This goes out to all the Jersey drivers who get freaked out by left turn lanes and all the TSA agents that ask me, “Where’s the best place to get a cheesesteak?” As many times as I’ve chosen a clean criminal record over catching the 47 bus on any school day between the hours of 2-3, contemplated moving to ATL where I can get a an actual house for what people pay for a condo in the Piazza, and become nauseous every time I see Michael Nutter’s Gonzo-like nose sitting over his grin whenever I fly back into Philly, I must say I love this city. No matter where I’ve visited, like M.I.A. said, “No one on the corner has swagga like us.” Here are 10 things that you only know if you rep’ the 215:
I got called a “groupie who doesn’t fuck” last night and I I’m pretty sure it hurt my feelings on some level. Anyone who knows me knows that when I become a fan of a certain artist I support them fully. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a hip-hop head. I can’t tell you what mix tape is hot in the streets right now or name anything Meek Mill came out with before 2012, but when I hear I something I like I do my homework: I’ll pick a Pandora channel, buy some CD’s, maybe YouTube some past interviews. If I really get dedicated I may even buy the regular version and the deluxe version of your debut (even though I’m paying a whole extra $10.00 for two additional tracks), I’ll buy that XL that finally put them on the cover after mainstream media decided they were hot too, and I’ll shell out some cash for an orchestra section seat at a concert. But does that make me a groupie?
You know what I think a groupie is? Someone who gets completely caught up in the life of a celebrity that they begin to lose sight of their own priorities, responsibilities and self-respect. Let me put it this way: When Drake’s latest release #NWTS dropped this past Tuesday, folks I follow on Instagram were posting pictures of the fifty CD’s they bought so “Champagne Papi” could meet his projected sales. People camped out on the streets of NYC battling the early autumn elements just so they could get a photo op and a signed CD. And don’t get me started on the females that take the shit to a whole ’notha level and are willing to shed their integrity just so they can get a mention on an album about the time the Toronto native had them bent over in a bathroom stall. I’m just saying, as much as there are levels to this shit, there are limits to this shit and I have a life to return to.
Do I stan? Most definitely. My Facebook background right now is J. Cole sleeping and I bought 3 copies of Nothing Was the Same on Tuesday. But the bills also got paid and after getting in at 12 am from an amazing performance from J. Cole and Wale on the What Dreams May Come Tour I wasn’t trying to follow tour buses or suck my way into VIP at some after party, I went the fuck to bed. Yeah, 7:00 am is real when you have a full-time job to get to the next morning. Personally I feel like that’s what makes all the difference: my real-life responsibilities come before my love for any artists. Over-zealous fan? Maybe. But I don’t think I’ve graduated to groupie just yet. Here are some reasons a few friends gave as to why my behavior concerns them:
There are plenty of rappers I’ve wanted to fuck. There have been plenty of rappers who’ve come out with some hot ass beats that I can turn up to in my Kia during my morning commute even though I clearly didn’t give a fuck about what they were saying. There have even been rappers whose lyrics left me feeling inspired, amazed and amused all at the same time. But when it comes to rappers whose character I respect, well I’m not entirely sure if that’s happened too many times…until last night.
I’ve been looking forward to the “What Dreams May Come Tour” ever since this past summer when I rushed to the TLA on South Street after work. I was hype with my dollar and a dream only to end up walking away with a naked wrist sipping on a Blue Bayou in Fat Tuesdays seeing everyone else turned up with their fluorescent wristbands. I thought to myself, “That nigga Cole stay on his ‘give back’ shit having discount concerts on weeknights. Don’t dude know I gotta work from 9-5 for my damn dollar?” I was clearly hating, but I just knew the next time you came to Philly I would have my ass in the audience. Shit, I’m from Philly, so I was pissed when I learned there were people from D.C., Jersey, New York sitting front row in my city.
So Fourth of July comes and I learn you’re going to be at “Wawa Welcome America Festival” on the Parkway. I’m like, here Cole goes again with these free concerts, but that’s kind what I love about you. So I was like I’ll risk my life trying to see you even though I knew the ratchetry I would encounter (I watch the fireworks from Spring Garden St. every year for that reason). Needless to say all I got was a free Corona from some cool Temple undergrad named Vince, a bruised ankle after a stampede damn near broke out when two dudes started fighting (what can I say it IS Philly) and my best friend ended up two-stepping into some vomit even though I told her ass not to wear flip flops. The vomit kind of fucked up the night and we left only seeing enough of a view of Jill Scott to know she looks beautiful in red and The Roots when people got excited over Black Thought until they learned he wasn’t Kevin Hart. I don’t know how you can claim Philly and don’t know about the Roots, but I can’t really blame them. Everyone was there to see, guess who? Light-skinned Jermaine. From what I saw on the blogs the next day though, your performance was great, as expected.
Two times you were in my city this summer and I missed it, so when I learned about the WDMC pre-sale one early July morning, it was the first time I had been on time to work in months and the first thing I bought with that Friday’s paycheck. And I must say last night was well worth the wait. The rasp that accompanies “Got me up so high, trynna get a piece of that apple pie,” in “She Knows”, the appetite for the mic you can hear in “Rise and Shine” that made me fall in love with you as an artist, the way you can talk about slavery, sex and infidelity all in the same song with no unnatural transition is what had my ass in Orchestra B, Right Center, Seat 26 putting Coffee Coolattas on credit for the past week.
If you’ve never cheated or been cheated on (or at least caught someone cheating on you) you may believe that a relationship can never come back from infidelity. But a young Sean Carter once encouraged us to, “Have an affair, act like an adult for once,” and I’m beginning to believe he has a point. As I turn more and more into a grown up, I’m beginning to learn that what I think I know about relationships is constantly changing and that even my own life takes every opportunity to prove to me I’m only as wise as my last relationship. At the very best all we can ever hope to be are experts at our own lives and hope that other people’s experiences mimic it so that maybe they can avoid an STI or a restraining order based on our mistakes.
Relationships aren’t ever as black and white as we’d like them to be. They are an unpredictable, intense cyclone of grey; think 1996’s Twister. I don’t think that everyone cheats, but I don’t think everyone that does is a bad person. I don’t believe that “once a cheater, always a cheater” bullshit either. What I do think is that infidelity is almost always a symptom of something lacking in the relationship or in the offender. Sometimes that cheater is feeling neglected and needs attention which is more emotional, but sometimes you just want to see if the reality of your legs dangling over the shoulders of that 50 Cent look-alike from the mail room can live up to your fantasy of multiple orgasms over the postage paid pile. Although we have the mental capacity to make rational decisions, at the end of the day on some primal level we are just like those Rottweilers that meet in the park, sniff each other’s butts and proceed to humping.
Cheating happens, in fact right now someone somewhere is breaking into their man’s phone and finding a text message that reads, “I can’t wait for you to tear this pussy up again.” I’ve cheated in the past and I’ve been cheated on. In fact my ex made a sex tape documenting his infidelity which I ultimately discovered while he was going to get BBQ chicken pizza (Fellas, if you leave a girl in your apartment alone the question is not if she’ll snoop, but how much of your internet history she’ll get through). But you know what? I lived through it and you can move past infidelity if you take heed to the following do’s and don’ts. Being cheated on doesn’t confirm that anything is wrong with you, but how you deal with it does.
The fiancé and I just had an argument over an episode of House Hunters. Well it wasn’t exactly over House Hunters, but that’s how it began. A couple searching for their dream home in Atlanta couldn’t agree on exactly what area they wanted to live in. The woman wanted to stay “inside the perimeter” closer to the city and her recent medical resident fiancé wanted to get more house for their money in the suburbs. My fiancé sarcastically commented that he doesn’t understand why women always want to stay close to the city which was meant as a jab to me since I’m always saying I never want to move too far from the city. It was yet another reminder that one of the big issues in our relationship is we never have actually come to a compromise about where we see ourselves living in the future.
You gain a certain appreciation for customer service when you’ve worked in fast food or retail. When Gina throws my Zesty Salsa Wheat Thins down the belt to the bag boy, I don’t take it personally. Because I know very well Gina doesn’t give a shit about me or my snack choices. She’s just trying to keep herself from beating the living hell out of her manager for denying the PTO that she put in over two months ago.
I’ve noticed that more and more most of my shopping is done on-line. Some time ago I learned that people are getting way too dumb to multi-task and conduct themselves properly in public and that grown people are increasingly having issues with self-control and patience. Can we stop this epidemic of consumer entitlement that attempts to convince the customer that they’re always right because they are the key to economy growth? I mean seriously, all of this undue credit is going to their heads. Here are 9 reasons why shopping just isn’t as fun as it was before I became a real adult who cares about customer service and three issues I need an Undercover Boss episode to rectify or something:
I don’t have any friends from high school that I’ve managed to stay close to. I won’t be Instagramming any Throwback Thursday collages of us on Senior Match Day in Timbs and Tommy Hilfiger jackets or wedding pictures of me and the bridesmaids I’ve known since freshman year. In fact many of the friends that were closest to me aren’t even a Facebook search away and the last time I googled the high school bestie all I found was a mug shot and criminal record for petty theft.
Friendships have always been challenging for me. I won’t rant about how hard it is for women to maintain friendships with other women because of drama and jealousy because the older you get the more you realize that that’s complete bull. It’s a lie women tell themselves when they refuse to work on their own negative attitudes that hinder them from seeing it’s not other women’s jealousy that keeps them from having a drama-free friendship, it’s their judgmental, entitled narcissism.
When women are confident and secure in themselves and one another, beautiful things can happen. You’ll have a group of girls that won’t allow you to twerk on that Michael B. Jordan clone from accounting at happy hour because they know you have to look him in the eye Monday morning when you’re sober. You’ll have girls who are down for Yoga class just because you want to try it even though they haven’t seen their pelvis since 2007. If they’re really good friends they will tell you that you’re about to fuck up by continuing to let your ex dick you down whenever he’s in between girlfriends.