The 10 Kingston Commandments: 10 Rules I lived by While Growing Up in Grandma’s House
Christopher Wallace aka “BIGGIE,” aka “Notorius B-I-G,” aka “Big Poppa,” has been on my mind a lot lately. Actually, this isn’t unique to state, since I have been residing in his childhood environment for the past 5 years… There is always something in the Brooklyn air that reminds you that he once roamed the same streets…SPREADING LOVE the BROOKLYN WAY…
Biggie rapped lyrics about his experiences, sometimes horrific times in his Brooklyn home-base… Some may not have been quite his story, as I found it humorous when Biggie’s Mother was lovingly reflecting on his short life in so many words…
“Christmas missed us, ” What was he talking about? Christopher had a good Christmas.
I started reflecting on my home front, growing up on the South Side of Chicago surrounded by a community of family and friends… All part of the Soulful Sips DNA and because I lived in this home for years, there were both spoken and unspoken rules to live by in Grandma’s house. These are the countdown of the”10 Kingston Commandments,” I recall while growing up:
10. Don’t scratch the records. My Uncle was a DJ with a huge vinyl collection in the basement. Playing and scratching his records was a huge no- no, so I just subjected at times to read the lyrics on the album jacket. Explains why I Value Lyrics… Can I put this on a t-shirt?
9. Girl, turn that water off. All this spiritual cleansing and day dreaming in the shower sounds soul stirring and magical. You can have all of that, as long as you get it within 1, 2 to 5 minutes tops…Girl, you still in the shower?!!!
8. Can’t touch this! I don’t care how anemic you are, re-up on some iron pills, green leafy veggies and get yourself a blanket. Thoust Shall not or will not touch the thermostat.
7. Turn Off the Lights. But not in a sexy melodic Teddy Pendergrass manor when he begins his famous song, but the Teddy voice at the end when he is yelling at you as if it was a state of emergency to turn off that light. If you leave the room, turn off the lights! My children don’t know how privileged they are today.
6. What did you say? Talking back to an adult was a measure to get yourself 60 stitches and a life supply of straws to drink your food with. Fortunately, that was not an issue. I be talking, but when they come around I be quiet…Ok, Bye Felicia
5. Wash your dishes. In a house of extended families members, it was a quick fix to just wash your own dish as you used them but try not to use the entire bottle of dish liquid on those few dishes.
4. Move Something. Sorry not sorry for mentioning this… but my Grandma’s certified nursing assistant background permitted her to question your last bowel movement. “Did you move your bowels?” was the follow up question to any ailment you experienced, including heartbreaks…I am exaggerating…but not really.
3. Get Up, Get Out, Get Something. I wish I had kept this up once I became a teenager, but I did not understand what my Grandmother was preparing me for when you get out of the bed for the day, there was no lounging in lounge wear… You were to put on some clothes and get fully dressed. I lost that somehow along my adolescent stage. It was self discipline in the making.
2. Who you With? Tell someone, an adult somebody…where you are going. On some slick-ish you would try to tell your cool aunt because you knew she would no go into deep cover and question your whereabouts AND If you are sitting on the front porch…STAY IN or OUT! the house. And close that screen door, you letting the mosquitoes in!
- The Light of God. The street lights were the matrix to the Mothership. Don’t let that light catch you outside… And then the testers would sometimes test, by returning home in confidence because they made it on time, only to ask if you could stay out for a little while longer and play. Seems like the most fun began as soon as the street lights came on. Girl, get out of here.
And there you have it…The Bible of Biggie, Book of Soulful Sips:Chapter 2, verse 10….The 10 Kingston Commandments.
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