We roamed Chinatown with foreigners like we were their colonizers.
These track-pants don’t physically help me run away from anything
But double digits on these prices remind me I’m farther now from where I started.
Evenings and oddities
Meaningful zeroes and pseudo heroes
Old childish games with young adults.
Spark another light
Who’s the person in my cell?
Why don’t we ever tell?
This is how we fight
Trophies of unaccomplished alcoholics;
Just for double digits from the corner store
Southern district tours.
Lives we watch with deathly sunsets
What do I really mean?
Street puddle reflections
Who do you really see?
Money talks loud
But then there’s me
No texts from me (nor her) tonight. Who knows what I’ll wake up to in the morning or afternoon today? Certainly not another meaningless woman or regrets from town, but that’s okay, I don’t need people or things to validate my life for me like that. High-school pettiness like that should only stay there; in fact, let’s just get rid of it altogether – let’s teach the kids how to be themselves instead and plenty more. Growing up; seeing everything, and everyone for both what they are and what they can be; I want to mean something profound to someone in the same way this city is to me. Let’s talk again when we’re on suitable wavelengths, okay?
Here’s a relevant playlist to keep you in tune with me (get it?)
Where’s the honey-dips at?
From the neck of the woods to the city’s waterfront,
looking for next ex-girl I run.
Religious rendezvous with the Moon and Sun at 5:00am;
please just tell me who I am.
Money keeps talking in here,
I’m in a hurtful relationship with my liver,
my lungs keep asking for a breath of fresh air,
my stomach growls and shivers.
It takes a city to raise a child like you and I,
our youthful blues crew just won’t die
yet it’s you who keeps driving your loved ones mad;
where’s your truth?
I held you and her down for 6 summers,
it was all for the better,
still the liquor in both of your livers only makes you two dumber.
My children lay on her thighs, her back and stomach for most nights.
I catch trains, she catches flights.
I hate the late bus-rides on this side;
it’s time for us to steal an OnzO bike.
“Make me an overnight memory”,
Give you or turn you?
Her body’s both smooth and slippery,
She said I looked like Usher when I let it burn through,
We climax then jump tracks.
Paper-thin notes scattered in our rooms and pockets,
Not just money but it makes you more complacent.
The world’s already at your feet though.
Let it flow in the warm and bright white-wine light;
take me there again and we’ll meet when the time’s right.
Those walks of shame down Ponsonby to Britomart,
Everybody’s morning sobriety was what really made me feel insecure.
I thought University would make me smarter than that;
Sure, sure, sure.
Late nights in Silo Park,
Sketchy rides back to GI,
Midnight skies and Sunrise cries
Bitch, I told you I’d make it.
Alone in a crowded festival,
Dying in the heat of the sun, the people and my stomach
but still tryin to keep my cool.
Bitch, didn’t I tell you I’d make it?
Skinny dips in her jacuzzi, on the far right side of St. Heliers’ Beach at night.
Shifts on the radio for people I thought I’d never reach.
I know you sent me.
I’m being honest, you do.
I can tell from all the bits of us I always seem to stumble across,
Yet you’re just a thorn on the side of my rose.
Tobacco slips and honey dips,
Liquor sips and chainsmoking,
Money bags and Uber lifts.
What truly matters is the expression,
but you’ll never know.
20 more minutes then 20 more,
20 more minutes and 20 more.
Down in the backstreets of the City’s blood vessels and nerves,
she and I used to talk for hours about our worries and wait for the rain-showers.
She always cried when it never came.
I wanted to believe for months that we’d eventually feel the same.
Hopes of a better view than dreary bus-stops and homeless fiends,
we both eventually grew apathetic to the damage though
from all the fist-fights in the streets, crooked people and the police, empty cans, cigarettes and Red Wine-flow;
it only spelled the concluding complacency from our anger, the neglect we threw on our weekend-friends, and it ultimately predicted our ends.
Time really passes by like the people from the other side
and raindrops didn’t make it easier for us to let it slide,
but resentment stays forever if we’d never make amends.
We drove circles around each other for most nights,
Took a shot of this and that, hoping something blends
“Tear me apart already, what are you still waiting for?”
“Nothing. This isn’t a fight”
We’d sit still in a smoking room for hours, watching people come in and out of the door
“A change is gonna come sooner or later”
“I guess breaking you will be the hardest thing I’ve ever enjoyed”
On the borderline of my pride, we connected our humility again
after a year of messy progressions and cleaning myself.
The ravenous tides have stopped crashing along my living room’s couch
in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings, with the stench of cheap sex.
It took us too long to acknowledge the importance of closure for our separation.
As we stumbled for months along the streets we strolled on teenage-feverish nights,
with people who were merely chess-pieces we strategically used to replace each other
and we’d alternate in taking turns at chipping away our fortitude and stronghold.
Arrogant, weren’t we?
Perhaps I was the heart-breaker my mother warned me about, but it was really you
who set my uninspired soul on fire, for a summer which seemed to last for years
and just to keep you satisfied, I hurt myself like a child running with scissors
and irrationally, I resented you for not advising me with some common sense,
but now we’re at peace again; I can’t hate you anymore,
even if I didn’t tell you everything I really wanted to…
even if you knew you were once my Moon and Sun.
On this day 4 years ago, New York rapper and co-founder of Pro Era – Capital Steez committed suicide at the age of 19 when he jumped off a building’s rooftop in the late hours of the night. Hip Hop and its newly-formed “Beast-coast” movement suffered a significant loss of one of its most-promising talents by the hands of mental-illness and a severe social issue – especially amongst our youth.
As a 19 year-old now myself, I think I’ve recently been able to identify and relate with the ideas in Steez’s music that I couldn’t exactly connect with before: the character of a misunderstood introvert pushed into an environment that forces them to interact, the motif of a person with profound thoughts and feelings they can’t translate into exact words yet, the theme of a person finding solace in the culture of their city, and the belief that “the world is mine” yet everyone else around me has it better than me despite my efforts. All of these elements in Capital Steez’s music formed an underlying narrative of an artist tackling their own identity, their own culture, and facing personal tribulations like lust, envy, greed, and hate – something that resonates with most people.
Finding yourself (particularly at this age of our lives) is a process of critically analyzing, understanding and re-interpreting your past, your influences and whatever else has shaped you. Some things you find while on this process are hard to come to terms with; maybe it’s because certain discoveries challenge our perceptions, and pressure us to make (uncomfortable) changes to deconstruct our identity and rebuild it. I’ve been through it all this past year though, and it was always a struggle to confront my closest circle of friends and family about these ideas and feelings within me; so I can only assume it must’ve been even harder for Capital Steez, and any other artist really, to express his feelings to not just his closest circle of friends or family, but to his fans and whoever hears his music too.
RIP STEELO (all-caps when you spell the man’s name).
Amerikkkan Korruption still holds one of my favourite intro tracks of all time
Moments of truth,
as we sat in your car on a hot Saturday afternoon,
I told you
“A year ago, I faced a calm before my storm…”
the calmest peace before the hungriest storm…
You look at me with an honesty in your eyes
I’ve seen it many times before in fact,
You tell me I’ve matured since then,
you’re happy for me,
and you’re proud of me.
I didn’t need your confirmation about that though.
I see clearly now,
more than ever,
how peoples’s moves create ripple effects,
like a game of chess.
I used to play so hastily.
Those rainy afternoons I spent being restless;
Those quiet nights I spent listening to music;
Those long mornings I spent without you.
Some of my fondest memories were quick moments
yet their personal significance stay timeless to me
No wonder you’re always on my mind.
Intuitive and impulsive moves make more sense
only after you’ve made them.
(My avatars exemplify that)
Here’s a personal Top-10 to let you feel and/or understand the narrative of my past few months, (and through that, perhaps you could form a narrative of my year so far too.) Let’s call this one “The Chaser’s 2nd Finale, Part III” for now, it’s to pay homage to a lot of things I’ve kept close to me, and will hopefully continue to, years and years down the line as part of my ethos, pathos and logos. (My avatars also exemplify that)