I was born and raised on Staten Island. Never lived anywhere else but the Island. Traveled though. This is my home. This is really all I know as far as neighborhood-wise comfortability, knowing what neighborhood to go in, what neighborhood not to go in, where the racism is, where it's not. Things like that. This is my stomping grounds.
I'm mixed. My pop's is white, mom’s black. Growing up at first, I think, I don't remember race being a factor. I remember going shopping in the mall and being profiled and things like that. Like you're about to steal something. I would flip it to where it's in my favor where, "okay, I'm here to really buy something, but now I'm gonna make you work." I'm gonna let you sweat, man. I caught racism in relationships, people's, maybe their parents, or their grandparents.
But then also I know this can be a bit controversial, but I guess you know, because you definitely hear the narrative that, black folk, we can't be racist but I've experienced prejudice from black kids. It is what it is. My father would pick me up from school. And then I catch the racism from the whites when my mother is picking me up from school.
They don't know exactly what you are yet. Are you Spanish, are you white? You know what I'm saying? Trying to figure you out, trying to get to know you. I think it's ambiguous… the terminologies that they come up with be crazy. It looks ambiguously racial or some shit like that. Some shit. It’s like they can't put a finger on it. You ain't black, you ain't white but you something though.
I was working since I was eight, with a clear understanding you're a boy, you're going to be a man. It didn't take any time. Dudes was in sports too; coaches yelling down your back and all that. I played football, basketball, baseball. I did everything up until high school. And I guess, because I thought I was a man, I started the dibbling and dabbling in manly things in ninth grade.
At 19 I became a father. So then you have to just think of legacy. What lessons are you going to leave? Do you want the next generation to be better than you, equal to you? Or less than you? I'm trying to always have my generation to be better. And that's a gift and a curse because then when they get to that age that, you know, teens and stuff like that...then you got to check them, let them know, you're not on my level. I want you to be better in this generation, but you ain't on my level.
But yeah, having a son at 19 and you know, I wanted to be fresh, but financially stable. I was very focused. Working full time and then taking full time classes, having and a kid, that shit was real. I still was providing in the house doing my contributions for my mom's, helping pay bills, plus, doing what I had to do for my siblings, it was an all family affair. Everybody was helping each other out. Having a kid at that age was a blessing. It was a blessing to walk a straight path. I started looking at life, savings, patience, character building, all that. I'm still growing.
I never grew up thinking about legacy, but that's legacy right there. You leaving a bloodline behind. God forbid, it's harmful when parents bury in their child, but if the life cycle goes the way you anticipated, you leave a legacy behind. You're teaching that human being, that's your's yo. It's their own vessel, but right now, whatever they learn is what you're teaching. I used to really be on this whole, I don't want to bring nobody on this earth because this world is messed up. But then another vantage point is like, yo, I need more people like me, my mindset to be on this earth because one person could change the world, change this part of the planet. We need more good motherfuckers because the evil motherfuckers was doing their work. We can't just quit, you know what I'm saying?
If the social construct could allow it, I'll have a clan, you know what I'm saying? And that was never my plan. That's the beauty of this. You look deep into your kids' eyes, it's just bugged out. It's really bugged out, you know, check on them while they sleeping, like damn. You know, walking, coming in from work, getting the hugs and even the negative stuff, you know what I mean?
I got a 20 year old and three year old and then a newborn. So you know those energies is all different. Sometimes, me and my son, we clash, and sometimes we don't. Now it's weird because at 20, you at an adult level to where sometimes they think they're on your level. So that's a different dynamic. So then you know, you ain't getting those hugs no more. It's "Hey dad." But when you walk in, you got a three year old hugging the hell out of you. I got to cherish these moments because this shit gonna change in 10 years.
I have a daughter and 2 sons. A female is another experience because I'm gonna have to deal with the dudes. She's gonna keep me in shape. I don't want to put my sons in a position. It's a blessing, it truly is a blessing. It sparks a sense of urgency because, you know, I can get complacent, but I want elevation. Step my game up and work harder to get another house or another apartment, grow, grow, grow. Save, I got to save for college. And even if the kid don't go for college as least you been saving and then this kid got a little stack.
And you say "learn a trade" or "here's money to start your own business. You can be entrepreneur or whatever." It has you thinking differently because growing up, I wasn't thinking about none of that, not even really probably for myself.
Now it's like, okay, let's leave a legacy behind. If I go, here's his stash, his dad stash, can't say I'm leaving millions as of this point, but I'm leaving something so you know that I care.
I know what I want. Okay, now you have to understand, okay, why you don't have it. Okay, I've been B-sing, I'm doing too much chilling, doing too much burns, doing too much this, doing too much that. Maybe I'm complacent because I'm going with my career. Okay, this, that and that. So I guess I'm steadily thinking, I'm always thinking, I'm always thinking, yo, yo, yo, are you playing yourself right now? You chilling, you watching NFL games three hours, you could be making a beat, you could be doing some research! And then there are times when I'm laser focused and I am doing exactly what I said I was going to do.
Losing my father and just knowing, just knowing that it could be a blink of an eye. You just got to have a sense of urgency, you know? The birth of my son, the sense of urgency with my career path. Even though I'm not where I want to be musically, I still am setting goals with all aspects of my life.
Life is really just time. If you ever chill in silence and hear that tick tock tick tock going as time is passing you by and you know that it may be that last tick that you hear and that's the end of your time. What are you going to leave behind? I still have dreams that I want to pursue and keep pushing and keep going and you know what I mean? Just be aware and be on point. I don't know if that sounds real cliché in general, but it's really true.
As long as you focus and do a lot of writing, writing, writing your plan down. Life, birth and death, losing a loved one, knowing that, the sense of urgency. When you bring a life in this world, they ask to be here and when you lose that loved one, it's a pause for you to reflect. Now this person is a memory, and you are soon to be a memory as well. What's your memory going to be? Hopefully you're not going to be filled with regret. I want to say that I risked it all. I want to say "yeah, I tried it all, man, I tried it all." Hustle my shit out the trunk every time, every time, every night! That's me preaching to myself and preaching to whoever else is pursuing that type of goal with whether it be. Keep pushing.