Lessons Learned Through Childhood Memories

I don't know why I picked this picture either.

I don’t know why I picked this picture either.

I’m a big fan of the days when we talk about ourselves. While I enjoy the back and forth of deep discussions (yesterday’s about education actually was a good one) I do enjoy learning more about the folks who venture here and leave their footprints on VSB lore.

That was deep. #deep

With that being said, I’d like to tell you all a story. What we’re about to do right here is go back. For the most part, I grew up in Germany…Frankfurt to be exact. While in middle school I was apart of an organization called Club Beyond. It was a religious based organization where we basically did Bible study but also took trips and did these huge outings. It was a huge church group through the school run by two people who I will never ever forget. Well thru this organization I was able to travel to Italy, Belgium, and Holland. There was a trip to Spain that my sisters went on but I didn’t make for some odd reason.

Shucks, it was through this organization that I met a young lady in 8th grade that I’ve yet to forget. I still have the letters we exchanged back when folks wrote letters and sent them to one another. That was a big deal back in the day in Germany…meeting somebody in another city (she lived in Landstuhl where the huge hospital was) and exchanging letters. Point is, this organization was lots of fun and through it I learned a lot, saw a lot, and met a lot of people.

Let’s switch gears for a second. Back in the day (when I was young I’m not a kid anymore but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again) (do you know writing that made me venture to Spotify to beef up my “Straight West Coastin” playlist…if you’re on Spotify, follow a player) I was that dude when it came to early procurement of music. Growing up overseas we got everything mad late, if at all. We relied on folks who either went back to the States for vacation or got sent back home because they got in trouble to come back and bring tastes of what was happening. That’s how we kept up with the times. New folks would shuffle in and out and bring the latest styles of their hometown. Anyway, for two reasons I always managed to get music mad early: 1) my older sister had a friend whose boyfriend STAYED getting the newest stuff from the States and he’d always give her tapes which I’d steal and record then place back into her room. This is actually how I got into hip-hop. Classic cliche tale of jacking music and falling in love with the artform. Consequently, nearly all the music came from the West Coast. I guess homeboy was from Cali. 2) I had a homeboy who because he knew I liked music would always make me these tapes he’d get from his cousins back in Atlanta with all the newest music. We were fast friends. Years later, and without having had any contact in between times, in Atlanta I’d end up dating his ex-girlfriend who would end up cheating on me with him. Pretty sure I gave him a ride to Lenox right after he smashed my girl.

Yes, you read that right.

Anyway, like I said, many of these tapes had West Coast music. And thus brings our tale back to its starting point.

On one particular trip with Club Beyond we were heading to Amsterdam. I can’t for the life of me remember why. I’m sure we had a blast though. Anyway, on this trip, I’m listening to one of my tapes and it has AMG’s “B*tch Betta Have My Money” on it. I was listening to with one of my boys via a set of headphones where he had one earbud and I had the other. I’m sure everybody’s heard this song. It’s one of the most ridiculous songs ever. Not because of its content necessarily but because of just HOW profane it is. This song is also how I got into DJ Quik as a producer and he is still one of my favorite producers ever.

Well me and my friend (lightskinneded cat named Jermaine*)had the brilliant idea to figure out just HOW profane this song was. On a church trip. On a bus full of 12-and 13-year-olds. It seemed like a great idea at the time. I mean, for that age group listening to something like this was all taboo. Well, it spread like wildfire through the bus what we were doing. I don’t know why exactly, it wasn’t like we were the only people listening to music this questionable…but I also knew the words and was keeping track. I want to say we eclipsed the 150 mark before we got in trouble. As in, sh*t taken, parents alerted (which was a big deal back then seeing as everything was long distance). Now, we got in trouble because my boy was very proud of our endeavor and kept trying to be loud enough to be heard by other kids who were trying to find out what the two badarse kids were doing. And I wasn’t even remotely a badarse. I was an encylopedia reader.

I stopped hanging with that dude after we got back. Why? Because he’s a snitch. He sold me out.

What’s the point of this here story? Well I just used 900 words to tell you three things:

1. AMG’s “B*tch Betta Have My Money” is one of my favorite songs; and

2. Never trust lightskinneded ninjas on church buses with curse words and your earbuds; and

3. Always do your dirt by your lonely.

Aren’t you happy you read all this trying to figure out the point just to get to a point that I could have said at the very beginning? But didn’t you learn more about me? Of course you did. Happy Friday.

So since it’s Friday, why don’t we all share life lessons we learned during our youth! Some of you all have interesting stories. Break ‘em down. What’s an interesting or unique lesson you learned during your childhood?

Talk to me.


20 Life Lessons From The Panama

A year ago to the day plus 13 days, The Champ did the knowledge by dropping for you 20 life lessons he’d learned up to that point. Rah rah rah. Sis boom bah. Then it dawned on me.


So upon having that realization, I said to myself, “what does Marsellus Wallace look like?” Then I said, Champ and I have lifed different lives, so there’s a really good chance that we’ve learned different things. Probably even a better than 50 percent chance. And since I’m like Kanye West, I tend to live my life like this (regarding his instincts):

“It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.”

Me too, Kanye. Me too.

So with that being said, read my lips. Here 20 life lessons that I’ve learned. Not today. But you gon’ learn today.

1. If you intend to kill a bug, you must keep your eyes on him at all times or he will be gone the moment you return with bug spray, a shoe, and/or lightning fluid.

Speaking of bugs…

2. Roaches really are damn near indestructible. I’ve seen a roach live through attempted drowning, arson, entrapment, kidnapping, and Agent Orange exposure. I’m pretty sure I should be doing life in prison right now for the things I did to that roach. And it still took an hour to kill him. The lesson here? As always, stepping on a motherf*cker is the most effective way to get ahead in life.

3. Don’t trust anybody who owns a Zune. In fact if you see a person holding a Zune, it is okay to call the police as they are probably Chinese spies or at least Laker-sympathizers.

4. A Black man with no bass in his voice is the same thing as a young white man with a bald head, while there’s a good chance they’re good people, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out they were domestic terrorists or actually comment on WSHH.

5. Never trust anybody who grocery shops at 7-11.

6. It’s a lot easier to get sex than most of us think. Especially as you get older. Pretty much everybody wants to f*ck immediately but you can’t just say that. Which I understand, women need to at least feel like you put in work and men do like to feel like they discovered something. It’s a win-win if you wait at least 20 to 40 minutes after meeting.

7. A woman’s propensity to toss her rules out the window is directly correlated with how much she likes you. The only man waiting 90 days for some sexing is one a woman ain’t all that interested in. Or she thinks you have a small penis. My guess is that day 91 first-time sex doesn’t feel better than day 10 sex either. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never had day 91 first-time sex.

8. Don’t f*ck with the ocean.

9. People only like frozen yogurt because its a thing. Because of reasons. Ice cream is definitely pissed off about this.

10. People are either staunchly using condoms or completely okay with tossing that sh*t to wind. There’s no middle ground.

11. Everybody has at least one person they can be completely honest with. Everybody else only gets the sh*t that either makes them look like a f*cking superhero or a victim.

12. It’s not that I hate talking on the phone, it’s just that texting makes it so much easier to ignore you.

13. When people approach me and tell me my real name, and I know that I’ve never met them before, I’m almost immediately ready to fight.

14. If you put a bunch of Purell in your hand, rub your hands together and then and wave them around after you fart, it will mask about 90 percent of the smell as long as you do it quick enough. This is vital in office spaces.

15. If you have a really good conversation with a woman, there’s a better than 75 percent chance that she will put her boobs on you just because. I think women like putting their boobs on things.

16. Despite its very clear resemblance to weed, smoking potpourri is not recommended. At all. Like for real.

17. Everybody is special and nobody is special at the same damn time. This is why dreams get deferred, which is still a terrible poem.

18. Jordans are always appropriate footwear. F*ck what you heard.

19. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.

20. Profane and misogynistic language aside, pretty much everything pimps say is true.


21. Don’t go into business with anybody who has ever been on a vh1 reality show. And stay away from all Jamaican women named Tracy. I’m saying this for reasons. That’s all I’m saying.


20 Life Lessons From The Champ

Listen up, fellas. The Champ's here to drop knowledge and drink milkshakes, and he's all out of milkshake

In a sign that the Pittsburgh-area market for Black male motivational speakers must be pretty shitty, I’ve been asked to speak to five different youth organizations this summer. But, although I originally weeped (in my head) for the young men who will be forced to sit and listen to my litany of pseudo-motivational cliches and bad Jewish humor, after giving it some thought, I think this might actually be a great opportunity to impart certain “wisdoms” they probably won’t hear anywhere else.

Here’s a few that I have in mind so far. Lemme know what you think.

1. Never run for a bus or a cab unless you’re 100 percent certain that you’ll catch it

2. There are two rules to remember if dating a stripper:
A. Never refer to her by her stripper name, even if it makes you chuckle
B. When eating hot dogs or cheeseburgers, always have extra condiments available. They all seem to really enjoy excess condiments for some reason.

3. Telling the truth is overrated. So is lying.

4. People unaware of and/or completely uninterested in geography and history are the biggest assholes you’ll ever meet. Not surprisingly, many of these people can be found in New York City

5. While in the streets, beware of Black men with dirty shoes, Black women with their first names displayed anywhere on their bodies, White women wearing any clothing that can be purchased at Rainbow, and White men rocking fatigues for any reason whatsoever.

6. Making fun of yourself first gives you a free pass to make fun of anyone else without feeling bad

7. It’s okay to make faces at the phone and scream to yourself after leaving a painfully awkward voicemail. Under no circumstances is it ever okay to call back.

8. Elitists are idealists with character

9. Don’t believe the cliches: Some people are much better people than other people, some people don’t deserve happiness, and, although there is someone for everyone, sometimes the world would be better off if they never met.

10. There is absolutely no correlation between “total number of tats” and “relaxed sexual standards.” On a completely unrelated note, it’s okay to lie about things like this if you’re trying not to offend a woman with multiple tattoos who happens to read your blog, especially if you’re trying to sleep with her.

11. Never trust a Hispanic latina/latino who doesn’t have at least a slight “Hispanic” “latina/latino” accent.

12. Two woman fist fighting over a man only accomplishes one thing: Letting everyone present know that this man can f*ck either of them whenever he wants to. Subsequently, if two men are fist-fighting over a woman, there’s at least a 97 percent chance that she’ll be sleeping with someone else within two months.

13. Every pessimist staunchly believes that they’re just realists. This is why most pessimists become drunks.

14. Don’t get disgusted with yourself if an unexpected person pops up in your fantasy. Enjoy it. It’s your fantasy and shit. They’re there for a reason.

15. The only time it’s okay to have an umbrella is if you’re wearing a suit. If suitless, just man the f*ck up and get wet.

16. If a cat is watching you have sex, make sure not to change positions until they walk away.

17. Grown-ups who say things like “high school will be the best time of your life” have shitty lives, and aren’t to be asked anything other than “Do you have that in extra large?”

18. You can have too many friends, but you can never have too many remotes.

19. People will only laugh at your jokes if they like you or want you to think that they like you.

20. You are a speck of dirt on the asscrack of time. A quarter of a splinter on a trillion mile long finger. A collection of dust, dirt, star afterbirth, and cake batter. Basically, you are not special. At all. But, do what you can to hold on to and take care of the person/people who thinks that I’m wrong.

I think I’ll stop at 20. Anything else you’d add to the list?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)
Today, Wednesday, June 27, come hang out at the Penthouse Pool Club on U Street (didn’t even know this existed did you) from 7-10pm and get free food and free X-Rated Fusion liquor. Panama will be there hanging out and this is an invite only affair. You must RSVP and it gets you admittance for yourself and one person. Yeah, it’s that kind of affair. So peep the flyer, RSVP, and he’ll see you today for a cool ninja extravaganza. With free stuff. (This is not a VSB event btw, just an event that a VSB will be at.)