“Them n****s ain’t dying for you…
Them n****s ain’t dying for you….”
With whom do you choose to go out? Is your wing(wo)man the most responsible person you know? Do they know when to corral you and reel you back from the deep end? On the other hand, do you know when to read their meter and prevent it from going into the red?
“Beef is best served like steak —
Well done, get a gun in your face….
Beef will have you praying to God
Move your kids, have you hiding your mom.
Beef is when you hide behind them other n****s,
But they ain’t killers they ain’t pullin them triggers…
Beef will have you keying our cars,
Heartbroke, yours don’t look like ours.”
Whatever you want to call it — beef, static, envy, hating, gossip — converged recently at a club in NYC when Drake, Chris Brown, and Meek Mill, among other celebrities attended the same nightclub simultaneously. What is fact is that a melee of some magnitude ensued, and although bullets weren’t thrown in the air, bottles can be just as dangerous. The aftermath showed all types of liquor bottles, glasses, buckets, everything strewn about, like someone took bottle service and smeared it on the floor.
All three parties of the aforementioned rappers have claimed innocence, saying they either weren’t there when the bottles turned into confetti, that their hangers-on had nothing to do with the ice buckets being thrown like rice at a wedding. It’s been insinuated that it’s the “other people” that got involved, the entourage’s entourage getting all antsy and itching for a tussle. But how responsible should we be for the ones we choose to #getcongenial with? True, we may not put the bottle in their hand, but can’t we calm the situation down before they choose to toss it? Further, do we REALLY want to have our fate possibly be tied to them and their actions? We need our friends to have our back, but when the fecal matter hits the fan, they’re throwing bottles? That’s not who you need holding you down. Like The Dream said, they ain’t dying for you.
“Them n****s using you as a pawn,
You see they never loaded they guns
Now you out here all by yourself
Ask Steve Jobs, wealth don’t buy health.” — “Exodus 23:1” by Pusha T
“How I’m feeling, it doesn’t matter
Cause you know I’m okay/
And still, I ask myself, “Why do you worry?”
When you know I’m the same/
I know, I know you don’t love me, baby
They’re trying to take you away from me/
Only over my dead body…” — Drake, “Over My Dead Body”
“Last Call.” Two of the most horrendous words ever uttered within a drinking place. Even worse than, “Not tonight,” “Get out!,” and the two words said during a one and two conversation. But I digress. Hearing “Last Call” causes our spirits to drop a bit, no pun intended, as we realize that the grand time we’re having with our ace booms will soon be coming to a close. It also discourages those of us that arrive at an event late and don’t get to wade in the libations for as long as we’d hoped. How can we deal with this tragic phrase? Is there any way to #getcongenial for a bit longer?
There isn’t. Last Call is just that: the last time a call to the bar can be made. But you can make the most of your time communicating with the barkeep. Many people choose to be “double-fisted”: carrying around two drinks at the same time. Maybe a beer and a shot, a shot with a cocktail back, or two mixed drinks. The stranglehold on the “beer and a shot” requires great manual dexterity, and once mastered, allows you to continue hand gestures that appropriately punctuate high and low points of your conversation. Mere mortals need not attempt, lest they make a fool of themselves, their shoes, and the Bier.
What about a shot followed by a proper cocktail? What’s the saying? “You’re on your way to hell with gasoline drawers.” Talk about putting the pedal to the metal! Not only do you want the effects of the cocktail you’re drinking, but you’re gonna pump it up a notch with periodic shots of MORE liquor? Unless you have a water IV hooked up to you, this is not the best thing to do.
Which brings us to the third option — feeling that two cocktails are better than one. While this is true according to basic math, it also makes sense based on one main circumstance — if the cocktails are free. If not, you’re paying to let one cocktail water down and lose its quality while you suck down the other hurriedly to get to its cousin. Losing on both counts.
As we’ve figured out, Last Call is one of the most unwavering things in a drinking place, other than the 6’-7”, 300lb bouncer. Keep one eye on your watch, and you won’t have to utilize rogue cocktailing techniques to enable an enjoyable experience. Stay congenial, at all costs.
It’s good to get back to that ol’ thang again. It used to be that a rapper would need beef to push albums, because their talent was that questionable, or they just needed a whole lot of manufactured attention. But when you get MC’s the caliber of Common and Drake, well it’s a whole ‘nother story. Their quality of music has put them at the highest points of the game, so to hear Common throw out the first overture, “He opened his mouth and said some things…if that’s what he want, say it!” And further, “It’s just about MC’n, and once you step in there, you in the ring, baby!” You know what that means — LET’S PLAY THE FEUD!!
There is no better arena or forum to hold this battle than The Congenial Hour. While I hold hometown ties to Chicago, I’m big fans of both Common AND Drake. So without any further ado, one more time, *Michael Buffer voice* LET’S GET READY TO RUUUUUMMMMBBBBBLLLLLLLLEEEEEEE!!!!!
*both rappers come together and touch mics*
Drake — “Drink up, cuz everyone here is good tonight/Except for the n****s I came with, they good for LIFE.” — Lyrics from “Thank Me Now”
Common — “Come from a tribe of bums, hooked on [El Cordon] Negro and Mumm’s/Had to halt with the, malt liquor/Cause off the malt liquor, I fought n****s, now my speech and thoughts quicker.” — Lyrics from “Resurrection”
Judges: Drake takes the round for better drinking amongst all the #crewlove.
Drake, his given middle name, shares the same name with a brand of sherries. His surname is the same as a brand of port that I enjoy. There is a type of beer termed California common beer, which includes Anchor Steam Beer, one of the few beers I’ve ever tasted.
Judges: Round goes to Drake. Fortified wines FTW.
Judges: Common. Nas said dark > clear.
Judges: Common might win this round if Carrie Nation was one of the judges, but around these parts? Drizzy takes another one.
That Drake t-shirt also comes in white.
Judges: Sorry, Common. #wehadto
Drake — “What have I learned since getting richer?/I learned working with the negatives could make for better pictures/I learned Hennessy and enemies is one hell of a mixture.” — Lyrics from “HYFR”
Common — “Behind the V, I took my first shot of Henny/It hit me in the chest like when them marks shot Benji.” — Lyrics from “Reminding Me (of Sef)”
Judges: Common takes the round, and the battle over the better Hennessy lyric, for the nostalgia effect.
Drake is from Toronto b/w Memphis. Common is from Chicago.
Judges: Round goes to Big Illinois. We from the go and don’t stop. #ihadto
Drake’s home country is known for pretty good whisky — Canadian Club, Crown Royal, Windsor Canadian, Spicebox Whisky, among others. Common’s home city has produced Few Spirits, which makes a gin with hops, and Koval Distillery, which has a line of quality, organic whiskies and liqueurs.
Judges: Canada ain’t Bourbon Country. One more round to the home team!
Drake — “I need you right now, are you down to listen to me?/Too many drinks have been given to me…” — Lyrics from “Marvin’s Room”
Common — “They say signs of the end is near/I wonder can I walk a righteous path holding a beer…” — Lyrics from “Resurrection”
Judges: No one does introspective emo-rap like Drizzy.
Drake — “I’m trying to let go of the past/Should we make this one a double? You ain’t even got to ask, ahhh!/Cuz it’s hard to say no, say no…” — Lyrics from “We’ll Be Fine”
Common — “Get my drink on like a coaster.” — Lyrics from “Sweet”
Judges: Though that was the song that sparked this salvo between the two, no one has lyrics of drinking culture like Drake. And that line from Common was a bit meh.
Final Round 12:
Drake’s drinking partner, Lil’ Wayne, has been seen OFTEN with cups of that purple stuff — Sprite and cough syrup. Common’s drinking partner, Kanye West, was seen taking shots of the HennDog straight out the bottle — at an awards show.
Judges: Common’s wingman will drink you under the table.
And in a close decision, Common wins. What? Drake won more rounds? Hey, if you wanna win, you got to knock the guy out — don’t let it get to the scorecards. THIS IS HIP HOP!!
You learn how to play sports during recess. You learn how to tie a knot and light a fire in the Boy Scouts. You learn how to wear a tuxedo at your high school prom.
How and where do you learn to drink?
A great man in London once told me that, “When you’re young, you aspire to the pub.” In a contemporary American context, yutes usually aspire to the nightclub. The corner/neighborhood bar notwithstanding, Da Club runs these streets. Holiday, birthday, Saturday, bored today — nothing holds up to going out to Da Club, taking in the lovely sights and thumping music. We put up with the lines, the cover charges, even the propensity for random and multiple gunshots. Dave & Buster’s may be fun, but King Kong ain’t got sh….I think you know the rest.
The music is obviously going to be there. Though crowds fluctuate between sporadic and packed-to-the-gills, there are always people there to interact with. But what do you take away from the drinking culture at Da Club — the type of cocktails that can be made, whether they’re served in plastic or glass, and the speed at which they’re mixed? Do you look at the backbar and assume that the varied types of spirits there are what every backbar has, or is supposed to have, assuming you even look at the backbar? Do you look at the patrons ordering bottle service and assume that is the best way to enjoy a cocktail? Does Da Club influence what drink you’ll order? You may not want to go up to that shorty in the pink dress with scotch in your glass; not when Da Club just got in that Nuvo Yellow and Ciroc Peach.
Maybe the high-volume activity and energy of Da Club influences you in other ways. Maybe you drink your beer or cocktail a lot faster, finding yourself ordering another every fourth song. Maybe you and your band of comrades shoot everything — liqueur, vodka, tequila, whiskey. No matter the proof, color, or appellation d’origine contrôlée, you’re throwing it in the barrel and pulling the trigger. Or possibly you train yourself to know your drink order in a maximum of 1.8 seconds, in order to avoid the harsh glares and sighs or impatience of the patrons behind you.
Da Club is the one of the first places where you’re judged by a jury of your peers. How you act and how your behavior affects other people are constantly being tested, to a bevy of successes and even more failures. Over all, hopefully it will be seen as just one place of distinctive drinking culture. There are many others, and you can use them all to inform each other. Stay congenial!
The new one from the rapper/drinking culture enthusiast….it would be interesting to see how he drinks other than “cups of the XO” and “cups of the Rosè” up in Marvin’s Room….
“Drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments,
Faded way too long, I’m floatin’ in and out of consciousness….”
Drake is known as standing out from many hip hop artists for many things — his unprecedented success before releasing a formal album, singing and rapping with skill, having acting skills along with musical skills. But he’s also one of the few hip hop artists that repeatedly mentions aspects of drinking culture in his music…many muddle their rhymes with product placement and boasts of “buying out the bar” and poppin’ bottles, but Drake writes on different aspects of his relationship with the cocktail and the bottle…
“Don’t get impatient when it takes too long/Drink it all, even when it tastes too strong…”
“Bottles on me, as long as someone drink it/Never drop the ball – f*ck is y’all thinkin’??”
“I don’t drink every bottle I own…I be agein’ sh*t/ And I got them wedding ring flows, that engaging sh*t…”
“Mahalo from the hardest act to follow/Lately I’ve been drinking like there’s a message in the bottle…”
“Poolside drinkin’, Margarita rounds/Shoutout to my city, though I hardly be in town…”
“You know I spend money because spending time is hopeless/And know I pop bottles ‘cuz I bottle my emotions/At least I put it all in the open…”