To so many young black men and women, hip-hop is much more than entertainment. Hip-hop is real life; the guns, violence, sex, drug sales, drug addiction, and bravado. Too many of us black men are so hurt, frustrated and disconnected from society that we need something, anything to hold on to. And for us, hip-hop is the one thing that we can own and connect to.
Today (Nov. 12), I ran across a video titled “Queensburg Baby” by Bo Trill. Trill, a rapper from the Laurel, MS., which is also my hometown, follows the well-worn path of spitting lyrics about hustling, gun-play and bagging someone’s girl. Nothing is wrong with this. And if you know me, then you know how much I enjoy gangsta music, accurate gangsta music. Hip-hop comes from the streets, and unfortunately many of us black and latino men understanding is rooted in street politics and language. So much of what I know about life comes from the streets; the streets of Laurel.
With Unoski TV working the camera lens, viewers get a glimpse of these, well, Queensburg babies (no pun intended). QB is a small section in South Laurel. Here, in these grimy visuals, seeing these QB shorties brandishing guns bigger that are Lil Bow Bow, I was damn near moved to tears. From my 31st floor office in Times Square, I watched Bo Trill’s “Queensburg Baby,” looking at the faces of these young men, I literally remembered the countless nights, and days that I sold crack, cocaine and pills with some of these guys family members. Their OG’s are my homies.
Seeing Bo Trill and his fellow-Queensburg Babies, as well as their aggression, machoism, their honest ignorance, and the urgency to trap dollars, and desperately hold on to something in this white man’s world, I feel that shit. I totally understand everything about these Queensburg babies. They are from the city that sent me to prison.
I’ll probably get in trouble for this post in the morning, but I’m from the streets of Laurel, trouble is what I do. I’ll accept whatever trouble follows, if any, because what Bo Trill has to say, and what he doesn’t have to language to say it, is just as important as what Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole has to say. And, I’m in a position to give a voice to the voiceless. And more importantly, once the homies in Laurel see this video on Vibe.com, this small, what’s a small feat to many, is big for my city, and just one more thing that we, Laurel babies have to hold on to.
Watch “Queensburg Baby” above.
Rest easy Justin “Muncy” Mack, and major salute to my OG, Larry Locc.