This Rick Ross shooting this morning got me thinking. I don't know his situation, but I definitely can relate. I was walking in those shoes at one point in my life. First and foremost, I am thankful that no one got hurt. So I gotta pray that Rick has a faster and smoother transition from the streets to the music.
I grew up in Hollis, Queens and for a while I was a small time drug dealer. Nevertheless, no matter how small, I was "in the life." I was playing with fire, but I didn't know it. As a petty drug dealer, there wasn't one big-time drug dealer who even knew I existed. I was lucky enough to find the passion for music and smart enough to stop selling drugs.
The minute I got hot in the record business, all of the big drug dealers became my best friends. All of them showed up at every Def Jam party, offering me "protection" and "support" that I didn't need. These n*ggas would scare everyone in the party and I guess at the time, that was kind of "cool." To the people in the party, they were known as "Russell's friends." I hate to say this as a yogi, but all of my "friends" died or went to jail and lucky for me, I didn't go with them. I had a job that I loved and believed in and a future.
Over the years, I've had to show up to court cases as a character witness for more than a few artists and owners of record companies who themselves were not guilty of any crime, but glamorizing and hanging out with knuckleheads. I'm sure Rick Ross doesn't need this kind of drama in his life. Rick and artists like him, maybe need to make some tough decisions. My advice is they need to stay the f*ck away from guys who are only showing up for the ride...period.