December 21, 2004
I copped this from hardCore's blog, Thought 4 the Day:
A FEW THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ME
It was two years ago. I had a brief skirmish with a white guy on a very crowded commuter train during the height of rush hour. He wouldn't let me sit in a seat next to him and when I force myself into the seat, the white guy called me a "Nigger." I was in shock at first and then I pop him on the lip. The white guy lunged at me and was pulling on my shirt. The conductor broke up the fight and ordered me off the train. From the look on the conductor's face he didn't want to know what my reasons were for socking the guy on the lip. I jumped off the train and walk all the way to last car of the same train and sat down. I was so disgusted by the situation. I was tired that night. But I knew right then that racism will never ever go away. RACISM WILL NEVER GO AWAY.
What makes you cry?
Well, I recently got dumped, but we'll move on from that.
A sad ending in a very good movie will always make me teary eyed. Like the ending of Cooley High when Preacher pours out a little wine for his dead homie Cochise at his grave site. The song "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye" is playing in the background . . . and if you look very closely, you might see a small tear trickle from the corner of my eye.
Describe the moment you came closest to death.
As a youth I was a member of X's drug-dealing gang and we had a very good rep for being legitimate businessmen on the block. Unfortunately, I started doing business with an associate that was deemed "shady" by other drug dealers on the block. I didn't know this at the time. When I started doing business with Mr. Shady, I didn't know he had debts owed by other dealers. One of those dealers was a crazy dude named Pepper and he wanted his money and since he couldn't find Mr. Shady he wanted to talk to me.
This particular dealer was known for being a serious "hot head" who had no problems with putting a bullet in someone's brain. I have witnessed Pepper's wrath on crack heads who owed him money, and he was not to be fucked with when it came to the cheddar. When Pepper stepped to me he was on fire -- extremely upset by the fact that I was doing business with Mr. Shady. "I should put a cap in yo ass," he said, with spit dribbling off his mouth. I told him that I was down with X's drug gang and I didn't know that Mr. Shady was, in fact, shady. Pepper reached into his drawls and as he was getting ready to pull something out, Pepper's friend said, "Nah, he's cool peoples. He's with X's gang, they are straight." Pepper looked at me with his evil eyes and said, "So fuckin' what?" And then he walked away. I knew that night that I was thisclose to becoming a statistic.
[Names were changed to protect my ass.]
Most dangerous friend?
All the fellas on the block that were hustling were my friends. And they were all dangerous.
Is there anybody you miss?
My hustler friend who had my back on the streets. He was my true homeboy. He died over some bullshit. I will not get into details about it here.
Being homeless. Sitting in a shelter without any money, no music, no iPod, no friends and no girlfriend.
A food you're ashamed to admit you crave?
hardCore doesn't eat any sweets, but I do. Chocolate is my middle name. But occasionally, I crave for fried frog legs. When I hit the seafood restaurant, I always order up two full plates of frog legs. When my friends want to go out to dinner, I always tell them, "let's hit the frogs legs place." They always go, "ewwwww, you eat that?" Yesss siiirrrr!
What humbles you?
What humbles me is when people respond enthusiastically to my writings -- whether it's on this blog or at another publication. I'm my own worst critic when it comes to writing music reviews or a long feature story. I always criticize myself when it comes to my own writings. So when someone says, "Hey Trent, your review on [enter artist's name] album was the bomb," I'm humble by the compliment. I'm humble by the fact that I'm in a position to give my critique on music and hip-hop culture.
Biggest lesson learned?
The quickest way to failure is trying to please everybody.
I know that some people may not like what I write or may not agree with my point of view. But I don't worry about it because I can't please everybody.
For example, when I was an editor at an indie rap magazine, I ran an editorial on P. Diddy -- then known as Puff Daddy -- and his bling-bling lifestyle. This was around the time when people were questioning if the materialism in rap was ruining hip-hop. So the editorial was on "materialism in rap." In the article, the writer wrote that Puffy needed to stop shucking and jiving with his jewels and realize that he's Clive Davis's "slave." (At the time, Bad Boy was being distributed by Arista Records, which was headed by Clive.)
P. Diddy called my office and threatened to sue the publication for slander. The rap mogul was extremely upset that he was called a "slave" in the editorial piece. He also threatened to pull out on advertising in our magazine for a whole year. I told P. that it was an editorial and gave him the "Freedom of the Press/Free Speech" mumbo jumbo. He said "bullshit" and hanged up. Arista stop advertising with the magazine. I was like, "Shit!!!," because Bad Boy was a hot label at the time (circa early-'90s) and they was giving us mad money to advertise in the magazine. But I stood my ground and defended the writer's position. About four months later, Arista's advertising reps called and said that they wanted to advertise with the publication again -- for a full year and reimburse us for the missed months.
I was like, "cool." Then I asked, "Why the sudden change?"
The ad rep said: "Puffy was upset with the editorial, but he likes the rest of the magazine. Y'all give good interviews and your music reviews are on-point. But can you do us a favor? Don't write about Puff."
I was like, "Well, I see what I can do."
The lesson learned here: Keep doing what you are doing and don't worry about pleasing everybody. Some might like it, some might hate it. If you do good work, people will support you, and you will become successful.
Oh, and P. Diddy doesn't like to be called a slave. ;-)
What dissapoints you?
When I show more love, loyalty, and honesty to people, than they show me.
[Ditto -- peep the last posts]
Famous people you find dissapointing?
President George Bush, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly . . .
Famous people who inspire you.
John Coltrane, Malcolm X, my Mom (she's "hood" famous), Stevie Wonder, Zora Neale Hurston, Tavis Smiley . . .
To be successful in my career and make a million dollars doing what I love to do.
I hope to run my own production company in the foreseeable future. Another goal is to stay healthy and continue to be prosperous.
Favorite song right now.
Besides Brian McKnight's "One Last Cry," my favorite tune is "Ordinary People" by John Legend.
Somewhere you haven't been that you'd love to go.
I would love to travel to Africa. I also want to travel to Tokyo, Japan.
Loner or social butterfly?
Loner. At a party, I would rather lay in the cut and watch people enjoyed themselves. I'll talk to people one on one, but I'm not the one to jump into people's conversations.
One book most people would be surprised you read?
The Koran. And I'm not a Muslim.
One movie most people would be surprised you love?
Citizen Kane starring Orson Wells. To some, it's a boring black and white film. To me, it's the best movie ever made in the history of cinema.
Last ten songs in your iTunes?
"Ordinary People" (John Legend); "U.B.R." (Nas); "Muthafucka" (Xzibit); "NYCG" (Martin Luther); "Girl" (Destiny's Child); "Love" (Destiny's Child); "Love Street" (R. Kelly); "Step Yo Game Up" (Snoop Dogg); "Love On Christmas Morning" (Wil Downing), "Strictly Business" (EPMD)