March 26, 2009

"And Then What" -- Young Jeezy

Artist: Young Jeezy
Song: And Then What
Album: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101

"I got million dollar dreams and federal nightmares (ay)
We pop Cris' my niggaz, and still drink beer (dat's riiight)
What did you expect man, I came from nothin' (nothin)
Real street nigga, wouldn't change for nothin'
Got my niggaz out the hood, it's such a wonderful feeling (chea)
Three car garage wit the twelve foot ceiling (ay)
It oughta be a crime just to feel this good
I swear it oughta be a crime just to be this hood (ayy)"

Boom boom, clap!

What is the beauty of this verse? Well, let me fill you in. I am about to graduate from college with my Master's degree (in five years) and I think about my life, where it's at right now, and Jeezy's line, "real street nigga wouldn't change for nothin."

Over the course of my life, and especially since I'm from a tiny ass town in the middle of nothing, I have been bombarded with the issue of being a "sellout." See, what happens is--and this is the truth in the 'hood,' in your family, or within your circle of friends--people who see you leave the monotonous, stereotypical lifestyle that they have dedicated themselves to tend to look at anyone with goals or aspirations as sellouts. They tell you you're cocky, arrogant, too good, and a downright asshole. Oh I know because I have been called all of the above.

So where does this lead? Well, in my case it's led me to have severed relationships with people I thought were my true friends. It seems like everyday I am bombarded with this notion that I think my shit don't stink and that I am such an asshole. Why? Well, there's a variety of reasonings that could be attributed to that opinion, but mainly it's because my drive and determination to do something different and be who I want to be has led to inadvertant hurt feelings and some bitter resentment. Damn, sorry.

See the problem with people is that they change. I haven't changed. I've always been me and I always remember where I came from as a person. I HATE WHERE I CAME FROM, but I never look for reasons to avoid letting myself or others know exactly where I became me. Sure, I'm not a real timid or tactful dude. That, however, does not mean that I think I'm better than you. If you're down, I'm down. I hate people that think they are the shit. You know, the people that wear the fresh gear in hopes of looking like Pharell, Jay-Z, Kanye, Britney Spears, Jack Johnson, or Brad Pitt. Being like someone is not the same as being your own person. My own person is defined by an unrelenting pursuit of perfection and the innate desire to achieve ALL of my goals in life.

If that makes me "cocky" then I guess I'm guilty as charged...AND THEN WHAT?!

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