Good Kid

You…You are the most incredible girl he’s ever met
Your voice is the only melody his spirit works up the courage to dance to
And your conversations are the only lyrics he takes pride in memorizing 

Girls like you are proof that there is a God

That boy reads, sleeps and breathes your scripture
Your influence is the communion he drinks on Sunday morning
Your love is his most consistent request in prayer each night

That boy worships the ground you walk on and finds the Holy Ghost every time you smile in his direction
You are his trial and his testimony
You are his vice and his religion..

You are the most despicable liar I have ever known
Your calluses grow uglier by the day from tugging at his heartstrings
And his love grows more anxious each hour you refuse to text him back

Girls like you are why Sad Boys lose themselves

That boy is in love with every piece of your destruction
Your heartbeat is the earthquake that shakes his spirit into submission
Your indifference is the tsunami that floods his lungs with inspiration

He sees you as the perfect choice
I see you are the coldest challenge

– Sad Boy
(May 2017)

I have a lot to cover and I’m not 100% sure what I wanna discuss first so I’m just gonna explain why there was no post last week and hopefully figure out an order as I’m typing this.

Last week, NuReN was planning a music video to record. As discussed in one of my previous posts, I’m in charge of organizing the who, what, when, and where of the video. Needless to say, I was pretty busy and making a blog post was the fifth on my mind behind Plan, Work, Eat, and Sleep. The video ended up a semi-success but I honestly think we’re going to re-record it so…

But I’m here now! And I got it all figured out now regarding how I’m gonna talk about this post. So first of all, this is my poem but it’s not for me. Heck, it’s not even about me. It’s for Nic. That’s all I can say right now without revealing too much too early.

But the poem is relatable to me, though. Music plays an integral part of my life. Ask ANYONE when was the last time I was seen without a pair of headphones. If they say anything after 7th grade, call the fire department because they’re definitely setting their pants on fire. I always have music playing. If it’s not in headphones, it’s on the radio. If it’s not on the radio, it’s in my head. Music was the very first person (yes I’m personifying music because I’m a poet and we personify literally everything) I felt completely vulnerable to. She understood me and knew what to say for every mood I came to experience. Mad you got a bad grade on a test? Bump Wake Flocka or the Game. Deep in your feels because the girl of your dreams curved you this morning? Drake is the man with the plan. Feel like the entire world is against you? Big Sean has what it takes to keep you inspired. Tryna chill out? A$AP Rocky brings all the chill vibes. The list goes on and on.

If you can’t tell by now, Hip-Hop is honestly the blood that runs through my veins. Lupe Fiasco was quoted in saying “Hip-Hop saved my life”. While I wouldn’t go that far, I can honestly say 75% of how I express my creativity is due to my experience with Hip-Hop. 

Call me crazy but I thoroughly believe everyone has that one album that is unquestionably stitched to their heart and soul. They can tell you the track list, when they heard it, where they heard it, what they felt, and most importantly, why they felt it. For me, my number one album is “Good Kid, m.A.A.d City” by Kendrick Lamar. Having talked about this album with several people, I recognize that most people nowadays only know Kendrick for his hit single “Humble” (MY LEFT STROKE JUST WENT VIRALLLLLLL) from his album “DAMN.” The album was fire, don’t get me wrong. But nothing is ever going to touch GKMC for a variety of reasons.

  1. That was one of the first albums I snuck on my phone back when any music that wasn’t gospel-influenced was low-key illegal in my house.
  2. That was the second album I had memorized at least some portion of every song (the first being Lil Wayne’s “The Carter IV”).
  3. That was the first album I had ever discussed with my cousins. It actually attributed to our growing relationship and is a major reason why I get a long a lot better with my Mom’s side of the family.
  4. That was the first album I ever recommended to a friend.
  5. That was the first album that made me hungry to search for new music from that artist.
  6. That was the first album that made me sit back and actually examine my life.
  7. That was the first album I ever annotated to search for subliminal messages and meanings.
  8. That was the album I listened to when I wrote my very first poem.

Needless to say, GKMC means a lot to me and if you haven’t heard it, give it a listen and tell me what you think. If you have heard it, listen again. I promise you’ll catch something you missed before, I always do. At any rate, you see how passionate I am about this topic so you can understand why I’d be stoked about Kendrick Lamar coming to town next month. For just over $600 a ticket, I can get a plethora of Kendrick gear, amazing seats, and best of all, meet THE Kendrick Lamar. My birthday is next month too so on top of all of that, I’m celebrating a new year of life. I talked to my Dad about bypassing a birthday gift and instead helping me go half on the VIP ticket. Sounds perfect, right?

Wrong.

Today at work I had a lot of time to think about just what exactly I’d be sacrificing to go meet Kendrick Lamar next month. First off, $300 isn’t exactly easy burn money when you go to school and have to pay for parking, books, groceries, etc. I also have a book I want to release and with that comes paying for publishers, graphic designers, editors, etc. Sooo yeah money is a factor.

Let’s take it one step further and talk about time. The concert is on a Wednesday and I slick have class on Thursday and the drive from UTK to Nashville takes about 3 hours. Regardless of when the concert ends, I’d have to leave in the morning because I’d be too tired to drive that night which means I may miss class which is a bad start for someone who’s trying to do better with attendance. 

But I think the biggest reason why the plan was flawed was because there wouldn’t be any real interaction with my hero. What, I would get a pic and an autograph, tell him what a fan I am, and then chill? That seems like a small payout for all the sacrifices I just listed above. Plus, there are over 300 people behind me, if not more, all trying to do the same thing (throw in the occasional SoundCloud rapper who tries to put himself on and show KDot a 30 second sample of their music). All in all, it just doesn’t feel worth it. If I’m going to meet Kendrick Lamar, I’d like it to be at a time when I can really talk to him about his music and all it’s done to help me grow as both a poet and a person. I want the conversation to actually be personal and not just something he does because the ticket promised he would. In an odd sense, I also want to prove that I’m a capable writer deserving of Kendrick’s praise. Not that I really need it. But there’s something about a hero saying “Wow. I’m really impressed” that makes me eager to keep writing and get better at what I do.

This frame of thinking didn’t just come out of thin air, though. I have to get a big shoutout to my Dad for teaching me how to think about things the right way. He’s always been exceptional about seeing things in the big picture, as well as visualizing how things today will affect things next week. Thinking about this made me realize I don’t voice how much I appreciate and love my Dad enough. He gets shoutouts in poems and social media posts but my Dad is very old-fashioned in the sense that social media isn’t his forte. I feel like if it was, he probably wouldn’t feel half as jaded about our relationship as I think he does because he’d see I talk about him A LOT. But that’s my fault for not putting forth the effort to show him as much love in real life as I do on the internet. By the time this post is up, I should have taken my Dad out to lunch and just had a tender father-son moment. Hopefully we had a lot of laughs and grew just a little bit closer. Keep doing this and my Dad and I jussssst may have the relationship I always write about in my unpublished poems. 

Chris

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