Dec 28, 2001, I was faced with a decision to make about a major family emergency times two. At a desperate time, I was left feeling helpless and had no one to turn to. Clientele ‘Ntertainment, a record label I co-owned, was in “the red”, flat broke. Both my elder brothers Ervin Devadis Locke, and Alvono Benard Buchanan suffered from the same kidney malfunctions. Both of them found out a month apart (in separate incidents) that they shared the same kidney disease. My brothers had the same father, and born two years apart. In 1999, both were diagnosed with a genetic kidneys disease. Alvono was diagnosed after being seen for strep throat in July 1999. Ervin was suffering from complications associated with Hypertension. Both started dialysis treatment in January 2000. During this time, I was being followed by a few major Hip Hop magazines. I was in Blaze and mentioned in Teen People, but mainly followed by The Source. The Source magazine was documenting my progress in a series called “Diary of a New Jack” after my placement in the “Unsigned Hype” column in July 1998.
With the help of my mentor, Prince, doors opened and our single “Woo Woo” made it to prime time on BET’s “Rap City” on May 2000, and put us in the spot light nationally for the whole summer and fall of 2000. My career, family and my music camp were looking very promising and with in arms reach! On the morning of 9/11/2001 while in Detroit, I paced my bags to go to New York City to meet with then Interscope Records’ Steve Stout on 9/12/2001.
Things turned bad very fast. When the Twin Towers fell, so did our dreams. We were stuck in Detroit and ended up being there for a month. We had used the last of our money the prior month to send my cousin/producer MacNass and our engineer Chris Blood to master our material at Bernie Grundman’s mastering studio in LA. Many things depended on the meeting we were supposed to have with Interscope on 9/12. With money issues and relationship problems, things got heavy. I didn’t know in the near future that things were going to be even heavier, on me and my faith.
In December 2001, before Christmas, Alvono collapsed with a 108 temperature. His doctors prepped my family of the reality that he may not survive his illness. Then on December 26th, Ervin collapsed from having life threatening levels of Potassium in his body. At that point I spoke with Irvin’s nurse and she confirmed that it was a very close call! With limited resources and information on Kidney transplants and the donor processes, I was running out of options. I needed to make things happen myself and very fast. . The father of an acquaintance was a Kidney Specialist in Memphis, TN. I was told that a surgery of that magnitude was very costly, and the healing time required a lot of hospital time and costs. I spoke to everyone that I could think of, from the music industry to the blocks where I once sold drugs, for money to help. But the tragedy of 9/11 had taken its toll on the country. Everyone was holding on to their money tight.
I was hopeless, depressed and under pressure to save my brothers. At this point my career was stagnant. I was separated from my wife and kids and I was dealing with a type of woman outside of my usual character. The world’s pressures were on my shoulders. In December 28, 2001, I smoked a fat ass joint while watching “Heat” followed by “Set it off.” My super hero kicked in and a idea came into play. Being from the streets, I never shared my intentions with family or friends, I did not want to involve any of them. I had to go get