We all got a story, here’s mine…
“On Mondays he drove his Samurai Suzuki, Tuesdays it was the Iroc, on Wednesdays he had the tricked out Jetta. For the rest of week he sported his favorites, the Delta eighty eight and the Benz. His Saturday ride he cherished the most. It was always shining with fresh wax and armor all. The candy apple red seven forty - five beemer. When he told me that BMW stood for Black Man Wheels I was forever in love. I knew way back then I had to have one. Don’t even let me bring up his jewelry. Jewelry! This nigga had the big dooky ropes, four finger rings and diamond earrings before anybody in the hood. Matter of fact he was the first to rock MCM, JV and Todd One suits on the block. Roscoe was my mom’s man. Plain and simple, Roscoe was the man.
Everybody loved him, I mean how couldn’t you? He had bought grown men little squatter whips to get back and forth to work when their cars broke down, he had kept people lights on, bought families groceries when their kids were hungry and even kept a few people from getting kicked out in the streets when they couldn’t pay the rent. Roscoe was a real life, black Robin Hood. Shit, he told my Mom she could quit her job six months after they hooked up. It wasn’t until about three years later that I found how Roscoe was so paid. We had just picked the beemer up and that boy was clean! Roscoe said we had to stop by Tony’s the corner store to pick up some subs and sodas. I was happy as hell cause I knew at least one of my boys would see me in the beamer. Roscoe rode threw the projects first though and everybody was staring and pointing. It was too hype! That’s how we talked back then. So anyway, Roscoe pulled into Tony’s and told me to stay in the car, which was okay with me cause I just played with the radio and pretended not to notice everyone who admired the car as they passed. I remember thinking how long it was taking Roscoe to get a few subs and a three liter of soda. Then all of a sudden Roscoe came running out the store all bloody and shit. Paully, Tony’s second oldest son was running after him. Roscoe would have made it to the car had not one of Tony’s flunkies tripped him up. Before I knew it Paully was standing over Roscoe with the hammer cocked. I hopped out the car and ran toward Paully busting off shots til the the gun was empty. The first two shots missed, but the third hit Paully dead in his chest, the fourth bullet went through his neck as he stumbled back. The fifth bullet hit his sternum and the last one hit the flunky in the shoulder. It was a good thing I found that pistol next to the package of white stuff when I opened the glove. Roscoe got up and we got the hell outta there! On the way home Roscoe explained everything. Tony and his sons were mad at him because he had found another ‘connect’. Roscoe said he had found a better product for a better price but still messed with Tony just to keep the peace. But in the hood secrets never lasted too long. Then he told me how proud he was of me, that he owed me his life and maybe I was ready to learn the business. He didn’t pressure me at all, told me if or when I was ready to let him know. I looked around the car we in with it’s fancy gauges and switches, thought bout all Roscoe’s other cars, his gear and big ass gold chains and told him I wanted to start right then and there. Before we went home we stopped by one of his ten stash spots he had in the city. Roscoe cleaned the cut on his head from the pistol whipping, took a shower and changed into a brand new green and white MCM suit with all white nikes. It looked fresh to death like he hadn’t been facing death just minutes before. Roscoe sat me on the couch and gave me some ground rules of hustling. He told me never to keep drugs on me, don’t let the fiends hustle me, and no tricking, you know sexual favors, until I knew what I was doing. I remember laughing at that rule but not for long. My first night on the block was slow. Roscoe give me two hundred dollars worth of crack cocaine and I had only sold two dime bags and one twenty bag. A month later I was getting my fourteen year old dick sucked by moms of kids I went to school with and making close to a grand a night. It was wild! But after about six months into the game, Roscoe got knocked by the feds. His top general too. This was Roscoe’s second big drug charge but this time they hit him with a king pin charge. If Roscoe’s appeal didn’t go through he would be gone a long time. But in the mean time Roscoe crowned me king of his empire. I called him every Tuesday to get instructions on what moves to make and how. The new responsibility made it hard to run the blocks by myself so I talked my friend B-boy into coming into the game with me. He was my oldest friend and I trusted him with my life. So I handled the administrative things and B-boy made sure the blocks ran like clockwork. Business boomed and never stopped but me and B-boy still made the principal’s list every marking period. The money was only icing on the cake. People talked to us with respect, almost a certain fear. Sometimes we went shopping and never paid for anything! And the ladies, ladies and more ladies! We were living the life and couldn’t even drink yet. Although that never stopped us from popping bottles. By senior year I had my beemer, pearl white with powder blue leather with white trim, and a brand new lexus coup. B-boy had coped him a four twenty Benz, all black with gold trim. Nobody could touch us. Most seventeen year olds were worried about the prom, and college applications but I was worried about finding new connects with even better prices. Roscoe had always taught to never stop trying to boost my profits. And that finding a cheaper supplier was always the best way to do that. God bless the dead. Two years into his bid, Roscoe was shanked to death while taking a shower. Shit broke my moms’ heart and even mine. He meant so much to us. I could never prove it but I knew Tony had something to do with it. And if he didn’t, well he and his sons still got what they deserved. My twenties were a blur of fast money, fast cars and fast women. Regret? Nah, I don’t have any regrets. B-boy got thirty years behind bars and I got a death sentence in this hospital. But it too late for regrets, it just all part of the game. We all got a story and this is mine.
We all got a story, here’s mine…
“She loved the Gucci sneakers, red, green and white, hanging the window when she first seen him fight, so turned on that she had to shower twice.” Meet the Parents by Jay Z. That’s the best way to explain how I got caught up in the game. Fucking wit my kids’ father. I was a young girl, bout fifthteen when Pop snatched me up. Everybody in the hood knew Pop and the kind of business he did. The rumor was by the time he was twenty years old, he had a body on his gun for every year he was born. With that reputation and with all the objections from my friends at the time, I shoulda never got involoved with him. But Pop was fine as hell, had mad money and was a gangsta! How could I say no to him. Besides, I knew my girls would have say yes without even blinking. Anyway I was pregnant before my sixteenth birthday. Pop convinced me to abort the baby, said it was too soon for us and everything. But it didn’t really matter because I was so young and naïve, I would have did anything he told me to. The day after I had the abortion Pop surprised me with a brand new pearl white beemer. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t even have my license yet but Pop said it was okay because the cops never bothered females like they did dudes. My girls were so jealous but they rode with me anyway. How could they not? We used to tear up the mall with knots of money that Pop had gave to me. We were real flyy girls. One day my girl Kim’s mom saw us riding down sixth street all glamourous and what not. She was waiting for us when we pulled up. She was like ‘Who car is this and where did yall get those clothes!’ I told her and she started dragging Kim out the car by her hair! She told Kim she betta never get her narrow ass in that car again and she was ashamed of all of us. That bothered me at first, but then I got used to people saying things like that. I just thought they wished that had somebody to buy them nice cars and clothes like me. My mom worked so many hours between her two jobs she never noticed my new wardrobe or the white beemer parked two cars down from hers. With four months left in highschool I was pregnant again. This time Pop said we were keeping it, he thought another abortion would be too much on my young body. He even met my mom and asked her if it was okay if I moved in with him. Years later my mom explained why she didn’t contest me moving in with a man seven years older than me and a known gangsta at that. Seventeen years before I did it, my mom had did the same thing. She knew even if she did protest it, I would have moved in with Pop regardless. So five months after highschool I had a new baby, Tajir, and a newly furnished condo. Pop went all out. The bathroom was decorated in Gucci, the bedroom was done in Chanel, and the the kitchen had baby blue marble. I thought having Tajir would slow things down a bit but the baby gave Pop a reason to hustle harder. He said we had to stack more money away for Tajir’s future. Shit sounded good to me. But the sound of the task force kicking in our door at four am didn’t sound good at all. They had a warrant for Pop for allegedly killing a suspected rival across town. I knew it was true, but I still was gonna stick by my man regardless. I got some lawyer that Pop heard was real good at getting people off. Shit, that crook was only good at ripping people off. He told Pop that the only way to beat the charges against him was to pay the prosecutor and the judge. The price was over a million on top of the lawyer’s fees. Pop had to use all our cash and call in some favors to make the payment. I remember being all excited the day I was supposed to meet the lawyer to get Pop out. I felt like that day Pop had first gave me his number. I had my girl watch Tajir for me and I put on my new Gucci suit I found in the back of the closet. I had forgot all about that one. Anyway I went downtown to meet this asshole, and his receptionist was all in tears and what not. She told me that he had called her from the plane. He had fired her and told her he wasn’t coming back. But the reason why she was crying so bad, she had just took a home pregnancy test that morning and it was positive. That bastard was fucking everybody over. I didn’t have time for her drama. I hauled ass to the jail and told Pop what happened. Pop broke his fist on the glass before the guards dragged him out cussing. I sat at the window crying for what seemed like forever. But then a guard came over and helped me get myself together. I thought he was just being sweet but then he had the nerve to hand me his number when I got to the door. I was so pissed but I didn’t have time to cuss him out. I went home stripped naked and opened a bottle of Reunite. I was damned near drunk when the phone rang. Pop told me he needed me more than ever. He told me to go to his grandma’s house and get his last four kilos he had stashed in an old broken down truck that his grandpop used to drive. I had never seen or touched cocaine before that and still wished I never had. I waited by the phone for three days but Pop never called back. He was stabbed to death by the cousin of the dealer he killed. So there I was, barely eighteen with a newborn, no job, no man, just four kilos of cocaine. After I buried Pop I had to make some serious decisions. I didn’t and couldn’t go back to my mom’s. I was used to my own space, money and everything. I knew what I had to do. I had to turn those kilos into dough. I didn’t know anything about hustling but I knew Kim’s brother did. He used to work for Pop before he got his own block. I knew I could trust him too. He had had a crush on my since we were kids. I told Kim my plan and she surprisingly was with it. Her brother Sammy got us started. He taught us how to break the bricks down into quarters and halves and then ounces into half and quarter ounces. We hit the blocks hard. Nobody ever thought females could get dough like we did. Me and Kim threw parties every Saturday night. All the ballers and fly bitches came out. Money wasn’t nothing. But then that one night I would give anything to take back happened. The party was jumping like usual. Shrimp, lobster tails, crystal and a whole lot of coke was going around. Sammy’s boy Lott wanted to do a line with me. I don’t know why I did it, I just did. The high was unlike anything I ever felt and I’ve been chasing it ever since. It wasn’t long before I was sniffing more than I was bagging. The empire that took years to build crumbled in less than six months. I fucked so much money up I can’t believe. I sold all the Gucci shit I had, my sons’ jewelry and jordans, anything to get high. And when I thought I couldn’t get any lower, I started smoking the roc. Crack cocaine is a nasty drug and the high is even shorter than powder cocaine. The junkies I used to serve became my smoking buddies. Ballers who used to chase me became my tricks. And right now as I go down on my knees in this dark pissy alley to suck this stinking dick that is oozing puss and has sores all over it, I truly hate the day I ever laid eyes on Pop Wilkins. We all got a story, this is mine.
We all got a story, here’s mine…
I ain’t never been the one to bitch up or complain about the cards I was dealt, but if my story can help a shorty out there avoid the same mistakes I made then I guess this interview is worth it. Ralph Daniels was my pops, a flashy type dude who always dressed like he was somebody important. And he was crazy about his family. That’s what the old heads used to tell me. I don’t really remember my pops too much. He died when I was only six years old. Heroin overdose. The old heads never told me how my pops liked to party. Probably didn’t want to disrespect the dead. Ma dukes was left with three mouths to feed, me and my twin brothers. They were still in diapers. By the time I was ten shit was real messed up. We hadn’t had our cable on for at least six months, I knew the movie Juice by heart. The electric was on in one of my mom’s alias’ and our backyard had more animals in it than our refrigerator. My mom had started selling our foodstamps for rock cocaine. I remember coming for the third day in a row and finding the twins still in the same dirty clothes chewing on crayons. My mom was spread across her bed butt naked and knocked out. There was a piece of rock left on her dresser so I snatched it up. I went down the block and stood on the corner like everybody else. The corner boys looked at my little ass like I was crazy but I didn’t give a damn. My baby brothers were hungry. I was so young and dumb, the first car that pulled up I ran up to it, shoved the rock in the face and took their ten dollars and hauled ass. A few on the corner boys screamed threats to my back but I didn’t care. I had a enough to get my brothers some subs and soda for the night, that’s all that mattered to me. Later I would learn that I got beat on my first sell. That rock I sold was a twenty piece not a dime. Anyway that’s how I got started in the game. I started stealing pieces of rock from my mom everyday. I think she must have gotten paranoid and started hiding her shit. That’s when the hustler in me was really born. When I couldn’t get a big enough rock from my mom’s stash, I would steal her pipe and scrape the residue into aluminum foil. Then I would break a small piece of soap off and put that in the foil. I started making a killing selling beat bags. But then my luck went sour. One day a fiend circled back around on me and hop out the car and literally beat my ass with his beat. The corner boys laughed their asses off. But one came to my rescue. His name was Raheim, everybody called him Ra Ra. I think Ra Ra was about seventeen at the time. He asked me what I was doing on the block anyway. Me being so young and all. And I was even small for my age. I told him I needed money like everybody else. It took me under his wing after that day. He told me he was the only reason nobody had ever chased me off the corner. He had told everybody to leave me be and let me make my peanuts. Ra gave me real crack to sell, bought me corner boy gear, and even got me my first beeper. We found out our pops used to get high together. One of our fiends told us. After that I was more than just his jun jun. I became his little brother. Before long I was paying all the bills in the house, buying groceries, and even dressing the twins. I was only twelve years old! My mom knew what was up but her addiction was too far gone to allow her to care or give her the strength to change our situation. Before my fourteenth birthday I was a full time hustler and school didn’t fit into my schedule. My mom’s addiction had graduated to heroin better known as diesel on the streets. I had to take the twins from her. I paid Ra’s grandma to take them in while I worked. One of the many things that the streets taught me is that scared money don’t make money and that’s what ended my run on the corner. Me and Ra got bagged on the turnpike with a half a kilo of coke. Ra had to ten joints in state pen, he was over eighteen. The judge made sure I would spend the rest of my teen years in juvie. That’s the price for not cooperating. I didn’t give a damn what he gave me I would never cop out on Ra. My first night in juvie was no joke! Big homies let me know right away we I was at. Gladiator University! I got beat damn, hit in the face with a dumbbell and raped all in my first day! After I got out the infirmary I met my first cellie. He told me the best way to avoid that situation again was to get my weight up fast as hell and don’t wash my ass until I do. He said dirty dudes never got their ass snatched. I did just what he said. I did pull ups and push ups every chance I got. I gained like fifty pounds before I saw the inside of the shower. And now me and my cellie and Big Nate were the ones running the yard, snatching booty whenever we want. We all got a story, this is mine.
We all got a story, here’s mine….
“Hustler? Me? Never! That’s how I would’ve answered if someone asked me about my job title five years ago. I ain’t bullshitin you. I was a straight A and B student in highschool. Matter of fact I made the who’s who among america’s highschool students almost every year. Honor society, student counsel, varsity sports, that was me. I graduated highschool with a 3.92 gpa. I applied to six schools, got accepted to all six. I decided on Drexel University in West Philly. And I was even doing my thing there. I held a 2.6 without even trying. I made my friends, had a couple of chicks and even made it on ESPN for hitting a half court shot at March Madness. But I fucked all that up fucking with my baby’s mom. I felt guilty leaving her home with an infant and her little girl so I transferred to Richard Stockton so I could be a full time dad. Thought I was being responsible. I hated it. I hated the school, hated being back in the same old dead end hood. So I decided to transfer back to Drexel. But I had to pay off one of my school loans before the next term started. I thinks it was like nineteen hundred. I only had like two and half months to pay the shit off before school started again. So I got on my work grind. Sent every cent of my check to the school so I could get back in on time. Made it just one week before registration closed. My baby mom said she was cool with it and happy for me but I knew she wasn’t. Anyway I was back in the city, but now I needed a full time job to send money back home. So I got on my grind again, put my faith in the BIG guy and got a gig. But not just any gig. I got a job with the university working as a dorm receptionist. I pretty much made sure the freshmen complied with dorm rules and helped them with any living arrangements they needed. Not only did I get a pay check from the school, but as a full time employee I got tuition remission. That meant I could take eleven credits a term for free! Shit was beautiful. I even hooked up with my homie from B-more and shared with two bedroom. With bothed worked hard during the week with school and fulltime gigs but on the weekends we did it way big. Our motto was ‘Drink til you throw up’. And we had a weed spot that kept hydro weed not even two blocks from our apartment. Oh, I forgot, our apartment was right alongside of an Irish bar called Cavanaughs. Don’t even get me started with Cavanaughs. But you know what I did. Dumb ass me left Philly again on some bullshit. Me and the baby mom had put applications in with the department of corrections to work in the prison. Our names finally came up on the list. I weighed the pros and cons of everything. I was thinking if we both got into the prison that would be like eighty thousand just in our first year. So I resigned from my position with the school, got it in with my homies once more and left Philly again. Big mistake. At the last minute I decided the prison wouldn’t be a good fit for me, with the way I feel about the judicial system and all. So there I was. Outta of school, no job. I got a bullshit job just to have some dough coming in. I went by one of my boys’ crib one day and my mind just started flipping. He showed me a knot of hundreds, told me he had like five hundred credited out in the streets and still had two ounces in coke. Here I was busting my ass forty hours a week just to bring two fifty home. I was only at his crib for bout an hour and he had made one twenty just like that. Before I left he told me he would put me down with a little something just to get my feet wet, to see if I could do it. I ain’t never been a stranger to street shit, I grew up on the south side. I remember selling beat bags back in the day. Me and my boys used to crush aspirin pills and hustle them to fiends we didn’t know. But now I was grown and had a family to think about. That next week at work was a bitch. I got more pissed every second that ticked by. I made my mind up. I didn’t quit my job but I took my boys’ offer. I rode with him to pick up more work and when we got back to his crib he broke me off. My first little package wasn’t even an eightball. I think he gave me something like two and half grams of cocaine. I can’t front, I was scared to make a sell at first. Then one night I was in front of my boys’ crib waiting for him and I saw one of his customers knock at his door. It was a white dude named Bill. He looked like he was just getting off work. He was about to get in his car and leave. My mind ticking fast. I knew he was against the code to serve somebody’s customer, especially my boy who had fronted me but I just hopped out my car and said fuck it. I had to make a sell, I thought if my boy wanted the money I would just give it to him, at least I had popped my cherry. I told Bill I was a friend of Tank’s and was waiting for him to get home. Bill looked uncomfortable, I guess he thought I might rob him. He told me to tell Tank he had stopped by. Before he opened his door I asked him what he needed. Bill looked at me with uncertainty. He said he was just trying to check Tank out. Even fiends knew it was against the rules to cop from another dealer. I reassured him that Tank wouldn’t mind, that we worked together. Bill still seemed uneasy but said he was trying to get a fifty piece. I pulled a rock of coke from my pocket and handed it to him. He tasted the coke with the tip of his tongue to be sure it was real. Then a handed me two twentys and a ten. I told him any time he couldn’t find Tank he could give me a call. He drove off and I went back to my car to wait for Tank. I shuffled the bills like I had just got a million dollars. I was proud of myself. I had just made my first sell. I was hustler now. Tank pulled up right afterwards. I felt kinda of funny telling him about serving Bill but I had to because he was my man. But he had passed Bill on his way home and Bill had flagged him down and told him he copped from me. Tank was happy for me. He told me that was just how easy it was. In fact he said he would tell all his clientele to call me when he wasn’t around. Tank and I poured shots of Hennesey and toasted to getting money. Later that same night me and another homey were sipping of double-deuces of colt forty five out in front of his crib. The air was warm even for a summer night. The street walkers were out in full, prostitutes and fiends alike. In less than twenty minutes we had already been propositioned for ten dollars blow jobs and asked if we were holding anything. My boy James said how pitiful it was that black dudes couldn’t stand outside without being mistaken for drug dealers. With a little shame I told him I was holding coke in my pockets. James was shocked as hell. I told him I wasn’t full time with it, just trying to make a few dollars. James told me he never pictured me fucking with the game like that, and I told him never did I. With that said I sold my last bags to the next three fiends. I took the hundred and fifty dollars and bought a whole eightball from Tank. My eyes just saw green dollars signs as Tank broke off a chunk from the ounce of coke. Tank chopped it up with a razor blade and showed me how to calibrate the scale with the tare, then scoop up the coke with a rolled up dollar bill. I watched him bag up three fifties and then tried it myself. My first bag was too fat for a twenty so Tank told me to keep it separate from the others and sell it for thirty. Within minutes I had bagged up the whole three and an half grams, three hundred and fifty dollars. Tank looked at me like a proud father and told me I would be back later to re-up again. I didn’t have faith that my package would move that fast but Tank was damn sure right. Before the sun went down I had sold out and needed more drugs. One of Tanks’ customers was pulling off in Cadillac Deville with vogues as I pulled in. Tank was smiling from ear to ear. He knew he was right. As I bagged up another eightball Tank assured me that I would need at least an half ounce during the weeks that county and state checks came out. And he was right again. Before I knew I was a full time hustler. I kept my last paycheck in my back pocket everyday for inspiration to make more money. By then all my customers called me by phone to put their orders in. I ran my operation like a real business. Any sell less than forty dollars had to meet me somewhere. Usually I told them to meet me at a fast food restaurant out in the parking lot. The transactions were always short and sweet. For my customers who bought it by the gram I gave them the courtesy of delivery. And they almost always spent a hundred and asked for fifty on credit. These were everyday working people so I obliged without hesitation. In less than six months I went from being fronted two and half grams to moving two ounces in cash and another ounce in credit every week. My bank was up but I didn’t move like the other hustlers. No gold chains, no cars with rims, no crystal at the bar. For every ounce I sold, I went to the bank and bought certificates of deposit and EE bonds for my kids. I wasn’t going to follow the same path of the hood legends that made thousands, got cased up and spent everything on lawyer fees or had their mistresses squander everything. I had a plan, stack a hundred thousand dollars and get out the game. I reached my goals and a little bit more in just three years. I stuck to the script and stacked my hundred thousand with four more on top of it. I made a half million dollars with out ever selling crack cocaine, or without ever being cuffed up. In our line of work that shit was rare. But at the age of thirty two I’m out the game. I ain’t moving drugs anymore. I ain’t moving much of anything these days. I can’t play ball with my thirteen year old son or even half a tea party with my daughter. In the drug game you have to move more product to make more money and the more money and drugs you get you make yourself a target. I became a target not only for the feds but for the lazy ass money hungry stick up kids on the block. Out of the fifty seven shots that were fired, only three hit me. But one shot was worth more than any of the homes I own, more than the ten I cars I can’t drive and more than the five hundred thousand dollars I had in the bank. That shot was the one that hit my spine and severed nerves that locked me down in a wheel chair for a life sentence. We all got a story, this is mine.