Old Fences…

Okay, so in my “grown man” attempt at mending old fences, I reached out to this guy I once hung out with through Facebook. To offer a bit of history: the commonality between us, among other things, was the love of hip hop. He was aspiring to make it a sustained career, and I believed that he had the potential of doing so and was willing to help in any way. However… he needed to realize and resolve a major obstacle that was potentially holding him back: the fact that he was getting in his own way. The caveat to the most significant, interesting, and wonderfully creative artist is that they’re oftentimes damaged, and highly affected people. I’ve had the pleasure of quickly coming to understand this with him. As much as I believed that I was supportive, non-judgmental, and stayed from being overall frustrated by the paradox that he was, unfortunately he saw it another way.

There were benchmarks that would inevitably define our fate; only two of the most significant comes to mind. One, was when he’d asked me to be his manager and I declined. Having known him up until that point in time, I knew that if I’d done so, it would’ve quickly led to the end of a not only a business relationship, but also our friendship. I believe he saw this as an act of betrayal. The next moment would actually be the catalyst that killed our friendship for good. He’d used me as a reference for a job. And when I was called and asked commentated questions, I gave commentated answers. They weren’t disparaging, but they also weren’t flattering. Obviously he didn’t get the job, and apparently it all hinged on my reference: not the preponderance of the others and what they may’ve said, or his work history and any supervisors and/or HR that may’ve also spoken on his behalf, or how me may’ve conducted himself in an interview, or a drug test, or… several other, probably more important, factors. This was seen as the ultimate betrayal.

After a long, heated phone conversation, it was mutually agreed upon that going our separate ways was in our best interests. It was bad, because I was losing someone I considered a friend. But… I knew this was a long time coming. Fast forward a few years after the fact. I’m in a totally different place in my life, the world is in a different place. In an age where folks like myself are damn-near an endangered species, I’ve felt even more inclined to positively acknowledge my B-Fam (brother from another mother) at any given opportunity. Plus, as fate would have it, a significant figure in hip hop had just passed. Regardless of how he felt about me, how I felt about him, one thing that couldn’t be denied was his talent. And so, under the belief that enough time had passed, and for all the aforementioned reasons, I searched for him through the social media and attempted at extending an olive branch in the form of a “friend” request. I was really expecting to start a dialogue, which led to this all being relegated to water under the bridge. However… this happened.

The following is our conversation in it’s entirety, starting from after he (obviously) received and contemplated upon my request. His name has been changed, because I’m not trying to put him on blast. I would, however, like to see where there was opportunity for me to perhaps make a better choice.

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:17am EDT

I’m no hater nor do I hate anyone but man u hated on me at a job when i used u as a reference, u basically told me to give up on rap, u side lined me on a few other situations.. I mean what’s the meaning of any request..looks like life is good so keep enjoying it.. U don’t need me on here..real homies r down for each other they don’t put one or the other down..I’ve moved so far away so long ago. I’ve renewed myself of envious people who didn’t really support me in my journey..I’m a different person now days, I don’t think you want to connect wit me genuinely.. Let’s just keep our distance in more many ways then just social media..I just don’t deal wit a lot of type people no mo..I’m a different dude..now days..with a short acceptance spand & a long memory..never go backwards is my moto..people or places

C Phil Moore

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 11:12am EDT

I assumed you placed me in that box. And I won’t challenge your views, but I would like an opportunity to offer a little insight on my perspective. I knew you once, and for a significant period of time. I’ve always been a student of learning people, and you were one of them. Despite what you believe about me regarding your art, I was your biggest fan. However, as your (once upon a time) friend, I owed it to you to challenge when you could push yourself. So, if you felt that I in any way sidelined you, forgive me but that wasn’t my intent. Far as the job reference goes, that’s not as cut and dry either. Again, I don’t care if your status is so-called better or worse than mine, if you need help I’ll help. But, again, I’m almost honest to a fault. Professionally, you’ve shown to me inconsistency and a tendency to sometimes not take accountability, and even still, victimize yourself. Now, I’m not saying that this world isn’t foul (believe me it is) but there were opportunities to self-reflect. Much as I (still) think highly of you, you don’t do that. I’ve seen it in your most recent posts. Everybody that disagrees with you, or is hesitant to offer you a glowing review isn’t a hater. The greatest insult I could’ve ever done to you is gassed you up when I saw, knew, or heard otherwise. I knew that when you asked me to be your manager, and I had to turn you down; and I could also tell that was a defining moment. I don’t say all of this to say that you’re a bad person. I liked hanging out with you, I’ve oftentimes became more inspired in my own creativity from having done so. Everything you got, believe it or not, I celebrated. Just last week, I was talking to my little sister about you, and one of the things I vehemently expressed is how talented you are, and of my hope that you were well on your way. You hit me with something that I still carry to this day about what happens when and after you turn 30. You were right, I knew it then. I’m really at a space in my life where firstly the current social situation should not have us beefing over relatively small issues. I never stepped to your women, disrespected your little girl, or even talked shit about cousin when I was dealing with her. That should’ve told you what kind of man that I am. And, again, despite what you believe about the other things, now you have my version, so feel free to continue to believe what you want. It should say something that I reached out to you in the first place. I don’t need closure, or to try and restart some presumed beef, I genuinely wanted to see how you were doing. Furthermore, I’m not desperate for your friendship. As men, black men, at the very least, we should be able to acknowledge each other. I truly hope that mentally, physically, creatively, and spiritually you’re right where you need to be, even if the feeling isn’t mutual. Now, tell me if that’s something a hater would do? Have a good life, man.

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 11:30am EDT

It’s all good..I’ll never victimize myself u obviously read between the lines wrong but many people do..like a old man told me ,,” Bill speak your mind and ignore the naysayers because they ain’t perfect”.

 

C Phil Moore

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 11:41am EDT

Take it however you want it man. I’ll leave you to live your life. And I truly hope that it’s a good one.

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 11:43am EDT

Too creative for it not to go good

C Phil Moore

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 11:43am EDT

You right about that.

It’s by this point, I’m pretty much done and over with it all. I know where he stands and I can do nothing but respect that. However… it’s the following message he sent that made me pause.

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 3:09pm EDT

Lol me & my ent. Team read & laughed about yo comments of my professional inconsistency.. Lol..u hav no idea, now thats funny fo real..u take what’s in a post or more & judge just like the rest..I was told to not respond but that part of me never change.. Look up the meaning of cpn budget money, sec of state registration, ein # & travel performance loot..UK travels ,round tables doin deals wit big wigs on social event gathering..some shit u said was real & I Digg it but the judgement of yo misconceptions of me r frankly wrong..no matter what u encountered about my past..shit I could judge u on that night in broad ripple but I never did and where I’m from and raised n***** Ain’t cut like that. but that goes to show u how I had yo back & never called u weak So judge on lil homie in yo way that u may feel..like u told me..deuces my man..I’m getting this paper & clarity..the craft & movement is real..

Notice the time. In the nearly three and a half hours between messages (the latter of which I wasn’t expecting, no less inclined to respond to), this is what he decided to do. *I address all of this in my reply. I didn’t immediately read the entirety of his response until much later; however, it was the first few lines that my phone notification displayed that irritated me. Kept me in a space where I was going to clap back, as if he intended me to; to be as juvenile as he apparently was. Throughout the day, though, I began to think better of it; be the bigger man in this. So, by the time I’d gotten home, I was ready to just ignore it and move on. But… I probably shouldn’t have read the rest. I didn’t owe him that. However, I did; and I got irritated once again. Then sad. And then… it was time to inform him about himself.

C Phil Moore

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:13pm EDT

wow… still full of contradictions i see…? i should be better than this, I really should, but i’m not. (see? that’s called self-reflection. let’s learn basic concepts like this before we start throwing out things you obviously just learned in the last few years, but i digress.) it is truly unfortunate that you turned a real and relatively “private” exchange between you and I into the butt of the joke for you and your “team” at my expense. and, as you so previously mentioned, instead of heeding their advice and not responding, you went with what is in your nature; because, again, as you stated: that part of you will never change. From the jump, you could’ve pretty much ignored my friend request (since you moved on and all) however, and quite surprisingly, you hit me with a paragraph response; like shit was all bottled up inside you, and you were just waiting for the opportunity to “show me.” Then, you drop a video on your wall that was obviously a shot meant for me (because I know you, and that’s in your nature) that included some bars…? I’m sorry to discredit your efforts, but if you were trying to make me feel some type of way, you failed… horribly. However, and I’ll be transparent enough to admit, that if you’d (silently) denied my friend request, I would’ve been bummed for like… 5 seconds and kept it moving. Wouldn’t have hit you with a ten-page essay trying to understand why, because I knew then, and your action therefore would’ve reconfirmed that today: that you’re good as far as that goes. Oh, I should also inform you that on the contrary, what you’ve done so far can be considered a bitch move. Not calling you one personally, but your previous acts so far undoubtedly have been. And, before you come back with, “Look at you!” I’m simply reciprocating bruh; plus this is really insightful for me. I would’ve hoped that by now you surrounded yourself with people that would’ve molded you into the artist I knew you to be (hmmmm… doesn’t smell hateful to me); but instead you’re keeping company with those that are comfortable to you: folks who you can mentally intimidate and badger until they blindingly agree with whatever you say. Sorry, but I wasn’t going to be that. Only fools would “ride with you” and not ask a question. That’s high-school shit. If you were doing something goofy, I’d call you out on it, plain and simple. What makes me different than a so-called “hater” is when I offer solutions. But, since you were in your feelings so much during our “friendship,” I bet your recollection (or pride) would never allow you to admit that much. I’m not sure what you’re referring to regarding “Broad Ripple,” but, again, that’s a misinterpretation (i.e., reading between lines) that was allowed to be; however, you made it a point to refer to me as “weak.” I wish I could recall the situation and how I was so-called “weak,” however I can recall the time when we were on the phone and you were crying over a failed relationship with a white chick! A white chick?!? Brenda, I believe her name was… Look, I don’t really have an issue with interracial relationships, but that was not only chuckle-worthy (and, kinda considered weak) but also another strike against you, since you were also kinda militant (which, I still cannot reconcile). Without having seen you in several years, I bet you (if you’d just be real with yourself) I can say that 1. You’re not married (or engaged) anymore, at least to Becky; 2. You’ve, therefore, subsequently had several (failed) relationships; 3. You’ve held several jobs, some of which you were fired from (and not because of anything that you did); 4. You probably don’t have the best of relationships with your daughter; 5. You’ve cut off countless friendships and potential business relationships because they dared to try and drop some game to you that betrayed your beliefs; and therefore 6. Despite what you’ve mentioned to me regarding doing “big things,” I don’t see a video on YouTube or Vine (which is free bruh), not a single on iTunes or Spotify, or received, at the very least, any kind of (credible) label deal to speak of. I really hope that I’m wrong, at least for some of those presumptions, but something is telling me that (sadly) I’m not. I can’t be when certain people exhibit certain behaviors in which they furthermore refuse to acknowledge, no less address. (And, I if wasn’t “judging” then…) You, at least when I knew you, exhibited anti-social, narcissistic, and sociopathic behaviors; much of which can be attributed to your childhood. You take little, if any, responsibility for your current plight; and you rest comfortably in the fact that since you’re black (even more so, dark) everything is attributed to race (which, given today’s climate, that’s a hard point to try and defeat). You’re hyper-sexual and made no bones about letting me know that, more than it would be if two dudes were simply talking about it; furthermore, on many occasions ensuring that I knew you were packing (which I always thought was… an odd thing to mention). However, this can be attributed to a deep-seated inferiority you have that also went hand-in-hand with your extreme homophobia. As much as you are talented, you’re also insecure. I realized this when you made it a point to either recite lyrics or play a new track of yours every time we met up. However, if I asked you to read a chapter out of my book, you didn’t have time. Which also means that you’re intimidated by anyone who shows you up in any fashion. I remember you, me, and some girl you were with was at a restaurant, and how I (effortlessly) had her mesmerized at whatever silly topic we were talking about. I also saw your face… I could really go on. And, as sure as you’re reading up until this very word, you’d keep following along. But, I’m tired. Between humoring you, I’ve worked a full day, came home, cooked dinner for my babies (they’re good by the way, thanks for asking), washed them up, and put them to bed; you know: grown man shit. This is also while studying for an exam I’ll be taking tomorrow in a class that is going toward an actual degree, and not some bullshit-ass technical certificate I’m currently not doing anything with, because despite the fact that I’m knocking on 40, I’m still pursuing a rap career. Let your people read this, though; and hope to God no one makes a motion to cup their mouth. You might then have to cut off some more folk…

I’m thinking… I may’ve touched a nerve, and it shows in the following. But, in my defense, I liken this entire interaction to this simple analogy: I obviously reached out to him with the best intentions and a white flag hanging conspicuously from my pocket. He slapped my welcoming hand that was extended. Instead of doing what was initially inherent (which is strike back), I raise up both of my hands in submission and concede, continuing to take blows whilst doing so. I then turn and leave. While doing so, he picks up a rock and throws it at the back of my head. Jesus only had two cheeks y’all… What I said in response is the culmination of what should’ve been said during the course of our friendship, what has been said to me by people in the peripheral, what he may’ve also received from people in his life — who were then subsequently relegated to “hater” status. Suffice to say, his answers come fast and furious, and incoherent.

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:34pm EDT

Look dude u have no idea of who I’m speaking of u hav the battling conscious.. My man but yes u helped me go on ahead..there’s more to it all, the past 4 yrs I’ve learned just how fucked up people r..& now imma drop an even better verse that’s really bout to kill em & I ain’t stopping no mo till the summer on big screens..nigga I’m in to actin & a lil bit of modeling.. It’s bigger than music..if u only knew the fucked up fam members & envious people that tried to stop me or postpone my success..that rap shit is how I bust back so u can include yo self if you like..none of that goofy slick insult shit moves me…I’m in another lane lil dude..my guys was right cause should hav never entertained none of that shit…from the looks at it u reached out..fuck that I just couldn’t believe you had the audacity to even contact me I dont fuck with fuck niggaz – straight up. I don’t need your good lucks I don’t need your blessings I don’t need yo what up regg s*** I don’t need none of that all I need is what I get and what I got..u people out here are so single tracked minded that u don’t see far enough..& as far as what u see on any other media’s of me is irrelevant cause everything has its time & season..& since u media stalkin me like some heart broken broad make sure u keep an eye out for the summa fool leg work not social media u people r brain washed wit the internet..the real doe is the leg work I’m on tune core reverb tidal u see I go where the money at not just the show..but the shit I put on these weak ass media social sites r for a certain crowd..now clap cause u invited to the show..

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:37pm EDT

Oh & dumb ass my daughter movin wit me in my condo in lynden hills Minneapolis.. See u don’t know shit..we been tight since birth..hell she choose me after h/s she’s my choreographer..now swallow that info & choke on it clown

Between the time stamps Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:47pm EDT and Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:52pm EDT, he then proceeded to send a series of audio files. None of which I bothered to listen to. I assume his mind was racing faster than his hands could type. When even that seems counter-productive for him…

 

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:54pm EDT

Fuck this text shit u got something to really say to me cause I would hav never reached out to u

He then tries to call… However, that was a five-hour conversation that I wanted no parts of.

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:54pm EDT

C missed a call from Re.

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:55pm EDT

Like I fuckin thought..u ain’t shit but the devil wit a fake slick tongue..nigga u can’t hold me back & never could

C Phil Moore

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:56pm EDT

okay, now this has turned sad. forget anything positive i’ve said to you and just hear me out. you’ve basically repeated the same stuff you’ve been saying for forever. and, again contradicting yourself, you’re putting more effort into someone you can easily dismiss. i’m sorry, but i’m not listening to anything you sent, no matter how depressing it may sound. no, no calls, it wasn’t supposed to go to this level. i’m not punching out or anything, but this is pathetic. look, i’ll give you the satisfaction of having the last word, but now i’m truly done. you did me a favor bro, i’m gone take your lead and push on.

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:56pm EDT

All that shit u said in that message must have been rehearsal

He’s trying to pull me back into an argument. When that doesn’t work…

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:58pm EDT

Man fuck you!! Clown ass cake nigga ..u call yo self insulting me..lol..u fool in yo own mind..u should hav never contacted me

I stick to my resolve. This was over for me, but not for him. In his final hurrah, these are his parting words.

Billy Blanks

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 11:28pm EDT

Here’s my finally… “U knew me.. U don’t know me..

I then decided that it was best to block him, because I knew that it was now his intention to antagonize me in order to continue. Why would I? It was a pointless, counter-productive dialogue that would’ve inevitably led to the implication of violence and someone probably following through on such a promise; because, that’s the only final recourse we as men have. That aspect didn’t scare me; I mean… you can only kill me once. It was just sad that it’d came to this; and, furthermore, a snapshot at how concepts such as “Facebook Beef” spawns. How would I, as a 35-year-old man, look being engaged in a physical altercation (or, to that extent, continuing a back-and-forth online) whose origins stem from a few words…?

I was told in the onset that it was probably not a good idea to even reach out to him. However, for all the above reasons, I strongly felt the contrary. There is a system in place that is designed to benefit from the destruction of our people; whether it comes from internal beef or from those that pose as upholding the law. In many ways, beyond his flawed and paradoxical logic, he was a good dude; loyal to those that were loyal to him (which was, of course, conditional to his terms). He was inherently street smart; having been born in Chicago (like me), intelligent, handy. Despite the implication that he didn’t have the best of relationship with his daughter, he was a good father. I envied the fact that he could talk game way better than me, pulling those sweet… forbidden… white women… (Mmmmmmmmmm…) He kept his house clean, he kelt himself clean; since he acquired the skills of a barber. He worked out way more than I did; so much so that he entered into bodybuilding competitions. All of which, including the fact that he was dark-skinned, made him a handsome dude. (Which, we as men — brothers especially — should be able to admit without feeling all “gay” about it. [Thanks Dad!!!]) Plus, above all, he was — hell, is — a talented guy.

On the heels of having to mourn the loss of yet another significant voice in hip hop, I expected, demanded, that he was well on his way to being one of those voices (in the very far future, of course). I hope he still is, I really do. I just wish that when I’d offered constructive criticism somewhere along the way, he didn’t take it as a personal attack; and therefore slowly edge me into the proverbial “hater” category. Especially when my conversations between other people regarding receiving an undeserved and preferentially-given promotion betrays that very assumption. But, then again, maybe I was an ass, and should’ve “rode for my homie” on that damn reference.

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