What a strange place, the internet.
In the 17 years I’ve been surfing the interwebs, I have encountered a great number of people. Some good. Some bad. Some who need to be tied up and stuffed in the trunk of a burned out Chevy Caprice and forgotten. Nevertheless, I am thankful for the invention that has now become an important part of my daily ritual. I am thankful for the friendships borne from it.
In the early aughts, bored and suffering from Livejournal and/or BlackPlanet fatigue (RIP, Intell Chat), I joined a hip hop message board rife with annoying teenagers, creepy older dudes, and career misogynists. Trickology was a breeding ground for malcontents. It was also a virtual glimpse into the boys’ locker room, and I loved it.
As one of the handful of female members, I was subjected to more shit than a little, which only got worse once I became a mod. But eventually (and begrudgingly), respect was given, and friendships were formed. It was still a motley crew of ill-mannered misfits, but it was my motley crew of ill-mannered misfits. So I rocked with them.
Like Jamil, who lives in a state I want to set on fire, but whose friendship has proven invaluable over the years.
And Terrance, who manages to shoot me a “how are you?” text or send flowers even though he’s fourteen timezones away.
And Richard, who blessed me with my first Shel Silverstein book for my 30th birthday.
And Risse, who has one of the most infectious giggles I have ever heard.
And Layla, who passed away earlier this week. A beautiful, animated woman with Portuguese roots and an encyclopedic knowledge of hip hop. It is Layla who is single-handedly responsible for one of my favorite ATL memories.
November 14, 2006:
So Layla, Jamil, Risse, and I head over to Body Tap after leaving Atlantic Station (which happens to be a Famous Brownfield Redevelopment, according to my Brownfield Jeopardy research). T&A and homely men abound. Lay’s already had a few and has one more. I’m watching the stage and taking mental notes. Jamil is talking to his girl. Everything is fine until the token white stripper jumps up in Layla’s face, accusing her of stealing her money. No shrinking violet, Layla jumps back and starts cussin’ the broad out, and now the only two white girls in the joint are about to go at it. Layla shoves her and soon there are strippers and bouncers coming out of the crowd, descending from the ceiling, tossing ninja stars at Lay’s head…shit was somethin’ serious. I grab her purse and hand it to Risse as Jamil is grabbing all three of us, pushing us towards the door. After a IHOP run, Lay and I wind up crashing in J’s bed.
If you look at her comment on the original post, she had no memory of shoving White Chocolate. But I remember, baby. I remember.
I raise this glass to you, LadyHipHop. May you rest in peace.