kyrie basically brushed off questions about his actions and mental state. He did mention that he’d spoken to his teammates collectively and individually, made his peace with them, and was ready to move on as a unit. But for many, the interview concluded with little resolve regarding how he planned to move for the duration of the season.
Before I even clicked on the YouTube segment, the major thing that I noticed from the still frame of Kyrie’s interview was his disposition. He did the entire interview with his chin rested on folded arms, denoting boredom and defensiveness. It didn’t take much to see that. Kyrie was totally disinterested in the interview, as usual. This type of attitude coming from Kyrie is nothing new. People say that he feels that he’s always the smartest person in the room, whether physically or virtually. Shit, I can’t blame him. That’s usually how I feel. And both of us are usually correct. There’s my rationale for his apparent boredom. But during the Zoom, Kyrie did disclose that he’s got personal issues going on at the moment. That’s what I took from his expression in addition to his general apathy. I feel like there’s a lot more to this than we outsiders have been privy to. But who knows?
My only beef with Kyrie (other than breaking COVID protocol) was him waiting until a half a damn hour before tip-off before notifying coach of his absence. That really doesn’t work for 99% of us. Now, that’s not the reason for my ire. Shit, if you can get away with that type of fuckery on the job I lowkey Stan you. I just don’t like the message it sends to the babies out there that want to be just like #11 one day. I don’t want them to think that this type of business is square business. That type of mentality will prevent you from making it to the A or anywhere in life. But that’s not the focus. I want to speak on Kyrie’s mental health.
I’m not a healthcare professional. I have no formal training in psychology or psychiatry. I don’t even know which of the two is most apt in this discussion. But I do know enough to know that none of us should cast judgement on Kyrie’s mental state without being licensed professionals or without knowing everything that’s involved with the matter. Having said that, I’m going to speak for a moment on mental health and anxiety, as pertaining to the 1%.
For some reason, a substantial number of Americans feel that financial wealth directly correlates to positive mental health. If no one’s told you, IT DOES NOT. Mental health could give two fucks about a bank account or net worth. If that were the case, then why did greats such as Robin Williams or Kurt Cobain take their own lives? Both were rich, yet there was still enough torment in their souls to lead them to their own demise. Exhibit A:
BY EDWARD ARLINGTON ROBINSON
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich—yes, richer than a king--
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Anxiety is no joke. Anxiety does not discriminate. Anxiety has no regard for social status or wealth. Please don’t look at Kyrie and dismiss whatever he’s going through because he’s worth tens of millions of dollars (and a bit quirky). That doesn’t matter. When his soul is troubled, he’s no different from you and I, other than his ability to retain top tier mental health professionals to properly diagnose and treat his condition. The world would immediately be a much better place if we had true compassion for others, physically and emotionally. Age, gender, race, religion, politics, and socioeconomic status mean nothing in the face of anxiety and/or depression. Sure, Kyrie can afford the best mental health care, but you and I are too covered through insurance (Medicaid as well). Pay that damn copay and talk about it with a professional. I always ask naysayers this: if your arm is broken, you'd have to have it treated and repaired, correct? Mental health is the same way. It may in fact be more serious. Why? Well, at least we can see that our arm is broken and the general extent of the damage. The heart and mind are much different. Prayers up for Kyrie. Salute to my favorite NBA ball player. I pray he’ll be ok. I’m still holding him accountable for his failure to properly notify his coach of his absence and potentially putting his team in peril for breaking COVID restrictions, but I refuse to dog him for his time missed. I joked on Twitter that Kyrie is a part-time ball player. The reality is that I shouldn’t have done that. I have no idea what he’s going through. No one does except Kyrie. Think about that the next time you dog him or anyone else prematurely.
My final word is for my fellow Black men. Mental health deficiencies ARE NOT signs of weakness. Anxiety and/or depression DO NOT make you soft. The opposite is true, if you properly address your issues. Mental health is the other half of physical health, body AND mind. And health is wealth. Addressing your mental issues makes you stronger. It also breaks the vicious chain that could potentially harm your offspring and future generations. I can only use myself as an example. Take it from a guy who felt like offing himself about a decade ago. I never showed it. Few knew. Thankfully, CEO and my sis Rycki Waldeck had my back. From there it was on me. It’s been a journey, but I’m in a good place. I’d like to thank Dr. Sharon Bernstein as well. It may take a village to deal with your mental health issues. Don’t fight in silence. Confide in someone. Let them know how you feel. Seek help. In the words of a wise man, knowing that you’re weak is when you’re really being strong (Common is said wise man). God bless. God bless Kyrie.
I’m still rooting for you, young fella. You’re still my favorite.
#MNR: DELTA CRIMSON 5.0
“Aye do your MF dance, nigga. I hope this pistol don’t fall up out my pants, nigga.”
“Some beef is everlasting.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said that he would never support Palestinians being given their own state, even though he has spoken about its possibility multiple times in the past. Ardent readers of this blog know which side I’m with on this one. It is what it is. But tonight, I simply want to convey the horror of what it sounds like when mankind can’t be reasonable. It’s harrowing to hear, irrespective of a man’s title or socioeconomic status. It’s downright frightening to know that these words come from the leader of a nation. Humanity must be paramount in this situation. The facts are that, after 1,200 of your citizens were taken hostage (many having other heinous crimes committed upon them) by the terrorist group Hamas, you have proceeded to kill over 25K innocent civilians. This is tantamount to war crimes in my opinion. It is imperative that I state that although the official number of Palestinian deaths is around 25K, some have said that the total is as much as double that. That’s pure speculation, but it must be stated. Why? Simple. No one believes stats. I don’t believe the UCR (Uniform Crime Report) – ever, and that’s on this side of the Atlantic. I said that to say that I damn sure don’t believe the numbers I’m hearing out of Gaza. You have bombed the bit of land those folk had. There’s nothing of worth left for them to return to, only rubble and cement-filled water pipes. I searched and searched for the number of Palestinian refugees displaced by the current Israeli/Hamas conflict, but I quickly learned that the associated numbers are a cumulative number beginning with the 1948 war (around Israel’s creation) through the 1967 Mideast war until now. That cumulative number is upwards of 6M refugees. I’ve stated in blogs before that this conflict precedes biblical times. Now, please take a moment to revisit the second quote of tonight’s #MNR. God bless Palestine.
We all know that you’re unpopular amongst your own people, Netanyahu. I’m merely a sideline analyst. It is what it is. But the good book told me, “For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged...”
P.S. – Hamas told the press this morning that, in light of Netanyahu’s decision, the remaining 1,200 hostages will never be released. That means that ole boy is going to try his best to exterminate the majority of Palestinians. I smell genocide in the air.
I try to stay out of politics on here as much as possible. I love politics. I love discourse. I can do this shit all day. But politics can be divisive. Politics can make enemies of friends and family. I don’t give a fuck who you vote for or who you affiliate yourself with. That’s your choice. My only goal is to bring truth and pragmatism to political discourse. Don’t talk about who you don’t like because of some shit you heard on The Shade Room. I don’t care what you saw on the Twitter. Give me discourse rooted in fact. There can only be common ground when fact is present. Otherwise, common ground is impossible.
I’ve heard so many stories about Illmatic since it was released in 1994.
SIDENOTE: THIS MICROSOFT WORD SPELL CHECK DOESN’T RECOGNIZE SHIT BUT IT RECOGNIZED ILLMATIC. RESPECT.
Err umm, like I said. I’ve heard so many stories about Illmatic over the years, including plenty of myths. As the seminal work of art nears its 30th year of existence, I’ve learned that a lot of the myths weren’t mythical at all. Many were fact. But of all the stories I’ve heard about Illmatic, my favorite story is about why his father Olu Dara chose to play the legendary notes he played at the end of “Life’s a Bitch,” the source of the definitive bars of my lifetime. Olu asked his boy what he wanted him to do on the song. Nas simply replied to play something that reminded Olu of Nas and Jungle’s (his younger brother) childhood. The rest is history. Legendary history.
I had a whole piece I wanted to write about my bond with my mom at a particular moment in time when I was a little one, but I don’t feel I can sufficiently convey its joy. All I can say is that it’s where my mind goes when I listen to Olu play the cornet at the end of the song. That’s my best and most indelible memory. I wasn’t ever afraid of Metropolis because I had Superwoman. RIP to Shareon and all the real ones in heaven. God bless all of us stuck down here trying our best to endure and navigate.
I was always the type to dance with the girl I brought to the party. When it was over, I walked her home. Fuck all the others. It was all about her. I never had a problem picking a side; I always sided with the real. I never switched up. I stuck with the side I was always on. If one of us can’t get in, fuck you and your house or venue. We out. If you’re down for me, I will eternally ride for you. It’s not difficult. If you don’t fuck with us, step the fuck off. I’m not much for fair-weather friends or frenemies. A lot of you hoe ass niggas and trifling bitches switch up with the frequency I bathe and switch up my Polo drawz (twice a day, bitch). I don’t fuck with y’all. Eat a dick.
A Delta crimson Mustang 5.0 was my mother’s favorite vehicle around that particular moment in time. I believe it was the 1985 edition. She always rented it when we traveled to South Boston to see family. I’m going to get one and paint it Delta crimson, and switch the interior out to cream leather. Just for her.
Shoutout to my ace and all this Black culture and fuckery we enjoy.
“And I switched my motto. Instead of fuck tomorrow, that buck that bottle coulda struck the lotto” are the definitive bars of my lifetime.
Aye yo CEO, take us the fuck outta here.
tymonday.com: @tymonday on Twitter & IG
crewunb.com: @crewunB on Twitter & @theunbearablescrew on IG
“He set my mind free, so my mind free at last.”
I’ve always been fascinated by individuals who took the road less traveled and risked their lives for others, even though they didn’t have to. My favorite biblical figure is Moses. Why? Because Moses was the right hand to the king of Egypt. They were raised together. Moses could have played his part and been the second most powerful man in Egypt. But Moses said fuck that. I know from whence I came, and I choose to lead my people through the wilderness. Hebrews 11:24-29 tells the story in brevity. Hebrews 11 is my favorite chapter in the Bible; I tatted it on my right forearm. It’s my favorite chapter because it details acts of faith throughout the Old Testament. Moses’ story always intrigued me because he seemingly gave up everything, but for righteousness’ sake. “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25). That’s deep. I’m that type of believer. I ride and die for mine.
Martin Luther King, Jr. could have Cadillac’d his way to a calm and peaceful life. He was the son of a preacher man who pastored a thriving urban Black church, Ebenezer Baptist. He was sent to university to study: Morehouse College (BA), Crozer Theological Seminary (BDiv) & Boston University (PhD). He didn’t attend either of the three on a United Negro College Fund scholarship. Jr. could have patiently sat beside Sr. in the pulpit and waited for his time to come. He would have made a good living and been out the way. But that wasn’t Dr. King’s road to travel. He settled in Montgomery and ran Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. He led the Montgomery bus boycott. He did make his way back to Atlanta and sat beside pop, but he returned to help found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). So began his ascension into the national spotlight and impending mortality. We all know the story’s highlights and its tragic end.
Of the many actions of MLK, I’m most intrigued by something that I found out about only a couple of years ago as I began to read The Assassination of Fred Hampton. I learned that MLK, Ralph Abernathy and other civil rights leaders spent the summer of 1966 living in a tenement apartment building in the slums of Chicago on the West Side. They sought an educational experience and to demonstrate their support and empathy for the poor (all the men were from the Black middle class). The experience was far from a success. King was actually hit with a brick during a march, but he continued to lead marches in the face of personal danger. Although the Chicago experiment had its troubles, I admire the moxie of Dr. King for staying in the slums of one of America’s most dangerous cities. That wasn’t just a social experiment. That could have been calamitous in many ways. Again, he could have been somewhere earning an easy check and cooling out. He chose to take the road less traveled. He was a king. He was brave-hearted.
SIDENOTE: From what I gathered from my Fred Hampton readings, Chicago’s gang culture was way too strong, superfluous and influential for the non-violent Civil Rights Movement to make any real strides.
In “Letter to the King” by The Game featuring Nas, both men salute the slain Civil Rights icon. The song is great, and its candid tone leaves an indelible mark on the listener’s psyche. Both men spoke about how, when they were younger, they didn’t put much thought into Dr. King, his accomplishments or legacy. They candidly admitted that they took MLK for granted before maturing and realizing his greatness and legacy. The words of both men are so poignant. Nas did his thing, but The Game’s second verse is legendary. It may be his best 16 ever.
“I feel the pain of -- Nelson Mandela, ‘cuz when it rains, it pours. I need Rihanna’s umbrella -- for Coretta Scott’s tear drops -- when she got the phone call that the future just took a fucking head shot...I wonder why Jesse Jackson ain’t catch him before his body dropped. Would he give me the answer? Probably not.”
LONG LIVE MLK
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