*Music contains explicit content*
All of 2011 was a difficult year. With Cydney’s birth, Timile’s diagnosis and eventual passing from cancer as well as my mother’s diagnosis; I had been going through a lot. Being that all of my time was taken up between the three most important girls in my life. My outlet was the music I was listening to. It has always been my sanctum and my therapy. During that spring, I became a big fan of up and coming emcees Curren$y and Big K.R.I.T. I didn’t always relate to their lyrics, but the music matched how I felt. Pilot Talk 1 and 2 became my soundtracks to my drives along Lake Eerie when I wasn’t working and I had those two hours to myself. On my way back to Buffalo from New York, I gave Big K.R.I.T.’s Returnof4Eva a spin. I got to track nine, which had a slowed down sample in which Krizzle sang “Life ain’t nothin’ but an EQ of highs and lows.” Man, did I relate to that. That was my life.
In Buffalo, Timile and I were going through some problems with her grandmother. Her grandmother wanted Timile and Cydney to herself and it caused some major friction that one time turned into her putting her hands on me and one of her cousins calling the cops on me in which I had done nothing to any of them.
Our car broke down and when I started working, I was taking the bus to work. It was a two hour commute and I worked a 3-11 PM shift. Usually I would luck out and find a ride home. One night, I didn’t and had to take the bus home. When this would happen, I would have to wait an hour for my next bus. The first night while I was waiting for the bus on the corner of Walden and Bailey Avenue in Cheektowaga (a not so safe place to be at 12 AM), I was listening to Pandora on my phone and the first chords to Curren$y’s #Jetsgo came on. It really caught me by surprise. You normally don’t hear rap music have such chord progressions like that track had. It was life changing and became my theme song just because I loved the beat. Curren$y rapped his ass off on the song, too; but I couldn’t relate but so much to “Twistin’ them Ferngully trees.”
#Jetsgo was the first single to Curren$y’s next album “Weekend at Burnie’s” and it had me looking forward to its release in a couple of weeks. When it dropped and I was taking the bus to work listening to it for the first time, I heard “This is the Life.” Once again, the chords made me pay attention. The music and the part of the chorus where someone sang “Ohhhhh! This is the life” resonated with me. Eventually, we got the car fixed and I found myself playing this song all the time coming home. I got switched to a morning shift and it just always made me think about getting home to my girls.
While none of this is what I had imagined of I’m sure what my parents prayed for, this was my life. That song made me come to peace with the hardships and enjoy my family the short time the three of us were able to be a complete unit. While the song is celebratory, I was finding a way to do so in the midst of my circumstances. My life was nowhere near being “Poolside on rooftops,” but I felt like my life was amazing. “Highs and Lows” was the perfect complimentary song to it because the lows that came along with being tired leaving ten hour shifts, going to the hospital to visit Timile until 10 PM, then coming home to put Cydney to bed was what made those moments that we had together during those times some of the best in my life.
When we look back at our pasts, we remember our struggles vividly. Those adverse times become fond because they were moments in our lives that defined us. They bring those that we are trying to persevere through life with much closer and a bond that can never be broken. All of those nights that it was just Cydney and I two years ago made her and I very close. Everyone else was cool, but no one lit up her face like daddy did. Obviously, that was the stage being set up for it being just the two of us and all that has come along with the life that we currently live. Because of those times in the beginning, Cydney knew exactly who I was when she hadn’t seen me in months. What we had before was still there. It is now. And that has made my being her father and her my daughter all the more special.
And that is the life.