When I sit back and reflect on my life along with the events that have shaped me to be the (sometimes arrogant, occasionally lazy, at times tacky...) man I am today, a few sentimental moments come to mind.
The first woman to break my heart, and the thousands of dollars I spent on her Red Mango addiction when I could’ve been copping OG Fire Red Jordan’s. I learned, albeit the hard way, not to spend money on “thirsty hoes.”
I think back to my high school graduation and I see the proud faces of all my teachers. They taught me countless lessons about the benefits of hard work; Like the tumultuous task of stretching bathroom breaks into class-long trips to the cafeteria (I was a 6th period socialite -- so I thank you, Mrs. Carman).
However, at the end of the day, one figure stands alone as arguably the most influential person in my life. They say “the best things come in small packages” and that quote rings true here. I call this my ode to G-Baby...and if you hear me G, I wouldn’t be the man I am today without you.
In my psychology class, I learned that there are certain moments in time that are so poignant, you will always remember where you were when they happened. For example, many of our parents will never forget where they were when they heard JFK was assassinated. For me, I will never forget where I was when I first saw the movie "Hardball" and witnessed the heartless slaughter of Jarius ‘G-Baby’ Evans (I know what you’re thinking: I, too, was surprised when I realized G-Baby’s first name, in fact, starts with a J).
I remember the day vividly. I couldn’t have been older than 10 when my mom decided it was a swell idea to take me and my friends to see the movie "Hardball" in theaters. Quite a swell idea -- but for the fact that I started to sob pretty uncontrollably at the end of the movie. Ultimately, not only was G-Baby taken away from me, but I also lost my entire group of friends (yeah, as you could imagine, the whole “crying in public movie theaters” wasn’t a good look). Thanks mom.
Nevertheless, I don’t regret the embarrassment. I’m not upset. I’m grateful for every one of the 106 minutes that G-Baby was in my life. Whenever I’m feeling down and out, I just think back to his charming smile. I reminisce on his words of wisdom. I think back to his game winning pinch hit. The world just wasn’t ready for G-Baby. I now leave you with some parting words, a compelling passage straight from the mouth of G-Baby himself.
“All right, let me break it down to you right quick. Andre says he can catch any pop-up anybody can throw. Kofi say 'That's bullsh*t. You a busta.' Andre say 'Roll up, bitch.' Kofi say, 'I'll give you all my gum if you can catch this ball.' He threw the ball. Andre caught it. Andre say 'Pay me my money.' Kofi say, 'You a cheatin' bitch.' No wait. Kofi say, 'You a motherf -.' "
“You a motherf - ." Ugh. Timeless. You won’t be forgotten, G.
Photo Credit: Ziyue