Today I recognize my ancestors that migrated from Mississippi, upon their arrival to the banks of Lake Michigan looked around and said “this is home”… Idiots! You couldn’t follow the ones going west? I could be contemplating going to the beach in Cali right now but NO I am about to be jock deep in snow, again! Thanks great, great, great, great grandpa stupid! I could have never known what snow was, I could have been the fourth member of the Westside Connection. Las Vegas would have been a gas tank trip of gas instead of a $450 dollar round trip ticket, so now I have to drop half a g, before I even think about a hotel room… can’t stay at the Palms now, I need to get back to cold ass Chicago.
You couldn’t keep going north; I could be relaxing in Canada with its mild racism and high alcohol volume beer. Didn’t think about me huh? Didn’t think that I could have been a star in the NHL? It would have been my birthright to learn how to ice skate in Canada, with my speed and athletic ability I could have been a cultural icon. The “Jump Man” logo would have been in an all-out battle with my “T-stop” logo. Black kids everywhere would be wishing their parents could afford all that hockey equipment. But you stopped in Chicago… you selfish fucks!
Never crossed your mind to stay in the South and deal with it? Yeah you would have had to deal with an occasional burning cross; a missing brother later found beat senseless. The lack of quality education or decent paying jobs, but they would have started marching one day. By the time the soles of your shoes had worn all the way through from all that walking and standing up to a high-powered fire hose while a police dog takes a couple chunks out your ass, I would have been well positioned to experience some nice Southern living now. I could be in Atlanta, one of the few straight brothers in Atlanta I might add… I could have been Don Juan DeDarko in the ‘A’. Obviously you only thought of yourselves! How selfish could you possibly be?
Houston? Never considered going a little west, tropical temperatures, on the Gulf of Mexico, and close to Mexico so I would never need a prescription for ANYTHING! Thanks old wise elders, I could be sipping on that lean, with gold/platinum grills in my mouth, while rollin’ my “candy painted”, on my way to get me some chili with a side of wings, while wearing a “FREE/R.I.P Pimp C” T-shirt. Chicago huh? How cool did I just sound and you messed that up for me!
If you had to go cold and stay in the country why not East Coast, huh Ishmael? Couldn’t drop your hat in New York City? I know you heard about it, what was it ‘too big’ for you? So you picked Chicago instead… I can’t even look at you now. Do you realize how badly you messed me up; I would have come up in the Golden Era of Hip-Hop. My flow would have been insane; I would have been the first to ever dunnit and would still be doing it. I should be Blue Ivy’s daddy! Philly? I am the same age as mostly everyone in the Roots. I could have been on bass, I play bass!!! Bass player is the position with the most transition for the Roots, I would have never left the group! I would be on Jimmy Fallon every night, playing the bass line as Michelle Bachman walks out to our cover of Fishbone’s “Lying Ass Bitch”. I would have seen the beauty in one of our backup singers, had her hitting the gym with me and eating right… do you see how fine Jill Scott is after she toned up. I saw that in her, she needed me and you blew it for me in your haste to ‘get away from it all’, ‘for something different’ and ‘change’.
I would have loved to have come up in Europe; I will let you slide on this one. There was only one way to travel across large bodies of water back then and the last time someone offered you a boat ride, when you un-boarded the last one you didn’t exactly get to have a drink topped off by mini umbrellas with the locals. But you see how much play Idris Elba is getting right now from sistas? I could have held my own on the mean streets of England, eventually earning my street cred as “Stringer” Bell… “THE WIRE” WAS THE SHIT!!! The greatest TV show of all-time (according to people a lot smarter than me, because they get PAID to write). I’ll forgive you for this one, but as long as you know what was possible for me if you had taken a European vacation.
Please do not think I don’t appreciate you, I do very much. I even look like you, just with a fresh haircut and a dental plan. I am just irritated because I am about to go through another Chicago snow storm followed by a cold spell after going through the mildest winter I have experienced since I lived in Miami. That’s right I use to live in Miami and came back to this cold mess. See, I am just like you and I act just like you, make decisions just like you. I am going to stop short of blaming you for my obvious genetic predisposition to make bad decisions. Hey I am just stating the facts, I’m not blameless I am also not 100% responsible for my poor choices. I have to learn to accept that I come from a long line of bad decision makers. Happy Black History Month to my ancestors that migrated to Chicago, please join me in saluting them, I love them a lot more in July.