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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