The Feared,Loved,Avoided & Unforgettable 10 Year Reunion

It’s come and gone.
The official marker of growing old: The Ten Year High School Reunion. And my acceptance and partaking of said event is inevitably my acceptance of that truth.

And while I was all kinds of excited and fearless about the whole thing, I still didn’t know what to expect. You might remember I made a 7 minute long satire about it on my depression themed mixtape and now classic, The Zoloft Files. I recently shared that track on Facebook to see if any of those preconceived thoughts and ideas were shared by my peers. I made references to school drug dealers becoming judges, promiscuous girls becoming international real estate tycoons, Teachers being richer than me, former crushes thinking I’m gay, and feeling inadequate in comparison to my former classmates’ stellar accomplishments. I even made a reference to the movie Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion – which was my only real idea of what the whole experience is like. This of course, was all satire like I said. My true notions and expectations had more to do with curiosity than nervousness or any self-conscious misconceptions. I was actually happy to have people have a new picture to take of me and remember me by than that awful yearbook picture. I wanted to see what legacy I left and image I had imprinted. Plus, I really couldn’t care about what these people thought anyway. There were no old bullies, no unrequited loves. There were a few long-lost friends….That was my biggest motivation. But all in all, I don’t think any of us cared per se, and maybe that’s what gave it such an easy-going vibe and cool undertone.

Saturday night was the rites of passage for us late 20’s-ers, and the embracing of the end of our youthful adulthood. Most of us are just finding ourselves, and there was a shared understanding of such. Much to my surprise, everyone spent a great deal of the time reminiscing and not asking each other what we all do for a living now, or how many kids we all have. Those with kids happily volunteered that info…some came pregnant.

One of my 3 favorite teachers of all time was there, Mr. Hannah. That made my night. He was one of the first people who I spoke to. Glad that happened. He remembered my name. How cool is that after 13 years??! I didn’t get to tell him that he’s one of my favorite teachers, but I think I did a few years back, so my conscience can rest a little. I really have to thank the conspirators behind him being there, Pablo, Matt and Shirley. And then I have to thank Shirley and Matt again for doing the job that I couldn’t. See, at one point, I took it upon myself, along with Sydney and Kayla to attempt to lead the charge in organizing this reunion. To this I laugh now, but it was a noble idea. We wanted to have it in the gym of the school itself. Now I see, that that may have killed the intimacy of it all.

I missed alot of folks who couldn’t make it; Cassandra – the girl who put me on to the wonders of using spoken word as a tool of expression for all of that confusing teen crap going on, Molly – the girl who really made me see I had talent, Ashante – my across-the-street-neighbor and coolest dude I knew who wasn’t in my immediate group of friends, Liby – the prettiest, coolest chic ever, Miranda – just my favorite person because she was one of a kind, Erica – my laugh out loud buddy, Rebecca – my blonde-haired, snarky partner in nerdiness, Kaleeba – my sassy sometimes-friend, Jazzie -Hope you had a good reason, Mike – where the hell were you?, Julie – WTF?, Brenda – I just wanted to see what the pretty Goth chic looked like now, Mark – the other coolest kid, and Jessica – My Freakin’ BEST FRIEND in high school for cryin out loud!! She just sucks!

I have a penchant for naming names. But I’m an honest guy, I blog, and you only live once. I like to paint clear pictures so you feel like you’re with me. This did get me in trouble however…see, a few days before posting that 1o year reunion track on Facebook, I posted up another 7 minute long track that I made on my first mixtape where I autobiographically summarized some of my experiences in high school and named names of my fellow classmates and some situations. Boy did I hear it from them! Maritza kept asking why I called her flaky, My homegirls Gina and Thalia asked why I put Gina on blast about some old high school drama, and the worst offense, my boy Dave kept mentioning that I called him a “lame” back then.

For these things I apologize. Sorta…

But none of this can compare to the meanest instance; speaking to my Supposed Prom date that night and hearing her tell me that I told her upon seeing her, that if I knew she was going to look as good as she did, that I would have taken her. What an ASSHOLE! Who says shit like that?? That doesn’t even sound like me – let alone 17-year-old me. Who was I to say something like that? I was welfare-braces guy who couldn’t get a girl back then except for the random horny chics. I had to have been joking. She was just sensitive. Yeah…that’s it.

In either case, I apologize sweetheart. And I owe you a prom night.

Yet some things never change. Our class produced so many couples; Plenty of high school sweethearts, a few high school sweetheart babies (shout out to baby Mason!). Everyone still looked relatively Young, a couple of fat-faces. It was really interesting to see the dynamics, how some of us would make it a point to speak to everyone (I see you Kristel!), and how some of us just did the cordial hellos and stuck to our same crews and cliques from back in the days. It was like old times. Some people came in with a fellow classmate and talked mainly to them the whole time. Our school was kinda racially sectioned off in some ways, as I imagine most schools are. It’s a relativity thing. In our time there, the population was largely Hispanic and Asian with sprinkles of Black and White kids. The Blacks and Latins tended to mix the most although there were always separate groups within that mix. The White and Asian students tended to be more homogenous. But everyone was cool with each other. I always tried to mix as much as possible. I found everyone interesting. But I knew I didn’t truly belong to any group.

My reputation was in tact tho. Everyone asked me about my music and the status of my career. I forgot that I was pretty damn popular, not in a cool-kid way, but in a ‘that kid is cool’ way. I can live with that. Anthony told me that I battled Juelz Santana on the corner where everyone used to chill outside of school before he was known and I killed him! I don’t even remember that! Even if it isn’t true, I was gassed! A bunch of people mentioned how they listened to my 10 year reunion track. That was Dope. Mission accomplished.

I know I could have spoken to some people more, but I tried. Small talk is not really my thing. I like flow. Shout out to Michelle for being super cool, Sylvia called me out because she keeps it so real! Anatoly was the life of the party, I told Jessica that she was the heart of the party. Shirley was beautiful, Suheidy – I won’t forget! Shout out to Angela for coming all the way from the Midwest to be there, both Dannys and everyone else who I can’t remember to name.

I stood in the middle most of the time, and looked around. We are the class of 2000. We changed the game. We caused the paradigm shift, as I was telling Shamari and Khalil on the way back, from the idea of being at a certain place by 30. We made 30 the new 20. We redefined the notion of having to have a career by 25 and having to be married and on your own by the end of your 20’s. Judging from the few convos that I did have about what people are doing now revealed that we are all works in progress. Most of the unmarried folks my age who I know are either living with roommates or living with family still and finalizing intricate plots to take over the World! It’s no longer about when we get there, but now it’s about HOW we get there and what we do once we’re there.

To close it out, so glad I got to drag Killa to this event and I saw my other longtime friends, Alex and Meriam.  Anthony asked me if it was anything like the song I made – My answer: Not at all. I made new connections, made a few promises, and now we’ll all see what the future holds.

Class of 2000. You look damn good!

Advertisements

Let FREIDA Ring!!

No disrespect to Dev Patel,

especially since he’s about to star in the live-action adaption of my favorite Cartoon since Thundercats, But Your girl is, as my boy Sam would say; “Smokin’ Hot!”

I admittedly just saw SlumDog Millionaire, and I fully understand the hype and accolades surrounding the film and why it’s lead actors have soared to fame since then. There’s buzz about Ms. Pinto being a Bond girl, and that would be a fitting position.

True enough, the film is a compelling story, with layers of depth and character driven plot that grips at you and makes you root for the underdog, but as I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but notice my attention getting stolen in every scene that the Adult Latika appeared in. As choosy as we as men can be, sometimes we really are just suckers for pretty faces. And Freida’s face is more than pretty…It’s flawlessly Beautiful!

With just the right mix of seductive and innocent with a little tinge of exotic, she’s made her way to plenty of college boys’ Top whatever lists by this point, appearing on multiple magazine covers and in spreads. She even did Maxim shoots, both domestic, and in her native India, as well as super-trendy and hipster Complex magazine, which is a personal favorite of mine.

She knows her lane, and so far she doesn’t overdo it. Which is sexy. She’s very aware of her beauty but gives the public just enough to not be left hanging, and keeps the rest for her private life. I doubt you’ll find her the subject of any camera phone hackings anytime soon. It’s amazing that she just stumbled into acting in these recent years and was handpicked for her breakout role.

She’s not bangin’ from a lustful, physical-frame based assessment. She’s actually quite skinny and looks young to an almost dangerous point. She is bangin’, however, because she oozes sensuality and Makes Love to you with her eyes. If you were her man, I’m pretty sure she can fuck the shit out of you with those eyes as well! I’m big on eyes if you haven’t noticed yet…

Maybe she hits me because in some weird way I’m coming from a sentimental nostalgiac place.  There was a really pretty Indian girl in High School named Libby that I had a super-crush on and didn’t realize I had a crush on until waaay late. She was also fly with a dope personality too. Of course I got stuck in the Friend-Zone back then.  These were different times…

So maybe this is my unrequited, teenage, soft spot that made me more receptive, but honestly I think the sentiment is pretty unanimous when it comes to recognizing Freida’s striking good looks across the board. Word to L’oreal! She has a universal kind of beauty that has made many a fan very rapidly. Including me.

Having that said,

Freida Pinto,

You!,

Are My New CRUSH!!

*Zoloft Files Edition* Hot 16…Or More…10 YEAR REUNION

On this Day 16 of my whole Zoloft Files mixtape series, which marks the FINAL day, I just wanted to show love to the person who’s idea this whole day by day thing was in the first place. Shout out to the girl Naima for encouraging me to make a movement and a spectacle of this project which was intended to be really exclusive, personal and underground. She told me that I should use this as content for the blog after I told her that the tape would only be put out to promote it.

This is also poetic in it’s own way…

This is me presenting you with an ending and a beginning. This is the last day of me covering my 16 day adventure of who I know and who’s heard what.  Me letting you into my life both visually and sonically. Me giving you my words so you can have a better idea of what I intended for you to hear, and what I was thinking when I wrote them. This is also me introducing you to my team: the duo who is poised to take me to the next place you may see the kid pop up. They asked to be down for the ride. So here you go. Watch what happens…

Let’s end this correctly. You all remember those awkward moments right? Those parts of your younger life that you’d like to leave behind or omit? How important are those wonder years to you? Well, whether you’ve already had yours or you’re anticipating it coming up, here’s a fictional glimpse into the worst possible outcome of mine – which should be popping up soon.

I always thought about how this would go down, way before the reality of it was in the view, so it was only right that I squeeze it on this project and round out the somber with a little humor.

For some reason, once again – I’m using a Kanye beat.

I know you can relate.

“This is a bootleg loop,

the cafeteria just fed us bootleg soup.

And now they relocating us,

to the 2nd floor in the gym – or as Oscar like to say it – the gynasium.

What up Oscar?

Aren’t you glad?

That you’re a 2002 grad, and not a 2000?

The new Millenium class,

Here we go again – let it scratch, and did I mention?

This is a bootleg loop,

we wonderin’ why we all went to this bootleg school.

And the name ain’t sayin much…

Only school in Manhattan that had to explain to others where the location was.

So sorry we’re not La Guardia,

wasn’t Fine Arts – but promise I was Avant Garde enough!

For everyone…

Hello everyone,

welcome to the 10 Year Reunion, thank you very much.

For reminding me,

of the shy Malik,

-the Mr. ugliest yearbook picture of all time Malik – Why Malik??

Don’t be so hard on yourself,

how was college? tell me now, are you a doctor as well?

…No I’m a dropout, dumbbell..

I was feeling like shit when I came in – now I feel like Hell!

(Thanks)

I’d like to drop a dumbbell…

On your Prada shoes – but I gotta move, I’m not doing well.

So on my way to the bathroom,

I see ol’ boy from Math 2…

Who liked to laugh – do jokes up in back 2 rows,

-that dude!

Yep,

…Clown of the classroom…

After a couple cracks about my height,

he take a couple stabs at how my life,

ain’t exactly how I…

imagined it’d be,

he said my braces probably be platinum before me, whatever that means.

Asked me why I ain’t on T.V.,

pat me on the back as if the jokes weren’t all on me,

and yeah I’m laughing back politely saying “calm down, just breathe’,

fighting the urge to slap his happy ass,

and shellack the floor with his teeth!

But then I thought, ‘hold up…

this dude was foolish,

and class clowns always turn out to be losers!’

Come to find out,

he owns computer labs

-designed a troubleshooter program – now who can use the math?!”

Hope you learned something…

Click the picture of the mixtape cover to download it.