Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mother's and the Rod

Even though I'm kind of an 'anti-holiday' person, I really do like Mother's Day. It always seems like everybody who can will find their way home for Mother’s Day. If they can’t come, then they’re gonna call and if they can’t call, they better be in jail or else everybody is going to be mad at them for hurting their mama’s feelings and being a complete no-show on Mother’s Day.

Sadly, there were a lot of mother’s who shed tears this past Mother’s Day. Grieving over the loss of their own mother, or worrying about the health and safety of one of their own children. Whether fighting in that war overseas, or fighting in the streets in the hood or fighting with our spouses or children in our own homes, we’ve all played our parts in putting gray hairs in mama’s head.

I was blessed to have 3 mothers that literally raised me.

My Big Mama was the first one to see the potential in me. Even back when I was always getting in trouble and catching whuppings, Big Mama always had a special word for me.

"D is going to surprise a lot of people. He's a lot smarter than you think he is."

Ironically, this was usually my downfall. I’d scope out a situation and figure I was slick enough to pull a stunt and I was crazy enough to do it and even get away with it a time or two. But invariable I’d get sloppy, and go to that well one too many times and boom!! Here comes the hammer, busted!!!

Big Mama never had to ‘get’ me, but I saw her lay in to one of my cousins one day and I knew I didn’t want none of that. If Big Mama gave you a whupping, you were all the way out of bounds!! I’m talking about, acting bad fo real.

Big Mama doesn’t allow anyone to call kids bad in front of her.

“Don’t tell him he’s bad, because if you keep telling him he’s bad, he’s going to start believing it himself.”

Big Mama could spot the good in anybody. She was also up on her game on spotting jankiness. Because anybody who births and raises 12 children, 6 boys and 6 girls into this world, has seen her fair share of stunts being pulled.

But Big Mama saw something in me early and she always made sure to have a bookshelf full of books to read. I might be punished where I couldn’t go outside and I couldn’t watch TV, but I could always read a book. Big Mama wasn’t the most educated woman in the world, but she was always a big reader.

Big Mama is in her early 90’s now and her memory isn’t as good as it used to be. She can still hold an excellent conversation with you, laughing, joking, talking about the Bible, but you can’t be too surprised if she asks you what your name is a couple of times. Because she will forget.

It can be a hard thing sometimes, having a loved one who played a vital role in bringing you into this world and molding you into the person you are today, but yet they look at you with a blank stare, having no clue who you are.

Once I realized that she wasn’t in any pain and that her appetite was just as good as mine. And that she could go to the bathroom by herself and still read her Bible without any glasses, I really was reminded of just how good God really is.

We need more Big Mama’s in this world, cuz they’re a critical part of the family that supplies an outpouring of love. Big Mama has been on her knees praying for me. Just as she has with all of her children and grandchildren, especially the ones she knew where in harms way.

The effectual fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much. (James 5:16)

Thank God for Big Mama’s.

I’m a native Houstonian, but every summer my sister and I would spend 3 months in Arkansas. Both sets of our grandparents lived only 12 miles away from each other. Big Mama and Big Daddy lived in the city, El Dorado..or Ella Rayda as most natives pronounce. But our paternal grandparents lived in a town population 538. With a railroad track running through the middle of town all the way down through the saw mill that was situated right on the Ouachita River.

It is in this town that we spent most of our time. My papa had acres of land that he farmed, along with a chicken coop and hog pen. There was also a lake in town, where we could go swimming or fishing, it was definitely an ideal place for a kid to run around all summer.

While there, we were under the rule of grandma. Most of the grandkids call her Honey and most everybody else calls her Aunt Gladys. She’s a character.

We all have things that go on inside of our head that we think about, then we kinda have a filter process that lets some stuff out and we say it, a colander if you will. Well the holes in Honey’s strainer are a bit larger than the average persons. She’s liable to say ANYTHING to anybody. She’s what you call OFF THA CHAIN. No holds barred.

Now the part that throws most people off, is when they realize that she knows her Bible and that she loves the Lord. Most people equate loving Jesus to be sedated and serene. But there are some wild cards in the mix that spicen up the pot and Honey is definitely a wildcard. You can always count on her to tell you how it really is, even if you don’t want to hear it. She doesn’t bite her tongue, she’s going to let you know how she feels.

One of my friends from college came to visit one time and she started asking him questions..

"Do you have a girlfriend at school? Do you have a girlfriend at home?"

To be polite and not just point blank say, "I'm a hoe." My friend just kept saying no, he didn't have an 'exclusive' girlfriend. My grandma looked at him for a minute, and studied his hands and the way he carried himself and then she asked him, "You ain't gay are you?? Because my grandson isn't gay, he likes girls." Of course, the whole exchange kinda threw him off and everybody in earshot of her just bust out laughing.

It is this realness that I’ve always equated to love. Because a person who is honest to the point of being politically incorrect, and still ready to stand up and tell everybody that Jesus is Lord, is what you call an old school soldier. A ride or die chick. I got one of those pistol packing grandmas and I love her to death. Tyler Perry’s Mudyeah ain’t got nuthin on Honey.

And then comes my biological mother. I’m talking about a bad chick (now that’s a bad chick!) My mom kinda throws people off sometimes too. When I was in high school and one of my podnaz came over to the house, we were all sitting up talking and then all of a sudden his pager went off. This was back before EVERYBODY had a pager, so my mother, being an HISD school teacher and exposed to how the kids of the day were getting down looked at my friend in the eyes and asked him point blank, “Do you sell drugs??”

It threw him off so much that he started stuttering.

“N-n-n-o no ma’am!!”

My mother is not your regular soldier in the army of the Lord, she’s a 5-star general. Even though she’s the 8th child out of 12, all the other kids call her ‘The General’, because when it’s time to get it done, she knows how to get n’gaz moving.

When she puts one hand on her hip and has one finger pointing in somebody’s face while she’s talking, then you know it’s on. I’ve seen her make grown people cry after having to listen to one of her lectures. She can fuss at you so real, that it will make you determined to NEVER have to listen to that anymore.

And whenever it seemed like talking wasn’t going to get the job done, then she’d go get the belt or switch and put something on that behind. My mama burned a lot of calories in her life by giving me whuppings. And despite all those times that I sat in my room, licking my wounds and wondering why God had me trapped living with the wicked witch of the South, I am proud to stand up today and let the world know, “I thank God for having a mama that whupped my butt.”

He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him chastens him early. – Proverbs 13:24 MKJV

Because just as we show love to our children with hugs and gifts, special treats. We also show love to our children when we chastise them for doing something that’s wrong. These 3 women formed a triangle defense around me and I didn’t have any avenues of escape. God’s Word was law in every house that I lived in.

So these are my 3 mothers. They’re all jamming. They’re all strong soldiers in the army of the Lord. They’re all real good cooks. And they all have played a vital role in molding and shaping me into the person I am today. Of course, I’m not perfect, and I still have my rough spots that need to be smoothed over, but the key is that they all trained me in the way that I should go. And now that I have grown older, I have not departed from it.

Happy Mother’s Day Big Mama, Honey and Mama. Some people don’t even have 1 real mama. God knew that I needed some extra kinda attention, so He gave me 3. God is good, all the time.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Beyonce's Wedding

When it comes to PR issues, the Christian team could do a lot better.

Name it and claim it ministers, swindlers, crooked financial dealers, womanizers, XXX-rated writers, pastors being caught at those places where the lil boys be dancing on tables, it’s a lot of janky Christians that make non-Believers smirk at our team.

Because in the year of our Lord 2006, the publicized rate of jankiness, random acts of hatred and sinfulness are becoming more common and expected instead of shocking.

We are being de-sensitized by the increased rates of violence and destruction in the media.

We are being eroticized by the influx of sexual images in our lives. Commercials. Billboards. TV. Radio. Movies. Sex is being pushed on every corner. Everybody’s in love with (or wants to be) a stripper. Young girls and women are fantasizing of their time to be on that pole.

The more we see it, the less we’re tripping when we see it again. At least, that’s the way it works for the people who have hardened hearts.

Satan is manipulating and controlling the earthly world as we know it. This fleshly battle that we deal with; murder and rape, child molestation, greed, corruption, hate crimes, etc. These are the headlines fueled by the evil one.

They want to feed our children images of violence and war. They want to get into the minds of our young people and make them think life is all about material wealth.

You gotta be blinging and flossing if you’re gonna be somebody.

Who cares how good you do on that test..you’re going to be a rapper or a football player!!!

You don’t need to work hard and try to do your best in that ol sellout whiteboy shit like Algebra or English!!

Young girls don’t need to be smart, they just need to know how to look like a stripper so that they can get some man that they can let get up on it and pay their bills.

I love Beyonce. I think she’s a very attractive, warm young lady with the love of God in her heart. And I know she’s in a position where if she conveys a particular sort of image, she is more marketable and thus makes more money.

Don’t get it twisted, entertainment is all about making money in the trenches.

So Beyonce is shaking that bootylicious and these young black girls from the Southside are looking up to her as somebody that made it through hard work and looking fine.

Because those who saw the original Destiny’s Child stage act back when they were still doing talent shows around Houston know that Beyonce’s dancing and singing skills have come a long way. She’s put that work in and she’s reaping the rewards. You should shake Beyonce’s hand and give her a hug when you see her, because in the hustle and working hard aspect of the game, she has been an excellent model for our girls.

But the problem comes in with the reality of Beyonce being onstage in front of millions of eyes and giving them what they came to see. What they paid to see. And our young ladies get out there and want to dress like Beyonce. Nobody wants to be the fat ugly girl that no guys want to talk to. Everybody wants to feel sexy and desirable.

When you compare the voices of two Southside of Houston songstresses, like Beyonce and Yolanda Adams, you can see where Yolanda still has her when it comes to reaching down into that soul with your voice. But I’m sure Yolanda couldn’t sing worth a lick if she had to do some of the dance routines that Beyonce does either.

Sex sells. Sexiness is definitely in and Beyonce and Yolanda are definitely sexy women. Yet they project very different images.

When a young girl wants to dress and carry herself so that she looks sexy like Beyonce does onstage, then she needs to be aware of the consequences that go along with that.

When you are out to attract the attention of a man, you better realize the sharks, wolves and pimps that are lurking out there waiting for something attractive to catch their eye are going to be looking too. Fresh bait.

The more revealing and sexually explicit your clothing, the larger array of sharks, wolves and pimps that you will attract into your space.

Customers might fall in love with a stripper, but nobody wants to marry one. Because the nature of a man will often lead to jealous suspicion concerning his woman’s past.

How many n’gaz have you slept with?? Did you suck his d?? Where have you been???

Hell may hath no fury like a woman scorned, but it ain’t nothing nice being around a jealous and insecure n’ga who has a good reason to worry about what his gal has been doing. Talk about seeing a n’ga TRIPPING!!!

Ironically, it’s always usually the guys who’ve done the most dirt themselves that trip the most.

As successful, beautiful and talented as Beyonce is..do you think she would say no if Jay Z asked her to marry him?

I think she’d say yes and be smiling from ear to ear, maybe even crying a lil bit. Just happy. She really acts likes she loves that n’ga. You don’t hear about her out freaking it down with R.Kelly or sneaking off with Tiger Woods..Beyonce is keeping her game tight. She ain’t flipping from n’ga to n’ga like a lot of other well known entertainers.

Monogamy is a good thing. It’s not sanctified like marriage, but it’s definitely a starting point from all those things in this world that is trying to sell you free love, free sex, get it get it gir!!

So why aren’t they married?

Waiting on getting the money together? No. Their paperwork is looking splendid!!

Not to put Jay Z on the spot, cuz I’ve never met him, and he seems like a cool az n’ga to me. I’d love to do an interview with him and Nas. We can all have our gals with us, I’ll set out some steaks and fresh fish on the grill, have a drink or two, play some dominoes, listen to some Tito Puente, just chill and talk about what it’s going to take to bring all these young soldiers together. Yeah, I know they both got some bad (meaning fine) gals, but I’m bringing a stunna to the table too. Wazzup?

Because there is a different level of responsibility for those of us who have Christ in our heart. It will sometimes make you feel like the kid looking out the window while all the other kids are outside laughing, playing and having fun. It can make you cry so much that you'll turn into a pillar of salt.

No one is perfect and we are all striving to reach that mark. We are not saved, we are being saved. Faith is not a static position. We move from glory to glory.

So if we can get more rappers and more entertainers, more writers, more movie producers, more media executives to be more responsible and cognizant of the Lord in which we serve. And we make Jesus the focal point of our lives instead of something we just do one day out of the week. Then it will send a loud and reverberating signal out into the world.

Beyonce songs have changed and now are all about discovering who you are through your faith in God!!

Jay Z has stopped glorifying fornication, drugs and gangsterism. Now he’s rapping about putting God first in your life. Instead of rapping about Jayhovah, he’s rhyming about JEHOVAH!!

It could happen, and you KNOW it will be jamming.

It would be a glorious wedding that I would be honored to write the ‘Jay and B – How God Brought Us Together’ storyline in the wedding program. They’ll probably want me to be The Godfather of all their kids and stuff.

I don’t know what you’re laughing at…it could happen.

Monday, May 01, 2006

35 and Writing Under the Gun

One of the things that I’ve learned about the art of writing, is that it is very important to make sure that my audience can feel me.

It is part of my job as a writer, to give you the reader, glimpses of reality as I understand it to be.

There’s different ways to get personal with someone.

You can be all the way real and let them into your life, into your mind. What you really think and what you really believe. It can be a very revealing and intimidating experience.

And despite the fact that I’ve written on a wide range of the different aspects of my life, the character attribute which always draws the most scrutinizing attention is the fact that I 'call myself' a Christian.

I’m not the only person on this earth that has proclaimed the name above every other name. But the thing is, despite the inclusive revelation of the Holy Spirit, we all grasp our faith with grips as various as fingerprints.

My father and I worship the same God, but yet we don’t always agree on what thus saith the Word when it comes to theological interpretation.

Once saved always saved?

Could Jesus have sinned if He wanted to?

Where does predestination stop and free will begin?

This explains why we have so many different denominations in the Christian faith People break off from the group and start doing their thang a lil bit different.

But yet, there is one faith and one Lord, Jesus Christ.

So then folks try to figure out what kind of Christian I am, which is one of the reasons I posted a Statement of Faith on www.servinemup.com. For all they know, I could go to one of those churches where they handle snakes and drink poison!

And although God has never led me to handle snakes or drink poison, there are some things about my lifestyle that some Christians don’t agree with.

I believe in exercising my right to bear arms as a United States citizen and also as a Texas resident. Turn the other cheek does not dismiss defending yourself. I know all Christians don’t agree with me on that, and that’s cool. Because there’s a place for all of us at our Lord’s table. But we know that even the disciples were armed, as shown when Peter sliced off the soldier's ear with his sword when they came to arrest Jesus. Pete had a gat.

I believe there are some of us who have never and will never have to be in a position where they have to defend themselves against some type of wild animal (which does include sharks, wolves and dopefiends.) And then those are others who our Lord has commanded that one sword is sufficient.

I can remember standing on the back porch in Arkansas as my father and my uncle ‘shot the guns’ into the woods. My uncle James Edward from Baltimore had the most beautiful .357 magnum. It was so heavy I had to use both hands to pick it up. But the smell of that gunpowder and the sound of that force reverberating in the air when they pulled those triggers. BOOOOM!!!! I knew there was a place for those who were prepared to bear arms if the need arose. We need them on that wall.

When I posted Popping My Collar, a lot of my homies from Sugar Valley hollered at me. They were excited to see me representing the hood. And they all can feel me, because every family in Sugar Valley had a gun somewhere in the house. Most of these parents were country folks, used to keeping a .22 rifle above the kitchen sink. Just in case they caught a fox trying to sneak into the chicken coop.

Now, guns have gravitated from meaning protection, to being more closely affiliated with aggression. Blasting fools. Flashing your gun in the air just to try and impress some n’gaz.

The Bible tells us that those who live by the gun shall die by the gun.

More importantly, we should seek to arm ourselves with the sword from the full armour of God. The Word. We need to keep our minds meditating on that Word, day and night. It’s where we stay sharp. It’s the only weapon we have to fight against the enemy.

Don’t be that n’ga in the gunfight who ain’t read his Bible.

It’s not just guns either, folks also bring up issues with my beliefs on the subject of wine and strong drink.

Everywhere I read in the Bible, it says we should not be given to much wine. We shouldn’t be drunkards and revilers. But it doesn’t say that drinking wine is forbidden.

Then you have folks who claim that Jesus only drank that ‘new wine’ which was non-alchoholic, more like grape juice.

Mmmhmm..I see ya new wine. All I know, is that Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding, turning water into wine. And the wine He made, was a lot stronger and more potent than what they had already been drinking!!

But I can understand the argument against drinking. Cuz I know some folks who don’t need to drink AT ALL!! Not even a spoonful, because it makes them turn into a completely different person. Just like the fellaz who have to stop drinking 40’s, because they know that there’s a crack rock at the bottom of it.

Everybody needs to know thyself.

Soo..that’s about as radical a Christian I am. I don’t believe in protesting and boycotting and being in marches to legalize marijuana, there are more pressing issues to champion. Although I believe marijuana is a lot less dangerous than alchohol, it’s currently illegal. Jesus says that we should give Ceaser what is his and that we should obey the laws of the land. Pay your taxes and don’t be breaking them laws mane!

Now of course, these same rules applied when Prohibition was enforced in America. And if I would have been around then, I probably would have been buying a bottle of corn squeezings from the bootleg man or making my own home brew every now and then. So, I ain’t tripping, I’m just keeping things in perspective.

Because I do know a lot of people who started out just smoking weed, but they kept chasing a stronger high or Hector laced their joint with something and they got caught up in some other stuff that required medical attention and strong prayer to get out of.

They have a saying, ‘Don’t do as I do, do as I say do!’

You’d normally see a parent puffing on a cigarette and giving this command right after they forbid their child from whatever bad habit has control over them.

When you know what right is and you know you’re not doing it.

It can be a sobering reality when you’re trying to teach others the difference between right and wrong.

I’m 35 now. I’m married with 2 children who I am training to grow stronger in the Lord. I train my kids in the Word and I pray that they grow up to be game for the Lord.

And since I am now a public writer, I have become ever so conscious of the responsibility that I have been called to assume.

I can influence people with my pen. I can encourage, I can enlighten, I can enrage, I can make folks laugh or cry just by words that I write.

But I grew up in the hood, surrounded by some real characters that are more colorful and more elaborate than anything I could dream up. Real pit bulls. Game dogs.

All of the boys on the trunk of this car are from the bloodline of the late Bishop Sam Scott. All of us have been frowned at, or made to feel ashamed of ourselves for doing something we knew we weren’t supposed to do, ‘Specially since you one of Bishop Scott’s grandsons!!!??!!”

Even though our grandfather was a preacher, we still had to deal with divorce, rape, murder, drug problems, alcoholism, grand theft charges and a myriad of the other issues that young black boys must deal with everyday.

The beauty of it all, is that despite the busload of real life pains and heartaches that can be told from the closeknit menagerie of hard heads in the picture, we all are grown men standing up and proclaiming that Jesus is Lord. As you can tell by my stance in the picture, God put on my heart at an early age that I would be a king.

King of what..I exactly don’t know yet.

Maybe when Real Game drops and I go gold (500,000 copies) in 12 months of selling out the trunk, Lil Flip and Lil Keke will invite me to be the newest pen in the Screwed Up Click.

But what all those rappers and supposed Kings of the Southside don’t understand, is that they’re not stacking their paper like I’m stacking my paper.

They may have waaay more sales numbers, larger appearance fees and more cars and jewelery than I have. But they’re not adding on my scale.

My scale doesn’t weigh in until Gabriel blows his horn and the Lord calls us up to glory.

That’s when that real scale kicks in, because only those who believe in the Resurrection will be in that line to Heaven for made n’gaz. The scale doesn’t weigh your works to see if you make it in. That scale is just a marker of what kinda crown you’re going to have.

How many seeds did you plant or water that God increased?

Were you a good and faithful servant??

That’s when those chips get cashed in and that’s where D.E. Washington is grinding to have the fattest stack.

So that’s why I come like I do.

It’s a blessing to be able to write words that encourage and strengthen the soldiers out fighting everyday.

But God has yet to put on my heart for me to get up and feed the congregation. Instead He called me to serve on a seek and rescue mission. There are many brothers from my hood who are lost and their souls thirst for the Word, but yet they don’t even know it. So they never go to church and they never study the Bible. But they do like to talk about stuff like guns, money and/or pit bulls.

I see most young black men just like pit bull puppies. Sniffing around, curious, ready to wrestle somebody. Putting their mouth and tasting any and everything, cuz they’re just naturally nasty like that. What they get turned on to, they get turned ON to.

Ride or die!

Represent yo city!!

This is for my n’gaz!!!

So my purpose is to get them turned on to something that’s real. Something that will last.

I celebrated my 35th birthday this past year and I had a whole different realization of what it means to be 35.

Since the average life expectancy of Black men in America is around 72 years old (those who don’t have HIV or haven’t been murdered), turning 35 is like coming into halftime.

Everyday, the law of averages is telling you that you’ve lived more days in your past than you’re going to live in the future. It can make some folks start freaking out and hyperventilating.

I was in the bathroom the other day and discovered 2 pimples on my face and a long gray hair that I pulled out of my nose. Welcome to 35.

The best thing about being 35, is that it’s a great age for networking. You’re in touch with the baby boomer generation and you can hang with the X-generation..it’s a flexible position. And a lot of the people you grew up and went to school with are striving toward their prime in the space that they work in and you can help each other.

Most business deals are made from relationships. People have to know who you are.

Like we say on the Southside, ‘you gotta be known’.

Fortunately, I grew up around a few Southside legends who have put me down in their circle of influence. Curvey isn’t the distribution manager because he can read good. Curvey is the distribution manager because when it comes to moving a product on the block, he knows how to get it done.

“Ya’ll heard about that n’ga D.Wash from Sugar Valley? Mane..that n’ga is SERVINEMUP!!”

Happy 35th to my podna Big Fella Lair. What’s up to them Reedwood n’gaz like Pooh and that n’ga Leroy. Dogman!!?! A lot of n’gaz have forgot that you was one of the first Southside n’gaz they ever had on City Under Seige, but I’ll make sure your story gets told.

Wazzup to the Lily of the Valley women’s prayer group. Ya’ll keep praying for me now!!
Thanks to all those out there from Sugar Valley, Blueridge, Reedwood, Cloverland, South Park, 3rd Ward, Hiram Clarke, Mo City, Yellowstone, Shadow Creek Ranch, Pearland, Northside, Sugarland, Dallas, Woodlands, Katy, Port Arthur, Beaumont all ya’ll folks who have been supportive of Servinemup Ink, I thank you. I really do. Your support strengthens me and helps me get out there harder.

Thanks to the entire Scott family for having my back (ya’ll n’gaz are WILD..who ain’t paid their dues yet? Cuz we’re having some FUN in St. Lou this year!!)

Thanks to all the families and descendents of the late Rev. General Washington. Thanks for passing the http://www.servinemup.com/ link to the military crew Ash!

Thanks to the fellas from Booker T. Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions. Thanks to the Ultimate Players Club for preparing my pen for public scrutiny.

Thanks to all the bruh’s and the families from Stanford University. Gooch gave us so much game, it still seems a shame, man I miss his flame. Let’s all keep our eyes on the prize, God has bigger things in store for us. Boop-boooop!!

And most of all, I’d like to thank the family of Believers out there for all your prayers, emails, letters and book pre-orders you have sent in. Your support has given me a stronger sense of confirmation. I understand everyone doesn’t agree with all of the tactics and ‘stunts’ pulled here at Servinemup Ink, but if you ever find me misinforming someone about what the Word of God says, please, correct me.

Let’s see here..35..guns..writing..pit bulls..Real Game pre-order sales..yeah..that’s it. Oh..wait!!

One more thing.

It’s easy for a lot of folks to look outside in and assume things. God has put me and my wife in a blessed position. There’s not a lot of couples who’ve been through what we’ve been through that made it to where we are. I thank God for my wife, because I know that she was the woman He meant for me to marry. She is the only woman that could bring the best out of D.

In case I forgot to tell you.. baby doll.

I love you.

You my nicca fo real!! :)