Dollar Van Demos

April 21, 2009

“GET IN THE VAN. DO YOUR THING. GET OUT OF THE VAN.

Now that your boy is coming up on his Internets Celebrity status, I’m getting emails from all types of people asking me to play their songs, showcase their blogs and such. I was going over some of them and checked one I received a couple of days ago from this outfit called Dollar Van Demos. Dollar Van Demos have an incredibly unique concept, take up and coming artists, pack ’em in one of Brooklyn’s notorious dollar vans along with camera crew, actual drivers and passengers and shoot real demo videos. EFFIN GENIUS. They even have a channel up on YouTube. Like you can expect from demos, few of the artists featured are superstars, but the execution of some of the videos are funny, campy, surreal, and in some instances show potential. Most of all, they’re entertaining, particularly when you catch the expressions of the passengers.

I dunno where these local cats are going with this, but their hustle most definitely caught my eye. Check ’em out and see what I’m talking about. Most definitely beats actually having to listen to demos and unknown artist’s “mixtapes”. Word to Dave Chappele.

"My Slow Flow’s Remarkable, Peace to Mateo"

April 20, 2009

“My slow flow’s remarkable, peace to (Mateo) Now we smoke weed like Tony Montana sniffed the ya-yo” Notorious B.I.G. “Live Freestyle – ’95”

One has to be special when a famous rapper drops your name in his raps. Extra special even when that rapper is considered by many to be the G.O.A.T. of Hip Hop, the late great Christopher Wallace p/k/a The Notorious B.I.G. Such was the homie Mateo
Zcheval Mulcare who suddenly and tragically passed in his sleep earlier this month, on April 9th.

I met Mateo around 1995, the same year that Biggie dropped his name in his classic freestyle. He was trying to get on as a rapper and called me up in order to arrange a meeting in my office, hoping that I might be able to help him in landing a record deal. Mateo was a giant of a man, standing at around 6’4″/ 6’5″. Like all prospective clients, I required that he spit, just to ensure that I wasn’t going to waste my time effin with the fugazi. Spit he did, and on the spot, Mateo ripped through some ill lyrics, so much so that I decided to co-sign him, to knock on the doors of my connects, see if they saw what I did, a young man passionate about his craft as a wordsmith and committed to going the distance in making a name for himself. He killed it when I took him to Diddy too, right in the middle of Puff’s studio, Daddy’s House. Unfortunately, being a big man, the comparisons between Mateo and Christopher Wallace (who was then very much alive and the brightest of rising stars hailing from the East Coast) were way too obvious and Puff, along with several other execs passed on my client.

Having just had a daughter, Mateo remained unfazed. At 26 years old, he knew he had to break through in order to put food on the table. So determined that when he did get the chance to meet Biggie, they went at it, toe to toe on the mike, big man versus big man in an emcee battle. Word on the street was that Mateo held his own against the Notorious one. Afterwards, Big was so impressed with his competitor that he gave props to Mateo in his famed 1995 freestyle. How ill and rare is that? That’s how nice my dude was. That and how big his heart was. Big almost had to give Mateo his just propers.

Mateo kept it moving though, eventually publishing PLUSH, a magazine devoted to the art of customized luxury trucks and the lifestyle of those that own and drive them. His work on luxury trucks have since been featured in various media outlets like USA TODAY, ESPN and SPIKE TV.

Mateo’s passing was unexpected and took everyone that knew him by surprise. They say the good ones die young and this young man was one of the best. It was an honor in me crossing his path in this lifetime and my sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. I know for a fact that he and Mr. Wallace are up there doing it BIG!

R.I.P. my dude.

TRIVIA UPDATE: The homie Sean, a good friend of mine and Mateo’s, just filled me in on the fact that when B.I.G. was kicking the freestyle, Mateo was standing out in the crowd, close to the stage, and when B.I.G. spotted him he threw his name in his rhyme.

Tupac, by the way, was not freestyling.

I’m just saying.

"There’s Rules To This Shit" – The Chronicles Of A True Hustler, Pt.2

April 16, 2009

Previously: Pt. 1

The homie T really liked the way it went down last week, and we’re loving the comments. Please keep them coming. Like I expected, he went in and blessed me with part 2 earlier this week. That being said, I proudly bring to you “The Chronicles Of A True Hustler”, Pt. 2

The moment Moms foretold finally came to pass. I was on my own. I remember her telling me “Momma may not always be here to take care of you” when I was eleven. I also remember her advising me to make sure I “keep cop money”. And I did. I kept cop money. That’s like rule #2 to a drug dealer, #1 being “never get high on your own supply”. Cop money is what you keep in order to cop more drugs in order to keep inventory in stock. Keep the business alive. No cop money, no product, no money. I got that. And I kept it.

No amount of cop money could ever prepare me for the shock that hit me dead center in my stomach on the day my moms kicked me out of our house and fed me straight to the streets. I was thirteen years old. She screamed at me, “Get the fuck out!”. Shit came out from nowhere, knocked every last bit breath out my thirteen year old lungs. It was the ultimate betrayal. Having Moms choose a man over me, her son, her flesh and blood. Funny how they say everything has two sides though. That day, one of life’s most important lessons was seared into my brain. From that moment on, I would never again rely on my reality as real. I would never again get too comfortable in the comforts of my daily life, walking around, ignorant in trusting in what I thought I knew to be fact, to be solid ground, because at any given moment, I could lose any and everything, and within a fucking heart’s beat away. I would never again take a god damned thing I had for granted.

This whole bullshit started because I thought I was smart enough to do the right thing. Ha! Doing the right thing didn’t make me right, it made me homeless and with nothing. Nothing but cop money though. Cop money, the streets, life’s lessons and the rules of the game. We lived on Oakdale Avenue, in Hunter’s Point. The year was 1979. I was just 8 years old. My mother, brother and me lived on 1086 Oakdale. Some of my best childhood memories are from that period, the late 1970’s. My friends Byron, Montrell, Lil’ John, Marcus and I had a Big Wheel chop shop in Byron’s garage. Even then I hustled parts to kids who needed their red and yellow plastic three wheeled “rides” staying fresh. We also had a tree house, built atop the nursery school at the bottom of the hill, across the street from some abandoned buildings. White boys wasn’t the only ones with tree houses. It was during that period in Oakdale, when I first heard “Rapper’s Delight”, the song I played when I lost my virginity with a 12 year old girl who lived across the street from me. That was also around the time that “Chicken”, Moms’ new boyfriend moved in and started living with us. Moms taught Chicken how to read and shorlty after he learned, he landed a steady job as a bus driver, driving for the city’s MUNI system. He wore a shit-brown colored MUNI uniform to work. He was called Chicken because he teethed on a chicken bone when he was a baby. Must’ve been cute. The name stuck.

By 1984, Oakdale had gone from being a middle and working class neighborhood to a hot spot for drugs. The epicenter was a two-block stretch cut off from the rest of the world by George Washington Carver Elementary School. The intersection of Oakdale and Baldwin Court was ground zero. Baldwin Court was named after the late literary icon James Baldwin. At the time, I had no clue as to who James Baldwin was. To me, Baldwin Court was just the place that had a free lunch program. I never missed a lunch.

I was selling good weed at the time, had been since 11 years old. On Oakdale, I was among the gangsters and hustlers, men and women, boys and girls, all talking big shit, all getting in where they fit in. The hustle was real sloppy then, not sophisticated. The daily grind was running up on passing cars, throwing ‘bows and bumping shoulders, jockeying with competitors for position. Once you claimed a car window, you’d shove your arm deep into the customer’s vehicle, right in front of the customer’s face, offering up your wares for sale. The fiends had their hustle on too. They’d slap your hand in the air, causing you to spill your product all over the floorboards of the car, driving off, dragging your ass up the block if you weren’t on point. Most times though, it was business as usual, fiends quickly exchanging money for the fattest bag, the biggest rock, and getting the fuck out of Dodge, hopefully in one piece. This one day, I noticed Chicken pulling up, riding in a little shitty brown Ford Pinto. We owned a brown late-model Ford Pinto at the time. It was the same color as the chocolate Thai weed I sold. It was also the same color as the MUNI bus driver uniform Chicken was wearing as he drove our Ford Pinto. The second I spotted the car and peeped Chicken, I laid in the cut, studying real hard to make sure I was seeing what I saw. What I saw was the Ford Pinto as it slowed to a stop, swarmed by the dealers who were pushing and shoving each other until one claimed that window, the victorious dealer walking away from the Ford Pinto counting money. As the Ford Pinto pulled off, my thoughts raced “Chicken just bought crack?” “Chicken is a crackhead?” “Does Moms know she’s fucking with a crackhead?” As much as I was thrown off by the scene I just peeped, I was smart enough to want to protect my mother, my younger brother. Angry and concerned for Moms, I bounced off the block, rushing home to tell her that Chicken was a fiend.

Beating Chicken home from across town, I walked through our door and saw Moms making dinner. I told her “You’ll never believe what I saw today”. I ran the whole shit down, how Chicken drove up with some strange woman in the car. How a crowd of dealers swarmed the car. How I knew that Chicken bought crack and not weed because the guy who claimed the car window, who walked away counting money was a known rock star. Moms took that news and waited for Chicken. When he got home later that evening, she lit into his ass. They moved their beef into their bedroom, closed the doors and screamed at each other, back and forth for what seemed like an hour. Their argument spilled out of their room, out into the hallway, to the living room, into kitchen, back into living room, down the hallway and into my bedroom. Chicken was still in his MUNI uniform. Worn from going at each other head on, Moms and Chicken started directing their anger towards me. They both began screaming at me like if I was the fiend seen driving the Ford Pinto, wearing the brown MUNI, kicking it with a ho’ riding shotgun. That’s the day I came to hate bus drivers and for a long time after that, thought they were all fucking crackheads.

The screaming ended with Moms telling me to “GET THE FUCK OUT!” Chicken’s punk ass, cornered like the fiend he was, hit Moms with that old “him or me” routine. She fell for it. She didn’t even give me time to pack a bag. I hit the streets with the clothes on my back, my weed bags and cop money. Moving with my sudden predicament, I headed towards the Valley to look for the homies. I caught up with my man Dark and told him what went down. Surprised that Chicken was smoking crack, his response was “If you want, I’ll help you catch and smoke that fiend ass nigga.” And I did want to catch Chicken. Catch him one morning, coming out the house in his MUNI uniform, on his way to work. Catch his ass by surprise the way he caught me when he rolled up in the Ford Pinto to buy crack. I didn’t want to smoke him though, just swing on him with something cold and metal. Let him feel me giving back some of that pain, see me bringing him close to death. Have him scared and scarred, knowing that whenever he saw me, he saw the person who held death over him. Moms loved him too much though, and I fell back because me hurting him would only result in her feeling more pain, more hurt.

Dark let me crash at his house until I could figure out my next move. A week later, I visited my Grandma Jones on 3rd Street. After sitting down for some dinner and bringing her up to speed as to my whereabouts, my current situation she said “You know, your momma called me. She said she want you to go back home.” “Ain’t this a bitch?” I thought to myself. “She let that nigga turn her against her son and now that I’m out, she wants me to come back home. Fuck that and fuck her!” I responded “Really, I’m cool with that”. Streets were no joke and I knew I had to keep a roof over my head, knowing I couldn’t stay at Dark’s home much longer. Plus, I had to keep an eye on my brother. It took a few days for me build up the stomach to tolerate Mom’s and Chicken’s bullshit. When I did get home, Moms and Chicken played like the whole scenario never play out like it had, like it never took place. They did their best to act “normal”. I played it like I never forgot, understanding that in moving forward, shit would never be “normal” again.

Asher Roth "Asleep In The Bread Aisle" Album Review

April 14, 2009

This past weekend, I was up in Ithaca, NY, speaking on a panel at my Alma Mater, Cornell University. I was on a panel with a couple of Cornell grads who ran with their Ivy League degrees and went on to having a career in the music industry. Like the homie Londell McMillan, a fellow classmate of mine, entertainment Attorney and current owner of the Source magazine. I remember when me and him would run through the campus rocking doo rags, shell toe Adidas and fat laces, he rocked the Cazals. The event was truly dope. Between the students soaking up game, the crazy architecture sprawled out across the ginormous campus or the beautiful town of Ithaca, New York with all its gorges, mountains, rivers and quaint college town, it made me remember how much I loved college. Best effin four years of my life. I feel so grateful in that I was able to transition from Lincoln Place between Albany and Troy Avenues, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, with the crack jackers crack jacking up the block to waking up on campus, on late and lazy Sunday afternoons, with the crazy hangover from too much keg brew and with a young and warm co-ed snuggled up under my comforter, trying hard to not wake up in order to avoid her liquor induced headache from the night before. I loved college.

Which is why I was extremely amped to review Asher Roth’s freshman album,”Asleep In The Bread Aisle”. Having just mentioned him last week, it might seem like I got sucked into the hype beast surrounding dude, but other than “I Love College”, “Just Like I Em'” and his “Roth Boys” freestyle, I did a great job of not having heard his work until I had the opportunity to listen to the album in it’s entirety. Here’s my review:

“Lark On My Go Kart”
Ahser starts the lp nice, spitting a controlled and smooth flow, white boy inflection and all. The track is crazy too, rolling beats, dirty bass, dusty ass sounding sample. I’m not mad, and now I see where dude says he studied Jay-Z, not in his wordplay but in his tone, on how he rides the beat while keeping his voice on a perfect and steady pitch. This track here is tight and right.

“Blunt Cruisin'”
Slow and low dubbed out beat with traces of reggae and a jungle type break. As a dude whose first single is about how he loves college, this here is the required ode to weed smoking. His lyrics and flow sounds like Asher is spitting free association and under the influence. The song as a whole doesn’t grab me, coming off somewhat lazy sounding, but I kinda could see how if I was in college this Spring, and this was being banged out of a dope system, in a small setting, with chicks dancing and with the scent of burning herbals wafting through the atmosphere, warm Guiness in hand, I might could like this a bit more.

“I Love College”
Me too! Perfect single. Never gave it this much attention before. Great pop song but with bass guitar licks that manage to sink into my system. Mellow ass hard beat. Roth does a great job of reminding me why college was the best time of my life. I wish this came out back then. Nice song to get up close to that cutie majoring in engineering, get her to take her study break back to your crib off campus.

“La Di Da”
Sounds like he’s sharing some personal issues. Simple melody, soulful vibe, problem is I’m just not connecting with Asher. Not to come off all judgemental on dude, but this here sounds like he ain’t really go through some hellish life shit yet, the type of shit that would give his message here just a little bit more depth, a bit more desperation. I don’t believe him.

“Be By Myself (featuring Ceelo)”
Groovy song, good to hear Ceelo. Solid hook with Asher flowing, once again though, his words are lost on me. Very Gnarls Barkley sounding, like it should. Might have legs on alternative based college radio shows. Maybe.

“Don’t Wanna Man”
Way over-produced for this album. Not bad production mind you, just too obviously and clearly aimed at the pop charts. I’m also starting to get annoyed that I’m not retaining any of dude’s lyrics, not really feeling his mind-state. As different as possible from “I Love College” or “Lark On My Go Kart”, both of which set the stage for that classic crunchy college album you might think this is, or might want it to be.

“Sour Patch Kids”
Asher goes in deep. Raps about issues like capitalism, war, America’s games of lies and deceipt. Problem is Asher doesn’t go deep enough for my liking. When I was in college, one of my boys was really heavy on the whole anti-apartheid divestment movement on campus. I personally think he went in only to score with the white chicks. No doubt I would show some support by attending some rallies, but my dude would go the whole nine, sleeping overnight in some janky ass cardboard shanties, all up in the snow and rain and mud. One of the few (if not only) Black dudes that was camped out on campus with a whole lotta white kids. The first time the cops came to bust that shit up and dragged his protesting ass straight towards the paddy wagon, his heels digging deep in the grass as he peacefully resisted arrest, me and my ignorant ass crew stood by the sidelines laughing our asses off as him being subdued was some of the funniest shit I’d ever seen. Just as I’m making it clear here that I wasn’t the type to take certain issues on campus that serious is how Asher sounds, only with him trying his best to convince me that he is that concerned dude. Not bad, just not translating. I’m not believing him and I’m wanting to hear something from him again that can make me believe. Great rocking and bouncy funk track though. Good production.

“As I Em (featuring Chester French)”
Being as how him being white and having to be compared to Eminem must really be annoying, Roth comes off sounding like this is some valid personal close to home shit he’s going through. Being that the whole white rapper thing is a real issue, Asher’s delivery sounds sincere on this one, so much so that I really feel his pain. When Asher raps about issues that Asher really goes through, he sounds at his best. This is most definitely his lane, you know, the white rapper being misunderstood and unfairly being compared to Em. Tough dilemma to be in, but he pulls it off with flying colors. I believe him.

“Lion’s Roar (featuring New Kingdom and Busta Rhymes)”
Decent Timbaland sounding pop track, horrible effin sequencing in that it follows “As I Em” which was a great transitional track for Roth to up the ante thematically/ lyrically for the rest of the album. The double time rap thingie is not for him. Busta comes in and does a great job though, carrying the track on his shoulder in order to assist Roth onto the next track. Great save on Busta’s behalf.

“Bad Day (featuring Jazzy Pha)”
Bouncy laid back bounce. Pop rap story song about a plane ride gone terribly wrong, starting with Asher having forgotten to pack his i-pod. Same vein as classic 80’s songs like “Parent’s Just Don’t Understand” or any Slick Rick rap tale of woe. Roth manages to come back into his lane after having swerved off a coupl’a too many times. I believe him on this one too.

“His Dream”
A song about his father. Very autobiographical in nature. Decent song. Felt it would have been better and that I would feel it more if this was on his next album as opposed to his first.

“Fallin'”
Great song with Asher reminiscing back to the 7th grade when he first started studying Jigga, how he fell in love with rap wordplay. Asher’s doing Asher. I believe him.

“Perfectionist (featuring Beanie Sigel)”
Decent braggadocio joint. Until Beanie shows up to murder him on his own shit. Interesting to see these two team up, but not certain that the whole odd couple thing works.

“The Lounge”
Jazzy slinky joint about what a rapper looks like and how Asher doesn’t fit the bill. “How I Em” kinda already tackled this issue.

Let me be clear, I really like Asher Roth when he’s doing Asher, or at least what I think him doing Asher is. Not trying to pigeonhole his artistry, but Roth sounds more at home when he’s rapping about shit that sounds like he’s experienced or gone through first hand. “I Love College” was the perfect set up for that perfect college album based on issues and situations that most freshmen in college go through. As much as I wanted to love this record as a whole, it sounded like it was all over the place. Over ambitious even. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t a good deal of singles on “Asleep In The Bread Aisle”, the album has plenty. This album will do very well for all the obvious reasons, and being what it is, I’m not mad at that. It just sounds like being the freshman that he is, Asher was way too eager to go from frosh to J.V. in sixty seconds, missing out on the perfect opportunity to drop that classic freshman album.

That being said, “Asleep In The Bread Aisle” gets 3 out of 5 Combat Jack Salutes.

Anti-Christ

April 14, 2009

Lars von Trier’s Antichrist – Official Trailer from Zentropa on Vimeo.

Sorry I’ve been taking a while cooking up some more posts. They’re coming, trust. But in the meantime, I just came across this trailer which looks creepy as all “hell”. The movie is directed by this Danish cat Lars von Trier. Starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, the flick is about a married couple who take to the woods in order to cope with the death of their young son. Like most movies, once they get to settle down in their cabin, the shits and giggles start to pop off. Enjoy.

Courtesy of Ain’t It Cool News.

"In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night…"

April 11, 2009

Dunno if you’re up on the recent string of animated straight to DVD/ blu-ray hits DC has been dropping. With dope titles like “Batman: Gotham Knight”, “Justice League – New Frontier”, “Superman – Doomsday” and “Wonder Woman” their next heat rock “Green Lantern – First Flight” is looking good. Plus they landed a PG-13 rating to bring some gully to the party.

Over the past 10 – 15 years, Green Lantern has become one of my favorites. Might have to cop.

Asher Roth: "As I Em"

April 11, 2009

Other than that college song, I have not given dude a listening too. Too much hype, plus that whole white rapper who sounds a little bit like the G.O.A.T white rapper thingie. Decided to pass on him until the CD dropped, give him the full dissection. Just listened to this. Sounds like a white rapper who sounds a little bit like the G.O.A.T. white rapper. I slept. Kid is effin mangoes on this one. Really want to hear the CD now.

I’m not mad at Asher Paul Roth

Courtesy of DJ Vlad.

Can’t Knock The Hustle, The Chronicles of A True Hustler, Pt. 1

April 9, 2009

I never idolized drug dealers. Their way of life seemed too risky and way too dangerous. I do deeply respect the few that I know. And I know a few. Seems like the ones I knew the best were filled with an incredible sense of wisdom, a clear sense of mission as to why there were here on this planet and what they had to accomplish before they left this life. I most definitely met a lot during my career in the music industry. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the one’s that made the successful transition from working the streets to becoming successful execs in the industry are the few people who continue to make good coin today. The honest way. It did take me by surprise a few years back, when one of my closest friends and former housemates from law school decided shortly after graduating from Georgetown Law that he would forego a career in law in order to hustle drugs. And not street corner slanging either. Because of his credentials, my dude placed himself in a position where he was able to move some serious poundage during the early 1990’s. Even lent me the seed money needed in order to start my law practice back in 1995. Good dude. Eventually, he got busted and did time twice, first state, then federal. Shared the fed time with his twin brother who graduated from Columbia University and was on his way to med school. It felt good to pay him back, and then some, once he got out from doing his bid, like maybe the money I paid back would help him get back on his feet. Crazy shit, but no embellishment.

Which brings me to my dude “T”. T is an upstanding citizen of the community. Brooklyn homeowner, married to an accomplished writer, a father and an extremely successful real estate agent. Top exec in New York’s top real estate company. Member of the block association even. Dude moves brick and mortar like nobody’s business. I met T a couple of years back, when my wife and I were on the market for a home. T was real patient, extremely forthcoming with information, especially because I was intimidated by all the things I didn’t know about real estate, me being a potential first time homeowner. As we got to know each other better, his kids playing with mine, his wife bonding with wifey, dude began to share some things about his background. How he was from out west by way of San Francisco, how he grew up in an extremely disfunctional family, with a father who was a pimp, sometimes dope dealer and full-time drug addict, a mother who became strung out on heroin at the age of 17, how most of his uncles and aunts were drug addicts who had died of drug overdoses, one dying of aids because of his affinity to the needle.

Some real heavy shit, but whenever T shares his experiences with me, it’s never coming from a place of “check my street cred stats” machismo bullshit, it’s more like dude is reflecting on the worst aspects of his upbringing with a sense of appreciation as to who he is today, the hurdles he’s had to overcome in becoming a successful businessman, husband, father, human being. Almost like he gets this big joke about life and is somehow trying to let me in on that joke. There’s no glamorizing or glorification in his words.

T eff’s with the Combat Jack blog heavy, and has started writing some of his experiences as an exercise in expression, in growth, in strengthening his skills as an writer. As much as he enjoys doing what he does, selling homes to those that can afford one, he does not want to become complacent in becoming just one thing. I’m really honored that my writing has inspired him to write more. Recently, he’s begun to share with me some of his writings. In reading some of his work, especially with regard to his memories as a young kid growing up in the streets of S.F., I was blown away by the things he’s lived through and how he’s been able to make it over to “this” side. In a sense, his experiences are inspirational to me, in helping me to overcome the challenges that I face on an almost daily basis. I’ve asked him if he would allow me to share with you pieces of his “memoir”. T gave me his blessings, and I promised him I would do my utmost best in bringing his words, his story, his life to you. I truly hope that I do this man’s history justice. If what Shawn Carter raps about is true, Jay-Z ain’t the only one that dabbled in crazy weight and survived the “game”.

That being said, I proudly bring to you, in the words of T, The Chronicles Of A True Street Hustler, Pt. 1

Looking back on my life, in hindsight, I’m able to recognize that some of the worst things that have happened to me were some of the best things that happened to me. Growing up in Hayes Valley, better known as “Death Valley”, I received strict “professional advice” as to what my career options were at a very early age. Around the time that I was 4 or 5, my father and my mother’s brother, my uncle, would often lecture me on the only two choices I had to look forward to when I grew up. “Niggas round here grow up to be either a drug dealer or a pimp, you need to figure out what you gonna be early, before you get twisted up in some bullshit. Don’t ever forget that shit T.” My pops used to drill that shit into my head relentlessly. He came from a family of pimps. Through my father, I learned that one of the best ways for pimps to keep their women on a tight leash was to get them strung out on drugs, on heroin, and as soon as possible. My mother met my father when she was in high school. Fell in love with him. By the time she was 17 years old, she was addicted. I don’t know if she was using when she was pregnant with me or my younger brother, but I knew she was an addict, and for a very long time. Eventually, my father became an addict as well. My younger brother and I soon were left to be raised by a drug addicted single mother. At the time, I understood these things that I lived through to be normal, and as hectic as shit was, I was content in my extremely fucked up conditions. Maybe that’s because that was all I knew.

By the time I turned eleven, I decided to choose drugs over the family business, I decided that I would become a drug dealer. With mom’s zoning out on her highs, I felt I was old enough to earn a living and keep food on the table for my younger brother and me. Although I got first hand training in the skin trade, I wasn’t much into pimping. Maybe I was turned off by pimping because I grew up watching my mother catch regular beatings from my father. My brother and I never intervened, but when the beatings were over, we’d look after moms, cleaning her up, consoling her they way she should have been able to do for us. When I finally shared my decision as to my profession to be with my mother, she was very supportive. So supportive in fact that she sat me down at the kitchen table in order for her to instruct me with my first lessons in selling drugs. She started off explaining to me that she loved me very much. That because she wouldn’t always be there to take care of me, she would show me how to hustle to make money so that I’d always be able to take of myself. She said “remember, no matter what, you’ll always have a hustle to fall back on.”

And the lesson began. She went in her room and came out with a huge bag filled with marijuana. She placed some of the marijuana on the kitchen table. “This is a quarter-ounce of weed,” she said. “It weighs 7 grams, plus the sandwich bag makes 8 grams all together.” She continued, “Never pay more that fifty-dollars for a quarter and never, ever let me catch you selling anything for anybody else. Only hustle for yourself.” I listened to her intently. After emptying the weed into an empty shoe box, she took a small pair of scissors in one hand and some weed in the other. “This is how you break it down.” She snipped and crumbled the quarter into a fuzzy green mound, removing the few seeds and stems along the way.”See, now you have to let it dry out a bit. It’s heavier when it’s wet and sticky, you’ll end up over stuffing your bags. When it dries out, it will fluff up and fill out the baggies more.” I nodded as if to affirm her observation, not having a clue of what she was talking about. She took a baggie, stuffed it and placed it on the table between us. “This is what a ten-dollar bag should look like. Now, bag up the rest of this weed and make’ em all look like this one. ” I followed my mom’s orders like a good son. I figured out that rubbing the baggie between my thumb and index finger

made them open easily. The weed felt crisp and crunchy between my fingers, and it’s skunky aroma wafted up into my nose, made my mouth water.

Moms returned about a half hour later, “8 bags”. “Not bad,” she said. “But your bags are too fat, you”re giving money away, nigga. Take some weed out of these two and get one more bag out of ‘em.” After a couple of more turns of breaking down, packing, weighing, after my moms felt I was getting the hang of packing weed bags the right way, efficient and economical with my servings, I felt I was ready to hit the streets. My moms introduced me to one of her, one of my father’s connects. I felt grown, extremely pleased with myself and the responsibility that I was readily assuming. My next step though, was to figure out how I was gonna survive the streets. See, niggas in my neighborhood started gang banging heavy, and I wasn’t yet down with any gang. I had to get my shit “affiliated”. There was no way I was going to place myself out on the streets of a war zone, alone at 11 years old and with no muscle.” Fuck that! I need to get my muscle game up and intact.

TO BE CONTINUED

Uhm, I Like Fish Sticks Too. [||]

April 9, 2009
Kanye on SP
Uploaded by yardie4lifever2

I do have kids.

Uhm, I Like Fish Sticks Too. [||]

April 9, 2009
Kanye on SP
Uploaded by yardie4lifever2

I do have kids.