One of my favorite songs over the last year and change has been 9th Wonder, Terrace Martin, and Problem’s “A Star U R.” I first heard the song one day when I was listening to 9th Wonder’s album The Wonder Years I hadn’t had the time to listen to it when it first came out. I remember while I was driving from Buffalo to New York I heard the intro which had a piece playing in the background and I was wondering “What song is that?! And that song needs to be a full song.
What 9th Wonder says in the intro is this:
Man you know, I think we decide our own legacy. Be honest with you, when you leave thea game or you leave this earth, people will decide a legacy for you. We’re just here to do what we’re supposed to do. Everybody else will decide what was your legacy, he was there he was that, he did this he did that. People will decide that for you. You have no control over it
About a week or two later I noticed that it was from the last song on the album. When I first heard it, it resonated with me. The key of the song, the words in it as well. I got home from work and immediately left my fiance hear it. She wasn’t big into hip-hop music but being around me she had an appreciation for good music and lyrics. She said “She liked it because it had quite a self affirmation message to it.” I told her “This song is my life right now.” Song on repeat. Feeling discouraged and like things were starting to shift for the worst in her cancer treatments but still trying to be positive and do all I can, I needed that.
A day or two later I got home from work, I had to go back because I left my phone. I took seven month old Cydney with me. On the way back down Walden Ave I was listening to the song over and over. I kept looking at Cydney in the rearview mirror thinking what a star she was. We went to Target and song was in my head the whole time. I remember as I got back into the car and putting her back into the car seat getting the feeling that one day it could just be her and me and that no matter what a star would be watching over her. I quietly made that a declaration on her life: A Star She Is.
Immediately another song popped into my head “Oh My Stars” by Talib Kweli. I thought about the lyrics in which he says:
I ask my daughter how I look, she fixed my hat so I can wear it cool
Cause she’s like “That’s what they wear in school”
Then she asked me “Daddy, you know any superstars?”
I looked at her and said “Stop being silly, that’s what you two are”
I hadn’t heard the song in years but I recalled being twenty-one in Atlanta hearing that song and thinking about having my own children and saying that to them one day. It was the truth.
Back to A Star U R.
Tre wouldn’t-a never made it out without Dough Boy
He kept him straight, through the highs, and the lows boy
Ricky didn’t make it, but sometimes that’s how it go, boy
That line was my favorite. As a parallel between characters in Boyz The The Hood it was appropriate. I told my fiance who was a movie buff that. She liked that line too. Looking back on it later, it was exactly my story. She didn’t make it, but sometimes that’s how it goes. As it comes up on a year when she passed away this week I think about those lines and Cydney. Sometimes life brings people in for a minute and then they have to go. Some people who could in other ways be lifetime people must be taken away in order to solidify your own legacy.
I am young and still have lots of living to do. But Cydney is my legacy. In the midst of all that has gone on, everything has been about her. My life and betterment of myself is about 95% for her. It has to be. Even as I talked yesterday about her dating one day, its primarily up to me in all elements of life to show her how valuable she is. While she will remember none of this part of her life, I make sure I tell her every morning what a star she is and how special she is. Her circumstances will only make her brighter, but she’s a star because simply, she’s mine.
Appreciate the trials and the tears
“Now, I’m ready for the Wonder Years…
…That despite the bad times: financial, relationship-wise, just everything and just everything when you feel like life is just know you a star and keep shining. Just look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself “I love you, and keep shining,” and you gon’ fly. I do it!” Terrace Martin