Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ode to Slick Rick

Shane Stay
c 2009

“...So make music in my basement, don’t cut her off till I find a good replacement.”

Slick Rick, you’re so cool, why do girls treat you so cruel?

When I look at rap today I feel like an old man, longing for the days of the late 80s, when rap was emerging as a major cultural force in the United States. Heavy D was mysteriously loved by the ladies, The Fat Boys were rapping about donuts (literally), Kwame was prancing around in poke-a-dot pajamas, Erick and Parrish were makin’ dollars, Eazy E kept activator suppliers in the profit, Run DMC had taken over the charts, Special Ed made a very ephemeral leap into stardom, Big Daddy Kane was half-steppin’ his way to the bank and Tupac was a teenage dancer with Digital Underground waiting to launch his personal career to new heights.

Today, in 2009, I don't know what’s going on. Apparently, Bobby Brown still thinks he can sing, Fifty Cent raps, acts, produces, gets shot, sells water (sells WATER!), gets shot some more while claiming more money than some oil producing nations, and Lil Wayne looks like a Lil Maniac. What's wrong with him? Also, white rappers are more and more acceptable. This is plain wrong.
I long for the days when white rappers were veeery suspect. Some may argue Eminem is an exception to the norm. Can we keep it at that? Can we let him be the only one? Please. While I'm at it, I don't think Asians should be rapping either. There's just something wrong with someone named Wang trying to rap about his “dilly-dang.” I don't wanna hear it; cook your rice noodles and shut the f!@# up.

I long for the days of Slick Rick, looking no less than a gay French pirate with his beret, eye patch, cardigan sweater, Bally shoes, gold teeth, gold necklace, gold rings, gold bracelet, and no doubt gold condoms, personally engraved with the title “MC Ricky D” on it so the ladies wouldn’t forget where they’d been. The Ruler was such a hit that he was (a) known as “The Ruler” and (b) could wine and dine any girl with style, all the while looking like a gay French pirate. Who else could pull that off? Should Tom Cruise decide to wear a beret, eye patch and adorn himself with gold jewelry, his once devout Scientologists would pull an apostasy and say, “Woo, that’s even too much for us, man; leave you’re membership at the door,” yet Slick Rick made that look cool and acceptable, for him anyway.

The government has been desperately trying to deport Mr. Rick back to England, where he had citizenship before moving to the States. Are the tax dollars of the United States really going to good use when agents are trying to deport a washed up rapper with a pirate patch? Let’s chase domestic terrorists, not Ricky Waters smoking weed from a New York loft. Maybe they just don't want him to make a come back, as so many of us who are stricken with nostalgia would like to see. It might be hard though, as government agents even went after Rick on a cruise ship. Yes, a cruise ship! When he was doing his song “A Children’s Story,” and said, “Hurry up, run!” he wasn’t kidding, as the band probably picked up their gear and tried to keep up. Maybe the only safe place for Rick is in a car, anticipating his fate, but let’s hope it’s not with a bag of angel dust and a revolver. And if you care as I do, I urge you to write your Congressmen and ask them to call off the government dogs that want to bring so much ill-will to Mr. Rick. Leave him be, and let him work on his next album.

In the meantime, “...You got Rick sittin’ right here, waiting for you, my dear. Wonderin’ if you’re eeever, gonna show-you-oh...La la la la.”

Friday, February 6, 2009

NFL Gun Culture

Shane Stay
c 2009

The rise of gun ownership by NFL players is at an all time high, as players are more paranoid than ever from cases of crime against them for there lucrative success. This lucrative success comes with a price: thugs that never possessed the athletic talent make up for their shortcomings with gun savvy plots to steal from famous athletes. The benefits to these thugs come in the form of attaining wealth that would ordinarily take months to acquire from managing pouty street whores, and the ability to boast they “Ganked a famous motherfucker’s shit.” This goes a long way in the world of Thugdome. Take it from Egg Head III, a common street thug with high hopes for himself, “Yeah, if you can punk some local bitch that think he all that for a couple bills that’s one thang, but if you can take the jewelry out the motherfuckin’ house of some bubalicious linebacker motherfucker with some high-end edu-ma-cation from Florida State, then you high rollin’!”

Wanting to be known only as “David,” this NFL linebacker reflects on the state of mind he and fellow players fall into when leaving the stadium. “I could be at a red light and BOW! Some guy’s got a gun pointed at my head! Just like that and I didn’t see it comin’! But that’s where me and my teammates are one up on ‘that guy.’ I mean, just like in football, we’re thinking one step ahead and that kind of situation will be prevented.” He went on to comment, “I mean, Michael Vick has given a lot of gun carrying football players a bad image. I don’t use my gun to kill dogs. No. I train my dogs to kill people with guns. And sure, training a dog to kill is not all peaches and ice cream, but that’s different.”

Players have been overheard discussing plans for getting home.

“When I hit Fourth Street I’m-a do a bootleg around the 7-11 establishment and then swirl around the usually crowded parking lot at the Blockbuster for a weak-side view.”

“Any thugs that might be anticipating this ground movement through the pack of cars will hesitate when viewing our sweep around maneuver.”


“Right. At which point I will lateral a visual to David, by means of eye contact and a head thrust, to give the okay to pursue Main Avenue, on route to the club.”

At this point in the dialogue a counselor that had been hired by the team for his expertise in sports psychology, with a minor in the study of Chinese paranoia in the 2nd Century BC, spoke up.

"I think you’re tactical movements are quite sound, however it strikes me that you are avoiding the ‘thugs’ on the streets only to encounter an entire hive of them in the very clubs where they spend most of their time. Possibly, you should think about eliminating the club life from your things-to-do list and retire to a private community, invest your energy in the stock market and increase the value of your earnings. And may I add, this ‘private community’ probably should not be Miami, which ranks among the top three cities for crime in the United States annually, in all categories ranging from petty theft, armed assault, high gang activity, drug contraband to rape and murder.”

“You do realize we ain’t even safe in our own private community neighborhoods, be it Miami or the far distant confines of Miami Beach, possibly even Biscayne Bay.”

“Yes I do and I would not ordinarily recommend this but may I suggest you barricade your home with sand bags, mount submachine guns at every available window and riddle your front lawn with landmines.”

Though the psychologist spoke with evident merit the players felt he was not based in reality as they fastened their bulletproof vests, cocked their guns and mounted into their black, window tinted Hummers, adorned with five TVs, hydraulics and gold plated hub caps. He was later fired.

Reporters flocked around the players as they approached their vehicles. “We’re just normal people. We never asked for all this attention,” said a player as the side door to his Hummer was opened and inside were four members of his crew mixing a new song on the mixer board in the sound system installed next to the Jacuzzi, which one can walk past to enter the Hookah Lounge, adorned with scantily dressed Caribbean women fresh off the lot of a music video. “We’re average people, just like the ordinary guy at work, wearing a hard hat, except our hard hat is a helmet and the salary of our lowest paid player is higher than the Gross Domestic Product of Ghana, East Timor, Suriname or any number of Third World countries.”

The high sense of paranoia felt by players is only compounded when marijuana is added to the picture – and if NFL players are known for anything less than hard hits or lavish lifestyles it would be for hitting the shit out of some reefer – at which point, red lights, gas stations and grocery stores are viewed as war zones. Jittery eyed cornerbacks scan over their landscape as a squirrel might from the inside of a hollow tree after a storm resides.

No place is without the element of danger as one player recalls standing in line at a Kroger grocery store when his gun inexplicably went off and shot his own foot. “I was just standin’ there with a case of Red Bull in one hand and a bottle of E & J Brandy in the other until BAM! Off went my gun into my own foot! I was like ‘Oh damn, I done shot my footsy!’ At which point my inside linebacker assumed it was an attack on our lives. He immediately pulled out his Russian made, handheld machine gun and ‘Ga-ga-ga-ga!’ It went off. ‘Nooo!’ I screamed. ‘It’s my foot motherfucker, my foot!’ All his rounds went flyin’! Luckily, no one was hurt but aisle three felt the blunt of his Eastern European hand rage and I’m sure the Campbell soup company will want to be reimbursed.”