Wednesday, August 15, 2007
There's No Place Like Home!
[*my creation, so if you've seen it on myspace, you know the source.]
I don't know if I'm sharing the gift of laughter or spreading the virus of ignorance with this post, but, I had to do something with this:
I don't who these guys are or what they call themselves, but they have a minor YouTube hit on their hands. "Bitch You Ride The MARTA Bus," as stupid as it is, is some straight up A-Town shit, as much as I hate to say it. Not one Atlanta rapper has made a song that shows Atlanta in all its public transportation splendor quite like this one. Yeah, T.I. had "In Da A," B.O.B. had "Atlanta, GA" and JD & Luda had "Welcome to Atlanta" (T.I.'s song pretty much sums up how real ATLiens felt about that track), but none of these guys shouted out the MARTA bus. Only times I remember a A-Town rapper giving props to the big white limo was when Backbone had one in his video for "5, Duce, 4, Tre". Or when Dre 3000 "was trying to find that hook-up".
It could be because people are embarassed of MARTA. As shown in the video above, its not the most flattering form of transportation. Unlike bigger cities like NYC, or even Chicago and DC, the train and/or bus is not the look. The way Atlanta is built, you either have to have a car or great determination to get to where you gotta go. There's nothing convineint about having to take an hour-plus ride to get somewhere that's 15 minutes away by car. While other major cities have intricate rail systems, Atlanta's is pretty simple. The shit just goes Up-Down-Left-Right.
What's sadder is that the system really sucks in the communities that need it most. They up the price every few years to accomodate rich folks who only use it to go party downtown or catch Falcons and Braves games. Poor people who depend on it to get to work still end up being late all the time and end-up getting fired.
But, this video, for what its worth brought back memories of catching the #8 to Open Campus High School my senior year. That shit was rowdy as hell. They used to shoot dice and smoke cigarettes in the back like it was their personal limo service.
The video also brought me back to a theory that me and a close friend kinda came up with a while back. We were talking about the possibility that people from the Southwest part of town were smarter than the people on the Eastside. Of course, I took slight offense to this, I thought that I was a living example that Eastsiders are intelligent. Me, my brother and a few friends at least. But then, I messed around and had to catch MARTA from Cascade to Decatur one time because of car trouble. It was an enlightening experience.
When I was on Cascade (not the rich side, but the other side) I had to listen to people talk loud as usual. But I didn't mind completely, because they wasn't just straight up talking that yang-yang. They was talking about government conspiracies to kill Farrakhan, Ralph Emerson's Invisible Man, how stupid President Bush is (but not in the typical "Bush sucks" type way and other random subjects that required thought.
Then I got to West End station which is closer to downtown and the conversation changed just a little bit, but not drastically. Now, the conversations were about where to get cell phones and Jordan's for the low-low, why selling drugs off Ashby is safer than fighting in Iraq and how "deez crackas are taking Atlanta back ova!" (proper term: gentrification).
After that I transferred at Five Points and started heading eastwards, and that's when things started changing. The closer and closer I got home, the more and more BS I heard. I heard women arguing over 75 cents like it was a life or death situation (maybe it was), then I heard dudes YELLING over the phone about how "they got that work, and its on me right now!" Then I just heard random spurts of ignance about everything from broke baby daddies sleeping with best friends to youngsters bragging about dropping out of school.
I ain't saying that that kind of stuff doesn't happen everywhere, it just seemed to be amplified on the way home. All of that got me thinking about how since Atlanta is the hot bed for rap music right now, that outsiders may be noticing.
I remember visiting family in Pittsburgh when I was in school. They all used to ask me "do you know Outkast, do you live next to Goodie Mob?" And I'd be like, no, I live in Decatur. And they'd ask:
"who ya'll got?"
Don't get me wrong, I fux with GM, Kizzy and Poncho all day! GM helped put that G-shit on the map while Kizzy and Poncho was running the bass game. But, damn, you can't really compare them to 'Kast (East Point, SW Atlanta), can you?
For a minute, the only thing we had was Dre's mention of "catching the 86 Lithonia headed to Decatur." Big Duke from Boyz N Da Hood was on Suave House, but hardly anyone knew him. KB was making classics with Devin the Dude, but hardly anyone knew him either.
Then we had the Eastside Boys (the guys behind Lil' Jon). No comment.
Then, we had Baby D. He cool, but shit, he got showed up on his own song by a Westside cat.
Then we was crunk when Youngbloodz dropped. The shit was jammin', and they had the world doing the Eastside Stomp but can you put their stuff up against Goodie Mob (College Park/East Point).
Then, when we started coming out with what people would call "real MC's" like Da Backwudz and Young Noah, T.I. (Bankhead, Westside) caught fire. And eventhough it wasn't considered "real Hip Hop" that Snap music had the Westside on fire.
Right now, the Dec and the Eastside is riding the back of B.O.B., Gucci Mane and Montana Da Mac. B.O.B. is the shit, I've said that before. Gucci Mane knows how to make catchy songs, and Montana is actually decent (don't let that "Rock On" be the only chance you give him, he has good stuff). Oh yeah, Block is repping the Eastiside, running a succesful ship with his record label.
All of the vets from the South Side are getting up in age, the Westside still got T.I. and Killer Mike, but not much after. So I guess the DEC got next.
But still, don't let "Bitch You Ride The Marta Bus" serve as representation for us out here on the Eastside. I'm sure we are better than we may seem. Maybe that enlightening trip from Cascade to Candler was taken on the wrong day. Decatur is indeed, where its greater. We dress the freshest and we got the baddest females. And to the folks out there still on the Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta system, don't be ashamed, either. Even Dre 3000 had to "roll the MARTA through the hood."
[*old photo i took of honorary Eastsider Bohagon at Five Points MARTA station, from my rolling out days. He's, uh, technically throwing up the wrong sign, but we still love him.]