My favorite emoji is the red 100 with the two lines underneath it. Why? Because it represents authenticity, honesty, and being upfront. No pussy footing around, basically. Mainstream culture has taken hold of it as well. Larry Wilmore of The Nightly Show hands out stickers with the emoji on it to his guests that “keep it real.” The Game just released
my jam a song with Drake titled “100” that details the disgust that comes with being around insincere people. The constant celebration of those that are able to stay true to themselves and others implies that the trait is somewhat of a scarcity. However, I don’t think that genuine people are that hard to come by. I believe it’s just hard to remain 100 at all times. Let me explain.
To keep it 100, according to Urban Dictionary, means “to keep yourself real and true, to be honest and stick to the way you are, no matter what any one else thinks.” And in theory, this is what we all want. I think in every encounter or relationship in life, we would want the other party to be completely honest. But realistically, that’s not happening. The Craigslist iPhone seller might not reveal that the phone has a glitch in the camera because she wants your $200. The charismatic guy you met last weekend avoided telling you he had a girlfriend because then you would’ve walked away immediately. In those instances, keeping it 100 sabotages plans. Altruism takes the L because what you really want is XYZ. And (sometimes) you can’t get XYZ by being honest.
And then, there are moments when you are keeping it real and it offends someone. You say what you feel and believe and that might be an unpopular opinion. People might get upset by your honesty. They might try to go out of their way to diminish your perspective. Being in an environment that discourages your truths can be, in my opinion, dangerous. Stifling diverse ideas and unconventional wisdoms creates arenas for stale, top-heavy practices. True growth, whether it be professional or personal, can’t be achieved where you are not able to contribute to an equal and widely-respected platform. After an incident or two where you notice your 100 isn’t appreciated, you might reduce it down to a 92.
There is also a huge misconception that one is not 100 if their opinions or actions often contradict each other. You can’t be cool with Baba and She-She if She-She hates Baba and Baba hates She-She. That’s assumed to be fake since loyalties are being shared amongst warring parties. BUT if that’s how you get down, then that’s how you get down. Your 100 is your 100. Actions like that mean our scales differ so it might look like a 63 to me. When that happens, you just have to mentally note it and move it along.
Essentially, keeping it 100 is just impossible to do all the time. We have people to appease to keep the lights on. I mean, we honestly can’t win every battle and not every battle is even worth showing up to. Maybe that’s just a passive way of looking at things, but I believe you got to discern when and where you can bring your complete authenticity to the table. Granted, this thought process isn’t going to sell records or anything, but it’s my truth. And that’s how I keep it 💯.