VLot Case #120: "Leave my cologne alone, its a little too strong for you to be putting on"

“Leave my cologne alone, its a little too strong for you to be putting on”

From Lupe Fiasco ‘I Gotcha’ (2006)
a case study from

Relates to ‘swagger jacking’. Swagger jacking can be described in adoring and borrowing one’s style, charisma; but more importantly, claiming that style and charisma as your own. Back in the day it would one would be labelled a ‘biter’.

Furthermore, this quote goes a bit deeper and suggests that one can not hold one’s weight; which is a direct shot to ‘swagger jackers’. Because if you are going to emulate someone; one best do a damn good job at being similar or better than the original, because if one does not look similar or better, the public will easily be able to identify the ‘fakeness’ in the perpetraitor. In the entertainment industry, many try to copy style of another, but it rarely works:
– New York imitating the Dirty South (i.e. Chicken Noodle soup, very wack)
– Everybody trying to get shot 9 times like 50 Cent (Beanie, Fabolous, and others)
– Madonna trying to adopt children, just like Angelina
– In the early 2000’s everybody was trying to get the ‘Neptunes’ sound (wack notables; Angie Martinez, Ray J)

On a lower-profile scale, many people have to go through the process of deciding whether to step in the shoes of another, primarily when it comes to filling roles: for example, becoming a responsible father, taking over the family business, a new job position, whatever the case is, assuming a new role whether by choice or not, can be a challenge.

As Lupe suggests, if it is a little too strong for you to handle, then symptoms will follow, commonly known as ‘coping’. Coping may manifest itself into certain types of behavior; withdrawal from certain social settings, anxiety, depressants (drugs, alcohol), and other behavior that is usually damaging. Thus, if one can not cope with the ‘cologne’ then another quote comes to mind; ‘If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen’.

For the ones that are being bitten, there is a quote that suggests that ‘imitation is the greatest form of flattery’; however, this flattery may be indirectly (meaning, the one who is imitating will not likely directly admit to admiring the source’s). So, instead of getting mad or irrate because someone is ‘biting your style’, think of it as an accomplishment that someone would try to emulate your behaviour.

.: More lyrics and quotes at http://www.vacantlot.org/

VLot Case #119: "Each block is like a maze with black rats"

“Each block is like a maze with black rats”
Nas, NY State of Mind from Illmatic (1993)
a case study from www.vacantlot.org

A colourful social commentary. The urban cities in North America, specifically that of the United States is primarily made up of inadequate housing dwellings; which are primarily occupied with black individuals (immigrants or migrants). These areas are sometimes referred to as the ‘ghetto’ or ‘hood’ because crime, unemployment, and poverty are higher than other areas of the city.

One who grows up in such an enviornment is usually caught in a ‘cycle’ – which is the pre-determination of the socio-economic outcome. In this case, one whom grows up in a ‘hood’ is significantly more likely to experience a life of high unemployment, poverty, and crime — of course there are exceptions to this ‘perceived’ rule, and some break out of the cycle.

The ‘maze’ refers to the sequence of life to which one tries to escape a certain context; in this case, the context is the urban dwellings (ghetto, hood); which of course is consumed with the undesirable virtues as stated earlier.

The Great Escape
It is debatable to which what and how are the best methods to escape the ‘maze’ however the following could assist:
– Attainment of higher education (college or university degrees)
– A considerable amount of parental investment (single or two-parent; in the case of a single parent household, the single parent must work much harder)
– Social activities (i.e. sports, groups, hobbies)
– Luck

In summation, our conditions condition us to behave and expect certain types of behavior; thus, for one to change their condition, a new embrace of thought is required to go above and beyond what is expected of you. There is no easy answer, but the first step may be to attain knowledge of one’s self, and the environment around them.

Its hard to figure out a problem until you understand why you are faced with a problem; then you can derive a solution.

.: More lyrics and quotes at www.vacantlot.org

VLot Case Studies


VLot Case Studies – An in-depth analysis of sorts …
I figured I will be doing a couple of in-depth analysis of different quotes. At first I was thinking, well, it’ll be too hard to extract a profound meaning that might exist in a 1-2 sentence line, but when I started really looking at it — I found that these quotes can be interpreted in so many different ways — its amazing. I found myself taking a socio-economic look at things, to psychoanalytical, to environmental, and even to religious/faith stances.

All my works won’t be about the VLot Case Studies, but I will try to mix it up; as I believe I am multi-faceted to think in different contexts.

Anyhow, that is all for now, enjoy the previous two posts, and of course, let me know what y’all think.


VLot Case #118: "So I don’t give a f*** what none of y’all n*** say; Cause anything that can’t penetrate ricochets"

“So I don’t give a f*** what none of y’all n*** say; Cause anything that can’t penetrate ricochets”
— Canibus ‘How We Roll’, 1998, a case study from www.vacantlot.org Intelli-Hip Hop

Self-esteem is a pertinent issue that affects all of us from childhood to adulthood. In childhood, our self-esteem is exposed to several ‘tests’ that either create a positive or negative self-esteem. Of course social, psychological, and environmental factors will all dictate how one responds to these ‘tests’. However, this proverbial wisdom quote refers to the ‘diss’ approach of self-esteem; that is discrediting a person’s character with insults that may be true or untrue. It is also worthy to note that these acts of discrediting is usually done directly and with a malicious nature (intent to afflict emo-pain).

Thus, this quote implies that one has a positive (high) self-esteem which translates into any attempts to lower their self-esteem is repelled. To attain this, one is confident in themselves; which may be also a sign that one only tries to lower another’s self-esteem because their self-esteem is also low – bringing one down may bring another up. Such individuals can be labelled shallow and transparent: which may explain why this quote suggests that insults are ricocheted back to the sender when one is mentally deep and understands their psyche.

.:: Find more quotes at www.vacantlot.org
An in-depth look at the quotes that affect our lives

VLot Case #115: "A wise man told me not to argue with fools, because people from a distance can’t tell who is who."

“A wise man told me not to argue with fools, because people from a distance can’t tell who is who.”
— Jay-Z , case study from www.vacantlot.org

This quote is one of my favorite quotes as I feel that it speaks truth; so many people like to argue with non-sensical logic — it is almost baffling at times. Actually, this quote is derived from an 18th century english proverb, but has a timeless essence because ‘fools’ will always exist.
Foolish logic has many traits, but most notably when one encounters someone who is foolish, the following characteristics will become apparent:
– Unwilling/Unreceptive to differing ideas; inability to compromise
– Argumentum ad hominem: does not stick to the argument, goes off topic
– Talks loud and uses vulgar language
– Circular argumentation: goes around in circles; does not stick to the argument.
– Stubborn attitude

Dialogue with people of this nature will not solve an issue, but rather it might make the situation worse; as both individuals will look ‘foolish’. Nothing can amount to nothing, and engaging with a fool will yield the same.

A common misconception of ‘fools’ are those individuals that may come from a poor background – to be foolish does not necessarily derive from one’s socio-economic status. But more so, ‘fools’ manipulate the world around them by assinine behavior to satisfy their appetitie.

In the end, this maxim suggests that nothing can be accomplished when arguing with a fool — except that one is deemed a fool also, for trying to intellectually engaging a fool.

.:: More quotes at www.vacantlot.org