“Bleek can be one hit away his whole career, long as I’m alive he’s a millionaire”. – Jay Z, 2005
“Rapper Memphis Bleek files for bankruptcy ” – real life, 2016
Of course Jay is very much alive…he’s just been married and has had a child since that homeboy hall of fame bar in 2005. That’s life…we get older, find our paths, grow apart, the homies still the homies of course, but your priorities change. Seems doubly true amongst men, where we are taught to hold your own, have your own, blaze your own. Bleek’s financial woes doesn’t reflect poorly on Jay at all; go get yours. I’m sure Jay probably tried to put him on so many times and for whatever reason he ain’t listen. Eventually you just gotta let the anchor sink.
This crossed my mind reading a column the other day about friendship. A woman fearing losing her best friend and how strong such an union can be. I thought of my mother and how she didn’t have any sisters, my aunts were her closest friends. I thought of my father, and how his army buddies were just that, they swing by say hi to us and go on about their business. My aunts would stay over, they had our portraits in their house, my mother took in their kids like they were her own. I have no idea what Mike’s last name is…he’s been my fathers best friend for like 40 years.
Male friendships are just…different. There’s this acceptance, or rather indifference where you for the most part let them be who they are. There are friends I stopped rocking with over the years but it usually was due to something happening more than I can’t afford to be associated with you right now. Male friendships are usually surface level; running ball, turning up, video games, fantasy sports…interest in work starts and ends at “they hiring”, interest in dating starts and ends at “she got friends?”. Talk beyond that is met with “yo, shits crazy” and “yeah man” platitudes. Sometimes I look at some friends and just think, “damn, HE’S a parent” (and I’m not) or read ignorant Facebook statuses and wanna comment “you’re 33”. Most male friends I don’t judge, because judgment requires an investment I just don’t have with them.
With others I like to think I care more than most, I’m the friend who will mock you and hope you do better. If I make fun of you because you can’t finish a sentence without cursing or I call someone a “Will’s Dad ass muhfucka”, its because I care. Yet I cared but sat idly by and watched friends drop out of school, wife the wrong woman, blow it with a good woman, catch cases on cases and get lost in the sauce. They surely watched me fall on my face a couple of times. Of course I cared and they cared, but the way of the land, let that man be him, look out for self. No one wants that meddlesome friend, let alone to be him. It still sounds inherently wrong, sit around and wait for a woman to come along and then he’ll start dressing better and his house is cleaner. There’s clear boundaries set amongst the homies. No man fears losing a friend because who he is the same way he might for a woman…I wonder if that is a good or bad thing sometimes.
Personally, I’m not tryna get a lecture, you ready to get this L in 2K or nah? Just as I need a space to be vulnerable, I also need a space where I’m unjudged, unfiltered because where else can I be so? From that perspective I can get if others share that sentiment so it’s like, “oh you still ain’t break up with her” “iight bet…so what the move tonight”. If you need help, I got you (unless you’re moving…stop asking me to help you move, just cuz I’m big don’t mean I enjoy carrying couches). As far as meddling, unless you really fucking up, I’m inclined to stay out of it. Because #inwards don’t be listening anyway and I really hate repeating myself. So does that make me a good homie or a bad friend?