Everyday Livin’ In #Thugnation

Since we’ve spent some quality time around here talking about emo dudes and people with degrees, I figure the least we could do was dedicate a little bit of time to the thugs that read VSB. Believe it or not, they make up a sizable percentage of VSB regulars. Between hooridin’, drivebys, social network gangsterism and organized f*ckery, thugs take out a little time every day to read a little bit on current events, check police blotters, and read about relationships. Believe it or not, gangstas need love too.

While I realize that most of us limit our thug tolerance to family reunions and coming-home-before-you-go-back-in parties, the truth is many thugs are just like us only with the foot of intolearnce and systemic injustice and racism standing on their neck while the rest of us get to live in a post-racial America rife with unicorn grass, meliflous waterfalls of sugary goodness, interracial marriage, and A Different World re-runs. Thugs don’t get the re-runs. Do you know how hard it is to bootleg FiOs??

The other day, I got to thinking about some things that are everyday occurrences for most of us reading ninjas and realized that the, real talk, thugs have a whole lot of the same similarities simultaneously. Yep, we parallel. See, it turns out that all of us are just peoples at the end of the day. And peoples do folks things. For in-stahns, here is a list of things that thugs and us reading ninjas really do have in common, our simultenous similar parallels, if you will.

1. Listen to and love Michael Jackson

True story alert. A long time ago I was at my grandmother’s house in Atlanta and one of my recently unincarcerated cousins was hanging out and an argument about Michael Jackson’s best album breaks out. Me, one of my sisters, and two of my other cousins are going at it. Out of nowhere, Zone 4 Mo tells us all to shut the f*ck up because “ain’t no argument. Mike ain’t had a bad album. Off The Wall was good, Thriller is a classic beyond all else, and Bad might be his best album that nobody talks about. Y’all don’t know nothing about Mike.” This from a dude who wasn’t afraid of jail and couldn’t care less about getting locked up. And you know what, that made me realize: who doesn’t love Michael Jackson? We all grew up on him. It’s impossible to not like Michael Jackson if you’re Black and between the age of 18-98.

2. Have odd hobbies

Have you seen Clockers? I don’t think its a particularly good Spike Lee movie but it comes on a lot for some reason. Anyway, Mekhi Phifer played a clocker named Strike who had a crazy affinity for trains. And you know what, that didn’t seem odd. It’s like all thugs look for some type of escape from sh*t and end up interested in Mongolian macrame or staplers. It never fails that you’ll end up talking some thug dude and some how, some way, some random association will come up and you’ll find out that your neighborhood d-boy knows everything there is to know about car engines despite never having driven before or Johann Sebastian Bach. Regular ninjas have these odd fascinations too though I suspect most dudes pick them up trying to impress women. Like jazz flute.

3. Respect for mamas

Everybody respects mamas. Even the most hardcore ninja will at least stop talking when somebody’s mama starts talking. Same thing in the reading ninja world. If somebody disrespects a mama, there is ALWAYS somebody there to be like, “hey man…that’s such’n’such’s mama…be easy, ninja.” Dear mama. Which is why the threat of telling somebody’s mama always carries weight. Hmm…ladies…does the “I’m gonna tell yo’ mama” threat work on y’all? I’ve only seen it really work on dudes.

4. Get upset about gas prices

Overheard at the Sunoco on Riggs Road (DC/MD line): “Gotdamn!!!! Yo, the president need to do something these gotdamn gas prices, mo.” Nobody likes paying a lot for gas, pimp.

5. Make you take off your shoes when you come in the house

One of the funniest memories I have from my youth was when I went to visit my boy’s family in Knoxville, TN. When I say these ninjaswere hood AND lived in the hood, I mean they lived in the hood. House looked like the get-shot-spot. Yet, somehow, someway, these ninjas were impeccably particular about their homes cleanliness. There wasn’t ‘nan beer bottles of ashtrays filled with weed anywhere. The damn house was spotless. It was like a spoof of drug dealers with classical music tastes. In fact, it was like walking into Stringer Bell’s apartment. And these ninjas, were ADAMANT about nobody wearing shoes in their house. Which was, for all intents and purposes, a trap house. Just a clean as f*ck one. For this reason, they didn’t throw parties b/c “ninjas don’t like taking off their shoes.” I wish I was making that up. I laughed so hard…after I left.

Good folks of VSB…it’s Friday. Relax. Relate. Release. What are some other similar simultaneous parallels between thugnation and regular old reading ninjas?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka GULLY THOMPSON aka MR. GANGSTA EBULLIENCE aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

  • http://TalentedGeneration.blogspot.com LegallySouthern1

    Its been a while since I was awake when a post hit the innanets. It doesn’t seem righ tto lurk.

    What are some other similar simultaneous parallels between thugnation and regular old reading ninjas?

    *Skepticism of yt people. For the thugnation its b/c the yts represent “the law” and for regular old reading ninjas they represent the people who will laugh with you in the break room and then fire you after you finish your sweet potato pie.

    • nillalatte

      More and more I’m starting to believe I’m an honorary member in the thugnation. :)

    • http://TalentedGeneration.blogspot.com LegallySouthern1

      *right to

  • A Woman’s Eyes

    Thugs know the value of speaking when passing someone or doing the head nod if you’re not going to say anything.

    They too get mad if they see you around the neighborhood frequently but you don’t acknowledge their presence.

    • Kidsister

      That is so true. Thugs do have manners.

      • Lina

        they are some of the politest people I know, putting some educated folk to shame.

    • Rewind

      Point taken. Around other people, they act like they lost their minds, but around the way, thugs love some common respect.

    • whyaskquestions

      amen!!! my college was in north philly and being a southern girl i speak to EVERYONE or atleast smile. these so called educated people and the north philly girls didnt get that concept.

      cornerboys…manners all day! only a real young wild one would be disrespectful every blue moon.

    • randomeffery

      must be southern thugs…in the D people wonder why you are all up in they mouth if they don’t know you

  • A Woman’s Eyes

    They too will congratulate a child in the neighborhood for keeping those grades up. They expect their children to do well in school because they didn’t bust their ass for their child to be stupid.

    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      True. They are just as likely to encourage you to avoid their paths as your parents are.

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        Unless they’re like that momma from The Wire.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        Yes! A girlfriend of mine avoided teen pregnancy & gang life due to the thugs in the neighborhood telling her she better not go down that path and mess up her future. They were serious.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

      Yes, yes, yes. And if you’re the “smart one” they will keep your azz away from the bad stuff, always comin’ with the “what _you_ doin here?” or the “not _her_ leave her alone.” I get teased relentlessly now for my thug picks, but I’m tellin you it’s love.

      • http://twitter.com/itztrizz617 herbetteroption

        That was me, I was always in the hood but at the same time everyone knew i wasnt quite like them (i went to Latin academy, thats a smart kid school). When I graduated from college, ninjas acted like they crossed the stage they damn selves. So you see, Peer pressure is a myth.

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          Amen! Got me tearing up @ their being so happy for you. Yes! That’s why you cannot judge a book by it’s cover.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

          OMG Yes! And grad school graduation was so amazing I can’t even type the story, but the love is something I will never, ever forget. I swear I was carrying a 100 ninjas on my back across that stage.

    • http://GenevaGirl.net Geneva Girl

      That reminds me of the scene in Akeela and the Bee. Two hood rats quizzed her on her spelling words. They were proud of her even though they probably didn’t know how to spell those words themselves; they wanted her to do well.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

        I looooved this movie!

  • http://iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    Thugs wish the president would have gone Samuel L. Jackson in his speech. Forget content, we just want to see him remind errbody he lives in the South Side of Chicago and y’all don’t know nothin bout that. Seriously, I wish it would have gone down just like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiPgKacaF48 (NSFW audio)

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

      I believe this day is coming and I wanna be front row center hitting my Obamie when it does.

      May I also say that you find some of the best links. I have yet to be disappointed by one. :)

    • http://tdlove.wordpress.com Tonya

      Second Term.. If elected, he is going to go off on folks!!

      • http://twitter.com/itztrizz617 herbetteroption

        exactly, even now he’s getting bolder facing the fact this might be a one and done deal…let him get 4 more untouchable years he just gonna go by “Rack” lol

  • http://www.twitter.com/fiveisthenumber fiveisthenumber

    Thugs know random ass statistics like the PPG scored by their favorite team. Or they have a favorite “sunday school word they like to drop when convo gets deep: “Say ninja, that Drake joint is so provocative dawg…i was feelin that ish”

    • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

      And they enunciate every syllable.

      Confession: I always enjoy rappers who have at least 2 words per 16 bars with 3 syllable words. Is that weird? o.O

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

        Yes. But it’s okay.

        • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          :D as long as it’s okay…

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

            But that okay is coming from me so…yeah. Might need a second opinion on this one. ;)

            • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

              Let me provide the second opinion then, it’s not only _okay_ it’s pretty damn cool in a nerdy way. I used to use rap to teach poetry when I tutored, so, yeah, it’s awesome!

      • DQ

        Not weird. You just like lyricists. Nothing wrong with that.

  • PrettyBrownBrown

    I have to say a thug wants what everybody wants….. To be loved. In whatever shape or form love comes in. From thier mate, friends, kids, just loved in general.

    • http://tdlove.wordpress.com Tonya

      Awww. *hugs*

    • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

      I agree.

    • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      Yup! Thug-lovin’ is a beautiful thang.

    • nillalatte

      +1

  • Kidsister

    ” Hmm…ladies…does the “I’m gonna tell yo’ mama” threat work on y’all?”

    PLEASE DON’T TELL MY MAMA! PLEASE!!

    My first love was a real thug, a pay phone only using typing thug and he had a thing for ball room dancing. At first, I told him he needed more people but after a while I realized it wasn’t a joke.

    Thugs and Reading Ninjas know the law. I even think Thugs know the law better than Reading Ninjas. They’re just on opposite sides of it.

    WE’RE NOT AGAINST RAP…WE’RE NOT AGAINST RAPPERS…but we are against THOSE THUGS *fades out* thugs…thugs…thugs…

    • Kidsister

      *type of thug

    • http://www.testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

      *does the 90s head nod and sway*

    • Justmetheguy

      ” Thugs and Reading Ninjas know the law. I even think Thugs know the law better than Reading Ninjas. They’re just on opposite sides of it.”

      Yo…all jokes aside, they DEFINITELY know the law BETTER than us. When you learn something out of necessity (not just interest) then you tend to have a better grasp than the others that just dabble.

      ” WE’RE NOT AGAINST RAP…WE’RE NOT AGAINST RAPPERS…but we are against THOSE THUGS *fades out* thugs…thugs…thugs…”

      Aww man, the memories. I’m about to go listen to that song now. Thuggish Ruggish is the best descriptive phrase a rap group could come up with (besides SpodieOdieDopalicious)

      • Rewind

        Thugs are the only the besides conspiracy theorists that know the law simply because they are convinced some sh_t is going down at all times.

        Go ahead and get a parking ticket, and a thug will tell you to fight it. Ask a reading ninja the same thing…”oh just pay it”

        Wackness.

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        …Now that Bone Thugs, etc. is in my mind I’m going to have to dig up “For the Love of Money;” that’s my yit, haven’t heard it in a while.

      • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        Justmetheguy,

        “Yo…all jokes aside, they DEFINITELY know the law BETTER than us. When you learn something out of necessity (not just interest) then you tend to have a better grasp than the others that just dabble.”

        Agreed. Thuggery ain’t about not knowing the law, it’s about not giving a f**k about it. lol

        It’s the thuggish ruggish boonnnneee…

        Sidenote: Lookin’ at your avatar, I have this odd urge to pinch your cheeks. FYI.

        • Justmetheguy

          ” Thuggery ain’t about not knowing the law, it’s about not giving a f**k about it. lol”

          Exactly! lol. Y’all heard Jay on In My Lifetime.

          ” Lookin’ at your avatar, I have this odd urge to pinch your cheeks”

          Is that why they call you Cheekie? lol. I guess you can, as long as i get to pinch your cheeks…the ones I can see from your avi ;)

          • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

            LOL, nope they call me Cheekie because of MY cheeks (whichever ones I assume).

            And I guess that’s a fair trade… lol

    • Todd

      Thanks for that last line. I needed that flashback.

    • miss t-lee

      “WE’RE NOT AGAINST RAP…WE’RE NOT AGAINST RAPPERS…but we are against THOSE THUGS *fades out* thugs…thugs…thugs…”

      *Flavor Flav Dance*

    • nillalatte

      “Thugs and Reading Ninjas know the law. I even think Thugs know the law better than Reading Ninjas. They’re just on opposite sides of it.”

      I take offense to this notion. We are not on opposite sides of the law (usually) we’re just always caught in some BS that others don’t quite see the same way.

      (looks around… nobody saw that right?… Cool.)

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    Sports. Well actually hood ninjas know far more about sports (read as: the NBA) than reading ninjas.

    • Justmetheguy

      Amen to that Malik. Reading ninjas got em beat with football, but in basketball they know about all the potential trades and all the league rumors months before the rest of us. They’ll tell you all about the flaws with Mike Brown’s version of the triangle offense and why certain players will thrive in certain systems lol. They are formidable opponents when it comes to arguments about the NBA lol

      • chanelle

        Yep….most definitely. the NBA is actually filled with hood ninjas who mainly became so good at these sports because they learned in the hood

    • Todd

      Agreed. There’s a HUGE overlap between thugs and basketball dudes. If you play enough basketball in the East Coast, you’ve either played for or played against some thug dudes. I actually played against Pee-Wee Kirkland every year…and I played for (and he coached for) PRIVATE SCHOOLS. You can only imagine the thugs in the PSAL in New York.

  • Iamnotakata

    Um interesting piece. But in my opinion you just described a relatively educated thug. Then again I guess we are currently dealing with the “new age” thug if that makes any sense. Lol in my observations the thugs that I have encountered have been a part of this “new age” thug era and are more in tune with politics and worldly things than I would have expected them to be. Some of them even are gentlemen holding doors when I walk in. But then they get real and holler “say black what yo name is” and I remember what I’m dealing with lol…

    • Jhane Sez

      “Lol in my observations the thugs that I have encountered have been a part of this “new age” thug era and are more in tune with politics and worldly things than I would have expected them to be.”

      Word… I was at a bar the other day that was screening the season 4 premiere of Sons of Anarchy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sons_of_Anarchy… one of the best written shows on television ever.

      And not only was I surprised to see thug ninjas in attendance, I don’t know what the bigger surprise was… that they paid the $10 cover without incident or when they played John the Revelator ninjas were like “thass my shh*ttt”.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6NDdF-R2uk

      A good time was had by all ~ JS

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        It’s been a while since I entertained the company of actualy thugs, but it sounds like even hardest among us is no longer content with being but in a “box”, if you will, LOL.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/_chunk_ chunk

          I don’t think they ever were content with it. I think people were just insistent on trying to keep them demonized.

      • DanceHallKing

        Why is it that shocking that black thugs would be fans of a show about white thugs.

        • Jhane Sez

          “Why is it that shocking that black thugs would be fans of a show about white thugs.”

          Because unlike the Sopranos or The Wire in order to watch the premiere they had to leave the hood to attend a Sons of Anarchy event… with other ‘gangster/thug’ shows if they were popular with the black thug crowd they celebrated the season opener around the way.

          They didn’t travel, because they didn’t have to.

          The fact that they had to come out of the hood to find a place to gather and watch the show, paying cover is an indicator that there weren’t local hood venues sponsoring events, like in the case of the Sopranos or The Wire.

          Example… I know that the thug boys watched The Shield another Kurt Sutter show… but they didn’t come out of the hood and pay cover to participate in events… hence the surprise.

          And its not so much about preconceived boxes that I choose to put people in… its more about self selected lanes that people choose to stay in.

          I know there are black motorcycle clubs, so it wasn’t a surprise to see them represent…nor was I surprised to see reading ninjas in attendance, because if you read, it is understandable that you would be a Kurt Sutter fan.

          But straight hood thug boys at least out here don’t usually socialize with black mc… and they usually stay away from reading ninjas like that sh*t is contagious.

          So to see them off their turf, paying to get into an event with a 2 drink minimum, in small unrelated groups, and digging not just the show but the music as well… was surprising.

          So the comment about the ‘new age thug’, in my opinion was an appropriate point at which to add my anecdotal experience.

          And there were no shots fired… then or now~JS

  • A Woman’s Eyes

    They are proud of their child’s mother being at home as a stay-at-home mother, similar to the bourgeoisie who swear by it as being proof that the children are well taken care of the way they should be. “Baby, you don’t have to work. Stay home and take care of my kids. I got this”

    • Mo-VSS

      Right…but that woman needs to have some skills for the inevitable lock up that will happen if he stays in the game too long.

      • sunshyne84

        lmfao

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        Word!

      • Stephanie

        You mean like De’Londa Brice?