Friday, June 7, 2013

"Ladies is pimps, too"- Jay-Z, "Dirt Off Your Shoulder"

I'm going to take this opportunity  to discuss Jay-Z, one of the rappers I could listen to all day and not get tired of or bored with. But first, the song in question:

I do think he's "the motha fuckin' greatest," or at least one of the greats. Some of his music does get pretty  sexist and racist (just because dude's black doesn't mean he's immune to criticism- lyrics like, "I got this Indian squaw" in "Girls, Girls, Girls," stand out to a woman of Native American ancestry like myself, you know), but I think the overall focus of his albums is racism against blacks and the way he turned himself around. Also, his rhythm and smooth delivery are pretty fantastic. 

Anyhoo, so Jay-Z. You'll notice there's the line in the chorus, "Ladies is pimps too," in a song  that's overall about himself. That may seem like a throwaway, but it's the little moments that sometimes gives more insight into what's going on than trying to think too largely. Sometimes you need to look at a tree to understand the forest.

Also, I've defended the video to "Run This Town" featuring Kanye West and Rihanna because Rhianna is more clothed than women in your average rap music videos. 

Relative progress, relative steps. You can't expect an artist to be taken seriously and completely break the paradigms in which they exist. 

Not that I consider Jay-Z a catalyst of progressivism and liberal ideology. But I do think the idea that simply by being less disrespectful to women overall, he's helping, especially as one of the "big" rappers today. He can set an example that's subconsciously followed by others.

Now I'm actually posting this because I've been getting a lot of dust and dirt on me the past week. My roommie and I decided to get the Hell outta Dodge and move, so ever since last Wednesday evening, I've been spending the majority of my waking hours either packing or unpacking all of the shit I had acquired whilst living in our first apartment. Only two years, and I swear, I could have my own Goodwill store with all the gorram stuff up in here- but since I, you know, want/need it, I only gave up almost four garbage bags full of stuff.

When I went to take River for her second walk yesterday, there was a notice on our door about the stuff we have on our balcony- we had been tossing empty boxes and containers out there temporarily as we were unpacking. We were only  doing it as a temporary thing so we could figure out what storage space we had for them after unpacking everything. 

Now, truth be  told, I'm more than kind of glad this notice came- it shows the management  and maintenance in this complex are infinitesimally more on top of things and interested in keeping the complex clean and orderly than our last place. My only qualm is someone already complained about it, and we've only been putting stuff there since Monday. So another thing I'm concerned with is River's barking- she's barked a lot more when I leave from here than the last place. I was already worried we'd get complaints, but since someone's already bitching about empty boxes on a patio, I'm even more worried about it. I've moved her cage to an area she won't be able to see people leaving from, so hopefully that helps. 

But along the lines of me being glad the management responded so quickly to whatever asshole neighbor complained, I dropped in on the leasing office roundabouts two this afternoon to put in a maintenance request for my toilet (of course I get the bathroom with the shitty toilet that clogs). Chelsea and I went to the mall around three, so at four-ish I ignored a call from a number I didn't recognize; listening to the message, it was one  of the gals from the office, asking if the toilet was "working  to my satisfaction" yet, as one of the maintenance dudes had  already been in the apartment to fix it.  This just floored me.  I mean, whoa.

I'd say  the  management  and maintenance here is pretty pimp, then. 

But anyhoo, I've had to dust a lot of furniture in the past few days, too. I didn't have time to give everything a good wipe-down before we put it in the truck, so there were a lot of moments where I started putting stuff away, then yanked it back to clean whatever surface off first. That phase is over by now- all that's left is putting the stuff up on my own walls and a few more posters in the living  room (we need nails to hang a cute wooden shelf thingydo in the corner, and then I have posters to go on either  side) (as if the minute details really matter to you...). But I did notice there was some dust on the other posters as I was putting them up in the living  room. Kinda gross, but it wasn't that bad, I suppose. 

Oddly enough, I feel like  dust accumulates about as much/quickly in Indiana as it did in Las Vegas, and that Washington is the least dusty place I've lived. I tend to let my room get kind of ridiculously messy, so whenever I actually clean it and use the furniture polish,, I end up going through multiple rags on about the same amount of surface area I'd use one on in Washington. And that's Vegas, too. So I wonder why it's so dusty here, too. I dunno, I'm just kind of babbling  now.

So anyhoo, "Ladies is pimps, too." 

I'd never consider myself remotely "pimp"- I have absolutely no swagger or finesse, but I do try to be awesome as much as I can. By that, I mean helping people, thinking outside the box, and doing my best at whatever I'm doing. Being awesome is pretty important, and I actually think it's worth its own post. But what I will say is I do sometimes feel good about it when it happens, and I dust some dirt off my shoulders in my head. Especially when things get tough.

In that sense, I've dusted veritable buckets worth off my shoulders by this time. Because, in the words of Beyonce Knowels, who happens to be married to Mr. Jay-Z:

It isn't like my entire life is crap, but I've had some rough stuff that isn't all that overtly helpful or beneficial, so I've made due. And I'm still here and fighting the good fight, so that must mean that even when I don't realize it, I've dusted myself off and kept going. Because that's all a body can  do. And Jay-Z makes a point of explaining that yeah, he's had it rough, but those experiences have made him who he is- and that's awesome. 

So no, I may not be a professional rapper or, more specifically, the "best rapper alive," but I too have overcome a lot, and I, too, know there are people that "be hatin'" on me for some of the things I've been able to accomplish, in spite of all of the barriers I've had to leap over. So yeah, sure, I'm "pimp," in my own, geeky sort of way.

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