“Don’t everybody like the smell of gasoline? Well burn m’f’ burn American Dream. Don’t everybody like the taste of Apple Pie? We’ll snap for your slice of life I’m tellin’ ya why. I hear that mother nature’s now on birth control. The coldest pimp be looking for somebody to hold. The highway up to Heaven got a crook on the toll. Youth full of fire ain’t got nowhere to go nowhere 2 go”. OUTKAST “Gasoline Dreams”, Stankonia. 2000
JUSTICE. I like this song “Gasoline Dreams.” I like the way Andre 3000 starts out screaming “Alright alright alright alright…” over an electric guitar riff just before he comes in with the hook above. Once again, in their Outkastian way (I like that…Outkastian), Big and Dre paint a picture of scenarios steeped in truth and struggle. According to these two MCs, struggle is attached to this notion of reaching the American Dream. Ya know? The house, 2.5 children, and a dog named Champ. Yeah that American Dream, which ‘KAST refers to as the Gasoline Dream because, according to them, all that is or should be can sometimes be just the opposite. Ultimately leaving a grand mess for misguided youth to clean up. Where is the justice in struggle. We all have to endure it, right? Teachers struggle to teach age old curriculum to burnt out students. Social workers struggle to provide a sense of emotional and social management to at-promised children. Parents struggle to raise their children. Artists – regardless of their field – struggle to produce creative products that are also lucrative. Children struggle with finding friends. Polar bears struggle for their very existence. And the list goes on and on…
Fortunately, the silver lining lies within the way we handle the infamous “struggle”.
Sometimes it feels as though the struggle will never end. This idea is threaded all throughout OUTKAST. But it is also threaded throughout the Word. Anybody know that song “I Don’t Feel Noway’s Tired” by James Cleveland? That’s my favorite, and I play it when as I move towards my victory. And just when it seems it is over. BAM! God gives us another struggle. Another test of faith to see if we will fumble just before entering the end zone. Imagine if Dr. King or Andrew Young decided “Ya know. This civil rights thingy is just too hard. Let’s bask in our privilege and let everybody else figure it out.” Where would we be?
The DDR: Fortunately the struggle continues. Fortunately struggle is temporary. Sometimes you have to take a step back, assess your life, and evaluate and re-evaluate what’s going on around you in order to get to that next level. You know? In order to make a BIG jump ahead! “Don’t everybody like the taste of apple pie?” Go ahead. Pour gasoline on whatever might be holding you back from your God-given destiny. Be Noways Tired. You’ve come too far from where you started from. Make that BIG jump ahead now. Don’t fumble at the one yard line. Don’t throw an interception right before your blessing. Godspeed.