If 6 was 9

There was a time where one would never claim to be something unless they were damned ready to prove it. Instead, they would do it and let other people do the talking for them, for better or worse.
The problem with talking yourself up was most often that you were never quite what you claimed to be.

  • Telling people you can rap?
Be prepared to freestyle with the black guys outside of the cafeteria on lunch.
  • Telling people you can draw?
Be prepared to draw someone a picture of SOMETHING soon.
  • Telling people you can play ball?
Be prepared for EVERYONE that heard you make that claim try to embarrass you – with WOMEN present!
  • Telling folks you can fight?
You’d best be prepared to get tried like a freak at a cut party.

In my generation, words like “swagger” and “haters” didn’t exist out of simple necessity. Any person good enough to carry themselves confidently in it (swagger) just fucking did, there was no need to remind everyone that you did. In so much, instead of being jealous (‘hating’ as the coloreds call it these days) and talking shit about it to denigrate, people worked to get themselves there or found their own lanes.

These days, though?
Shit has been turned WAAAAAAY the fuck around.

  • “Swagger,” a word I happen to fucking DETEST is no longer something that there was no word for – as no one needed to SAY it – but something that someone will claim to have whether or not they actually do. No longer is there the onus of being actually good at anything or earning an air of superiority, all you need is to claim it and it is apparently to be.

[Phlip note – it is also a deodorant from Old Spice, but one with infinitely less entertaining commercials]

That is why we have high school-aged MALES dressing in all kinds of fruity colors with little stuffed animal backpacks (I shit you not, I live down the street from a High School) and skinny jeans talking about “swag,” and then their friends copying them.

  • We are forced to watch idly as Gucci Mane and his ilk kill us to death with the shit on the radio and video shows – up to and included not being turned the fuck away from MTV – while Raekwon is doing songs with Justin Bieber and Kanye Zest to remain relevant enough to feed his kids.
That is why I am approached by someone in Wal Mart’s parking lot once every couple of weeks trying to sell me his ‘mixtape’ sounding as if the fact that English is not his first language is an irony born of the fact that he is not from any other country.

  • Thanks in part to Twitter and the like, social ineptitude is the order of the day, having replaced knowing how and when to intelligently and respectfully address people.
Now we can have “revolutionaries,” who never even have to leave their houses or talk to or touch anyone. As long as they can get out 140 or fewer characters at a higher rate than anyone else – damning if anyone who does not agree with them even cares enough to respond – then the purpose has been served.

Sometimes I wish I could have been born into the 80’s, where Coach Wooden’s warning against mistaking activity for achievement have apparently hamstrung us into behaving like we should have something to show for it before claiming we’d done shit.
All I had to do in the first place was to SAY I had done things as opposed to actually doing them and it would be just the same all along?

The Soulja Boi defense apparently applies here...

“Nas said Hip Hop was dead, so Nas killed Hip Hop; while Lil Wayne calls himself “The Best Rapper alive” which in turn makes him the best rapper alive.

[Phlip note - … me either, I stopped trying to understand the apparent-but-ironically-not-apparent genius of those born after 1985 years ago]

So where are we now?

  • Rappers who can’t fucking rap
  • An entire generation of folk who behave as if they’re the undeniable truth when they’ve experienced literally less than nothing.
  • Twitterlutionaries who do their world-changing work out of the home and might be crying themselves to sleep a few nights a week.
  • Right is now wrong
  • Up is now down
  • Left is the new right
  • Bass-ackwards, frustrating utter confusion through it all.

Through this all, y'all wonder why I drink…
Sheeit, I wonder why y’all don’t!


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