"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.
To those of you that are familiar with this column, let me assure you that this is no hoax. This is no trick, no set up for an end-of-reel gag. There are a few overarching ideas here, but that’s it. It is, mostly, simply, unforgivably, as it is. Sorry.
And to those of you that are not familiar with this column, let me assure you that it is rarely this somber, rarely as downtrodden. You showed up on a down week. Normally we have music and merriment and almost an unlimited amount of penis jokes. Sorry.
Now, I cannot (will not) speak to the details of the scenario, nor can I (will I) identify its heartbroken protagonist (who will be referred to henceforth as THE GREATEST). I can (will) tell you, however, that at the moment, there is a tremendous amount of sadness in THE GREATEST’s body. There is more sadness in THE GREATEST than I think I have ever witnessed. It is a familiar sadness and it is caused by an inevitability that everyone understands and accepts as a concrete reality, but that does not make it any more tolerable. In fact, it might make it worse, actually.
I see the sadness pulling THE GREATEST’s proud shoulders towards the firmament, positioning itself so as to best stifle flight and love and creativity. Traditionally, THE GREATEST is a curious burst of neons and soft heat. The sadness is attempting to mute the color and ice the warmth. It will certainly score momentary victories—this is an undeniable fact. It is awful and strong and unbelievably black and just the worst. It is a powerful fucker and has no doubt drowned an uncountable number of others. There will be times when it will temporarily be too strong for even THE GREATEST to tame. And as much as I (or any of the people fortunate to have existed near THE GREATEST) would like to absorb some of hurt or blunt the tip of its spike, it is a hyper-specific tornado that belongs to THE GREATEST and THE GREATEST only.
Still, with THE GREATEST staring down cold, merciless despair, I do not fret.
Because I know, same as everyone knows, that THE GREATEST will prevail. THE GREATEST always wins. THE GREATEST is strong and smart and wonderful and contemplative and delicate and a gigantor wave of passion and FUCK YOU. THE GREATEST was stitched together by God himself to make the earth a more palatable place. THE GREATEST will fistfight the emptiness and afterwards Dana White will say that both fighters were noble and courageous, but that THE GREATEST simply wanted to win more.
When I confronted the sadness several years ago, when I had that blackness in my heart, when I wanted to set orphanages on fire and grab Jesus Christ by the throat, THE GREATEST quietly cared for me. It was the most defeating, most uncomfortable months of my everything. I was a tyrant. I turned off all of the parts of me except for the hate. Lava was in my bones. I shouted and cursed and openly courted confrontation with everyone (even those I cared about the most, and sometimes exclusively with those I cared about the most). But THE GREATEST never yielded. THE GREATEST was there, watching, waiting, accepting, understanding. Because THE GREATEST is the greatest.
So when THE GREATEST is ready, after THE GREATEST has calibrated the hurt and steadied the trajectory, I will be there, glad and proud and considerate and open and accommodating, for as long as it takes, in any shape or form necessary.
It won't be fast and it won't be easy. That, we know. But it won't be something THE GREATEST will have to experience alone. And it certainly won't be something that will ever truly warble THE GREATEST. Because THE GREATEST is an unstoppable beam of perfect.
That, we know too.
On Saturday, March 30, 2013, the body of the beautiful G. Tate will be placed in the ground. Your prayers and kind thoughts are appreciated. Thank you.
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.