This may come as a bit of a surprise to some of you when I tell you, but I listen to hip-hop. I listen to a lot of hip-hop. When I say a lot, I mean that it's a large portion of my musical diet. I know, I know; how could someone so eloquent, so poignant, and so gentlemanly as myself listen to such perverted poetry? The answer eludes me, as well, and often surprises me as much as it has you. The tales of murder, drug dealing, and bitch-slapping really speak to my soul. I just find myself attracted to the streets. I feel at home there - you can't take me out of the hood.
The truth is, I have always loved it. I've been known to jokingly say that deep down inside there is a black man living inside me. Being that my father claims I inherited it from my mother, she must have had a black man deep inside her, as well.
Now, as much as I love hip-hop, I am the first to admit that 90% of it now-a-days is absolutely terrible. I was lucky enough - some may even say spoiled - to have grown up during what many call the "golden era" of hip-hop. In the 90's (and I even include the early 00's as well) the songs had a message to them that we all could benefit from. Whether it was learning to respect others' personal space in the office; bicycle safety - more specifically making sure that your tires are inflated to the suggested PSI; or even something as important as showing women how to effectively communicate their wants and needs to their significant other; hip-hop was more than just music - it was a teacher. A teacher who, at times, could be likened to Ms. Othmar from The Peanuts. I'm not going to lie - there were a lot of times I had no idea what the fuck they were rapping about. I didn't need to understand it, because I felt it.
Many will say that "you can't spell 'crap' without the rap.'" While I can't argue that, it is also true that you can't spell "cardiograph" without the "rap," either. I sincerely doubt you're going to be complaining about it then, when you're in the hospital because you think you're having a heart attack, and one of them helps save your life. Will you? I didn't think so. SHUT YA BLOODCLOT MOUTH!
Love it or hate it, the one thing that can't be argued is that hip-hop is, hands-down, the best music to dance to. I myself am not a dancer, nor do I think any male - particularly white males, such as myself - should be. Sure, some entertainers can get away with it, but just because they can it doesn't mean that we all should be doing it. The Fonz could go around weather that little leather jacket saying "Eh!" all the time, but if the rest of us tried that we would come across looking like a poor man's Judas Priest - just much gayer. Not just anyone can jump that shark.
Though I don't dance, I do enjoy watching females dance. There's nothing quite as captivating as watching a woman's rump jerking to-and-fro. If I were a hypnotist, I would do away with the swinging watch and go straight to the bouncing ass, because I've found myself lost in it more times than I could count. I could go through and count all of the restraining orders I've received from complete strangers while out and about, but I'd really rather leave the past in the past. Oh, yeah, the kid from American Beauty can film plastic bags floating around in the air and that is poetic. I film a gal shaking her ass and it's "creepy." Whatever. I'll tell you what you can with my ass - suck it.
I mentioned earlier that I am not a huge fan of "new rap." For me, the content just seems to be lacking. How many times can we hear about having millions of dollars, getting high all day long, and how you wish you could "fuck every girl in the world"? What a minute - why don't I like new rap again? Those all sound like platforms I could really see myself getting behind. I may have to think this through a bit more.
Current (but pending) dislike of the current hip-hop scene aside, there was a song released not too long ago that really caught my attention. I cannot stop listening to "Drop" by Rich Boy. I included the instrumental version to the song because the actual version of it is terrible, and I can't stand to hear Rich Boy's voice. By the way, I'm almost certain that he is neither wealthy enough to be considered "rich," nor young enough to be considered a "boy." Regardless, his horrible voice and rapping skills ruin an absolutely wonderful beat by Polow Da Don. I would comment on his name, as well, but I have no fucking idea what it means.
"Drop" is the kind of song I can put on, lean back, close my eyes, and just daydream. I imagine myself, as I'm sure most of you did, in a strip club. The dancer is beautiful, and with every hit of the high-hat in the beat, she gives her ass a little smack while looking at me over her shoulder. I am captivated, but don't allow myself to fall too deeply for this siren's song. "Snoop said this in '94, we don't love you hos." As she nears the end of her set, I pull out a large stack of $100 bills and toss them into the air - an act known as "making it rain."
Though "Drop" seems like it was custom made for strip clubs (much the same as Motley Crue's "Girls, Girls, Girls" and Britney Spears' "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman"), and is probably played in many of them, my pipe dream (see what I did there) will sadly probably never come true. A lot of strippers look like the weird woman I've seen in the men's room of every highway rest area I've been to. They have the rhythm of them, too. I can't believe I paid $15 for that - it was like getting blown by a life-size bobble head doll. As you can see from my last statement, I'm not rich, either, so it's difficult for me to make it rain on anyone. Unless you're counting golden showers, but that's another topic for another day. I do have an alternative to making it rain, though. If I take some of the bills I do have, and exchange them for coins, it looks like I have a lot more than I do. I call that "making it hail." Girls don't seem to like that, though. Something about bruising and eye injuries. Whatever.
The other problem - which will probably be as surprising to you as my love of all things ebony - is that I don't really enjoy strip clubs. Me, the man who has professed his love for breasts more times than his love for any person, does not enjoy himself at strip clubs. Talk about a true poetic tragedy. "How could this be," you are probably asking yourself. Well, let me tell you.
First off, I really can't imagine going to a strip club alone. I'm pretty sure that's why internet pornography sites were invented. Going by yourself is the worst, but going with a group of friends isn't exactly a day at the races, either. Their are many reasons for this, which I will get into later, but the first and foremost reason is that it is comparable to watching pornography with them. It's awkward. The only thing that could make it more awkward would be eye contact, or one them offering a helping hand.
I've really only been to one strip club in particular, but I have visited multiple times. Hey, I had to give it an honest shot. I'm not one to judge prematurely. At the one I've been to, you pay a cover charge to enter. There's always been something odd to me about having to pay to be able to go into a place to pay for more things. Now I know how my friends feel when I charge them my monthly "companionship fee," and then break everything at their house in a drunken stupor. To make it even worse, it's always a woman at the door. Don't get wrong me, I think that sexes are equal and she should be allowed to work the door if she wants. It's just that I know that she's judging me as I hand her my $20, thinking to herself You poor, pathetic bastard. God bless the girl who has to talk you up tonight Her baby will be going hungry.
The state of Pennsylvania has a lot of weird laws, and one of them is that if you serve alcohol, women cannot be completely nude in your establishment. To get around that law, a lot of strip clubs in this area are "BYOB." Technically, as long as you're not paying for the drinks, the gals can get naked as a Jaybird. Has anyone ever seen a Jaybird, by the way? Do they really get that naked? Someone get back to me on that one, please. Anyway, even though you brought your alcohol yourself, you're not allowed to keep it with you. You have to drop it off at the "bar," and they put it in its own separate cooler. When you want a drink, you go to the bartender and tell them how many you'd like from which cooler. This makes it fairly easy to try and steal drinks from other people, if you are daring enough. However, with everyone being hyped up on cocaine, alcohol, and the scent of stale pussy in the air, I wouldn't try it if I were you.
So, once you're finally in the place, the next dilemma you face is where you are going to sit. This plays a major mind-fuck on me. Sitting in the back where they have the tables is the most comfortable, and conducive to talking (if you came with friends - that sounds gross), but it also makes you look like a cheap asshole just looking for free entertainment. However, if you walk in and go straight to stage, sit down and immediately begin ogling the dancer, well then you seem like the kind of guy who can direct someone to each and every glory hole in the city. Who wants to be that guy, other than that guy?
Even if you do take the comfortable seat, eventually you have to make your way down to the stage. It's the polite thing to do, really. When I sit down at the stage, I tend to notice everyone sitting around me. There's the guy who's too fucked up to really know what's going on and you're not quite sure how he's remaining upright in his chair; the guy who is slightly less fucked up and feeling rowdy, whom you almost expect at any second to rip his shirt off and scream "I love pussy" as security drags him outside; there's the guy leaning on the stage and staring way too intensely at the dancer (read: the glory hole guy); and last but not least, there's the kid who just 18 and is in such amazement that he is about to cum in his pants. Ahhh, the rite of passage into manhood.
Then, of course, there's me - sitting there, not exactly sure what to do. I probably look like I just committed a heinous crime and am hiding out for a while, or that I am about to commit one right then and there, but only because I feel so damn awkward. As the dancer makes her way around the stage, she stops to do a slightly personal dance in front of everyone sitting stage-side. When she makes her way to me, I don't know what to do. I first wonder if I should be respectful and make eye contact, or just look where I want to look. If I do the latter, I could be seen as a "pig," but I'm sure everyone else in there is, anyway. If I do the former, it might creep her out and make her feel even worse. I'm sure she just wants to get off stage, get dressed, get to her car without letting her pimp see her, and get home to her baby. Hopefully the baby is still asleep and hasn't figured out how to use a lighter while she's been away.
At some point, inevitably, I make eye contact. It's then that my personable side comes out, and I feel inclined to say hello. I mean, there's a woman dancing in front of me in the nude, and I am about to pay her for it; I don't think a formal greeting is that far of a stretch. However, I then again think about the baby, and then I wonder why I'm thinking about babies while at a strip club. I decide to wait and see if she says hello first. Most of the time they do, and after I return it, they ask how you are doing. Do I answer honestly and tell her that I feel blood rushing to my penis? Do I down-play and tell her that I've been better? Do I ask how she is doing, or do I go with my gut instinct that she probably doesn't want to think about the state of her life at the moment? Decisions, decisions.
It was at this point that I've had two strange things happen to me on two separate occasions. The first is that the stripper crouched down in front of me, spread eagle. Awesome, right? That's what I thought. I also thought that the fact that a stranger's vagina was mere inches away from my face was more than enough reason to God bless the USA. She proceeded to lean toward me and reach for my glasses. I am very anal about my glasses - much more anal about them than I am my sex. What? I don't like anybody - and I really do mean anybody - touching them. Once at Christmas dinner, my uncle licked his finger and wiped it across my right lense to screw with me, and I grabbed my dinner knife and slit his throat right in front of my six year old cousin. The bouncers in the strip club were pretty big, and this girl was just doing her job, so I couldn't do the same to her. Trying to compose myself and keep my emotions in check so I didn't flip out, I sat there with a strained look on my face (I probably looked like the 18 year old right before he made a quick exit from the club) as she took my glasses off of my face. I may as well have been her at the moment, because I felt completely naked. I had no idea what she was going to do with them - I only prayed that he same God who placed vag in my field of vision would also place my glasses back on my face to fix my field of vision. The stripper gave me a seductive look and rubbed my glasses up and down her labia, placed them back on my face, and was on her way. I didn't see her do that to anyone else that night, so I guess I should feel flattered. I also may just not of seen her do it to anyone else because I had vaginal fluid smeared across my glasses.
The second oddity happened a year or two later. I was admittedly inebriated, and the stripper - a different one - did her little dance in front of me. She pulled out on the side of her g-string as if to say, "Everything costs, even conversation, and you have to pay more than attention" and I removed a couple of dollars from my pile to pay her. I hadn't noticed until now, but they were not new, crisp dollars. No, they were old, wrinkled, flimsy dollars. As I tried to slide it underneath her strap, they just kept crumbling up. I tried probably four times before finally reaching up with my other hand. I grabbed the strap of her g-string, held it, and slid the money under it. The second I made a motion toward her, I was surrounded by bouncers. They must have heard about what I did to my uncle. When they saw that nothing was going to happen, they backed off to their respective corners. I thought it was all over, until the DJ made a special announcement to remind the patrons not to touch the talent. Thanks for the head's up, guy who thinks Poison is the greatest thing since assless chaps and Mustangs.
After you've been at the stage for a gal or two, you are safe to go back to the tables, assuming there are any still open. On your way there, you will probably want to stop by the bar and politely ask for one of your beers, and have it doled out to you like a fucking allowance. Thanks, Dad. Right about the time you sit down, you will probably notice someone you sort-of-know sitting off in the distance. It will be dark, so it will take you a minute or two to decide if it is really them or not. If it's not, you're going to look very odd staring at a guy from across the room in a dimly lit strip club. If it is, you better hope he doesn't want to come over and get caught up. There's something very uncomfortable about being forced to talk to someone you don't know well (and probably don't like all that much) in that sort of setting. The only thing worse than sitting around and watching porn with your friends is sitting around and watching porn with someone you don't really know. And, with any luck, they will have an unkepmpt beard, which somehow only adds to the depravity of the situation.
As you sit at the table, hopefully rid of your acquaintance, you will soon start to be enticed by strippers walking about the main area in search of customers. Again, on paper, a lap dance seems like an awesome thing. A woman takes her clothes off while grinding against you and whispering dirty things in your ear. What's not to love? I'll tell you what's not to love - that's all that happens. This all seems to keep coming back to internet porn, but again, why am I going to pay you to tease me so that I can go home and jerk off, when I could have just stayed home and jerked off in the first place? The strippers are very nice, and very friendly, until they find out that you are not interested. Suddenly they will have to get ready for their next dance, or they just got a text that their baby lit their apartment on fire. I told you that lighters were a risk.
Now, I know that in a lot of places, the more you pay the more you "get." I'm aware of that, but if I wanted a hooker, I'd call one of my ex-girlfriends. Often times the stripper will "fish" your entire table at once, and more than likely one of your friends is going bite the worm, hoping that she will bite his. The thing is, he actually believes that she is interested in him. $250 - $400 later, he's coming out from the back telling you that he thinks he's close to "getting up in that," and what little respect you had for him before going into this ordeal is long gone.
After all was said and done, on the ride home, all I could ever think about is why I didn't enjoy myself more. I think about things I thoroughly enjoy - women, alcohol, music - they were all there, in an orgy of goodness. What is wrong with me that I couldn't just let loose and have a good time? While I'm wondering this, I heard my friends planning a trip to the club for the following weekend, because they know they'll be able to recoup on their down payment from tonight.
I don't say anything. I don't want to ruin their hopes and dreams, just because mine have been crushed. I keep my mouth shut, I go home, I go back to my little fantasy-land, and I use my tears as lubrication as I masturbate to the beat of "Drop". I should mention that my tears are not those of sorrow, but of pain, because much as the stripper in my fantasy slapped her ass to the high-hat, my left ball slapped my thigh in tune and it really hurt.