juvenile nirvana

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
— Chili Davis, Jamaican-American former baseball player and current Boston Red Sox hitting coach

... So, there I was. Scrolling through the depths of YouTube, determined to get some new music for my car and workout turn-ups. That's when I stumbled upon the gem that is Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" video. It was love at first listen. Then I remembered that I am damn near in my mid-30s and that this music is F.Y.B.Y (ahem... For Youths By Youths). So it struck me: I am juvenile as fuck... and I don't mind it. Not one bit.

Admittedly, there are times where, in the words of the aforementioned Rae Sremmurd, I feel like a "young bull livin' like an old geezer"; but for the most part, I like to consider myself youthful in spirit...

When I first watched the video, I immediately caught a bad case of nostalgia. The opening guitar riff brought me right back to my early teens. The 90s grunge era, when young bands like Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins ruled Much Music and MTV (and maybe a little bit of my heart too). Nothing really ever compares to those prime years of intense teen angst, when every moment seems to mean something hella-deep. And I think that's partially why I refuse to dismiss anything that reminds me of that time.

It doesn't matter that I'm now stuck in the daily grind of 'adulting'. Or that my childhood friends are now married and mommies. Or that my lower back has gone to shit and won't let me be great again. What matters is that, in my heart of hearts, I'm still totally and completely connected to my younger self. I reminisce on those tiny moments where it felt like the world revolved around me. Those memorable nights of partying that turned into embarrassment-filled mornings. That one guy that I just knew I would never ever get over. That late night phone conversation that was 99% silence and yet extended itself for hours until I fell asleep, drooling with the phone receiver still in hand.

I live for those intense feelings.

Just because I've grown older and can now see those 'seemingly intense' scenarios for the teen screw-ups that they truly were - it doesn't mean that I am any less fond of the feelings and the memories they gave me. 

While other adults may see and hear young artists like Rae Sremmurd, Odd Future, 21 Pilots, or Zayn Malik and label them as 'new school trash' - I'm not one who is quick to dismiss them for carving out their own musical sound. Instead, I can appreciate that these kids are to the millennials what artists like Nirvana, Wu-Tang, Cash Money and Usher were to me. These new kids are trying to make waves, set trends, and give their target audience a bit of the teen debauchery and shock value that I had growing up. 

Let's be honest. The looks and lyrical content of some of our faves back then left much to be desired by our parent's generation. Case in point:

(RIP Ol' Dirty Bastard)

As unorthodox as it seems, I think it pays to hang on to and pay homage to some of the crazy stuff I was into as a kid. It kinda keeps me young at heart, and like anything is still possible as I grow older... even though my lower back won't let me be great again.

Wait. Did I mention my lower back already? (They say the mind is  always the first thing to go, lol...)

Anyway, I say all this to say that holding on to some of my juvenile ways doesn't necessarily make me any less mature, or any less emotionally intelligent of an adult. I'm what they call "sophisticated ratchet". Kanye was singing about women like me when he crooned:

...Rock Forever21, but just turned 30.
— kanye west, "Bound 2"

In my opinion - you don't have to put away all childish things when you're an adult. As long as you have the general wherewithal to know when it's time to stop rocking tees and tanks with the latest urban catch phrases on them, I think you'll be alright. 

#saynotosquadgoaltees #saynotobaewatchtanktops #pleaseandthanks


Shaolin Says

Shaolin "J" Style


Creative writer. Professional ranter. Canadian-born. Caribbean blood. Probably the worst introvert you'll ever meet.