College Drop In

father son

A few days ago I went to the Should, Could, Dream Tour by my brother Cheers at Morgan State University. Seeing these incoming freshman glued to every word as he speaks with such passion is setting these kids up for greatness. College will create some of your greatest memories known to man, but going to a national treasure and a HBCU at the same damn time- future voice is an adventure that only a select few can talk about. HBCU’s have such an influence that it is often imitated by other schools only just to fall flat on their face as the melanin of these students continue to flourish and make a mark on history.

As I was looking in the audience, I began to think what if Should, Could, Dream was around in 2001 and 17 year old Sonny heard this message. Oh well since it wasn’t, this is 33 year old Sonny talking to 17 year old Sonny. Relax and take notes.

  1. Expand your boundaries

Listen kid, you are a Baltimore guy to the fullest. All you know is Baltimore but as dad once said, “Son, in order to be successful in life young man you must expand your boundaries”. Yeah, Baltimore vs. Y’all Whores makes an excellent t-shirt but that mentality will get you nowhere in life. Don’t listen to Drake, No New Friends. You will need new friends in order to be successful in life. Some of my closest friends in my life are from Philly, DC, PG, Jersey and New York City.

Who knows one of those guys or girls will help you find a job in the near future.

  1. Support your own

“It’s a secret society all we ask is trust”- Jay-Z voice…”We all we got” like Nino Brown eloquently said in New Jack City. In today’s world we are all we got. Support your own people man. We as black men and women are capable of creating some dope shit. Following Hov is cool and all but your man’s that’s starting from the ground up needs your support just the same. Whether, it’s a clothing line or a mixtape show that person the same support you show to those billionaires that don’t give a flying fuck about you.

 3. Campus Life

Campus life is the SHIT. There really isn’t any other way to explain it. Campus life can be described in just 6 letters: B R I D G E. Oh Lord, the bridge is a combination of the corner mixed with a fashion show and that slick talk. Face it; there will be days were you will say fuck school and just chill on campus all day. You will put on your best combination just to walk back and forth across campus because everybody must see your new outfit. On this bridge, you will discuss sports, music, politics, TV shows, women and possibly ruin your academic eligibility because you can easily be on the bridge from sun up to sun down. And when the weather is poppin and the women are dressed so elegantly you can forget it. Govern yourself accordingly because if someone yells, “what are those???” you might as well respond with “Worldstar” and drop him.

  1. Financial Aid

Financial aid is a necessary evil. Financial aid sometimes reminds me of Mrs. Trenchbull from Matilda; they mean well but their delivery can be a little unorthodox. As 76ers fans would say, “Trust the process”. We just want a refund and our classes not to drop. Financial aid can have you in there longer than Martin in the DMV on his day off or  you could be out of there quicker than Usain Bolt running the 100 meters Please come prepared to fill out paperwork and have all your shit together. Make copies of everything and hope for the best.

  1. Refund Checks

After a few months of struggling eating nothing but cafeteria food or saving just enough money for a Chicken box from Sunny’s or Stoko’s you may be presented a refund check for all your hard work you put in with for filling out you FAFSA. We all know when niggas get a refund because y’all use your damn mind. Just last week you were treating the cafeteria food like restaurant week now you see ladies in class with a MCM bag, 30 inch hair and heels knowing you walking on cobblestone and you only got a 8 am class. To make matters worse you walk like a baby horse after birth. Fellas will buy some Dopes or go to the club in a Versace shirt looking like an extra in a Migos video. Do it look like I was left off the video? Please be responsible. Don’t be like that Jadakiss lyric, “go to work for 2 weeks to buy Jordan’s just to be broke again”.

  1. Homecoming

Homecoming is the mecca of your college experience. It’s a weekend filled with debauchery, scandal and bad decisions. Nothing like the smell of Hennessy, weed, fried chicken, grilled food and desperation. Gorgeous women walking in packs. Fellas plotting harder than a Shonda Rhimes episode. It is poetry in motion, but all I need is a cup of Henny and I’m straight.

  1. Greek Life

Fraternities and sororities run the yard. Your job if you choose to accept it is to find the best one for you. For the record all the fraternities and sororities are cool with each other so if you express interest to more than one, they will find out. Whether it’s the Kane or Gold Boots choose wisely. Do your research. If you do become a member please under no circumstance switch up on your friends from the beginning and be Greek only. If you only hanging around Greeks, chances are you lame as fuck. Now you lame as fuck with letters. Your organization can’t erase your lameness so be true to yourself at all times. It’s easier said than done I know but don’t do that shit. It’s plenty of women that were quoting Angela Davis rocking afros in August and by March of next year quoting Amber Rose and wearing bundles. Fellas are guilty of this shit too and it’s quite disgusting.

  1. Probate Season

Every fall or spring there will be a probate or Greek introduction of new members in the pit unless you are AI, 10 Legends from Fall 03 then you probate under the bridge. (Arguably the greatest probate of all time, I’m a little bias since I’m the only big boy on that gig). Nevertheless, this is the rebirth of Greek life as old heads pass the torch and the young ones take over but remember an old head is always ready to pull your ass up so stay ready at all times. There will be always be someone in the crowd talking about how they should, could or dream about being on that line even though they had a 2.0 GPA. But, next year after taking 22 credits during the spring semester, 4 summer classes in Session 1 and 4 more in session 2 and working 60 hours a week they will be ready. Bitch please- AI guys voice

  1. Partying

Have fun. Parties will be in endless supply; whether it’s in a dorm room or in the club. You could party from Wednesday to Sunday every week if you want to but that gets old very quick and expensive. Remember your refund check hasn’t hit yet so save your coins. Activate Julius from Everybody Hates Chris mode during these times and just go after the women. Trust me there will be more than enough options for you to choose from. Don’t get too carried away. After a while, Robin Harris voice from House Party will pop in your head and say, “keep your head in them books and off them gals”. Always be safe, know where the exit is and shoot your shot young man. Go Kobe in the year he had Smush Parker, Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown.

 10. Man to Woman Ratio

It is safe to say that you will be outnumbered by a 150:1 ratio of women to men. I’m just playing it won’t be that bad but it is nice, real nice (Bernie mac voice). Whitley Gilbert, Freddy, Denise Huxtable, Justine from the Cosby Show, Ashley Banks, Lena James and the list goes on and on will be at your disposal. Please please please do your research. Find out who is who and what is what. 9 times out of 10 they all know each other so you must be a certified sniper like a personal trainer at Planet Fitness. (Sidebar: Personal trainers are assassins with their women clients. Don’t debate me. I have all day). You have to pay attention to their moves, see who they hang with and make your selection at your own risk. Please don’t end up a screenshot in someone’s GroupMe chat. Luckily, technology wasn’t as advanced when I was in school but today…good grief. Proceed with caution. You will win some and you will lose some but you will live to see another day.

I know I threw a lot at you 17 year old Sonny, but it was for your own good. Now go out there and make 33 year old Sonny proud. Flourish young man flourish. Fortune favors the bold so how bold will you be.



Any Given Sunday

sonny and the kids

I have come to face the fact that nothing is normal with my family of 5. They provide so much fun and keep me on my toes every day of the weekend especially on Sunday whether at Bedside Baptist or Freedom Temple. They bring memories that leave a lasting impression and last Sunday was no exception.  I overslept and missed the morning service but I remembered I was invited to a Baptism at 2 pm. At the young age of 33 these are the invitations that I expect to receive. I mean the club scene is cool and all but I’m definitely past my prime for that arena and I’m glad to see people transition into the next phase of their life. Being able to witness a baptism has deeper meaning as I get older because the parents of this child is stating that I want you to be in the village raising this kid. Face it we all got friends maybe even family that you would never let them watch your kid. Since, I missed the morning service there is no reason why I would be late to this right….wrong  wrong (Charlie murphy voice). First, my youngest daughter who has twists in her hair poured a whole cup of water in her hair so now my wife has to do her hair. My other 2 kids are fighting because my son wants to watch Scooby Doo while wearing a cape because he’s also the vampire from Hotel Transylvania while my daughter wants to watch some Disney bullshit. Needless to say there isn’t a dull moment in my house.

The service starts at 2 pm out Ellicott City somewhere and we leaving the house at 1:55pm. My wife plugs in the address in the GPS and it states arrival for 230 pm which is actually good for us. Historically, the Graysons’ as a whole are late to every event. I mean we felt good. We got that 4:44 blasting. My daughters are singing the hook from 4:44 and we got a shiny minivan stunting in my mind. But, I forgot who I was dealing with because I pull into the parking lot and this is the lineup: Aston Martin, Bentley Truck, Benz, Beamer, Maserati. It was like as I was in the driveway, Kendrick Lamar was in the clouds screaming ‘Nigga be humble’. Car after car pulling up and before we get in the church main man says, “we at capacity and all kids got to sit on their parents lap”. I’m like damn, it’s a baptism not a bar mitzvah. Fellas, and the women oh Lord the women (g money from new jack city voice). Good grief. It was nothing but YSL, Givenchy, 24 inch and above Peruvian hair fresh out the pack, sundresses,heels and just melanin of all shades. It was Melanin Illustrated. It was like every Page 43 from JET magazine over the past 30 years were in one building. Now I know why  Jesus wept. He wept because of all these melanin He created so elegantly graced the earth.

The church was small and I’m looking like a NFL lineman so you already know I gotta do the club walk. We have all been there where the club is packed and we gotta move ever so gingerly. The usher says to me, ‘hey man you got a family of 5 so you gotta sit in the choir loft all the way up front”. The aisle is cut in half to make extra seats so I’m fucked from the get go. To paint the picture I’m 6 feet tall about 325 pounds with a spearmint polo rolling into church late carrying a Lalaloopzy bag in one hand and Hannah in the other. Safe to say my tough guy rating is low. If this was Madden, my toughness rating would be 0. Can’t do nothing gangsta with a pink book bag. The whole time I’m like excuse me, my bad yo, whats good big homie trying to squeeze through and then it’s always one nigga that never wanna cooperate. He sees my big ass family coming down this aisle and he doesn’t want to move so fuck it, I smack him with my book bag and keep moving. We make it to the choir loft and we sit down but it was like the whole church focused their attention on us. I got big ass Reid on one leg, Hannah on the other and I’m looking in the crowd and all the fathers giving me the head nod which meant, ‘we see you big fella and prayers in advance that your kids don’t act a whole fool during this service’.

Everything is going good. The service is moving along. The preacher is preaching the good word, you know the word where after every sentence is followed by the organ. The congregation is standing up, shouting their praises and then the preacher says: “And you know what the Lord wants”. The church goes silent but in my son Reid’s mind it was his time to shine.  It was like the time Kevin Hart was about to curse out his teacher because Reid looked at Hannah and if their minds were in synch, Reid was telling Hannah… ‘It’s about to go down’

Here is how it went:

Preacher:  And you know what the Lord wants….

Reid: (screaming loudly) I want tablet. Share Hannah right now.

Hannah: Talking Tom yaaaaaaa talking tom. It’s a mouse. It’s a mouse.

The church starts to look over. I got both kids in my lap. Reid is sliding down my leg like a water slide and the whole time I’m thinking how am I gonna survive. To make matters worse, people in front of me turning around saying, “you talk that talk young lady”. Really nigga. Come on man-cris carter voice. Then Hannah starts sliding down my leg laughing because she see Reid doing it, Morgan is asking who everyone is because if they don’t know her mommy then they are lame.

Sonny: stop sliding down my leg boy

Reid: weeeee… I am a vampire

Hannah: I am talking tom

Morgan: Daddy who is that? Is she a delta? I’ve never seen her before? Did she go to Morgan?

Sonny: I’m showing all teeth to distract the congregation but in all actuality I said Reid…Hannah..if yall don’t stop sliding my damn leg in front of all these people I’mma throw yall in the van.

The kid gets baptized and everyone is leaving the church. It wasn’t until I get into the lobby where a father came to me and said…’Sonny you a wild boy but you handle it. You was struggling for a second but you pulled through. I know you was in trouble as soon as you sat down. Keep hope alive. Black dad magic.’ Then he put his arm around his lady and turned around like Michael Jackson in Thriller and just laughed.

All of this happened in an hour. Imagine the other 23.