We told you about Decoded. Here is an excerpt which was released on the ‘nuts recently.
My father was crazy for detail. I get that from him. Even though we didn’t live together after I was nine, there are some things he instilled in me early that I never lost. He’d walk my cousin B-High and me through Times Square — this is when it was still known as Forty Deuce — and we’d people watch. Back then, Times Square was crazy grimy. Pimps, prostitutes, dealers, addicts, gangs, all the s— from the seventies that other people saw in blaxploitation flicks, Manhattan had in living color. Kids from Harlem and Hell’s Kitchen used Times Square as their backyard — they’d be out there deep, running in and out of karate flicks, breakdancing — but for Brooklyn kids, like me and B-High, midtown Manhattan might as well have been a plane ride away.
My father would take us to Lindy’s and we’d get these big-ass steak fries. We would sit in the restaurant looking out the window onto the streets, and play games that exercised our observational skills. Like my pops would make us guess a woman’s dress size. There was nothing he missed about a person. He was really good about taking in all the nonverbal clues people give you to their character, how to listen to the matrix of a conversation, to what a person doesn’t say.
For my pops it was just as important to take in places as people. He wanted me to know my own neighborhood inside out. When we’d go to visit my aunt and uncle and cousins my father would give me the responsibility of leading, even though I was the youngest. When I was walking with him, he always walked real fast (he said that way if someone’s following you, they’ll lose you) and he expected me to not only keep up with him but to remember the details of the things I was passing. I had to know which bodega sold laundry detergent and who only stocked candy and chips, which bodega was owned by Puerto Ricans and which one was run by Arabs, who taped pictures of themselves holding AKs to the Plexiglas where they kept the loose candy.
He was teaching me to be confident and aware of my surroundings. There’s no better survival skill you could teach a boy in the ghetto, and he did it demonstratively, not by sitting me down and saying, “Yo, always look around at where you are,” but by showing me. Without necessarily meaning to, he taught me how to be an artist.
It sure ain’t Joyce. But check out what Gucci (luxury line, not rapper) is doing to market Hov’s tour. It’s absurd, Jay is so gangsta, got niggas in Italy losing their mind about Marcy.