While on MTV’s RapFix yesterday, Lupe broke down in tears while watching an old video about his neighborhood that he filmed with Sway six years ago. The tears were as a result of looking at people he once knew and realizing that they’re not here anymore. After taking a minute to regain his composure, Lupe said this:
It’s some of them dudes is dead. Chicago’s the murder capital. The dudes in that video are in prison, a couple of fed cases, and then there’s ghosts. You see people that, that ain’t there.
It’s frightful when you hear the news of what’s happening in Chicago. It seems like every weekend the numbers keep rising and there isn’t any intervention to stop it from happening.
As I watched the video, the more important message that Lupe mentioned was that he hated the hood. I, as well, share that same sentiment. What you may not know about this author is that while he’s writing this, right outside his door, is the same type of hood which I hate. I live in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. There are shootings nightly and if you look at the Wikipedia page, it says that there is a 1 to 1 ratio of guns to people. We are third in the city for stop and frisk, and while I’ve never been stopped, multiple family members and friends have. Right now, there is a helicopter hovering above looking for suspects in the Rockaway Houses which are 5 blocks away from me. This happens every day. I abhor my living situation and that’s why I write, so that hopefully this talent can take me out of here just as Lupe’s skills have taken him out of the Westside of Chicago.
Since I’ve lived here, there has been 4 shootings on my block, all involving people that I know. This is why I spend most of my time in other parts of New York City. This isn’t cool to me. Being hood may be cool in music videos and movies, but in everyday life, this is a struggle that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. I read Martin Luther King Jr. all the time in the hope that his non-violent practices can be put into effect by everyone, not just me.
I don’t know how to end this on a positive note, which makes me believe more that I’m just a product of my environment but if this serves as a testament to my motivation to get out of here, I desperately hope it works.