Song of the Day: China Survival Guide – Rule the Queue Part 4

Posted on February 8, 2012


Let 'em burn, Candy. foto@me

Part 4 of me being awesome (well, at queuing in China, that is). Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


Part 4 Mutually Assured Destruction

Freddie Gibbs “Let them Burn”


Freddie Gibbs is one of the brightest young rappers of recent years. His storytelling is poignant and mesmerizing. It’s like Dangerous Minds without the crappy cheese. As a person who grew up on, shall we say, the safe side of the white picket fence, the destructive inner city violence Freddie Gibbs paints is profoundly eye-opening. (Karen Civil writes more about it here.)

I wasn’t actually listening to this song at the time my Q-‘O’-Drama happened, but for the sake of poetic coincidence, let’s pretend I was. “Let them Burn” is a powerful IN YOUR FACE to all Freddie’s detractors, haters, seemingly-wanna-kill-him-ers. He leaves them in the dust, cos he’s a winner and a survivor, but there’s also a hint of resigned sadness in his lyrics.

I show niggas no pity/ Run in my fucking city/ Don’t like it come and get me/ Father please forgive me” 

(But where were we? Ah yes, talking about queues.)

For the next twenty minutes, I engage in the highest level of arm-bag-elbow-foot maneuvers to get myself ahead of Potato. She flanks to the right; I sidestep to the left. Blocked! There’s a tall woman with a lot of hair and an eye-crushing fuchsia sweater already there, in an entrenched position. Uh-oh. I keep Potato in the corner of my sight. She’s hit a roadblock herself. One of Korea’s kids is proving useful in this aspect.

Korea is arguing with the counter staff in mutilated English. The staff member is endeavoring to reply in an obscure Tibetan dialect – oh wait, also in English. They’re not getting anywhere. The diversion is good; it helps me to plot my next move.

In a moment of weakness, Fuchsia breathes in. Ever so slightly, but it’s enough for me – I slide firmly, permanently, into the space that opens up. I am now 0.002mm ahead of Potato. Victory is imminent, but I cannot let my guard slip, not even for a microsecond. Look at Fuchsia. Now tragically caught off guard, she waffles, unsure, before realizing that her position is untenable. She meekly moves aside, powerless in the relentless onslaught that is my right forearm, knee and filthy Converse knockoff.

My fourth and fifth fingers are now resting, seemingly innocent but as unerring as a rifle sight, on the counter. Korea Clan leaves, vacating a huge space in front of the counter. Potato tries to barrel up, but is cut off by the horde of departing Koreans. Yes! Fuchsia shoves over even more, and I sidle up the counter and slide my passport indisputably towards the counter staff.

Carl Lewis breaks the finish line ribbon. Record victory. 

Freddie Gibbs wants you to have a new day! foto@KarenCivil

In Part 5, I celebrate my veek-tory. But I really wanna leave you now with more Freddie. Freddie Gibbs is the bomb. Read about his background in Gary, Indiana aka “Murder Capital of US” here. Freddie’s blog, with awesome videos and updates. Complex has a seriously hilarious interview with him. The guy ain’t no sunshine boy.

And more music, some of my fav:

“Rock Bottom” – a bit of catchy singing and a softer beat gives this song a gentler feel.

“Hard Times” – hand-on-heart writing, fantastic groovy beat.