Review Summary: There's no beginning.
My girlfriend's father was shot the same week as her birthday. We've only been dating a short while, so it's about third or fourth on the list of tragedies that have befallen my significant others amongst my budding romances. It never ends. We celebrated our first Valentine's Day together literally budding our romance. Cunts, blunts, and crazy stunts. She made us dinner and we watched FLCL. I don't think this would have been as endearing as it doesn't sound were it not for the extremely potent cannabis and cannabis concentrates at our immediate disposal (dispenal?) but I digress the progress. This was dampened by the events of Parkland significantly. It didn't seem tasteful to post any pictures of our THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and, most promisingly, THCV-haze fever dream of self-parodic robot fighting anime set to a band named for a poor kid's Sock 'Em Boppers. The day prior she and I had discussed the ease of which a firearm can be obtained in Oregon, where we reside presently. I'm pretty well-traveled and no stranger for better- or often worse- to the omnipresence of the societal Russian Roulette that wedges itself somewhere between a hair and a trigger, but I always find lax gun regulations vexing. I didn't correlate this immediately, not until Valentine's Day, my first in Oregon with my new girlfriend; her first after having her father almost murdered, when 17 people were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It never ends. Especially when school shootings are occurring at a pace of one every 60 hours in the United States, and there's been one mass shooting for every yard rushing Lesean McCoy had the year he won the title since Sandy "Never Again" Hook.
This was three days after I really began to sink me teeth into Penelope. The timing was fitting, as it's a love album. As in the love I have for my girlfriend, or the love I had for my daughter's mother. Or the love any of our parents had for each other. The love so many children will never know never ends. It makes easy to keep the title track in memory, for altogether different, far more sorrowful reasons than artistic intention. The melody of "Penelope" blessed the beat, with Benediction performed by Ray West. It should be expected that he and his Red Apples 45 co-shotcaller A.G. are set to steel sermons and lighthearted homilies equally. John Robinson offers an attractive Gospel According to The Garden State, uplifting and joyous, but cautious. At times he's enervated, an idea that bounces off of A.G. well, as the Bronx crate digger is ever the tell's-it-like-it-is underdog, the Michael Strahan-esque tooth gap and seemingly endless discog of "basically the same album" only increasing the size of his character. Andre's a Giant. Andre's a problem. Andre's the sun. Andre's low cut. Andre's the truth. Penelope is Andre's a mack. But always "so in tune with [his] purpose, money is worthless till they close the curtains." Andre ain't the sickest with the sales- but if the intuition is "rebel," you may sell out arenas like they sell out Jordans. Andre likes that fine. Andre likes his Adidas. Rebel with careful cause. More important than stacks are to own one's raps. It never ends.
I've been listening to the Penelope with great enthusiasm and consideration. It warrants such because it's the sort of record that makes it cool to be intelligent. My girlfriend is pretty intelligent. She's currently doing her part to disprove the current mapping of the human genome. I'm way too right hemisphered in the dome for that sort of witchcraft, so I when the topic of conversation amongst her and the "Biology Bitches" (Cream Puffs, as I more tenderly refer to them) turns to science or Tinder, I'm a space cadet. This evening I nursed a very generous Jameson on the rocks (I'm generally neat, but Jameson is garbage) during the 5 minutes of Tindertalk. It ended with my girlfriend showing me a Facebook post her grandmother had made indicating that the FBI manhunt for her the individual who had tried to have her father killed had ended with his being captured in Nevada. The day after Valentine's Day and Parkland. After having initially been dragged out for the evening, I was now in an extremely good mood, and prepared to toootally
go rock the living fuck out of da Puffs in Tekken at an arcade. The combos never end.
It's the moments like this, as I kissed the woman I'm in love with, in a moment of pure expression- grief, relief, pleasure, pain, heartache, heart take, the essence of what A.G., JR, and RW emulsified the splendor of Penelope out of, I was sobered both mind and body by messages received from a former friend of hers. My daughter, my genetic tumbling block, has a great deal of respect for firefighters. This is an America where most hip-hop fans are familiar with the term "Soundcloud rap" but have no idea what it means to dig in a crate. In that spirit, perhaps it is fitting at least one representative of part of her vision of a hero calls women a "cunt" and challenges her father's love for her and that she goes to public school. A.G. can’t really grab the hand of the man who shot John Lennon.
It never ends.