Well I have two months left in KC and to be honest I am and have been ready to leave here. If you’ve read anything I have to say about KC or know me personally you know I’m not a fan of this city at all. My views on the city aren’t some black and white thing meaning I feel this way because I’m black and someone white wouldn’t get it. No, this is a strange city and when I listen to Central Standard or Up to Date and something like crime, race or just how to make the city feel like a city people from the east and west coast are quick to point out all the things I have been complaining about since I got here. Those who live in the city and love the hyper segregated and stretched out way things work can keep it. Being here has been my seven circles of hell. It’s like I have been locked up in some alternate universe where it was 2005 to 2012 but it felt like some pre civil rights time frame. If the Midwest is the heart of America and the true pulse of American values, America is really a fucked up place deep down then.
Someone told me one time it was me going through culture shock. Maybe that was and is still the case. I didn’t grow up around gangs that went crazy over a color. Where I’m from it was projects verses project then it was downtown verses uptown then the whole city verses the next whole city. A color wasn’t our thing, it is now from what I hear but when I was in my young knucklehead mode you did things for your hood. I am used to seeing many minorities doing well for them selves. African Americans owning businesses that don’t involve hair, nails, anything to do with cars and food is what I’m used to. I know a black couple that has an art gallery of African and African American art and went from a small space in a strip mall to buying out three spots beside then to expand. They would have artists, writers and poets host events at their place. I don’t see that in KC. I don’t see African Americans in suit and ties even acknowledge or begin to be acknowledged by brother looking thugged out. Back home brothers would try to help one another out. I know many dudes who got jobs due to some brother in a suit saying use my name as a reference and told them what to write and how to dress, and these guys really didn’t know one another pass seeing each other on the street all the time when the suit was going to and from work. That brother saw a chance to help and the brother on block wasting time and life was given a chance to do something, most passed on the assistance other made good and then did the same thing for someone else down the line. I’m used to black pride, love, respect and demanding respect from others. I grew up ten minutes away from Hampton University if you took Pembroke straight down. Take the Hampton Roads tunnel and get to Norfolk State University in about maybe thirty minutes on a good day. Black college educated people were all around because of those schools as well as Christopher Newport and Old Dominion University and Tomas Nelson community college. There wasn’t this we’re better than you vibe like you get out here. One of the oddest things at the time when I was in High school was watching the Scott Center being build across the street from Doris Miller Community Center. Both wanted to help youths in the hood but had different layouts. One really dealt with teen pregnancy, high school dropouts, single parents, getting juveniles and young adults jobs and helping older people become internet savvy (this was around 99’) the other had events to keep teens busy. There was a program that I fell into myself where if you missed a certain amount of days of school someone came and got you took you to a place to help you get caught up on your classes and get you back in school or put you in a program to get you your GED. I know many people that when I say this they just stare and ask me where am I from? Kansas City doesn’t seem to have that kind of movement going on. So yeah I’m going through a culture shock. Shocked that a much larger city than the city I was born and raised in seemed to come off like it’s not a city at all but an overgrown small town.
I love how all the music genres get love here. Whether it’s Jazz or Country to Classical and Hip Hop it all gets love. My beef with Hip Hop is not all the different vibes of the music get love. It was one reason I stopped listening to The Show Me Mix show. Within its first year it went from playing a wide range of what KC had to offer Hip Hop wise to focusing on a certain sound. When I moved out here Myspace was the shit and I came across many Kansas City artists not just Hip Hop artists that were cool. There really hasn’t been anything like that for artists, not Facebook, Reverbnation or Twitter. The biggest star out here is Tech N9ne and he sucks. I didn’t even know he was from here until I got here. But he is straight ass. Then there is Mac Lethal who is a hybrid of Tech and Eminem. On popular local scene is Rich Da Factor. I’ve never heard his music but have heard his lyrics quoted by other people and maybe those people are saying them wrong but I’m not impressed. Then there is the other Hip Hop side of things Miles Bonny who has had a great career as an independent artist but because he doesn’t make what KC wants to be known for he doesn’t get the love he deserves. The DJ’s here just play music, no hyping the songs or the crowd up. It’s damn near impossible to even hear New York Hip Hop here. People don’t know Clue, Ron G. Kay Slay, Doo Wop, Tony Touch, Pete Rock, DJ Scratch or Premier… People don’t know these guys? DJ Jazzy Jeff came here and was told not to play Hip Hop so he left. People claim P&L plays Hip Hop but I have heard Jazzy Jeff set and what plays and P&L is top 40 rap place. Jazzy Jeff plays Mobb Deep, Wu Tang, Jay Electronica, Gang Starr, Biggie, Slum Village and all that real shit not shit you dance to. It’s hard to find that real shit here.
Yeah thank GOD for the internet because I’d be fucked up without it. I know where I’m going isn’t going to be that much better because it’s even further west than I already am but it’s not a big city either so it gets a pass. I’ve said it before and truly believe there is nothing city, big city or small about Kansas City at all. The people are small minded and are happy with that and will hate you for hating that.