Back in 2007 I graduated from my public high school. It was quite a moment in my life that was shared with by my family, friends, teachers, etc. I remember standing in a gym from what I can remember was a collage campus as we all stood in 4 lines waiting for our chair section to be called so we can enter inside of the auditorium and receive our diploma. When my row was called, I heard a fellow classmates of people laugh and joke as I made my way towards the stage. Not in a abusing way that would cause me to hang myself with the computer wire due to being harassed on my wall on Facebook and for some reason being unable to find the delete button, yet continuously know where the log in and enter buttons are. It was more like banter and witty jokes towards me that I had been known to use myself on them constantly. It good time that made me smile but, I didn’t look back due to being nervous. Little did I know tho, in that moment simultaneously I would never see those people again in the flesh, and in that minute I was entering real life with the model that was created for me by my shyness, nervous ways, and my classmates. It didn’t really hit me until a year later but, looking back I am now able to cite this as the moment I was starting to realize why I was nervous. Not because I was about to be seen in front of thousands of parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc, but more so because in hindsight I understood that I had no idea who I really was. I was entering a battlefield with the eyes of Ray Charles and Parkinson’s disease of Muhammad Ali due to narcissistic wise, being mentally a sports fighter in my high school. I felt trapped in a alternative reality while dealing with the power struggle of mainstream and trendy appeals that reigned supreme on the try hards and popular kids. But now, was shifting into a former shell of myself due to being halted by nature. By the time my name was called and I received shocking applause as my father said from classmates I made laugh, I shook the hands of teachers, the principal, some other people I never met, and then my 6th grade teacher that really lit a fire under my ass back then. When I was finished I made my way to my seat and opened up the black leather cover and seen…. nothing. My name nor diploma was not in there. Some people I learned later had to go and pick up they’re diploma from high school the next day but, from a philosophical sense I seen something different as I take a trip down memory lane. I seen the realization that my character was born and died in that school. I now had to start to find who I really was again without the help of other people guiding and controlling the standard of what was cool and funny. I had no idea where to begin.
“WHATEVER YOU SAY I AM…..”
I was never the most talkative in class. It really wasn’t my thing to engage in conversations that now were deemed as mindless and just plain silly. I had no way of incorporating myself in the lingo that everybody seemed to do effortlessly. This lasted up until at least 6th grade. Before then, I was seen as most a weird big kid that looked crazy and may snap on some poor white kid any second. Then, I made some people laugh one day and things changed. I loved this feeling. I was able to make people laugh and do it good. Granted, it was for 12 and 13 year olds but, none the less it was helping me in becoming a apart of the group. I, at that time without realizing it killed the self I may of become, and became something they approved of. As I gotten older, my jokes were slipping into my personality. I was now becoming known as the class clown. This is who I thought I was. I remember being at home working on one or two big jokes that I knew would kill and cause my fellow class mates to laugh in tears. Any time somebody needed a quick pick me up, they would defer to me and wait for me to tap dance and make a fool of myself. I, of course I had no problem doing that. Tho, I started to gain some awareness of things happening as I move on wards in grades. I started to see people not really taking me serious. One of my very best friends one day at the study hall table in the cafe was even taunting me while she showed me pics of vacation time in Florida. Not in a disrespectful purpose way, but more treating me as if I was dumb. “See!? Look at all the pics! Do you SEEE?”. Looking back on it now it was funny but, then and there it wasn’t. Yet, how can I be mad at her? I was around that time acting silly and dumb 24/7. How can she not see me in that way? Other friends would invite me to places only to make them laugh. Serious topics were not directed towards me unless it needed a joke or two.
Women I liked also seen me as the clown and not to be taken serious. I remember once I had brought two valentine’s day presents for two chicks I liked in middle school. No game whatsoever at all then, I handed it to one of them when I seen them in the hall. Her response was laughter and a petty “Thanks”. She wasn’t laughing at the gift but, more so at the fact it was me giving it. I felt crushed and ended up not giving the gift to the other chick.Apologies for the ping pong in time travel but, my point is I was what they seen me as. I honestly couldn’t tell you what would of happened to me had I not made a couple people laugh that day in 6th grade. I was whatever they said I was and proud of it. Even in my family if you were to ask my family members about me they would recall a memory or story from the past that made them laugh. Anything else deeper besides it being my Mother or Father, a blank expression would invade they’re face before a shoulder shrug came. But again, it was hard to blame them. After I would be done with school during the day, I would go in my room and felt like I was taking off a mask. I would turn on my CD player and zone out with my scotch tape headphones. That would be my escape from everyone, but without seeing it that was my true self. I just couldn’t risk letting people see that side and end up being seen as the weird and odd kid again. Luckily tho, a rapper at that time spoke to me and helped me from not going all Kurt Cobain on myself. Eminem was his name.
You may have heard of him. He is, kind of known I guess. Maybe. Anyway, he was speaking to me and I connected with him. I studied him to the T and even dressed like him as best as I could. So, in that sense I knew of him back then and knew the man that was present in 2003. The man from then on went through some changes personally, but also creative and career wise. I started to see he was going through the same thing I was in my life. It started with the music video “Whatever you say I am” and continued on. He was starting to become what they said he was. All jokes aside, he was losing his self. Back in March 12, 1996 Eminem released a album called “Infinite”. It is held today as a good album but, back then he was accused of sounding like a imitation of other Rappers Nas and AZ. A more, lighter version of those two. Just rhyming words together for the sake of them. There was really no reason for the use of the words other than to display a technical display of wordsmith that still holds weight to this day in his career, and has helped him become the best technical rapper of all time. Bias and subjective wise of course but, most would agree when disusing mainstream rappers. Fast forward and his album barely sold any copies. He at that time felt frustrated due to being labeled as sounding as other people. Sure, he talked about the same things in a serious sense as other rappers did but, nobody was going to take a white rapper at that time serious. He then at that time wrote a record called “I just don’t give a Fuck”. Zany, crazy, eccentric, and comical. It was a complete switch from what he was presenting to the public at that time and in that result it catapulted him pass comparisons. A couple records and freestyles later he met Dr.Dre and the rest was history. During the history tho, he released the 1999 Hip Hop classic “The Slim Shady Lp”. The album received criticisms of homophobia, violence, misogyny, rape, murder, etc. It was a treat for a new artist tho. There is no such thing as bad press. I didn’t know Em’s thought process at the time but, seeing old interviews he seemed like a Man that just wanted to rap and rap good. Controversy was never his main goal but, once “The Marshall Mathers Lp” came around in 2000 that became the only thing that mattered.
From the FCC all the way to the Government, he was a hot button topic. Public enemy number one. We, along with himself got swept up in the wave. In that process tho I believe that is where the change in his style came. It was seen briefly in his next few lps “Devils Night” with his group D12, and then his next solo album “The Eminem Show”. He was now becoming what was expected of him. Of course, the music itself was damn near flawless due to just watching him balance all of this on his plate and still maintain his sanity, while delivering product in the form of lyrical style that was never heard before. But the undertone of it all was that he was simply doing what the public labeled him as. It would then go on to effect him on his next album “Encore”. Pill addiction and a 2nd failed marriage to his well known ex played a part in it as well but, creative wise he was just giving his fans and critics what was expected. The jokes now seemed contrived and forced. It lack a genuineness to it. The reason was no longer his and simply became pandering for the sake of it. His next lp “Relapse” was his most formulated and strategic sounding album to date. The album flopped for a artist of his status sales wise but, also creative wise. That in turn forced him to adapted with the times and give us”Recovery” a year later. A album that seen his even more become what we “thought” we want and turn into somewhat of a puppet. Now, Eminem is my favorite artist of all time and that will not change but, one of the hard parts about caring about someone is also dealing with the flaws as well and accepting it. He no longer sounded like his music had a end goal in mind except the ones that were made by him by the media’s standard. Incoming ego alert but, I felt like me and him on this level of thought are on the same page. I felt like we both became what was set for us by other people, and are now suffering for it.
“SEARCHING FOR THE COLOR OF AIR”
Yes, Eminem is still making great music in my opinion but, what is the purpose for it now artistic wise? Would I even be writing this blog if it were not for other people? Do I even have a end game for this or will this just continue because of other people’s standards and motivations? I am not Eminem and never will be due to obvious reasons but, I feel like as I am watching his career and still study it like I did when young, I can see his change in POV is very different then when he first started because of the image he allowed to be sucked into. Looking at my life at the same time I feel like I just got dropped on a desert island after riding a wave for a long time and now have to start over. I stated this same issue in my other post https://associationofchronos.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-introduction-towards-nowhere/ Now that the chapters are over, I see myself seeing reality in a very much different view. I touched on it before as I said in my other post but, to add onto it I must admit I still see myself trying to I guess, get back in the womb. Trying to still be on fantasy island where every thing felt like a wave. A wave that was carrying me. A time in which I was in no control of what I was doing and could just place the reward or pain on GOD or, some other supernatural BS. I still see myself searching for a that place despite the fact my eyes are opened. I know the blue pill mentally is there and, I know how to separate it from the new reality I have discovered but, I still see myself looking back and trying to reach out and grab the old pill. Or at least, add it into my new way of viewing life so I can keep a strangle hold on my love of nostalgia . Yet, every time I do try and grab it I end up looking foolish on my part as I grab nothing but air. It then hits me again when the dark, painful, and brutal truth sinks in like clockwork. It never fails. It stinks. Its mushy and stale. Water in word form. Nothing sweet or tasty about it. Ugly to look at like Jason Voorhees with the mask off. Teeth decaying from smoke and lack of proper and constant hygiene that then slips to the lungs shifting its former shape and color into the look of rocks and mold……. The fact that there was never nothing there to grab to begin with. “Now what” has replaced “What you should do”.
Ignorance is bliss….