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  • Writer's pictureChris Siders


Lately life has been a little quiet or I just been making it more of a point block out unnecessary noise from a world that doesn’t concern my family. 

My older brother, Jamal came by yesterday and dropped a bomb on the family. He’s about to be a father. I’m about to be an uncle. When he said “I’m about to be father. My girl is 7 weeks pregnant” i could barely speak and I stepped outside to cry. I still have no words. My brother has been one of my biggest inspirations in life. I watched him endure the most fucked up conditions, to him thriving right now starting a beautiful family. He always praises me saying that I am stopping at nothing to archive my dreams to be a rapper and artist, but there is nothing more important or beautiful than the children of the family. That is the ultimate dream. I do what I do set everything in place for my future children. I really want to have kids. Two little bad ass kids I can bond with and give game to. Kids I can learn from. Help keep my spirit alive. Once a man, twice a child. In previous blogs, i express my stresses of legacy. Particularly in family, I expand the legacy via art and business that’s easy. Actually creating the legacy within family itself is another ball game. Completely different. I want my kids to meet their grandmother. I really wanted them meet their grandfather. That’s one of the things that broke my heart the most, is that that’ll never happen. 

Influence. Influence is one of the most crucial parts to a child’s life. My Dad influenced me to be punctual and maintain a strong work ethic. I carry that within me and thats how I know he’s still with me and present. It’s all about what we pass down. I remember as kids, me and my brother Jamal wanted to go into the science field. I fell off that dream due to the influence of my middle school teachers making me feel less than. I knew better than to let that happen again when my elementary school principal came out of nowhere disrespecting my dream of becoming an writer my senior year of high school. Literally 6 years later he randomly appears and told me I am not going to get far and laughed in my face. Yes, I held a vendetta against him and every single person that told me I couldn’t. That includes iconic people. If you know, you know. I talk about that story enough. 

But back to my brother. He switched his interest to writing, then rap, then to political science, now he’s in school to become a nurse. His influences stemmed from a LOT of reading and research. His favorite rappers growing up was The Game and immortal technique. The Game gave the street smarts. Immortal Technique provided the book smarts. His vocabulary and what he was talking about influence him to research on politics. Health. Food. Science. Needless to say his experiences as an young adult being under emotional distress shaped his worldview. I can’t say for better or worse. 

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We became rappers because of Evan and PJ rapping in the garage outside my house everyday after school. Free-styling over Eminem and Dr Dre beats. Marshall Mathers LP, The Chronic 2001. Sometimes they freestyle over the actual song and not the instrumental. Its all they had. I watched on the sidelines. This is roughly 12-14 years before I started to rap. When life turned its ugly head alcohol and drugs got in the picture. 

Our brother Evan, with his foot in the streets and being a gang member that gave him the lessons surrounding loyalty. Evan was the biggest family man. Despite me and him not seeing eye to eye leading up to his death, family members approached me about him praising me and the work i was doing. He never truthfully wanted to create tension. I know now as an adult the influence or the ideas my parents instilled in me causes me to be cautious around everyone that includes family. There are secrets I don’t know about to this day. As to why who don’t speak to who. Some of which does have to do with association with the law. For example, there is an cousin i have that’s an gang member who committed an drive by in the 80’s killing a pregnant woman. From what was told to me, because of that case, the state enforced a law where if a pregnant woman is killed harsher sentences will be given. Wild. 

Anywho, this idea implemented to not fully trust amplified even more venturing off into the world and witness how people operate. I know people may eye-roll but I don’t care, I feel I am right to stand firm in my stance to look at everyone in a weird way. No one truly helps or supports unless it benefits them or to bring people down from the inside out. I been maintaining a distance from folks. Slowly learning that actively not needing to prove a damn thing to anyone including your innocence saves a lot of energy. 

I recently got a tarot reading from my friend, GO, at Tea from Shiloh’s. The biggest take away i’ve gotten was to listen. To listen you have to be still, concentrate and meditate. I am too busy listening to the chaos banging outside my window thinking someone is after me versus slowing down and remembering that its a damn tree outside my window and the branch is hitting it. I am very reactive. Despite me thinking and fooling myself into thinking that I am just responding. My reaction stems from a sense of danger. My influences, the world I’m in danger is everywhere. So I am always on defense mode. If I had to kill, to save myself I would. An close ex-friend of mine was shocked that I never committed a murder growing up. She had to do it out of survival. 

My brother have a friend in Jail currently facing life in prison for double homicide drunk driving. He visited him before stopping by my place. It’s easy to sit up here and be like “nah throw him in prison for life” but he don’t have a history. Big bro was saying man I hope don’t give him life. It made me think, we don’t examine the conditions. What occurred is irresponsible and irreversible. It’s all complicated. 

So as kids that grew up in the conditions we did, it’s beautiful to see my brother doing what he’s doing. 

There’s this big KRIT song I think about often the older I get called “King Pt.4.” In the middle of the song he talks about seeing his brother starting a family and KRIT pursuing the dream of flourishing in his rapper career and trying to keep it together while doing so. I had that moment yesterday. You won’t find the lasting embedded unconditional love and care from people that aren’t your family. In my opinion it’s impossible. Warnings my father displayed to me. He always told me “family is forever.”  It truly is. 

All within’ this past week, I lost my Uncle BoBo, grieving friends, Evan, my grandmother and another cousin ending up in the hospital, defending myself and now my brother is about to have a child of his own. 

I’m about to be a fucking uncle. 

An uncle. I am stunned. 

A friend of mine Felix shared something significant to me saying: “…man and all the death and pain alongside it. Metaphor for life itself I guess? It’s an endless circle, maybe even a few of them at the same time. Celebrate the good and surrender to the bad and don’t loose yourself…”

Losing myself. In my quiet solitude I reflect on why I have certain behaviors where I lose myself for a split second. Like a light flashing on and off. Its never for a super long period of time, but I have my moments where i’ll do something stupid, get lost in it and snap back into reality. 

To be honest I feel I got more things to live for just off the strength of him having a child. 

My mentor Mike The Poet, who just turned 50 last week spoke about how his life changed being a father. Navigating life isn’t the same. Perspectives outlooks change. The influence shifts. Things don’t come from a desire of self anymore. It comes from the family. 

A bleeding heart from the beginning of the week turned into one full of love and tears. 

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