Let’s talk about Tekaski 69 …
just for a second …
I know, you want to click that back browser button as quickly as you came in here, but I think there’s something of substance we can get out of this situation.
And no I’m not crazy, I’m just moving in typical The Lady Writes and trying to figure out what we can learn … even in the most unconventional ways.
But let me start by saying this:
Lord knows I don’t know much about “street” shit and criminal court cases. And I’m damn sure too old to follow all of the events that have unfolded with the internet’s favorite rapper with the multi-colored tresses. So let’s just start with few facts that I am sure are true and base our conversation on that.
A. There was a young man who rose to fame due to wild antics on the internet.
B. Said young man was in a mutually beneficial relationships with a gang.
C. Said young man was later kidnapped, his money was stolen, and a bunch of other street shenanigans that I have no knowledge base to cover
D. And now said young man is in a federal court room singing like a florescent toucan (somebody Google if toucans sing for me) about who did what, when, where, and why, aiding in sending many people to prison.
Ok, so now that we’ve got that part out of the way, let’s look at this entire situation a bit differently that we’ve seen it presented over the last few weeks. So without further ado, let’s break down all of the things we can learn from this tale of Tekashi telling.
During his testimony, 69 told the court about his history and how he got to be “successful” in the music industry (we’ll talk about this concept of success in a bit). And while many focused on the parts of his testimony when he talked about his initial meeting with the alleged gang members, I was more drawn to the things he say happened before. He was just a kid, singing rock music, and his career wasn’t taking off the way he wanted. In other words, this is not a “street” kid; this is not a kid who is from that ilk, but he pretended to be in front of the world because that’s what got him “on”. And look how that turned out for him.
I had to learn the hard way (clearly not as hard as him) that the best thing you can ever do is be authentic. You like to hike when the people around you enjoy other things? Do that shit! You like to wear crocs with tutus and mismatched bandanas? Do that shit! You like to groom your cat with your tongue? Although I wouldn’t advise it, do that shit?
YOU are the only person that can be you. And while that shit can be hard at times … especially with all of the external influences we encounter on a daily, it’s important that we bring ourselves back to our center and remember (or figure the duck out) who we are.
All Money ain’t Good Money
So here we have this kid who put not only his life, but the lives of many others, on the line for fortune and fame. And he got it. Do you think he’s happy right now?
Do you think he’s laying on that little as cot saying “Yes, I made it!”
I’d bet on no.
I can think of a thousand other adjectives to describe how he may be feeling, locked up in a cell, unable to see his mother and child, alone, scared, ostracized, and the butt of the jokes of the very same internet world that made him famous. If he had it all to do again, I’d bet my paycheck that he’d say it wasn’t worth it.
We all have dreams and trust me when I say that there are times when I’m like “throw the whole ambition away cuz this ain’t it, sis”. But even when times get hard and my motivation has taken a sabbatical, I know there are costs that I’m not willing to pay to “make it.”
Because if “making it” costs me my integrity, sense of self, and personal privacy, ION WANNIT … because all money aint good money, fam.
This Shit Ain’t Funny and It’s Our Fault
If you’ve ever liked, commented, shared … or even just watched a video, you contributed to this mess. I mean, shit, I’m guilty of it too. I specifically remember clicking on a video and watching this kid tell hardened criminals to “suck his dick” with enthusiasm. And while I shook my head and cringed during the entire minute of my life I’m not getting back, I still watched.
We all did in some way, whether it was an interview or an article, it all contributed to his popularity and helped create this monster.
After all, if no one was watching, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.
But that’s what makes this entire situation lack the humor I see other people find in it. Our voyeuristic human nature has been manipulated. Think about it, rubbernecking is and will always be a thing. There’s something in us that likes watching disasters unfold.
And the people who make the algorithms that run your favorite app and the marketing agencies with products to sell are aware of that. This case and the things that have happened with this entire situation are a slippery slope and will have as of yet seen consequences for hip hop, social media, and creative freedom. And that’s scary af!
And while there’s nothing we can do to stop people from showing their entire ass (both literally and figuratively) on the internet, we can be more careful and aware of the difference between things we willingly consume (think about your favorite IG artist) and those that we’re being “fed”. And if we don’t, the next “Tekashi” that we support and their subsequent downward spiral is going to be our fault too.
Until next time, folks,
And stop watching this bullshit on the internet.
(No that didn’t rhyme and wasn’t as witty as I would have liked, but I ran out of creative juices.)
Love and Light,
What did you say?
You miss me when I’m gone?
Well, you know you can keep up with my antics every other day of the week:
You can also find all of my books The Becoming of Us, Vol. I, The Becoming of Us, Vol. II, What’s Hiding in the Dark: 10 Tales of Urban Lore, and They Eat on Amazon: