Two thoughts immediately came to mind as I was reading about how Matt Barnes drove 95 miles to confront and fight Derek Fisher for hanging out with Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan.
First: On the list of the “bout it”-est light-skinned black men of all time, considering Barnes’ history, he has to be No. 1 now, right? (The rest of the list? Delonte West, Riddick from The Chronicles of Riddick, El DeBarge and Jesus.)
Second: On that drive, Barnes had to be listening to some music. Probably a playlist of some sort. Who was he listening to? Now, Barnes is in his mid-30s, which means he’s from the era when rap fans preferred rappers who actually rap actual words in their rap songs. Which disqualifies Fetty Wap, Young Thug, Future and every other current trap rapper. If he was listening to Kendrick Lamar, he would have turned around, stopped at a Barnes & Noble and read a copy of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me instead. And if he was listening to J. Cole, he would have died in a crash after falling asleep at the wheel.
No, the music he listened to on that drive would have had a perfect blend of irrationality, emotional roller coasters, randomly specific romantic nostalgia, dozens of allusions to “haters” and random references to “bodying n—gas.”
He was definitely listening to Drake.
Which Drake songs, exactly? I’m not sure. But my best guess is that the following songs were on his playlist.
Raise your hand if you can picture Barnes screaming, “All I know, if I die, I’m a motherf—kin legend!!!!” the moment he first merged on the expressway.
2. “Marvin’s Room”
Because you know that while he was driving, he was totally sending, “I’m just saying you could do better. Tell me, have you heard that lately?” texts to Gloria.
Halfway through the drive, Barnes probably started having second thoughts. Like, “Why the hell am I driving 95 miles to confront my ex’s new boo?” And “I should probably put my shirt back on, huh?” But then he started listening to “Headlines” and heard “ … you know good and well that you don’t want a problem like that. You gonna make someone around me catch a body like that.” And, well, the rest is history.
Second text to Gloria:
“What if I pick you up from your house? We should get out, we haven’t talked in a while.”
5. “Best I Ever Had”
Third text to Gloria:
“You could have my heart or we could share it like the last slice.”
6. “Shot for Me”
Last text to Gloria, after she didn’t reply or respond to any of his other texts:
“I’m the man, don’t you forget it. The way you walk, that’s me. The way you talk, that’s me. The way you’ve got your hair up, did you forget that’s me? And the voice in your speaker right now, that’s me, that’s me, and the voice in your ear. That’s me, can’t you see?”
Of course, Barnes had to stop on the way there to pick up some Gatorade and Red Bull. Because you can’t drive 95 miles to kick your ex’s new boyfriend’s ass while thirsty.
And then, once he got back on the road and took a big swig, he probably opened the windows and started rapping, “I got enemies, got a lot of enemies. Got a lot of people tryna drain me of my energy. They tryna take the way from a n—ga. F—kin’ with the kid and pray for your n—ga.”
8. “0 to 100/The Catch Up”
After drinking all that Gatorade and Red Bull, he probably had to stop and pee. Because you can’t drive 95 miles to kick your ex’s new boyfriend’s ass with a full bladder. And I can definitely see him writing while in the bathroom at 7-Eleven, “I go 0 to 100 real quick” on his forehead with a dry erase marker.
9. “Worst Behavior”
Still pissed Gloria’s not responding to any texts, he probably got bold and started texting Derek Fisher: “N—gas still playing my old s—t. But your s—t is like the police askin’ us questions. N—ga, we don’t know s—t!”
10. “The Motto”
Of course, when Barnes’ boys found out what he was planning to do, they called him and tried to talk him out of it. And Barnes listened for a while, considering what they had to say. But then, right when they were about to convince him to chill, “The Motto” came on. And then Barnes screamed, “You only live once! That’s the motto, n—ga, YOLO!” at his boys and hung up the phone.
Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas.com. He is also a contributing editor at Ebony.com. He lives in Pittsburgh and he really likes pancakes. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.