“It hurts me. It upsets me to see the negativity. This is the Earth we live in. People are negative for no reason. It’s kind of a “Welcome to America” when you try to do something positive for yourself and the Internet needlessly tells you that you’re ugly or something”—
“At $10 an hour you’d have to work 1,250 hours to cover the UW’s $12,500 tuition (more, once you take out taxes). In a 12-week summer, that’s more than 100 hours a week.
What really made me feel ancient is that the 1981 UW student guide shows the Med school charged only $1,029 a year back then. Today: $28,040!
Now, I didn’t go to the UW. But I’m going down Husky memory lane because last week The Seattle Times featured a crop of harried UW students looking rueful and broke. The story said skeptical state legislators often say how “they worked their way through college. And then they ask: Why don’t students do that today?”
Of all our delusions, we old farts cling to this bootstrap one the most. We worked our way up on sweat and chicken grease, we say. Can’t this generation? What’s wrong with them?
What’s wrong is that after we got ours, we cut it off for them.
The reason a summer at KFC could pay for a year of UW med school in 1981 isn’t that we were so hardworking and industrious. It’s that taxpayers back then picked up 90 percent of the tab. We weren’t Horatio Algers. We were socialists.
Today, the public picks up only 30 percent of UW tuition, and dropping.”—
My name is Nik. I was born in Japan, but moved to the US when I was 3. So no, I don’t know how to speak Japanese. I’m half Japanese, about half Black and overheard once that apparently there is a Costa Rican heritage on my dad’s side of the family I have yet to explore. I’ve lived in Navy housing, Imperial Beach, Paradise Valley, Otay Ranch and finally Long Beach where I am right now.
I go to Cal State Long Beach, and I’m about to start my 4th year. I transferred from Southwestern Community College after 2 years. I remember specifically telling people, including my principal, family and friends that I would leave Community after 2 years and did everything I could to make sure that it happened. I dormed for my 3rd year, which was an interesting experience and now am currently in an apartment. I am just a product of my environment, so everywhere I have been has significant meaning in my life.
My main interest is music. I listen to a lot of music and I like to make hip-hop music too. I was raised on Classical music, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Arena Rock and Punk. My first meaningful exposure to hip-hop was through 50 Cent, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and 2Pac. From there I dug through everything from Justice to Ratatat to Vampire Weekend to Thelonius Monk to Enya to Ennio Morricone to Of Mice & Men and everything in between. Video game soundtracks, movies, friends have all helped me on this journey to discovering music. Music takes me away from everything that worries me so it means a lot.
I never quite grew up. I still enjoy watching the same television shows I liked when I was 12. Yet I’ve added a couple of interests to that list throughout the years. I was never a huge movie person, but there are a few movies out there that have significant meaning in my life.
I used to be addicted to buying Air Jordan’s and Nike SB’s which spawned an entire obsession with urban streetwear, shoes and clothing. This ended up being another one of those “teenage” phases I never grew out of. This phase is where I established a connection with 3 of the closest friends I will ever have.
I have watched wrestling for as long as I can remember. Many of my most infant moments are associated with events that have happened in WWE wrestling. My oldest clear memory was the day I moved into a new house in Imperial Beach and was also the day of the 1996 Survivor Series, where Shawn Michaels faced Sycho Sid, Bret Hart had his first battle with Stone Cold and The Rock debuted. I used to wake up every morning in that house and watch this VHS tape of The Ultimate Warrior battling Hulk Hogan, Papa Shango, Skinner, Jerry Saggs and teaming with The Undertaker to take on Papa Shango and the Bezerker (IN THAT ORDER) every morning.
The WWF changed their name to the WWE right around the same time I decided to cut my long hair and we moved to a new neighborhood. I have watched Wrestlemania every year on PPV since 2002 with Wrestlemania X-8. In fact this past year, I requested the day off to go home and watch Wrestlemania 29. I have been to countless shows live and am attending WWE Summerslam 2013 later this year.
Sleepovers are where I learned so much about camaraderie. It was through a countless number of sleepovers I became close with all of my best friends. Countless hours playing Halo, Rock Band, Super Smash, watching cartoons, movies at Jon’s house. Marvin’s. Grant’s. Angelo’s. Mike’s. James’. Jose’s. Andres’. Nate’s. Turk’s. Ryan’s. And believe me, that list not only will tell you stories about who I am, but these stories are also where I learned who I was.
I was never huge on Sports. I never wanted to have a car that I could work on and soup up. I used to never eat vegetables or drink milk. I hate chewing noises. I used to avoid relationships with girls. I am a hyper self-critical introvert. I am an optimist with cynical displeasure mixed in. I still haven’t acquired a love for modern day R&B that I still hope for. I don’t like my voice. But all of these things are equally important.
Even with just this, I can see what everything I mentioned means to me, or I can recall the specific events that certain sentences are there to remind me of.
This is the starting point. The start of my personal late night chronicling of my life so far. Hopefully someone stumbles upon this 10 years from now and leaks it on the internet letting everyone know exactly how famous rapper Nik Bates a.k.a. The Rising $on was when he started out. If not, just know that I’ll probably come out of this a more refreshed and better person.
The list of problems in life seems to be growing ever so exponentially.
Responsibilities, things that need to be fixed, deadlines to meet, payments, priorities, goals, wants, needs, social life. I’ve always told myself growing up as I learned from others that everything relies on balance. Whether it’s in life, relationships, or even in music. Look at Kendrick Lamar, he has a perfect sense of balance when it comes to his music.
It’s just that now is a time where being aware of the balance possible in the world makes it so much harder to realize you are very far from it yourself.
I’ll do it in a song, because it adds ever so much to the character I’m working to create and portray, but here I will not glamorize it. A roach infestation is just another problem being added to the big pile of problems that seems to accumulate faster than they are resolved. I have things that I need to work on, which conflict with what I want to work on, which run right over what I should work on. I want to change so much, but it isn’t as easy as it usually seems.
I’ve always told myself growing up as I learned from others that you have a terrible sense of balance. It’s tough because things that seem to have such a simple solution are often the most complicated. I can’t just alter a personality trait about myself and except things to change next day. Yet I am stuck here, not being able to speak what I think about. I don’t know what it is. I mean, I do. I explored it on song before (cheap plug).
By now you’re probably wondering, “What’s the point of this post?” And it’s really nothing. It’s just an example and part one of the story I can’t tell through music. I’ve never been the type to open up about much, but these bland generic statements will soon attach themselves to specific meanings and situations. It’s not easy, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
How I Met Your Mother. My voice. Past experiences/relationships. Forrest Gump. Spongebob. WWE. Porto’s. Kanye West. Street Fighter II/Super Mario World on SNES. Classic Rock music. Clothing. Shoes.
You’ll eventually learn what all of these things, and more mean to me. Hopefully something as therapeutic as this will help me with writing the next set of songs that I decide really need it. (Because believe me, the next time I drop music, you are going to hear some songs that do not need much elaboration, and are going to do nothing but shake the “club”).
What in the fuck was that Kanye? I told you to do some shit for the kids You can give me your muhfucking graduation ticket right now You will not walk across that stage, you won’t slide across that stage Muhfucka can’t pull you across that stage Kanye Who told you, see, I told you to…
This is a VERY good defense of Kanye West. One of the best things I’ve ever read