Today’s guest post comes from a good friend, St. who recently started making music. Listen to his first release below and follow him on Soundcloud.
Go ahead ask me my nationality.
I’ll tell you Brooklyn.
First generation Brooklyn. Born and bred.
It’s strange for me to walk through or drive through this “New Brooklyn” otherwise known as Hipsterland, USA… You know: Williamsburg, Bushwick, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, fuck, even Bed-Stuy is about to join the club.
As you wander through these areas, you spot “Brooklyn” everything– coffee, cupcakes, coffee, bikes, coffee, probably even bonsai plants… Oh, and did I mention coffee?
It’s oddly weird though, because it doesn’t seem authentic to Brooklyn.
My Brooklyn coffee is the $1 cup of water dirt you cop from Mohammad at the corner store as opposed to the $7 latte from the lesbian barista.
Mohammad knows me, I know him, and his dad, and his sister and all his cousins who tend the counter during the night shift of their 24-hour deli.
That’s my version of Brooklyn. The immigrant story. The struggle story.
When you used to say you were from Brooklyn, people respected you immediately because they thought “Oh damn, he must’ve seen some shit.”
To be honest, I still like to believe that it’s true.
Our parents made the ballsy decision to come to this country and were somehow lucky enough to get a connect who can hook them up with a dusty one-bedroom apartment, which to them was a mansion full of opportunity.
Then, the first-generation American is born. These are the kids who not only have to balance the pressures, cultures, and expectations of the “Old World,” but somehow learn to navigate those of the new.
And, they have to bring the rest of their non-English speaking family along for the ride.
Later, this generation grows, begins to cultivate their roots in this new land. If they’re lucky, they can open up their own business.
For some reason, most of these community businesses never used to have “Brooklyn” in their name to remind people where they were. It was known.
I’m basically a Brooklyn OG, so it really makes me mad when I meet someone outside of New York, who introduces themselves as from “Brooklyn” before I open my mouth.
It makes me ask, “Ok, so which midwestern state are you really from?”
It’s infuriating because you didn’t earn those stripes, you didn’t earn that title. You didn’t spend your high school years defending your borough as the best while interacting with the fuckboys from the other boroughs.
You chose to live in Brooklyn while I had no choice.
You walk through Brooklyn neighborhoods, ignorant of the local culture, of the street smarts required to survive, of the characters you had to dodge.
The only way you learn is when the bubble you live in is popped by random bullets whizzing by your head.
Just kidding, they don’t ALWAYS shoot bullets… they might shank you instead.
I wrote this and knew it would feel like I was hating on the new wave, but that’s not my intention.
The products put out by Brooklyn implants are of great quality. These people work hard, they hand make random hipster shit I never thought I needed (like woven coffee cup holders— btw did they release the organic condoms yet?) and they clean up the streets.
I simply miss the authenticity that came with “Brooklyn.”
That struggle, that pride, even when it wasn’t trending. You never really had to say Brooklyn.
My passport might say United States, but my soul, style, and speech will announce my birthplace… Brooklyn.