Jrnl Entry No. 6.25.2001

I received word and written notice that my performance at The Italian Job sucks and if my performance doesn’t improve, my employment will be terminated. Personally, I think they should have been fired me because my performance has been sucking. I have no desire, motivation, or interest in really working here. My only interest in working here is paying my bills.

I don’t know what’s going on in my life right now, but I feel like I am in a real slump. I know why but I don’t know what I can do about it. I want to be working at a record label or producing Hip Hop songs for people to listen to, or I want to be doing both. The music industry consist of friends, of friends, of friends. It’s a real coterie industry; from the artist to the executives in charge, they are all friends of friends. I don’t have any friends in the music industry; therefore, it will be hard for me to get a production deal or a job at a label. Sure I could hand out beat tapes till the end of time. Sure, I could send in resumes every three months. Both of which, at one time or another, I have done so, and I got nowhere. So I’ve concluded that resumes and tapes are not the answer.

I’m just breezing through life right now. I think sometimes about what I could be doing to get what I want, but I don’t think I am thinking hard enough. Maybe I’m in slow motion about this because even though I complain about my life, the most important of life’s necessities, I have: clothes, food, shelter, bills paid, car, daughter taken care of.

As far as the music goes, some may say it’s good I’m not desperate and doing it for money. That statement is half true. I want a Range Rover, a Benz E400 Class and a Lexus GS 400. I want a nice 4 or 5 bedroom home, not a mansion. I want a nice amount of money, enough to have to not worry about money. Music is how I think I’m gonna get there, but then again, I don’t have the answers to none of this shit. It is all a toss-up, and where will you land, who the fuck knows. I’m just gonna live the bullshit life until further notice; fuck it.

I make nice beats I know. I also make some bullshit that I don’t like so I ain’t just being eccentric where I think all my shit is the best a mutha fucka could hear. Hell, ain’t nobody got the best shit that one man could ever hear. After one hot song, there is gonna be another one to follow, and another after that, all by three different productions teams.

I said to myself that I’ll probably just one day give up the dream of getting on in the music industry and just do the shit for my own pleasure. People say don’t give up, keep trying and trying. I don’t know, it just seems like a lot of closed doors out here in the world, and I ain’t the nigga to just keep knockin’ and knockin’ and not getting’ no answer. Like I’ve ended other letters, Fuck it. I’ma live. I need to stop complaining about this shit because I’m tired of complaining also. Just realize that I’m trying as much as I can. Life is fucked up and even when you try sometimes you still come up with nothing. So in essence, life ain’t what you make it because I’m trying to make my life what I want, but it seems I ain’t makin’ shit!

WAS THERE A TIME YOU REALIZED ALL THE ACTIVITY YOU’RE ENGAGED IN TO MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE, WAS ACTUALLY NOT MAKING YOUR DREAM COME TRUE?

Jrnl Entry No. 6.11.2001

Timothy McVeigh was just executed this morning. My views on this are, “I don’t give a fuck.” He is the guy who blew up the state building in Oklahoma and many people died, including some black people I suppose. But that was like eight years ago which further helps me not to care, and none of my family or friends were involved in the bombing. But even if one of my friends or family had been involved, I probably still wouldn’t care.

You know five years ago my friend Ceasar Cicero was in a motorcycle accident. A pickup truck pulled out in front of him while he was strolling down the street. Now the guy who hit him was under the influence of alcohol. When Ceasar crashed into him, he kept on going instead of stopping. Ceasar was dragged by the truck by his hair because it was long. His face got all scrapped up and dismantled, and he had to have a closed casket. Now granted he wasn’t wearing his helmet at the time of the accident. A helmet could have saved him even though the doctors told his fiancé that it wouldn’t have because they didn’t want her to go crazy thinking what her life would be like if he would have only worn a helmet. Another thing that might have saved him is if the guy simply would have stopped the truck on impact instead of speeding off.

Now I knew Ceasar since Kindergarten. When he died, all I thought about was the fact that he was gone. I didn’t think about the guy who caused the accident. I thought about him a little after the funeral was over and he went to court and only got six months in jail for vehicular homicide despite the fact that he hit and ran and dragged Ceasar along with him, and he was also drunk. I thought that to be unfair, but did I want to protest constantly against the guy and wish him dead? No. After a while he just faded from my memory. I went and visited Ceasar’s grave for Memorial Day, and no thought came of the guy who caused the accident, just thoughts of, “I wish you were here. I wish, I wish, I wish.”

My cousin Romeo, his mom shot his father dead. I cried at his funeral for my love for him because he was a very nice man and good father as far as my eyes could see. I cried for Romeo and his sister Sary Kim. I didn’t see that Solomon was taking it too hard. He took it like a man I suppose I can say. During that time, I never had a hateful thought toward Romeo’s mother. Hey, she had some differences with her husband and one morning she decided to settle them. She’s been in prison for 10, 11 years now. Do I wish her death and pain? No, I do not.

My point is that killing the killer doesn’t make things better for the killed or the family of the killed. Now in Timothy’s case, he should die for taking multiple lives in such a way. He didn’t commit a crime he committed an atrocity.

I think personally that Romeo’s mother should be let out of jail now. 10 years in a cell is enough. I gave some thought to this and my prison system would work like this. If you kill someone, just one person, you get 10 to 20 years, 10 straight before possibility of parole. If you kill more than one person at a time, you get death. If you killed one person and get out and kill again, you get death.

Give drug dealers caught with a kilo or more, 5 years. They get out and get caught again, give them 10. No one should do life for the sale of drugs. Drug addicts can bounce back if they choose, so give the drug dealer a chance to bounce back. And after all, drug dealers don’t create the drugs they simply supply it and most of the time it’s through a middle-man. They are just capitalist and that is what America is all about. I think drug dealers are half-stupid for gambling with their freedom like they do, but on the flip side of it they are also kind of smart. Look the life they have.

Take Romelo Artrois for example. When he graduated from high school, he became a drug dealer. He fucked every bitch in town that I wanted to fuck and couldn’t fuck because I didn’t have any money. He had all the money. He had cars, clothes, trips to Vegas, etc. Look at the life of the guy in the movie “Blow”. He had millions of dollars, a big beautiful home, cars, everything he wanted, even a beautiful wife and kid. He lived this life for maybe ten years more or less.

Take me, after I graduated high school, I went to college. I graduated from college. I make $36,000 a year. I haven’t fucked half the bitches I wanted during my college years nor afterwards. I have a $16,000 car, a bum ass apartment, a few nice looking clothes, and no chance of losing my freedom unless I do something stupid. But the point I’m tryin’ to make is that I will probably never have the hottest car to drive, never be able to take trips to the Bahamas or Vegas, never have a big beautiful home. Or if I do get to have this life, it will probably take me another twenty years to get it. I have to work twenty years before I can do all this if I even want to do at that age.

While drug dealers, most in their twenties, have thousands of dollars laying around to do whatever the fuck they want in their youth. Most of them are stupid and wind up in jail 5 to 10 years by the time they are 27 to 30 years old. But I’m just saying, I wonder is the trade-off is fair. To have everything you want at your finger-tips: pussy, money, cars, etc; or, to live like a slave, working everyday for twenty years to build up a salary to have the same things. Truthfully, I feel like I’m in prison. I got to get up every day at 6:30 A.M. to go to work and all the money I make is for bills. I work and I go home because I can’t afford to go anywhere else.

If I didn’t have my daughter to think about while I’m living here in New York, I probably would be doing some stupid shit. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t because I’m just not that type of guy. I’m waiting patiently for my world to come together. I figure in five years, I’ll be paid more, my car will be paid off, etc. I’ll have a little extra cash to flaunt at age –. See what I mean? It’s like I got to do a five year bid before I can have a little freedom. Drug dealers have mostly all freedom out in the free world until they are caught. Do you get the analogy I’m trying to make here? This just seems my case thought. It depends on your life situation, and my life situation seems like I should have been a drug dealer. I wouldn’t suggest anyone be a drug dealer, let’s just say I can understand. You got money to spend. If you’re smart, you’ll save a lot of it. You get girls that the average good looking guy only dreams of having, and this is even if you are ugly, you still get them.

I hope my daughter doesn’t turn out to be a sack chaser; one who dates guys because they have money. I doubt that she will turn out that way with mine and her moms’ influence. My daughter is – now. She’s growing up on me. She was just here in New York for two weeks with me. Boy she has it really bad with allergies. She can’t blow her nose so she continuously sniffs the snot in. She cried seemed like for the first week that she was here. She whined about everything: she was sleepy, hungry, her belly hurt, her forehead hurt. I was a little concerned about the forehead thing. She said she hit her head on a flower-pot at home. She complained for three days straight that her forehead hurt, especially when she cried. After like three days, she never complained about her forehead again.

My cousin’s daughter Million was also here in NY with us. She’s a sweet little girl, well mannered. She says she’s good in school. She may just turn out to be the next family pride to rise up out the ghetto from a single parent home and be somebody. She says she wants to be an actress. She doesn’t really know what that means and what it entails, but I hope she pursues it and actually makes it. Her father is in prison for being caught with 30 Kilos of cocaine with intent to distribute locally and across state lines; Ohio to Kentucky. He’s been gone ever since she was three or four or maybe even before that. She enjoyed herself. I took my daughter and her to the empire state building viewing deck, to the museum of natural history. I drove them around in the city one night and rode pass Puff Daddy’s restaurant. Of course we went to Times Square. We went there with Watrina to take some pictures. On that particular day we also seen a model that Million’s mom has a calendar of that I bought her for Christmas. I pointed him out to Million. We were on fifth avenue in Manhattan in front of the building where Watrina works. Million shook his hand and said hi and I told her to take a picture with him. I intended to take Million and Janelle to the Zoo but Watrina said that the zoo should be like a three to four hour occasion. It closed at 5 P.M. I tried to wake up early and get them ready two mornings in a row, but I couldn’t get ready before 2 P.M. with bathing, feeding, and combing Janelle’s hair. I just said forget it because I was running out of money also. We made it to the movies to see Shrek. It was a nice kid movie and they enjoyed it.

Watrina and her daughter also came along. We did a lot of activities with Watrina. We went to Red Lobster with Watrina also. Watrina is my half girlfriend that I mentioned above. She’s – and just wants to kick it so to speak and not get too serious with anybody; just keep it on a cool level. So I say that half of her likes me and the other half wants to keep it light even though we spend a good amount of time together. I like her so far and her daughter is cool. We’ve been getting along for two and half months now. My daughter, at the age of – is writing her name. I didn’t start writing my name and stuff until I was – going on –. I was glad to see that. I asked her why she didn’t tell me over the phone that she writes her name and she said, “I don’t know.” Her mother and I don’t talk, but she could have told me that my daughter is writing her name.

Janelle told me that she and her mother have moved into a new house or apartment. Victoria hasn’t told me that yet either. I’m waiting to see when she will. I started to ask her about it when I dropped Janelle off, but I said, “knawl, I’ma see if she gonna tell me and give the new address and phone number.” I think a father has the right to know where his child actually lives not just the place where he picks her up and drops her off, which is at Victoria’s mother’s house. She’s eventually gonna have to give me the phone number and tell me because I’m about to start calling my daughter twice a week now instead of once.

Victoria probably has in her head that I don’t need to know where she lives for some reason or another. She’s always seemed to have some bullshit thoughts in her head concerning me and my daughter. She was going to see lawyers when Janelle was first born to ask them about how much she could keep my daughter away from me; what rights I had and what rights I didn’t. Victoria was looking kind of good when I dropped Janelle off. It only happens about twice a year that I see her looking attractive to me. I don’t mention it to her because I have no friendly words besides, “how are you.” After I saw her trying to play with me and my daughter’s relationship, that put whatever friendship we could have had out the door and over the top of the mountain.

I wish I could be around to watch my daughter grow up. I love being with her and watching her. And sometimes I have a little inkling of a thought of how could Victoria and I get back together. Maybe she’s grown up out of her, whatever she was going through when she had Janelle. Maybe her life is a little more together now because I don’t know anything about her: where she works, what she does, etc. I think sometimes that maybe we can make something happen. But then the reality of the situation is that it would take a lot of work with all the bad blood and bullshit she put up with me spending time with my daughter. I’ve seen the bitch in her and I don’t want no parts of it ever again. She can have that shit and save it for whoever decides to maybe marry her ass. So at the end of those get back together thoughts is the thought that I’m glad I ain’t glued together in marriage or engagement with her ass.

The relationship I have with my daughter is as good as it can be. Will I try to eventually do the family thing where I get married and my wife has a baby by me? To tell the truth, I don’t know. When you think about it, It’s all bullshit once things go bad. I don’t think my marriage will go bad none too soon, but I never know. I think I’m the easiest guy to get along with. I’m out to please. I try to be humorous and not all stick-up-the-ass. I work, I fuck, I cook, I comb little girl hair a little bit also, and I’m willing to try just about anything non-homosexual; that’s anything socially and sexually. I mean what more can a young woman ask for? But who knows, look at Victoria and i. And plus when people start getting older and older and maturing deeply and shit, shit sometimes gets all fucked up in the relationship or marriage. My wife may hit 40 and decide she wants to live in Africa. Hell, I might go, but my frame of mind right now, hell knawl.

Life is fucked up if you ask me and brining other lives into this shit is selfish truthfully. Most individuals have fucked up lives, are poor, dying from disease. I don’t think I want to bring another life here to face this bullshit. It’s gonna be hard enough getting my daughter through this life. My life at this point is all fucked up if you ask me. My half of girlfriend has brightened it a bit. My visitation arrangement with my daughter has also brightened it.

My music still isn’t going anywhere because mutha fuckaz don’t want to help nobody. They don’t even want to give you the slightest chance to make it. I’m learning this. I originally thought that if you had talent, it would be fairly simple to get someone to recognize that and give you that push you need to get to where you’re trying to go. I used to think all the time, “look at the entertainment companies and clothing companies: Bad Boy, SEAN JEAN, FUBU, Flip Mode Entertainment, FUBU Entertainment, Def Jam, Def Communications, etc. You can’t get near these companies.

 I went to FUBU to hand in a resume and I felt no love. It was just like walking into a white major corporation. They told me they didn’t have an accounting department, but they would take my resume and keep it on file. I saw Busta Rhymes in the village last year, and I had a tape on me. I originally thought that Busta was one of the coolest cats you would ever want to meet, cordial to his fans. He was surrounded by bodyguards. He was talking on the phone. His body guards were slippin’ because I walked right up to him and threw my hands up to give him a pound and he ignored me.  Then his body-guard came in my face and said that, “he can’t talk right now, he on the phone.” I walked away and then turned around and asked the body guard could I talk to him once he got off the phone. He said, “if it’s business, no. He chillin right now. Business hours are Monday thru Friday.” I just walked away and went on bout my business.

I got a telephone number of this female rapper “Uneek” I know from DJ Doo Wop Tapes back in the 90s. I talked to her once on the phone and she told me to call her back. I called her back three times and left my number and she never called back. I got Phantasm from the Cella Dwellaz number. I called it and I got no answer. It was probably a number to a pay phone. The bullshit never endz! I still love makin’ my music even if nobody listens to it. I still got the dream of producing a song on one album at least before I drop it and consider it a failure. Right now I feel like I’m failing in life. I’ve accomplished getting a college degree, but I just did that shit because I knew I had to take care of myself. I don’t really want to be an accountant sitting at this damn desk looking at a computer screen. I want to have some type of connections to music. Hell I can even be an accountant for artist or a record label. But that seems impossible too. How easy it is to get what you really don’t want, but when you have passion and really want something, it seems like all the road blocks in the world are up against you. “But fuck that shit cause I gots to live.” (Ice Cube) Whether I get what I want or not, I gots to liv

ANTHONY DAVIS LEBRON JAMES AND ???

LAKERS! ANTHONY DAVIS! and Kawhi Leonard???

I’m envisioning the days of the Super Lakers: Magic Johnson (LeBron James), Kareem Abdul Jabar (Anthony Davis), Michael Cooper/James Worthy) Kawhi Leonard; and their epic finals battles against the Boston Celtics.

Only problem with this vision is that the Golden State Warriors are Public Enemy Number One, one, one, one, ONE (sorry, I was overcome with Chuck Dee-itis) and the battle to ultimate glory would not be happening in the finals but in the third or final round of the NBA western conference playoffs. The accretion of anxiety toward the battle in the finals would not be there, and that’s no fun.

But yet and still. THE LAKERS AS TOP NBA FINALS CONTENDERS / CHAMPIONS once again is a great boost of ebullience to carry true Laker fans and band-wagon fans alike through the summer and end of fall to the start of 2019-2020 NBA season.

Problem number one, no arch enemy such as the Boston Celtics to take down in the finals. Obstacle number two, who’s going to be the third man? Kawhi Leonard, born and raised in Los Angeles and has fealty for the city where his dad’s life was ended tragically; there is talk of Kemba Walker, who brought an NCAA championship to the Connecticut Uconn Huskies during his tenure there (2008-2011) and has been a great 3 Point shooting asset to the Charlotte Bobcats throughout his pro career and would no doubt be the new Byron Scott or Robert Horry of a new Laker Dynasty; Kyrie Irvin, say what you want about his selfishness (a finger which was also pointed at Kobe Bryant) and his disturbance / non-affability in the locker room, but this guy has played with and WON A CHAMPIONSHIP with King James once before, and it was due to that selfishness (the life saving three pointers), not in spite of, THE CAVS WON THAT CHAMPIONSHIP in 2016!

Then of course there could be a less notable third addition that could step his game up and become a hero in the fashion of Fred Vanvleet for the Toronto Raptors.

So who’s it gonna be?

Whatever the situation, if the Lakers can’t get it done with the addition of a third man and the surrounding cast (which they just traded to acquire Davis) around the three, maybe their dynasty and dynasties period, is a thing of the past; as super teams come together in free agency for three years (Kevin Durant to the Warriors) and then disband, which yet remains to be seen with Durant and the Warriors; or super teams come together and fail: Russel Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. Hopefully that is not a foreshadowing of the Lakers.

This, remains to be seen!

Jrnl Entry No. 4.19.2001 “Rufus Blaq”

Sunday April 15, 2001 coming home from Hezikiah Walker’s church in East New York Brooklyn, I got off the A train at Nostrand Ave. I got off the train in pursuit of this female that was giving me a little eye contact on the train. She was completely not my type but at this point in time with no girlfriend, no sex, no nothing, I figured I’d lift myself up and go for it regardless of the fact. See, she got on the train with three kids. She was thick/fat with some big ole tidies. She started saying to the kids as she noticed me glancing at her, “y’all ready to go home and see mommy huh?” I took it as she was giving me the hint that these weren’t her kids, which if that was what she was doing, it was a good hint. At this point in my life, I don’t care how horny I am or how fine you look, if you got more than one kid, you gets no holla from me.

But anyway, I get off the train and follow her, but I decided not to talk to her. I’ve never been around Nostrand Ave and Fulton before and I noticed that it was like the old 125th st in Harlem that my friends and I used to visit from Ohio. So I goes looking around for a little bit. After about 10 minutes of walking around I stopped at a store before I was getting ready to catch the train to go home. As I get in line at the store, I see this guy who looked familiar to me. I hesitated a little, and then I shouted out “Rufus.” It was Rufus Moore AKA Rufus Blaq.

Now this kid from Youngstown, Ohio I met years ago when he and his dance crew “Eazy Access” used to perform at local talents shows in Warren. They could never compete because they were like professionals and everybody loved them. And when my fraternity used to throw parties on the college campus in Youngstown, he and his crew would always be there. I’d always big-up (sat whats up to) Rufus and the crew and they’d do the same in return. Rufus was also cool with Derrick “Dink” Trimble (R.I.P.), my frat brother. They kind of resembled each other and Rufus would say that Dink was his brother.

Now I remember at one party Rufus was coming in with his crew and they stopped to talk with me and some of my Frat brothers. Rufus said that he was about to move to Atlanta “to become famous.” Those were his exact words. I didn’t exactly know what he had planned on doing because I only knew him as a dancer. So I kind of thought he was gonna try to become a dancer/choreographer for videos and tour shows. So anyway, he disappeared and the crew told us that he moved to Atlanta. About a year later, I saw him at this after hours hang out spot in Youngstown on Market Street. He got on the microphone on top of the bar and he free-styled a nice rhyme for the crowd. He told me that he had written a song for Erick Sermon on some sound track. I think he also told me at that time that he had a record deal with Giant Records. I was like “cool.”

He went away again and about a year later, I seen him on a video with Pudgy The Fat Bastard and Young Zee doing a remix for the group “SOLO” and their song “I Got Heaven Right Here On Earth.” I thought to myself that his album should be following shortly. I had also heard a DJ CLUE mixtape with this LOX song on it, and the last verse, this cat sounded like Rufus. I could never talk to anyone who knew him and what he was doing so I couldn’t verify that it was him. He had made it into the Hip Hop record business. I was happy, never one to hate on anyone for accomplishing something. In fact I was also glad because I knew him and could probably talk to him about the music business since I had been interest in it also.

His album never came out on Giant Records. I thought he was coming out on So So Def Records because there was an ad in the source with all the So So Def artist listed, and one of the artist on there was Mr. Black. That was the name I heard Rufus call himself on the intro of the “I Got Heaven Right Here On Earth” song video, and since he had moved to Atlanta, it made perfect sense. About a year later, I saw him in Warren at this talent show after party at the Regency Hotel. I wanted to talk to him and get his number and ask him some questions about the business but it was in a loud party so we chatted about whatever. By this time I had discovered that the So So Def artist was not him and I asked him how is that gonna work in the business with both of them having the same name. He told me whoever comes out first or whoever rocks the hardest will be Mr. Black. I also asked him about the LOX song and I recited this lyric of his, “Is you doin the stickin or is you gettin’ stuck / Is you doin’ the fuckin’ or is you gettin’ fucked.” He told me that it was him. He gave me his number in Columbus, Ohio where he was staying at the time. I tried to call him a couple of times. I think I talked to him once.

About two years later after that, I gets a call on my voice-mail service at my moms house and it’s him tellin’ me that he was gonna be on the Vibe Show that night with Salt & Pepa. I don’t know if he was just happy and called everyone he knew or was I special somehow? So I watched and taped the show and he was on there with Salt & Pepa and he had a verse on their new song “Are You Ready”.  A couple weeks later, I seen the video and he was in it. About three/four months after that I heard a song on the radio by Salt & Pepa called “Gitty Up´ and he was on it at the beginning of the song. I knew it was him. I knew his voice. And then I saw the video for it and he was in it. He was on, and I all I wondered to myself was HOW? How did he do this, get with the leading super star ladies in rap, legends, Salt & Pepa?

After about a year after that Salt & Pepa debut of his, he had a single out called “Out of Sight.” I saw the video for it. I liked the song. It had a catchy hook to it. It wasn’t exactly hard core Hip Hop like I hoped it to be but hey, that is the way the music industry was moving in that time, away from hard core which didn’t sell that well, to the mainstream trying to sell platinum. At initial listen, I didn’t like the album. For one it had like three remake beats on it, and I hate remake beats especially the kind that they were using at that time. The greatest of all time remake beat, ever in Hip Hop was The Isley Brothers “Between The Sheets.” For two, he wasn’t flexin’ skill like I knew he could because I’d seen him rap before. And what was on his album was not what I expected from him. I just listened to the album the other day, which was called “Credentials”. All except for those remake songs, I liked it. He had a few hard core beats on there but he wasn’t flippin the skill like I’d known him to do. Maybe his producer Chad Elliot was against it.

So now, I ran into Rufus in the store and he gave me his numbers. Prior to running into him in the store I had asked for his number from one of my frat brother’s producers Pace Maker. He wouldn’t give me Rufus’s number, which I understood. He told me that he had to check with Rufus first. It’s been a year and he still hasn’t been able to check with Rufus about me getting his number. Technically, he didn’t know if I knew Rufus or not, and it seems as if he was not trying to find out either.

Now I’ve spoken with Pace Maker on many occasions about Hip Hop, about my beats, about his beats, and about my Frat Brother Stephen “The Fat Rapper” Collins’ Hip Hop career. I met Pace once in the studio in Ohio when they were recording one of The Phat Rapper’s songs. I thought him to be a cool cat and I liked him. We (him, me and Stephen) went out to eat after we left the studio that one night. I sent Pace some of my beats to get some critique on them and he did the same. He didn’t like but two or three of the thirty song snippets I sent him. I liked about six of the fifteen/twenty snippets he sent me. I think he is a talented producer, who if I had an album coming out, I’d rock to one of his tracks. I’ve written lyrics to two snippets on the tape he sent me. Outside of Stephen not letting me produce a song for him, and Pace not wanting me to produce a song for Stephen neither, I thought we had a pretty cool connection; until I ran into Rufus that is.

Rufus told me that Pace was in New York recording a song that he produced for Angie Stone through Rufus’s hook-up. Now if this is true, Pace came to New York and didn’t try in no kind of way to get in touch with me so that I could kick it with him and Rufus. And just before I bumped into Rufus, I had e-mailed Pace to talk to him since I hadn’t e-mailed him in a while. He said he hadn’t talked to Rufus in a while, that Rufus was a busy man and he still hadn’t asked Rufus if he could give me his numbers or give Rufus mine. So finding out he came to town and didn’t even try to holla at me tells me that we do not have a cool connection. It also led me to think that Pace is trying to keep me away from Rufus because he knows Rufus is well connected in the music industry and wants to keep all the hook ups for himself as a producer and not let me get any hook ups through Rufus. So until I find out different, I ain’t fuckin with Pace no more. And I ain’t tellin him that I finally got in touch with Rufus. My last test to find if Pace was really here is to ask Rufus Manager was he here. She’s straight up and will straight tell me. I asked both her and her boyfriend who was also Rufus manager and they confirmed that Pace had indeed been to town; a snake fake mutha fucka who doesn’t want you around because that may lessen an opportunity for him in the future; crab in a barrel ass nigga.

So, I gets in touch with Rufus and what is Rufus doing at this time? He’s writing R&B songs for this production company to submit to labels, mainly J Records, which has a little (well A LOT) to do with Clive Davis after he got let go from Arista Records. I called Rufus about three or four days after I had his number and left a message on his voice mails telling him how lonely I was and needed some friends, some women, etc. He calls me later that night around 11 P.M. while I was working on a Hip Hop track and he tells me to come to this studio.

I get there at 245 Canal St b/n Centre and Layfayette. He plays me this song he wrote called “Blowin’ It.” It was a nice song and he had a rap verse on it. He played a few more songs for me and they sounded nice also. Rufus told me that’s all he does is write songs by day, record them by night in the studio. He tells me about the production company, Ark Angel Productions and the camp there of rappers and singers that he’s bringin’ in. He listened to a few of my beats and said that I could produce a few songs for his artist, “Stack”. He heard a lot of weak stuff though because at this time I was tired with music and wasn’t making much and I wasn’t carrying around beat tapes anymore. Like the previous year, I wouldn’t leave the house without a tape in my hand.

Rufus said that I could be a part of the family because I was his friend who showed him love way before he was an artist on any label or signed to any production company and because he has mad love for my Frat Bro. Derrick “Dink” Trimble (R.I.P.). Being in the frat will help in the short or long term. If I hadn’t joined the frat, Dink wouldn’t be my frat bro. I wouldn’t have been able to talk and poly with Rufus before the parties started. He never would have looked up to me, which I think he did because I was an Alpha and a college student; thus, he probably wouldn’t have been and wouldn’t be accepting me as someone trying to be his friend, and trying to slowly get him to get me into this music game with him.

Rufus was like the best dancer in the group I recall. Kehl was also the man, and Ferino did weird shit on the dance floor. I liked them all because they were little somebodies. Like I said before, I’d always try to be cool and surround myself with people who had a quality about themselves. Rufus and Eazy Access had that quality. Rufus has, as far as I can tell, accepted me as his friend and into his music family. I’m goin’ over to his apartment today after work.

Rufus has projects goin’ for Angie Stone’s new album; Blaque’s new album; Salt’s new album; and Olivia, who’s signed to J Records, her debut album. He had the girl who sang the hook on the QB “Ooochi Wally” song, in the studio, and they banged out a nice song together. He writes these R&B songs with that hype-ness and energy that he used to put into his freestyle rhymes that I expected to be on his “Credentials” album. He’s definitely goin’ places with this music and will be plenty paid through a publishing deal very soon if not sooner. I told him the music money doesn’t matter to me. I don’t want your money, and I won’t pressure you to put me on in this music game. I love being around the music and I’m thankful just to be able to come to the studio and watch niggaz work on new songs. I told him that I was happy for him and will never hate or be jealous of him because of what he has that I don’t have. Rufus is a very down to earth artist and I hope our friendship can grow stronger and more personal and musically as well. Whether he knows it or not, I admire him for jumping from Youngstown, Ohio down to Atlanta, back up to New York and actually made it somewhere in this music maze. He’s already done what I’ve set out to do by leaving Warren, Ohio to be here in New York. I also, just as I always have, admire his talent. I’m not religious so I can’t say that it was divine intervention that I bumped into him and I think he’s a good friend to have. He’ s currently being faithful to his girlfriend of three years, Aiesha, not to say he ever cheated on her because I don’t know that. They just had a daughter, and Aiesha is still bangin’ as far as looks and body go. He believes in God and just wants a happy life with is family and music. Through my wishes, may he be blessed with all he’s been working for all these years and more because I want every black man to succeed in whatever it is he wants to succeed in, and I would hope that every black man would want the same for me.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A FRIEND OR ASSOCIATE THAT MADE IT INTO SHOW BIZ?

Jrnl Entry No. 4.6.2001

I remember following in the footsteps of my older cousin Romeo Wrangle. I decided in the 11th grade that I wanted to be a mathematician. He was attending University of Akron at that time majoring in the subject. It sounded like a good subject that would provide me with a nice job and well-being in life. In order to major in math, I was told I had to take physics so I signed up for the class as my first step toward the journey of becoming a mathematician. When I got to physics class, I had taken algebra, geometry, and was at the time taking algebra II.

In physics class we had to do these conversions of like inches to meters, miles to kilometers, etc. I had never seen or heard of such math and I was completely not getting it at all. I had nowhere to turn for help, the teacher who I had before as a science teacher was not a very enthusiastic person. He was dry I guess you could say. I tried asking him for help, but he was no help. I came into class early a couple of times and he explained it to me, but I just couldn’t grasp it. I had decided that I would drop the class. I remember one day crying in my room after struggling with the homework, thinking to myself that I would not be anything in life because I couldn’t pass this course. I didn’t know of anything else to be but what Romeo was gonna be. I guess you can say Romeo was my big brother, idle, etc. He got good grades in school; he had nice looking girlfriends; he had friends in school and was an average cool kid. Personally I could say that if it hadn’t been for his influence, I don’t know where I’d be today. No, I actually can’t say that because I wasn’t on to a bad road before we really started hanging out a lot. I think that he was just that person I needed in my life to look up to. And looking at his image and what he was doing in life helped me stay up and focused as far as my life went.

While I had alright clothing to wear and the latest named brand tennis shoes, one thing we could never afford which I wanted so bad was a brand new car. I also wanted to live in a house and not in the projects. But my mom could never afford any of this.

I had friends, the Lindseys, who lived in a nice home; had a brand new car, nice clothes, and their other friends had the same. Come to think about it, I don’t know how I fit in with them; and I guess I didn’t considering how I used to beg Long to come and pick me up to go to basketball games with him and his brother Aderale and sister Alice. No, I don’t think it was that I didn’t fit it because I wasn’t a total scrub or nothing like that, but it was just they had so many other friends that I was just a pebble in the stone yard.

See Long and them grew up from birth until about age seven or eight or nine, in the Highland Holmes. When their dad, Mr. Frank died, they moved to the northwest side of town. They were the first kids I remember playing with and being friends with. My mom and I moved to California when I was five years old the summer before my birthday. By time I came back to town to stay three years later, they had moved to their new neighborhood. It wasn’t until ninth grade that I got back in contact with them. Long who had flunked a grade was in the tenth grade, 16, and was driving a brand new red black and grey Chevy Blazer with a spoiler kit on it and a booming sound system, and this car/truck shot his and his brother and sister’s popularity through the roof.

These were the people I wanted to be around for one, because they were so popular and for two, because they were my first friends. So I forced my way into the crew. I’d go over their house from time to time and chill. In the summer when I got my Honda Elite 80 scooter back out because I had my license then, everybody was on my nuts wanting to ride it so I guess that gained me some acceptance into the crew. I didn’t let them ride much though. The crew was Adrock, Hardy, Long, Aderale, Sachel Harville, Wicky Dejean; they all probably rode my scooter once each. One crew member, the oldest of the bunch was Leon Bonnard. He was living with the Lindsey’s for some reason or another. He wasn’t so accepting of me coming around. He didn’t know why I came around. I guess he seen me as the little bug-a-boo trying to hang with the most popular black kids on the west side of town, and he even said as much to me a few times. But one thing about me was that if people cracked jokes on me or said insulting things, it never really bothered me much. I guess I was always in tune with myself and people cracking on me or like Leon, who would ask me sometimes when I came over, “why you come over here?” I don’t know if he was playing or not but he didn’t bother me. One thing in my mind I had over him and all the other kids who hung around the Lindsey’s was that I knew Mr. Frank. I’d seen Mr. Frank in the flesh; he and Mrs. Janine together as husband and wife and family, ate dinner with them, went to the Hot Dog Shoppe together with them. And I was a friend of the Lindsey’s before Leon ever knew who the Lindsey’s were and before the Lindsey’s knew who he was. I remember Aderale coming outside with whepps all on his arms because Mr. Frank had whipped his ass the night before. Now none of their other friends could share this story with Aderale and Long and Alice. So Leon, while you were right about me wanting to be down because y’all was the most popular and all the girls liked y’all; you really had no clue why I stayed coming around. And reminiscing back on the times, Leon and I actually became good friends as well and I used to visit him at his dad’s house when he moved back to Ohio from an out of state stint. But on to the subject at hand; Romeo lived in a house, his mom worked at General Motors and his dad and she owned a little soul food restaurant called Rosa and Parks.

Wicky Dejean who I knew through church, when he was sixteen, his father bought him a brand new Buick Riviera. He wore nice clothes and they lived in a nice home. I tried to make friends with him also at one point in time but that didn’t really happen. I just always wanted to be around these type of people. My friends I had grew up with in the projects like Jay Claude, they had went on to sell drugs and were smoking weed, etc. Those weren’t my things. So being around these type of people I guess fueled my drive to have a decent life. I was heavy off into Hip Hop at the time also; BDP, PUBLIC ENEMY, BIG DADDY KANE, ERIC B & RAKIM, BIZ, MARLEY MARL, NWA, STEADY B, MC LYTE, KOOL G. RAP & POLO, SALT & PEPA, QUEEN LATIFAH, SWEET TEE, DOUG E FRESH, JAZ, 3 X DOPE. These were all like my favorite groups at the time and I was dabbling into writing rhymes myself.

By time I got to 12th grade, I made up my mind that I was going to New York to live to get some of the Hip Hop experience and to become a rapper while attending college. As I told before, my guidance-counselor talked me out of that. I went to college on an academic scholarship that he got me. I can thank Romeo for that also because I followed in his footsteps of making the honor roll from like the middle of ninth grade to the end of the eleventh. My senior year, forget about it, my grades dropped but not below a 2.5 average. I went to college and pledged Alpha Phi Alpha following in Romeo’s footsteps once again. He had pledged two years before me at University of Akron.

After my freshman year in college I visited N.Y. and decided from that moment on that I wanted to live in NYC. From my visits there, I discovered that it would be hard to find a woman there (I’d speak to young ladies there and they’d just laugh in my face) so while in college I started searching for my love whom I could take to New York with me when I graduated. I told myself at that time that I wanted a woman who wanted something out of life. My eleventh grade history teacher Mr. Snyder hipped us on to the fact that by the time we grew up, we wouldn’t be able to purchase a house (he was right, at least to date for myself) because they simply would be too damn expensive to afford by time we graduated college. He said we were gonna have to live in apartments or it was gonna take two to live comfortably in a nice house, have a nice car and 2.5 kids.

So in college my search began for my love. All I wanted was O.K. looks and someone willing to work toward a better life which was what I was doing. Here is what I ran into. The only girl I ever really liked in college was Lynette Treason, she was beautiful (still is to this day with husband and children) but she had a boyfriend. I ran into Rebecca, a white girl whom I’d messed with my senior year in high school. She provided me with great sex and finance during my college years. Rebecca, when I think about it, if I loved her, we would have made a great team. She’s a lawyer and I’m an accountant. She’s bringing home 50 to 70K in Ohio, so in New York that would be about 80 to 90K. I’m, of course, an underpaid black man making 36K when I should be making 45 to 50K. But I didn’t love her and I don’t love her so that is that. I ran into Lauren who had three kids, a bangin’ body, and good pussy that I could bust nuts in because she had her tubes tied. These were my two girlfriends for like two or three years.

My mom and grand mom never told me to be prejudice against women with kids, which is why I didn’t run the hell away from Lauren when she told me over the phone that she had three kids when I was – years old and she was –. I had never heard of that before. I grew to like Lauren a lot; it was never really love, it was lust/love. She started attending school while we were going together in an effort to try and better her life, but she couldn’t do it. I was stuck with Lauren thinking how I would be able to move her and her kids to New York with me when I graduated college. I had no answer. We eventually broke up due to other factors, but we ended up messing around off and on until last year. We even discussed marriage, but three kids, a man and a woman in New York City on like 50K wasn’t happening, and other factors also brought the situation to a head.

There was also this other girl I loved at first sight who attended Kent State University named Jackie. I’d see her when I’d be there at Alpha parties. She talked to me shyly and distant every time I seen her. I even got her number and I think talked to her once on the phone, but never nothing else. There was also Mirabelle who I loved at first sight, but she never gave me the time of day because I wasn’t a drug dealer and had no money. I see her from time to time now in Warren. She still looks good to me but she was messing around with my friend Flynn last time I checked.

The summer before my last quarter of college and being broken up with Rebecca and Lauren, I ran into Elizabeth. I liked Elizabeth and spent the whole summer with her. She was depressed from going through a divorce and being a single mom I guess since she had grown up with her mom and dad and brother in a nice home on the outskirts of our little city. We had a pretty boring summer together and our relationship ended in the fall.

I hooked up with Rhonda who was free because her boyfriend was in jail. I really liked Rhonda, but she wasn’t too enthusiastic about us since we both lived with our parents and she couldn’t figure out how we would spend quality time together so I broke it off with her, our little thing. I then got hooked up with Victoria and she was cool in the beginning. She got pregnant after three months of us messing around and during her pregnancy I discovered little personality differences between us so we broke up. I had graduated from college by this time.

Dumb ass me, wait until I graduate from college to get a girl pregnant who was not my wife and who decided on keeping the baby, and I didn’t pressure her about her decision, I just went along with it. We broke up, we got back together, and then we broke up again. If she would have been a little bit more understanding about her social and financial situation, and been willing to move to New York with me, we probably would still be together. She made it clear to me that New York was out of the question, especially with a child. Her social and financial situation was that she didn’t have a college degree, a job or money, but yet she wasn’t trying to make this better by doing a simple thing like taking a little job to make her situation better. Her pride wouldn’t let her take a job other than an office job. And in our town in Ohio, if you were black and knew nobody, even if you had a degree, you wouldn’t obtain an office job. Hell, I couldn’t even get one after I graduated college. But that, in a nut shell sums up us.

After her, I hooked up with Sausha. Sausha was also free because the father of her three children was in jail. She wanted to attend college to make a better life for herself but the obstacles of the kids and not being prepared academically for college kept leaving her short. I liked Sausha because she was easy going. She was in a worse situation than Victoria, but she would take a job from time to time to make her situation a little better, to get her kids some school clothes, etc. I thought about moving Sausha to NYC with me, but the three kids, and her not having any skill to obtain a good paying job, and also her burning desire to get through college held that from happening. We broke up finally last year. She claimed she couldn’t handle the long distance relationship and that she wanted to stay in Warren because it would be easier for her to go to school, etc. I probably would have brought her to NYC if she wouldn’t have decided not to come the last time I asked her.

So really to my luck, I don’t have three of someone else’s kids to worry about feeding, which when I think about it, those were ridiculous ideas, which would have ended in disaster. So through my searches, all I found was women who had kids and women who didn’t want to or couldn’t push to achieve their goals to come along with me to NYC because wasn’t no stopping me getting here. I was comin’ no matter what. So now I’m here, and just like I figured, it is virtually impossible to find a woman here or at least what I am looking for. After those four or five women in my past, I’m looking for a career job woman, with one kid or less, with car, own apartment, good looks, knows how to dress, good sex, and good companionship. I probably won’t find all that, but right now, I ain’t acceptin’ no less. I’ve accepted less all my life as far as the women I’ve been involved with. I got all of the above that I am looking for in a woman and I am lookin’ for someone of equal or better stature.

I’ve met a couple of friends here who I complain to that I ain’t got nobody and they say they can hook me up with some pussy. But see, pussy was my main downfall in the past. I was with Lauren two years steady for pussy. I was with Rebecca three years for some pussy. Don’t get me wrong, while I liked each of these women to some degree other than sex, the bottom line of what they really had to offer me was pussy. I don’t even want to fuck a woman unless she has some of the criteria mentioned up above that I am looking for.

And that is why I’m livin’ like I’m livin’. See cause if I mess with a girl that I really don’t like and we’re fucking and messing around and dating, I’ll start being with her and getting used to her. Like my friend Burton says, you get comfortable with it and stay in the situation blocking yourself from finding what you really want. I’ve done that for seven years of my life. It’s time out for that shit. And I’ve always knew the kind of woman I wanted. I’d see them all the time while I was on frat trips in DC, Atlanta, and even just hanging out in Cleveland. I’d even talk to them. But I’d always use the excuse of a long distance phone bill for not asking for their number. Or they would tell me they weren’t interested or that they had boyfriends. Or even at some points, I’d be so comfortable with Lauren, Rebecca and Sausha that I’d just not talk to them at all, saying to myself, “I’m making my thang work with them so I ain’t gonna bother with this and break they heart.”

My drive to do better and surround myself around those who had more than I had has gotten me everything I wanted: a college education, a new car, nice clothes. It has gotten me everything but a better woman and a house of my own. Well the drive for a better woman is on now. I have a female room-mate who I could probably have sex with and be going out with since she complains that she is so miserable. She is sexy, wears thong underwear, not that cute in the face but that’s o.k. I won’t make an advance or touch her or even think about her like that because she doesn’t have the criteria I’m lookin’ for. This hard bargaining has me womanless and pussyless. But in the end, it’s got to pay off. I’m strivin’ for better. The story of my life. 2019 IT HAS NOT GOTTEN BETTER!

HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE MAIN LIFE EVENTS (PARENTS, MONEY, FRIENDS, GIRLFRIENDS, HEROES, IDLES, MENTORS, DREAMS) THAT GOT YOU TO THIS POINT IN YOUR LIFE?

Jrnl Enry No. 4.3.2001

I can’t get no love in New York City I just simply talk to young ladies and that’s it. I don’t know if it’s because it’s in a bar scene or what.

I talked to Kelly and Amber at Justin’s last Tuesday night. I noticed Amber the moment she walked by me. Her face, the face of a beautiful black woman, had me as soon as I layed eyes on her. Notice, I said face. A beautiful calm face she had. Her hair, dark black; lips, full and wide; she had the face of a woman I wanted to love, to be my wife. Her face told me, “I may have graduated from college. I definitely have a job. I am too beautiful not to have a boyfriend so don’t even ask the question. Though I understand the plight of the ghetto and black people, and I love my black peoples; especially those who are from the ghetto and act like it (forgive them, for they know not what they do). I choose to carry myself in a classier manner. But I am black, will never forget where I came from, where I have been, and I know where I am going.” Her face told me all of this.

Her face, not her ass, not her tidies, but her face; her face even told me that her favorite movie was The Color Purple. Knawl, she told that on this night that I am writing this. I thought she was such a beautiful young lady that once I got the chance to speak with her and her friend, and I asked her name, I stored it into my hard drive memory along with her beautiful face.

Amber is the name. I saw Amber and her friend on this night after I had spoken with them last week. Amber’s friend recognized me and waved and I smiled and waved back. They started walking toward my way with Amber in the lead position. She looked right through me as if I wasn’t there. I spoke, “how are you doin’ Amber?” I shook her hand. Her friend remarks, “that’s good, now what’s my name?” I shrugged my shoulders with a smile on my face to let her know that I couldn’t remember her name. I did remember her telling me that she graduated from Duke, which I mentioned to her a little later in another conversation.

I got out of both of them that they have boyfriends. I asked Amber in a desperate move to try and expand our conversation, “so Amber, if you didn’t have a boyfriend I’d be the perfect gentleman for you right?” She said, “I don’t know because I don’t know anything about you.” I told her to ask me something, which she asked what was my favorite movie? I told her I couldn’t name a favorite movie but I like drama. She told me her favorite movie was The Color Purple. I told her that was a good one. I then asked why did she liked that movie so much? She either didn’t hear me or ignored the question, as her friend Kelly and she began to make motions toward the other side of the room or just the hell away from me.

Now here it is, me, I have met a beautiful young lady, a college graduate, a third grade teacher who teaches in Harlem, who is from New Jersey, who’s name is Amber. But yee who has said you can’t meet a beautiful intelligent, bride to be at a bar, oh, yee are so wrong. Amber has damn near everything I am looking for. For who has ever said you can’t meet a beautiful intelligent young man at a bar, yee are also to the left, the opposite of right. But if you ask Amber who or what has she met in me, she would tell you that she doesn’t recall who I am, or that she doesn’t know anything but a guy from Justin’s.

This leaves me the question of, “what are black women looking for?” I know I was looking good on both Tuesday nights that I saw and spoke with Amber. I looked in the mirror on both nights before I left my apartment, and said to myself, “Damn, I am fine, just look at me, WHAT!” My voice elevating in highness as I got near the end of the statement. My friend Burton would be able to imitate what I am talking about if you read this to him.

But Amber ignored my subtle and polite advances to let her know that I was a little passed liking what I know about her, and a little behind loving what I know about her. Could it be this problem that black women in New York City seem to have with young black men in New York City that caused her to casually ignore me and my advances. She knows nothing about me; nothing about what I ain’t, and nothing about what I is. She doesn’t know that I – old, that I am also a college graduate with his bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She doesn’t know that I work in Brooklyn, and that I make a decent salary. I got health, dental, and vision benefits, two weeks paid vacation and five sick days. She doesn’t know that I’m secretly on the lookout for a wife and not just a fuck or two. She doesn’t know that I am from Ohio, and not one of these New York Niggaz that women seem to write off automatically as bullshit. She doesn’t know that investing in order to have a secure financial future is on my brain almost constantly. And last but now least, she doesn’t know my name.

I think I’ll answer my own question as to why she doesn’t know these things about me. “….., she is just not interested in you for one, for two, she told you she has a boyfriend.” I could accept either one of those on a particular night from a particular woman. But this seems to be the case with every black woman I see as beautiful and worthy enough for me to try and converse with them. This leads me to the question of what do black women want from black men in New York City.

I find that it is a shame on these black women’s part that I am a single, black, intelligent young man without an intelligent black woman by my side planning our futures together. Black women complain about the lack of intelligent, good looking black males. Well Amber you had one right in front of your face begging you to try and get to know him because he thinks you are so beautiful. By the time you read this, if you ever read this and you want to “RECOGNIZE” that I’m “SAM SNEED!” Guess what, TOO LATE! But you don’t care cause like you said your man works late at JP Morgan.

Jrnl Entry No. 6.17.2004

So, I’m still stuck here not knowing what to fuck to do with myself. I had an interview the other day but I don’t think anything is gonna become of it. I actually interviewed with the company last year and they didn’t hire me. The guy went through the interview with me rather quickly. I got there late because there was a problem with the trains. I got to the train station at 8:20 A.M. and the train didn’t arrive until 8:55 A.M. and the interview was at 9 A.M. I called and let him know there was trouble with the train but that is a common excuse around New York City and employers probably think it is bullshit unless they actually call and check the train line themselves. I wrote him in my thank you letter that since this is the second time he has called me in to interview within a year, I’d be willing to work for him on a trial basis for a reasonable rate; however, I don’t think he is trying to hear it. They probably don’t have any blacks on the accounting team.

I have this little business plan that I wrote for a record label to put out my own albums but I don’t have a team to help me with the shit. I don’t know if I can get anybody to come on board to help me, being that I don’t think I am the illest rapper alive, and I don’t know how somebody else will feel about my skill. If they don’t believe in the product, they are not gonna work hard to promote it. I’ve applied for a few assistant manager jobs online and haven’t heard anything. I put out applications a few months ago and haven’t heard anything. I’m not having any luck. My daughter is here in New York with me. I can’t buy her shit or take her anywhere. I feel like my car is about to break down any day now because the alternator belt is squeaking. 

Watrina has bought her a new 2001 Ford Explorer to put more of a dent into her income. I’m trying to get to the studio to start recording my album but I have no money for that. I’m just stuck right now and everybody is looking at me like “what you gon’ do” Even Watrina, though she is trying to be so cool about it, is looking at me to do something. I don’t know what to do. Like I said, I’m applying for accounting jobs and getting nothing; I’m applying for part time jobs and also getting nothing; I’m doing what I know how to do and nothing is coming my way. I’m hoping that I hit the mega 
millions lottery. Watrina, who never plays the lottery has even started buying Mega Millions Lotto tickets so I know something is wrong.

All this week, I’ve done nothing but come home from running and sleep all day. I think I’m missing a nutrient that I need for energy being that I cut rice, pasta and potatoes out of my diet. I’m trying to maintain my weight and young looks. I guess it’s working because last week at the Costco grocery store, this gay guy saw my bran on my arm and asked me when I was going to graduate from college and that I looked 19. I told him I’m goin on — and he didn’t believe me. I’m gonna try to use that to my advantage in the next ten years with this music shit being a rapper on my label. The only problem I have with that is I have out grown the baggy pants and big shirts dress code. I don’t want to dress like that anymore. I guess maybe I could try to set a new trend amongst the young. But even Jay Z said “Crisp pair of jeans, nigga button up” and the younger kids still wear baggy jeans and ridiculously over-sized T-Shirts. Even still, I think the young kids like him.

All I got left after this accounting shit, that seems to be coming to an end, is this rapper/label dream. I thought about going back to school, but I’m only doing that if I get another accounting job. I’m not about to put myself in major debt and I ain’t even working in my field. How can I increase my status as an accountant and increase my salary when I don’t have a job to begin with. Watrina wants me to look for a sample room for her but she doesn’t understand that I am not interested in it. She needs to get a college student to do that shit. All I can help with is marketing and promotion ideas and accounting, and maybe fashion shows in some way; anything else, she is gonna have to probably find someone else to do it.

I’m bored as shit. I’m also tired of wishing I had a different life of parties and events to attend and many friends, genuine or fake. Right now, no one calls me. I have nowhere to go on the weekends unless I just go somewhere and find a few people that I do hang out with. Other than that, no one thinks two shits about me. I don’t have a cell phone readily accessible and maybe that is why no one contacts me. I’m a social nobody, which is why sometimes I go a few weeks without going out because when I do go out no one knows me or cares to know me. I thought about trying to change that by just talking to people but I tried that once before and it really didn’t lead to any significant change in my social life, just a few people to say hello to when I see them out, but not really anyone inviting me to any hype parties or anyone helping me get on as a music producer.

I haven’t been really trying to network about my music since the winter time. I’m just not the one to be playing myself calling mutha fuckaz who seem like they ain’t interested in my calls. Everybody say that everybody else is busy so you have to keep calling, but it just ain’t me. I try to change my attitude about it but I always revert back to my pride and don’t call. In some ways I think that attitude is holding me back in accomplishing my dreams. I’m not out there enough, meeting enough people and calling and networking with enough people. So I don’t know. I feel that little by little, this dream of mine is diminishing. After it is gone, there will be nothing to live for especially if I don’t have a nice job in accounting. I can’t live up under Watrina forever. It’s been cool for the last year but to be like this forever is not the move. She says I just need a job to help pay the electric bill. Hell, I need more income than that in my life. I’m trying to stay sane. I guess it is not hard staying sane because I don’t have a lot of friends encouraging me to do anything stupid like sell drugs, rob a bank, or smoke drugs. I smoked some weed when I was in Ohio with Tracey because, “Why not,” I ain’t working, no one wants to drug test me and no one probably will want to drug test me because no one is gonna want to hire me. I guess sleeping during the day is my drug. I’m just lazing around wasting time. I wish I could be out making business moves but I don’t know how. I don’t know the first move to make. I got my rendition of a business plan, now what? 

Like I was watching the Wayans on Oprah, and I was wondering about how they got started, what was the first move they made. They developed movie and comedy ideas, but what did they do after they had the initial ideas, where did they take them to. That is my cross road. I have the product, now what, 
where do I take it to. I tried networking in the clubs with my beats but that brought me nothing. I don’t know where to go, who to call. No matter how hard I think, I come up with ZERO! This is my life, I guess that is living if you can think about what move to make, you have something on your mind driving your brain power, that is living I guess. I wish I could live differently, but if nothing different comes along soon, I guess I will keep on living. Fuck it.

Jrnl Entry No. 5.24.2004

So I’ve finished my business plan, I think. I plan to take it to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to have the so-called executives there review it for a potential loan. You know me with my pessimistic self, I think they are gonna dis it just because I am black and because it is for an entertainment label. These white mutha fuckaz don’t want us to catch up to them in economic status, but at the same time they want us to be so civilized and polite and cultural like them. Well we can’t be that cultural when we are broke and can’t even afford to go to most of the Broadway shows which feature black stage actors and black subject matter.

I still haven’t found a job yet. It’s been a year and a month now. I don’t know what is going on here with this job situation, if the job market is still tight, if the economy is still down. It seems so, as I only get like an interview per month. Sometimes I think that it is to be that I run my own label like I am thinking about doing. I’ve gotten fired from two jobs in a row. I can’t find another job. Mutha fuckaz in the music industry are ignoring me when I know my shit is good enough to sell. So in my spare time I’ve been writing my business plan. I’ve read a good book concerning marketing and promotion of music. Maybe this is what my life is supposed to be. Maybe it will all work out just fine. I mean, after all, music is the only thing I have a real passion to do, and they say you should follow your passion and dreams.

My passion lead me to move to New York. I guess accounting was just a stepping stone to get me to New York in the position that I am in now to really just make my dream come true. I’ll be — soon and I’ve done like three or four things in life that I wanted to do. I graduated from college, I bought a brand new car, I moved to New York, and I dress in a way that I am satisfied with whether that is dressed up, casual, or leisure.  Those are all things that I take pride in. My body is in good shape. If I had a good job making good money right now, I’d be on top of the world. But job and career are the only things that I am missing at this time.

I’ve somehow gotten a better attitude about Watrina and Queen. It has been a rough winter but we got through it. I guess this spring will mark a new beginning for us, I hope. We have many more fights to get into as I’ve talked to married couples and found out. They say there are more bad times than good. And that has been exactly the case ever since we moved in together. We’ve been fighting ever since September 2003.

Back on the job situation; I’ve applied to part-time jobs and still nothing has come to me. I’m gettin’ grey hair and shit from worrying I guess. I need like $100,000.00 to start this independent label off the right way to make some noise and get some attention in the music industry. I’m tryin to do this for real not just be out in the street hustling my CD for $5.00 like these other non-sense niggaz who don’t know shit about marketing, promotion, business and publishing and a few others topics that are important to know for making it in the music industry.  I think I have an advantage over these fools out here, but I probably don’t. The music industry is such a toss-up, who knows.

I’ve been having sort of a dilemma. If I get a full time job, I won’t have the time to promote my CD like I want to; go out of state with it to colleges and do shows and shit. But at the same time if I don’t get a job, I can’t support myself and help Watrina with the bills and shit around here. She wants to live big and it’s gonna get to her sooner or later that she can do the same financially as she is right now without me, probably even do better. As of now, I’m living off of like $20.00 a week, which is cool with me because I have all the clothes and shoes that I need for right now, going out is not that important to me right now as I did a lot of that earlier this year. And going out hasn’t brought me any important connects, just bullshit mutha fuckaz who want to get in the game just like I do.

I told Watrina that I am not going to shop for the next five years. I said that last summer and I have shopped since then. Last year was practice, but this year I have to adhere to it because one, I have no choice; two, my mind is somewhere else right now. Whereas I say that I won’t have time to put into my CD when I get a job, I do plan on putting most of my extra money in it. 

In the next five years something has got to happen for me for real. I gave myself five years from the time I reached New York, but at age — that five years will be up, and realistically I don’t think any drastic changes are going to happen in the next year. When you really look at it, five years realistically wasn’t enough time to accomplish anything in the first place. 

I came here bare ass, not knowing a soul, not knowing where to go to meet people, let alone people in the music industry. It has just been in the last two years that I started seeing the music people hang out and how phony they are and how disrespectful they are to new artists, even new artists that are right in their face in their town. See, I thought that sending Demos from Warren, Ohio and getting noticed would be impossible. I assumed that being in New York, standing right next to a nigga at the bar who claims he is a manager or that he knows A&Rs; that the response would be different. At least if I wouldn’t get on fast, I would make some progress. I haven’t really made any headway into the industry, and the only way I see that I am going to make some headway is to make that way myself. NO ONE IS GOING TO GIVE IT TO ME! I think I said all of this in a letter before. I guess if I say it enough, it will become a clear concise mental picture (CCP). If you think it, and you can see it, it will come to be. I’m ready. I know I am.

This will probably be the biggest risk of all my life, or at least so far in my life according to me. Some may say moving to New York was a big risk. Well that is their small minds. Moving to New York wasn’t shit. It was a matter of having a good enough job and knowing, thanks to my mother, how to budget my money to cover my living expenses. My accounting degree didn’t hurt neither as a far as budgeting goes.  Now with this company, if I get the money to start like I really want to; it will be the real test of my accounting skill and budgeting. It is going to take some heavy budgeting to get as much advertising and promotion out as I possibly can.

Jrnl Entry No. 5.6.2004

All day I can’t find the motivation to do anything but sleep. I guess I feel depressed for not being at work, or thinking that my professional, corporate, 40 – 50 thousand dollar a year life is over, and now what? I have completely written a documentary which I would like to put into film production. I have a director in mind but I don’t know if I want to work with him, a corny white kid. But then I think, maybe a corny white kid is exactly what I need to get that shit off the ground, get some funding for it. And then again when I think about how I am being discriminated against in my search for a job, I don’t want to work with any white people period. I’ve gotten two request for telephone interviews. That shit is nothing but a way for them to try and tell by your voice if you are black or not, and once they hear that you are, they can at least say they called you, discussed your resume and decided not to give you a call back.

I tried finding part time work before. I went up and down 125th St in Harlem and handed out my resume searching for part-time work and got nothing. I applied at Eckard drug store right up the street from where I stay, and they didn’t call me back. I’ve been in the village looking for work at the Atrium and the Lounge and at the Guess store and at H&M. It seems as if no one is willing to hire a black man in New York. I guess niggaz have stolen so much from their employers that no one any longer hires us.

I figured that my accounting degree would save me from some of that discrimination in finding part-time work, but that has not been the case. They really don’t intend for niggaz to survive in New York I see. Even with a part-time job, it is not great living by any standard, and they don’t want to give a nigga that. I guess it is too crowded here and they figure if they don’t give niggaz the least of the jobs that maybe we will go away. I don’t know what to do. Watrina is complaining that she can’t buy clothing for her daughter and that she has no money. I can’t go to the studio without any money to start recording my album so that I can get this label started which I have incorporated. I need money to buy CDs to reproduce, and covers, and posters, flyers, stickers, and Vinyl press ups. I can’t make a move regarding this business unless I get a full time job making $40,000 or more and that seems nowhere in the near future.

I’m currently working on my business plan which seems to be coming out nicely written. Once I have it written, I don’t know what I’m going to do from there. I thought about presenting it to my cousin Romeo and his wife for a $5000.00 investment. But they be trying to act like they broke and I don’t 
know if they will give me the money. Once I have it fully written, I need to work on a presentation, which will take me probably a month or so. Time is running out for me. I have $45.00 to my name. If I was stupid I’d probably kill myself or start taking drugs. But I’m a so-called smart nigga, but not that smart because I don’t know what I’m going to do to get up out of this situation.

I seen Heather B of the 1st Mtv Real World in Jay Z’s club 40/40. She used to have a little rap career. I asked what I gotta do to get her to record a song for me. She gave me the brush off like I wasn’t serious,  handed me an e-mail address. I e-mailed her yesterday. I want this album to be a compilation album but I got 10 songs picked out that I can write and record myself if need be. I don’t think a bank or investors have ever given money to a Hip Hop label on the cold front. I have thoughts that maybe I can be the first to get official funding from a bank or group of investors if I present my business plan right. I don’t have an inkling of collateral , which will make money hard to come by. I don’t have prior industry 
experience to lead off of. All I got is strong determination to make my dream come true of getting into this Hip Hop shit somehow someway before I die.

In the next 10 years it is my goal to be a Hip Hop Label Mogul with millions of dollars in worth behind my name. By the time I’m –, I want to be doing it for real. In the next five years, I want to be at my peak in record sales for my label. I think that is a realistic time frame. I got about 4 and a half years from right now to make it happen, I feel so strongly that I know this Hip Hop shit like the back of my hand. No one is going to give me the opportunity to prove that so I guess I have to prove it to them as well as  myself.

I’m trying to wait this unemployment shit out, but it is getting hard. I set around all day like I’m in a prison cell with no TV or no entertainment. I often say to myself that I should have been a drug dealer 
who would either be successful with millions of dollars right now, or in jail. Hell, I went the straight route and I still feel like I’m in jail. I wouldn’t complain so much if I was actually in jail instead of in my house  not doing shit. It’s not that I’m even bored because I am not. I’d just rather be doing something else during the day than sitting in the house thinking about my music career, my job situation and my  label business plan and how I’m going to get money to start this business.

I often wish and dream that I’d hit the Mega Millions Lotto or just the New York Lotto; then all these bullshit worries will go away and I can concentrate on some new worries. I’m starting to get grey hair in my head. My dick don’t get as hard as it used to. My girlfriend is not as interesting as she used to be. All  she does is clean up, cook, tend to her daughter and sleep. I try to communicate to her that shit is not sexy to me, every time I see her she is washing dishes or folding clothes or on her hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floors and walls. I guess I’m just going through a phase in life right now. I’ve had my peak in life during and after college; now is the downturn, where either a nigga goes crazy, gets a divorce, robs a bank, goes on drugs, or becomes an alcoholic. Me, I’m just trying to ride this shit  out. It’s not even that hard, I’m just tired of being patient that’s all. 


Some nights I don’t get in the bed until 5 A.M. I need to stop that shit because I know it is taking a toll on me and causing me to age. I know everybody has to age but I don’t wanna speed up the process anymore than Ihave to. Tomorrow is another day to feel lost. I told myself that I might go to Best Buy and put in an application there. Deep down in my heart, I did not come to New York to work part-time making $6 to $8 dollar. I may as well go back to Ohio for that shit. I came to New York to prosper, to get that push I need to actually get off my ass and get some real riches because you need them if you are going to live in this city. But New York has flipped the script on me. New York has me jobless, just dreaming. I guess that’s why they call it the Big City of Dreams. That is all that I am doing right now 
is dreaming. I don’t have no resources what so ever to make any of my dreams come true except a dollar to play the lotto, and everyone knows that is the biggest of pipe dreams that will never come true.

I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I try to think what to do and my mind draws a blank. I guess that is what my sleeping and sitting in silence during the  day is all about, trying to dig deep within myself to figure out a way to get out of this whole I’m in. But my efforts are coming up empty. I don’t know man, but I got to do something. This can’t be my life for the rest of my life. I will not let it be. I guess maybe I’ll have to start all over like I’m in high school, work a part-time job and turn tragedy into triumph. I hate to do it but going back to Warren, Ohio is not an option. New York is a perfect home 
away from where I grew up at, not that far away where I can’t visit, not that close where I’d be home every other week like I still live there. I got to make this happen for me, I got to!

Jrnl Entry No. 3.8.2004

I went to an employment agency today, Trandon Associates. I’ve been to this place like two times in my career of looking for employment. The place is total bullshit, at least, that is, for African Americans. Here is their routine. They have you fill out this little card with your name and employment history and post your resume behind it. They call you back to a little room where they mark down your qualifications. Now both times as I remember it; once five years ago when I was first trying to move to New York, and again today, they noted that I didn’t have charge back experience. So I’m figuring that must be the excuse they give to the black applicants they mistakenly call because they have regular American names. The lady says she had a position which requires charge back experience so they are probably not going to be interested in my resume, but they will contact me later if another position should happen to come up. Of course, I already know that I will never hear from Trandon Associates again. This also seems to be the case with the all the employment agencies in New York.

In my three experiences of looking for employment in New York City, visiting many agencies, only one has gotten me a position, and guess what the catch was to that agency: it was a British agency, all the people had British accents, had just moved from Britain to start this business in New York, and my guess is that oversees, they aren’t as racist and prejudice as the white Americans from the United States. I’ve gotten many calls from agencies, which all somehow, never got me any work after I went into their office, or they didn’t let me come into their office in the first place. 

Like this lady called me two days ago from Access employment agency. She says that she got my resume which interested her, and then she asked what salary I was looking for. I says $45,000.00 and she says the only position that she has available is for 40,000.00, but she still would like me to come in for a meeting. Now me, knowing these agencies, I said to my girlfriend, “this is another bullshit call from an agency” and I tell her the situation. My girlfriend tells me to call her back and say that I would not like to come in until she has something more suitable to my salary range and qualifications. She wanted me to call right away so that the lady would respect me more, but I said I would call her the morning of the meeting and tell her. My philosophy is that she does not respect me anyway.  She does not intend to get me a job anyway. My girlfriend says “you’re the one who is looking for a job, not her.” So I says “and she is not going to give me a job in the first place so it doesn’t matter.”  I called the lady today around 4:00 P.M. and tell her what my girlfriend suggested. The lady called me back an hour later and said that she would call me when she gets a position in front of her that fits my salary.

Another situation happened about two weeks ago. A lady called and e-mailed me from Gothem Search Group and asked me to give her a call concerning my resume. I called her back but did not leave a message because I know that once she hears my Black voice that she is not going to call me back as has happened before. I went out of town, and when I returned I had receive another e-mail as well as a voice mail message for me to call her. So I called her and explained that I had been out of town but I was back now and we could set up a meeting. At the sound of my black voice, she says, “I’m sorry, but we have many Michael’s on file, why are you calling, in reference to what, could you please send me your resume as a word document and call back.” I says, “I already sent you my resume as a word document 
when you e-mailed me the first time.”She asked me to send it again. I laughed and said, “O.K.” and hung up and sent her a message about her obvious discrimination. How are you going to e-mail me and call me twice and then when I call you back, you don’t know who I am?  This is the type well-hidden discrimination that I faced within my year of looking for employment in a tight economy. 

I’m seeing that 40 years later from the 60s and civil rights action, integration of schools, etc. that today in 2004, it’s the same shit. No one wants to see black people prosper or give us a chance. The economy is down and black people are the last people who are going to be employed and helped out. And even when the economy is good, we still get the same treatment. If these companies aren’t made to hire us due to affirmative action programs, they do not hire us, especially not in New York City. So I’m figuring that New York is not the place for me, but it’s the place that I want to be. No one, not even black people are trying to help achieve your goals and dreams. Everyone is selfish and dreaming to get theirs first before they even think about helping you get yours. I have been interviewing for a year now, and 
only a few interviews at that. I’ve gotten like five interviews and only one resulted in an offer for $34,000 which would grow to $37,000 with incentives. 

I just am not making it here. I’m living off of my girlfriend who likes to spend all of her money on her daughter, jeans, and expensive boots for winter. She’s covering me as far as a place to stay and food, but not leisure money. She claims that she is by my side, but I don’t think so, especially since I’m not working and my unemployment has run out and I have to ask her for any money that I need. I’ve tried going and handing out resumes for a part time position somewhere, but that is not working either. I  would like to work in a Hip Hop clothing store or one of those high prices foreign wear stores downtown like the Atrium or The Lounge, but they don’t seem to want to give a brother a chance either. I applied at Eckerd drugstore the other day and they seemed to brush me off with a “we are not hiring right  now.” I still applied and gave them my resume. You’d think that a little company would love have a college degree accountant working part time for their store, but knawl, it doesn’t seem to be the case in New York City.

I was thinking of trying to get some work as a security guard during the day. Right now I’m thinking of all the options I can to get some income in my pocket. If don’t find a job making $40,000 or more, I’m not going to be a happy man, as I already am not happy living here off of Watrina and her having the power over me knowing she can just kick me to the curb anytime and I’m out on my ass or back to Ohio, which I really don’t want to go back there. She has told me to get out a couple of times because I ain’t going to be no bitch ass walking around here treading water. Like I showed her when the New Year hit and we had an argument, If worse comes to worse, I’ll just move my ass to Atlanta and stay. And the next time I am forced to go there, I will stay there.

So I’m just now starting to study to take the GMAT exam to get into graduate school. One thing about graduate school is that I don’t want to get into debt and have to pay it back when I start working again, starting out in debt, leaving me where I once was. I was full of debt with rent, my car payment and utilities and I had no money left to live. I don’t want to go back to that shit. I have a few good looking pictures that Watrina took of me three years ago. I’m going to take them to a few modeling agencies and see what they say about representing me. I kind of feel that I don’t really have model looks, just a handsome look for a man my age. I feel like I have a deep smile wrinkle line on each side of my face and my cheeks are starting to droop a little. You know, just getting old, not that old, but seeing and feeling the effects of — years on this earth. 

I wrote a documentary about Puffy’s revolution of Hip Hop that I have sent off to be copyrighted. I want to incorporate my production company named for my mother, my grandfather (R.I.P), and grandmother (on her death bed as I write this) “Leann, Michael & Ella” Productions respectively. And for those dumb fucks who don’t know what “respectively” means, it means that the name of the production company matches the order of the relatives I mentioned before it. I want to incorporate the production company for the documentary to be under and also for my music production company to be official to receive checks and write expenses off against, etc. 

I have scanned “The Only Child” Logo into the computer and designed a CD cover with it. I have dreams that I could use that Logo as a strong marketing tool. To me it seems noticeable, memorable, and marketable. I see it printed on T-Shirts. There could be different versions of the T-Shirt, each one with the Logo printed in a different place; just simple T-Shirts with the Logo in different places each time. They could become collector’s items. And the name “The Only Child” also seems powerful to me and memorable: simple and unforgettable. If I had the money, I would start the whole campaign. I would go ahead and record my album.

I got skills in rapping I feel I really do. But at the same time, I do feel that my rhymes do have a little old school flavor to them like my friend J Johnson and my girlfriend Watrina used to always say when I first started writing raps again like two years ago. But this nigga Kanye West is inspiring me. If he can have a whole album out and it sells 400,000 in the first week, I can release an album and at least create a name for myself in this music industry. But I don’t have money so I don’t know what I am going to do about putting out my album and starting a record label. I feel that I have the knowledge and know of these streets to run a label. I know all the flaws of the current labels that are out right now and are failing to make hits and losing their distribution deals.

I have an idea to put together a business plan and take to a label like Def Jam to have them sponsor me and once I create enough buzz for my name, I will sign with them. The good catch to that is that they don’t even have to give me money, they can pay for my beats and have artist use them on their albums. I don’t think anyone has ever done that; propositioned a label to sponsor their pre-career so that in turn they could sign with that label. And since I’m about to be out of professional accounting work for a year and will have to take some shitty job that I don’t want, I will definitely be motivated to put some of these ideas into motion.

I’ve been trying to get my album recorded for the past six months but the guy whose studio I go to is jerking me. I’ve only recorded three songs in six months and that is no good. I need to move faster than that, I can move faster that but he is slowing down my progress. I don’t have the money to go to any other studio.

MONEY, I so tired of that fucking word. NO MONEY I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY. If I had this MONEY I would do this; if I had that MONEY I would do that. FUCK ! No money, no job. This shit is ridiculous. I think I would rather be dead. That is one reason why I didn’t want to have any children, putting them in this world to go through all this bullshit without a single advantage in the world. If my life continues like it is, I won’t be able to help my daughter with shit just like my parents didn’t help me with shit: no house, no car, no money, no business knowledge or any other knowledge. Having kids is some selfish 
shit on the part of women just to make them happy. With my life right now, I’d rather not been born. This life is bullshit!