alright, stop what you’re doin’

cuz I’m about to ruin
the image and the style that you’re used to.
I look funny,
but, yo, I”m makin’ money, see,
so, yo world, I hope you’re ready for me.
Now, gather ’round,
I’m the new fool in town
and my sound’s laid down by the Underground.
I drank up all the Hennessy you got on your shelf,
so just let me introduce myself…

Everything above this line are someone else’s words and I’m operating from memory, so I hope I got them all correct. The words are probably copyright Digital Underground or someone from the group and/or some writer they worked with. Just so you know. Not my words, at all, and they don’t belong to me.

This was one of my fave songs as a teenager, though. ‘Humpty Dance’ was a riot, and even though my friend and I had no context for anything the guy was rapping about, we loved the song.

I remember one part, in particular, that we could not understand, no matter how many times we listened. The Hennessy line above. We had no idea what Hennessy was. Never heard of it, never saw it. We lived in a sheltered, religious, suburban world. Our parents didn’t drink and we didn’t hang around other youth who had parents who drank.

I remember rewinding the tape over and over, again, as we tried to make out what the rapper was saying. We finally settled on “heavy C”, even though it made no sense. The real lyrics didn’t make sense to us, either, so we just put in what we thought we were hearing. It was rap. Rap often made no sense to us.

We kept listening to it, though. I’m not sure why. Maybe the beats got to us. I remember listening to Tribe Called Quest daily. I remember sitting with the same friend and writing out the lyrics, because we just had to memorize a particular song and, honestly, we had no idea if Q-Tip was even speaking English sometimes.

I was in my 30s before I knew exactly what Digital Underground and Tribe Called Quest were talking about in many of their songs. Their music wasn’t made for girls like my friend and I, but we poured over it and loved it, anyway.

That’s how much of life is, isn’t it?

Often, we move through this world having no idea what’s really going on, but we love it, anyway.

We have no idea what folks are talking about, but we love hearing them talk, anyway.

Attraction works like that. You don’t know why you’re attracted. Maybe if you could figure it out, you’d turn the attraction off. Instead, you just feel the way you feel and do your best to muddle through any confusion. Maybe you adjust your perceptions, just so you can feel like you made a little sense of what’s happening.

And, maybe it will take you over a decade to decode things. Maybe, like me as a teen, you make up words for the bits you don’t understand and you keep moving. Life is too busy to stop and research what’s going on. There’s really no one to ask. There’s no Google for real life and real problems, right? You just figure out what you can and move it along. You do your best.

It’s okay that you’ve been doing that. It’s okay that you didn’t have the time or the energy or the desire to figure out the truth back then. Perfectly okay. The world did not stop spinning just because you didn’t know what was going on. That’s as it should be.

But, in this moment… breathe in.

And, in this moment… breathe out.

Keep breathing, keep living in the moment.

The past is gone. That confusion happened. But, if you stop what you’re doing now, you’ll be amazed by what you are able to understand.

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