"Diamonds & Wood" is an ongoing series in which music critic Shea Serrano breaks down the 5 hip-hop tracks you need to hear this week.
On Wednesday, at exactly 9:44 a.m. CST, my wife gave birth to our third son, whom I will only ever refer to on the Internet as Boy C (or MEGAZEUS or Young LeBron James—I’m not certain). Let me start with the bad, then stunt into an aside, walk into the worst, then finish up with the best.
I had a joke to start with that was probably going to be really good (or really offensive—the two are easy to get confused), but it got nixed. That’s the bad. I can’t get too into the details, I can only say that it referenced my wife, me, our three sons, exposed penises and the opening scenes of several gangbang pornographic movies. She shut that shit down with the quickness though. Probably for the best. You know, karma and all.
Prior to walking into the O.R., I watched one of the doctors who was about to cut my wife’s abdomen open struggle with putting on those protective booties that go over your shoes. I mean, c’mon.
Throughout the pregnancy, we (“we” = her directly, me indirectly, obvs) experienced no small of amount consternation. There was a preventative surgery, weekly shots to prevent the baby from falling out of her uterus, preventative modified bed rest, preventativePreventativePREVENTATIVE x1000. Still, after we'd experienced all of that, and that the post-C-Section complications weren’t unexpected, it didn’t make what came with it any less unmotherfuckingawful.
After the birth, they moved Wife to the recovery room, where she was supposed to be for 60 minutes or so before they wheeled her upstairs to be with Boy C. We were in there for more than five hours because her body would not stop bleeding. Every time someone applied pressure to her belly, too much blood came out. At one point, a doctor inserted her hand into Wife’s vagina and coerced out a handful of blood clots. It sounded like someone stepping into a pool. Nobody would give us answers, only the names of other doctors or things that weren’t immediately in the room. I would stay calm in the room with her, then periodically walk into the hallway for this reason or that and DIG THE FUCK UP the first person in a white coat I would see. I don’t imagine I made very many friends, and I don’t imagine my actions helped the situation at all. Still, it was the only thing I could think to do, and I’m glad I did it.
Boy C, a physically imposing 4lbs 4 oz, is now as healthy as possible, and Wife is stabilized and progressing nicely. (As I write this, they are both asleep. Young LeBron James is bundled up like a noisy burrito and laying inside a plastic bin and Wife is in her hospital bed L’ed up about 45 degrees to keep her from stretching her abdomen any.) Our family is complete, I’d guess, and that closure is unexpectedly peaceful.
Boy A and Boy B came by today to see their third. They tried to act uninterested in him until he looked at them. Shortly thereafter, he had ten fingers in his nose and mouth and was being tussled about by the two loudest creatures he’d to that point experienced. Wife smiled and C closed his eyes until it was over. He never made a squeak.
A little after they left he sneezed and reacted like he’d been horned in the chest by a rhino. He’s going to fit in nicely, I suspect.
Perhaps you missed this: the chillbros at Complex premiered the new Murs tape. It helps if you listen to this while burning some sandalwood incense. Or maybe it’s just always a good time for sandalwood incense. I don’t know. Fuck it. Just get some. They’re, like, $1.
2. King Louie, “I Love Money,” featuring Lil Durk
“King Louie would like you to know that while he does not particularly care for woman and/or unscrupulous males, he has a great appreciation for currency.” – Some Rap Genius editor in about a week or two.
3. Kendrick Lamar, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” featuring Lady Gaga
Just kidding. That shit is the worst.
4. The Weeknd, “The Zone,” featuring Drake
Ahhhh shit. You done fucked up now. You done put two of Canada’s most wanted in the same motherfucking place at the same motherfucking time.
I may have played this song 6,000 times since Tuesday evening. "I bench pressed 225 pounds while this played" is what I’d type if it were even just a little bit close to the truth. It’s not though.
Troy Ave, “Dope Boy,” featuring N.O.R.E.
This makes the cut this week 30 percent because of Troy Ave’s rap tenacity and 70 percent as proof to you (and me and everyone) that N.O.R.E. is still alive.
Shea Serrano is a writer living in Houston, TX. His work has appeared in the Houston Press, LA Weekly, Village Voice, XXL, The Source, Grantland and more. You can follow him on Twitter here.