REFLECTION: Dear Chuck Brown…
by Keya Maeesha
Dear Uncle Chuck,
You don’t mind if I call you that, do you? I mean…you are like an uncle to me in my head and I adore you like cooked food. It’s cool? Aww gee…thanks
How you doing up there? Wait…I don’t know if I am allowed to ask you that. At the same time, I bet anything is better than the pain you were feeling, yea? I’m trying my hardest not to cry right now. I did enough water shedding last week when I heard the news. I was at my desk when it came out. They had me over here working on helping people and all I could think about was how I couldn’t even help you. I was actually just talking about you too. YUP! Telling the older ladies at work how awesome you are and how if they ever met you, they’d try to marry you. Maaaan, you could charm the hats off the church ladies and the socks off of a two year old. Haha.
Remember that time we met? I was a student at Howard University. The School of Business was having their annual fundraiser dinner and I got to sit with the big wigs. PricewaterhouseCoopers bought me a ticket to sit with their leading partners in the D.C. area and I was hecka nervous. I saw you in the hallway when I was on my way to the ballroom. You smiled at me. I smiled back. You even told me I looked nice and don’t be nervous. It was like you could just look at me and tell that I was a MESS. You remember that? All those fancy people in their expensive suits and here I was in my K&G Warehouse $20 separates that I just picked up earlier that day. I was trying to impress these folks. You told me that my smile alone would win them over. I never got a chance to tell you that it did. I got the job, Unc. They moved me to NYC and everything! You rocked the house that night though. I don’t even think I’ve ever seen Dean Harvey dance the way he did that night. You had everyone on their feet. I even I broke down my two step a little bit (couldn’t put the whole thing out…I WAS there to impress. I sure did want to though). I always imagined the day that I would meet you and we would just rock out like no one was around. That was how that moment was for me. You looked so happy up there. You and your guitar, hat tilted ever so slighty, that huge smile of yours, and in your suit that established you as the man of the evening. You were it. Haha. I know you had some of those men jeaaalloouuus–they way their women were looking at you. HAHA. In all seriousness, that one time of us meeting changed my life. You didn’t know me, but you spoke to me like you did. You made me feel comfortable. You gave me that extra boost of confidence I needed that night. I don’t even know how I could repay you for that.
I feel like I should apologize to you. I know…I know…I don’t have a reason to and blah blah blah..but can you allow me to rock out for a moment? Geesh. Haha. I feel like I owe you an apology because I didn’t cherish you like I should have. I didn’t appreciate you. Yes, I play your music frequently. I even get made fun of sometimes. Not everyone in NYC knows about you. Some do, but a few don’t. That is why I feel like I should apologize. I didn’t share you. I kept you to myself. I can be selfish like that sometimes. I can’t help it though. Now that I live up here, I feel like I try to hold on even tighter to the few things from the DMV that I love. You are one of those “things”. So I kept you to myself. I couldn’t share you. I didn’t feel like people would understand. Of course, I was clearly proven wrong when the news about you came out and my twitter timeline (yes..my twitter…I know you had one and I’m so glad that you never got fully invested in it). All I read were artists and fans from different parts of the country who expressed extreme gratitude to you for your contributions to music. I felt guilty because I didn’t realize just exactly how huge you were outside of home. I felt like you were the DMV’s best kept secret and no one outside of us would love you like we did. I was wrong. I wonder if you ever really knew how HUGE you were…well…are to folks who love music the way I do. You are a superstar.
I wish I had the opportunity to interview you. I wish I got the chance to tell you “thank you”. I was king of hoping that one day, when I made it big writing about music, that I’d be bold enough to call your people and request a meeting and they’d give me the okay. A whole bunch of should-a, could-a, would-a. That is okay. I’m going to make sure that those who don’t know about you become familiar. They are going to fall in love with you the same way I did. I promise do a little better on your behalf. In the meantime (between time), try not to party too hard with the angels up there. Dap Jesus for me and tell him I said “thank you” for sending me a gift wrapped up in you.
I miss you. I probably always will. I know you are watching over me (did you see me hit a mean dip on the train when “Chuck Baby” and “Wind Me Up, Chuck” came on? I was rocking wasn’t I? Haha).
Thanks, Uncle Chuck. May you soul rest in peace, your music live in beats, and your legacy thrive in our hearts.