Most people who come in contact with me, soon realize that my approach to life and love is for the most part traditional. I believe that women are the nurturers, and men are the providers and protectors. This has been my logic since my inception I’d say. I spoke earlier on about protecting my sister, from Philadelphia’s police departments hail of bullets coming from the gun barrels of several police officers. That was before I had even seen first grade. In short, I was made the man of my house at an early age. It was nothing I understood or could comprehend at such an early age, but as I look back, I realize it was predetermined for me to be a leader in this life.
I knew my father, and although he was quite visible in my life, we didn’t share the same home, so the day to day duties of protector fell on my young shoulders. After moving to my paternal grandmother’s house (my father’s mother) at six, she had us in church every Sunday. I went with her brother, and my sister went with her sisters. For the most part, we attended Shiloh Apostolic Temple on Master street in North Philly. In my formative years, faith and religion were very present in my life. Even outside of church my grandma had us studying the bible instead of watching TV. Once we were finished with the Old Testament, we were made to start the New Testament to compare books, make notes and discuss.
Years later, I became a student of Islam, but one thing that has never changed is my mindset on a man’s role as the leader, provider and protector of women. Now that I reflect on it, I realize that religion only reinforced my natural instincts. Why change what I’m doing, when God himself, according to all accounts of his word is telling me I’m right? In truth, I was sinning enough as it is. By the time I became Muslim I wasn’t even in high school, had been in shootouts, and was already running the streets being an urban terrorist. Shit, I figured what I got right, I really need to keep right in hopes that my highs could balance out the lows. One of the biggest mental mindfucks was when my conscience would kick in as I’d serve drugs to someone’s mother. Later, you’d see their kid outside barefoot in a diaper and t-shirt with no supervision. When you have the type of mind I do, all you can think is, “I’m fucking this child and his future up.” You’re forced to manipulate your mind in many ways just to get through the day when you’re a street hustler with a conscience.
There’s a saying in the streets that “there’s no honor amongst thieves”…and in many instances this is true. My faith was fundamental in the laws I laid down for my team. As a young hustler I may not have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but I didn’t lose hope. Instead I decided to create my own light. In the meantime, my immaturity wouldn’t allow my faith to supersede my need to survive. I had 5 siblings who were hungry, our providers were doing time, and my grandma had arthritis in her back and knees. Work had to be done, and I was too young and dumb to have enough faith to pray to God & wait. My faith was in my ability to outsmart everyone; to analyze, strategize and manipulate. My young ass had a direct link to the top anyway. All we needed to do was keep it clean. No school zones, no abusing, and no robbing or stealing from women or children. Lets get money, be fly, and be as discreet as can be all while winning over the people by giving back.
In High School, we arrived quick. We were the kids who wore Versace, Armani, Christian Dior, Moschino and Coogi daily. We won over crowds quick. Not only were we buying women lunch, we were also buying lunch for the kids who didn’t have means. Islam taught us to be charitable, and by this time my whole team was Muslim. It took no time for kids who saw what we stood for to want to be Muslim as well. We never glorified Hustlin’. They never even witnessed us use or distribute drugs because of the structure. They saw guys who were extremely religious with money and good hearts. By sophomore year, our high school had a mass influx of Muslims. We all stuck together. Those of us with, took care of the ones without. We studied together, prayed together, and would all leave school on Fridays to go to the Masjid together. As I grew older and closer to God through my religion, I realized my faith in him is what gave me power to lead and have continuous momentum in the right direction. I’ve encountered many things in this life that could have left me as nothing but another statistic. However, my faith in God is a huge part of my make up, it’s embedded in my character. It’s what I offer to whomever I deal with. Over the years, everything I did became more based in faith and less based in what I wanted or had seen. I learned that you can’t be a leader without righteousness. Your understanding of your role as a man is lacking if you aren’t in tune with yourself, and fine tuned spiritually. Great men aren’t created by women. We are created by God and enabled to showcase our greatness by the women whom are ours support.
To this day, a few of the guys I grew up with are business partners of mine. We have invested in restaurants amongst other legitimate businesses as tax paying citizens. Over the years, I stopped assuming and became more of a planner. By that, I don’t mean planning structurally, but rather planning for success. People often ask me how I have gotten to where I’m at. I tell them first and foremost God, and secondly tapping into the natural gifts He gave me. I have the ability to market and sell anything. I analyze, study, and then pounce. I’m good with numbers, and I can calculate risk vs. reward with the best of them. I didn’t say, “let me go to college and get a degree in what I want to do.” I pursue what I pursue because its what I feel like I’m already a master of. The only challenge is proving it and being the best in my field. With everything I touch, my focus is to make it the best it can be. See when you’re a person of faith, you learn to be in touch with oneself. This is what makes you great. Expose your flaws to yourself before someone exposes them to you, for you. This is something I spread to my friends, and of course we’ve lost a few along the way, but that’s because they strayed away morally. In any group of people, everyone is in it for different reasons. I had siblings to feed, and others wanted to be stars. I, for one, have never understood how you can be a star having never did anything on paper which shows you deserve stardom. From what I’ve seen, every street hustler who tried to have the spotlight came to see an early demise. Which leads me to the character of men…
[Read More on Oct. 11th when ‘Self Medication 2 is released on Amazon.com!]
@PhillyTheBoss is Author of the eBook ‘Self-Medication’, a introspective look into his life written in Journal form. It invites the reader in on a relatable journey in order the assist the reader to be introspective themselves. You can purchase Self-Medication on Amazon.com here: Self Medication On Amazon.com