"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.
Last week, I emailed 13 different people with the exact same message. It read:
"Hey. Shea here, though I suspect you already knew that because this message came to you from firstname.lastname@example.org and because the subject line reads, 'It's Me: Shea Serrano'. At any rate, you got this because (a) I don't hate, (b) I don't work for you and (c) you have, at one point or another, said a sentence to me that ended in a question mark. I need your help with something.
I think I want to be an advice columnist, only thing is the emails I get from people that accidentally read something I wrote mostly consist of them calling me a fag or saying that terrible things should happen to me because I didn't feel exactly the same way about a rap song that that particular sender did. So, not to put you out too far, but would you please send me one question that I can try and answer? I'm going to answer them at a place I write for. Thanks, boo."
Of the 13 emails I sent out, two went ignored (or, fingers crossed, the person I sent it to died, which is why it wasn't returned), three came back with a response that was a variation of, "Dude, fuck off with this" and eight beautiful humans sent back actual questions. Of those eight responses, four questions were non-shitty (I need smarter friends). So, here we go...
Summation of the Question: How do I get my in-laws to like me?
-Give 'em the old bait and switch. This is one of my favorites and is pretty much infallible, regardless of the situation. Anytime someone asks for something, respond with, "Yeah, I got your _______ right here..." and then grab your crotch. Ex: Can you pass me the peas? "Yeah, I got your peas right here..." *crotch grab*. Oh my God, my child is missing! Have you seen her?! "Yeah, I saw her right here..." *crotch grab*. Malibooyah. Don't be too surprised if after you do it someone excitedly shouts, "Fuckin' A, baby! That's the American Dream!"
-Grab a kid, sit 'em on your lap, and then start bouncing 'em around like a super fun pony ride. Do it for maybe one full minute then set the kid down. Whenever someone asks you if you stopped because you were tired say, "No, pussies get tired. I stopped 'cause I got a boner." It'll make you look like you have a hearty respiratory system and also like you're good with kids. That's what we in the business refer to as a two-fer.
-Whenever you're sitting there eating dinner make polite dinner conversation. A good line to use is, "Wow. This meal looks great. Did you cook it?" When they say yes immediately taste a side dish, like mashed potatoes or corn, and then say, "Mmmm... It tastes so good. Kinda of like your daughter's cornhole." Then make kissing noises and sexy eyes at all the women and high-five the dad. Everyone loves a compliment.
-When someone asks you where you work say, "I work right here..." then grab your crotch. (Admit it, you totally didn't see that coming.)
-People love compassion so you want them to think you're compassionate towards others. Do this: Figure out a way to get everyone in the pool or hot tub. (Easy enough.) Then, when you've been in there for a while, pretend like you hear your phone ringing and get out. Wait, like, two minutes and then walk back over and get into the pool slowly. Someone will inevitably ask who you were speaking to. Very matter-of-factly say, "The doctor." Then, with a slightly concerned look on your face, ask, "Can you transfer gonorrhea through pool water?" Now everyone knows how caring you are.
Summation of the Question: How do I coach my basketball team to a state championship?
I got you, dudebro.
1. Find a team that was real shitty the year before. It's preferable that they are very disrespectful, kind of intimidating, poor and do not have positive father figures in their lives.
2. Say, "Hey, I'm the new coach. We're going to be doing things differently around here" and then make them sign a contract or something.
3. Be losing or whatever in the beginning of a game and then comeback and win. Say, "Way to go."
4. Go through some turmoil or something. Kick a kid off the team.
5. Laugh at how different their musical tastes are than yours. Talk to them about Journey or whatever and then have them teach you the words to a rap song. Later on, use part of that rap song as a pregame speech. (It's best to just grab a piece of slang and slide it into your everyay speak, probably something like, "This game is gonna be really bling, guys.")
6. Learn about them and love them. Say to your significant other, "I know you have an agenda. I had an agenda to and it didn't involve falling in love with these kids, but I did so now my agenda has changed."
7. Have one of them die. I'm not saying you should kill a kid, but, you know, it's good to have something the team can rally around or whatever.
8. Have a cardboard cutout of a person they do not like and every time you win a game you take a piece of the cardboard cutouts clothes off. (This works best for baseball teams. Also, if someone on your team looks like Wesley Snipes, DO NOT cut him. He's a sleeper star.)
9. Have the kid that was previously kicked off the team show up at your house or at practice. He should cry and say, "I got no place else to go. I got no...place...else...to...go." Then have everyone gather around him and chant "Go Team!" or something like that.
10. Play the school's rival and lose by one or two points in some heartbreaking manner. Tell the kids that it's not about winning, it's about growing as men or whatever and say how much better they are as people now then when the season started.
11. Then show still shots of the people on the team with writing underneath explaining what happened to that particular person in the future.
Summation of the Question: I started a new job a little less than a year ago. It's a competitive field and I'm having a harder time getting noticed then I thought I would. How do I let these guys know I'm an asset?
Boom. Three for you.
-Sexually harass the secretary. You might not see it, but everyone else is doing it and you should too. The trick is to be subtle, but still sexually suggestive. This is how a pro sexually harasses a secretary: Walk over to her station, lean in and say, "Hey, how are you? You know, I just adopted a kitten from the Humane Society. I was thinking of you when I named him." She'll say, "Aw, that's sweet. What did you name him?" And you say, "I named him WhorewhoImasturbateto." Perfect. Now you've got her eating out of the palm of your hand (and probably your pants, too).
-Whenever you have your lunch meetings with important clients at Chili's or whatever, do this: Say, "Excuse me, homies. I have to go potty." Stand up, put on some cool sunglasses and then walk towards the restroom. After about ten steps turn around, whistle to get their attention, lean your head down and look over the top of your glasses,and then give them a cool finger point move. (Note: They may start clapping after you do this and they'll more than likely say, "Fuckin' A, baby. That's the American dream.")
-(I learned this tip from my homie who knows a lot about Wall St.) Whenever you have to do your quarterly review with the head honchos take about five minutes before your meeting to yourself and totes check out Tumblr porn on your phone in the bathroom. DO NOT MASTURBATE. That way when you walk into the meeting you will have a big time boner. People respect boners and it will let the bosses know you are all about business. You should probably try to knock over their coffee or the iPhone off of their belt clips. Then ask for a raise. You're not a businessman, you're a business, man. And your business is boners.
Summation of the Question: I hate funerals. I have to go to one this weekend for a co-worker that I never really knew. What do I do? How do I act? What do I say to the family?
Son, no worries.
Alright, so if it's someone that you worked with, but didn't know very well, I'll assume the family doesn't know who you are, which definitely means you should show up to the funeral wearing a cape, a striped body suit and a monocle. People will notice you. Don't notice them. Don't notice ANYONE. Don't even say a word or look at anyone. Just sit there patiently, steel-eyed and devoid of emotion. Matter of fact, do your very best not to even move. Be a statue. Then, when the viewing of the body starts, stand in line and wait your turn. Once you get to the casket you pause, lean in real dramatic-like, then whisper, just loud enough so other people can hear you, "Checkmate." And then turn around and walk out of the funeral without saying anything to anyone else.
Yeah, so, I don't want to be an advice columnist anymore.
1. Jay-Z, "Open Letter"
Did you guys know that Jay-Z, the guy that owns 1/8000th of the Brooklyn Nets, is a rapper? WTF?
2. Pusha-T, "Numbers On The Board"
Dudebros, I am all the way happy that Pusha-T didn't die like we all thought he had. I'm as happy that he's not dead as I am unhappy that he STILL HAS FUCKING CORNROWS. Like, does anyone even braid hair anymore? Is when Pusha calls the barber shop asking for the best cornrow guy in there the same as calling Best Buy and asking them to transfer you to the department where they fix pagers?
3. Dame Dash's Interview On The Combat Jack Show
Endlessly entertaining. For realsies.
5. Chance the Rapper, "NaNa"
On the way upUpUP, for sure.
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.