Darryl Robertson: The first time I first heard “Everyday Struggle” and “Suicidal Thoughts” is the moment that The Notorious B.I.G. became my second favorite emcee (Nas is my all-time favorite).
Despite being a youngin’ when I heard these tracks, my life was mad stressful for a shorty. Drugs had destroyed my family. This, mixed with group homes, counselors, St. Vincent Children’s Center and the constant change of homes and schools had me feeling like my life had come to an abrupt end.
And I hadn’t even been on Earth a decade yet. And when B.I.G. spit: “I don’t want to live no more/sometimes I hear death knocking at my front door,” followed by “I know how it feels to wake up f*ked up,” on “Everyday Struggle” he described every crack and crevice of my foreboding childhood.
Now, I wasn’t selling drugs nor packing guns like B.I.G. did on wax in this song, but the same dreadful feelings and misfortunes of the life that he married to the the beat, described my woeful feelings of waking up everyday, the stench of group homes, the cold juveniles jails, the loneliness of adoption, and the helplessness of watching your loved ones destroy their lives with drug abuse. And, B.I.G. didn’t’ spit of his drawbacks like he wanted one to feel sorry for him.
It was more like: ‘Here’s my f*cked up life, but I’ll keep pushing, and I’ll be fly while doing it.’ And that served as a form of motivation for me. The same with “Suicidal Thoughts,” where B.I.G. rapped that he was a “piece of shit,” the “f*cking worst,” and “my mother doesn’t love me like she did when I was younger,” and “I bet she wish she got a f*cking abortion.” Again, those words described my childhood and the relationships, or lack thereof, with my loved ones.
For a grown man to be able to describe exactly what a juvenile is going through and the feelings of a juvenile, yet make it relevant to adults, and being confident while doing it was awe-inspiring, showed the importance of hip-hop.