When “Keeping it Real” Goes Wrong. Vernon Franklin was
an exceptional young man. He was the valedictorian
of his high school class, won several scholarships, and became the first person
in his family to attend college. He got a good job and worked
14-hour days, 6 days a week, quickly becoming
the youngest vice president in the history
of the Via Corp Corporation, ending the cycle of violence
and drug addiction that had plagued
his family for generations. The officers of his company
were wrapping up the usual Thursday meeting
in the South Conference Room when Frank Murphy,
the man who had mentored Vernon, made an awkward comment. Vernon, great job, buddy. You the man.
Give me some skin, huh? Vernon got along with all
of the people he worked with, which in his heart of hearts
made him feel like an Uncle Tom. Though he could have ignored
the simple comment his mentor made,
Vernon decided to keep it real. Get your motherfucking hand
out of my face. You heard me, motherfucker.
Get your hands outta my face. What you think this is, man?
Just shake my hand like a man. “All right, give me some five
on the backhand side with all this crazy jive.” It’s bullshit.
Want a little soft shoe? Should I juggle some
watermelons for you, boss? Fuck all that, nigger. Hey, Vernon, buddy. Get your motherfucking hands
off me, Frank. This ain’t a game. This isn’t the Vernon I know. Allow me to reintroduce myself.
My name is Hov You never heard that before,
have you? Rap music is dangerous.
I used to beat motherfuckers up just like you just for
walking around my way, nigger. Vernon, Vernon, buddy. You better sit the fuck down,
Frank. Excuse me? I said sit down, bitch.
Thug life. You think this
is a game, nigger? Wu-Tang. Today, Vernon works
at Sonny’s Fill ‘Er Up on Route 80 in New Jersey. He makes $6.45 an hour
and stinks of gasoline, even when he’s not
at the station. It’s as real as it can be. Dollar? What I’m gonna
get with a dollar, nigger? I got kids,
and that’s real. Vernon Franklin, once a heart-
warming story of perseverance. Wu-Tang. Today, a sparkling example
of when keeping it real goes wrong.