31 August 2009

Hood Truisms: Is Your Hood Official?

Originally from a hilarious, but now-defunct forum thread over at the mighty mighty Okayplayer, with supplemental photos from my dedicated Web, uh, "research."

Invariably, at some point in your life you will find yourself in the hood.

You may actually be in the hood now and not even know it.

Look around you ... is there blight and depression? Is there a liquor store next to a barber shop next to a church? Are there more check cashing places than actual banks? If so, you're probably there and didn't even realize it ... or you're just in Detroit.

So here's my list of simple hood truisms that have yet to fail me in my life:
  • The best Chinese food comes from places that weren't initially Chinese restaurants (see: Hunan King, China Hut). If the building used to be a Cap'n D's, Burger King, or KFC, please believe the Chinese food served there is bangin'.  I don't know about this one though:
  • If you're lost, Martin Luther King can lead you to the promised land. If you're ever lost in the hood, just find MLK (Ave., Blvd., St., Pkwy., etc.) and go either north or east. It will lead you out of the hood. Try it in your city and see what happens.

  • The more marginal the neighborhood, the better the fried chicken (see: Harold's in Chicago, Frenchy's in Houston). You can't get good fried chicken outside of the hood and the more hood the spot, the more dangerous the location, or the more fucked up the neighborhood is, you know they're fixing that good gospel bird nearby. Hell, if there's a n!gga laying dead in front of the chicken shack EAT THERE ... the shit's prolly delish.

  • Bootleg DVDs and CDs should only be purchased at the barber/beauty shop, behind the newspaper dispensers, or the gas station ... Nowhere else, ever.
  • If you see a chick standing at the bus stop in a short puffy Baby Phat coat (with the fur collar) and a ridonkulous phatty, she's only 15 and she already has at least one kid. Keep it moving, R. Kelly.

  • If they're selling dope in the neighborhood you're in, then that neighborhood is pretty much safe. Dope selling n!ggas don't like robbing ass n!ggas around them 'cause they draw the heat, so if you see a gaggle of young men in large white tees pitching that yay on your corner, you don't have to lock your car. Them n!ggas is better than Neighborhood Watch.

  • If your local Walgreen's/CVS/Rite Aid doesn't lock up the soap, your hood is not official.

  • If your local Walgreen's/CVS/Rite Aid has grape, peach, strawberry, or passion fruit cigarillos on display up front, your hood is official.  Also, if the front doors have these signs taped on them ...
    ... there's really not much more to be said.

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