Walked the talk. Spoke the slang. Drank the 40 and bought the short sleeved Dickies button-up, ya dig?
Where gunshots rang out like a bell. Shells falling on the concrete real fast. Police on the scene. You know what I mean.
Survival was key.
“Never let ‘em see you smile.”
Words to live by. Words spoken by the hardest hombre I knew. My Uncle Astar. A nickname given to him after a horrific chainsaw accident; Inspired by a bitch-ass robot in a War Amps commercial. Unfortunately, Uncle Astar couldn’t put his arms back on.
But that was life in the projects. Homies losing their arms everyday. We never listened to authority, let alone some bullshit robot. We never played safe. We played unsafe. If you couldn’t swim, you were bound to drizzown. Welcome to Death Row.
Never let ‘em see you smile.
Uncle Astar never had a reason to smile. Especially when it came to speaking in sign language, wearing tank-tops and karate chopping shit. His reasons for living. Pre-accident, of course.
I wanted my new single to embody the struggle my Uncle Astar faced everyday. Pain felt by a man unable to pretend he was making out with a skeezah by rubbing his back while facing a corner.
Reality rap, ya feel me?
I pulled in the machine guns for this one. Fresh Kils on the bizzeat. Moka Only on the chorus hizzarmonies and a real-life Mogwai (which I bought in the basement of New Ho King on College & Spadina) singing his gremlin ass off.
Inspired by the sirens. The gunshots. The rolling dice. The sympathetic store owners feeling sorry for our mothers. The khakis. The hair-braiding on porches. The screen doors. The pitbulls. The ‘a friend with weed is a friend indeed’ apparel. The streets. The corners. The ghetto…And my girlfriend Melanie.