#MNR: Lies, Rumors, & Hearsay
“You liable to see me dolo, ice in the Rolo, burner under the Polo. A lotta y’all is h@*o. Funny style cats that never ran with me, type to go to the bathroom, sit down, and pee…”
Jadakiss, “Fuck You”
“I’d rather, die today, than live tomorrow and watch you crab motherfuckers just steal and borrow…”
Styles P., “Fuck You”
We Are the Streets, The LOX’s sophomore album, turns 21 today. Released January 25, 2000, it was their first album under the Ruff Ryders label. For history’s sake and to enlighten some of my younger readers, WATS came after an acrimonious split with Bad Boy Records and label owner Sean “Puffy” Combs. Disagreements ranging from compensation to image, as pertaining to their debut album Money, Power, & Respect, hastened the move. The trio from Yonkers “Y-O” NY, composed of Jadakiss, Styles P., and Sheek Louch, allegedly felt that they didn’t receive all due compensation from the album. They were also (and possibly equally) allegedly upset in the direction Puff wanted them to move in as a group. He wanted the shiny suits and radio-friendly hits that helped propel fellow label mate Mase to stardom. The differences were that Mase’s debut album Harlem World sold multiplatinum and that Mase was cool with the shiny suits and “pretty” image. But not L-O-X. After a “calculated” strategy to free them of their Bad Boy label ties, Puff eventually let Dee and Wah take their contract. LOX already had a strong rapport with the RR label owners that superseded music (IYKYK). So, after months in limbo, WATS was released and it exploded onto the rap scene, cementing LOX as one of rap’s premiere groups. They, like many other successful artists of the time, benefited from a healthy album budget that awarded them the privilege of procuring some of the game’s best producers, including their labelmate Swizz Beats (who handled the majority of the project) , 757 GOAT Timbaland, and Gang Starr legend DJ Premier. “U Told Me,” “Ryde or Die, Bitch,” and the aforementioned “Fuck You” are my personal favorites. Big ups to the legendary LOX. “I’m back in the game, still ride the back of the train, and sit right next to Jake with a package of ‘caine.” [INSERT 3 AFRICAN AMERICAN STRONG ARM EMOJIS]
Have you ever been listening to a story, whether it was a one-to-one conversation or one nigga bumping his gums at a group of MF (you being one of said MF), and after the nigga who was talking left, the first thing you said to yourself or to the group of MF you were with was “that nigga lying!”? I know. That’s a smooth YES. But y’all know me. I like to do that next gen type of thinking. I gotta take it a layer or two deeper. So, my first question to you all out there in the universe is, doesn’t that MF know that we know he’s lying his ass off? Seriously? Does he realize that in most cases (definitely pertaining me) no one really gives a flying 747 fuck anyway? Y’all old school MF remember the quote “you ain’t got to lie to kick it.” It’s cool if you lead a boring ass life. We ain’t mad. Trust. Most of us do, too. Especially if you’re 30+ (40+ for me and the wife) and lived a kinda crazy to wild (maybe not as wild as me) ass life as youngn’s and/or young adults. We had our time. It’s quiet now, for the most part, save an occasional function and/or a trip every now and then. All that vivid imagination could be harnessed into writing fiction or perhaps volunteering at the local library as head storyteller. Circle time ended a long ass time ago. Miss me with these lies, please. See, as I’m typing right TF now, there’s a MF at work lying on Teams. [INSERT MEME OF MARTY MART LOOKING AT THE CAM WITH THE SARCASTIC MARTY MART SMIRK] I hate/love you all…
The lying naturally leads me into the next “burns my biscuits” discussion (I guess you can see the type of time I’m on today), MF who never shut thee fuck up. Like ever. Now, I know errbody who knows me is thinking to themselves, “nigga that’s YOU.” FACTS (PB Williams voice)! Of course it is. But damn it, at least I do know WHEN to shut the fuck up. And I’m also known to not say a word if I’m feeling a type of way or there’s another person dominating the discussion. I’m old enough and accomplished enough to not feel the need to compete for airtime in a discussion. Go on ‘head and talk all day. Dominate the discussion. I began to tune you and the discussion as a whole out minutes ago any damn way. But those never shut the fuck up types, smh. Aren’t they just dandy? There’s definitely a season’s worth of necessary shrink work (no disrespect at all to mental health) there. But personally, I’m not tryna hear all that shit. Go ‘head and keep talking. I’m quite unbothered, scrolling through my Twitter TL. Word (SWV voices). Perhaps these types of niggas should talk for a long, long ass time, record it on their iPhone voice notes (because EVERYONE owns an iPhone), and just replay it to themselves all damn day. Record a new note or three daily. There. Then they will always have their biggest fan sitting front row to all their vagina monologues. Fuck outta here. Go climb a tree.
I’m gonna close this blog out with a word or two on credit. The crazy part about credit is that it never matters until it matters. If you’re a young adult from a certain socioeconomic background coming up in many areas of this country, financial literacy may not be something that’s spoken about in the home. And chances are that it’s because the parents/guardians who raised you may have had shitty credit bred from credit related practices/tendencies. So, many of us progress as young adults with no regard for credit. And being that more young adults are choosing to stay at home longer into adulthood, credit may not be a real issue until later in life. And there they are, sitting with their significant other in a bank, hearts heavy because the bank officer just told them that they weren’t eligible for that house loan that would put them exactly where they wanted to be. Ok, maybe it’s not that dramatic. But that story is a true story. I know the individuals involved personally. Credit is a very serious thing for those of us who want to actually attain the “finer” things in life (things that are basic to others in America). And it doesn’t matter how many Nike shoe boxes filled with cash or how many bags of money you have buried in the yard or nearby. Certain things are not cash friendly. For those things, it is imperative to have your credit in check, bare minimum. Excellent credit is paramount. How do we achieve this goal? It comes early in life, age 18 for many who matriculate and find themselves somewhere at a college or university. They see the credit card companies with booths set up in the student union as soon as they arrive on the yard. They push a credit card in their face and let them hang themselves by the purse. For many, credit means “get it”. They have no idea what an APR is. They have no type of education in interest rates. In time, that initial $200 charge gets added onto with other purchases. They pay a bit off from time to time, but less and less as time progresses. Then the interest begins to compile. Next thing they know, they’re not even 19 yet, and they’re already 5K in the hole. They’ve never worked more than a 20-hour week in life. And thus begins a long stroll down a shitty avenue. The fight for financial freedom begins as soon as adulthood begins. Make sound decisions with regard to credit from day one. Don’t charge what you can’t afford to pay back in short time. Don’t use a credit card like it’s a gift card. There are so many more pieces of advice with regard to credit. Perhaps we will delve further in weeks to come. Y’all let me know.
I was going to talk about URL’s Volume 7 card from this past Saturday, but I need to see the battles again when they drop on the URL app. I kinda blinked out from Round 3 of the Jey/Twork battle and was in and out for Verb/Roc. But I did see Chilla 30 ball K-Shine (that shit hurt me) and Danny clearly beat Ars. But other than that, that’s about all for today. Love yourself and live the best life you can live. Stay out the next man’s pockets, planner, and old lady’s bedroom, and you’ll be alright. Stay out them cop cars. Stay out of Big Brenda’s House of Ribs and affiliated eateries as much as possible. We love the grub (we REALLY do), but the diabetes and heart disease are real. Stay out the liquor sto’ 6 days out the week. I mean damn, Eaddy dem love the flow, but your liver hates it. Your teeth and respect do too. And you don’t have to smoke ALL the weed, take ALL the pills, and drink ALL the lean. Take your time. Please. Take it from an older man who refused to listen as a younger man. I’ll see you when I see you, unless you see me first. 100.