Daydream

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“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. This I did.”

– T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia

She walked into my Human Anatomy classroom with red heels as high as my state of mind, dangerous weapons of mass seduction that immediately inspired my perpetual infatuation. She carried on her right shoulder a Louis Vutton purse as big as my ego, and her countenance bore a sparkling pair of eyes as charming as my charisma. It was like The Lord had returned prematurely as a woman, because the light she radiated was undoubtedly divine. And I’d heard through the grapevine, that she only considered herself a nine. Faint attempt at modesty if you ask me because this girl was phenomenally fine. Her lips wore the color of sweet red wine. And all I wanted to do was dine…with her. Ok maybe I lied…more like have her…for dinner. And perhaps also for dessert. Oh the thirst! She was the oasis to my desert! Her hips were like an hour glass pouring infinite golden grains of sand, with enough winding curves to leave even the Prince of Persia wishing he had a genie of his own, like Aladdin, so he could simply wish to be reduced into just one of those tiny grains of sand pouring down inside her. And her thighs? Lawd her thighs! Suffice it to say they’d make many a priest reconsider, and let out long deep sighs. Not to mention her breasts…now they were like luminous lanterns, lighting the way for sore eyes. A counter-intuitive sight, considering that they practically frequently rendered me blind as I eventually found my face planking in them! But not before we were married (of course). For this woman of wonder would not be hurried. Her disposition was rather clear: the only manner of man she would ever seriously entertain was he who would position himself to patiently wait; who would not treat her like some kind of helpless bait…but who would gladly withstand the fire, and yet never tire…of waiting to exhale, at just that precise moment when he’d finally have her approval, after first obtaining her Almighty Father’s approval. Honestly, that narrow path less traveled was preposterously difficult, especially for one who’s already quickly stumbled, along the wide path all too frequently traveled, by way too many sailors, rocking all the wrong fishing boats. I almost called it quits as I was seeming to lose my wits! But then I remembered, nothing worth acquiring is ever easily acquired. For me, that was a very, necessary, epiphany. It’s been more than worth it ever since that defining lesson. Today, I have the pleasure of experiencing Heaven…on Earth in two places – when I kneel with her in church, and when I lie with her in bed, making love faces. After a love life of hopelessly romantic strife, this is the story of how I met my lovely wife. And for the rest of my life…well it would seem, that I will never forget this…daydream.

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Open Letter to Hip Hop

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Dear would-be ambassadors (producers, rappers, singers, et. al) of Hip Hop, please allow me to introduce…

Ratchet

An Educated Black Man? Ain’t nobody got time foh that! That’s that shit she don’t like! That’s not the man she wants, as she prefers a tall, dark, and tatted bad boy who wears saggy pants. She’s so blunt, and brags to her friends about how well her man can roll a blunt. Girl, he’s so dope; he said he used to sell a whole bunch of dope! But don’t get it twisted, he ain’t no thug; he just got mouths to feed, only does weed, and that ain’t even really a drug. She swears he’s a good dude even though he just got locked up again; yeah I’m talking about jail. But she’s an exotic dancer getting major paper so dropping a G to bail out her favorite aspiring rapper ain’t nothing that’s gonna faze her. Don’t matter how many times he’s made her cry, as long as he stays so fly. She ain’t tryna brag but damn her dude got mad swag! All gold everything, that’s how he likes his bling. In her mind, the 2 chains on his tall white tee make him the sexiest thing! She ain’t tripping, one day when he finally makes it big she’s gon definitely get that ring. Don’t believe her just watch! And his gold watch? Girl, straight Rolex, not no damn Swatch! And for her? Michael Kors, of course! They dream of expensive cars! His Lamborghini mercy, her Bugatti so fancy! Call it his and hers! She’s definitely a ride or die, so even as she watched that old man he shot slowly die, she walks about with her head held high, since he’d put her on that constant high, talking about: “Free my nigga…” as she shows her haters how many fucks she really gives by holding up her middle finger!

Excuse my French! But this poem couldn’t have been told in earnest without its explicit language. This is not a shot at anyone in particular, but a satirical message questioning the prevalence of self-detrimental relationships and other practices we (young people) seem inclined to indulge in, especially in the African American community. It is said that in the US, statistically there are more successful, professional black women than there are black men. That notwithstanding, there are many more educated and intelligent black men in America today than at any previous time in its history, thanks to the sacrifices of similar men in history. The youth in our generation just choose to focus on all the wrong things and continue to let their emotions act without the benefit of reason. They tend to follow trends to make their decisions, even with regard to matters of the heart that should always be guided by personal prerogative, wisdom, and discernment. But where are the good examples we ought to follow? I think I’ll just date this “cool nigga” or “bad bitch” or both. That’s what’s hot in these streets, I guess.

Whatever happened to the admiration for and celebration of intelligence? When did it become so uncool to be intelligent? Why do we idolize and make role models of unintelligent rappers? Or rappers who willingly sound or appear to be untilligent? Men whose work is primarily to reverberate a whole lot of boasting over a catchy beat, recycling meaningless words on repeat, glorifying and practically advocating for cheating, drug dealing, fighting, and other grotesquely selfish and ignoble traits and behaviors! What’s the result? A generation of young black people mired in irony: at once educated and yet ignorant! And perceived by others as even worse. Where has the art in music gone? Why is the phrase, “being classy” considered an antonym to Hip Hop? Don’t get me wrong, there are exceptions to the rule. I need not mention them. Anyone who shares similar sentiments as me on this subject knows who these significantly less heard musical diamonds in the rough are. The hard truth is that Hip Hop is just hip right now; it sure as hell ain’t helping its primary audience hop over anything significant.

What young people are treated to in our musical experience with Hip Hop as it exists today is an overdose of name calling and sexually explicit and denigrating metaphors, especially directed toward the very women aka “bad bitches” who remain avid listeners, screaming, adulating, and panty dropping attendees at concerts, and mindless mob mentality fans who adore and defend the every word/act of these so called artists. And believe it or not, more than half of these women are educated. Yes Hip Hop, that’s the kind of power/influence you do have on this generation! But how much of that power do you the individual rapper or singer have? I can hardly count how many young black men I encountered in college who were full-time students and part-time rappers. All these young black men wanting to become a Rap or RnB artist is quite interesting. What exactly would they be getting themselves into?

Honestly, the state of mainstream Hip Hop today leaves much to be desired and makes the labeling of most contemporary rappers and singers as “artists” almost an insult to those who once stood before you and accurately represented that word accordingly; unapologetically, with passion, integrity, and regard for quality of content, as well as a genuine desire to inspire their listeners. Where do we go from this all-time low? First we must ask a few hard questions: Who’s in control, you or the ones who manage you? Who are you really? What’s your real identity? The character we see in your music videos? Or perhaps someone else? Those derogatory words you utter so shamelessly on your hit records, are they yours or another’s? Do your words mean nothing now? Have you forgotten the power of words? Contemplating the answers to these questions would be a start. Parental advisory is advised. Better yet, parental responsibility is recommended. What about your own children? What can or will they take away from their daddy’s music once they grow a discerning ear?

Hip Hop may not be dead but it might as well be in a coma. Can we do better? We’ve got to do better! Mind you, this is no trivial matter. There are many for whom music is therapeutic, and there are some who even go as far as to say things like, “Music is my savior!” To these people you are doing a great disservice. Oh and by the way, these people may well be counted among your fans, you know the ones to whom you say “I love you” as you conclude your performances at your concerts? Moreover, there are many misguided young men and women whose very sense of identity is strongly tied to that of their favorite rappers and singers. And while that is no fault of yours it is nonetheless true. So what will you do? You may not want to be a role model; hell, maybe you never even had one yourself. But as you have overcome and now stand successful, admired, and damn near worshiped, if you truly do care about your community of listeners, who have indirectly been your dream enablers, then at the very least you might consider reevaluating the quality of content in your vehicle of entertainment.

Do you not think it possible nor do you not fancy yourselves capable of being at once inspirational and entertaining? Or have you resigned yourself to the fallacy that these have to be mutually exclusive? Are you no longer creative? In that case, how can you truly call yourself an artist? Have you ever thought about that? How will you respond? How will you guide today’s aspiring rappers and tomorrow’s eventual best new “artists”? How will you resuscitate the lost art in our generation’s most popular genre of music? How will you help Hip Hop?

These are my questions for your consideration; on behalf of myself and countless others who have wondered the same, who are concerned about the game, and who have grown tired of the noise that spews out of our radios on a daily basis in the name of “by popular demand”. It is common sense to know that it is quite normal for the masses to demand only that which they believe to be available to them. One does not simply go into a restaurant and order (demand) items that are not listed on its menu. And sad but true, most popular radio stations all across the US have quite the limited menu.

In conclusion, I know I have raised 21 questions herein, and I pray at least a few of you who are concerned enough may have 22 answers, for your sake, for the sake of your community of listeners, especially black youth in America, and for the sake of Hip Hop!

Gratitude and Godspeed!

Sincerely,
Kennyrich Fomunung,
A real fan of real Hip Hop.

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My Favorite Class

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She was only a stranger until I first laid eyes upon her. Impressed by her course description I decided to enroll. I then quickly moved my way up into her honor roll. And she immediately became my favorite class. I must’ve made a good first impression myself since she named me the class prefect. However, due to our natural geographic incompatibility and my financially limited mobility, I had to settle for a distance education. You know what they say about online classes, I found it so hard to focus! Seeking leverage over competing students I would’ve gladly been the teacher’s pet but this was college. So fancy, she made me trust my intuition over her tuition. Her lessons were quite expensive but worth every penny. I even applied for financial aid just so I could afford her intellectual aid. I took out emotional loans, of which I still owe the balance. I have since dropped out of all my other classes and defaulted on my outstanding loans. I pray my exes find a way to forgive me. But once you find the one for you, you’ve finally found your major. Having already changed it quite a few times, I was convinced I had at last discovered my calling. To think I started out as just a foreign exchange student who quickly became an acquaintance, who eventually became an Associate…but I messed up. I failed her! And then I became a Bachelor for it…for a while…that is, until she gave me a second chance to make amends for my bad romance. Today, I am proud to say I have a Masters in her. Soon enough I’ll be able to give her this PhD! I mean, it’s been about six years, you know! Besides, with my new-found pedigree, we both agree I’ve definitely earned THAT degree! Some tell me that it took me way too long…maybe this is true, but to each his own. It’s not a sprint but a marathon. Moreover, a wise man once told me that what matters most is not the destination but the journey. The bottom line is, I have stood the test of time and passed my final exam. Henceforth, I shall take this class every year until death do me drop out.

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Dear Crush

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Dear Mine,

It is with utmost pleasure that I pick up this pen and spill this ink upon this paper, to grace your eyes with words you shall not soon forget.

For years you’ve had no idea, but for years you’ve been the she…for me, even while you were yet with he…and I was yet with another she. God must have let that be…so that there could be a better we, eventually…inevitably, according to the plans He has for we. Unsuspectingly, all along you were the she…for me. Finally, I am ready to see you become that she…for me. So please tell me, what’s it going to be?

Sincerely,

Yours

N***as ain’t S**t

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“I don’t need no man,” her unsolicited mantra would sound the alarm in our ear drums, a constant reminder to whomever was unfortunate enough to be counted among her audience, whereas our sole wish was to hit the damn snooze button. “I don’t want a man,” would follow suit, as if to properly distinguish her needs versus wants and nevertheless inaccurately disparage both as unnecessary synonyms that were not applicable to her chosen life of hermitical solitude. “Niggas ain’t shit!” Well, the n-word must’ve been used here to identify and emphasize her disdain for the alleged culprit, although this rhetoric had worn its welcome and now bordered on gross annoyance. Undoubtedly, this woman was suffering from a paralysis of the heart. Yes, she was hearticapped! Apparently, the last “nigga” had put her heart in a chokehold and strangled it, crippling whatever little love she had left. This tragedy obviously resulted in the disintegration of what was once a peculiarly strong black woman, and had replaced it with an utterly destructive black hole, capable of sucking with overwhelming gravity, even the faintest of feelings that would naturally fall upon those around her who would dare to fall in love. “Ain’t nobody got time fo that!” She would instinctively retort whenever questioned about her bitter disposition toward her male counterparts; and for that matter, all matters of the heart. No harm, no foul, she swore. Besides, all is fair in love and war. She’d become indifferent to the difference between the two. But here’s the irony of it all: One fateful day, she received a call…from her 9 year old son’s school informing her he’d been sent home for acting a fool, and coming to school…in a dress. Apparently, he’d insisted all day that he wanted to be a woman instead. As she confronted the boy when he got home later that afternoon, she looked at him scornfully and scolded, “Boy, what the fuck is wrong with you?!” A sad scene followed indeed as the young boy sobbed uncontrollably. At once overwhelmed and emboldened by his misery, the poor boy looked up at his mother pitifully. His face flooded in tears, he managed only to reply all too familiar words, “Niggas ain’t shit!”

 

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Homecoming

 

“The man who chooses to not recognize his home is worse off than the man who has no home.” -kR

My life, your entertainment. No scratch that, I prefer the term infotainment. Mine is just the story of a little drummer boy marching to his own African beat; We Three Kings conspicuously on repeat, seeking to redeem the essence of my illustrious culture in the presence of naysayers who parade about me like a conniving vulture. Yo Kennyrich that shit you wrote was dope, but behind my back they sling my name around like I was dope! Or yay, but nay I say unto thee. Between me, myself and I, there’s already a crowd of three. So please depart from me before my political correctness falls apart. Otherwise (and that wouldn’t be wise), I’d be tempted to split you like the Red Sea and leave you as alive as the Dead Sea. You dare label me naturally violent when I choose to go on a rant, and yet somehow you expect me to be so tolerant of the rampant oppression of a God damned tyrant? Ah the audacity of the ones who’ve caused us such calamity never ceases to amaze me! What’s a month to our legacy? That’s heresy if you ask me; please don’t fall for that sort of fallacy! Oh Black People! My people – once noble moors, pharaohs of ages ago haplessly reduced into mere dominoes. Our history has been a diminishing domino effect, a hallucination of sorts, closely resembling the butterfly effect. It’s like we were the weed that was smoked but never inhaled, which might explain why in this day today there are brothers like me in jail still waiting to exhale. Now I’m no Moses but I ask you Sir – Mr. Joe Schmo – let my people go! We are salt of the earth and deserve to be exalted on higher ground, not shamefully and despicably buried underground. And our bite is louder than our bark, so for your sake please do release us while there’s still room on Noah’s Ark. My life, your entertainment. No scratch that, I prefer the term infotainment. Mine is just the story of an African King, who unlike Prince Hakeem, his Coming to America had nothing to do with finding his Cleopatra. But rather, who was forged in truth to crash the Board of Chess and clean up the foul mess; not to acquire fleeting fame but to remind the black pawns that they are indeed kings and queens, just caught up in the wrong damn game! I pray this message is entrenched deep within your dome; my brothers and sisters your Kingdom awaits, so please sing along with me, “I’m coming home, I’m coming home, tell the world that I’m coming home. Let the rain wash away all the pains of yesterday. I know my Kingdom awaits, and they’ve forgiven my mistakes. I’m coming home, I’m coming home, tell the world that I’m coming home.”