While we out here, say the hustlas prayer
If the game shakes me or breaks me
I hope it makes me a better man
Take a better stand
Put money in my moms hand
Get my daughter this college plan, so she don’t need no man
Stay far from timid
Only make moves when ya heart’s in it
And live the phrase Sky’s The Limit
As a twenty-seven year old male from New York, I am almost naturally a hip-hop head. Usually when I’m writing these posts I’m listening to something that I would be very upset to hear my that my daughter was listening to. I was in sixth grade when the Notorious B.I.G. was killed. While my peers and myself were too young to fully comprehend what he was talking about, hid music is an integral part of my generation’s soundtrack. Sky’s The Limit is my third favorite Big song (Unbelievable and Who Shot Ya being numbers one and two in that order). It had a smooth Bobby Caldwell sample and 112 re-singing the most famous part of “Keep On” on the chorus. As a kid, I thought it was one of the few songs I could relate to: being the kid making a way out of no way whether it was because your crew was lame or the fake outfit your wore to look acceptable among your peers.
It wasn’t until I was in high school or so and I listened to the song again and those last eight bars he called “The Hustler’s Prayer.” Still not fully identifying with it, but I took its words as words one would want to be true. It was great in theory, but being seventeen there isn’t much life experience to relate to it fully. At the time the logic was “Yes, get it together so my kids can have college paid for and no loans.”
Earlier today I found myself shuffling through my Notorious B.I.G. playlist on Spotify and Sky’s The Limit played. The beginning with someone playing Big’s mother basically saying to her son how much she wants her son to be more than he is and to hold on to his dream. As I always do, I rapped along with it word for word. When it got to “The Hustler’s Prayer” I recited the words and it really hit home what the late Christopher Wallace meant. I fully related to making a way out of no way to provide. As a man, you’re the warrior. Your life is the sacrificial lamb to bring security and the foundation of happiness for the family. You hope no matter what happens that you don’t lose yourself and that you become better. To do right by my mother be able to make the golden years a little more golden. I really related to Big at that point who on his first album said “My mama got cancer in her breast. Don’t ask me why I’m muthaf****n’ stressed. Things done changed.” After going through such a process it would be nice to repay her for all she’s done for me.
As a father, “Get my daughter this college plan so she don’t need no man.” Reallest thing ever. Like I said previously, as a teenager this sounded great in theory. Being on the other end, that has become my life’s mission. Of course, everything is about Cydney (this blog included). I told Timile one day while driving while we were still living in Atlanta long before she was pregnant that one of my goals would be that by the time our children graduate from college, I would want to be able to give them a down payment for a franchise of some sort. Why? Because with solid residual income, they can be whatever they want to be. If Cydney wants to become a philosophy major and have no employment, then she can study her life away knowing (and managing) that Little Ceaser’s or something is bringing in a salary. What else she does with it is up to her. But it’s my idea of letting mine be able to pursue her own happiness. Of course that means a whole lot of work (paying off my student loans), finding some semblance of my own in there just enough to get by and give insurance to my daughter’s dreams coming true (and maybe a little philandering, lol.) That’s what it’s all about.
“See you chumps on top”
Around 1:45 AM, my father called me and pretty much told me the same thing. We talked a little bit about that’s his role for me. He said “Even if you’re scoring 40 points a game, I’m gonna hound you over those three layups you missed forgetting you’re LeBron James.” It was pretty on time abd he didn’t even read this post. Fifteen minutes later, he called me and said he just read this post. How’s that for being on time?