I once lived in a room. The room was ok, it was in East London.
The landlady was a sweet, young black lady.
She had a kid, 4 years old.
The kid would just watch TV in a bed with his mama.
Every now and then, the kid would cry.
And the sweet lady would shout:
What's wrong with you? What's Wrong With You? WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?
As if the kid knew.
The kid would cry more and more.
Day, night, what's wrong with you? What's wrong with you?
No museums, no science projects, no art, just what's wrong with you?
A childhood stolen by a sweet lady who doesn't know what's wrong with her child.
Lifetime wasted by a kid who doesn't know what's wrong with him.
I wanted to shout back: what's wrong with you bitch? Leave that kid alone! But I just listened, she ain't my sweet lady.
Years later, one misty afternoon in East London I cycled through Green Way (a way without houses and cars, just trees and industrial sites).
I saw five lads messing around.
As I cycled past them, one threw his bike in front of mine and I flew over my handlebars on concrete.
I covered my head, blood spraying from my hands, adrenaline rushing, I faced my foe: what's wrong with you?!
Gimme your fucking money! He reached to where blade, or acid could be.
So did the three others.
The last guy was filming it: a reality show of how to kill a man? Are you now entertained?
So I run for my life. Screw the bike. I won this round. It will make for a great YouTube video.
I wondered if I just me the son of that sweet lady. It's unlikely and it doesn't matter.
There are thousands of other sweet ladies asking their kids what's wrong with them.
A whole generation of kids who don't know what's wrong with them.
Asking, what's wrong with us? And when they can't find an answer, they decide to do wrong, to justify their mums and their existence.
I'm not angry at them. They could be scientists if someone asked them to wonder and dream. Instead of: what's wrong with you?
Maybe they change, perhaps they will perpetuate the cycle. Either way, it will be a great show.
And what do you do about it?
Why you not smile?
What's wrong with you?
What's Wrong With You?
WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?