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The Bastard Chronicles: Insignificance or Levels to this Black Shit

“I will not explore the ocean
I am content to conjecture
But never to actualize
My insignificance”- ANON The Griot

There are levels to this Black shit. It's layered like a granny's pristine and diabetes-inspiring peach cobbler. Or whatever confection you smother with love in your respective area. And like that diabetes to delicious ratio, there is a definite yin and yang to this Black shit. Shit ain't sweet. (And of course, I don't mean shit shit).


So. I took a trip to the beach with 5 other Black guys and a non-token white. We're all pretty dope freestyle rappers and decided to go to the beach to rap. Blame it on Kanye's MBDTF album or the more recent Return of the Dreamers III with J. Cole and Dreamville. We didn't decide if we'd go off the dome or spit written; what we did decide is that we were going to create our own lyrical biosphere and make dope shit happen. Spoiler alert--- we were successful. But, it's layers to this Black shit. That vacay wasn't no crystal stair.


Let me hammer out the details. First, no names will be given because the anonymity of the individuals involved only adds to the story for me. Plus, I'm not inviting outside folks into inside jokes. We (well, one of us with dubious contributions from the tribe) secured an AirBnB about forty minutes away from the beach. Seemed like a cost-effective idea. However, we didn't expect the GPS to take us from the main highway and cause us to navigate narrow, serpentine paths camouflaged as roads to a quiet guest house surrounded by residents who don't often see our kind around those parts. We also didn't know that for the sake of brevity in negotiations, our representative neglected to clarify our exact numbers or purpose of the stay. This wasn't a cool urban situation with a lockbox and digital instructions. We were met by a kindly white lady and a few dogs. The poodle seemed to be the most assertive. I think he volunteered to be the ironic guard dog. Needless to say, this didn't look promising. So. The first carload decided to go to the beach while the negotiator arrived and worked his magic. Apparently, that magic called out sick that day.


In the meantime, we set up shop on the beach around seven in the evening. The sky was overcast but the water was warm. We went from dipping toes to changing clothes by the car and jumping in the waves like our 10-year-old selves. It was spiritual for me. The water covered me and washed away a tumultuous 2019. We even took out a football and I watched a rousing game of beach catch. My hands and eyes aren't exactly coordinated so I chose the sandy sideline. Then it dawned on us--- we cancelled the original AirBnB because of a mutual agreement that neither party wanted to be in business with the other: her husband was especially adamant, but now it was getting late. And our service sucked in the area. And the refund would not be immediate. And the few reasonable deals we found were sold out. And the only one with an actual credit card was the non-token white guy.

Let me condense the rest of the story so that I can spend proper time on my analysis.

Seven dudes secured one room with two twin beds and as we are (mostly) far from college age, there was no bed sharing. Being one of the oldest, I got grandfathered a bed. I took it one night and relinquished it for the floor the second night.


There may have been a panic about aromatic herbs and lethal legal weapons that alarmed one person enough to alarm another to result in us packing up like Nino Brown before The Carter was raided.

That alarm might have been false as fuck, the reaction may have been paranoid and premature.

We actually ate pretty well, had great brotherhood bonding and slid down a winding water slide with the reckless abandon reserved for early 80’s coming of age movies.

We managed to start work on three original tracks and a total of 10 complete freestyles. Don’t worry, we’ll unveil that work very soon.

But there’s levels to this Black shit, especially when you have a non-token white ally in your midst who is experiencing a level of said Black shit that can only be experienced by going through it. And while the racial irony of his credit card being used to secure the room is a notable detail, it’s still not the meat of the experience.

After taking two very cinematic walks along the beach and having a come-to-Jesus moment, our non-token white brother stumbled upon a realization. Wait for it… There’s levels to this Black shit. He spoke on how he hadn’t realized the amount of watch your back that is required to be us. He realized that he hadn’t given much consideration to what might have happened had he and his white friends over-occupied a hotel room. And while the morning alarm proved to be false, the reactions to it was as real as Hip Hop’s 1994 mantra. Shit could have gone bad. Very quickly. Fortunately, the reality did not realize that possibility. Because, well, you know…


Because this layered existence meant that we were on the ready. Trained to go. Moving swiftly in Beyonce’s formation. Rolling out like a Ludacris track. We weren’t going to be caught off-guard. Because we are survivalists. We have fast footprints in our ancestral DNA. We don’t run out of fear; we run out of preservation and for the chance to manifest our truest selves on another day. So, we were able to shake off the dust, reclaim our time and salvage what became a transformative trip.

I stared into the ocean on Sunday morning right before check-out. We were all there. Smiling. Laughing. Dapping. Being. I was reminded of a poem I wrote entitled “Infinitesimal,” which addresses the insignificance I feel when standing at the beach's edge, watching the waves lap, roll and expose an almost infinite world of water. A person floating way out yonder would be as invisible as a grain of sand on the shore. But, there is no million without one. As each sand grand unknowingly adds to the power and presence of others to create a shore, so does each individual Black soul unite to create our collective spirit. That’s layered as fuck. But much like that cobbler, when properly appreciated and enjoyed, the decadence always overpowers diabetes.

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