Tales From The Hood

Don't let the nice facade fool you. It's ninjas behind those houses.

Don’t let the nice facade fool you. It’s ninjas behind those houses.

Growing up in the hood, yeah boy 1984, was the year my peers didn’t know what was in store. Probably because we were all 5 and didn’t care, but that’s neither here nor there. The fact is, when young, you don’t realize how good or bad your surroundings are. They just exist as your playground.

And oh how we played.


I’ve had the benefit of living in many different types of areas in my life. I’ve lived in the suburbs, overseas in a major world city, the inner city, some projects and in rural ass areas where I’ve never felt more uncomfortable once I found out that I was actually black. It’s amazing what a little bit of knowledge can do to your psyche. I’ve also done some time in the country; as in the town gets a street light and its news country. Well right now, I live in Washington, DC. This is news to no one. Almost a year ago now, I purchased my first home.

Glory day.

Seeing as the average home price in DC proper sells for around $400K (you read that right) and I didn’t have that in my wallet in my good clothes, I purchased a home for somewhat less (not a whole lot) and bought in a neighborhood full of people who resembled myself. Now, if you’ve been reading this site for a good length of time you know that Atlanta, GA, and more specifically the West side of the city on MLK is my former stomping grounds. I’m not stranger to living in the ‘hood. In fact, upon telling my family members I was buying a home, they all immediately assumed I’d be buying in the hood. I’m not sure if this says something about me or them. Let’s just say they’re racist. Yes. Do that.

Anyway, so I copped a house in Southeast DC (SE). From the outside looking in, SE is known as a hood destination for hoodboogers, hoodrats, and career criminals. And while there are plenty of all three there, it’s also a place full of working class people doing working class things with their friends. I do however, live in the poorest ward in the city. I do not, however, feel unsafe at all. I’m well versed in how to survive in South Central. <—- a place where busting a cap is fundamental.

All that was a long ass introduction to what I wanted to share with you all today. Since moving in almost a year ago, I’ve been privy to some very entertaining things. And since the closer I get to youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu, the more you make me feeeeeeeeeeel like we should all be best friends, I decided to share with you all some of my tales from the hood. Basically, in case I wasn’t sure I lived in the ‘hood, here are some proof positive indicators. We could call this guess the race, but, well, come on. We know this one ends. You gon’ learn today.

(And no, I will not say exactly where I live. I recently had a situation arise with somebody trying to pinpoint my location. He (yes, he) was apparently attempting to stalk me to my home. I stay strapped. No Trojan. But yes Trojan.)

PSA: Panama Jackson does not condone gun violence. Blocka blocka.

Hmm…let’s call this things I’ve learned about living in the hood that I didn’t remember from the last time I did it…

1. You can’t fully prepare for some things that you will see. At all.

Yesterday morning while coming home to get ready for work after dropping my daughter off at school I pulled into my driveway. I opened the door and stepped out. I basked in the sun. It was delightful. It kissed me. The sun. No…solaro? I picked a dandelion as it was sitting there waiting to be picked. Then I looked up and saw one of my neighbors push a motherf*cking shopping cart OUT of his house. The end.

This does beg the question though. You know how ninjas be out in the streets selling stuff out of carts? Well, when you go home you can’t really just leave it outside can you? Some other crackhead might steal it. Then you got to go steal ANOTHER one. It’s a vicious cycle. In the house it is. Bong bong.

2. It’s always time for a block party.

Since I’ve lived in my house, nearly EVERY warm weekend has consisted of a block party. I’m talking moonbounces and balloons. And quite a few of my neighbors own club quality PA (speaker) systems. How do I know this? Well they compete. Yes. Compete. They will all place their speakers outside and blast their own music. You all familiar with go-go? Well its 90 percent treble since its all club recordings for the most part. That shit pings through your home with piercing velocity. Add to the fact that folks are always outside and there’s always a party going down.

3. Crime is never too far away, but it isn’t always scary.

Only one violent crime has happened on my street since I moved there. I’m chalking that up to coincidence since a fight that happened up the street somehow ended up on mine and a teenager ended up stabbed. He’s alive. But one time at bandcamp, I was sitting in my house with my boy and we’re watching Say Yes To the Dress or some other manly show. A Ford Expedition speeds by. Except its leaning. Why is it leaning? It only has 3 tires. Yes. Not 3 and a flat. Nope. Only 3 tires. But its doing like 45 down my street. I’m a bit hood so I shrug it off as, “eh, I’ve seen worse” (it’s true, I’ve seen a dude drive down MLK in the A on two tires). Well, 10 minutes I go to leave my house and walk out my back door and in my back alley are 5 police cars and the dude in the Expedition is laid out on the ground in handcuffs. Apparently he was doing 45 because he was running from police. Which never goes well. Trust me.

4. Intra-race Color issues persist

In case you ain’t know, I’m lightskinnded. So is my child. Every time we go outside to play “play” or something, some of the little kids always come up to tell me how lightskinnded my child is. Or talk about how pretty she is and about her eyes (I make pretty babies…call me now!). I don’t mind them calling my daughter pretty, but the constant mentions of her being light throw me off. Once while getting ice cream from the ice cream truck that comes year round…literally, one of the teens who lives by me told me how pretty she was and that the light skint babies are so pretty. She also told me I needed a gun. I told her I was holding. She shot back, “respect”. Dead ass. Nows as good a time as any to mention that I live in a neighborhood that is mixed income and has some section 8 homes and some market rate homes. I hate to point out the obvious for fear of pointing it out for a specific reason, but let’s just say, you tend to notice that most of the folks in the hood are sunkissed like a motherf*cker.


That’s enough. I’ve said too much. But we’ve only just begun. So tell me what lessons you’ve learned about where you live? Help us all learn about where you live. Could you tell me how to get…how to get to Sesame Street?


5 Ways To Stop “That” Dude From Trying To Talk To You

Every woman complains about the same things when it comes to finding some of that good lovin’: at some point in time, all the wrong men were trying to holler. Not only were they trying to holler, they would holler when she would go out of the house in a paisley-print muumuu, some tights, and a headwrap that was NOT the father from the motherland.

Basically, “that” dude is out there lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on you and hold you hostage to his crip-wallking teeth and incendiary conversation about his self-improvement program, Everest College, and why women don’t know a good thing when they see it. Plus, his scurl has NEVER been on fire.

To take it a step further, let’s just paint a picture of the guy women don’t want to holler at them the most, a composite if you will.


Set. Go.

Gold teeth. Lime green 3-piece suit with 8 buttons (kind of like a Steve Harvey special), one too many pieces of jewelry, some Stacey Adams wing-tips, a temple-fade haircut with the Philly-dye to fill in his edges, drinking some sort of dark-liquor concoction that MUST include Hennessey. Oh yes, and he is particular to women he can affectionately call “redbone”. He also likes to call you “shawty” or “lil mama”. And he JUST might be 51 and have a child your age.


Most women go wrong by trying to reason with the dude or being nice hoping he’ll go away. These cats don’t go away. They’re like roaches. “No” is not a word that means go away. It means try harder. But unlike the Geto Boys, they CAN be stopped – without a shot to the eye. No Reality Kings.

It’s 2010 and VSB is still in the crimefighting business. If you keep getting hollered at by Svelt Leon you might stop going out and nobody will ever get the chance to talk to you. You’ll end up like the women we assumed Helena Andrews was talking about.

So here are some ways to stop Romeo in his tracks:

1. Tell him you have an STD before he even gets going. Sure  you’re deading your chances of talking to ANYBODY in the club you’re at, but be real, you and the guy you DON’T want to talk to are at the same spot. Chances are you probably should stop going there anyway. “Those” dudes travel in packs and they DON’T go to places where it seems like all the women read good. Kids don’t scare away men, but STDs? Fear of God (unless he already has one and thinks a second one might cancel it out – like I said, you shouldn’t be there.)

2. Tell him that your daddy is a cop (and you actually know him). For some reason, Black people really don’t trust police. I have no earthly idea why. But NOBODY wants to date a cop’s daughter. It just seems like a bad idea. Plus, if you know your daddy AND he’s a cop, he’s probably overprotective and watching you like Rockwell. Just seems like a better idea to talk to the chick in the 2-sizes too small pink leopard onesie.

3. Start talking about politics and local elections. This might backfire 1/100 times, but most hood ignant dudes don’t know nothing about no ‘lections. Mostly because they either can’t or don’t vote. To complete the murder, just ask him about his favorite book that wasn’t written by Donald Goines. He’ll go talk to a chick who thinks Zane is fine literature.

4. Ask him if he’s holding any crack on him. Not coca-ina. Crack. Nobody wants to intentionally date a crackhead, no matter how fine she is. That should be a surprise.

5. Say, “I bet you have small wang. (To friends, loudly) Hey, doesn’t he look like he has a small wang?” He’ll either pull it out to prove you wrong and thus embarass himself and possibly go to jail (win/win) or get mad and call you a “b*tch” and roll out because you are crazy, loud, and ignant. Just remember, he may try to kill you later on that night so I’d be careful with that one.

So good people of VSB, what are some other ways to get the wrong guys to not holler?

Floor? All yours.


Different Women Like Different Things…

It’s Friday.  Thankyajeefus.

I hope and pray that you all can access youtube wherever you are because what I’m posting right now…is that gospel.

As ridiculously retarded as this dudes philosophy seems, it’s right on point.  Or at least highly entertaining.

Definitely VSB-topic worthy.  In fact, this dude is making the video version of what could easily have been a post here at the relationship dope spot. Hmm…video discussions of posts?   Hmmm….


VSB meet Mr. Chi City.  Mr. Chi City, meet VSB.

This video is entitled:  Keeping your refrigerator stocked will get you many women.

Watch.  And learn.

Annnnnnnnnnnd discuss.  Is dude full of bullmalarkey or is there truth to his shenanigans?

Just where is the Honeycomb Hideout?


tale of the tape: “hood” vs “ghetto”

coming to a hood near you
coming to a hood near you

there’s a very pronounced difference between the adjectives “hood and ghetto” and their respective connotations. for many, hood is a state of mind…a practical, unpretentious and, at times, hilariously resourceful way of doing things born from sheer necessity (think erykah badu).

ghetto, on the other hand, describes blatantly ignant and uncouth actions (think random unmarried hoodrat with three kids by three different fathers. in other words…think erykah badu again)

despite these facts, its still extremely difficult to pin-point and articulate their distinguishable traits.

as a self-proclaimed master of semantics, i’ve decided to end the confusion today, offering you all a simple guidebook to help to tell the difference between “hood” and “ghetto”. enjoy and sh*t

kool-aid is inherently hood, especially the darker colors (red and grape).
serving kool-aid at a wedding reception is ghetto, regardless of how great you think black cherry goes with tilapia.


definitely hood


definitely ghetto, and definitely a great advertisement for birth control

tims in the summertime is hood. musty, but hood.
tims at the prom is disgustingly ghetto

chicken places that serve chicken with things that chicken traditionally doesn’t go with (waffles, pancakes, oysters, midgets) are very hood.

chicken places that run out of chicken at 7pm because they’re done cooking for the night, even though they close at 11 are ghetto (is this just a pittsburgh thing? please tell me that it is. please tell me that the kfc’s and popeyes in other places in the country actually still allow you to purchase chicken 5 hours before closing)

carrying a “buck 50″ (a “buck 50″ is a razorblade for those not well-versed in hoodspeak. it’s referred to as a “buck 50″ because a slice to the face usually results in 150 stitches. btw, knowing random sh*t like this makes me feel more black. its not a game with the champ’s blackness. my blackness will kick you blacknesses ass) with you at all times is hood. it’s especially hood if you carry it in your mouth

using that same razorblade for things such as “clipping fingernails”, “cutting salad”, and “changing diapers” is hilariously ghetto

despite having no literary skills whatsoever, writing a well selling book about your sexual exploits as a video vixen is actually pretty hood

being named “supahead” and actually allowing yourself to be referred to as supahead is the epitome of ghettoness. in fact, the name “supahead” in itself is so ghetto, that anything associated with it (including bill maher) becomes ghetto by osmosis.

peeing while waiting in line at the club is hood and a surprisingly effective bagging technique.

sitting down to go to the bathroom at any point while you’re actually in the club, unless you’ve been overcome with a sudden bout of amoebic dysentery, is ghetto

in an odd paradox, the jay-z’s “so ghetto“, off of “volume 3: life and times of s.carter” is actually pretty hood, while dj khaled’s “i’m so hood” is quite possibly the ghettoest thing ever conjured in the history of ninjadom

using a spades game as a viable double dating and/or hook-up opportunity is definitely hood

writing “big” and “little” in big ass black letters with a marker on the jokers because your dumb ass cant remember which is which, is ghetto

“md 20/20″ is hood, until you reach 21. basically, if its legal for you to drink it, it’s ghetto.

breakfast for dinner is hood

the breakfast song? ummm, does the term uberghetto exist?

grilling outdoors while its snowing is hood
grilling outdoors with a robe on while its snowing is ghetto (sorry dad)

having a childrens birthday party at mcdonalds is hood
having childrens birthday party at mcdonalds and making all the guests buy their own food is ghetto

i know i’m forgetting a few. people of vsb.com, what say you? in your opinion, whats the difference between “hood” and “ghetto”?

—the champ