Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Today I was an Oxymoron

I have lived my entire life as a contradiction. Today was no different. Although it was probably the most egregious and ostentatious display of my eccentricities. So here's how it went...

From the outside looking in it looks like a pretty girl who has been up (read: drunk) for 4 days in a moderately priced car with alumni plates... driving in the hood blasting Garbage.

No.
Real Talk.

As I drove to the beauty supply store yesterday (why is it that niggas only go to the hood to get chicken and go to the beauty supply store?) I would be lying if I said I didn't feel how ridiculous and out of place it all was and had a little laugh with myself. And I'm not even gonna front like I didn't turn the Garbage down so it wasn't blaring out the windows as I got deeper in the hood.

Thus is the story of my life.

There aren't too many hoods I'm afraid to go to (except for this one joint in Philly I went to once with this dude I was kicking it with from NYC. No offense Canon but Philly niggas are rough. Never been so shook in my life, lol). But I am very much so aware of some of the glaringly obvious signs that you ain't from these parts (if you roll through Hollywood Court blasting the Roots, you're not from there). But this is what I'm used to.

My whole life has been about the sum of it's parts, amplifying and adding when necessary, subduing when appropriate, but all the ingredients still being in tact. I guess this is what you get when you're an exceptionally intelligent Catholic school girl minister's kid artist who grew up on the eastside/southwest side of Atlanta?

Most people, if they truly think about it, can't define themselves with just any one label. Somewhere there's always the southern Episcopalian who supports abortion. Or the conservative white CEO who secretly likes T.I.

When I was much younger, I tried as much as I could to hide those parts of me that stood in contrast to my surroundings. As a kid you wanna belong. In Catholic school I chose not to comment on the fact that my parents were divorced and I knew every lyric to just about every Tupac song ever made. Once I got to public school, I tried to remember what I talked like before spending most of my days with suburban white kids and carefully hid my Metallica cds behind mixtapes picked up at Greenbriar. When I got to high school, I was trying to be the model student and consummate artist (which was prob slightly closer to who I was to become) so I pretended that I didn't know how to roll a perfect blunt and that my right hook wasn't (and still is) sick.

As I've gotten older, the jagged boundaries where these idiosyncrasies lie have grown smoother. They blend together a little more harmoniously. My temper isn't nearly as bad but I WILL fight you, don't be stupid. When you open one of my multiple my massive CD cases, Alanis Morrisette is the first thing you see...swallowed swiftly by Alicia Keys and a French pop group you've never heard of and I can't pronounce, all in clear sight. I just as readily quote the bible as I do Outkast. I'm comfortable in the hood or on the hill. I can rock $200 pumps to jump a fence just like I can wear a pair of Forces to a 4 star restaurant.

It's just who I am.



So I turned my Garbage back up as I left (with my weave and my chicken) and rolled my windows back down. When I got to the light near the liquor store, a dude in a chameleon paint Escalade to my left motioned for me to turn my music down. I ignored him and his platinum smile at first but he quickly grew more insistent and I figured this one time wouldn't hurt me. I lowered my music and rolled my window down all the way...

...as he turned up his Carrie Underwood.




Oh you too huh?

22 comments:

Christina said...

HA! that dude's gangster lol.
I realized in pre-k that i never really fit in (lol) but it wasnt until 9th grade that i stopped trying....kinda wish i had stopped tryin sooner but oh well you live and you learn.

mia. said...

As a woman who is Black, Japanese and Mexican, born to a Catholic mother and the son of a Baptist preacher who swears that Alanis’ All I Really Want is gospel:

What I wouldn’t give to find a soulmate
Someone else to catch this drift
And what I wouldn’t give to meet a kindred...


I happen to think you are a glorious dichotomy of styles!!!

Stacie von Kutieboots said...

trick daddy and edwin mccain on the same mix cd.
liberal who thinks women should stay home.
lifetime member of NCNW with a jewish boyfriend.

i feel you girl!

i love that he was blasting carrie! i saw a tonka toy bumping "total eclipse of the heart". loved it!!

p.s. "oh you too huh?" reminded me of Q (t. howard) from The Best Man!!

Mr. Jones said...

So I turned my Garbage back up as I left (with my weave and my chicken) and rolled my windows back down. When I got to the light near the liquor store, a dude in a chameleon paint Escalade to my left motioned for me to turn my music down. I ignored him and his platinum smile at first but he quickly grew more insistent and I figured this one time wouldn't hurt me. I lowered my music and rolled my window down all the way...

...as he turned up his Carrie Underwood.

Oh you too huh?


This, for me, made taking a few minutes that I really shouldn't be taking out of an extremely busy at the office to check in here more than worthwhile.

I can't even front like this didn't out a smile on my face. And you know I wouldn't say it did if it didn't.

You've got yourself some talent, girl.

X Factor said...

Weave and chicken... **sigh** SMH...
Wait, who am I foolin? I can't even PRETEND to act like that isn't me ALL DAY. Curly weave, Yves St Laurent bag, Biggie on the house stereo, Maroon 5 in the car, greasy chicken drenched in hot sauce, caviarand foie gras.
I love me some me :)

Canon Adonis said...

Philly niggas are rough. Never been so shook in my life, lol

South Philly, Baby; Ain't Bout Shit! lol, me and my cousins talk about how, the next time our cousins from GA come up, we gonna leave them in the middle of the hood.

Word, we're all really living an oxy-moronic life, whether we claim it or not. like when the "gangsta" niggas up here started listening to Chris Brown and Neyo, then tried to play it off like it was for the chicks, but they would be banging it in the crib... yah. My thing is how people try to get at you about it like they don't like something else that wouldn't be expected of them... 'tis what it is...

Stacie von Kutieboots said...

oh yeah, co-sign on Philly cats. I'm str-8 on them.

Epsilonicus said...

I will play Creed, Busta Rhymes, and John Mayer without blinking. I am from Baltimore and I read Latin (as in ancient Rome) poetry. I love hip-hop and loves to salsa. I consider Kanye West and Edgar Allen Poe my favorite poets.

Whole people have these contradictions.

the joy said...

You know I feel you on that. Except I didn't know any other way to be and ended up more notorious than I knew, and with a random assortment of associates. I think things are a lot smoother now because you are confident enough to have people look at you funny and not care so much. Please being that CD to miami.

cherry's kid said...

First, the hood always has the cheapest weave and the best chicken...that's why we go...

Daughter of an illegal caribbean immigrant and a southern transplant north, rocking Estelle, Amy Winehouse, Cold Play, Madonna, Biggie, Gnarls Barkley, and Jay-z on heavy rotation who eats peas & rice, fried chicken, and curry goat!

cherry's kid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the joy said...

Well since everyone else is naming theirs...

Cape verdean chick from the hoods of CT (yes we have hoods), beach baby who loves the city, lover of graphic novels and *actual* novels, showers listening to danity, gets to work on system of a down, but has had "ordinary won't do" by Commissioned stuck in her head for weeks. Preacher's kid who is just now feeling God like I should, traveler who doesn't drive, tomboy who loves short skirts. And by my name you'd think I was the sweetest thing, but I got a mouth like a chick that's ready to pop off... And I have never been in a fight in my life.

The more we embrace our oxymorons, the less we'll be stereotyped.

Chris said...

Pulled up to the office one day just blastin Rick Ross and T-Pain ("I got the parking lot on smash, got a '92 Bonneville with six under the hood, get 1-1-5 on the dash....") And then promptly heard one of my co-workers banging "Rock and Roll All night" by Kiss and proceeded to have a field day. It's good to have balance.

durtymo said...

HAHAHAHAH!!! Love this post!

I got Weezy F Baby, Evanescence & Chris Daughtry blasting all on the same "self made" mix cd! LOL! What!

We are all a sum of our parts. Whether its good, bad or ugly doesn't really matter.

Monie said...

It's incredible to me how much I can have in common with blog people that I really don't even know! I love being all mixed up, being different, not what people expect. This was a cool post, La!

La said...

Chris I don't think it ever occurs to anyone that young to just accept they're different. You still wanna fit in. But I certainly wish I would have given it up earlier too.

thanks Mia! hahaha you sound almost as racially confused as me

Stace hahaha @ Trick Daddy and Edwin McCain, lol

Mr Jones, oh how you make me blush. I think I will keep you :)

X hahaha I knew you would understand.

Now About that YSl bag...

Canon that would be a horrible and cruel joke.
Tell me all about it once you do it cuz I think that shit would be hilarious, lol

Epsi wait wait wait. You read LATIN. Wow. That's hot, lol

Joy text me and remind me to pack it. I'll smuggle it with my bottle :-)

Cherry yo that chicken was soooooo good, lol. Welcome by the way :-)

Chris, both very solid songs in their own right. And now I need to go download some KISS, lol

Mo yo Evanessence is my SHIT, lol

Rashan Jamal said...

He's better than me. I always turn down my eclectic tastes when I'm around non eclectic people. Like it just aint hood for me to be rocking my Nirvana. I'll keep that for the highway ride and the crib. LOL

Jarrod said...

Hi my name is Jarrod and I have Kelly Clarkson and System of A Down on my iTunes...

Blah Blah Blah said...

I've been a walking contradiction all my life. I swear, there is just too much out there to try to be just one thing.
I'mma be who I'mma be every day of the week!
...whoever that is. LOL

Good post.

Duck said...

I could start, but then I'd never stop...

Let's just say I have both "Killing Rage" and "The BAP Handbook" in my library.

On the same shelf.

Mr. Jones said...

Umm, yeah. Where you at son?

jameil1922 said...

LMAO @ weave, chicken & carrie underwood. you gave him your number didn't you. that's what that audacity of hope post was about. you so see-thru.