Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Sober Emcee: Holiday Cheers Entry #14

The Sober Emcee: Holiday Cheers Entry #14: So the holidays are here and everyone is doing their power shopping. There are fun times and there are stressful times. On both sides of the...

Holiday Cheers Entry #14

So the holidays are here and everyone is doing their power shopping. There are fun times and there are stressful times. On both sides of the spectrum we have the stress of our pockets getting lower from the Xmas gifts and going out with friends and loved ones but on the other side we have the joy of receiving presents and going to Xmas parties. As for me I’m closing in on my second year of sobriety and I feel great. I still have to be mindful that there will be a lot of alcohol around me wherever I go and I need to continue to use the mental tools I’ve acquired from my prison program and from Alcoholics Anonymous. I remember getting so smashed during Xmas dinners that the taste of my mother’s cooking wasn’t even a factor. That was my excuse to power drink from the morning all through the day and until the next morning. New years was an extra extra supper power drinking time and by the time midnight would come the whole world would be blurry. The problem I used to have was the fact that I had no drinking limit, there was no tap out time where I couldn’t drink anymore or I’d black out. Being a former afterhour’s patron, I remember it being 5 AM many a New Years and still going hard at the bottle wherever I was then having sloppy drunken sex.
I’m thankful now because the times that I had and the things that I went through led me to my rock bottom, I’m also thankful that I was able to recognize my bottom when I hit it. I spent Xmas and New Years Eve of 2009 on a strict probation curfew and I spent Xmas and New Year’s Eve 2010 in the federal pen. There’s no worst feeling than being away from your family from the holidays and even though the prison fed us well to alleviate some of that sorrow, it still can never beat a real home cooked meal. Inside the guards do extra cell searches around the holidays because they know that inmates will be making and stashing jail brew. And really, who wants to spend these two important holidays surrounded by a bunch of sad sexually frustrated men. We had a lot game tournaments like card games and sport tournaments to mask our sadness but in the end of the day it was still prison. When the guards switched shifts to go home to their families, we still had to stay away from ours. The most we had was a phone call home or maybe a lucky visit or a card.
I’m home now but the struggle continues I need to remember that if I pick up a drink again that my life will spiral out of control again and eventually I will end up back behind bars for more holidays. My choices now are either stay home sober or get drunk and there will being a cold prison cot waiting for me. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which one I’m going to choose.
This blog entry is dedicated to the people that can relate and might think or know that they have a problem. For the ones who can’t remember a day that went by without getting pissy drunk and then doubling up and getting shitty drunk during the holiday. For the people that can have a drink one day and leave it alone the next day or for weeks after, I can’t lie and say that I don’t envy you. As an alcoholic I don’t have that ability, I have to practice complete abstinence. No matter what I can’t do though I still encourage people to eat, drink and be merry. Just make sure to be responsible and drink until the point of enjoyment not to the blackout or to the point where it’s not fun anymore. In the end of the day the holidays are for cheer, so cheers.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Booze, Bitches and Boom Bap Entry #13

Booze, Bitches and Boom Bap
In the hip hop world we are trained to think that excessive drinking is a cool thing. Everyone remembers the Jay Z videos with Dame Dash dancing around smashed pouring liquor on video vixens, the numerous club videos in the VIP with drunken rappers doing performance scenes and who can forget the 40 ounce era when rappers were doing scenes in the local corner store buying a bottle of Ol’ English. We use alcohol to commemorate our deceased comrades by pouring liquor on their graves or street corners. With that being said in hip hop we seldom associate alcohol with negativity. In my reality I believe that a lot of us hip hop heads and artist especially are serious alcoholics. Like I always say, it’s all good to get your drink on but when that drinking becomes a dependency on being able to record songs or videos then that’s a potential problem. Part of my path to being an alcoholic started in the Wu tang days when I was getting into my hustle. I used to think that waking up and grabbing a beer before working the block was a necessity and honestly I got that from watching Boyz in The Hood and Menace to Society, watching Ol’ Dog slam down 40 ounces of malt liquors while doing crazy things. I remember the St. Ides commercial with Wu tang Clan and Snoop Doggy Dogg, to me that was the coolest shit. In the ghettos in the US they were selling 40 ounces for a dollar, but we never had that in Canada. The first time we started getting them in selected stores they were sold for $5 a bottle and my friends and I were tripping over each other to buy them on the strength of hip hop. After a while I didn’t feel complete unless I had a 40 when I was on my hustle. As hip hop’s drinking taste evolved from 40s to hard liquor so did my taste. When hip hop was drinking Alize, I was in the club buying bottles of that sweet syrupy shit. When hip hop started drinking Belvedere and Grey Goose, I was buying $45 bottles of that from the liquor store instead of regular $20 vodka which is just as good or maybe even better. Let’s not even get into the Hennessey because I had way too many crazy nights trying to keep up with my favorite rappers drink of choice. Now we got Louis the 13th ($150 a shot at the bar) and Patron drinkers breaking their bank trying to get drunk while still being up to the times.
All these times helped to cultivate my drinking habit to the point where it became a big problem on my love ones, my pocket and my life in a whole. In hind sight I can’t just blame it on hip hop because no matter what I love hip hop music and culture. I’ve always been a strong believer that we need to listen to our music objectively not subjectively, meaning don’t do something just because we heard it in a song or seen I in a video or movie. If we did that then everyone who loves gangster rap would be out there on a murder spree or selling drugs to drive the hottest cars and drink themselves stupid. The problem is that a lot of us and the new generations of listeners are listening to our music subjectively and trying to keep up with our favorite rappers which essentially digging us early graves.
I’ve stopped drinking completely but I will never stop loving hip hop, I just learned now through my hard times that we can’t do things because our favorite rappers are doing it. We have to make choice based on our own preferences and limits. If ya’ll want to buy something from the bar then don’t kill your pockets trying to buy what Diddy’s buying because he’s a damn millionaire and chances are he’s getting for free anyway. Stay within your means and like I always say don’t over-do it, drink responsibly.