Monday, August 4, 2008

ain't got no gun...but i got my crew

How many of us have them?
Ones we can depend on
How many of us have them?
Before we go any further, lets be

Is a word we use everyday
Most the time we use it in the wrong way
Now you can look the word up, again and again
But the dictionary doesn't know the meaning of friends

And if you ask me, you know, I couldn't be much help
Because A friend is somebody you judge for yourself
Some are ok, and they treat you real cool
But some mistake kindness for bein' a fool

We like to be with some, because they're funny
Others come around when they need some money
Some you grew up with, around the way
And you're still real close too this very day

Homeboys through the Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall
And then there's some we wish we never knew at all
And this list goes on, again and again
But these are the people that we call friends

Whodini (Friends)

"Ain't got no gun...but i got my crew."

T Mo from the Goodie Mob (Soul Food)

Friend. That word is often thrown around alot. Many of us don't know what that term means. Here's the definition...

1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.

3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.

4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.

I am a man who has many associates...even more friends. My associates are people who I'm cool with but they just aren't friends. For example, I may share some personal experiences with an associate but it wouldn't be anything that I wouldn't broadcast on the 6 o'clock evening news.

Friends are different. My friends fall in line with the definition that is above. There is a connection with your friends.

Then, for me , there is the next level. That's my crew. If you're in my crew, then you're in my inner circle. You are like family to me. Everybody ain't crew. Period. It's not meant for it to be that way. If you're crew...then you are in the crew for life. There's a much deeper connection of shared thoughts and experiences that cannot be defined. Crew is crew. I hope that makes sense. It does to me.

Much like your friends, the crew operates under the same premise...loyalty, dedication, trustworthy, accountable, flexible, and there's unity. Nobody comes before the crew. Period. In my world, if you have to ask if you're in my probably ain't in it!

What about you? What defines friendship? How does your hierarchy break down? Do you have alotta friends?



Smarty Jones said...


Smarty Jones said...

Now that that's done, lol, my friends are an extension of my family.
More often than not, I call them first when something's wrong because I know they'll tell me the real deal without coddling me which is what I need.
It's kinda depressing right now because they are all getting married and having babies and whatnot and I feel like I'm losing them.
But, I know if I need them, they'll be there.

Eb the Celeb said...

I dont have a lot of friends... I have a lot of associates... people I will go out with, people I network with... but these arent the people I go too when I'm down and know that I can confide in or trust always.

I do have a couple close friends... and I guess I have a crew similar to you but these are prolly moreso my homeboys... they dont know my biz on the level that my friends to but I still hold them accountable for the things I hold my friend accountable for...

and smarty is so whack for that first... mess... girl I didnt know you had fallen trap to that mess

Dione said...

Hiiiiiiiiii!!! I'm back from my convention! Glad to be back on the blog circuit. A girl was having withdrawal cause blogging on the phone just ain't the SAME!!
Anyway, on to your question... Naw, I don't have a lot of friends. I can probably count on one hand how many people I would TRULY call when I'm down and out. I think it comes from being an only child though. Also, many people misunderstand me and take my introverted personality for aloofness or even arrogance so, therefore, it takes a while for me to warm up to someone. Once you're down though, you're my HOMIE! Unless I have to kick you to the curb... How's that KD?!

The Dreamy One said...

hmmm we are gonna talk about the crew....

the people in the crew are moms, brother, a sis.... they have never let me down and I can trust them wholeheartedly...... they will never deceive me, harm me, or say one nasty thing about they are my peeps, aces, etc etc

as far as friends, hmmmmmmmmm, i have to think really hard on that one. Its kind of hard to trust people anymore..... most of the people who i have called my friend in the past have talked about me, dogged me, and hurt me, so............

so the question is nawww i aint gotta alot of freinds,lol

Darius T. Williams said...

Defining it? I think you did a great job w/that. I sooo feel you though. I've got some great acquaintances - but they're definitely not friends. I've only got about two or three of those.

Kay C, The Quiet Storm said...

I don't have a lot of either one. It takes a long time before you are called friend from me.

I have people I know and old classmates. Hell, I even have sorority sisters and sorors, as well as fraternity brothers and frat, but my friends are ride or die. They are a precious few and have been in my life for a long time. People can always tell how cool I am with a person, by what I call them.

For me, friends are chosen family members, and family members are relatives. You can't choose relatives but you can choose family.

mlinz said...

I am faced with this question a great deal. Being a teacher we are always faced with those that have problems dealing with, choosing and even defining friends. I always tell my kids (and recently have been telling myself) that friends are those people that have your best interest at heart, those that truly care about your wellbeing.

And just as Smarty and others have stated there is generally a transition state when friends start getting married, having children and even pursuing advanced degrees. But I have found that either the friendships will strengthen or start to fall apart when these types of changes occur.

That’s all for now. My summer has come to an end and now it’s time for work again. :(

BTW, KD open house is Wed. from 1-4and I will need to see you and the wifey in the place!!!

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

A friend to me is someone I can trust...hands down. If I can trust you, you trust me, and we are down for each other, then I consider you to be a friend.

It's friends, then associates, then people I just say "hello" and "goodbye" to because that's just how I was raised.

I don't have a lot of yes...friends no. My friends and I, we may not talk everyday, but when we get together, we shut ish down :)

I love them!!

ms.uncensored said...

i've never had a lot of friends. i'm socially awkward. lol. ya know cuz i moved around a lot so friends came and went. so the friends that i do have are really that. good friends. ppl that i'm loyal to. that know me as well as i know them. that are around no matter what. that don't take what i say do personally and love me no matter what.

but honestly. i don't think i have one friend though that i've completely let my guard down with. that knows all the ins and outs cuz like i said me moving around so much made me become my own friend and therefore a lot of things i always keep private.

prettyparker said...

Not many friends outside of family. Seriously, my best/closest friends are my sisters, brother & cousin. I have two dear friends who are family, but I don't see very often.

Never had a bunch of friends, and too set in life to seek out new ones now.

Just wanted to holla atcha 12k, I know I haven't been around the planet like I used to, but it is summertime and I've been on the go since June! Hope you, the Mrs and the boys are doing well.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

I don't have a lot of friends. I only have 3 that I really consider "my crew." In actuality, that number is probably just 2. I hold those who I consider a friend to a very high standard. Loyalty and honesty are the most important characteristics that I value in friendships.

I've had a lot of associates over the years, but I'm not a people person so when they keep asking me to go and hang out and I constantly decline...that's usually the end of our friendship or should I say ""associate-ship!" LOL

Keisha "Kitten" Isaacs said...

Hey Brother!

I have a lot of associates....some people I consider friends...a few sisters for life (my version of a crew)....

I have to say that God has blessed me with some great people over the past few years...One thing that I pray about and verbalize often is that......I'd rather have 1 friend who loves me enough to get on her/his knees in prayer on my behalf...than 10 friends who don't pray for me...that's real talk...
I say have my back by being able to intercede on my behalf...God will provide what I need! :)

Miss Mika said...

I totally agree brother, there is defiantly an obvious line between friends and associates. Like yourself, I might share a few tidbits of personal information with an associate, but nothing that I would mind being broadcasted elsewhere. My friends on the other hand I feel I can trust with the most sensitive of topics and not worry about it going beyond them. They know the same applies to me. Good friends are so hard to come by, especially between women. I feel blessed to have the few true friends that I do have.

Mizrepresent said...

I have friends, associates and like you a crew. My crew mostly consists of friends who are like family and family. We share an unconditional love, meaning no matter the circumstances we are down like forever. My friends can migrate to crew and many have over time. My associates are ones i can share some good times with, but probably not the bad times.

PCD (Pretty Circle Drawer) said...

i have very few friends. in the beginning, it was that way because everyone hated me, so no one really wanted to be my friend. but as i aged and people viewed the fabulousness that is PCD, some bandwagon jumpers tried, but failed to enter the batcave-lol!!

seriously tho, i like things simple. mo' people, mo' problems!

dessex said...

Didn't come fro no beef cause I don't eat steak
I got a plate of soul food chicken, rice and gravy

I have a few friends but I have hella people that I am cool with. Honestly I have a total of maybe like 5 friends the rest are people I'm cool with. Trust is loyality is very important to me and to be considered a friend in my book I need to able to trust you and loyality needs to be shown. People usually have other motives involved so I tend to keep my cirle strong.

12kyle said...

@ Smarty Jones
First indeed! Lol

Marriage and family shouldn't change your friendships. How are things changing? Do they have less time for you?

@ eb the celeb
Don't be hatin on smarty. You were tryna be first and she beat u to it. Lmao

@ dione
Welcome back! I agree. Tryna blog from your phone all day is tough.

You? Introvert or arrogant? I just don't see it. To're simply Dione. Haaaa. You like that?

@ dreamy
When you can't rely on friends, you can rely on your crew

@ Darius
Preciate it, bruh. Sometimes, all you need is 2 or 3 good friends

@ Kay C, The Quiet Storm
"friends are chosen family members, and family members are relatives. You can't choose relatives but you can choose family." Amen! Those words are so true!

@ mlinz
You know we'll be at the open house. The boys are ready to go back to school...and so are we! Lol

@ Beautifully.Conjured.Up
You just reminded me of all of the associates that I have in my address book. I have a rule. If you haven't called me or I haven't called you in 4 months, you need to be deleted. LOL

12kyle said...

@ ms. uncensored
You don't strike me as socially awkward. LOL

@ prettyparker
Whusssssssup???? Glad to see you back. I know how it is. Summertime is crazy. Thanks for asking about the fam. Everybody is doing fine. Kameron turns 6 on Friday and Deion turns 9 on Saturday. And they start school on Monday. So, I know what you're going thru.

I feeeel you! Honesty and loyalty

@ Keisha the Kitten
Funny thing...this post was inspired from yesterday's sermon... "Friendships that can Improve The Quality of Life" . After I left church, I was like...i wanna blog about that.

@ Mika
I agree. I feel totally blessed to have associates, friends, and crew

@ Miz
You gotta love it when associates become friends

"as i aged and people viewed the fabulousness that is PCD, some bandwagon jumpers tried, but failed to enter the batcave-" you are sooooo silly! LOL

@ dessex
Good one bruh! Only you could finish off that verse. LOL

-Q. said...

Aint nothing like Cru love. It is Family(in my opinion), cuzz most of my fam is cru you know. Some might see it as a sub family. but what got me the most is when you refered it as a circle. I love the concept of a circle, Ive posted about it in the past. its flexible for those in it, its closed and you can only fuse in to it if all naturally accepts- hence indiv circles. But The Circle, like my own, its completes me(you, anyone who has one). I personally cant live without one, its my lifeline.

Erykah Badu uses the term cipha on her self-entitled Live album. Its short but deep how she infuses the concept to life and all things.. If yall catch it one day, I think of her description of a cipha ('cipher' for everbody whos a little "proper'er"), in relation to this discussion about crew..

good post- theres no luv like cru love. Shouts to all the cru's -Q.

Opinionated Diva said...

I have way more associates...I refer to them as friends because we cool and it's just easier to refer to them as such. BUT the real friends? Who've been with me through thick and thin? I only have two of those and I couldn't ask for better friends.

The Flyyest said...

i dont have a lot of friends... i can say i have 7 friends that i do everything with...

i have 3 friends that i tell everything to....

a friend i confide in...
a friend i cry to...
a friend i vent to...
a friend i laugh with...
a friend i party with..
a friend i clash with...
a friend i grew up with...
a friend i get advice from...

right now...1 friend that i do all that with is my girl dev...i been knowing her only a year but we are tight!!

all my other friends i been knowing for 8+ years...

my friends are more like my sisters

i have a whole heep of associates tho!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with many of the definitions you provided for the term "Friends." But to sum it all up, a true friend is someone that I can't leave without. The level of compassion, sharing and respect is reciprocated, and we are able to work through the hard times. The term "friend" does get thrown around quite often, but if I use it, it's usually because they are in fact my friend. Thanks for sharing Kyle!

12kyle said...

@ -Q.
No doubt! The cypher definitely completes me. I think as men...these relationships mean the world to us.

@ OD
I feel you. Sometimes the smaller the number...the better off you are.

@ Flyyest
I love the breakdown!!!

@ Kei
I agree. When they are that close to really don't want to be without you b/c they help complete you.

Smarty Jones said...

I understand that their time is spent taking care of their fams, it just leaves me as the single, unattached chick without kids out of the convos and gatherings.
I think at a certain point, once your friends start to date seriously and marry, they start to hang out with their "couple friends" as opposed to hanging with their single friends.
We get together, but not like we used to do and that's understandable.
In fact, I think I'm probably the reason I don't hang out with my friends like I used to because, well, I'm not trying to be in anybody's mix.
Usually when young married folks are having issues, it is because they got too many folks in their biz. I ain't trying to be one of them.
So, I come around for bridal and baby showers, I'll even be a godmother bringing presents and taking the kids on outings and whatnot, but I don't try to get them to hang out with me just because.

Sexxy Luv said...

I have no friends! I have homegirls/homeboys! and we fall out all the time only to make back up, but in reality them b!tches HATE to see me coming! they love to try and be 1 up on me but it never happens!

and for that reason i run with my kiddies! they got my back at all times and never do they hate, we i'm with them it's us against the world!

lol, i know i went off the deep end but HEY you asked! lol :)

Dione said...

Kyle- you don't see it because you are a GUY!! Guys perceive the personalities of women differently than women perceive personalities. Women give other women a harder time letting their guard down than males. We can also be very catty at times. Prime example, back on the yard at SCSU, you could sit in front of the cafe and watch the cars go by. Wait until people try to cross the road over to Bradham and Manning. If it was a female was trying to cross and a female was driving her car by at the same time, they wouldn't even slow down. U better get your azz outta the way. Let a guy try to cross the street though, they slow down, pull over, smile, everything BUT take it to the next level...

B said...

I've been a lurker for your blog for um....quite awhile. LOL! I think I have about 3 REAL friends. Everyone else is just....there. Loves 'em but I know they ain't got my back like the real folx.

The F$%K it List said...

Like you I have associates, friends a and a crew. My crew has been the same since I was 6 years old. We grew up together and we still hold each other down. I will see them this weekend and I can't wait minus 2.

I consider 3 people in my circle friends and i have numerous associates but i don't put a lot of stock in either of them its just easier that way.

But my number one friend is the man that I love. :)

A Go Bytch said...

I know exactly what you mean...I have my crew too...better known my circle!

~Ms. Moore~ said...

I know OF a lot of people. I have a few associates. I have VERY FEW friends. And the only reason my crew is so large is because my crew and family are a combined unit.
People that I know of are people I say hi and bye to and know by name.
Associates are those that I know by name but I also talk to a little but they don't know my personal business and they are never invited to the house.
Friends, posse, crew are family!!!

Keith said...

My Friends are in my Crew...I don't see the difference. My crew/
friends/inner circle is a very exclusive group and there aren't many members...Maybe 5 or 6...

Associates! I have many many many associates...People I'm cool with,
People I might even occassionally hang out with...but not divulge a secret to...not expect to have my back when the shysst gets crazy..

No, that's reserved for my friends/crew/inner circle.
my ride or dies.

I agree with you...If you gotta ask you aint down.

ShellyShell said...

I have a lot of associates. I have a group of friends and my crew is a handful of people. Sad thing is none of my crew lives in NYC. I have really bonded with one woman since last summer is she is becoming part of my crew. I've known my ace since we were 3 years old. My homeboy since we were 5. The others I met in college.

I'm not one to bring you in the circle too quick. Most people tell me that I am! That's makes me laugh but I have a nasty ass look on my face all the time! I wish I had one of my crew members in NYC though cause I miss them! But I've met good people here so far!

12kyle said...

@ smarty jones
I feel where you're coming from. Sounds like you're going thru the same transition that we all go thru. It doesn become a lil bit more difficult when those close friends get married and start families. I think you have to do what you've been hard to maintain those friendships.

@ Sexxy Luv
Tellemwhyumadson!! lmao!!! At least u r honest!

@ Dione
I see your point. I just never looked or got that impression from you for as long as we've known each other.

LOL @ SCSU story!!! So true

@ B
Welcome to the 12th Planet. Make sure that you come back. We have a good time over here. We're here every day like bad traffic.

@ The F$%K it List
Same crew since 6?? That's what I'm talking about!

@ A Go Bytch
Nuffin betta than the crew

@ Ms. Moore
I feel you. I have associates that'll never make it to my house.

@ Keith
That's my motto. If you gotta ask...then you aint down.

@ ShellyShell
Doesn't it suck when your crew doesn't live in the same city as you??

The F$%K it List said...

Yep our Mothers were all in college together and we are all best of friends. The one that I won't see this weekend is my son's god mother and we are BFF from church.

Stew said...

i would say that i know a bunch of people. also i would say that i have "sets" of friends. of course i got my crew, well i actually have 2 crews. its really complicated.

as far as my sets go, i got my friends, then i got a set of friends that i met through my brother. so they are all my friends, but they are like a big group of big brothers.

its weird