Justice For Junior

So, those who know me know that I’m a Bronx dude to my core. Like, the way I walk, talk and act come directly from my Boogie Down upbringing. However, I’m also familiar with the fuckery that can transpire in my borough. With that being said, I can’t put into words how tragic Lesandro Guzman-Feliz‘s death is, son. All I know is, NO explanation, justification or scenario can justify what those demons did to that 15-year-old boy.

Ok, for those who are unaware, Feliz, better known as Junior, was horrifically murdered last week. Now, at first, no one knew why members of the Trinitarios gang targeted Junior. Based on initial information, all we knew is that five men literally dragged Junior out of a bodega and hacked him with machetes. Sadly, the entire event was captured on video surveillance and cellphone footage. From there, Junior stumbled to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he later died.

Now, as more intel is being gathered, we now know that this whole tragedy is a case of mistaken identity. Apparently, all of this stemmed from a sextape circulating around social media. As the story goes, a video was making its rounds that showed a teen girl having sex with one boy while another boy rapped next to them. From what I understand, the girl is related to one of the dudes who was looking for Junior. In any case, they targeted Junior because he looked like the boy rapping in the video. Problem is, THAT WASN’T HIM!

Moving on, when these assholes realized they killed the wrong kid, they tried to apologize to the family in several text and Facebook messages. *Sigh* Listen, there are SEVERAL things wrong with all of this, man. First, a “whoops, we killed the wrong dude” explanation is not acceptable, fam. Real talk, even if they found the right kid, NO ONE deserved to die over this, bruh! Ok, yes, I can possibly understand wanting to beat up the person responsible for leaking the video. But, all of that machete shit was WILDLY unnecessary, people!

Next, why didn’t ANYONE in the bodega call for help? I mean, they just let these dudes drag that boy out of the store! Look, I’m not saying that the store owner should’ve fought five clowns with machetes by himself. However, either him or his workers should’ve called somebody, son! For God‘s sake, that boy got butchered in their vicinity! The staff could’ve done SOMETHING, man! ANYTHING!

In the end, I don’t know what else to say, fam. Ultimately, this type of savagery is HIGHLY unfortunate and uncalled for, bruh. By and by, I’m happy that all of the suspects have been caught, folks. At the end of the day, I hope the judge throws ALL of the books at them, brethren. Frankly, these dickheads don’t deserve leniency or pity, people. LC out.

P.S. I advise everyone out there to NOT watch the video of his murder. One, I want us all to respect Junior’s life. Two, nobody really needs to witness such a brutal homicide, son. That is all.

P.P.S. Shout-out to Cardi B for donating $8,000 to the family’s GoFundMe page. Real talk, that was a super stand-up move, fam. Good day.

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Hip-Hop Is In A Good Place

So, I know the title alone will have some people in their feelings, son. I mean, I can already hear some of the comments, man: “fuck Mumble Rap” or “these new artists can’t rhyme” or “Hip-Hop isn’t what it used to be.” Look, I’m going to be real, fam. I don’t have time to focus on shit I don’t like, bruh. Real talk, I give everybody a chance, folks. Now, if I don’t like an artist’s music, then I just don’t come back to that shit, people. With that being said, I’d rather take a moment to give credit to the artists who are doing great things. All in all, Hip-Hop is actually in a good place at the moment.

Ok, to begin, let’s talk about Kendrick Lamar, son. Now, for those who missed it, this motherfucker just won a damn Pulitzer Prize, man! Listen, his DAMN. album took home the prize for music. To be clear, Pulitzer started giving out awards for music in 1943. Lamar is the FIRST rapper to ever win that award. On the real, that’s fucking insane, fam! Look, I’m not one of those people who believes that Black culture needs validation from White America in order to be treasured. But, it’s still dope when they recognize the influence we have on the world. Good shit, Lamar!

Now, let’s talk about Drake, bruh. Keeping it a buck, during my wedding week in Nevis, my boy Fabian and I had a candid conversation about Drake. Essentially, we talked about the fact that NO rapper has ever dominated mainstream music the way that Drake has. Look, I’m well aware of the success of artists like Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye West. However; if we’re being honest here, Drake has been at the top of the charts for damn near a decade now. Son, So Far Gone came out in 2009, man. It’s 2018 now and this dude is replacing his own number-one Billboard Hot 100 song with another hit. Listen, “Nice For What” just replaced “God’s Plan” at the summit and his winning streak continues. All I know is, this type of success should be celebrated, fam.

Next, I want to talk about Cardi B, bruh. Now, I’m 100% a homer when it comes to Cardi, son. Look, I’m a Bronx dude to the core so I have to champion one of my own, man. In any case, we’ve all watched her make a steady transition from stripper to social media star to reality television star to Rap star. On top of that, her Invasion of Privacy album is actually dope, fam. All I can say is, I have no idea how someone could hate on her story, bruh. By and by, she elevated her situation while remaining true to herself. That type of shit is admirable, folks.

Lastly, I want to talk about Nicki Minaj. Now, I’m well aware of the fact that I gave her a hard time the other day. Honestly, that’s because I believe she’s above the petty shit she’s doing right now. Anyway, her new songs are tough, son! Look, I still favor “Chun-Li” over “Barbie Tingz,” but both songs knock, man! Despite all of the nonsense, she’s back to rapping and I’m happy about that, fam. In my eyes, it’s always better when the biggest artists in the game embrace lyrics. It helps to create an atmosphere where other artists will try to live up to that bar, pun intended.

In the end, instead of wasting energy on wack shit, let’s pay attention to the dope shit, bruh. Ultimately, I have nothing else to say, son. By and by, there’s a lot of good music out there right now, man. Let’s just focus on that, fam. That is all. LC out.

P.S. J. Cole is dropping a new album on Friday, bruh. This is yet another example of Hip-Hop being in a good place, son. Anyway, we’ll see what his K.O.D. album is hitting for when it drops. Good day.

Damn, Golden Krust

So, this may be a very New York City-centric post, son. As a matter of fact, this may be a very Bronx and Brooklyn-centric post, man. All I know is, as a West Indian dude who was raised in NYC, the news of Lowell Hawthorne‘s suicide is shocking, fam. Real talk, Golden Krust is a MAJOR part of my life, bruh. With that being said, if the theories behind the CEO‘s death are true, then this situation is highly tragic, folks.

Ok, before I continue, let me just paint a quick picture. So, in case people don’t know, I’m from the Bronx. On the real, I’m the product of Co-op City through and through, son. In any case, although I lived with my mother, my father also lived in the Bronx on Seymour Avenue. Now, this is notable because his house was a block away from Gun Hill Road, where one of the original Golden Krust locations exists. Needless to say, anytime I visited him, I completely OD’ed on beef patties and oxtail, man. Until this day, I can’t get enough of their food, fam.

Now, outside of my little worldview, Golden Krust has grown into a very successful business. Hawthorne took his family’s patty recipe and created an empire, bruh. As of now, the company has over 100 locations across various states. So, on face value, it seems like everything is going well, son. However; as we’re now learning, it appears that Hawthorne was dealing with a lot of pressure, man.

Apparently, Hawthorne was facing massive tax debt AND was being sued by Robert Wray, a former employee. Now, according to Wray’s suit, he was never paid overtime over an 11-year period. From what I understand, relatives are now stating that Hawthorne began behaving oddly after confessing his financial troubles to them. All in all, everything came to a head on Saturday when he was found dead in his Bronx factory from a gunshot wound to the head. Keeping it a buck, it’s a really fucked up way to go, fam.

Look, in situations like this, I try not to judge people, bruh. However; if Hawthorne’s suicide was over his financial issues, then death doesn’t really solve the problem, son. I mean, the IRS is still going to hit up his company for their money and Wray’s lawsuit will most likely continue. So, even though he’s out of the picture, the problems still remain, man. Furthermore, in addition to grieving his loss, now his loved ones are left holding the bag, fam.

In the end, this is just a sad circumstance, bruh. Ultimately, suicide is always an unfortunate situation, son. By and by, I feel for his family, his friends and the people who worked with him. Being real, I want to say Rest In Peace to Hawthorne, but I find it hard to think of peace when someone dies in such a manner, man. Anyway, I hope all of Golden Krust’s issues get resolved and I hope everyone involved is able to move on, fam. That is all. LC out.

Long Live Cardi B!

So, to be clear, let me say something off the rip: there shall be no Bronx slander on my blog, son. In addition, there shall be no libel about Cardi B, man. Keeping it a buck, at this particular moment in time, she’s reached the pinnacle, fam. I mean, she’s literally changed the trajectory of her entire life with one song, bruh. Now, if that wasn’t enough, she’s also reached another milestone, people: with “Bodak Yellow” reaching number-one on the Billboard Hot 100, she’s become the first female rapper to reach the summit without a feature since Lauryn Hill.

Ok, before I continue, allow me to quickly paint a picture. Now, the year was 1998. At this time, I was a mere 13 years old. During that summer, I distinctly remember taking my The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill CD on a church retreat. As a matter of fact, I also remember that the aforementioned CD was stolen on said trip. Side note, I still don’t know who did it, son. Look, I know some of the youth from that era read this blog. Who stole my CD, man?! I want answers, people! In any case, that’s how long it’s been since Ms. Hill dropped her “Doo Wop (That Thing)” single. All in all, up until Cardi B, Ms. Hill was the last female rapper to solely top the charts.

Now, before I go any further, let me paint ANOTHER picture, fam. Since Hip Hop‘s inception, only FIVE female rappers have EVER topped the Hot 100, bruh. As it stands, Lauryn, Lil’ Kim (“Lady Marmalade“), Shawna (“Stand Up“), Iggy Azalea (“Fancy“) and now Cardi are the only ones to reach this feat. I mean, what else do I need to say about Cardi’s accomplishment, son?! Shit, that woman has come A LONG way from Sue’s Rendezvous and Love & Hip Hop, man! All jokes aside, how can anyone dislike this story, fam? Real talk, I can’t hate on anyone from the Bronx making moves, bruh. By and by, Cardi is my hero, folks.

In the end, long live Cardi B! Ultimately, I don’t know what else needs to be said, son. Viva la Belcalis Almanzar! That is all. LC out.

The ‘Hot Water Challenge’ Needs To Stop!

Ok, can I put my dad pants on for a second? So, the other day, my wife and I had a conversation with our oldest son about the “Hot Water Challenge.” This came after we heard about what happened to 8-year-old Ki’ari Pope in Florida. Apparently, her cousin dared her to drink boiling water through a straw. From there, Pope burned her throat, got a tracheotomy, but still eventually died from respiratory issues. On the real, the fact that this little girl was only one year older than my son shook me to my core.

To make matters worse, Pope hasn’t been the only child to suffer from this outlandish challenge. More and more stories are popping up about kids doing serious damage to themselves. For instance, back in July, 10-year-old Wesley Smith of North Carolina received third degree burns after he and his stepbrother tried to get in on the movement. It seems as if they got the idea from YouTube videos. In another case, right here in the Bronx, the friends of 11-year-old Jamoneisha Merritt poured boiling water on her face while she slept. Needless to say, her face has been ravaged, man.

Now, some people may be thinking “what’s wrong with these kids?” But remember, most children have no common sense, son. Like, I did TONS of stupid shit when I was a child. For example, who told me it was a good idea to backflip off of the top of a swing, man? On the real, I’m lucky that I got out of there with only a sprained ankle. With that being said, kids feel like they’re invincible and it leads them to doing all manners of tomfoolery, fam. In any case, we as parents need to reinforce the risks of dangerous actions to our children, bruh.

In the end, even though I think this challenge is beyond dumb, I can’t really fault the kids, son. Keeping it a buck, I can’t fault the adults either, man. The fact of the matter is, being a parent is a lot of trial and error, bruh. The sad part is, in some cases, it takes tragedy for young people to learn. All I know is, as of right now, we need to tell our kids to stay far, far, faaaar away from the “Hot Water Challenge.” That is all. LC out.

My Sunday Night With The Police

So, originally, I was going to talk about Jay-Z‘s new album today. However; I just need to get this story off of my chest, man. Now, don’t worry, good people. I’ll be back on Wednesday to speak about the virtues of 4:44. In any case, for today, I’d like to talk about my recent run-in with the New York Police Department. Needless to say, the entire situation was uncalled for and unnecessary. All in all, I truly don’t understand why cops find so much joy in being complete assholes.

Now, the situation began while I was driving home. I happened to be a few blocks away from my apartment on Morris Avenue in the Bronx. Side note, for anyone who’s unfamiliar with this part of the world, although Morris is a two-way street, it only has one lane on each side. Anyway, I was driving behind this black car and the vehicle just stopped in the middle of the street. I honked my horn thinking the driver was either distracted or lost. The car didn’t move. After about five or ten seconds, the car slowly pulled off and then proceeded to run a red light.

When the light turned green again, I started moving, but ended up right back behind the same car. It stopped in the middle of the street again and I honked my horn a second time. From there, the car pulled off the road to the right. I assumed that the driver was lost and needed to get his/her baring. I decided to drive around the now parked car. As I passed the car, that’s when I realized it was the police. Honestly, I had no idea because the car didn’t look like the typical Dodge or Chevrolet that they usually use.

Moving on, once I drove pass them, that’s when they turned their sirens on and forced me to pull over. Next, four officers jumped out of the car with their hands on their guns. Two of them stood on the driver’s side of my car and the other two stood on the passenger side. The officer driving the car started to yell at me for “tailgating” him. I asked him how could I be tailgating if I drove around him when he wasn’t moving. Also, I reminded him that he stopped in the middle of the street on two separate occasions.

After this part of our exchange, the same cop asked me for my license and registration. As I motioned for my wallet, all four cops put their hands back on their guns. I assured them that I was just trying to get my license. Once I gave them what they asked for, they told me to get out of the car. While this happened, a teenage boy stopped on the sidewalk to see what was going on. The two officers on the passenger side approached him with their hands still on their guns. They asked him if he knew me and he said “no.” Next, they told him to “get the fuck out of [their] face.”

From there, the main cop asked me if my license was real and if I’ve been arrested before. I responded with a “yes” and a “no,” respectively. For whatever reason, he said he should still book me for “being a tough guy.” Instead, he said I was “lucky” because they were going to let me go. After I got back in my car, he threw my ID at me and told me to “watch [my] mouth next time.” In the end, since I was close my apartment, my entire block watched me get harassed by these dudes.

In the end, I truly don’t understand why cops feel the need to behave this way. Keep in mind, two of the officers were Hispanic and the other two were Black. Meaning, I can’t even really blame race for this shit. Ultimately, the police department is an intrinsic system that’s designed to operate based on bias. In this moment, I wasn’t a husband, father or college graduate with a corporate job. I was just a “tough guy” that they thought they could get one over on. All in all, these are the reasons why people don’t respect cops. Shit, I may be alive to tell this tale, but not everyone is so fortunate, man. By and by, fuck the police, son! LC out.

What Just Happened In Times Square?!

To be real, I don’t even know what to say right now, man. Honestly, I can’t make heads or tails of this story, son. All I know is, Richard Rojas lost his fucking mind in Times Square yesterday. Apparently, under the influence of PCP, Rojas thought it was a good idea to run down pedestrians with his car. Ultimately, my thoughts are with all of his victims during their time of need and sorrow.

Now, keeping it a buck, I really want to know this man’s motive. So far, journalists have only discovered a little bit about the assailant. From what I’ve seen, Rojas is a Navy veteran from the Bronx, who’s been arrested multiple times for drunken driving. In addition, his family claims that he’s been different ever since he returned from the Navy. According to their recollections, after his tenure in the military, he began abusing alcohol and weed.

In any case, Rojas has a history of being violent. For example, during his time in the Navy, he attacked a cabdriver instead of paying him. Also, he’s made numerous threats towards law enforcement. With all of that being said, I have no idea why this fucking guy was allowed behind the wheel in the first place. I mean, he’s clearly unstable, man. Now, fast forward to yesterday, Rojas took his Honda Accord, hopped the curb and began to rampage. This resulted in the death of Alyssa Elsman and the injury of another two dozen people.

All in all, in my eyes, Rojas needs therapy AND prison. While I do believe there’s something wrong with this dude, I also believe he needs to pay for his actions. *Sigh* This is fucking ridiculous, man. Much love to all of the people who were unfairly affected by his carnage. In the end, it’s a damn shame that people had to suffer under such random circumstances. LC out.