Chapter 5, Part 1
THE SUMMER IN PHOENIX WHEN I GOT SHOT AT THE FIRST TIME
Since no schools in the state of Illinois would accept me, I had to completely change states to try to get into a school system.
Somehow it was leveraged that my behavior was fine – there were incidents, but I was fine for mainstream. Honestly, I don’t know what story was told for these schools to accept me.
Since it was a weird time in my life, and I had to change states anyways, My mom tried to get me to move back with her for a summer in Arizona. She had the intentions of me going to school there for my senior year. It wasn’t definite that I’d stay there – it was just something I’d decide over that summer.
I moved to Phoenix over the summer and had no friends, so I was always going to the basketball court across the street from the neighborhood.
Eventually made friends with all the black kids in the neighborhood that went to the basketball court. They would battle, and I would work up the guts to be like, “I’ll battle,” and when I did, they looked completely shocked like, “Oh my God, he can actually rap.”
We all started meeting and rapping together every single day over instrumentals that A.D., Black Out or Courtney would bring to the court. Courtney is a guy btw.
I used to record us all rapping on a little silver Sony tape recorder I carried with me. (I still have the tape even though the tape detached and is broken. I know there are ways to fix it! I want to hear it again one day. I have the tape saved in this little black watch box. I wish I had it repaired right now because I’d stream it on here.)
Long story short, by the end of the summer, I was living in a feces-filled flop house with 14 black kids, 3 white kids, the mom who owned the house and her daughter who all the black guys banged.
I remember my mom coming over there when she couldn’t find me for weeks and nearly throwing up from the smell of the house. (You don’t notice it after you are there for a while.)
THAT SUMMER WAS THE FIRST SUMMER I SAW SOMEBODY GET SHOT.
We went to a house party and were there for like 10 minutes tops. Courtney walked over to me and said “Ay, we gotta get the fuck out of here, man. Jump the back fence.”
Suddenly, a pack of like 15 people flooded in from both sides of the house AND from INSIDE the house. One kept screaming like 5 times, “Where dat nigga Chris at!!!!!?!?!?!?!!” I mean LOUD AS FUCK.
I turned around, and Courtney was like, “GO GO GO!” People were running at Chris, and I saw him pull out his knife and just crank one as we jumped back towards the back fence.
This wasn’t a normal fence either, it was like a fence wall. In Phoenix, there aren’t just fences there are 8 foot high walls. This was weird – having a fence, grass, barbed wire, and wall all combined.
We all jumped it and ended up in the back alley between all the houses. Then, we saw a car down the right side of the alley pull up and SMASH on the brakes, blocking the alley way opening. People piled out of the car and were screaming, “They are in the alley! They are in the alley!”
Then someone starts shooting at us down the alleyway from where the car was. Chris got hit in his calf, but he didn’t even stop running or know he had gotten shot until 15 minutes later because his adrenaline was going so crazy.
We got away and somehow, on the same night, we slept in a high school’s baseball field’s watchtower after walking 7+ miles. I remember I did the distance somehow. But we didn’t go to sleep until like 4-5AM.
When we woke up, the sun was coming through the window. I can still remember how I woke up vividly. We got back to the flophouse and started telling everyone what happened.
This is just one of the MANY MANY stories that happened just in that summer.
Here is a picture from a scrap book of me that summer. I was 17 years old. I was zoning out to music and reading ‘Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies’. Proof I was already recording myself back then.
WHAT A FUN SUMMER!
By the time the summer was over we all realized it just wasn’t a good idea for me to be in Arizona (there’s a lot more stuff I am not really going to explain here).
So, I moved back with my aunt and uncle to Indiana to finish my senior year of high school. Yee Haw!