Treats and New Mixtapes

smoke and treats, in Toronto

Been eatin so many treats back in Kalamazoo..

For some, the word “treats” conjures up images of cookies, cakes, pies, and the like. I choose a much narrower definition for treats.

Treats = gummy (-bears, -worms, -dinos…), powder-based (sweet tarts, spree, smarties), chewy (e.g. Mike & Ike, Airheads), or hard (lemonheads, jawbreakers) candy made almost entirely of sugar and artificial flavoring. They could be sour, in the case of Sour Patch Kids. Could be licorice too (red Twizzlers..) I don’t include anything chocolate in my treats category, though some may.

Aside from Halloween, which is really more about candy bars than treats, I don’t have any specific childhood memories of treats (clearly a motif though)..but my first adult memory of treats is the summer after senior year of high school, when my friend and I worked as security guards at a supermarket near a bunch of public housing. Our main job was to watch for white folk who might buy or steal large amounts of batteries, matches, and other ingredients for making methamphetamine, and people stealing food and general merchandise too. If someone tried to walk out the door without paying, we were supposed to arrest them with the handcuffs our boss gave us. If people bought big bags of meth-production ingredients, we had to get their license plate and report it to the Michigan special drug task force for meth.

Sometimes this resulted in employees getting attacked, and almost [intentionally] run over by a Ford Taurus one time. Looking back that was a terrible risk to take for $7.50 an hour. One time my [giant] friend was almost stabbed with an HIV-infected needle trying to arrest a felon who stole $300 worth of meat. Another time he got bit through three layers of clothing and had to get an updated tetanus vaccination and testify against the teenage girl in court. The verdict? Guilty on all counts.  No treats in jail.

On break, we’d drive around the surrounding neighborhoods, listen to rap, and eat treats. We always kept a huge bag of treats under the driver seat. Several ounces. Our grocery store didn’t have a bulk-treats section so we had to go to Meijer, a bigger store up the street, if we blew through our stash.

Treats in China are generally expensive and somewhat difficult to find. Carrefour used to have a bulk candy section, but not now. Sometimes a mystery candy shop tended by two Ayis will appear out of nowhere, usually in subway stations. There’s a spot by to the entrance to the City Shop on Shanxi Nan Lu/Huaihai Lu (Shanxi nan lu metro line 1/10). They slang treats for fair prices. City Shop has treats, but they’re all pre-bagged German imports (Haribo). The taste? Chronic, but expensive.

My advice – if you ever have a house party/dinner party to attend, and don’t know what to bring, show up with a pound of treats. Gummi Bears and all that. Everyone will love you, unless they’re complete dicks. I know, cause I brought a bag of treats to DjMrWhite’s Christmas party.

Fifteen Reasons Why I Love Hip Hop by DjMrWhite

You may want to listen to some chill hip hop when you eat treats, and this is the tape for it. This dreamy, smokey mix of old school hip hop comes courtesy of the Netherlands’ DjMrWhite. He’s the guest DJ for the Love Bang Valentine’s Day special, coming up on February 11th.


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