On “Definition of Real”, track 4, Plies spit, “I got a name in the streets, plenty money to blow, got whips, 28s and jewelry to show… Just don’t know if this sh*t worth going feds for”, and street cats from all over felt his dilemma. From the Crack era of the 1980s, to the Trap and “Hustle Hard” scene of the 21st century, the allure of being that dude in the streets has been magnet strong, to the point where it didn’t matter what environment you came from, projects or suburbs, if you could grind, then you were all in. The respect of the streets means you move without incident, receive head nods of envy, and your little black book is reminiscent of Wilt Chamberlain’s. Rap Artist King Kliff reflects saying, “Once your mind is fully developed, there can be no goal except money and freedom.” In other words, being able to dictate folk’s opinion of you through hustle leads to toughness, stunting, and a flock of women, and says that, “I’m free”, therefore, I’m somebody you need to get at. Simply put, being out there like that makes you a local star of sorts, and being a young dude on the come-up, who doesn’t want to shine?
Ever heard, “you cool and all, but you’re really not my type? (fellas, No Lying)The young lady doesn’t want to be real with you and say, “What I want, you don’t have!” Typically, this type of guy is usually the schoolboy, athlete, or artist; the nice guy that can dress, gives flowers on dates, and actually cares if you have a man at home. He’s not really known in the neighborhoods, and probably won’t ever be seen checking somebody in the club over an “assumption of disrespect”. Let’s say the guy’s slick enough to have more than one chick, but decent enough not to want to put them on the track; then there’s a basic title for him and his kind: L-7 or Square (sad, but true!) See, these dudes want to be cool and out of the way. He builds his name off of that laid-back, pretty boy, or straight-laced persona and he’ll go on to, most likely, avoid serious trouble, and he’ll probably never have a chance with a female with a lil’ sass and beyond because he’ll be labeled as too soft to handle her. The Squares will have a job or legal hustle, get a woman that doesn’t talk back, and chase the American Dream. Funny thing is, if being that dude is all that desirable, then why are there still street dudes?
When you ask a guy in the streets what kind of dude he is, he’ll tell you the truth without incriminating himself, but the other guy will not fully admit he’s a square. Why? And on the flipside, go inside the prisons filled with guys that lived that street life, and ask them what kind of guy they are; they’ll usually tell you the hell with the street and hood life, it’s not worth it! So, one wonders, which is actually worth being, The L-7 or the Street cat? Which one ends up with the most fulfilled life in the end? Ladies, which one could, you, actually trust long enough to consider being his wifey, without significant or constant drama?
Whether you’re in the streets or “Stephen Ur’kel, each has a lane that has be paved from generations deep. Mike Epps’ Character in “How High”, Powder, had come from a long of pimps while his associate had come from a line of “assistant pimps” (been pimping, since been pimping). While not always hereditary, the guidelines have definitely been set. As the L-7, you don’t try to earn street cred because the possible attention from it may compromise your square-hood and squares don’t like trouble. Squares take vacations to tourist-based places while Street cats go to the NBA’s All-star weekend, or to Vegas to watch the fights. If you’re in the streets, your girl could have either went to the alternative or the private high school, while the square is mostly likely subject to the private school chick. See, being in the streets, and fully on your game provides dual status, something the square cannot obtain. Even though he’s versatile, the street dude is also limited because, when the rubber meets the road, his mind may only relate to one aspect of life while the square’s knowledge and experience stretches possibilities beyond the block. Bottom line, when you weigh the lives of both the square, and the street cat, it becomes clear that the results of each one’s lifestyle will ultimately depend on one thing: Personal choice. To choose success in life means to overcome whatever circumstances have been dealt to you. You were raised as a square; who cares? All you know are the streets; get over it and open your mind! Find what you want from life and whom you want to share it with, and against all odds, Pac style, go after it and don’t let your label lock you into a prison of others expectations of you!