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A man grows in Brooklyn..


When I was in junior high, there was this kid in my class, Robert Cobbs. Robert was a soft spoken nerdy guy who always dressed like a preppy. In the hood, that alone would make you a target and at that age, the other kids were merciless. To top it off, Robert’s mom would bring him and pick him up from school. So you can imagine the harassment that would ensue. Being in the top class, a lot of us were nerds under the cover, but we knew that our survival depended on fitting in. We had our cliques..young boys pretending to be macho, wannabe jocks. We’d hang out in the park playing basketball for the most part after school.

One day, Robert showed up on the court during a shoot around. It was an unwritten rule that if you stepped on the court, you were allowed to hang. So the ball was passed to Robert. He dropped it. He then awkwardly ran after it looking like an uncoordinated newborn calf. The harassment ensued. It wasn’t mean spirited, but intense. He’d attempt to shoot and miss the entire rim. After a few of those, we’d take the time out to try to teach him how to shoot. He was determined to get it right. We all saw a little bit of ourselves in him, but no one would admit it out loud. Eventually we got a game going and picked Rob on our side. Whenever he’d get the ball we’d cheer him on to hit the shot. When he did it was comical, until he hit the next one, and the next one. The kid gloves came off and the other team would challenge him with some real defense. At the height of the game, his mom showed up, standing off in the corner with a watchful eye. No one had noticed her and as customary during the game, the profanity, and insults, which included the “this is for your mama shots” flew unfiltered. Robert! she said in that voice that you knew meant business, ‘it’s time to go’. Stunned as we became aware of her presence and embarrassed at some of the things that had been said, the game came to an awkward pause. He would plead his case to stay, all sweaty in his now dirty buttoned down shirt, to no avail. Dejectedly he relented to her summoning and bid us farewell, making his rounds through the guys, each one giving him a version of a soul brother handshake. It was for him a single moment of triumph. He’d come to use as the awkward fawn and left as one of the guys.

Fast forward to the late 80’s. I’d moved away from home, gotten a job on Wall St., living with my high school girlfriend in downtown Brooklyn in the stylish yuppie section of Fort Greene. I’d come out of the house, headphones on, oblivious to the world on my way to the store. I stepped out on to the sidewalk and was almost immediately hit by someone on a bike, He jerkily stopped and turned to offer an apology and to my amazement it was Robert. I was totally shocked. He was the absolute last person I’d expected to see and by the look on his face the feeling was mutual. We greeted and talked for a bit. He lived in the neighborhood. Small world we agreed and after a few moments, he started to ride off. He was having a very difficult time trying to get his balance. More than one would expect from a grown man. So I quipped to him, A little rusty? To which he replied, nah..it’s this damn MS. It’s kinda hard for me to keep it steady these days. I’ve had it since I was a child but it’s gotten really bad but I’m dealing with it. I’ll catch you later..and with that he rode off, struggling heavily to keep the bike straight. I was hollow. I did not know how to feel as the realization of what he’d just said to me soaked in. It explained everything..why he was so awkward, why his mom was so protective..it hit me like a wave and I stood there almost in tears, humbled at his bravery and overwhelmed with guilt by the way we treated him as a kid, but comforted in the fact that he considered me as a friend..

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Tick tock??


it’s 2 AM and I should be asleep because I have to be up in three hours, but I’m not. So be it. I was just thinking that this generation may never know the sound of a clock ticking. Have I become obsolete??

There’s lots going on and I guess I’ll circle back and share some of those things, but for now, just to fill the void, I will share some photos. 

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The stalker


Going back a few posts, I did mention that this blog would be an attempt to share some of the unusual things that have happened to me. I was going through some old pictures I found in a folder online and I came across this one. The story behind it is insane. 

Sometime ago I was dating a woman who is a well known model. I will not give her name. At the time she lived in London. She had a guy who was stalking her. Actually there were quite a few but this one in particular was insane. 

We created a fake Facebook account so that she could interact with me online and get to know things about me and my family without anyone knowing who she really was. Apparently this guy had gotten someone to hack that account. One day we were having a conversation on the phone and I noticed that she was online at the same time. I mentioned this to her and she thought I was crazy. So I sent her an instant message saying something smart like this is me who are you? The person replied, It’s me. So as I’m talking to her on the phone I’m saying to her why are you playing games? She insisted that she was not online, in fact she was not even near a computer. Once it became aware to me that she wasn’t lying I suddenly realized that she had been hacked. So I asked the person again who is this? And the person gave me his real name. I asked him why was he doing this? He said that he wanted to find out “who she was fucking”. She immediately panicked and told me to stop talking to him. He was someone that had been stalking her to a point where she had to get an order of protection. (It’s called something else in the UK but I can’t remember the name of it right now). I ended the conversation after threatening him and then I told her that she should log on as soon as she could and change her password. The only upside was the fact that we used this account just for us, so I was the only person on her friend list. She changed the password and was very upset over what happened. I thought that this would be the end, but it was just the beginning. A couple of days later she texted me a message saying thank you for the gift. I was confused because I hadn’t bought her anything. She thought I was playing games with her and insisted that I stop playing around. I was like, what are you talking about? Apparently she received a gift delivered to her apartment that said it was from me, complete with a card and a receipt that had my name on it. If you look at the picture carefully you will see my name on the bottom of that receipt. This caused me to freak out because then I started wondering if this guy had hacked my account. I spent the next couple of weeks on edge wondering what the fuck would happen next.



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Eyes wide shut


Disclaimer: The following may cause disorientation, vertigo and/or slight panic. If you currently suffer from any of these symptoms for any medical or psychological reasons, do not continue. 

What I am about to show you can have an impact ranging from mild curiosity to altering the way you view reality. 

The first thing I can guarantee is that even after reading the disclaimer, none of you will have stopped reading. Your curiosity won’t let you. Right now even if you wanted to, you couldn’t stop reading this sentence. You’re hearing these words in your mind as you read them and at the same time, anxiety and tension is starting to build up over finding out what the hell I’m talking about. 

Okay, now that I have your attention, let’s continue…

Follow these instructions very carefully!

Close one of your eyes and continue to read until otherwise instructed.

As you read this sentence I want you to focus on everything you can see without looking away. Just stare at this line for a moment. Now without moving your head, look around and analyze everything that you can see with that one eye. 

Okay, now switch eyes and repeat the same process. Become very aware of everything that you can see without turning your head.

 Are you feeling anxious yet?

Of course not you’re probably annoyed thinking this is bullshit, what has this guy got me doing? Trust me just follow these instructions and you’ll understand. 

Now, open both your eyes. 

Blink a few times. 

I want you to answer this simple math question, what is 2+2?

I’ll give you a second. I know you’re probably thinking this some kind of trick to this, but there isn’t. 

The answer is of course 4.

Now remember when you were reading this with one eye and you could see your nose? Where is it?

It’s still there. But you have blocked it out. As you’re reading this you’re becoming aware of it and it’s starting to interfere with your reading. But you will soon notice that you can control it. It may be a little disorienting at first. 

You do this all the time without realizing it. 

This doesn’t just happen with your eyes, it happens with your entire body. Where is your foot? Your elbow? Your ear? 

 Your brain is actually aware of everything that’s happening around you at all times , but you control what you want to process in more detail. 

 Think about this for a while, and as you’re thinking I want you to start to become more aware of what’s around you. Practice this everyday and you will start to soon realize that you have been walking through life with your eyes and mind half open. 

Pass this on to a friend. 

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Man crushed


I was laying on the couch listening to some old Stevie Wonder songs and today being Monday, a lot of folks participate in this social media theme #MCM or Man Crush Monday. (No luck on that front this way haha) But the combination had me reflecting back asking myself who were my crushes? My mind took me back to an incident that I totally buried until today that I will share.
When I was in high school, there was this girl named Crystal. She was in the music department. I believe she played the clarinet. Anyway, Crystal wasn’t the girl you’d notice at first glance, She wasn’t doe-eyed exotic or voluptuous..the types I’d usually pine for at that age, but she was average I’d say. As a matter of fact, we talked for a while before one day we were having a convo and I took the time to really check her out. She had the most perfect complexion I’d ever seen..milk chocolaty and buttery smooth. There was something about her full lips that just drew me in. I could literally hear myself saying to myself, ah man she’s beautiful. I realized that I was staring and so did she, to the point where she said, Why are you looking at me like that? Is something wrong? To which I replied, no there’s nothing wrong. I just like what I see. Mind you..this was way bold for me. I didn’t even have the time to check myself before the words just came out of my mouth. She just looked at me with this look of incredulity, like are you serious?

A little background is needed here. I was very popular in high school, but exceptionally insecure. I would joke around a lot as a means of deflection and to channel my anxiety at being the center of attention. A lot of girls found me attractive but I hated myself because of negative images put in my head about the typical black man’s features over the years. Whenever anyone would compliment me or say anything about my looks, I would get totally fucked up awkward. I convinced myself they were just saying that out of pity. So that’s why for me to say something like that to someone’s face was way way out of character. She laughed it off but her friend, Evelyn (yes, I’m calling you out too) was like, you go girl! So now we were both miserably embarrassed and changed the subject. It wouldn’t end there though.
Not too much longer after that, one day Crystal comes to tell me that she’s leaving PA (Performing Arts) and going to another school. I was fucking crushed. It was like my heart beat one big thump and then my soul left my body. I can remember us standing there in mutual disbelief of the power of that moment looking at each other in the hallway. I felt betrayed in some way. We weren’t dating or anything but it felt to me like abandonment. I struggled with those feelings for a bit and then I finally got the nerve to ask for her phone number. You see, I could tell that she liked me but was unsure how far to let it go. There were many rumors about me with girls, a lot was just talk. I had admirers but at that time, but nothing was happening with anyone else.
I can’t recall how long it was after that this situation I’m about to describe occurred. It was summer like.
I’d called and made arrangements to come by her house. I remember begging because she was very reluctant to have me over. She was fighting the feeling, I said to myself, and that’s not going to stand in my way. So off I went.
She lived in Harlem, in a housing development. I remember being intimidated that I was heading into another hood that I’d heard so many bad things about. It turned out to be nothing but hype. When I got to her place, I was greeted by her father. He was a huge individual. When he shook my hand, his hand covered my whole hand and part of my wrist. I was like wow, there is NO way I’m gonna go ANYTHING to piss this guy off. I bet if he slapped me, my sneakers would’ve come off. He was on his way to work, so we just exchanged pleasantries and he went out. Her mother was there doing something..not sure, but she was in the kitchen. Crystal was in the process of doing something with her hair. I think they were going out somewhere later, but she her hair was wet and she had a towel covering her head. She invited me into her room to talk, which I was very nervous about but went anyway. She excused herself and then came back in a tee shirt with that towel on her head. She might as well have been an Egyptian goddess. She was talking to me and I got caught again. She said, Darrell what? I’m like what what? She’s said, Why are you staring at me like that? Are you staring at my boobs? Which by the way were extremely visible and her nipples were like doorbell buttons waiting to be rung. At first I tried to restrain my mouth but I was again, caught up in the moment and just said I find you to be irresistible. She was like, stop being so damn cute and came to hug me. Then it happened. We looked at each other and I went in for the kill. I don’t know how long it was but I was completely taken away by how good this kiss felt. I’d never kissed anyone with lips as full as mine but it was incredible. She was enjoying it too. So much so that neither of us heard her mother open the door. All I heard was, Crystal..when you’re done, I want to speak with you, and she closed the door. We were like OMG! OMG! OMG! I immediately started apologizing. I was in a panic. How could I fuck this up so bad on the first move?? Her father is going to destroy me. I have to move to Canada.
It wasn’t over just yet.
She walked out, closing me in her room to confront her mother. I was sitting on her bed in total shock. I could hear them arguing. All I could make out was, get him out of my house. Needing no cue, I got myself together and started to head out. I stepped out, said to her mother, I apologize. I was wrong. I’ve disrespected your home. it was all me. I meant no harm but I will go. Crystal then did the totally unexpected. She said, No..you’re my company. You leave when I say it’s ok to leave. I’m like no no she didn’t..no she did not just nuke her mom in front of me. Realizing that a save was seriously needed in that awkward moment that followed, I said, no..You’re mother is right. I have to go and I headed towards the door, with as much intention as to end this disaster and to save my own life. Crystal then grabs me and says, “You’re not leaving without me”. I felt like I was in a bad dream that would eventually end with me getting shot at this point. Her mother roared back, “You’re not going anywhere”. To which Crystal replied, “Watch me” and proceeded to get her keys and a jacket. I was dumbfounded at this point. I’d never ever ever seen a black girl speak to her mother like that and live. She got her stuff and walked me back to the train station. We talked for a bit. I was so concerned about what was going to happen to Crystal that I would have done anything to make it better. She assured me she’d deal and thanked me for coming. I then said the magic words..I love you. She grabbed my mouth and said, “Don’t say that! Just don’t! Ok??” I was completely lost. She just kissed me and walked away. I called her later and she said she would explain. She agreed to have me come to her new school. There was a show that she was in. So I went.
It was there as we sat in the auditorium that she told me she had a boyfriend, but she liked me as a friend. No sooner than the words came out of her mouth did he show up asking her Is everything ok? She dismissively introduced me as her friend from the other school and he went on. That train ride home was one of the longest of my life..

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Grandma’s hands


I find it especially weird that a lot of people don’t remember their childhood but I remember practically every moment. The other day I was in the grocery store and I came across a jar of Grandma’s molasses. I said to myself, wow it’s been a long time since I’ve even seen this. So I bought it. Mind you I’m on a diet but I decided to have a couple of spoons of molasses in low fat milk instead of a meal. This is something I used to do when I was a kid but for a different reason. So after having a swig, I started having flashbacks.
When I was younger, I used to spend a lot of time with my grandparents down in North Carolina. They lived very close to the earth. By that I mean everything that they ate was homegrown. One of the favorite things that I loved was buttered biscuits and molasses. I can still remember seeing the steam coming from a freshly opened hot homemade biscuit. Dipping your biscuit in a small part of molasses and wolfing it down was my version of nirvana.
I also remembered my grandmother canning fruits (and a various assortment of other things). I remember asking myself why do they call it canning when you’re putting stuff in jars?
One of my other favorite things was the way my grandmother used to make corn off the cob. She had this tool, for lack of a better description, that was essentially a piece of wood with an opening in it. This opening had a metal blade in it and it was used to strip the kernels from the corn. I can still hear her humming as she was preparing a batch for dinner.she would stir-fry this in a pan with butter and it would be so frigging good. Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I’ll make some myself soon.

So, there I was, in my kitchen with my molasses milk, which I was having in a mason jar, souvenir courtesy of Joe’s Crab Shack, in complete awe of how many memories one sip could bring.

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Days off are so underrated


So, I took today off.
I’m laying here in the den where I slept last night trying to make a decision on what my first act of the day will be, looking at this mini pile of shoes that I wear around the house and it dawned on me that my first act of independence had already taken place.
By now I would have gotten up frantically worrying about what the first meeting of the day would be like, trying to decide what to scoff down in the little time that I have to prepare. Yet here I lay under my comforter in my sweats/pajamas, debating if I should even get up.
This simple act of defiance made me realize the kind of stress we put ourselves through during a normal work day.
It starts from the moment you open your eyes.
We are so programmed that we don’t realize what that’s doing to us physically and mentally.
I ask myself how many hours or seconds have my added to my life by not stressing the moment I open my eyes?
I think I’ll lay here and let that percolate for a minute.

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What’s happening butterfly?


What’s happening?

It’s been a busy few weeks for me at the salt mine but I have been working on a few things and thangs. I’m tripping because it’s been friggin cold out here. The forecast was like judgement day, but it turned out we got very little snow. BUT make no mistake, it was cold.

I have a Fox in my backyard that wails at night. That’s kinda special

So here’s some joints I put together

better with as much bass as you can gen

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Cold Shoulder


Well it looks like we are gonna get bombed again. Let’s hope it’s a dud like the last nor’easter that they called “snowmaggeden”..lol. Who comes up with this stuff?

Anyway..I wanted to post this slideshow video for my song, Back to Back. I’m getting some real positive feedback on this cut. Enjoy it.