There used to be a time in this country when families left their doors unlocked. A time where children played in the street even though it was still extremely dangerous. A time where I’d stunt freely and not have to worry about some lame ass swagger jacker getting fresh off my vibes. Better times. And even though all statistics point to this time as being the safest of all time, I’m still scared as ever that my swagger is a play away from being jacked mad hard.
“Posers ain’t shit but tricks”. That’s what I’ve been telling myself everyday since I first bounced onto the scene with a pair of particularly enviable kicks. Red rocket flames and head popping game, I made all the other schoolboys hang their heads in shame. A teacher even called me daddy. That was until Lance rolled up sporting a rip so hard he could’ve split a phonebook with his betrayal. Suddenly I was no longer the it boy. I was the gotta quit boy, and from that day on I’ve been wary of lame-os, squares, even other mac daddies… and I use to love mac daddies.
I don’t know why I can’t accept that now is the least likely time for my moves to get carbon copied by some jokers on a whack frequency. Society evolves, automation remixes a nation, and now every player’s got time to flip their lids and get down to their own funky beat. You can walk down any street and find nine groovy cats in nine groovy hats, and know that if you smelled them not a single one would be stinking of fraud. Demand for my ill just isn’t what it used to be, so why can’t I bust a move without stopping before my hammer time?
I think it really goes back to my father, P. Indigo McPuff, a common coal miner. Big in the underground scene, he’d come home after a long day, dragging in his cardboard from breakdancing with the devil, exhausted. He hit it hard just to make it rain for his family, and any time in between he’d spend on his swag. To a man like him, swagger was everything. We use to joke that he’d sell us all for a catchphrase and a small but distinct signature facial tick to go with the catchphrase. So when I saw him catch a crew of clowns repping him sans credit, that was the beat that broke the camel’s back. He turned to me and said, tears wetting his shades “Posers ain’t shit but tricks.” His lenses may have been turquoise tinted, but it was I whose world turned blue that day.
Now when I strut, I don’t see fellow mood makers. I see stunt stealers, move moochers, brand bandits, and everything the game forgot. The world’s becoming a place where you can drop a flavor on Friday, and it’ll still be chilling come Monday. On the real, to all you crooked customers wanting to keep me feeling sketch so you can run the track… I’m woke, and you’re a joke. Face!
Luke Strickler is a writer in NYC, and a person everywhere else