It's Like That
By Run D.M.C. (1984).
Unemployment at a record high People coming, people going, people born to die Don't ask me, because I don't know why But it's like that, and that's the way it is
People in the world try to make ends meet You try to ride car, train, bus, or feet I said you got to work hard to want to compete It's like that, and that's the way it is
Money is the key to end all your woes Your ups and your downs, your highs and your lows Won't you tell me last time that love bought you clothes? It's like that, and that's the way it is
Bills fly higher every day We receive much lower pay I'd rather stay young, go out and play It's like that, and that's the way it is Huh!
War's going on across the sea Street soldiers killing the elderly What ever happened to unity? It's like that, and that's the way it is Huh!
Disillusion is the word That's used by me when I'm not heard I just go through life with my glasses blurred It's like that, and that's the way it is Huh! You can see a lot in this lifespan Like a bum eating out of a garbage can You noticed one time he was your man It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is You should have gone to school, you could've learned a trade But you laid in the bed where the bums have laid Now all the time you're crying that you're underpaid It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is Huh! One thing I know is that life is short So listen up homeboy, give this a thought The next time someone's teaching why don't you get taught? It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is If you really think about it times aren't that bad The one that flexes with successes will make you glad Stop playing start praying, you won't be sad It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is Huh! When you feel you fail sometimes it hurts For a meaning in life is why you search Take the bus or the train, drive to school or the church It's like that, and that's the way it is Here's another point in life you should not miss Do not be a fool who's prejudiced Because we're all written down on the same list It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is Huh! You know it's like that, and that's the way it is Because it's like that, and that's the way it is
This is the final week of the four week series of the B-Relyt blog, on being thankful through poetry and I want to conclude it with a bang. Run D.M.C.’s, “It’s Like That,” is not just a rap song it is a poem to an epic beat. 80’s rap music was truly authentic and let my kids tell it, way too long (5+ minutes). Rap brought to the forefront major problems in the Black Community or just in life in general. Rap is a poem that feeds, fuels and starts important dialogues. My favorite line in the poem above is:
“Stop playing start praying, you won't be sad.”
This is my favorite line because I know prayer changes things. And even though I am praying, I have to work in my purpose through B- RELYT and AAA to bring about that change. I am excited and blessed to finally be doing what I am called to do.
How It’s Like That relates to AAA (Authenticity, Accountability & Ambitions – my book)?
AAA does have a slight hood element and that is because I will take you all the way back to when I would spend the night at my Auntie’s house on Grape Street in Los Angeles, CA. I always knew I would come back to Watts, CA. I am not only planning on taking you there through AAA, but also through my Non-Profit, B-RELYT. B-RELYT is here for all, however it serves as a tool to increase knowledge. Knowledge of accurate history, math, science and engineering. Another favorite line in It’s like That is, “The next time someone's teaching why don't you get taught?” Knowledge is power and in order to hold America accountable we must have our facts on fleek. I agree with Albert Einstein that, “Once you stop learning you start dying.”
My closest friends, know that I can go from the Board Room to the streets. And here is why? When I was in 8th grade my parents owned a Baskin Robbins ice cream store on 103rd and Compton Boulevard in the Martin Luther King Jr. shopping center (Los Angeles, CA) – “the hood.” Anyone who has parents that own any type of business, know that your family business becomes a significant part of your life. I had a worker’s permit in 8th grade and I worked at my parent’s Baskin Robbins from 8th grade through my second year at Loyola Marymount University. To this day I credit my parents owning this business to my strong work ethic, my relentless hustle and my everlasting grind.
If the judicial system would punish all crimes the same, no matter what your race or social status. If there was no white supremacy in America, as we are all equal. If police officers would stop murdering Black people and be held accountable if they do. What a great world this would be.
It’s Like That sums up the end of my tweens and beginning of my teens. As in 1984 I was 12 years old. When my parents were telling me, “Do it because I said so.” And Run D.M.C.’s hook for the poem above is “It’s like that, and that’s the way it is huh!” It made going through my teen years a lot easier.
“Whatever happened to unity,” in the poem above still resonates today in 2017, 33 years later. America used to have a spine and the Black community used to be more united. The Black community united to get us our civil rights through slavery, boycotting, marches and dying. Now we are living in chaotic turmoil with no real leadership. Rodney King said it best, “Can’t we all just get along.”
When gangsta rap started in the 90’s rap took a change. We tried to tell y’all, don’t call us B’s, don’t use the N word, don’t call B’ H’s and not everyone was meant to hear gangsta rap that hard core. Don’t get me wrong Eazy E told several stories that needed to be told, along with Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, NWA … and change did happen in the 90’s. However, when you saw using the words I abbreviated above were not working, why didn’t you change the game?
Flashing to today’s rappers. The Black race is in a state of emergency and if you don’t have anything better to rap about then your millions in your bank account or the neighbors think you are selling dope or just straight up mumbling nothing, then don’t rap at all. We need rapping about murdered Black lives, Africans being sold as slaves in Libya in 2017, unity, a plan for peace or just plain I’m tired of this shit. We need to know what you are saying and you need to keep it real for the current and future generations. Poetry has a great influence on the world, especially when it is put to music and/or rap. Therefore please come with a message and no more bullshit. James Brown was, “Black and Proud”; Aretha Franklin demanded, “RESPECT”, Michael Jackson jammed to, “All I want to say is that they don’t really care about us” and NWA rapped, “Fuck the Police.” The type of Authenticity just even in the titles of these songs was power and a mechanism for change. Knowledge is how we will become ambitious and the title of my book is Authenticity, Accountability and Ambitions (AAA) – What America is lacking through a Black Woman’s Eyes?
My Top 10 favorite 80’s rappers
LL Cool J
My Top 10 favorite 90’s rappers
P. Diddy –