He was a metaphor machine. The AK'll spray you ... like a carwash, rapped Lord Sidney Kwame Addo, aka Shotime, in All-Star, the hip-hop CD he recorded before his murder and which is now on sale online. Other quips: I'm gonna shoot from the car and peel off like a Band-aid. And: I'm a major name. I peel bananas like orangutan. In songs such as "22s and 24s" and "Killin 'Em Freestyle" — sirens and police-scanner sounds infuse some, clairvoyantly — Addo invoked Oakland street values saucily: If you think I'm lyin', man, you could get scraped like a fryin' pan. ... I always carry steel like a factory worker. ... You will get erased like a chalkboard. A prized necklace gotta lotta rocks like a hiking trail. Those jewels are light blue like fish tanks.
Sometimes it's so deliberately funny that you almost forget what the songs are about. My niggas draw guns like a artist. ... When I blow, niggas gonna fall off like toupees.
Addo was gunned down by unknown persons at age 21 in his Ford Taurus in West Oakland on December 20, 2006. "Lord was an impressive swimmer, ice skater, in-line skater, and soccer, basketball, and baseball player," reads his memorial-service program. "Lord was a very enterprising young man." He sold clothes, took college courses, "but more importantly, Lord was a praying man. He attended church and he prayed." And many of his raps reference childhood. Haters ... gonna make me put a hole in one like it's miniature golf. ... See the revolver spinnin' like a Ferris wheel. ... I got more bars than a jungle gym. ... Cake paint they face like Krusty the Clown. ... I pull up, all you see is big wheels, like it's Toys-R-Us. ... I send shots at ya crew, take cover like it's bedtime. Apparently, he inhabited several different worlds at once. In a photo on his MySpace page, he flashes $20 bills and wears a "Stop Snitch'n" T-shirt. The promoter who calls himself Sam Soul recently began posting Shotime videos at YouTube.com. As the singer's murder becomes buried ever deeper in Oakland's young-black-male murder statistics, his music outlives him. I rub it in like Ben-Gay, he rapped. My lyrics hard like they on Viagra.
The danger of commerce
Robbing commercial enterprises is a kaleidoscopic career track with many fascinating options. Milpitas has yielded several examples lately, as reported in the Milpitas Post: A man shoplifted shoes and a hat from Wal-Mart on January 10. Someone smashed Golden Milpitas Optometry's front window on January 4 and made off with three cases — $12,000 worth — of sunglasses. Burglars used a power saw to bisect La Sierra Mexican Restaurant's back door on January 14. That same day, two armed robbers hit 7-Eleven. Police responding to a burglar alarm at Round Table Pizza on January 12 arrived just in time to see someone fleeing and find padlocks cut. Also that day, a Mervyn's clerk was arrested for allegedly duplicating customer return slips and pocketing the extras, thereby stealing $424.
Returns reaped more mayhem at a Pleasant Hill store where, according to the police log, "a customer tried to return an item with a fake UPC bar code indicating the item was worth more than the actual purchase price" on January 16. A Walnut Creek store became $2,200 poorer on January 8 when, according to the log, a man and woman "grabbed ten white coats" before fleeing in a blue getaway car. Toilet paper was reported shoplifted on January 3 at another Walnut Creek store. Someone "spent" $160 in counterfeit $20 bills at Walnut Creek's WPLJ's nightclub on January 6. A January 19 lock-pry attempt at El Cerrito's Clean-X-Press proved unsuccessful. Was the target cash, strangers' suits, or ... couldn't some customer wait for his dry-cleaning to be delivered?
Is nothing sacred, redux
On January 10, a man notified Walnut Creek Police that thieves had stolen from his car $1,000 in checks made out to a leukemia-fighting foundation.
Reporting a January 24 knife-fight in the Concord station's bus zone, a witness told BART cops that the victim had fled, bleeding, in a cab. After learning more details from the taxi company, Concord police found the stabbed man "hiding in a backyard," reads the report. Turns out he had a felony warrant for burglary. After being taken to Mt. Diablo Hospital, where the wound in his hand was treated, "he was interviewed by BART police regarding the stabbing," reads the report, then booked for the burglary.
A Lafayette woman told the police on January 20 that "someone stole her son's backpack while it was left unattended at a friend's house. The backpack contained some $1,500 in X-Box games," reads the report. Should have left those at home, you say? But in Brentwood on January 14, a male juvenile reportedly entered an unlocked residence "and stole ... a Nintendo Wii game system." Only tic-tac-toe is free.
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