"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.
Totally incredibly incredulously unbelievably egregiously unforgivably unreasonably insane: On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, for exactly two hours and 43 minutes, I had to take care of a four-month-old baby.
I don't mean "take care of a four-month-old baby" like the way I normally take care of a four-month-old baby, which is to say I just point out when he's making noises and then Wife does something to get him to stop making noises. (I'm like the offensive coordinator. She's like the quarterback.) I mean, "take care of a four-month-old baby" like how you actually take care of a four-month-old baby, which is to say the way that I don't know how to.
8:48am: Wife has a photoshoot this morning (she's a photographer). Boy A and Boy B are with their grandparents, so that leaves me here all alone with Boy C. It shouldn't be that big of a deal—I'm saying, I've successfully been defending against the Boy A/Boy B 2-on-1 fast break for the last few years. Mathematically, this man-on-man matchup is better. But it doesn't FEEL better. It feels like shark-on-penguin. It feels like hammer-on-nail. Demise is inevitable. I can already feel his tiny, uncoordinated fingers gripping my neck.
8:49am: And it's official. Wife's gone. Infinity terrified faces.
8:49:02am: Oh, cool. He's crying already. Fuck you, baby. War declared.
9:01am: This baby is like Drunk DMX right now. He's just grumbling and barking at me and shit. He won't stop. He just needs a pair of overalls and a four wheeler and it's a rap.
9:25am: I mean, this baby is the worst. I'm trying to talk to him like a human and he's just like, "Biiiiiiiitch, I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE SAYING." He doesn't want to do anything except look at the fan. It's the most amazing thing he's ever seen, it seems.
9:28am: Okay, but so it turns out if you look at the fan for long enough it's actually kind of incredible. This ceiling fan is the most existential ceiling fan of all.
9:38am: Wife said he'd be ready for a nap at 9:30. She must not have told him. He's wildin' out. I'm like, "Yo, baby, it's nap time." He's like, "Nah, son. It's fuck you time."
9:43am: He won't close his eyes. He won't even blink. He has rattlesnake eyes.
9:49am: Well, so then I guess if he's not going to take a nap then I'll just give him some root beer and set him down on the floor then? Like, I'm pretty sure I've seen Wife do that before or I saw that on one of those baby TV shows or something. That seems right. I'll do that.
9:53am: Oh shit. He accidentally fell asleep. He's adorable. Is this even the same baby? What happened to the tiny great white shark I was just holding? This guy is totes ama—oh, never mind. He's back up. He's still Michael Myers.
10:04am: Tried playing Trinidad James' "All Gold Everything" for him. Nothing. Not one single thing. I put him on my lap and held his wrists and made him dance to it. Didn't work. I even changed the words for him. "This ain't for no fuck babies. If you a real baby, then fuck with me." He didn't even smirk. His heart is made of continental crust.
10:09:08am: He's just staring at me. Like, but I mean he's staring INTO me. He knows everything about me. He sees all. He's flicking my soul in the nose. This is everything I've ever been embarrassed about (everything = the two times I was nearly caught masturbating by my parents as a 13-year-old*). He has the upper hand. He has the upper everything. My spine is made of Jell-O. What do I do? WHAT DO I DO? WHY AM I EVEN ALIVE?
*If I'm remembering correctly, that's the year I learned how to masturbate. I was a natural. I was LeBron in the open court. Like, I was doing shit they said couldn't be done. It was my finest year creatively.
10:40am: JESUS CHRIST. Tried to show him the fourth quarter from Game Seven of the 2005 NBA Finals when the Spurs beat the Pistons. Nothing. He didn't even clap when Manu split the trap at the three point line and then flew down the lane and left hand dunked. This can't be my* baby.
*I indoctrinated Boy A and Boy B into the School of Manudome early on. We have video of them as two-year-olds shooting jumpers into a tiny Fischer Price goal shouting "MAAAANU!" I sent it to the Vatican. They never responded. I know it was a miracle of God though.
10:53am: Duders, I can't even move right now. He's lying on a pillow on my lap. If I even try to adjust him just a little bit he LOSES HIS SHIT. He's using all of the exclamation points right now.
11:23am: Been holding my breath for the last 30 minutes so as not to disturb him. This is what being a prisoner of war feels like, I'm certain of it. I never read Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, but I have to assume it was about her having to hold a baby for 30 minutes. Actively praying for the bathtub on the floor above me to fall through the ceiling and land right the fuck on my head.
11:26am: Bathtub still where it was ten minutes ago. My will won't bend the support beams in the ceiling. Neither will God. Because he doesn't exist. Nothing exists. The sun is a lie. Everything is dark and black and cold and stupid and I hate it all. If I was a doctor, whenever I sent a couple home with their baby I'd pull the dad aside and be like, "Look, you don't know it, but you're going to need this," then slip a cyanide pill into his palm. He'd like, "What? No, I love my wife and I love my baby. I won't need this." I'd laugh and shake my head and be like, "You remind me so much of myself" and then pat him on his back.
11:31am: Wait. Is he…? Yes. YES. WHISPER YES. He's asleep. HE'S ASLEEP. Going to set him down in his bed. Hold tight. Two minutes.
Game time, bitches.
1-5. YELAWOLF IS BACK
Normally, we'll post five great songs from the week here in this space. Not this time though. This week it's just Yelawolf, definitely the best rapper of all-time to kind of be simultaneously named after a color and an animal. He does everything that he's good at on this tape (be weird without being obnoxious about it, be likeable without trying to be likeable, etc.) and none of the stuff he's bad at (trying to get on the radio). More soon.
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.