Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Most critically acclaimed Pulitzer, prize winner
Best storyteller thug narrator my style's greater
Model dater, big threat to a lot of you haters
Commentators ringside try watchin my paper
Almost a decade, quite impressive
Most of the best is in the essence
for this rap shit that I stand for
Expandin more to the big screen, Bill Gates dreams
But it seems you'd rather see me in jail with state greens
Want me off the scene fast, but good things last
like your favorite MC still makin some mean cash
First rapper to bring a platinum plaque, back to the projects
but you still wanna hate, be my guest, I suggest

NaS (Hate Me Now)

I love to watch the world evening news on NBC. Every night, I'm in front of the tube at 6:30. I dunno why. Maybe it's because I like to look at the world globally. I really don't like the local news. I probably SHOULD watch it for more than the weather. But if you watch the evening news here...you'll be depressed within 10 mins. It doesn't matter if it's the story about the high school kid who was gunned down, the mother of 3 who was stabbed to death, or the people who were shot outside of a nightclub. I can't watch it b/c it's soooo much bad news. I'm not suggesting that the world news is much better. Especially when you see the scenes from Iraq. But the crime that happens here locally is unreal. I heard a story about a month ago about a 17 yr old kid who accidentally shot his mother who was in the next room in their house. He was cleaning his AK-47 and the bullets discharged. He wasn't charged with a crime but my immediate thoughts were..." what the hell is he doing with an AK???"

What is wrong in this country? Are we desensitized by the crimes that we read about? Do we even care? As long as it doesn't happen in our hood...is it really an issue? I have to point the finger at myself sometimes b/c I' sometimes wonder if I am solving anything by looking the other way. For example, I saw these 3 kids standing on the corner in the middle of a school day. They should have been in school but they were pushin rocks. I know it and so did everybody that passed them that day. Did I stop my truck? Did I try to talk some sense into these lil knuckleheads? Did I show them that there is a better way of life? They weren't in my nice, middle class, suburban neighborhood. Why should I give a shit? Those 3 kids weren't my sons!

I did nothing. I drove by and gave them a look and that was it. Then I pumped up the Jay Z cd and sped off. Were those kids mine? No! But I am responsible for them to a degree. The life that I've built for myself is one that they could relate to if given the opportunity. I'm not LeBron James or Jay Z but I can have more influence on these kids as a role model before they could. I am a role model. Not just for my 3 sons but for any young person with whom I come in contact with. And you are too! Live your life so that you can set for the example for others to follow. Not only should you do that but you should also give your time. We always find reasons NOT to give our time but then we complain when these kids are on the news...or worse...in jail. There's a continual cycle that MUST be broken. I can't change the world but I can do my part. And so can you. We can't afford to walk around with our heads stuck in the sand.

Sorry for the sermon, y'all...but I had to say somethin.



12kylefan said...

I feel you on this! One gets weary of having to put on your "armor" just to give some much needed advice to random kids that represent our heritage and our future. Ignorance is not bliss. You have to deal with disrespect issues, identity issues, in my school, we have multiple GANG issues, and middle school girls are the meanest cats you'll find. Sure it's easy to turn the other cheek. Sometimes I want to throw in the towel myself. Then, I remember that ONE from my 1st class that's finishing high school or that ONE that's the 1st in her family to go to college or that ONE that thanked me for taking time to listen even though I had paperwork calling my name, or that ONE that's off the streets and has a paying job so he's not on OUR tax dollars... and I continue to reach out to the ones I can.
I'll leave you with two quotes a friend sent me:
1.I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. ~Edward Everett Hale
2.The power of one man or one woman doing the right thing for the right reason, and at the right time, is the greatest influence in our society. ~Jack Kemp

i.can't.complain. said...

i was in a similar situation when i took the lil' one to the park yesterday

3 young ladies (prolly ages 14-15) were at a children's playground cursing up a storm.

and i thought to myself "should i say something..."

but, i didn't.

just entertained my child so that she wouldn't pick up any new words.

its hard to intervene now-a-days.

kids will curse u out in front of your child...

or kill u.

but, i do see your point, 12K

i do see it

oh, yeah. i tend to not watch the local news either.

there's only so many times u can hear

"the suspect is a young Black male..."

before u just don't wanna hear it anymore.


12kyle said...

@ 12kyle fan
Thanks for the quotes. They are very important.

You are correct. Sometimes you want to throw in the towel but then you remember your life and those who helped you along the way. You can't help everybody...and everybody doesn't want to be helped. But if you can help one person, then you've accomplished something.

@ -1-
Don't you just cringe when you hear that the "suspect is a young Black male?" Good to see that I'm not the only one.

Some of these kids cuss better than WE do.

Tabu said...

We don't have as much of crime here, but we still have it, and still have to be very careful how we approach the YOUTH today.

When we were younger we fought with our hands, kids today are packin, and look at the guy you mentioned--AN AK47, What in the heck??

I hate guns, I hate fighting, I hate confrontation. There are places here that I won't go to because of stabbings or killings. When I travel across the border, I am more on edge. If it's not a daytime or evening thing. I usually don't go.

It's a sad state of affairs. I do want kids someday, but there are times I am almost glad I don't have them. It has to be hard being a parent in these times.

Brad said...

"You can't save a brother that don't wanna be saved". Jason's Lyric.

Point being, there's a time and place for all good deeds. Had you said something at that moment...that young man's pride and need for street cred would at best kept him from hearing a word you said and at worst caused a confrontation that could have turned ugly. However, in a different setting you could have talked to him and he would have listened eagerly. That same kid might accompany his mother, sister, girlfriend to a barbecue that you happen to be at. Now then you can just strike up a conversation like a regular dude. Next thing you know you mentoring to the young man and he just thinks your engaging in cool conversation. My point is.....most of these kids are not evil or even mean spirited. They just don't know any other way to be relevant. Any other way to be accepted in a circle of their peers. Or to survive.

What saved me was my dad and my older brothers were positive men in my life while the neighborhood around me called me to be a knuclehead. While my boys was pumpin jumbs...I stockded shelves at the local supermarket after school. I consider myself lucky to have had men in my life who had work ethic and took the time to make me feel like I had a way out.

12kyle said...

@ Tabu
That story was very crazy b/c when they interviewed the kid...he had very little emotion. I mean...he JUST killed his own mother. And he wasn't crying or anything. I kept wondering why nobody questioned how or where he got an illegal gun from?

@ Brad
Soooo true my brutha. Soooo true. I plan to get active in some mentoring programs very soon. I feel like that's what I'm supposed to do.

Anonymous said...

I definitely feel where you are coming from.

Shortly after I began working in the jail, I was assigned to work at a juvenile reception facility where we inprocessed those who were just arrested. Seeing some of them come in angry, zoned out with rocks still hidden in their mouths, half drunk, just coming from giving somebody head, just coming from stabbing a parent with a fork, really made me look at the state of OUR children in a different light.

All of these kids weren't bad. They were just raised in a bad situation and found the best way they knew how to adapt.

I did my best to show these a different way. I am still touched every time I think about this little guy who had the worst attitude. The cops couldn't stand him. When I got him alone while I fingerprinted him, I discovered that his attitude was due to being picked on for being so little. Man, when I was done talking to him, he could NOT stop smiling. I had changed his life.

He did come back about a month later, though. It was because his grandmother couldn't take him to court. But when he saw me, he was happy as heck. Even remembered my name. His grades had improved and everything. I pray that he is still doing good.

Sorry for the long-windedness. I just hear what you speak. We can do SOMEthing to make a difference.

Rezidl said...

@Brad..."...it was Joshua!...He shot Lyric and he self" -Rat (Jason's Lyric)...LOL

Like any confrontation, you have to pick which ones you engage these days due to all the reasons mentioned here. Times have changed and we simply do not have the luxury of engaging everyone each time we see an injustice. There will be another chance to right the wrongs or change the paths of the individuals if you do walk away.

I'm always reminded that the best thing I can do for society is be totally accountable for myself and try to inspire others through my actions to do the same. Trying to tackle such systemic issues en masse tends to lead to frustration. Making a sound decision with each decision is how I stay sane in this mad world.

Brad said...

@Rezidl, I feel you brother. One of the funniest hood stories I have is about when I went away to college. I stayed on campus and would only come home every other weekend. When I was about a Senior in College I came home more cause I had a job and a car. Man, the young hustlers would see me that haven't seen me in a couple of years..."Yo B, when you got out son?" "Yo son, where was you working at (what corner). Nice Jeep son". Sad.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm from Chicago, but now I live in New York. I read the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times daily and am heartbroken at all of the African-American teen deaths that have taken place in my hometown. There is definitely something that needs to be done. We can no longer turn away from the problems that are plaguing our communities (even if we don't live next door to young kids selling drugs). We all need to give back like you said and mentor this wayward youth demographic. If we don't help them, who will? Thanks for this post!!!

prettyparker said...

I teach my children to set their goals high in life and let them know what my husband and I expected from them. I influence my nephews and look out for my neighbors to keep them in line. But beyond that, I do not get involved with random children on the street. I simply say a small prayer that their parents are trying to stay relevant in their lives.

Oh, and today's my birthday!

Inner Beauty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Queen of My Castle said...

Very heartfelt post. I hate watching the Houston news for the very same reasons. I feel you on wanting to do your part. I have a passion for young girls. I don't think they know how valuable they are. I've started a prophetic dance training program. Hopefully the life I live will speak for me and encourage them to want more out of life and aspire to attain the unattainable. You're right, we all have a role to play in shaping the outcome of our youth.

Don said...

I agree with you 12kyle. Unfortunately I have come to the realization that some people just "don't get it." So I can't give it to 'em like you are giving it to us, with your post.

I wish the world to be a better place. But when the sensationalism of criminals has caught up with the actual crimes, shidddddd...only God can save us.

And He haven't saved us yet. So we can't be saved. Seriously.

TravelDiva said...

I hear you 12Kyle. It's disheartening. I hate to see young people doing wrong, cursing, scantily clad, and just not realizing their full potential. And not because it's in front of "others" but because I want the same thing for them that I want for myself.

I really feel though, that it HAS to start at home. I've been a part of the big sibling programs, and I've helped young people within my own family--but if ultimately they go home and values aren't being reinforced, it's very difficult to effectuate real change. But we do have to keep trying.

swag_ambassador said...

man its a serious game nowadays. I agree with what you said, as well as the fact that it is difficult to get across to stubborn minds nowadays more then ever. I dont really enjoy seeing all the youngins out here do what they do ona reg to get that acceptance.. I work in promotions(clubs) and its come to the point where we had to stop doing 18+ parties.. every party would get shot up, some innocent bystander wounded physically or mentally.. all because someone wanted to show out.. took my close friend being shot in the back of the head to open up many eyes to the situation.. I try and be a mentor for the young ones I know to help as much as I can that they dont fall victim to the norm..

The Jaded NYer said...

I'm famous for walking by some trouble and doing nothing to stop it- "It's none of MY bizniz...my name is Bennett..."

I once looked the other way when I heard and saw my downstairs neighbor abusing his wife way back when I still lived upstate. *lowers head in shame* My roommate and I discussed it and decided that we were two young, black females living in lily-white, West Butt-fuck NY with a 2.5 year old toddler. So we closed the blinds and turned the volume up on the TV.

Now that 12Kyle has forced me to confess my secret shame, I'm off to hand in that volunteer application to mentor young female writers. I gotta a lot of penance to do...

Still_Pocahontaz said...

Kyle if you would have said something to those boys you may/may not have had an impact but at least you know you did your part. The world is saturated with hate and crime. I can not bear to watch the news either, its messes with my sleep at night. What I have learned to do in my own way is Pray for these people…that is all that we can do. Pray for them, go up to them if you can and ask them for their name and Pray for them later on when you are at home. Pray for their well being and pray that your sons are touched by God not to grow up to be those boys. Pray that you continue to be the father that you are to raise your own boys to know right from wrong..Pray!

PCD (Pretty Circle Drawer) said...

bonjour 12kyle!

i must say, i'm digging brad's 1st comment. i used to mentor young ladies who felt the need to "blend" when in different surroundings or while other eyes or ears were around...but when it was "safe" to be "wack" they were more receptive. my issue came with trying to convey that being "wack"<<(their word) was cool even when they were with their friends...some just are so stuck, that they can't see the forest for the trees. their peers opinions mattered more than anything, sometimes even more than what they were standing/falling for...

PrettyBlack said...

Hmph! Very real post, quick story, (a bitch always got a quick story huh?) anyway I was in the nail shop one day and these little girls, about 15, 16, were in the shop also, a little loud, and ghetto, but they weren't cursing or anything like that just being giggling little girls.

So anyway this vehicle pulls into the parking lot with massive TUMP I mean the woofers had to be sitting on the outside of whatever this thing was right, so the little girls jump up out of their seats and run to the door, open it up and commence to trying to flag the dudes down.

I said "hold up sisters." They turn around and look at me I said, "the only types of young ladies that run up to any man's car is either a whore or a valet, let them chase you, so sit down and get your nails done." You know what they said? Nothing, they sat down and got their nails done.

Kids want to be taught better, but there is a time and a place, and those young brothers probably would have mistaken you for a jacker had you stopped and you have your own sons to live for, so you can't be dying for someone else'.

Sometimes it's the thought that counts.

Eb the Celeb said...

First... lmao that you have a fan commenting anonymously..

but to the point...

You are making me feel bad... I was suppose to go to a big brother/big sister program orientation a couple weeks ago and something came up and I havent rescheduled... I really want to help and give back just have had a lot on my mind lately that wouldnt help me be the best person I can be to a young'n ... so I'm waiting til I get my head straight...

Brad said...

@PCD.....Fitting in was huge in my neighborhood. You had to have certain standards, wear certain things, hang with certain people or have certain people have your back. If you didn't you could get clowned, robbed, beat down or worse. I've seen it. That odd one or 2 kids that could never quite fit in....were harrassed unmercifully. Some beat down just because. So, the pressure to fit in is real and it's HUGE. Especially in the hood.

The F$%K it List said...

Great quote today! I loved that Nas, a little confused about him right now

Anyhoo I ride the subways in NY and at one point I woudn't say a word when the kids would be on the train speaking loudly "N this and B please that". And one day after a rather long trying day I couldn't take it anymore and told these male children that 1) I was not in the mood to hear them degrade me as a woman or as an African American in front of a bunch of white people. They ofcourse went off but I kept talking until my stop.

I don't know what it was about that day that made me feel like I had to teach these kids something. I thought they needed to know there was more to the world then a quick hustle and sleeping with every teenage girl they could. I've spoken up other times and my hubby worries because he thinks my big mouth will have me as on the 6:00 news. So far I'm still here. And hopefully at least one of these kids have heard me.

Mizrepresent said...

kyle, this post and that of which you speak, is near and dear to my heart. I see so many good kids, go bad just because they no one is paying any attention to them, their wants or their needs. Most of them act out, to get that attention. I was recently researching mentoring programs for my own child, whom i feel needs to be around more positive adult males, so he can have someone to look up to besides the rap stars. I've seen my mother and sister raise their boys to be upstanding, responsible men, but neither of them were faced with the early onset of drugs, gangs and violence that the kids today are faced with, whether they come from a middle-class family or not, the streets are just too enticing and so available. I didn't even know in my neighborhood, i'm told the local gas stations serve as drug buys...smh. I want to do more, but don't know what or how, so i'll just continue to feed and uplift my own and his friends and hopefully i can make a change here that will create a change elsewhere.

12kyle said...

@ Jewells
Amen! Sounds like you made a difference for one kid. And that's all that you need to do.

@ Rezidl
Takin it back to the movies, huh? LOL

Accountablity is key, son. I am only responsible for myself but I know that I can influence others by how I live.

@ Brad
They thought you were locked up? LOL

Chicago is a rough town. Mentoring is needed for the kids there as well as across the country. Thanks, BGG!

@ PrettyParker
Happy 21st birthday! Enjoy ya self today.

@ inner beauty
This is so true. Thanks for stopping thru the 12th Planet. Make sure that you come back

@ Queen
Good stuff. This is a way of giving back. It doesn't always have to be money.

@ Don
I feel you, bruh. Some of them won't ever "get it". Just don't give up everybody. They still need us.

@ TravelDiva
It definitely starts at home. That's where the best examples should be found.

12kyle said...

@ Swag Ambassador
I feel you. That 18 year old crowd is a tough crowd. Just hang in there. Don't give up on the parties b/c the kids still need an outlet

@ Jaded NYer
You are a damn good writer. And your imagination is off the chain. I'm sure that your wisdom could help some young scribe.

@ Poca
Prayer does change things. I believe in the power of prayer

Welcome back! You have been missed my sista.

@ prettyblack
Great story. I'm glad that you were there to pass on those words

@ Eb
Whutchu laughin at? I told you that I had a fan, lil sis

@ Brad
Soooo true

@ The F$%k it List
You said what needed to be said. Hopefully, they heard you.

@ Miz
Its so true. Kids are kids. They wanna be loved just like any other kid. I think we sometimes forget that. If you show a kid that you care, that could make a difference.

eclectik said...

the illest

The Quote alone was hot


Sexxy Luv said...

This post really hit home with me, sometimes I feel as if I had someone else show me a different way my life would have gone in a different direction, I would have gone to college 1st instead of becoming a parent, I'm not saying that the life I'm living is wrong but this is what I thought was right, only because this is what I was shown.

Yes at times we may feel as if we need to mind our own business or look the other way, but sometimes there's that one child who's standing there looking to hear the right words to stop doing wrong.

Hadassah said...

Wow, I totally agree with what you wrote on the last section of your post. It surely takes a village to raise a child!

12kyle said...

@ e
Thanks, fam. You know that NaS comes with it

@ Sexxy Luv
Although you may have done things differently, you are on the right track right now.

@ Hadassah
It does take a village to raise a child. We need to get back to that way of thinking.