Jesse Taylor will be Brotha Lynch Hung for Halloween.
The events you are about to read are all true. Names and locations have been changed to protect those individuals still living … well, except for Brotha Lynch Hung, because Brotha Lynch Hung don’t give a shit.
Sometime around 2010, I was sitting in my corporate office typing some corporate shit on a corporate computer when my co-worker knocked on the door.
“Hey Jesse. You ever heard of Brother Chung?” asked Pete Krueger.
Now, before I move on with this story, let me give you some background. Pete Krueger is extremely white. He lives in a town so white that it was once visited by cocaine and cocaine was like, “Goddamn, I’m the blackest motherfucker in this bitch!”
In this town I’m calling “Cokeville,” there live 60,000 people. Less than 1,000 of them are black. I don’t think Pete Krueger has ever met any of them.
Pete’s home is located on a court where families bounce from their front doors each weekday morning. Covered in Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 100 Sunscreen, they skip off to school hand-in-hand. Before saying goodbye to their children, the parents share sad, yet proud and encouraging hugs. The kids dispense in the direction of their classes while the adults make a bee-line for Starbucks. They order Mocha Chocolate Chip Frappuccinos as they Facebook and Instagram the family photos they just took. Everyone “likes” everyone else’s posts so there’s no hurt feelings or hell to pay. They use their iPhone Starbucks Rewards app to purchase their milkshake coffees and download the free African cultural song that no one ever ends up listening to.
Now … back to Pete walking into my office, still smelling of sunblock and holding his Frappuccino. At this time, Pete and I had been working together for about five years. As a diversity and inclusion practitioner, and hailing from the racially diverse East San Francisco Bay Area, I found Pete’s whiteness and the whiteness of his town very intriguing. So imagine my surprise when he asked me if I’d ever heard of “Brother Chung.”
I responded immediately, “You mean Brotha Lynch Hung?!” – shocked that Pete had heard of him. Pete’s history of rap music starts with “You Can’t Touch This,” expands to “Bust A Move,” and ends with “Ice Ice Baby.” Knowledge of music about rape and cannibalism even existing would kill him.
“Yeah, yeah, that’s his name!” Pete sat down, wanting to learn more. “So you’ve heard of him?”
“I have. It’s been a while, but I used to listen to his music here and there back in the day. How do you know about him?”
“He moved in next door to me.”
“Brotha Lynch lives in Cokeville?” I asked.
“Yeah, right next door to me.”
While surprising, it wasn’t too shocking. Cokeville is about 30 minutes north of Sacramento, where Brotha Lynch grew up and became a local hip-hop hero.
“My neighbor said he thinks he’s a rapper,” Pete continued.
“So you’ve never heard his songs?”
“No. Do you think he’s on YouTube?”
“Yeah, of course he’s on YouTube.”
I proceeded to toss Pete right into the shark tank of Brotha Lynch Hung’s music, unchecking Microsoft Explorer’s Proxy Server on my computer to avoid the corporate firewall.
Up first for Pete was “Mannibalector” then “That Ripgut Cannibal Shit” – a 15-minute YouTube collection of the most vile, evil, grimy lyrics Lynch ever dropped. We got through about two of the 15 minutes before I realized I needed to stop. Pete was extremely pale and about to throw up. Or pass out. Or shit his pants.
“THAT’S who lives next door to me?”
“Yep, that’s Brotha Lynch Hung. How’s he been so far?”
Before leaving for work that morning, Pete had taken a piece of his “Honey Do List” paper, some blue painter’s tape and stomped over to Lynch’s porch. There he adhered the Cokeville Water and Garbage department’s phone number to Brotha’s door before walking away.
Since moving in a month ago, Brotha Lynch had yet to roll his garbage cans out to the curb. Actually, he didn’t even have garbage cans. He didn’t know he was supposed to get them from the city. As a result, he was amassing a large pile of Glad trash bags in his front yard filled with smelly trash. Giving Sarah Cynthia Stout a run for her money, Brotha Lynch was creating a race in his front yard between his garbage, his unmowed grass and his unpulled weeds to see who could reach the sky first. It was coming down to a photo finish.
As the weeks passed, word quickly spread among the neighbors about the new resident on the court. Some asked questions, others started rumors. Pete wanted answers. I was the first to provide them.
Excited to do something other than work, I called everyone from the department into my office and played the role of Brotha Lynch Hung historian/YouTube DJ for the group as Pete explained his situation.
From that point on, everyone in the office was hooked. Each Monday our 20-person department staff meeting became “Pete’s Brotha Lynch Updates.” We even added it to the top of the agenda.
Pete started the following week’s meeting with a bang. He told us he was brushing his teeth Sunday morning and looking out of his upstairs window when he glanced down into Brotha Lynch’s back yard. Wearing what Pete thought was panty hose on his head, a wife beater tank top and baggy black jeans that showed his boxers, Brotha Lynch was hosing down his yard while smoking a cigarette and drinking a 40 ounce of “some kind of malt liquor.”
“I’d never seen anyone dressed like that before, but at least he watering his yard,” Pete thought. But as he looked closer, he realized Brotha was spraying pile upon pile of dog shit into his half-filled swimming pool. The water from the hose transformed from clear to brown as the dog shit spun over itself and into the pool. Poltergeist swimming pool flashbacks dancing through his head, Pete noticed the walls of the pool were stained in the same brown color as the dog shit. Floating along the tideline with the shit were piles of garbage and dead rats.
Next Monday we learned that Brotha Lynch had a son and a girlfriend. They moved in over the weekend. At this time, Brotha Lynch was about 40. His girlfriend was in her early 20s and his son wasn’t many years behind her. Pete was shocked that Lynch’s girlfriend wore tiny, tight shorts, smoked weed everyday like Nate Dogg and always had a bottle of Hennessey in her hands.
“They are not quite the model of American home life,” Pete told us as he covered Monday’s most important agenda item. Twenty sets of eyes were locked in on Pete as he continued.
“We smelled weed waft from their yard into our home and backyard all weekend. They were users for sure. Try explaining that smell to your young son.
“The girlfriend wailed from her window in a drunken stupor all night and their dogs barked along to her awful singing. Finally, I went over there and knocked on their door to get them to quiet down. They didn’t answer, but they did stop. I was the hero of my court.
“They fought all weekend. She had some balls. Brotha Lynch did not. I couldn’t believe the same guy from the rap videos would allow himself to be abused by a young girl. She was calling him every name in the book, and he would just apologize. She actually beat the shit out of him a few times. She used the f-word in every instance the American language would allow. She was scary.”
Next Monday we got the story about the dogs.
“He owns these pit bulls that terrorize the edge of our yard by breathing and seething along the fence line, trying to get through. We had several incidents of them almost busting into our yard. My kids were freaking out. On Saturday, we took a photo and reported it to animal control. On Sunday, animal control knocked at their door, but Brotha Lynch didn’t answer. Inside, they were breeding terrier pups and letting them mess all over the floors. The garage was covered in poop.”
As the Monday meetings continued, Pete covered Lynch’s 1990s Mustang convertible. The top was broken and stayed down in the winter. Rains would come, and he would just leave it outside. It was soaked and fraught with mildew.
Then we heard about Pete meeting Brotha Lynch for the first time. It was like Scout, Jem and Dill meeting Boo Radley.
“The girlfriend (Pete never did learn her name) came over to ask for help jumping their car. That was the day I finally met Brotha. He was a meek man, very soft spoken. He had so much gold in his grill. I couldn’t believe it. When I finally got their car started, Brotha said nothing but the girlfriend thanked me. She said, ‘That’s what neighbors are for.’ Well my goodness, I did my duty for the day. I should be good for a year now.”
As time went on, the Brotha Lynch stories began to fade and the agenda item was removed from our meetings. I eventually left the company and until this article, had not heard what happened with Pete and Brotha Lynch Hung. So I reached out to Pete recently. I was hoping for a story of redemption. A story with Pete learning from Brotha Lynch and Brotha Lynch learning from Pete – each emerging with a new appreciation for the unique diversity of their backgrounds and cultures. Or maybe like Boo, a story of Brotha Lynch saving some innocent children from the racist town drunk. Bus alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Here’s what Pete told me when I called him.
“In the end, I enlisted our neighbors and we went after the landlord. Brotha was just a tool for that scumbag. After some months working with Vector Control Services and the city of Cokeville, things started to turn our way. The city condemned the house. Brotha had to move and the landlord lost ownership. Some one flipped it and sold it. In that time, we saw them tear out the rotten floors soaked in dog urine.
“New neighbors moved in and until this day they don’t know who lived there. One day, they complained about a smell and they couldn’t figure out what it was. I knew what it is. It was the spirit of Brotha Lynch. His stench lives on. Brotha Lynch Hung will live in infamy on our court.”