# Deuces: Why I Left The Streets Once I Had My Daughter

March 21, 2014  |  

I thought that I would be out there forever. After all, my father dedicated his life to the pavements. What I learned from Mr. Cole, my old head, was that the streets offered opportunities that many from the hood would probably never have access to – yes, money, cars, women and a good living. From my candid intro, you could see that I was weened into that life by my pops. But that’s not really unusual is it? Every homie from my projects shared the same story. Their fathers ran the streets heavy, while their mamas cashed out. Even if the lady of the house wanted to complain about the dangers of drug dealing, she kept quiet – and let the hustle carry on. That became my ideology.

Keep Calm Let The Hustle Carry On.

During my senior year of high school, I knocked up a chick, who wasn’t my main girl, but nonetheless, she was a bad girl. Since we really didn’t have a relationship outside the sheets, going the parenting route at 18 damn near had me sick. But, she wasn’t going to get rid of it, no matter how much money I offered. I really thought everyone had a price. However, she made up her mind.  I had to eat that. Two weeks before graduation, I welcomed my first born – Lil’ Shawn Cole. I’m not going to lie, when I first stared in his eyes, I knew I was going to have to show him the ropes like my pops did. The weight of that responsibility kept me tied to the streets. As soon as he started walking, I was going to have to show him – how to be that man. From sun up to sun down, I moved those packs.  Even when I was exhausted beyond repair, I just had to keep calm.  I had a young boy to feed.  Get Up. Get Out. Get Money. Go Home. That was my serial routine. However, the more I came up, the more the family came down.  His mother was pressuring me to keep up with her flashy lifestyle.  I couldn’t do that for a broad I didn’t love, so I cut all ties, except those connected to my son. The only flash that she got – was that I paid her rent, her auto note, gave her grocery and money for clothes. It stopped there. No woman was going to take me off of my hustle.

Or so I thought.

When my little man hit two, I turned my grind all the way up and mixed in some legal opportunities. I switched up a bit, after seeing my pops battling prostate cancer. His lifestyle was so wild, that really – after being the man, for all his life, at the end – he didn’t have the energy to crutch himself. All those nights coked out, all the women, did him no service when he fell ill. So based on his outcome, I expedited my hustle, while I was still young, and copped a brownstone in Brooklyn. The pad had 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. I’m not going to front, my crib was tight – and a dope situation for my son, when he came by. In the driveway, I kept a clean green Range, and around the corner, I invested in a barbershop named Cole Cuts. The late nights truly paid off lovely.

Pause.

On my 22nd birthday, my life took a dramatic turn.  At an industry lounge in Soho, I met a cocoa-skinned chick in the coat check area who would change my life. When she handed me my ticket, I slipped her my digits and from there it was on.

Months passed fast and I got to learn a lot about her – Georgetta.  She was a grad school student concentrating on Journalism. Not only was she fly, but she was focused.  After 10 or so months, she moved into my spot. 2 months after that, she got knocked up. 9 months after that, we welcomed a daughter to compliment my son. Life was good. Wow, I had to feed 2 mouths.  My street game really had to make cents and sense.

The first night we brought home our daughter Kory, I got a call about a package from a connect in Jersey.  I barely laid baby girl in her crib before departing. The look on my ladies face killed me. ‘So, you are gonna leave us on her first night?’ I was speechless. In fact, I paused for a minute, then dipped.  I walked to my car, turned up Jay-Z’s throwback ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’ and peeled off.  In the rear view, I saw the bricks. I also saw the living room light fade out. I think I even saw the silhouette of my girls peering out the window.  I felt f@#$!* up inside, but – I had to get that money for my family.

Disrupted.

For the first time in my life, I was torn between my hustle and these two females who entered so late in the game. I struggled with the fact that my woman was just as sharp as me. She was accomplished, and could really do the whole household hustle solo.  I was torn that my daughter would one day look at me, like how I looked at my dad –  a washed up street dude, with no real accomplishments. I wanted more for them. So I used my wit, my experience and my street savvy – and I left the hood.  I focused on my legitimate business – the barbershop and cleaned up my dirty money.

Some think my turnaround was impressive. I heard that I was a genius at one point, because I was able to take my experience and really capitalize off it. Three years after opening my first shop, I opened two more within a 5 mile radius. In fact, I opened up a kid-friendly salon, inspired by my daughter named Kory’s Hair Care For Kids. My girl, Getta, who later became my wife, managed the salon, and created the media buzz around it. Looking back, my daughter did what my son couldn’t do – help me leave the streets. Unfortunately, I wanted my son to enter into it. I wanted him to mirror my life. That outlook was out of immaturity.  However, raising this little queen helped me to evolve. She needed a daddy that would be the type of man she sought when she got older.  Now, I apply my legitimate hustle to all facets of my life, so my son could be the type of man, my dad could never be to me.

# deuces. My life reminds me of,

A Genius Leaves The Hood: The Unauthorized Story of Jay Z

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