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A few days ago my neighbor dropped off a CD for me to listen to. I didn’t think anything of it. After our last discussion, I thought it would contain some instrumentals I may want to use to promote my book. After sitting on it for a few days, I finally popped the lil sucker in.

Oh gosh!…Betcha gee-wally Wow!

Instead of hearing a track presenting a soulful fusion of Hip Hop & Jazz melodies, a localized sounding Kansas City beat played. I immediately rolled my eyes thinking, “Not another fruity loops experiment made in someone’s basement.” The song itself sounded very localized, but it was high quality local….if that makes any sense. I tried…..I mean, I really and truly tried to dig it….or at least put forth an honest effort in giving it a chance to be dug. After about the 15th time hearing about a Hoe being a bad Bitch, I couldn’t take it. It made my stomach turn.

That’s when I realized that my “What” has finally caught up to my “Who.”

Back in the days of Run DMC, Hip Hop was not just a form of music….it was a lifestyle. Fans did more than pop a tape in and just listen. It was a way of life. Hip Hop was tagging buildings/subways/dumsters around town to leave your mark. It was hot wiring street lamps, and stringing together miles of extension cords to throw an impromptu block party. Being a DJ meant you carried around more than just a 5lb computer. Hip Hop was serious business. Back then the statement, I am Hip Hop was true.

I am Hip Hop

As I discussed my feelings about the song, I figured out my neighbor was testing me. He was feeling me out. Trying to pick my brain. He wanted to learn about my mentality. Besides getting an honest critique, my neighbor wanted to find out which “What” defined my “Who.”

After I hung up, I reflected on the call and thought of all the “Whats” in my life  I had allowed to define my “Who.” In saying this you must understand just what a “What” is. I’m talking about the music you listen to, the company you entertain, the clothes you wear, the way you wear your hair, the actions you take, and anything under the sun you have a choice of including in your life that you didn’t pop out your mom’s vagina owning.

Take an honest look at the various “Whats” in your life. Then shift your focus inward and take a look at yourself. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Who do you think you are? Who do you view yourself to be? Now take each “What” and see if it matches your “Who.” Does it? I’ve come to the conclusion this is an ongoing process.

Now back to the “Hoe/Bitch” song…..

I’m down for a song were a man plays homage to a woman he deems as Bad! I love a man who can use an artform as creative as music to assert such a feeling of admiration. My problem is the song’s main line: “That hoe is a bad bitch.” There’s no good way I could identify with that. Replace either word and it’s still no cleaning it up. You end up with “That woman is a bad bitch” or “That hoe is a bad woman.”

I’m not saying it’s a bad song. All I’m saying is, I don’t classify myself in either category so that song wasn’t written for me. I’ll happily pass this “What” along to the hoe/bitch that it was writen to glorify. In this instance….the “What” did not define my “Who” so I passed. It seems the more knowledgable I am about my “Who,” the more easily I can choose which “What” to include in my life.

The concept is simple. Your “What” defines your “Who.”The two are completely dependent upon eachother. If you want to change your “Who,” you must change your “What.” Inversly, by changing your “What” you can change your “Who.” Hmph. I think I just discovered the meaning of life.

-Jaz

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