“The Warm Up is about a nigga who did not make the team when he tried out. And I know there’s a lot of niggas out there that know that feeling, man.. you try out, you think you deserve to be on the team, and you go that day to look at the cut list, you wake up.. you know, you can’t even sleep it’s like, “Damn, I’m gunna make the team tomorrow.. I did my thing in try outs”. You go to the list, all the niggas is looking at they names on the list, some niggas like “Awww shiet, I see my name, I’m gooood, I’m goood nigga, I’m goood! I see my name”.. and you looking for your name, you kinda play the back tryna wait ’till niggas clear out, cuz you’re not sure, and you go to the list, and your name ain’t there. And you’re like how the fuck did I not make this team? I’m better than him, I’m better than him, I’m better than him. So, a lot of niggas either quit, or some niggas will go harder, so, that’s how I kinda took the rap shit…everything happens for a reason…this is just me, you know, being that nigga that’s practicing and making sure there’s now way, that its undeniable that when I go to tryouts there’s no way the fucking coach is gonna pass up on me my nigga” – J. Cole “Last Call”
The other day on TV I saw these salmon swimming up the river, trying to lay their eggs. They’ll swim up the river, over rocks, over each other, ducking bears and birds, just taking the hardest route possible. And I thought to myself, “What a dumb fish” and then I realized I was that fish, swimming hard up against the stream, taking the hard route to nowhere. I don’t know why I just stop swimming, I’m going to drown anyway.
My mama once told me a Korean parable. There was an ant who thought he could be the rebel and not work like all the other ants in his colony that summer. His ant homies were chopping down and carrying leaves, bringing back bread crumbs, doing whatever ants do. He laughed at his friends “Why you working and sweating in the summer? You gotta enjoy the sun while it lasts! I’m chillin on this lemonade!”, he talking shit. He had a great summer that year. Then the fall came and then the winter came and none of his ant homies would give up their share of food or let him in the colony. The ant was hungry and he froze to death. The end.
No one cares how hard you work. At all. Its how well you perform.
Its true, you do get second chances. But with every new chance comes at an exponentially greater cost. So what’s even easier than taking advantage of a second chance, is doing it right the first time. This life is written in ink. Time don’t go back, it goes forward.
People say “I live life with no regrets!” I’m like How? Please tell me. Because not a day goes by for me without wishing I could of done things different. Every day. If I could said the right thing there, done the right thing here, had the right attitude then. But I can’t.
They tell me “oh, you’re going to be alright. With that work ethic, you’ll be okay. Trust me you’ll be okay.” They tell the same thing to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Y’all telling me the same thing you told me last year. You’re just telling me what I want to hear, to be nice, thanks, but guess what? Your opinion don’t mean nothing. What good is it if I believe in myself and you believe in me when the people that really matter at the end of the day don’t believe in me.
All faith and hope is built on a lie or at least an un-truth.
Like what do I have to live for? Like really deep inside, what do you have to live for? I don’t know, I have no kids, no job, no lover, no strong ideals or beliefs I hold on to. Just a bunch of student loans. Does it really matter whether you die tomorrow, 10 years, or 50 years from now? I’m going to see all of them in hell anyway. Lucifer, son of the morning…if you aren’t going to give me something to live for, give me something to die for. I don’t care.
I just want to say “man why can’t life always have been this easy?”
I talk to God but he don’t say nothing back. You ain’t gotta go to church to get to know your god. Life starts when the church ends. The tension too thick for my sober mind to cut through. They got me going…shit…