Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Straighten up little soldier, stiffen that upper lip."

Maybe you just said, "What the fuck is that about?" My answer is yes, the title of this post comes from an Eminem song. I've been wrestling with this for a while now. Along comes Eminem, the dude Slug, and Brother Ali, who gave me a little clarity. Follow me here:

In "Mockingbird" Eminem captures the difficulty of being a father, and his love for his daughter very eloquently.

On the track "Little Man", Slug bares his emotions in relation to being a father and a son that may not quite live up to the expectations that come along with it.

I recently attended the Fresh Air Tour in Orlando, and seeing Brother Ali onstage with his son was a very powerful experience. His songs are interlaced with stories about his struggles as a father.

If you give a shit please listen before you read on:

The last 6 months have been more than difficult for my little family. My daughter is far away. I keep a stiff upper lip. I want my daughter to do the same. What does it feel like? Sorry, I don't know how to articulate it. It just doesn't feel good.

There are a few words that I hate. One of these is "emotional". What the fuck does that mean?! You may not have known this, but BrainSlice is a MAN. Part of the job description for being a man is to avoid showing "emotion". This is sometimes a very easy task, sometimes very difficult. A lot of us deal with this by drinking, taking pills, and punching other human beings in the face. I try not to take that route (Ok, maybe not the alcohol part), which leads to occasional outbursts of anger, and then more silence. My point is this: Hip Hop is my therapy. It is my medication. It makes me a better man. As much as I would like to avoid feeling things, sometimes I have to. Hip Hop helps with this process. Slug, Ali, and Em have a couple things in common aside from being white (like me!) and being pretty damn good on the microphone (not like me!): they found a way to articulate things that I cannot. Being a father is the most important, most difficult task a man will ever face. When you throw a less-than-ideal family situation into the mix, it can be overwhelming. Thank you Hip Hop, for helping me deal, and hopefully become a better man in the process.

I miss my daughter terribly. I wish she was here to listen to my favorite songs with me. I want to teach her everything I know. She could listen to Subsoniq on Tuesday night with me. She needs her dad to teach her to be strong. It is difficult to do this from across the country. We will be together again soon enough, which makes me "feel" a little better.

I chose my closing statement carefully. Eminem sums it up pretty well:

"and if you ask me to, daddy's gonna buy you a mockingbird, I'm a give you the world. I'm a buy a diamond ring for you, I'm a sing for you, I'll do anything for you to see you smile, and if that mockingbird don't sing and that ring don't shine I'm a break that birdy's neck, I'll go back to the jeweler who sold it to ya, and make him eat every karat. DON'T FUCK WITH DAD."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

stay up and keep being strong. No doubt your an amazing father. Glad to hear hip hop helps heal and keeps you going day by day.

Subsoniq Crew