We used to call this dude “the shadow”. Moreso a reference to skin color than the pulp action hero.
Don’t get it twisted. We didn’t go around comparing the darkness of the black kids in skool like some amateur dermo-phrenologists. The name sprung from his grade 9 yearbook photo, in which he appeared so dark it seemed more silhouette than portrait. (The photos, of course, being grainy B&Ws thumbnails).
I actually kinda knew him, too. He used to live on my street. Tall, played basketball, hung with other black dudes. I remember walking from the bus stop with his older brother, who wuz rocking Patrick’s. And he made them look cool, too. This drawing is from his grade 10 photo, not the infamous grade 9 “shadow” incident.
From the pages of The Source to Rap Pages to my yearbook, this pose is B-Boy 101 – an essential and an all-time classic. In fact, I dunno this kid at all (I can call him kid cuz he wuz in grade 9 whilst I wuz in grade 11 at the time) – but as soon as I saw dude’s finger cradling his face, I knew it wuz on. Props to him for immortalizing the gesture…
In fact, I’m sure even a casual perusal of all the sports team photos will reveal at least one dude in this b-boy stance, if you will. I wonder, though – does this shit even have a name? The Chin Pointer? The Lip Cradler? The Glock Clockener? The Trigger-nometry? The Face Pointer? The Indexter? I’ll bet if I went through all my photos from hi skool til now, this pose would likely crop up in a good 33% of all of them. Dude’s thumb is hella bent back, BTW…
I don’t think I made dude’s skin tone dark enough. But they were a few cats in hi skool who would’ve given Wesley Snipes a run for his money. He also looks way more serious and Malcolm X-ian here than the real thing. Here, he could be browsing at Nkuru Books; in real life, he wuz one of those cats who danced for the skool’s various rappers (Monolith’s WIO-K; the venerable MC More of Les).
At last – the elusive Gumbi. Lots of flat tops and junk in grade 9, but ol’ Carl’s Gumbi here is the best of its breed. I believe/hope that’s also an Africa medallion on his chest. Not quite sure whut he’s rocking here – appears to be some sort of combo adidas track-top/button-up shirt.
I guess there’s a lot more black hair choices for dudes these days, whether it’s dreads or braids and ‘rows or fauxhawks, mohawks and fades – but there are few hairstyles as emblematic of their era as the Gumbi. And for that, we salute you, Carl. Welcome your grade 11 yearbook picture and your Gumbi into eternity…
I referred to this dude earlier (see Kristen B.) in terms of prodigious cameos/box cuts/flat tops – and as you can plainly see, I ain’t no liar.
You can’t rilly tell from my drawing, however, that he’s got this kinda defiant look/stance to him. Even if you were an alien from the planet Zonkulus, if you came across his picture in my yearbook you’d just know he wuz some sorta cool. I mean, his frickin’ name is Yohance! Whut kinda name is that shit, anyway? Dutch? Black American? Who knows – and frankly, who cares? It just sounds right. Add the fact that his last name rhymes with the actor who played TV’s “Hunter”, and you end up with str8t murder.
Speaking of forgotten ’80s TV tough guys, someone recently gave me the oddest (and coolest) compliment ever. Running into these kinda nerdy-then-still-nerdy-now, but-hella-successful cousins of a childhood friend, one of them told me I looked like “Hawk”. And I wuz like, “Hawk as in the cohort of TV’s Spencer for Hire? As played by Avery Brooks, to Robert Urich’s Spencer?” And they wuz like, yup.
Then they proceeded to discuss how Avery Brooks also starred in Deep Space Nine, in their estimation the best Star Trek series. When I ax’ed why, they said it dealt with the realities and moral ambiguities of the utopian ideal presented in all the other series. Which is actually a purdy good argument, except for the that ugly shape-shifting dude, Odo. They only had the budget to transform his ass like once an episode, thereby kinda killing my suspension of disbelief. But I digress…
She wuz certainly one of the flyer – if not the flyest –chicks in the whole damn skool. I think she even rocked the short bob cut in later years. Had the looks to pull that shit off, too. Even from his crappy representation, you can see she’s got that pouty-ness to her, and some kick-ass eyes.
Now this Is hearsay, but apparently she wuz a “n____-digger”. Yes, I know that’s a terrible thing to say. I never said it, though. Seriously. I use it here only because that’s how it wuz delivered to me, courtesy of a wigger (since we’re throwing these terms around like candy) named Jamie R. Gosh, I didn’t think this joint would get so racialist when I started writing it…
Anyhow, I think she wuz down for/with this dude named Yohance D. Great name, eh? Speaking of cameos/high-cuts/flat-tops/whatevers, his wuz prodigiously high. And maybe partially dyed blonde? I forget – but I will take a look later and perhaps illustrate that shit for y’alls…