This was an entry that I made before the President Obama was elected into office and I just read it again and wanted to share it again. I was just recently told by a friend that it would be great to repost this right before each election.
I met up with an old friend of mine recently and he was pulling out all of these Cd's with OLD SCHOOL HIP HOP written all over them. We popped a few in and it took me back, way back to the days of my youth. It was great to reminisce about how we used to hang. But he had this one CD is his case, that I had to have, "Ready to Die" by Biggie Smalls, my favorite CD when I was a younger. I must have heard that CD over 100 times, but as I sat in my car listening to the songs now, I asked myself, did I really LISTEN to the songs or did the words just breeze through my ears and the beat just mesmerize me.
I am sitting in my car now, playing all these tracks, and wondering, how did I ever get the songs to play in my house and my mother not beat me down. I mean, every other word is MF this and MF that. I mean, geeze, I can't even listen to it now without trying to remember when those parts are coming on so I can lower the volume. I might as well just turn it off, because their is no way to avoid it.
But as I try to truly listen to the words, I realize something, we as kids in the ghetto, looked at Biggie as, hey he made it, he got out of jail and made it. He sold the drugs, lived the illegal way, got caught and still became someone that kids looked up to. Someone right out of our backyard in Brooklyn, straight to stardom. And his words were something of excellence.
Well at that time, that is what I thought, but listening to this CD now, I only wonder if the kids that have listened to his words, did it hold them back from truly achieving their dreams. Did they look at the easy way out or think "hey if Biggie did it, so can I". I am sure many youth back in the day and possibly today, made that mistake and now they are paying for it.
I bring up this issue because as we are facing a new chapter in our politics, a new President to be elected, I only wonder which candidate will give much thought to all those youth in the ghetto that have to live a life the way Biggie rapped about. Biggie brought it real, he was an artist that painted the ghetto exactly as he saw it. I remember, the struggles my friends faced, but could it have been avoided, can it be fixed now. Which candidate today will be the one to come in and help out the youth in the ghetto. To give them a better future than looking up to people that did not live a legal life, and still made it to stardom, should they follow that path, or have opportunities like the youth in better neighborhoods. My question is real easy, who will stand up and say that things need to change, that a change is in order, that all youth in this country will have opportunities for a better life. We have heard enough about the oil, the health care, the war, the hatred, the radicals, Roe v. Wade, Gay Marriages, but how much have we heard the candidates speak about what they intend to do to help out the people that need it the most. You can't hold people's hands and walk them to their future, but you can give them a way out of no where.
I only used Biggie as an example because his words ring so true, but we need new words, ones that will propel the youth in the ghettos to greatness.
These words can no longer be the anthem in the ghetto:
"To all the teachers that told me, Id never amount to nothin, to all the people that lived above the Buildings that I was hustlin in front of that called the police on Me when I was just tryin to make some money to feed my daughters, And all the niggaz in the struggle"
We need to change this now, we need to give our youth a better future, better options, or we will continue to lose them to their environment. Who will stand up and take this under their wing??
Sunday, March 01, 2009
On Saturday February 28, 2009, my grandfather, Alfonso Caban, went home to be with the Lord. As I am sitting here pondering how this is affecting me and my family, I can only think of all the years I had with him and all the memories that I will always share with him. He might not have been a perfect man, well who is, but he was a man's man. A strong man, that would do what needed to be done to make sure that all who came his way was treated with respect and honor. He was a man that was a WWII veteran, a hard worker, who did what was needed to put food on his table for his wife and 7 daughters. He stood tall by what he believed. He was a proud grandpa and an even prouder great grandpa. He loved his family and cherished his life with them. He will never be forgotten. As hard as it is to imagine him gone, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of his life. Papi te quiero mucho, que dios lo bendiga.