The Most Gangsta/Un-Gangsta Moments of ’08
Omar goes through ’08 like only Omar can…
by Omar Mazariego
Well, Kha basically killed it with his year-end wrap up. Though I don’t agree with him giving props to Cesar Millan (a.k.a. the Dog Whisperer — he’s like the only Latino I’d call la migra on if I was sure he didn’t have a Green Card). But anyway, Kha called 2008 the year of years. My year of years was ’96. Me and my crew had the dopest “product” in our high school; the Yankees won their first World Series in like forever; I was slaying the hottest chick on the block. Never again was there such a great year. Then the creative Konate went J. Ivy with his ’08 wrap up and did him. Great sh*t there.
Now it’s my turn for my latest installment of The 5 Most Gangsta and Un-Gangsta Moments of the Year. This time it’s based off of ’08. Though opinions on my choices are gonna vary, these are the events and news that really affected me in one way or another. Here we go…
Most Gangsta Moments
5. Suge Knighted!!! — Everyone knows Suge Knight is one of the most feared men walking the face of the earth. When he steps in the club a lot of those so-called gangsta rappers step out. He supposedly held Vanilla Ice off a hotel balcony until he signed over his publishing rights and has been rumored to be involved in both Tupac’s and Biggie’s demises. In little words, Suge Knight is a bad m*thaf*cka. So naturally when I first heard he got laid out I couldn’t believe it. When I saw the pictures of him laying on his back and bleeding I thought they were photo shopped. But it was true. Marion Suge Knight got his ass handed to him by non-other than — Greg the Barber?? Every time I see this Greg kid on the internet he’s always got a Kool-Aid smile and really just seems like a heck of a nice guy. I can’t believe Suge got laid out by a f*cking Care Bear. It could happen, but do you wanna go out like that? I’d rather get laid out by Kimbo Slice. At least then everyone would know I ain’t had a chance, but I ain’t go out like no punk either. But when you get beat up by a barber with a Colgate smile… ya know? Might be as good a time as any to start hanging out with Drake & Josh just to get an idea of what it’s like to be feared amongst your peers again. I know Biggie and Pac were having a good laugh about the whole thing on the other side. It’s just a matter of time before this man ends up on “The Surreal Life.”
4. Ballin’ Outta Control! — Hate all you want, but my team is gangsta. The Yankees put a burner on the whole MLB and robbed whoever wasn’t nailed down to a contract: CC Sabathia (7 years at $161 mil); AJ Burnett (5 years at $82.5 mil); Mark Teixeria (8 years at $180 mil). Because of this, Phil Sheridan wrote, “The Yankees represent the very worst of America.” If that’s true then what do Bernard Madoff (embezzled $50 billion from his investors and is now broke) and Marie Douglas-David represent? The norm? Does Paris Hilton automatically become the poster child for decency because of what the Yankees did? No. At the end of the day, the Yankees can do what they did because they can afford it. There isn’t one team that wouldn’t love to have the Yankees’ finances. I’m not gonna front, even I felt they ODed and aren’t making it fair for the rest of the league, but I’m a Yankees fan, so whatever. They keeping it thorough. Matter of fact, they should go for the gusto and just sign Manny “used to be named Manuel but changed it cause it sounds too Latino” Ramirez, too. Sure his attitude isn’t the best out there, but I have a lot of Dominican homies in Washington Heights who act just like him. He’s a product of his environment. I myself once faked a knee injury to get out of having sex with a shorty. It happens.
Though all these signings don’t guarantee a ring in ’09, it does guarantee more hate and more envy from anyone who isn’t a Yankee fan. Bring it on, f*ckers! And lemme take this opportunity to big up my man Joba Chamberlain. First Native American on the Yankees straight killin’ it with the 101 MPH fastball. Represent!
3. His Kicks Fly Like Lu Kang — At the infamous press conference, a reporter got up out of nowhere and threw his shoe at Bush. The former Texas Executioner dodged the shoe like he was Peter LaFleur, and then looked directly at the reporter and watched him as he removed his other shoe and actually waited for it to be flung before he dodged that one too. Just more proof this man would’ve died in Vietnam. Ever heard of taking cover?
Why God? Why wasn’t that Iraqi reporter born with the aim of Doc Holliday and the arm of Peyton Manning? Why, God?! Why was George Bush born with the intelligence of Bill and Ted, but the reflexes of a young Richard Simmons in a food fight?? The moment itself was classic enough, but had he actually gotten hit with just one shoe, it would’ve almost justified him being president.
This man’s entire Presidency has been riddled with more goofy moments than the Disney Channel. I swear to God, he’s a real life American version of Mr. Bean. Speaking of comedy, I’m mad hype about Will Ferrell’s upcoming “You’re Welcome America: A Final Night With George Bush on Broadway.” And last I heard about that Iraqi reporter he’s somewhere laid up with broken legs and ribs. He lived what has been the American dream for many people these past eight years and paid the price.
2. NY Giants win the Superbowl — That was a bittersweet weekend for me. The Friday night of that weekend I went to my homegirl L-Boogie’s birthday party up in the Lower East Side and had a dope time with my homies Khalid, Jesus (his sister-in-law is the baddest chick breathin’!), J. Barrow & Navi to name a few. I got to my hood and was thinking about the upcoming Superbowl when I slipped down some wet stairs in the elevated train station and absolutely destroyed my ankle (I had my iPod on full blast and still heard 3 loud pops come from my ankle). But the pain couldn’t keep me from going nuts that Superbowl Sunday.
The road to the game was as exciting as the Bowl itself. First round they went up against the rising star, Tony “Boy Toy” Romo and his Dallas Cowboys. A last-minute interception put Romo on a plane flying back into Jessica “Simple-Simple” Simpson’s arms and had Terrell “He’s my Quarterback, man” Owens tearing up like my sister at the end of the Selena movie. Second round the G-Men went up against the OG, Brett Favre, and his ferocious Packers in sub-zero weather. A sudden-death field goal in OT had the G’s going to Bowl and had Brett Favre retiring. (Only to make a comeback with the Jets and ruin his legacy. Have we learned nothing from Michael Jordan?)
Then it was the big stage. Superbowl 42. The NY Giants went up against the undefeated New England Patriots. We had no chance of coming out of that one alive. Especially against a team known for cheating that possessed a perfect record. But my 12th grade Science teacher was right, cheaters never prosper, and a touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Plaxico “Cheddar Bob” Burress with 35 seconds left in the game put the Giants ahead by 3 and put a Superbowl ring on their fingers. I remember pounding the ground with my fists and screaming at the tops of my lungs when that catch was made by David Tyree. That Superbowl run was enough to last me decades. Whether or not we take it this year or next, we’ll always have ’08. I know Tiki Barber is tiiiiiiight!!!
1. Obama wins the Presidential election – This may very well be the most G’d up moment of the 20th and 21st Centuries. And not only because we elected a black man named Barack Hussein Obama as the President of the United States, but because way more than half of America voted him in. That in itself shows that people are beginning to wake up and look past the color of someone’s skin and more into their character. I honestly thought that the election was going to be a race tighter than Jim Jones’s pants on Rick Ross due to the still lingering racial undercurrent that runs through this country. I’m glad I was wrong.
But we have to be realistic with the moves this man is going to make. A bunch of my homies are saying, “Yeah, now he’s gonna help us minorities get to the top.” Um, no. He’s gonna try to help everyone equally. But those kind of expectations are expected. I mean, naturally, if a Latino ever became President, everyone on the other side of the Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Cali’s geography lines would immediately begin packing in preparation for the Opening of the Borders ceremony. I’d probably have to go pick up a few family members myself at the Texas border. Until that situation can become a blip on the radar, I’m going to quote Kha’s text message to me on election night and say, “My President is black.” His name is Barack Obama and you goddamn right I voted for him.
Gangsta Moment Honorable Mentions: Ingrid Betancourt released by Farc Guerillas after spending 7 years in captivity. (Those female Farc guerillas are gorgeous! I’d totally wife one); Charles Barkley getting bagged for DUI. (Anytime Sir Charles has a run-in with the law it’s gangsta. The explanation he gave the cop for speeding itself puts him in the Gotti league. You the man, Chuck!); Eliot Spitzer’s hooker scandal. (Blowing up a politician’s spot is always fun); I found a $5 bill on the street one day. I immediately proceeded to do Busta’s Arab Money Dance.
Most Ungangsta Moments of 2008
5. R. Kelly’s Number 1 — “Can I get a pee-pee?” is what Dave Chappelle’s classic “Ignition” remix said. It was funny as hell, but watching R. Kelly walk wasn’t a laughing matter. Like most of the hood, I saw the sex tape and not only was I convinced that the man on that tape was in fact Robert Kelly. We knew R. Kelly loved to be number 1 on the charts and number 1 on the hooks, but did he like to go number 1 all over his shorties? Jurors found him innocent. This man should’ve spent some kind of time behind bars. He’s found not guilty? Was it his high powered attorneys who got him off the hook or was it just 12 people who really believed that the girl on the tape wasn’t the one called to court?
Either way, the idiocracy didn’t stop there. In his first interview on BET he said “I don’t like anybody illegal.” Huh? You don’t like anybody illegal? Does that include immigrants? Well, Shaq became a police officer of some sort. Maybe R. Kelly will become an ICE agent.
4. NYPD Strikes Again — What is it with the NYPD and wood?? First they get homie with a plunger back in the ‘90s (imagine all those splinters). A little more than a decade and countless unreported brutalities later, they did it again! On October 15th, cops allegedly approached Michael Mineo (sorry to put you on blast, homie) outside of a train station because they thought he was John Blazing hip-hop & R&B (“stimulating his mind”). Son jetted into the train station, but was chased down was wrestled to the ground. That’s when the po-po supposedly proceeded to pull down his pants and violate him with what could’ve been either a radio antenna or a baton. Not that it matters what it was. Dude must’ve felt like Jodie Foster in “The Accused.” And to add insult to injury, after they allegedly had their way with him they still gave him a ticket! Like Kanye said on that wack ass song, “How could you be so heartless?”
After that homie was hospitalized for days before pressing charges. They tried to front like they were innocent but eventually one confessed and it all came tumbling down like the G-Unit empire. I’ma be going out to LA soon and the way things are out there, I might just decide to stay out there with my homie, G. Least out there cops probably beat you into a hospital instead of American Me-ing you into one.
3. Knicks drop the ball over and over and over… — I’m not even gonna get started on the whole wasting the number 6th draft pick on Danilo “Gilbert Grape” Gallinari f*ckery, cause that’ll take up Ungangsta Moments 1-5, but dammit, couldn’t they have waited till the season ended before trading Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford? I know they’re trying to make cap room to get King James to bolt from Cleveland in ’10, but dayum! Z-Bo and JC were the main reason the Knicks were busting the little bit of ass they busted in the beginning of the season. And what’d we get in return? Tim Thomas?? I can’t even say son is washed up cause I don’t think he was ever getting down and dirty. Son gotta be related to Oscar the Grouch cause he’s garbage. I don’t even take out the trash anymore, I take out the Tim Thomas. Dude couldn’t hit Paris Hilton on a consistent basis much less hit a bucket on the regular. And Cuttino Mobley? The man retired before throwing on a Knick uniform. (He had good reason though, so it ain’t his fault.) I’m not mad at Al “I’m bald but somehow still have braids” Harrington, he’s cool. No beef there.
I swear if it wasn’t for Nate “The Great” Robinson, I wouldn’t even watch any Knick games. Dude’s a little monster on the court. Like Fraggle with the rock or something. And word to everything, if Lebron doesn’t sign with the Knicks come 2010, Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni got a problem on their hands. It’s called O.
2. The Recession — People losing their houses left and right. Massive layoffs. Nobody’s getting hired. Bank CEO’s getting bailout money just to get their “golden parachutes” while others get money to go live it up at resorts while the people they’ve faltered on are living in homeless shelters and committing suicide.
With Bush and Cheney going balls to the wall into this war and spending billions and billions of dollars that Halliburton would end up benefiting from (do the knowledge behind that company), America is in worse shape than Amy Winehouse. When Clinton left office we had a surplus of paper, now the US is the Michael Jackson of the world: We owe everybody. So much so that we’re selling pieces of America itself to anyone who has pockets deep enough to purchase a piece of this American nightmare (Got my Rev. Wright on right there). Gas prices were OD and that caused for food prices to rise ridiculously. There’s no more 25 cent bag of chips anymore. It’s now 35 cents, and each bag has two less chips. Now gas is cheap as hell and food is still as high as ever. A bag of chips is still 35 cents, but they added one of the two missing chips. WTF? We’re still getting shorted. And lets be real, the economy started really going down hill when they started deporting illegal immigrants by the thousands at a time. But maybe I just feel like that cause I’m Latino. But for real, the economy got so screwed up that it has people in Central America sending money to their relatives in the US! That’s bad.
1. Daddy Yankee backs John McCain –- I’d understand this move if Puerto Ricans were considered illegal immigrants and McCain promised to work on some kind of immigration issue with them, but they’re not. As a matter of fact, they’re the only Latinos who can migrate to the US from their native country and be considered American citizens. (Cubans literally have to race here and touch American land before U.S. Customs can spot and stop them to be considered U.S. citizens. It’s like an international game of Red Light-Green Light). So the only logical reason I can think of Daddy Yankee getting down with the Republican party is Sarah Palin. Who knows what “promises” McCain made to the Boricua entertainer in exchange for his backing, but if it involved the Miss Alaska runner-up, I’d understand.
When McCain named Sarah as his running mate I texted Kha, “Sarah Palin can get it!” But that’s no excuse for you, Daddy Yankee. There was a huge backlash in the Latino community. One of my homies burned all three of his Daddy Yankee albums in disgust. Even though they were bootleg copies (stolen bootleg copies at that), it still demonstrated how betrayed we felt. And at the end of the day, Daddy Yankee never really explained why he backed McCain. It’s one of those mysteries that’ll never be solved, like what happened to Hoffa or why anyone would tape theyself making out with Verne Troyer.
Honorable Mention Ungangsta Moments: 2008 VMA’s; the release of the “Obama The Magic Negro” song; Hilary Clinton lying about getting shot at (Who she think she is? A rapper?); Nas caving into the pressure of changing his album title; Plaxico Burress shoots himself and then police find more guns than cleats at his home. (Only way you can get away with having an arsenal at home is if you’re a retired Jake or if you’re T.I.); Pacino and DeNiro teaming up to make that atrocity called “Righteous Kill.”; The whole Marbury vs. The Knicks f*ckery; The “man” renaming my hood from Bushwick to East Williamsburg on account of all the white folk moving in.