This Is A Man’s World

Guilty Simpson- Man’s World (Prod. by J Dilla)

This song’s haunting sample produced by Jay Dee (RIP) samples This Is A Man’s World by James Brown (RIP). A combination of Guilty Simpson’s rough voice, and amazing story telling through rap paints a remarkable picture for listeners. I can’t help but be reminded of my father and my experience growing up with him whenever I play this song.

I know a lot of people who had issues with their fathers growing up. Some people had a good relationship with their fathers, some didn’t, some had a love/hate relationship, and some people didn’t even have their fathers growing up. Growing up, I was envious of people who shared an open relationship with their pops. They receive advice from their fathers, and get the kind of love that a child deserves

My father was an Infantryman in the US ARMY. Growing up, he was hardly a loving man. I remember one time me and my brother got punished for a whole day. I forgot what we did, but I remember he had us kneel on dry rice for hours on end. When we got tired he made us write “I am stupid, and I cannot use my common sense in any situation. I will exercise situational awareness next time I decide to be stupid in any given situation.” That shit sucked.

We lived in military housing, so one day after school got out, I didn’t want to carry the garbage from school back to my own garbage can. There was this stupid rule where we needed keys to lock and unlock our garbage can, so I decided to leave my garbage somewhere else on the way home. One month had passed by since that, and my dad came back home from work furious as fuck. He whooped my ass, and brought a bag of the trash I left behind. He told me, “You’re gonna take all this trash to the recycling center. and recycle it properly.” I reached for the bag, and he grabbed my hand, “One paper at a time.” Well, this recycling center was two blocks away from our housing complex, so for the entire day I was recycling paper one by one.

He didn’t beat my ass daily, and I wasn’t abused like crazy. His time as a noncommissioned officer, and as a soldier, gave him the ability to hand out punishments creatively. They were embarrassing, and effective. He treated me and my brother like his own soldiers. We didn’t call him sir, we didn’t call him by his first name, we called him Dad. In the Army a Noncommissioned Officer (SGT-Master SGT) were simply called Sergeant, Sarn’t, or SGT such and such by their soldiers. They are never called anything outside those names. I called my dad “sir” one day and he went on a fucking rager, “Don’t call me ‘sir’, I work for a fucking living.”

When me and my little brother got older, my dad had retired, and my mom had left us behind. He raised us with no love, and kept the tradition going by treating us like his soldiers. Curfew was midnight, but we had to be home at 1145. When we got in trouble, we had to detail the house from top to bottom, inside and out, etc. My brother left the house, and I left the house as well.

My relationship with my pops now is better, however I will never forget how I was treated. I don’t look at it as a sad memory, but as something that taught me things in the long run. His lessons were a preparation for my future career, but they are also the foundation for my belief that I refuse to raise my daughter in the same manner that I was raised. I respect the man for his ability to step up and raise two knuckleheads, and I apologize for causing him headaches. My pops wasn’t a bad man, regardless of his stoic personality, the Guillermo anger issue, his undiagnosed PTSD, and his inability to properly voice his emotions. He is a caring man, a man who thought about other people before he thought of himself. He is a hard worker, because he knows that luck doesn’t always get you what you want. He is a proud man, having served in This Man’s Army for 20 years as an Infantryman- he reminds me constantly that he could still “out-soldier” me any given day.

This song reminds me of my pops in so many ways. When I heard this song when I was 18, I immediately thought of my pops. He taught me how to be a man, and he taught me how to be a soldier. However I can’t help but think that, in my childhood, I didn’t need a SGT- I needed my father. I wasn’t a soldier, I was his son.

 

 

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Artist Spotlight: Julianne Manalo

Bruno Mars- When I Was Your Man (Acoustic Cover)

It’s not every day that a pretty girl follows me on twitter, but one day I got a follow from this girl. I immediately become suspicious, so I used my awesome Batman-like skills to search her on YouTube. She DM’s me, and it couldn’t have gotten any more awkward. She thanked me for following her back, and I basically told her I stalked the hell out of her. WHAT I MEANT TO SAY WAS I checked out her videos on YouTube before, because checking out covers is a way to pass the time when I’m bored.

I wanted to start a monthly or twice monthly thing where I introduce up and coming artists who deserve to be listened to. Julianne is no exception from that. I like her voice, and the professionalism that she shows in her videos. I enjoy the hell out of her cover songs, and I really like her original song Invincible.

If you want to know more about Julianna Manalo you can check her out at:

http://www.juliannemanalo.com/

Twitter

YouTube

Naw Girl I Wanna Go Way Back

Sorry for being so late and lazy with blogging! Honestly, I had nothing to write about. I didn’t want to write a review on Link Between Worlds, because I was just so shocked by how short that game was.

HOWEVER, this isn’t about that. This is about listening to old songs from my youth. I generally grew up as a Hip Hop Head. I loved Hip Hop with every part of me. I felt it in my soul, and I felt it around me. Hip Hop was my lifestyle, and it was a part of American culture (because Hip Hop is a culture) that really spoke to me. I spent a lot of time listening to Nas, Big L, Cunninlynguists, KRS ONE, etc. that you literally wouldn’t see me not listening to music. Of course, being a young head, I talked a lot of shit about how mainstream rap was destroying and killing real Hip Hop- a lot has changed since then.

I normally listen to new artists and local artists, because it is unhealthy to be stuck in the past. You can’t say Hip Hop is dying if you haven’t heard anything 2000 and below. That is the case with most heads today. You listen to who’s actually dope in this time and rock with it. If it’s whack- then you don’t listen to it. Don’t get me wrong, I still bump “Low End Theory” any chance I get, but a lot of the songs I used to listen to got lost to memory and time.

Until I got deployed. I basically have all the time in the world to do absolutely nothing, so one day I started skimming around YouTube, and found a shit-load of songs that I used to listen to in my download days.

Nujabes- Lady Brown

This song brings back a lot of memories. Not a lot I have to say as far as the memory goes, but this song introduced me to Nujabes. It opened a door that still isn’t closed. However, Nujabes has passed away and he can no longer bless us with amazing beats- still he left behind a good amount at work that I still bump.

Atmosphere- God Loves Ugly

Atmosphere was on my iPod during a time when I felt my problems were big enough to make me depressed. Nowadays I look back at myself, and I wanna slap the shit out of him and say, “It’s gonna be okay, this is a trivial problem, it’s time for you to stop being emo, and start living the remainder of your high school life!” This song didn’t get me out of my depression, because that damn beat wants to hold you there. The intro really set me up too. Back in they days that intro was the thing that got to me lol. I literally used to think I was a piece of shit thanks to that intro. Then Slug starts to rap, and fuck.. there goes my mindset for the rest of the day.

Little Brother- Whatever U Say (Remix)

I got a new iPod right? My homie and me listened to the same music, so he loaded my iPod. On top of giving me The Listening on digits, I got the remix. I had just got my car, and I used to play this song on the way to this school to try and “graduate” in 2007. This song takes me back to cruising down Vegas Dr. trying to get to the Stratosphere to make a left, and end up on the ES of Vegas. Listening to the song right now reminds me of the cool mornings. Good times. BTW I graduated.

The Procussions- Miss January

It’s 07, me and this girl just broke up, because she outgrew me. It didn’t effect me like a previous break up had, but this song really helped me push through it. This girl’s birthday was in January, so I was with it haha.

Those are the songs that brought me back. I think it’s crazy how music can set off a trigger that takes you back to a time in your life that either brought you happiness or reminds you of the pain you felt. It can remind you of an old love, a good time, even the time you snoo-snoo’d with someone. What songs brought you back?