In 1998, when I was a sophomore in college, Rakim came out with a terrific, intense album called "The 18th Letter." Even though he "wasn't down with Eric B no more," it was great, and we bumped it in North Case Hall and in my Tacoma*. There was a song on it called "It's Been a Long Time," where he points out that even though it had been a while since he released Hip-Hop music to the public, he remained a vital, relevant artist who was now ready to "blow the spot without warning." His mental state was for quite a while not conducive to recording, but by 1998, the wait was over.
Today I feel like Rakim must have felt in 1998, because it's been a long time since I could contribute here in any meaningful way. There were times when I could write a lot of blog posts, because our company had one product that wasn't selling very well, or because Noah was young and we just left the house less often, and it left me a little time during the day to write some posts. Over the next few years, we got progressively busier. Noah grew up, the company got retail distribution, my days got much more full, and I didn't have much time to write. Ride-spottings and Produce Thursday fell by the wayside.
Everything changes, and it's difficult to be consistently productive at any endeavor, especially when there are so many things swirling in the mix. What has not changed is that there are still things worth talking about, and I want to be more active in that discussion again. Just this month, for example, I went to the Consumer Electronics Show, I rode a mechanical bull for the first time, we refinanced the house, and my beloved grandmother passed away at 97 (more on that in a moment, she gets more than a passing reference).
Rakim is still recording. I confess I have not purchased his newer work, so I can't comment on it. But, if he can find the time to flow, I can find the time to write, so I'll try to do better.
*6-disc changer, stick shift, bench seat, roll-up windows. Thing was sweet.