4 Things

DJ Khaled featuring Drake (identity/democracy/segregation)

I inherit my mainstream culture taste from my upbringing, having lived in Puerto Rico for 23 years. I have a taste for hip-hop and rap. These musical genres also happen to be the soundtrack of my neighborhood. I wouldn’t describe myself as a responsible listener; I listen but don’t care what is being said. It is a pure pleasure situation. The beat is great, curling into my skin—must be all the eighties sampling that makes me nostalgic—but this one time, there was a song by DJ Kaleed featuring Drake titled “For Free” that got to me! Among the things being declared in the lyrics of this song, Drake says that “he got off the Henessey.” At this point in my bottle-picking habit, I had collected so many bottles of cognac (Henessey and Remy Martin being the two bottle brands that I find the most) that it triggered my curiosity. I couldn’t wait to find out what the possible relationship between African Americans and cognac might be. Living in a historic African American neighborhood that is a food desert, with one liquor store in the middle of the boulevard, I felt like I was going to find an answer for the unexplainable selection of bottles that I kept finding.