"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.
I usually don't go to la carniceria, but I was at la carniceria store last week. I was there to pick up milk (I'd purchased milk from the corner store the day before, but it was spoiled because that's my whole life) and salsa (because I am a Mexican, always) and, per my wife, "something for dinner." I grabbed milk and salsa and a Twix and then started thumbing around on my phone looking for the number to the Pizza Hut by my house while I waited in line.
After a few moments, I realized that the older lady who'd walked in front me as I wandered towards the cashier was turned all the way around and hardcore staring. I looked up and caught her eyes. I smiled so she wouldn't think I was a murderer or an old lady rapist. She smiled back and then turned around. Maybe 30 seconds later though, she was back facing me. I barked, "What the fuck are you looking at, yo?"
I said, "Um…hi." She said, "I'm sorry for staring, it's just…" and then a few moments of dead air. "It's just, you really remind me of my son."
"Oh. Cool. Must be a great kid," I joked.
"He was," she responded.
Fuck me, I thought.
"He passed last year," she continued. "He was serving in Afghanistan as a medic. You look SO much like him."
"Oh my word," I said. "That's terrible. My cousin was there last year too. He said he hated it."
She just turned around without saying anything else while I pretended to check ultra important messages on my phone, but really tried to make my heart explode inside of my chest with brain power.
As the cashier began to ring her up she turned back around.
"Look, this is going to sound really strange," she began. "But Guillermo, my son, I didn't get to say goodbye when he passed." She wasn't near tears, but her voice was beginning to wobble. "We were supposed to talk the night before he passed, but I missed his call. Can you do me a favor?"
Fuck me, I thought.
"Yes, of course. Of course," I said.
"When I get to the door, I'm going to turn around. When I wave, can you just wave at me and say, 'bye, mom'?"
"…Are you for real?" I asked.
"Yes," she said.
She smiled and touched at her hair and then waited as the bag boy loaded her groceries into her cart. When she finished, she rolled it towards the door, stopped, turned, look at me, then waved.
I put my hand up in the air in what was maybe the most awkward way of all and, just loud enough for her to hear, but not so loud that her dead son would hear, said, "Bye, mom."
She said, "Bye, mijo," and then walked out of the door.
I shook my head and put my stuff on the conveyor belt and went back at my phone. The cashier rang it up and then said, "95 dollars and 83 cents."
"Uhh, what? [semi-laugh] How much was the Twix? I had three things, man."
"Well," he said, "you had three things, but your mom had a basket full."
"My mom?" I asked.
And then a tick. And then I realized: THAT WHORE.
SHE FUCKING HUSTLED ME LIKE I WAS THE SHILL IN SOME MOVIE.
"HOLD ON," I said, and then took off out the door. I scanned the parking lot, jogging horizontal to the lanes. Two lanes down I saw her. I broke into a sprint. For 40 meters, I was Usain Bolt fast.
"HEY," I shouted.
She glanced back and noticed me, then abandoned the remaining groceries still in her cart and tried to get into her car. I got there right as she was closing the door, catching it with my right hand.
"HEEEEY! WHAT THE FUCK?!! HEY!"
I yanked at it open. She was surprisingly strong.
She was trying to get her keys into the ignition as I pawed at her. I grabbed her by the armm but she shook loose. She started screaming, "HELP! HELP!" "
COME HERE, LADY!" I shouted back.
She wrestled away. I grabbed her again. I grabbed at her arms and started pulling. She fought back. I started pulling her shirt. She yanked away, knocking me off balance. I fell forward onto her lap. I grabbed a hold of her legs, the first appendages my hands could reach and started pulling. I started pulling her legs. I started pulling her leg. I was pulling her leg.
Just like I'm pulling yours.
Sorry. Just a joke. Just pulling your leg, is all. None of that shit happened. I mean, I went to la carniceria and I bought that stuff and there was even an old lady in front of me and she even looked at me once, but that's it.
Such is life.
1. Le$, "Young Trill Nigga," featuring Mookie Jones and Delo
This is the CLOSEST you will get to swimming inside of your own brain goop. The producer here, DJ Mr. Rogers, is a master craftsman when it comes to creating this sort of ethereal cosmic trance.
2. Doujah Raze, "The Way I Look," featuring Sean Price
You know what it is.
3. Dominic Lord, "Sin City"
Is there a better name in all of anything than "Dominic Lord"? There's nothing you can't be with that name.
Dominic Lord: Vampire Killer
Dominic Lord: Master Plumber
Dominic Lord: Protologist
Matter of fact, I'd be insulted if Dominic Lord: Proctologist DIDN'T put his hand in my butt.
4. Denzel Porter, "Rock, Paper, Scissors"
That's the actual title. And it's somehow about strippers. AND IT FUCKING GOOOOEEEESSS. I mean, I don't want to get too specific, and I won't absolutely confirm anything, but there maybe might've been a bit of in-the-computer-chair-twerking going on while I listened to this. #ThatsAJokeAboutAGuyStickingHisHandInMyButtFollowedByAJokeAboutTwerking #MyDadIsSoProud
5. Wu-Block's Whole Entire Album
All of everything, for certain. DL this IMMEDIATELY.
P.S. Just to be clear, that new Meek Mill + Rick Ross + Jay-Z song is terrible.
P.P.S. That 50 Cent + Eminem + Adam Levine is even worse. I listened to it and then I killed myself. And that's a stone fact, my friend.
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.