“Whether from a disease or from a bullet, I wouldn’t be mad, I lived my life to the fullest.” — Joe Budden
Right off top, I wanna say I don’t think about dying no time soon. Even before the accident it was always like that. Matter of fact, I remember a good friend of mine who never liked talking about death. My guess is because it was a depressing subject. I’d agree too, because as of today I wouldn’t wanna give it any of my energy honestly. My sh*t (energy) too potent for that. But at the same time we can’t front like it’s not inevitable. More like the pink elephant in the room but I understand how close the sh*t can be, which is why I wanna talk about the song If I Died Tomorrow by Joe Budden.
It was on volume 2 of his Mood Muzik series, and at the time I first heard it I was in school living some of my best years. It got cut short though, which is part of the reason for writing this. Call it my words never said. I must admit though, Joe’s song wasn’t even my favorite although I’ll say he has good taste in beats cause the sample so smooth and matches the subject well. But it plays right into the whole depressing convo I spoke about earlier with my friend. However, considering that was almost a reality on September 5th, I think it’s a worthy enough topic to touch on.
In the song, Joe builds on a lot of relatable situations and the title should be self-evident on what he’s talking about. A situation where if he died tomorrow. It’s exactly like the 24hrs to live song where you hear these guys (Mase, Jadakiss, DMX and Black Rob) rap about the things they would do if all they had were 24hrs to live. It’s the same concept, but both songs have separate moods. Joe’s version was a bit more reflective, deeper but refreshing because it’s on a much personal level. But it has me thinking. If I died tomorrow, what would I say, do or not do? Joe spent damn near 7 whole minutes, which isn’t long given the topic, but I think I can muster up a few things so bare with me.
If I died tomorrow, I’d tell my father he’s the greatest person and father that a son could ever have and he deserves more than he gives out. I would want him to know he’s always been that voice in my head to keep me off the bullsh*t. I’d let him know how he’s kept me protected from a world I’m fortunate to never have lived in where kids have no father figure so they go searching elsewhere, like the streets. I would also tell him I apologize and he would know why. I should’ve been more aware. He stuck by my side from the jump though, just like A, and been there with me ever since and I don’t know why God gave me somebody like that, but it’s a beautiful thing God did. Also, I’d put him on a plane to a tropical place where there’s nothing but sun, a beach, women and peace of mind so he can fully unwind and not be burdened with other people’s problems, including my own.
If I died tomorrow, I’d organize all of my closest family from both my mom and father’s side so we can see how black families should always be—and that’s together—even if it’s just for a day, but I’d rather it be like when I was a kid where being around family was a weekly to damn near a daily affair. I’d tell them ALL…Uncles, Aunties, Cousins, Grandparents, you name it. I’d say let’s help each other with our situations. We family so we should at least be in position to do that, even if it’s just talking over a game of cards. Then, I’d let them ALL know I love them cause I’m really big on family in spite of being so reserved as most people would know. I grew up in a community surrounded by family and friends so that’s what I like to see. No drama, less stress, more laughter and a whole lot of love and understanding of one another to go along with it.
If I died tomorrow, I’d go see both my grandparents on my father’s side and just spend the day with them. Talk with them as they tell me about the life they lived in the south and just sit back and enjoy their presence cause without them would mean no us. I’d thank them for taking care of my brother, my cousins and myself throughout all the years, money and sweat they dedicated, including the level of stress they helped lift off my parents’ shoulders. I couldn’t ask for anything better. I might even take a few shots of Whiskey with Bossman like I used to do and go help Granny plant flowers, cut her grass and move her white rocks from one side to the other. Basically just be the grandson my brother is, which leads me into…
If I died tomorrow, I’d let big bro know, although he already knows, that he’s my role model and everything I ever wanted to be like. I’d tell him sorry for wearing his shoes to school and rushing back home before him to put them back like nothing ever happened. Then I’d say that’s what little brothers are for lol. But I’d also tell him let’s go play one on one like we use to when it was just us, even though I was probably a pain. I’d tell him I know I could’ve been better with making the right choices instead of stupid ones. Lastly, I’d hug him as tight as I could cause I miss being around him to the point it feels like it’s just me when it was always us. I’d probably say a bunch of things to my brother cause that’s my blood. Go to the end of the world and back if he needed me to. We lived in the same household for years and I’d pay good money over and over just to experience it again, especially the days on Lenoir and Edsel playing baseball and one on one basketball on the infamous milk crate.
If I died tomorrow, I’d take a trip down south and spend time with my mother. My heart. Always have been as far as I can remember. I’d tell her she raised her child well and in such a good way that living where we grew up felt like a luxury. I’d tell her all the hard work she puts in hardly goes unnoticed and she’s the reason why I keep my faith. I’d tell her she could do no wrong in my eyes because that’s how I see it. I’d even let her know that I used to wished I had went with her when she asked me to because I’d probably be in a totally different place in my life and probably for the better considering how things have been lately. But finally, I’d just like to be near my moms and be around to hear her voice.
If I died tomorrow, I’d link up with all my buddies from the cradle, made songs with, roamed the streets late at night with and break bread. Figuratively and literally. Let’s get some money together and see the world or something. Aside from that, I’d let them know I’m glad to have had them around cause I was so much to myself and being with them added so much fun in my life. Whether it was at Oakland, Beechwood park, Sabbath or on the white side, it was always a good time being a part of the crew. I’d let them all know I never had a problem with them that was so big that we couldn’t talk it out cause it was always love with me. Whether it was on Superior, Leroy (and Goodell), Palmerston, Campbell, Frazier, Beechwood, Holford, Polk or on Lenoir, I’m glad I can say I was there with y’all and love y’all for sharing those times. Roll up.
I think I will end on this part cause I know I can write a whole book if I wanted. I think I just might lowkey. But if I died tomorrow, I’d go and chill with all the women I ever had something with and tell them thank you for allowing me to be a part of their life. I had fun. If I could have made it better, then I would in a heart beat. Whether it was short or long term, I just know I’m fortunate for each and every one that God placed in my life cause they were all good ones, especially the last one.
I think I wrote quite a lot on this topic and I probably will go deeper in a book or something. But for what’s it’s worth, if I died tomorrow I’d spend it being around the people that added plenty of color to my often black and white world. Yeah, that’s what I’d do and a few others things—I’m thinking beach front property somewhere in South America. But since I don’t plan on going anywhere any time soon, that’s what I most likely will do while I’m still here.
One last thought…
If I died tomorrow, I’d tell everyone that ever felt some way about what happened that just because I’m not the same person you’re physically used to seeing doesn’t mean I’m any different. You don’t have to feel uneasy around me but if you do, then I rather you get it off your chest — cause sh*t happens to the best of us. I’m still the same Chase and will always be that in spite of my appearance.