Friday, February 22, 2013

Time can be ill

Have you ever heard a brand new (to you) song, and have it trigger a memory?

I just heard this song from Hopsin for the very first time, and I LOVE the lyrics. You really need to give this a try, he addresses the MTV Generation's children. Everyone who thinks they're into Swag, thinks they're a Thug, thinks they can't find a real man, and everybody else. Y'all need to stop what you're doing and pay attention to the lyrics for 5 minutes. I'm not kidding here DO IT. You won't regret it.

In January I blogged about how I never got the MTV lifestyle, and how I've grown to accept that. But the lyrics and colors used in "Ill Mind of Hopsin 5" triggered a memory I forgot to include on that blog, though truth be told, I'm glad I waited a bit.

So let's go back to 1999 for a moment. I was in a very bad neighborhood, but I didn't realize just how awful these people were right away.

I can't decide if I should say this is in my defense or not, because it barely sounds like an excuse, but I was 12, not yet 13. I had moved home to Chicagoland after 6 years of being shuttled, but nobody was waiting for me. I had a big chunk of my family who lived in Chicago, but by this point, almost all of them were dead, dying or getting ready to move away. I have ONE relative out there now, but I never get to see her. I felt like what would happen if Dorothy had come back to Kansas, only to find a strip mall where her farm once stood. So maybe I was lonely? I lived in a cramped house back then with a pair of parents constantly arguing and a little brother, so I can't say if lonely is the right word. 

Well whatever the reason, I hung around some girls in the neighborhood that I didn't realize then, but I see now, were BAD girls. Very clique-ish, doing adult things, but as I blogged before, their parents didn't care. Their parents made it LOUD and clear that the kids only were alive, because their hyper-religious parents threatened to disown them if they sought out abortions, and they were told by the state that if they gave any of them up, the state would take away ALL of them, starting with the one or two they did want to keep. Not exactly what you expect to hear at 12 years old.

These girls were sucked into the MTV fairytale, as I blogged before, Carson Daily made that life seem ideal.

 "Don't you want to be like us? Have random celebrities hang around you like that, have shots of random neon liquids sent down your throat, party at all hours of the day and night with friends and strangers and then jump in a car with someone really hot?"

One girl was already there, sans random celebrities.

I don't remember her real name. It was long and began with an H, and I never did learn how to say it right, so it's likely that if I did remember, I'd just misspell it anyway. But I remember her nickname, Lil' J-Lo. Everybody called her that, because Jennifer Lopez was her favorite star.

She was a friend of one of the girls I hung around... and for the life of me I don't understand why. Sure they had music in common, but that's it really. Lil' J-Lo (I can't believe this is a Chicago story, when the nickname screams New Jersey!!!!) was weird. She didn't speak much, had a bad habit of eating lip gloss, and had the most unkempt eyebrows I'd ever seen.

Lil J-Lo was 12 when I met her. Please keep this in mind.

Lil' J-Lo was not what I would call fat or chubby. Far from it. But she was big for her age. Like when you go to the gym, and you see a short guy there, and he's not fat, but there's no muscle tone either. He's just big and full of girth. Think Taz just before he went to WWE. Her vocabulary was limited, I feel like Little Britain's Matt Lucas should have been playing as her. Picture a cross between his characters of Andy and Vicky on the show, that's how many of the girls were. If you've never seen it, I suggest looking for it on Hulu.

Lil' J-Lo would dance to her idol's songs, this was the only time I'd see her smile. She'd imitate the moves, and now that I think about it, she was like a tween version of the little girl in this video:
LOL ooooh how teh internets has changed. See kids? We had AOL and Netscape back then. Google was just a search engine, Yahoo was everywhere and the only "i" product Apple gave us was an iMac. Also, there was no such thing as YouTube and J-Lo didn't used to paint her lips and hair to match her skin. What's that? Have I dated myself enough? I have? GOOD let's go!

Lil' J-Lo was all about this video, and she made it known that one day, she wanted to be what she saw. Innocently, I said "So you wanna be a singer when you grow up?" and Lil' J-Lo shot me such a look. It was here I realized she already saw herself as grown.

But I didn't realize there was a problem, until Halloween. We all went out Trick or Treating, and I caught up with Lil' J-Lo.....

.... Lil' J-Lo was pushing a stroller.

I looked down at the stroller, and then looked back at Lil' J-Lo.

Me: Um... that's a baby.
Lil J-Lo: Yeah.
Me: ... Is that your little brother?
Lil' J-Lo: Naw. I'm an only child.
Me: ... Your mom... she's an only child too... right?
Lil' J-Lo: Yeah.
Me: .... And your dad... does he have siblings?
Lil' J-Lo: Not anymore.
Me: ......... So this isn't your cousin, is it?
Lil' J-Lo: Don't have any cousins.
Me: .................. You haven't been 13 for long yet, have you?
Lil' J-Lo: Naw, there's only a few months between us.
Me: ........................................... Soooooo you were 12 when you had him?
Lil' J-Lo: Just about.
Me: ............ So when you were bigger.. that wasn't snacks or a thyroid thing.
Lil' J-Lo: Just baby weight.
Me: Ah hah...

I'm begging all of you to not only listen to Hopsin's track "Ill mind of Hopsin 5" I'm begging you to make your kids watch the video too.

I just did the math.

Lil' J-Lo was a mom at age 12. (Or just about as she said.)

If she and her baby are still alive, Lil' Anthony is probably a freshman in high school.

If he's anything like her, she'll be a grandma before she's 30.

Time is ill.

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