Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gangsta Lean

Is it just me or has anyone else happened to notice that the gangsta lifestyle has completely arrived in middle, suburban America?

Just today, right here in Leave-It-To Beaver-ville, a mom in a mini-van was rollin' down the road with her right hand on the wheel and her seat back waaaaay reclined. Mom's blond head bobbed to a beat that vibrated my dental work. And get this...the kid in the car seat sported sunglasses and mean mugged anyone who happened to look his way. I almost expected him to roll down the window and tell me to "peak this" with his hand held in the gat (gun) pose. 'Sup beeeaaach".

OK, maybe I'm exaggerating. But just a little bit.

It's hardly coincidental that also today, my most mainstream, suburban friend sent me an e-mail which included instructions on how to make your name more gangsta. From here on out, let it be known that I am the Momizzle.

Even my kids, whom I pride for their edited exposure to pop culture hype, are not immune.

You gonna step-to E-Dawg?!!!

I told him to turn his hat around and take a picture like the nice little boy I raised. His reply?

But mom, I'm cool. Ya feel me?

No, I'm not feelin' ya. Cut it out...NOW.

It's fair to say he was feelin' me right about then.

I know he's just thinking he was cool, like many kids try to be at one point or another. Here's my problem: The gangstas of my day were all about fighting, killing, selling drugs, and getting high.

Rollin down the street, smokin indo, sippin on gin and juice
Laid back [with my mind on my money and my money on my mind]

Snoop Dog's words-to-live-by back in the 90's. Not exactly the inspiration most parents desire for their children. Oddly, however, the young ones don't even know about the old-school persona. They just think Snoop's a funny guy with a reality show that they're not allowed to watch. And what about Ice Cube? Isn't he the same hood rat made famous by Death Row Records, who openly bellowed F*** the police? Now he's a family entertainment star, making mad cap, Disney-esque movies with broad based appeal.

Sometimes, it really is a nutty world.

Oh well. I guess it's not unusual for the underground to seep its way above grade. I just hope that anyone of any ethnic background, realizes that some behavior is just not cool, no matter how much pop culture has sanitized or reinvented it. Admittedly, the occasional reference to all things gangsta is nearly impossible to avoid. At this point, I think even I say "It's time to bounce" when we need to leave. Just a few days ago, my mortgage broker was talking about someone having street cred. I'm thinking this guy knows as much about street cred as I know of quantum physics.

I know. I know. The Momizzle can't shield my peeps from everything. But I'll keep watching out for them wherever I can. Yes, I submit to the ranks of the decidedly uncool. I used to think that doing so was a costly premium exacted from once-blissful-hipsters-turned-parents. Now, it's kind of a relief to have the license to just avoid what's in or what's out. You have a lot more time to focus on the stuff that really matters.

Fo' shizzle.