An Ode to My Favorite Poem of All Time—From the Movie Trippin'—Whose Title I Can't Put Here Because It's Profane

Illustration for article titled An Ode to My Favorite Poem of All Time—From the Movie Trippin'—Whose Title I Can't Put Here Because It's Profane
Screenshot: Trippin’ (Rogue Pictures)

Y’all really don’t talk about the movie Trippin’ enough. Released in 1999 and starring everybody’s favorite next-door neighbor, Bud—Deon Richmond—and Maia Campbell, Trippin’ is one of those movies that never gets old, is always fun and seems to get absolutely no flowers, and I have no idea why. Richmond plays Greg Reed, an unambitious high school senior with no plans for the future until he gets the push from Cinny Hawkins (Campbell) and his teacher, Mr. Shapic (Michael Warren).

Advertisement

The sketches were banoodles, it merged Morehouse and Howard University into MoreHoward where there aren’t major sports but there is lacrosse (it should be noted that Howard—in 2021, at least—actually does have a lacrosse team and gives out scholarships; Morehouse does not) and included the wackest local crime boss of all time (this side of You Got Served), who also doubled as a prison scholar, who got his degree in the joint but uses made up words frequently. Ever since I saw Trippin’, I’ve been using the word “dubiastic.” I do not know what that means. In fact, I quote a tremendous number of lines from this movie.

Anyway, Trippin’ was a fun ride. It had appropriate shenanigans of the teen movie variety with low-level petty crimes, Guy Torry being absolutely annoying at every turn, Donald Faison being the most desirable person in the movie and an appearance by Naomi Campbell as Naomi Campbell. I ran into Naomi Campbell in Accra, Ghana, in 2019. I did not ask her about her role in this film. Even Countess Vaughn is here and can you go wrong with Countess Vaughn? That not only rhymed, but did you know that she has FOUR(!!!) albums? Really, if you haven’t seen it, you should watch it. I love Can’t Hardly Wait, but I feel Trippin’.

One of the most lasting impressions this film made for me is a sketch where Greg becomes renowned author, poet and his teacher’s former student, G. Reed. Gary Hardwick, the writer of Trippin’ (along with a slew of movies you know and love like Deliver Us from Eva and Christmas Unwrapped(!)) didn’t know it at the time, but he ended up writing what is now my favorite poem of all time. You can have Langston Hughes and deferred dreams and stuff; give me G. Reed’s “Don’t Be Fucking With My Shit” all day, everyday, fam. Since we’re here, I’d like to share it with you and break it down a bit. Is that cool? Thanks.

The poem is from his, at the time, new collection of poems titled G’s Ghetto Mind, Volume 2. I cannot find Volume 1 to save my life but that’s neither here nor there because even though I’ve only heard one poem from Volume 2, that one poem makes the whole album is a classic. Let’s get it.

“Don’t Be Fuckin’ With My Shit”

Don’t be fuckin’ with my shit

Get your own stuff you greedy bitch

Keep your hands off my clothes

and your eyes off my cash

or I’ll break off a size 12 in your motherfuckin’ ass

If I find 2 dollars when I know I had 7

I’ll be on your monkey ass like 5 minutes to 11

So your eyes may look and your teeth may grit

but don’t be fuckin’...

...with my shit

Can we just talk briefly about how concise and razor like this poem is? It gets right to the point and is relatableAF. Who hasn’t had to say to somebody, “don’t be fuckin’ with my shit??” If it wasn’t for the fact that I have kids so I can’t use curse words, I’d say this 17 times a day, easy.

But let’s go line by line.

Don’t be fuckin’ with my shit

Nigga, if this ain’t poetry mined right from the struggles of African American, I don’t know what is. Its downright ancestral is what it is. In fact, I have the unabridged version of The Souls of Black Folks and this was originally a title of one of the essays but W.E.B. DuBois thought Booker T. Washington might use it against him.

Advertisement

Get your own stuff you greedy bitch

I love it when folks use words that are all encompassing as to not be sexist or racist. Bitch, in this sense is for anybody fuckin’ with his shit. And that could be anybody. Or everybody. Don’t do it, reconsider. Whew, shit. I feel that poetry in my liver.

Advertisement

Keep your hands off my clothes and your eyes off my cash

You ever been to church where they do a praise break and half the congregation stands at their pews clapping and the other half does gymnastics in the aisles? I’m doing gymnastics in the aisles right here.

Advertisement

I’ll break off a size 12 in your motherfuckin’ ass

Actions have consequences. Consequences and repercussions. Duly note that shit.

If I find 2 dollars when I know I had 7

He done already told you to keep your eyes off his cash. But you went the extra step past looking to touching and taking. That’s a no no.

Advertisement

I’ll be on your ass like 5 minutes to 11

The imagery. The imagery. It’s damn near allegorical (it’s not). If you ain’t got a watch or a clock in your house, or didn’t pay attention in kindergarten, this reference may be lost on you, just know if you take his money, he’s gon’ rain down asswhippin’s on you. Poetry. Poetry.

Advertisement

So your eyes may look and your teeth may grit

Restrain yourself, homie. You already know what it is.

Don’t be fuckin’...with.my.shit.

Tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell them. Tell ‘em. And then tell them what you told ‘em.

Advertisement

That my friends is some quality poetry. Chuuch.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

DISCUSSION

raouljenkins
Raoul

BROOOOOO this might be the most underrated black movie ever. Its way more awesome and funny than it has any right being....kick your ass lacrosse the street ........ man thats some geinus level stuff...now i got to go find a way to stream this movie