1. ego trip FICTION: “Looking For Mr. Escobar – Memoirs of a Queensbridge Detective.”

    Originally published in ego trip Magazine Issue #12, 1997.

    She blew into my life like the tornado that landed Dorothy and Toto on the 41st side in Queensbridge. Word to MC Shan. Anyway, I was sitting in my office one afternoon, leafing through the “Droppin’ Science” section in Beat Down magazine. Suddenly, the door blew open and the two longest legs since Dimples D and Roxanne Shanté stepped in front of my desk. Atop a tight pair of silk fishnets were an even tighter pair of Ill Nana’d na-nas. “Yes! Yes!” I thought.

    “I’m in trouble,” she said.

    “You are trouble,” I shot back. “How’d you get in here?”

    “I’m Foxy.”

    “Damn right you are,” I said. My eyes scanned the full dimensions of her stupid-thick frame like a crazed Gorton’s Fisherman. This was no ordinary project ho. She was as luscious as Jackson and built for action with an Action Jackson dude like myself. (If you didn’t know from reading this, I AM BLACK.)

    “No, that’s my name, numb nuts,” she said with the twisted look of a Twisted Sister groupie. “I’m Foxy Brown. You know. Bad Mama Jama. I Know you seen me in the video.”


    “They told me they’d kill me if I went to the po-po. That’s why I came to see you — a private lil’ dick.”

    “Listen, honey,” I snapped. “Around here, there ain’t nuthin’ soft or sweet. I’ll lift you off your feet.”

    I stressed my words by clutching the hibernating Grizzly Adams in my Levis. “When I cock back my heat, whole crews retreat.”

    She eyed me below the belt, her Maybelline-made lashes fluttering like ghetto butterflies. This high-priced Black girl lost needed me and I knew it.

    “My nigga Nas has been kidnapped,” she said. “I mean, his lyrics are straight-up missin’. His brain is insane. He’s out to lunch, God.”

    This Nas fella I had heard of. Around here, they called him The Profit. It didn’t suprise me that he would turn up missing like Tempest Bledsoe. Hell, even I had thought of straight gafflin’ him for his loose change. On the real, all these crab niggas knew the deal. Times was hard on the Boulevard and the projects were full of mad criminals prowlin’ the pavement lookin’ to get paid.

    But this saucy, illmatic, BK-broiled and fully-breaded broad went on to tell me the whole dilly, yo: One day she and her boo boo Nas were rhymin’ in a cipher with LL Cool J, Rampage the Last Basquiat and AZ. (Nature was on a Fresh Air Fund retreat.) Real live nigga rap. Just then a metallic-green Lexus with iced-tea-toned tinted windows rolled up on the semi-circle of funky-rhyme sayers standing in front of Met Food on 41st Ave. From inside the vehicle, up jumped the boogie. He was a thin older man, rabbit furred-down with a feather boa and a Snoop Doggy Dogg perm (big pimpin’). The four stocking-capped cappadonnas who strolled by his side referred to him as “The Lyric Fairy.” Trapped between manicured fingernails of the grey-bearded grand wizard was a blunt. With the finesse of Lord Finesse he proceeded to tap Nas on the forehead three times. “I gave you power. I gave you power. I gave you power,” he proclaimed, magic dust swirling about his dome. And with that he took that shit back.

    “Now every time Nas opens his mouth,” sighed Foxy, “the same three words come out: Lah, Lauryn and Luciano. Plus, he’s more bugged than a Japanese beetle. He be droolin’ Moët like that shit be Niagara Falls out this piece. That shit tastes good, but yo, that shit is mad unhealthy.”

    Her story sounded like something Casonova Rud would say to get young girls in bed. But she was bawling all over my brand new Le Tigre shirt (and I imagined balling her all over my cheetah-specked bed at home) and my heart melted like cotton candy in a boiler room. She cried to me like Lorenzo Lamas in Sing Sing. I almost blurted out the classic Kool G. Rap line, “You won’t be smilin’ on Riker’s Island,” but instead I said, “Alright, my slanted-eye jiggable pie, I’ll help you.”

    Her face brightened. “Oh, I’ll pay you anything. The world is yours.”

    “Anything?” I asked with a sinister chuckle. “Hmmm. The possibilities are limitless. But halftime’s over. We got work to do.”

    The next morning, after watching Jenny Jones ‘special on the Welcome Back Kotter reunion, I headed out to the crime scene at “Met’s.” When I got there I spotted three clues immediately: 1) a discarded Heineken bottle cap emblazoned with the words “You Lose;” 2) a lone Dutch Master Killer shell; and 3) a dirty, sticky diaphragm with a killarmy of ants crawling all over it. The queen ant, stinking of Raid Murdering Every Roach In Sight™ Repellent, was on her last legs. (Yeah, the Desert was gettin’ its bloody money alright.) She limped away with a heavy chunk of Chunky bar in her mandibles.

    I tailed the Ol’ Earth ant through the alley on my hands and knees. Something told me she would lead me to Nas’ lyrics. And wouldn’t you know, she made her way to the Kennedy Fried Candy Co.

    The back entrance was padlocked. I instantly thought about the Nas tune “Represent” in which he so eloquently whined, “If we wasn’t hangin’ out in front of cocaine spots/ We were at the candy factory breakin’ the locks.” So I tried and I tried and I tried, but I couldn’t get no chain reaction. So I chilled like Suave Bola. Just then, through a minute crack in the graffiti-tattered steel riot gates I heard voices of ambrosia spilling forth melodic messages of Black rage, lust and capitalism. I was open, as they say. The instrumental to 1991’s premiere posse pow-wow “Live at the Barbeque” was spinning. But instead of an eager Joe Fatal I heard an old Joe Fatal droppin’ bombs alongside the unmistakable voices of Ice “O’Shea Jackson” Cube, Mic Geronimo and super-rockin’ Super Lover Cee. Then, like a Tang-filled Clockwork Orange clock, up stepped the chatter of Nas — the Nas that I loved (pause), the Nas that Foxy loved a long time ago, the Nas that was more QBC (Queensbridge Committee) than QPWC (Quarter Pounder With Cheese).

    I dropped to my knees. It was him again — the voice of The Profit. I yelled out, “Suspect/ Witness/ Don’t come outside/ You might get your shit pushed back tonight!” I was amped. I didn’t know whether to praise the Second Coming of Rakim or to punch someone in the face just for livin’. After my piercing voice ripped through the invisible cipher, the voices ceased.

    Moments later, an unruly crew of standardized Queensbridge thug niggas stormed out armed with the same sickles that graced the album cover of Mobb Deep’s 1992 debut, Juvenile Hell . They all wore football jerseys that simply said “Hennessy,” and boy, could I have used a swig. I blinked and when I opened my eyes I was surrounded by a mob with gats the size of African spears. For a split second I envisioned myself as Ricky Schroeder in his Silver Spoons ‘ game room, but this was no game. Plus, they don’t even make Tempest anymore.

    “Bitch-ass nigga. I’m-a have to pull your skirt up,” said one of the ruffians as he ginsu chopped the protective flesh of my left ear with a rusty ice pick. “Can you hear me now motherfucker? Your ear is ringin’ like Bell Atlantic, ain’t it? Dumb ass!” he screamed with the venom of a wild project Doberman Pinscher into my severed auditory canal.

    He flicked my ear into the East River like fresh eel bait. Growing dizzy before the lights turned out, I wondered to myself, “Was it really worth losin’ a key body part for the love of h.e.r. (hip-hop in its essence for real)? Or was I simply tranqued by Foxy’s sweet sangria?” Before I had a chance to answer my own pop quiz, I fell the fuck out. Man down.

    I came to in a Thug Paradise. I still had sangria on the mind… and all over my Dapper Dan gear. The blood of this Black Abraham (a/k/a the Moses of Queensbridge) shed light in the deepest, darkest corners of my mind. I realized that in those deep, dark corners the unexpected is to be expected. In my dreams of fuckin’ an R&B bitch, there always was a QB soldier lurkin’ in the shadows hoping to puncture my jugular with his jug of hops and barley. That ain’t right.

    Now I am dead. Imagine that.

    As for Foxy, she’s still pushin’ keys, rockin’ minks and sippin’ exotic drinks. This year and every year for Foxy, everything is off the books. And, as it was once written, Nas, Nas, Nas is still the king of disco-in’. That’s how it is and how it is is kinda fucked up. Damn, that lil’ fucker was right. Life’s a bitch and then you die.

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