I just want to start by saying that I want to thank God for giving me the strength and brains to share my life story and to let you know that it is not the end of your life if you get locked up.
Well, growing up, my moms and pops didn’t get along and I didn’t like it at all. I love my moms and pops but they could never let it work. I was born in Orange Mound and lived there until I was 5. That’s when my dad asked me to come stay with him. My moms didn’t want me to go but I missed him so I ended up going to Hollywood to stay with him. It was cool. I don’t remember that much but it was cool.
After about 6 months, I started missing my moms and grandma, so I asked to go back home. When I came back I was going to Honley but I didn’t know my dad moved back to the M cause his mom died, he stopped keeping in touch with me for a while, but I was too young to understand.
When my moms lost her job she also lost our home and we had to go stay with my grandparents. It was straight until my moms got tired of it. She was messing with different dudes but she would never let them around me, except two of them. She got into a fight with one of them and he busted my moms windows on her car and kicked us out. I was too little to do anything about it and we had to sleep in the car and was back over my grandparents house until I got in middle school. That’s when she met Terry.
My dad still wasn’t speaking to me, and I wasn’t speaking to him either. My moms and Terry eventually got married and had my little sister. Then I got in the 7th grade and we moved east, right behind my new school. But that summer I was staying with my pops and his wife and kids.
My dad has ten kids and my mom has 3. I’m the oldest of the boys and DeDe is the oldest of the girls. One day me and my brother got in trouble and my dad took our game before he went to work so we broke in the game room to get it but while we was in there (my pops smokes weed) he had some big roaches in the ash so we started smoking them. It was about 10 big ones and I was as high as ever. After that, we started smoking all the time. If he left some out we would take it. It became a habit and we never got caught.
When the summer was over, I had to go back home but my dad wanted me to stay with them. My moms and him got into it but I ended up going back home with her after she told him she was gone call 12. I would call him but would never see him until I got in trouble at school. He would beat me until I was blue.
A week after that, it was two weeks left of my 8th grade year when I started fighting and they didn't let me do any activities at all, but I still passed. In the end, my mom and dad still weren't not cool, I’m smoking heaux and I got good at something else: stealing.
We can go to the corner store and I can steal if I didn’t have it. I would steal from my mom too. I was getting so good at it until I got caught and my mom was missing money for the holiday. Then, the summer came and I was back over my pops house. This time, I got a sack for the summer and I could role the best blunt you’ve ever seen. Me, my brother and older sister would get high everyday while at home at alone. We would know when [my parents] were coming home and leaving too.
So the summer went by and on my last day we was at Orange Mound Park. My uncle had just got out from doing 8 years and the park we was at got shot up. I almost got hit but this little man name Mitch saved me. I will never forget that day. My mom found out what happened and thought I should stay away from him cause all the bad that came with his gang activity.
My 9th grade year started and I felt I needed a gun. “I got a weed sack so somebody could rob me” is what I was thinking. My homeboy gave me a “38.” This was my first junt. I had always seen them and even held one but I never had my own. I thought I was the man.
I got in a real relationship with this girl and everything was good until one day I was at school and my cuz called me and was like grandpa was gone. I was confused when she said he died, then she told me again, “RayRay, he died.” I kind of blanked out because that was my real dad. The one that took care of me from knee-high. I was ready to crash. I walked right out of the school and went to the trap to the block and from the block back to the trap, trying to smoke the pain away but that didn’t help. It was like I lost my whole life and I couldn’t get it back. I was so hurt that I couldn’t even cry. I told myself that I would do everything that he taught me: to get my money, to not let any man hurt my mom, and to take it to my grave.
After that, I missed school for like 9 months. I was on the block getting paid but then we had a cold spell because the block got hot so I had to find a new way to get money and my weed. I started robbing, but never where I lay my head which is the number one rule, so I would go to the white folks side of town and do simple robberies but never got caught.
I was coming home at around 2-3 AM every night. Some nights, my mom would be up all night waiting for me. She was telling me that at the rate that I was going, that I was going to die or end up in jail. I thought she didn’t love me anymore, so I was like cool I’m good with that. I was just young and dumb.
After awhile, I was doing just enough to pass to the next grade while still being on the block and robbing. Summer came and Wooddale High School had a new coach and he came to my store and was like “what school you go to?” I was like my school right here getting this paper,” then I pulled out a role and I asked him if he was looking for some. He said “no son, I’m looking for you.” I just looked at him like he must be 12 and he said he was the new coach from Wooddale High and that he wanted me to play his time. My first answer was no and he was like okay and said he’s cool with that but said that he sees something in me. But I was still like nahh, I’m good on the block.
About two months pass and my mom told me that a coach came by looking for me. I asked what he did want and she said that he wanted me to come out and play football. I hadn’t played football since the 8th grade. She was like, I’m just letting you know. After we talked, it had me thinking. When she left I as at home by myself so I rolled a blunt and started walking down the street and I don’t know how I ended up at Wooddale High, but there I was and the coach was leaving the school from practice and asked me if I changed my mind. He was getting to me like an angel that won’t leave. That’s when I said I’ll start playing
When school started my tenth grade year it was like I started to love the game. I’ve played since I was little, but with this dude in my life I changed. I was doing good in school and going to practice and everything was A1, but I was still smoking, still stealing and my weed habit was getting worse.
I was smoking in my moms house one day and she kicked me out. So I went over my homey house to spend the night and she called 12 on me. It was crazy and funny at the same time because I was high as a kite. After that we stopped talked for a few weeks and I was cool. Then my mom ended up cutting me off from everything. She didn’t do anything but pay my phone bill.
By this time, I had two guns, a 9mm and a 38. It was a dude in my hood with stolen cars. We would just get in and rob people. I got to the point that I didn’t care who it was, only if it was fast and easy money. Then one day the police got behind me while we were in a stolen car when I was driving. I put on the high speed and we got away. I told him that we need to lay low for awhile, so we didn’t talk or nothing for about a month then we got back to it.
I was skipping school just to get money. It didn’t matter to me that I went to Juvy for a little theft. When I went home I was turnt the whole week at school. I went to the mall and went mayhem. I had them golds in my mouth, you couldn’t tell me nothing. Even if I was blind I could still smell money.