Polo G, the rapper from the Windy City, Old Town Chicago, Marshall Field Garden Apartments, Sound Cloud Rapz, Taurus Tremani Bartlett (born January 6, 1999), Father, son. I feel, that to understand a musical artist, to really know what they be throwing down, find out where they are from, what their life was like growing up, who their musical influences are, take the time maybe to listen to their stories, get to know them. You know the drill?
We will get back to Polo and his G Thang, but first I’d like to talk about Z… & Me. What are these Good Things about? A Father & son bonding, yes? For me when Z was younger we played baseball. I coached, he played third, the hot corner. I saw him make some plays and throw to first when he was very young. Almost hit a home run if the third base coach would have waved him home. To Joe’s credit we were trying not to run up the score. So many life lessons I learned from sports, baseball, basketball, running, tennis. I loved it. But as Z grew up I learned that he had his life to live, find his own path in the world. I believe you have to give your kids the freedom to find their own way through this world. Turns out Z’s scene was Scootering & Skate Parking, Rap & Hip Hop. He’s developed a passion for those things. You are only as mature of a parent as your oldest born. C is 18 so I’ve been an 18 year old Dad if you think about it that way. And yes I had the mindset and sense of humor at times (most of the times) of maybe a 13 year old kid…. hey it keeps me young. But that’s not what we are talking about.
We pop out at your party, I’m with the gang.
And it’s going to be a robbery, so tuck ya chain.
I’m a killer, girl, I’m sorry, but I can’t change.
We ain’t aimin’ for your body, shots hits your brain.
We come from poverty, man, we ain’t have a thing.
It’s a lot of animosity, but they won’t say my name.
Them killers rock with me, lil’ _______, don’t get banged.
‘Cause they’ll do the job for me while I hop on a plane.
And the rest of the story, young Taurus Tremani spent some time in jail. Did some things. It’s not uncommon. Chicago has its problems and issues, over-populated jail cells, crime, murder, all that. I think of it as more of a socio-economic issue than anything to do with race & ethnicity. If you grew up where Polo G did, like he did, you too may have chosen the same path irregardless of your race & ethnicity, the tone of your skin.
You feel me?? We had the most interesting talk about ethnicity last night in the DFW and Beyond Literary Club or society… some such fancy name. Feel free to join us. The topic was can a WASP’ish author write stories about Native Americans? Why not? It can be done well I think. The tone and authentic voice may be missing, the perspective might be tricky. I mean Mark Twain wrote about African Americans, why can black people write about white people? And tell stories where the two cultures collide? I see that as a bridge to the connect the gap of race relations in America. And I don’t care your take on it (actually I do), it remains an issue. People will say they are blind to color, it doesn’t matter. But it does and black lives matter. And a mostly white Dad can connect with his mostly white son over music, and connect with Polo G in Idaho. A hopeful bridge to connect the gap. And that friends, I find to be a very good thing.