Wow, a gemstone from my way-back youth. I read this and chuckle, finding it hard to believe who I was when I was just fifteen years old. I think about the dumb shit I was into, from then on into my twenties, and wonder how I made it out. I think I might have seen more craziness during that time than a lot of people see in a lifetime. Good thing, though. I don’t know how many people want to see all this madness.
Man, I ain’t looking at you fool.
That wasn’t me standing out by the school
Trying to look cool
Smokin’ that ganja
Hollering at the hoes
Leaning on that old chain-link fence
Near where the grass is dense.
That wasn’t me trying to get yo’ girl
Down by the Square the other day.
Seen you in that car somewhere in the world
The Impala that was going my way
You honked but kept to the drive
Nobody pick up white boys down here
Hard for us to survive
But these fists keep me alive
These balls keep me alive.
I’m the man of steel.
Saw you and my boys on the playground
Between the yellow and white villages
The fortresses from the white man’s world
His laws and lies and crime
Let me spit at you this rhyme
Before we run out of time
I don’t care that you black
I got yo’ back like you got mine
That ain’t no line.
Remember that motherfucker that owed you rent?
Who was the collector you sent?
Wasn’t any of your brothers from the block
It was me
And I went without a glock.
But, I ain’t lookin’ at you, fool.
I’m done being your tool.
That’s why I walked to the City and the Terrace
My friends won’t go with me
Saying, “Those places scare us.”
But it ain’t no thing to me.
I go where I gots to go
And be where I need to be.
Ain’t no ugliness I see
Just the welps of poverty
And the luxury of being free
Like the little white gravel dust in the wind
Down there, that be me.
Like a shadow by the tree.
What you lookin’ at, fool?
My glowing skin?
Blinding motherfuckers in the sun?
Naw, I ain’t gonna run.
If you wanna squab we can have some fun
But, you want to turn bitch on me
Over some shit from the West End?
I’m loyal to the East
The Smokies always been my friend
But I got to make the ends
To stand up when my back bends
From Russell to Portland
You know the set I’m sportin’
Like a motherfucking Spartan
I fight to the death
Claiming my blood to my last breath.
These concrete towers
Stand up like lonely hours
If your world ain’t got trust
Then it’s just episodes of wilted flowers
Out here, there’s all types of powers
The bullet, the knife, blood, even the dawn
The street, the heat, a word that’s bond
Love, hate, sex, drugs
Flashing blades and dashing slugs
Busted fools up like plugs
White man’s boots on the necks of thugs
Not my heritage
I don’t claim killers that ravage
I ain’t that savage.
When we kill, we don’t kill for thrill
We kill to live; that makes it real
I ain’t one to want blood to spill
I ain’t here to add to a white empire
But, you look at me like I come with a pointed hood
Bearing a bloody whip in my hand
I ain’t that kind of man
I’d rather be tanned
If my head is ever skinned it’ll be because I lost my hair
My heart ain’t got no racist hate
I’ve walked these streets a thousand times
Market, Lampton, Shelby, Clay
Hancock, Wenzel, Logan and Swan
I been down the alleys in the night and day
I’ve stood at the corner of Jacob and Floyd
Soothing hearts that been destroyed
By needles and pipes
Sometimes I write rhymes that are hype
About spit and spite
And gunshots in the night
About sex in the morning
About sirens and warnings
Sometimes I write bullshit that I created
Or promises I broke
Shattered shit I repaired
And thick white smoke
On which we all choke.
You look at me like I ain’t real, fool.
What you got that’s more real than me?
I hear you been talking about peelin’ me.
A dark death comes for those who wait
I guess I can’t escape the hand of fate
But neither can you
So what would you do
If I put the barrel on you, too?
I ain’t want to do it
I hope you don’t make me do it.
But, if you come rolling up on me
Trying to break bad
Talking about the smoke
I’ll have to do what I’ll have to do
And you know that I speak true.
But, you and me still got our names under the bridge
And our other boys; the Iroquois boys
We might roll Dirty I even though we from the Smoke
And the CDP out on the Hill
I run with a crew off Doc Hodge
I walk in the Parks after dark
But see, you and me, we been down like clowns
Piled 40 in a bug
Since I came shuffling through these streets
When I had your back up by the tracks
You said I was white like night
Because I was the wrong color on top
My name is down there next to yours
On that concrete slab
And it ain’t no tombstone.
It’s my home.
Now the sun is setting
I ain’t forgetting
The words you kicked at me the other day
Telling me I best be on my way
But I ain’t gone
You ain’t the only one with brawn
I can flex and break necks
You know what I can do.
Now, I be looking at you, too
Just like you been clocking me
And stalking me
Walking upon me
Talking hard on me
I ain’t said too much
I carry but few words
My hands will talk
I’ll give you sign language
My knuckles will rap on your grill
You’ll think I got fists of steel
Don’t put no plate upside my dome
Or you won’t make it home.