I won’t make this letter very long, because, as you’ll see, I’ve got another, rather long letter for you to read. It’s something that I originally wrote for a young man whom I do not know by name. But his sister wrote me, a girl out of Houston named Patricia. She told me that her brother was not doing so well, and described a little of his situation. His story was so similar to mine, when I was his age, that I was compelled to reach out to him. After finishing his letter, I realized that my words could possibly benefit others. I’d like to know what you think about the letter, in which Incandesio will send me your comments, if you have any. She always sends me your uplifting entries, and I’m truly blessed to have you as friends, fans and family.
At the end of the letter I’ve got a Cold Forty that I rewrote from something that I wrote in the past, but not on this blog. So, I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I shall speak to you, again, very soon.
What’s Up, Lil Brother,
It’s da boy S.P. coming your way with a few lines. Your sister wrote me and told me a little about you, and how much she loved you, and if I could write you a few words of encouragement. But she didn’t give me your name so you’ll have to be “Lil Brother” for today.
Her description of your life sounded almost identical to mine. I kept failing the ninth grade, all the way till I was seventeen. That’s when I said, “Fuck it, I’m gone.”
I constantly broke my mom’s heart and all she ever did was give me everything she could.
I was always in some shit, getting jumped, getting blowed, running from police. I never joined a gang, but many of my friends were banging, so I was right in the middle of it.
Here’s the thing, though: I knew I was fucking up, just like you know. Really, we all know right from wrong; that’s not the problem. The problem is we just don’t give a fuck.
“Carlos, you’re destroying your life.”
“What are you going to do when you’re an adult and all you have is garbage in your head?”
“I’m not worried about it.”
“You’re going to end up in prison; that’s if you’re lucky. If not, you’ll be in a cemetery.”
“I don’t care.”
My mom didn’t realize it, but she was spoiling me by giving me what I should’ve worked for with good grades and good behavior. All she got was me disrespecting her. But every new day brought a fresh batch of my mom’s forgiveness as I continued being a bad person. It’s not her fault, she was just doing her best. But when you spoil a kid, a really bad thing takes place; that kid becomes selfish than a mothafucker. He won’t give a damn who he hurts, even if it’s his own mom, or grandmother, or girlfriend. Mix spoiledness with a painful upbringing and you’ve got a nightmare in the house. But for every throwed-off, selfish dude, there’s always some damaged chick who will take his shit. It’ll be a fucked up relationship, but it happens all the time. And then they have kids, and the kids get built with the same shit, thus the infamous cycle powers on.
I used to blame my dad for my problems because he was never around, but I don’t know what my dad’s life was like. I wasn’t there when he was a baby absorbing his environment. Some people have colder hearts, they’re more emotionally dull, but it’s not because they’re evil. It’s just the ingredients they were made with.
Psychologists say that the first five years of life make a person into who he’ll be for the rest of his life. They say the first years of life is when a person’s brain absorbs the most content. So, while that little baby is drooling all over the place, his mind is collecting data at a record-setting pace. It’s not so much that he’s learning, but more like being made. And, like I said, by the time he’s five, the sponge is full. His definition of normal is established. Whatever that “normal” is, will be the world he feels most comfortable in. So, if his definition of normal involves a high level of pain, he’ll create a life for himself that produces that level. Maybe gang life, or drug use, or just being pissed-off about everything. Whatever it takes because our normal is a force that we feel off-balance unless we’re living in it.
So, what can we do when pain, and drama, and bullshit make us feel whole? I’ve been working on that one for years. Even when I was making tons of money, driving expensive cars, living in a castle, I was still putting myself in bullshit. I was still getting shot at, still breaking my wife’s heart, still getting all fucked up. It didn’t have to be that way, but money don’t change shit. We still need the life that our normal craves. Even though I’m in prison on a fraud-ass charge, I guarantee you that prison saved my life. I’m lucky to be alive because I kept chasing trouble, and trouble would’ve surely buried me by now.
It sounds like you’re on a similar path, bro, but just one letter won’t do much. After a few months, or a few blunts, you won’t remember a damn thing I said. All I can tell you, little brother, is that I love you, and it’s not your fault. It’s no one’s fault. It doesn’t mean we don’t need penitentiaries, but we damn sure don’t need judgmental dick suckers. I always hear some dumb bitch saying, “Well, once a person gets a certain age, they can choose what they want in life. If they choose to fuck up, it’s their own fault.”
Whoever thinks that way doesn’t realize that, for some people, it’s harder to make good choices. And the harder something is, the more people fail. For others it’s easier because their definition of normal involves less pain, so they’ll make better decisions because they feel more comfortable in better environments. I had all the nicest things in the world, but I still hung out in the worst places because that was the only time I felt at home.
It reminds me of that chick who don’t feel right with the right guy. “He’s too boring, too mushy, corny, no challenge.” She has no idea why she goes dry around this guy, but it’s a natural reaction. Then she meets the exciting guy, the one who’s a challenge, the one who makes her feel alive. Now her donut gets wetter than a dolphin, but two months later she’s getting treated like dog shit. Still, she’ll stick with this dude as he drags her through a thousand miles of misery. Why? Because, somehow, this dude provides a life that is closer to her definition of normal that what the nice guy can provide. She’s instinctively attracted to pain, and instincts are harder to fight than a twenty-one year old Mike Tyson.
I’ve always said that the world’s worst addiction is pain. That’s where it all starts. You’re not hurting your mom because you hate her. You’re not disrespecting those who love you because you want to hurt them. You’re doing it because it gives you the purest, most uncut pain that life can offer. Right now it’s your mom, but later it’ll be your wife.
But when I tell you it’s not your fault, I can hear that same dumb bitch saying, “All you’re doing is letting people off the hook. You’re telling them it’s okay to be pieces of shit because, anyway, it’s not their fault.”
“No, dumb bitch, I’m explaining the facts. It doesn’t mean that a person should stay the same. If you buy a new car and it breaks down two miles up the road, it’s not your fault; but that doesn’t mean you put an address on the motherfucker and live in it. You still gotta get it fixed. But to fix a problem, or, in this case, to defeat demons, you have to know who they are, how they operate, when they infiltrated.”
“Fine, but you didn’t have to call me a dumb bitch.”
Love is the most powerful force in existence – it’s the answer – but I can’t just inject you with love. I can’t make you care for yourself. All I can say is no matter what you did in the past, you deserve the best. The thing about that is only you can give yourself the best. Only you can do that homework every night, only you can be kind and respectful, only you can make the right decisions during those critical times in life.
You’ve got one chance to prepare for adulthood and that’s right now. Adulthood is like a coming storm but, while you’re young, you can build a strong house, with weather-proof windows, good plumbing, good electrical, beautiful inside and out. So when the storm comes, you just sit back and eat popcorn.
The “house” I’m talking about is your life, bro. If you don’t build it right then it’ll be weak. You’ll either live some bullshit life where you’re still hurting people, or be layed up in a cage or a casket. This isn’t what I think, this is one plus one equals two.
I’m not trying to tell you what to do because I don’t think no one can. But if, and that’s a big “if”, you can find some love in yourself, to start fighting for yourself, you can give yourself a rich life. I won’t lie to you, it’s not easy, and most people in our position fail. Actually, that’s not true; most of them don’t even try because they don’t have the love to give a fuck. If you can’t find the love, what can I say? I damn sure won’t judge you. But if you wanna try, here’s a few instructions.
First of all, you can’t hang out with fuck-ups. If you want to put your life on the right path, you can’t walk with people on the wrong path. It’s common sense but a lot of dumbasses have tried to quit drinking, quit smoking, quit fucking up, but they kept the same friends. It doesn’t work.
Second of all, (which I just mentioned), you have to quit drinking and smoking. Patricia didn’t tell me if you did or not, but I’m pretty sure you do. You’ve got to find a place that can help you, because addiction to weed and alcohol is not easy to break. Lots of dumbasses have said “Man, I can quit anytime I want, I just don’t want to.”
“Well, not wanting to is called addiction, dumbass!” (By-the-way, I was the dumbass in the examples given.)
And last, you’ve got to figure out a plan to educate yourself. Then, stick with it. I can pretty much bet that you failed the ninth grade again, so now you’ll be seventeen in pre-algebra with a bunch of rug rats. My older brother dropped out of school to start working, but he came back a few years later. He was twenty-one when he graduated, and there’s no shame in that. He might’ve been the only kid at lunch with potato chips in his beard, but his classmates were too scared to laugh about it. (laughing)
Or, you can take G.E.D. classes, graduate that way, and go from there. With a G.E.D. you can go straight to Jr. College, which is what I did, and get an Associate’s Degree, which is what I didn’t do. Or, after two years of Jr. College, you can transfer to a four-year college, and get a Bachelor’s, or even a Master’s Degree. You can also take a trade in Jr. College like mechanics, or plumbing, or even be a cop.
“Hey! Who said that?!!”
There’s many good options, little brother. If I were you, I’d talk to a school counselor and see what advice he or she can give you. Just say, “Look, I’m sixteen, hung out with the wrong people, still in the ninth grade, but I want to try to save me life. Can you help me with a plan?” That’s what counselors are for, so make ‘em earn their paycheck.
If you ask me, I say stick with high school. But, if possible, start over at a new school, so that old friends won’t be able to make things difficult for you.
Before I go let me say one last thing: maybe you’ve made some dishonest money before. Maybe sold a little weed, or some stolen rims, or maybe you’ve done worse. I’ve been there; I had four felonies by the time I was fourteen, and that’s just what’s on paper. I want you to know that I’m not trying to preach when I tell you this. All I’m doing is relaying the truth. If you don’t listen, you won’t be the first or the last. With that said, I want you to remember five words: Always make your money honestly. Whenever the time comes for you to make a living, whether it’s now or after you’ve gotten a degree in grooming hamsters, make sure your every penny is made legally. The richest criminal in the world might have nice things, but he’ll never have happiness. Because the main ingredient for happiness is peace, and dishonest money robs you of that priceless treasure. A dope dealer living like Donald Trump would be better off flipping burgers for Ronald McDonald. Only the blind believe that an abundance of money makes you rich. That belief is one of the cruelest jokes that life can play on us. True wealth is good health, a peaceful home, and beautiful relationships. Only honest men can have all three.
I’m no angel, bro. I make lots of mistakes. But I love God and I love people. I don’t know a lot about the Bible, but I know God said, “Listen, if you have ears!” If you don’t have ears, well, I guess you got a damn good excuse. But how do you wear sunglasses if……..Let me stop trippin. Good luck, bro.
Now, let us twist the top off of
Another Cold 40
“This Is Not Chess”
I been locked up so damn long I feel like Socrates
think the last movie that I saw was fuckin Rocky 3
wait, was it Rocky 2? neva mind I can't recall
Hey, do they still sell Screw cassettes at the mall?
what about the carnival, where I shot the basketball
won that Fara Fawcett shirt, and that little rabbit claw
every line I rap is raw so I hope you have a straw
really I'm da crack 'n' ya'll softa than a padded bra
spongy like a deer nose or squooshy like some earlobes
you should just cheer Los cause ya'll ain't even near G.O.A.T.S
that is just a mere hoax 'n' I ain't tryna hear jokes
all I'm tryna do is get this fuckin shit clear folks
I am what they fear most drinkin rootbeer floats
President of Dope House and even got the queer's votes
"How do you know that you da best? Can ya share it?"
Well, like a bird that gave birth, it's a parent
haters you can lick a nut matta fact sick a duck
"Los, but the kids are reading this!" I don't give a fuck
drinkin outa prison cup locked like an animal
I swear I heard the judge say, "Remember the Alamo!"
all they really did, took me from a slow suicide
They was at the party like, "Toast to Los crucified!"
"Wait, Judge, look outside! Those are all his Stan fans!
Blacks, Whites, Browns even aggravated Afghans!
Indians and Asians, too. Look! there's a buncha nunns!
One's gotta fuckin gun! Run! We're in trouble, Judge!"
I done did a hundred months askin guards, "What's for lunch?"
watchin T.V. playin chess eatin Crunch 'n' Munch
chillin with computer hackaz, pistol packaz, money jackaz
old men wearin Huggy pampaz unlucky bastards
me, I be higha than Mariah's fifth octive
I went up for a lay up but my potna Cliff blocked it
I was like, "Man, in the world people let me win!"
He was like, "Los, look, fuck if you SPM."
Fine! I'll just stick to rap! make the people jubilant
doing comp and only usin one squeeze of lubricant
slap'em like a stupid kid make'em tie his shoestrings
this is not chess bitch how can there be two kings
fuck it, though, you can claim it all, I ain't trippin on it
Nas put rap in a grave, I'm just pissin on it! (lol!)