jesusFor the record, and before we begin, “Jerry, let the record refleck…” that I’m not using the term religion in the Bible/Torah/Talmud/Qu’ran, Holy Trinity and you’re out, type of way.

Naw, we’re going to use it in a different way. Allow me to explain.

Can I kick it?

Yes you can.

Can I kick it?

Yes you can.

Can I kick it?

Yes you can.

Well I’m gone.

For years and years, eons even, religion has been the source of more conflict than a Chris Brown interview. It’s gotten to the point where people have to write articles about the difficulty of interfaith relationships. On Love & Hip-Hop: NY we see how Consequence, his teeth, and Jen the Pen can’t seem to live happily ever after because he has turned his religion into an immovable object. She is not a Muslim. He is. He refuses to allow their mixtie son to even observe non-Muslim holidays, etc. Like Christmas. Because that’s his word.

See it’s not enough that two people have religion. Religion has to be shared. For the record, I understand this. I get why folks wouldn’t want to cross their God-sabers. Different faiths come with different rules and guidelines. Shucks, one religion says don’t eat that swine, one says don’t eat that lamb, one says don’t eat that monkey. I’m paraphrasing. In fact, it seems we only all agree on chicken. And I’m pretty sure I’m making that up. Eat mor chikin.

I’m losing my religion here. Back to the lecture at hand. The point is, two folks can have that old timmmmmme religion, but if it doesn’t match, well, you get chaos. I think at times its almost better (should this interfaith or faith-and-not situation arise) that one person has it and the other doesn’t give a flying f*ck. But people always give f*cks. It’s what people do.

So as Jesus said to the guy he was asking, “what’s your religion?” (that doesn’t have to be religion)??

Well for me, it’s music. Music is my religion. You know, when I’m not being religious. How does this work? Or what brought this to my attention?

Have you ever, ever, ever in your long legged life seen a long legged sailor with a long legged wife? No? Me neither.

But in the midst of a conversation recently with a person who is a music head/snob like I can be at times, I discovered that while we both were extremely fond of music as a whole, our tastes varied so widely that it was eye opening. For one, I discovered that this friend is one of those mainstream-rap-is-not-hip-hop people, a camp I’m staunchly not in. Then came the kicker. In the midst of a convo about Kid Cudi and my assertion that he is the best accessory rapper (you know makes everything sound better by virtue of his presence) in hip-hop and citing Kanye West’s beautiful masterpiece, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, she posited that she wasn’t even familiar with it or his work for real.


Say heffa say wha?

Say heffa say wha?

Oh no she didn’t.

Oh no she didn’t.

It was totally amazing to me to think that somebody could be unfamiliar with one of the biggest artists in hip-hop critically lauded albums…as a fan of the artform. Even hip-hop heads respect Kanye’s artistry. Not this one. Nope. She gave no f*cks. And for me, it seems like willful ignorance. It’s like people who buy Zune’s (do they still exist?) because they don’t want to purchase Apple products. It’s impossible to not be familiar with Jay-Z. It just is. But to specifically not pay attention to Kanyeeevel. I ain’t even say you had to like him, but to not pay attention or even know songs on one of the most lauded albums in years, hate it or love it?


While that’s all well and good, it made me realize that music could be just as divisive a force as regular religion for me. I’m the kind of person who can appreciate and love pop music. Cobra Starship “You Make Me Feel” is just as dope as any underground song. Same with Rihanna’s “We Found Love”. I siiiiiiiiiiiiiiing, because I’m haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappy. But I can’t discriminate because I’ll miss out on too much.

But…but…I have to respect other people’s views and means for listening. And try not to judge. Lord knows when it comes to music there isn’t an argument I’m not willing to have. And girl I’ll house you. And judge your tastes. I’m like a Dilla Donut, workinonit. It’s hard though. You can’t send me some crap that’s hot because its not mainstream. Ya bish. Just because 12 people know it doesn’t make it exclusive. It probably makes it trash.

Hashtag gospel.

Hashtag yeah I said it.

That was harsh. I apologize. See what music made me do? Plant a flag. Iron Flag. Two people with vastly different tastes in the same thing can get along. Clearly. If Mary Matalin and James Carville can get along and be married then its possible. But it also helps if you just agree to never discuss those things at home over dinner. Or in a boat. On a moat. In a chair. Over there. But people who are passionate need to outlet their passion. It ain’t passion if you ain’t passionate.

Message. Knowledge my brother, use it or lose it.

So music is my religion. Clearly. It’s uplifting and encouraging and can be as divisive as North Korea making the quadratic formula the official language of Mongolia.


Also notice I never said anybody was wrong or right. It’s religion, we’ll all find out when we’re dead. Word to Father Abraham.

It’s Friday. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good night.

What’s your religion?

Talk to me.



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Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly 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. 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.


Tales From The Hood

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