Wattup Ye…my inspiration for this post comes from one of my favorite tracks by you. “Heard em Say”, off Late Registration.
I’m from the hood, [South Bronx to be exact] but never became a product of my environment. As I graduated the various stages of life and developed an identity, I was
always , more times than not, proud to honestly say the hood never made me who I am. It would be a fairy tale for me to deny that, as a young African-American male surrounded by the ills of the ghetto, I didn’t cling to the hustlers story. The all-to-common “from nothing to something” narrative that your favorite rapper tells was very appealing, but not enough to lure me into becoming something I was not destined to be…….
My intentions are not self-glorification nor are they to define the formula for success. I’d much rather spark the minds of my readers to assess the current state of our youth. I work with youth of all ages, and I’ve noticed more and more that their idols and role models are not the blue-collar dad, single mom, or police officer risking his life to ensure their safety.
Lets be clear…….I’m 25 years old, and by no means am I the picture perfect role model. I most certainly still have my flaws in the controversial and hypocritical points of view that my generation and I, too, embody. Self-awareness and self-evaluation by us adults are essential to making this world a better place for the leaders of our future. Lets open up the floor for more discussion of the real heroes. The Dad busting his ass working 2 jobs to provide for his family. The Sister that took in her nieces and nephews because their mother strung out [on drugs]. The 18 year old boy who just graduated H.S. and had to postpone his college dreams to take care of his sick mother. These are realities. And these rock stars deserve our recognition….