Having kids is a surefire way to bring your own mortality riiiiiiiight to the front of your mind. I used to be absolutely terrified of death. I had my first ever full-shut-down-panic-attack the summer before September 11th. My friend John had died of an overdose the week before, and I returned home from a party and all of a sudden physically couldn't walk. It was like someone had hit me in the head with a shovel. I stumbled up the walkway into my house and somehow made it into my bed, convinced that I wasn't going to wake up in the morning.
I arrived in London for a semester abroad on September 9th, 2001. On the morning of September 11th I went with some new friends and bought tickets to Amsterdam, because at the time I was reaaaaaaaaaaally enjoying drugs. Two hours later my life was very different. The anxiety that I had dabbled in before just never left my body, ever. I don't think I slept for three months. I went to the hospital a lot. And I smoked a lot of cigarettes. I was so scared that I was going to die - in my sleep, of a heart attack, of an anneurysm, whatever. IT WAS A GREAT SEMESTER ABROAD. TOTALLY RECOMMENDED.
It took me most of my 20's to get this crippling anxiety under control. Eventually you just think, fuck it - if I die, at least I won't have to deal with this shit anymore. As macabre as that sounds, it is how I mentally was able to get back to the table to be a functioning human being. Then my first son was born.
Suddenly my own death was the last thing I would ever worry about. I had this realization on a plane. See, I am also terrified of flying. En route to a friend's wedding our plane hit some heavy turbulence. Rather than curl up into a sweaty ball like I usually would, I got angry. Angry that I wasn't going to spend more time with my kid. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else. But I realized in that moment that again, my life was very different. I don't care about myself as much anymore. It's a good thing, because obviously I'm a bit of a narcissist.
This song (and the album, if I'm being honest) is an effort to get everything important down on record in case I get hit by a bus, or whatever. When we finished the album I felt a peace that I hadn't felt before. We finally went for our defining statement as a group. I think we did it. So really that's all that matters (I REALLY, REALLY HOPE EVERYONE LIKES IT TOO). And if I drop dead tomorrow, at least my kids will know the somewhat less important shit that they should be paying attention to. Being a kind, caring person is all stuff their mother can cover with them. Sentence and I are picking up the slack with the rest.
We have a lovely video shot for this that we will be releasing soon. I also want to add that Sentence took extra time to write his verse because he wanted it to be really good, and that means so much to me you have no idea. Lastly, the "Na Na Na Na" in the hook stems from a singing game that I played with my son to kill time on our way back from daycare. Just a little inside joke for me and the kid. Also, the kiddie-babbling in the middle of the song comes from this video my wife took of the little guy, which is still one of my favorite things ever.
Never pay more than $5 for lunch. There's always someone more tired than you on the train. Don't sample anything but vinyl. Trust me. It's not the same. Being a dick to girls won't help to get you laid. Well, maybe a little bit. But with shades of grey. Don't shave your face in a hurry. Don't be so afraid of change.
Tell the people that you love that you love them. Make music like nobody will hear it. If you're ever at a wedding and the dancefloor is empty - dance hard, motherfucker. Be fearless. Don't play video games in public. Don't take shots at people in private. Don't hate your favorite bands for selling out arenas even though the club shows are the livest.
Bruce Springsteen is the truth. I used to sing Thunder Road when I rocked you to sleep. Remember people's names when you meet. Nas is the best MC, he just picks shitty beats. A driver's license is a man's most important possession. Be confident in everything that you write. It's not always smart to walk away from a fight. Fuck an early bird. All the best shit happens at night.
What you don't say says the most about you as a man. Uncle Six Guns knows better than me. Don't drink until you are unaffected. Don't think you're a rebel for smoking some weed. Jeremy told me I wouldn't know the feeling til it happened. I was scared but I see that it's true. Don't smoke cigarettes. Be nice to your mother. I'll be here as long as I'm able. The rest is on you.
Hey. You're going to be alright.
Broke is OK. Money is way overrated. And the strangest fucking weirdos are the nicest. Rule #1: trust your gut no matter what. Rule #2: the best slang and best style are timeless. Don't say something if you don't believe it. Don't believe something just because you hear it. No matter how upset the motherfuckers on the train make you feel don't ever let them break your spirit.
Your folks are alright. You might not know this til your older. When you do you'll realize the traits they passed down. But on some real shit try not to puke where someone else will have to clean it. They charge you for that in cabs now. If you ever see Ultramagnetic on wax, cop that. Don't ever feel like you need to be part of the dog pack. No one knows more than those who've seen the bottom and clawed back. And nothing on the internet counts as human contact.
New York City don't make you a better person. Either does being atheist or vegan. You can be a saint no matter who you pray to. And you can be an asshole no matter what you're eating. If you find cash on the ground it's fair game. Don't feel guilty. Always take a second to breathe, man. We can write a million stories about how to live your life. But you can tell it better than we can.
Hey. You're going to be alright.« Back to Home