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Still I Rise...

It didn't really hit me @ first.

It took well over two weeks for it to actually occur to me.

And it happened midafternoon during my daily run to the post office.

Seem like I coulda done mo', said mo'
Why all my partners gotta be dead or in the fed fo'??
All the time, I just wish that yall could ball wit me
Sometimes at night I close my eyes, and dream that yall wit me....

I had just picked up a letter out of my PO box from my cousin.

I sat in the parking lot and read it like I do every kite I get.

Fresh off his final court date, being convicted and recieving life without parole, he was responding to a kite I shot him once we all found out the verdict.

I drove away, "Still Ain't Forgave Myself" playing in the background.

Hearing him accept his fate, I had to accept mine as well.

Knew there was more to life than sellin blow and chopper bustin
But what's the good in knowin' better if I ain't tell 'em nutthin

When it comes to him and my younger brother, I'm starting to realize we led them astray.

All the times they followed us around, emulating our every move, the way we dressed, talked, walked...they wanted to be what we already were.

We didn't balance the scales by giving them equal parts good to go with the bad.

I travelled back to all the times they watched us do dumb things that we young Black men do - hustling, robbing, smoking, drinking, runnin wild with birds, actin bad in general - they emulated us.

I try to think "Did I ever tell them dudes about the importance of when I leave the block and blow that last L for the nite, that I sat back with a book?"

Nah we pretty much taught them how to rock n' roll and left them to their own devices.

Did I tell'em I prayed hard at night and rapped with God on a regular basis?

Nah, on a regular basis I showed them actions that showed devilishment.

Did I tell'em how I my stomach really felt when my folks had to come bail me out when I was young and how much I knew it hurt them?

Nah, I just told them to get their own bail money up and acted nonchalant about how it effected my folks.

I knew I coulda told Cap not to kill shawty
Put down the gun, get in the car let 'em live shawty
You'll probably get locked up, and I'll probably have a deal shawty
Naw, I ain't scared, I'm just telling ya like it is shawty
Coulda told Endae, Quint, and Kern, man ya covers blow
Leave that country town alone, yall needa come back home

Did I tell'em how much it hurt when A got killed and how I wouldn't wish death of them or anyone close to them because I wouldn't want them to have to deal?

Nope, we just rode because that's what trill aggins do who are down for their people.

Did I tell'em how much it bothers me not to be able to share with M our kids' birthdays, not to have him in the whip to clown when a new album drops, to not be in a club poppin bottles with him? Or how it feels when I need my dude to chop up a situation and keep me grounded?

Nope, never showed a drop of hurt. We all just acted like he'd be aiight and would handle himself wherever he went. He's a man, a stand-up guy.

In other words, I'm left criticizing myself for not being more "real," more honest in the truest sense of the word.

The mistakes they made, I the time, I just didn't take the steps to help end the cycle.

No regrets. No remorse.

No more of the same mistakes made again though.

So when I encounter a young knucklehead, I try to give it to him from two sides - the street side and the realer side of things.

What I am today, I made myself
But I still ain't forgave myself...

Not exactly.

There's a lot of souls that went into the composition of one...

The best clip ever used to intro a song on an album...

Dr. Dre - Little Ghetto Boy

stray shots

Madvillain - Madvillainy

Eric Roberson - Live @ The Jazz Cafe

The Pharcyde - The Humboldt Beginnings

The Pharcyde - Peacock Series Volume 1 2003

Cypress Hill-1st Album Instrumentals

Jin The Emcee - 100 Grand Jin

Freeway - Philadelphia Freeway

J.J. Fad - Supersonic

Cory Gunz - The Apprentice Mixtape Vol. 1-3

Wally Sparks & 8Ball & MJG - Tennessee Pimpin (Southern-Conference) - 2006

702 - 702

8.11 Stray Shots Download

8.11 Changelink Page

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