Every now and then, I make my way into the ghetto. It’s a humbling experience. The place that I worked so hard to get out of, the place where I had hated, the place where I never thought I’d get out of. It’s always with mixed feelings when I’m in this place.
Drive into the neighborhood, the people are scoping me out already. When I park my car, bike patrol passes and gives me the look that they’re watching. A hooker comes up to the window because I parked my car, I wave my hand that I don’t need her services. I step out the car and hear grumbling in the background, an alcoholic dude struggling in the back alley. Walk another few steps, and look down, there’s needles that the heroin users threw away, littered on the streets. Used condoms, blood, garbage, you name it, all decorating the pavement. And to think back… this is where I came from.
The ghetto is home and is still a big part of me. This is the place where I made my money, fighting everyday, just to survive. So many people died but nothing has changed, it’s still the same. As dealers get taken out, there are new ones to replace them. As junkies die, new ones replace them. This is a hell hole of some sort, genocide.
My parents worked so hard but still ended up here, they did their best. They worked themselves to death, couldn’t even afford a grave so they told me to just dump their bodies when they dead. But I didn’t want that, I wanted a better life for us so I worked my ass off every single fucking day to make it. Ran a tight ship, made my money, and finally got the chance to move out of this place which I did.
This business ain’t no joke and many people just say it and don’t realize it’s full meaning. When they’re doing good, they think that everything’s good, they lower their guard and it’s game over. Just hustling isn’t enough, it never is. If you just do that, you’ll get stuck in the rat race. You must educate yourselves so that you can create a legitimate hustle so that you never have to resort to crime again.
And every now and then, I’ll run into a young hustler and it’ll remind me of those days. And a thought comes up: Is he gonna make it?