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A Quick Analysis of Tributes To The Dead Homies

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Noted poet laureate and Tennessee philosopher king Indo G, of short-lived affiliation with Three 6 Mafia, once quipped, eloquently over a sample from Curtis Mayfield’s “Give Me Your Love”: “when I die, die, if I die, remember me, ballin/when I die, mama, don’t you cry, remember me ballin”. His words resonate as sharply today as they did on his 1998 hit, “Remember Me Ballin’”.

Jazmine Sullivan apparently either don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about that musical memo sent by Indo G. Recently, a gospel artist named Thomas “TC” Clay passed away and Jazmine “Lions, Tigers, and Bears” Sullivan took to Facebook to write the most self-centered tribute to the dead homie of all time. For starters, ninety percent of it focused on the fact that he was interested in her and the interest was not reciprocated, but to make that even more fucked up, she explained just HOW she curved him at certain points. Only upon his passing did she wish she had gotten to know him better…FOR HER OWN SAKE. Her words, not mine.

And the coup de grace, in her outgoing statements she pointed out, cutely, that he probably still has a crush on her in heaven. And because no terrible tribute is complete without a picture, she added a contemplative selfie, of herself.

Look, I don’t know Jazmine Sullivan personally. I’m sure she’s a sweet girl. I mostly don’t like her music, though I acknowledge that she can sing. But she might be a bad person at worst and an asshole for certain. And more importantly, she has no idea how to pay tribute to the dead homies. As the African-Americans, especially those of us from the inner city where nobody can read, we’re all poor, and there’s a war outside that no man is safe from, one thing we know is how to pay tribute to the dead homies.

While there is humor in what I just said, it is also insanely tragic how much loss many of us are familiar with at an early age. No lie, I lost my first friend at age 16 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound sustained while cleaning his gun. I’ve been to more funerals than I care to remember and am actually a bit envious of people who have never been to funerals outside of grandparents or old relatives. Unfortunately, that’s not my life.

But because Blackness cannot be defeated, we manage to turn tragedy into celebration and take the opportunity to pay tribute to the dead homies. As part of the African Americans, our creativity shines through in nearly all of our endeavors. It is in that that vein that I’d like to examine the different ways to pay tribute to the dead homies.

Jazmine Sullivan’s pays tribute to the dead homie

This is the least effective tribute because not only is it not a tribute, it’s a non-eraseable, perpetual shade that cannot be rebutted. Screen shots are for real. For all we know, he was trying to holler at the chick BEHIND her every time he saw her but history will always paint him as the dude that couldn’t bag Jazmine Sullivan because that’s the narrative she intentionally painted. Also, in most tributes to the dead homies, said tribute includes a picture of the dead homie and not a picture of the person paying “tribute”. Point is, do not get Jazmine Sullivan involved in your tribute for it will be failure on every single level one might fail. It is T-Boz acting in Belly bad.

Pouring Out Liquor to the Dead Homies

I’m not sure the exact originators of this tradition (EDIT: Shouts to the comment section for the originators!) but it is the most common and ubiquitous “ceremony” celebrated from the hood to the suburbs. It is also the most curious to me, if only because, like, exactly how much are you supposed to pour out? Most folks I know pour out a sip but, I mean, is that really enough? And if you see the live homie generously pouring out some to the dead homie from a bottle you put in on, can you ask him to chill out or is that disrespecting the dead? I’m all for pouring out to the dead homies but it ain’t like they’re going to drink it or put in on a new bottle. I’d just really like some guidance.

For instance, can you pour out cheap liquors? Like do the live homies ever go buy a cheap bottle in tribute to the dead homie? Does André qualify? Why don’t more people pour our champagne in celebration, anyway? Nope, we out here pouring out the finest of brown liquors. Once, I noticed a dude I know pouring out some Henny XO – a bottle that goes for as much as $150, by the way – and figured that the dead homey might understand if we just poured out some Smirnoff. I’m just saying.

RIP T-shirts

I’ve got a few of these and while I understand the sentiment, I’ve long felt they were a bit…misguided. For one, it always seems like the least artistically inclined in the family always gets tasked with their production. This pretty much guarantees that same pseudo-cursive font on all shirts with some “cool” picture of the dead homie and either their name or some shit like RIP MookMook, God’s Walking Your Pitbull Now. Or some such fuckery. Amazingly, nobody ever uses Comic Sans on these shirts.

Thing is, I’m all for the tshirts since you know, why not? It’s just that there’s really no good place to wear those outside of family functions (including family reunions). It’s just odd to wear them out to the mall, or CVS to pick up a Plan B or something. They’re not as functional as it seems. Plus, you watch those bitches once and the picture gets faded and it looks like you’re rocking a dusty ass tshirt which I can’t imagine the dead homie would approve of since typically, let the liquor tell it, the dead homie was fly as fuck.

Vigils At the Scene of The Crime

I live in DC. This, sadly, means that there have been a lot of gone-too-soon deaths. What happens a lot here in DC are candelight vigils at the scene of the crime which has always struck me as odd since typically, here at least, crew and niggas-gon-nig beef is how the homie got dead in the first place. This ALSO means that a gathering of the friends and family of the dead homies is pretty much a basket of kittens for the shooter to finish his business. And that has been the case several times in DC in the 15 years I’ve lived here. I remember one such vigil at a cemetery where the shooters came back and sprayed folks AT THE CEMETERY. Talk about irony.

Point is, when shooters remain at large, public vigils have always seemed an odd way to pay tribute to the dead homies since nigging is alive and well, especially while pouring out some liquor to the dead homie in your RIP tshirt.

Smoking Their Ashes

When Tupac died in Las Vegas in 1996, he was allegedly cremated (assuming he’s not in Cuba) and members of T.H.U.G. Life allegedly smoked his ashes, which, eww.

Look, I’m sure that I really like a lot of people that I know. But what I’m not gon’ do is be outchea smoking dead homies and having their spirit inhaled into my lungs. That’s fucking creepy. Also, slightly cannibalistic and perhaps a bit evil. Smoking the ashes of somebody seems like some witchdoctor shit. And if that’s your wave, do you booboo, but I most certainly will not be smoking your ashes so do not suggest it to me or ask me to do it. You will be very disappointed in what you see once you’re the dead homie as I accidentally drop your ashes while I’m on the way to dump them hoes into a river.

Murals

A safe and effective form of tribute as it lasts as long as nobody paints over it and can involve several different facets of what made your life mural-worthy. In fact, I think having a mural of yourself painted is probably one of the highest honors in the hood. Plus, you can get the community involved. There’s really no downside here. Of course, being mural-worthy is no small feat, so perhaps a picture on folks FB pages is the best some of us can aspire to, but a mural is a mural.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • HoobaStankyLeg
    • Val

      Jasmine wins the most passive-aggressive person of the year award for sure.

  • LL

    Great post. RIP Thomas “TC” Clay a talented brotha! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnyagBXYZl4

    • SouthwestDekalb

      I really enjoyed this, I gotta look up some more of his work.

  • KeyBrad

    I actually follow Jazmine on IG and had the privy of reading it first hand. The whole time I’m reading..im like NOOO JAZZZ!! This is the weirdest shyt ever!

    • Tambra

      That is what happens when you want someone and play hard to get.

  • KeyBrad

    I always thought pourin out a lil likka was the silliest thing ever. And felt silly doing it ( I was young tho)

  • RaeNBow

    Jaz tripped all the way out! LOL with her ol’ “he tried to holla at me” post. girl BYE!!! sounding like the friend who ALWAYS swear someone is on them. #DontNobodyWantYou

    • mr. steal your costco samples

      that was wild. if the Lord is just St. Peter got her farmersonly.com profile from 2013 screenshotted and is in the cut just waiting to clown ol girl.

      • Cheech

        Woman next to me on the metro is wondering why I’m snickering like Muttley.

    • #notevendeadguys

  • Pouring out liquor is an African tradition called libations. Let me find the scholarly article for you…

    • panamajackson

      I guess I should be more specific, I’m not sure exactly where it started. African tradition is pretty broad. I realize it goes back to the motherland tho.

      • Per Genesis 35:14, “Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him [God], even a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it.”

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          Oil? They had lean back then?

          Paul Wall is a prophet

          #Screwston
          #PourUp

          • miss t-lee

            Bwhahaha

        • LMNOP

          Genesis? So people have been doing this basically forever

      • http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/libations-and-the-ancient-history-of-pouring-one-out/

        I was looking for you to reference it! but no worries thats what the comment thread is for! Edification! lol

        • panamajackson

          I see. I will link to it.

      • Gibbous

        It’s also VERY Irish. When my grandpa died, a sip for him and a sip for me.

      • Brother Mouzone

        I thought that started with the movie Cooley High..

    • grownandsexy2

      See my comment up thread. I attended one and didn’t know it was a tradition.

  • Jae Starz

    I have friends that had a designated corner of their bedroom where they would pour out the likka for the homies. I couldn’t get behind that one. Who’s gonna clean that up? That’s how you get roaches. No thank you!

  • Medium Meech

    Where would burying the homie inside the Gucci store rank? Would a Dillards or Cole Haan kiosk be disrespectful or reflect sensibility?

    • panamajackson

      I think that burying the homie inside the Gucci store would rank high on the list of #squadgoals, but is that a tribute to the dead homies? Now, putting the dead homie on display in the Gucci store might be a tribute. And that would be the greatest worst tribute ever.

  • Val

    “Noted poet laureate and Tennessee philosopher king Indo G”

    “…dead homey might understand if we just poured out some Smirnoff. I’m just saying.”

    PJ just stop it, Man. Lol I wasn’t expecting to laugh so hard considering the subject matter. And you left out New Orleans funerals. It doesn’t get more interesting or Black then those.

    • panamajackson

      Was it something I said?

    • L8Comer

      Yes I want a first and second line at mine. And yellow roses.

      • miss t-lee

        I love the second lines.

        • L8Comer

          Me too.

          • miss t-lee

            Like I literally will watch them for hours on YouTube and I’ve discovered a few brass bands that way.

    • grownandsexy2

      My brother-in-law’s people are from New Orleans. He had a New Orleans funeral few years back. It was the blackest thing I had seen in awhile. But then his cousin got married a few years before and had 3 bands at her wedding. One was a second line band. When I say the joint was lit . . . . . . .You could tell all the out of towners. All our mouths were hangin’ open in amazement.

    • MsSula

      You have to attend an Ashanti funeral. Don’t let the person be old and rich. It’s a party.

      I remember when my great-grandmother’s funeral. She explicitly asked all of us to wear our Sunday’s best with hats, gloves and the works for the church service. The funeral lasted a week. It was lit!

  • SouthwestDekalb

    People trying to jump in the casket saying they wanna be with their dead loved one was always a trip to me. I know grief does interesting things to people, but just get a tattoo and call it a day.

    • panamajackson

      I can’t believe I left tats of my list.

      • SouthwestDekalb

        I got you bro!

    • grownandsexy2

      I remember being at a funeral where that happened and the casket was tipped over. Needless to say, all h*ll broke loose.

      • Tambra

        I went to a funeral, and because of the number of people I was had to sit at the side of the church. Next thing I saw a lady peering through the door, bidding her time. And at the moment when people least expected it , she came rushing through the door and threw herself on the casket, complete with cow bawling. Of course I could not control myself. Tears were streaming down my face since I was laughing so hard.

        • grownandsexy2

          Why do people do that? Or try to jump in the grave? Ain’t nobody climbing down there to get them out.

        • TruBrownK

          I’m done!!!!

        • karimu abena

          LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!

    • I remember seeing that at the funeral home when I was there for my grandfather’s funeral. And my then-wife had the nerve to call me out for being out-funeraled.

      That should have been a sign there. LOL

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