The argument started in about Toledo. I had a plan for the music and fucked it up. I left it at all at home in the rush to make it to Brooklyn by 10. I was, in great anger, being subjected to a 9-hour road trip full of my brother's shitty mixtapes. Some place deep into Maybach Music's Vol. 232: Mafia Killings (I don't know, I just made that name up, but honestly would you know the difference?) I submitted to it and did what I spent my teenage years claiming to be able to do: separated the beat from the bullshit. Of course, in the meticulously orchestrated way that popular culture has devised, those silly, silly, batshit crazy, completely unbelievable—stupid metaphors (did you really just call your dick raw titanium? Please.) kept seeping past the baseline and into my head.
Bitches and guns and snapbacks. Tomfoolery. As we entered Pennsylvania I had to put my foot down and demand some mountain radio. It was short-lived. Alas, I am better able to manage the familiar grating of poor lyrics and cheap beats than I am the twang of country songs or the bash of loud, skull-cracking punk. Or Katy Perry.
He kept going back to one song. I suspect had to do with the clever buildup, the triple clacks of an electric snare and monster backline twisting into a crescendo that by the third play, had me excited too. The type of opening too unrefined for good MCs but delicious for mainstream rappers. The kind where you raise your head up until the moment the track opens and swallows you.
YOLO/if you don't know...YOLO/if you don't know...
That annoying ass chorus was the only thing to keep my daydreams from fully forming, involving a car nicer than mine and passengers more exciting than the craigslist riders in the backseat.
YOLO/if you don't know...YOLO/if you don't know...
Nigga I know. Shit. Let the beat build and shut your husky ass up.
But he's right.
I should've saved that money and paid back the IRS or bought a bed.
But realistically and more critically I needed to come back into a space where I felt like I had helped build something and celebrate it with casual abandon.
It was partly the way Ryann and Sebastian reacted which was exactly the way I knew they would. One had that good, “OOOOOHHHHH!” scream; the one that often happens in chorus when an awesomely awesome or multo embarrassing or plain unbelievable thing happens. The other turned into mediaAmerica's schoolgirl and me into Diggy, held my shoulder, jumped up and down and scrreeeeammed at the highest possible pitch (I won't tell you who was who). Genesis, the only one who expected this, came like she often does, donning the face of a proud parent, full of love and yes-ness. A cool smile. I was standing like a tree with a shit-eating grin the way I tend to do when there is an overflow of excitement. Fontaine was off somewhere. She'd later freak out and cause the best possible scene in the backyard with about a hundred people around. All that.
An amalgamation of the seemingly shallowest shit possible. A turkey and cheese hero. The bois, the row of fantastic bridges and the thick-like-thighs skyline. A weekend of basically enough money for there and back, a dirty sleeping bag and a fucking dope ass party.
The party. Sitting on the stoop (take stoops for granted if you want to). Picking drunk assholes up and sitting them on the stoop. Walking away from what I rolled. Beautiful women (mercy). For the whispers mouthed to my ear and the looks exchanged. Flirting. Sleeping HARD. Genesis throwing a shoe at my head (early) the next morning like I didn't just drive all over creation and proceed to party until 5. The best type of exhaustion. Living this go-round of consciousness like it is the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. It is.
For showing my brother who was introduced to NYC by me only a handful of years ago and who had only once been to Brooklyn, that yes, Brooklyn does indeed get down. For sending him off in the subway instructing that he call me later. Hours later, for the call at sunset; his ankles bloody from walking in his crispy, uncomfortable Jordan's—sounding ecstatic and lost in Union Square (it's a square). For thank-god, a lowkey argument at Benny's Burrito with a trifling' ass hostess. I miss that. For traffic.
For putting the car I just purchased at a bad credit premium (and wanted to wash and wax before pulling up because who doesn't like feeling 16 and boss) to its best use. Brunch and the perfectly contained foolishness of a whip full of grown ass folks, blasting Jigga down Marcy, all of us pretending like we didn't feel cool as shit, smoke oozing from the windows.
The warmth. The love. Feelings are the realest memories we have.
Trust that most Friday nights find me tucked soundly in my bed. I am inching towards fully embracing the glorious quietude of Saturday mornings and the productivity that comes with being an adult who is about shit. Weekends of the aforementioned proportions are dwindling to a critical few and far between.
All things fade.
On the way back my brother asked for silence, which is ridiculous. He can't even drive to the Big Kmart in his little town without trying to blast something. He slept heavily and every time he opened his eyes it was to share some memory that everyone who wasn't there will neither appreciate or understand. Unclogging the toilet at headquarters. The genuinely funny homeless man. Learning that McDonald's is possibly the only other reliable place to pee in Manhattan (first source: Starbucks). Then he'd go, as I realized later, back into his daydream. As we merged onto the final highway that would lead us home, his eight-hour hiatus from sound abruptly ended.
Rozay breathin' all heavy into the mic. No complaints from me this time.
Cause it is true and I know it. You really do only live once.
Morgan is the Head Writer for bklyn boihood. Check out her website here or join the twitterers @momannwill.