When I read the headlines of the death of boxing legend Vernon Forrest, I was stunned, but not nearly as stunned after a friend told me what he released to the internet. I was shocked after seeing what the former champ had sent out on Twitter a mere week prior to his murder.
Man I had a nightmare last nite I dreamt I come home and found 4 guys were breaking into my house. I pull my heater and it was empty they chased me and was about to shot me then I woke up. The first thing I did was get my heater and made sure it was loaded. That dream will not come true.
(Note: If you are wondering how Forrest tweeted so much past the 140 character limit, he used twitlonger.com to extend what he could say. Also, a "tweet" is a short message sent out on Twitter.)
I say this respectfully, but I just feel like Forrest was divulging too much information about himself and possibly setting the table for disaster. And, not to say there is ANY connection between his death and that tweet, but I definitely feel that "the tweets are watching." There are those that are always going to be one step ahead of regular, casual social networkers and some of them use their wisdom for nefarious activities.
A family went on vacation. The man decided it was a good idea to send out a "tweet" on Twitter informing all of his followers that the entire family was away from the house. Well, he didn't do just that, but that's what it ended up being. In telling everything about his vacation, he unwittingly tipped off burglars. They got in, robbed the home and escaped scott-free. Now, much of this is speculative, but that is what the family suspects.
There is another similar incident.
On May 24th, @izzyvideo dropped this on Twitter:
We made it to Kansas City in one piece. We're visiting @noellhyman's family. Can't wait to get some good video while we're here. :-)
And then four days later ...
Well, it's confirmed. Someone stole my Mac Pro and two displays while I'm visiting relatives here in Kansas City.
As the digital divided disappears (does it still exist?) and the implementation of mobile technology, people are able to mobilize and stay connected easily. The 'Net is no longer comprised only of invisible, tech-savvy geeks. Hey, crooks are all over the internet and often ready for a T.M.I. moment online. As it pertains to your favorite rapper and the streets, it pertains to the rappers with their "tweets."
Not only are fans following, but so are schemers and law enforcement. In my imagination, I've seen a rapper tweet about being in the club, about the great time he's having and bragging about what he has. A bunch of "followers" are the same guys watching, as depicted in movies like Jay-Z's "Streets Is Watching." You get the picture...
Many of my write-ups are cautionary and for good reason. I want people to take care of themselves and avoid disaster at all costs.
Vernon Forrest had epic boxing matches with combatants like "Sugar" Shane Mosley, but most importantly, he was a good man. He was a humanitarian that dealt with mentally challenged young adults, he helped Beyonce with charitable initiatives and took care of his step-children. Perhaps his slaying was just a random person trying to rob him or maybe it was more sinister. At press time there were no suspect, but perhaps he'll be able to find justice in the digital breadcrumbs that linger on the internet.
P.S. I wonder if Jigga will consider doing a remix called "Tweets Is Watching"...? Til then, here is the classic record, "Streets Is Watching."
Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur is the co-founder of AllHipHop.com. He can be found here and at twitter.com/ChuckCreekmur.