NY VS. LA
I just walked home from Wilshire & Vermont (well I guess home, none of this is really home to me, where I've been resting my head of late). While I was walking, after riding the MTA's lovely Metro train from Universal City, I was debating which I like more better - Los Angeles, city of Angels, my birthplace - OR - New York shitty, the rotten apple, where I lived in a storage room with no windows on the banks of the East River for bleeeems...
This is not the L.A. I grew up in. Fake gangstas spin yarns and attempt to wax poetic in mic booths in this new L.A., and everyone has a whole hell of a lot of security. The ones who've put the mic down are in front of the camera, but ya'll know the drill...every other city we go...every other video...and on the movie screen...it was all a dream. My cuzs' graf crew, KGB (the O.G. one, not that bullshit some kids came up with on the westside like a decade later) had a wall living down the street from 1985...just my dumb luck I wait til THIS trip to go flick it up...they've knocked the shit down along with Perino's once famous (and infamous) restaurant/Hollywood enclave. Yup, building Perino's apartments, another complex...so more rich folk with complexes can rest their hardly-weary coiffed heads after another day ordering one of my peers around at the office.
Walking home, I encountered a handful of characters. Two elderly white couples walking down Wilshire stopped and froze at the sight of an L.A. cockroach. I kept hot-steppin and gave 'em the "cucaracha pequena...tiny compared to New York roach!". They laughed. At least walking home broke and exhausted, I still kill 'em. Took the bus for like, 5 blocks, just 'cause one came by; and a young white boy named "Courtney" had the nerve, gall and audacity to come over to me while I was on the phone talkin bout "hey, I just wanted to let you know, you're cute...so ah, what's your name there?" COURTNEY, Courtney, Courtney. First of all, I'm not cute. I'm 100% bonafide pur-dee fine-ass beeeee-you-tiful. Thank U very much. And my name is in HUGE graffiti letters on my bamboo door-knocker earrings AND the matching nameplate. Style too wild for you to read there, son?
Stepped off the bus toward 7-11 parking lot, gave a beggar-man a $5 bill. My cousin used to stomp around that parking lot when he was basing and shooting up shit, I hope to Allah someone gave him money for food or smokes or dope or life or whatever; while I pass someone I don't know from Adam the money I could've used to eat tomorrow, or get the train/bus/train/bus to work. Copped a pack of cloves in homage to a good friend of mine who always smokes them, Djarums. Lit one up, inhaled, exhaled...trooped the rest of the way to my auntie's house.
See, in New York, in a comparable 'hood to this one, I might walk with the razor blade in my mouth between my cheek and my teeth. Just in case. I had a knife in my purse, but I was using it to customize/deconstruct a Soul Assassins t-shirt; hadn't planned on needing to pull it on anyone on the walk home.
Don't get it twist'd...I respect any true gangsta's gangster. But real bad boys move in silence. Yeah, some people don't like the way Sally walk...I know. However, game recognize game; and if U stay ready, U ain't got to get ready. Overstand and understand how my friends and family might peep this site every day or on the once-in-a-while, and it's the only way they know what's going on with me, where I am, how I'm living. How U see me, those who don't know me, is inconsequential. I'm more concerned with how that homeless man sees me, when he looks me in my eyes, Brown like his; and sees that I'm poor too. That I struggle too. When he notices the bag on my shoulder is heavy, and that I can't hurry up, 'cause I've got too much stuff. He can see it in my pride, and the raven in my eyes.
And that goes the same in NY or LA, or any city in between. There's a divide, and I'm just riding it, til the wheels fall off, the rims bend & bust, and the axel splits down the middle. And when that happens, I'll just do like my Baby G old-man used to do in high school - get up under the car, take off my white t-shirt, and tie that m'fucka back together hard enough to ride home on it. True story.
Okay so I move around a lot. So sue me. I take respect over money, hands down. People mistake paying for this flow, leasing my mind out, hiring me temporarily as their culture consultant makes me somehow answerable to them, their phone calls, their emails, their egos. I'll tell U like my mother told me - DON'T CUT OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE. And furthermore, I'll tell U like Parish Smith - PMD - told someone once in front of me... FIX YOUR FACE.
U know who you are, and U know what the fuck I'm talking about. Not to be cryptic, just switching up the audience for a second. And this is my shit, I can do whatever the fuck I want up in here. I've got people - major people - who tell me that shit e'day now...MIRANDA, YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.
And U know what I have to say to that, right?
IT'S ABOUT MUTHAFUCKEN TIME.