Friday, October 13, 2006

Once Upon A Time In The Projects, Yo!

Inspiration: "Once Upon A Time In The Projects" Ice Cube - "Once upon a time in the projects, yo!/I damn near had to wreck a ho/I knocked on the door - "Who is it?"/It's Ice Cube, come to pay a little visit to ya/And what's up with the niggers in the parking lot/She said fuck em, cause they get sparked alot/I sat on the couch but it wasn't stable/and then I put my Nikes on the coffee table/Her brother walked in he's into gangbangin/cause he walked up and said "what set you claimin"/I don't bang I write the good rhymes/The whole scenery reminded me of Good Times"

What I'm Listening To - Ice Cube "Amerikkka's Most Wanted" and "Death Certificate"

Question(s) I Asked Myself Today - "Why, when I woke up yesterday, my blog was taken over by an Italian porn site?" Did y'all see that in the morning? I had to republish to get rid of it.

I never lived in the hood. I admit that most of my so called street knowledge comes from early 90's hip hop, but even I have a project story or two. I was listening to Ice Cube and the title "Once Upon A Time In The Projects" got stuck in my head, so here is my ghetto story.

It was July 4th, 1997 or 1998. For reasons that will soon reveal themselves, that night was kind of fuzzy. I do remember that I was hanging out with my homegirl Boo Trotter. She had family in the projects, or what passed for the projects in Savannah, Georgia. Since I was young, dumb and thought I was invincible, I didn't think it could possibly be a bad idea to hang out in Yamacraw Village.

I picked up Boo in my VW Fox and after stopping off to get a big ass bottle of Bacardi Limon and two red solo cups, we headed down MLK Boulevard (which is probably in the hood no matter what city you are in) to kick it with her peoples. We were tossing back the rum as we rode and listened to No Limit. I was already buzzed by the time we got to Yamacraw and found a place to park. I can't remember what time it was, but the sun had long since set. We found her cousin's apartment and posted up on the stoop, inebriation working its way through my veins.

I was a fish out of water, but the alcohol made me blend in and forget that I didn't know anything about the projects. In that very moment, I might as well have been a lifelong hood resident. We kicked it hard, drinking and reciting Mystikal lyrics that were blaring from various apartments in a "Do The Right Thing" type battle. We ate cheap meat that was purchased from the Korean Market and charbroiled to perfection on cheap grills and placed on cheap paper plates. We blazed a blunt with the local Tony Montana, who was known for crack sales and his propensity for violence. Before I knew it, my big ass bottle of Bacardi Limon was damn near empty, and I don't recall a bit of chaser. Needless to say, I was gone.

I don't know if it was the paranoia setting in or not, but I started to notice some crazy ass looks penetrating me. In my mind, they were saying, "this nigga don't belong here." Perhaps, it was b/c I was not rocking the standard white tee and black jeans uniform that the Yamacraw crew was wearing, or perhaps because they just never saw me around, but I started to feel unwelcome in the projects. I told my homegirl Boo, and she told me that as long as I was with her, there was nothing to worry about. That put me at ease as I continued to take in my surroundings. At least until the Bacardi caught up with me and I had to empty my bladder.

I asked Boo's cousin if I could use the bathroom and she told me it was broken. She directed me over to the alley behind the apartments to releive myself. I don't even really do public bathrooms, so the idea of peeing outside didn't appeal to me, but I couldn't hold it back. So, I sauntered over to the alley, in my best I'm tough, I'm from New York so don't fuck with me strut. So, I'm peeing and what do I see in the alley? A damn crackhead!!!

Ayy, Playa! You got that hard?

Nah, man. I ain't got shit!

The crackhead starts walking towards me while I am in midstream. I'm looking at this cat like "What the hell?" I don't know where this cat came from, but he was so stealth that he could have been an assasssin if the crack didn't call him. I finished up my business, adjusted my Polo gear and left the alley before he could get too close. Keep in mind that I was drunk off my ass, but I had no idea where was at that moment. I'm looking around for Boo and her cousin, but I couldn't remember which apartment was theirs. As I am staggering around the projects, I hear gunshots and hit the deck. I thought I was in the midst of a drive by or something, but it turned out to be just regular July 4th shooting up in the air. Great, now my Polo gear is fucked up, cuz the projects don't have grass, just dirt. I brushed myself off and eventually found Boo. Of course, she thinks it was hilarious and gets me another drink to calm my nerves. This was the last thing I needed.

I sat on the steps, sipping a Colt .45, and watching a spades game a few feet away. There is more gunfire, but by now I am immune to it and realize that for some reason, niggaz just like to bust shots to commerate holidays. (I never fully understood that one.) There was lots of loud shit talking during the game; I mean this was the most intense round of spades I had ever seen. They were playing for money, and since I wasn't playing, they asked me to be the bank, which in my drunken state, I agreed to. Thug team # 1, reneged, sending thug team #2 into an uproar. It started out with yelling and threats and ended with both sides pulling out guns. They stood there in a Mexican standoff, pointing at each other and guess who was holding the money. Your's truly! At this point, I just wanted to get out of the projects with my life, so I did what any self respecting man would do. I put the money on the table and ran like a bitch. LOL. I hauled ass to my car so quick, you woulda thought that I was Carl Lewis. When I saw that no one was chasing me, I just sat in the car and waited for the scene to die down.

Boo came to the car and told me it was all good, but I had enough. I ain't cut out for the project life. We got in the car and rolled out. One final reminder of why I shouldn't have been in the projects? On the drive home, I realized that somebody stole all my CD's out of the car. Apparently, I was that drunk that I forgot to lock my car doors. After that experience, I made sure I never went back to Yamacraw again.

What's your project story?

It was written...


Blogger Knockout Zed said...

All my project stories have to do with me going with my boy to see a project chick. I'm there obstensibly to have his back. Dudes in the projects are really protective of their women. I mean really protective.


Fri Oct 13, 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger tjeanise said...

Laughing my azz off!! I'm sure it wasn't funny when it was going down though.

My project story is the day I was suppose to get beatdown from about 4 hoodrats. I was in 10th grade and had a mouth that would shut a lot of folks down quickly. I was known in school for talking a whole lot of sh*t! These girls were built like linebackers. One was about 5'10 towering over me like a bear. They started talking sh*t about how I thought I was all that. All I kept saying 'Hit me and see what will happen to yo azz' I must have said it about 20 times because I was not going to stand there and argue with them. But, I didn't want to throw the first lick either because my moma told me to always let them hit first (why I don't know!) I had a fierce mean look that alluded to the fact that I don't play..It worked they eventually got the hell on and as they walked off. I breathed a sigh of relief....

Fri Oct 13, 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger thee modern isis said...

Damn, I was rollin' about you running like a bitch to the car. My High School was smackdab in the middle of the 30th projects, the projects people would come out and harrass the high school kids. They would steal their sneakers so they had to ride the bus home barefoot. I even watched while they beat down this puerto rican kid when he was late to school, one of his PR girls tried to help him.. well.. she got beat down too. I was watchin' from the window like.. aww damn Alejandro!

Aside from the drama, they neva fucked with me. I can look mean when I want to and I always had the look on my face like.. shit ya'll might jump me but I'm fucking one of ya'll niggas up REAL good in the process.

I remember getting on the bus to go to work and it had snowed real hard the previous day so I had made a snowball with this rock inside of it. I got on the bus with it and this one chick threw her snowball threw the bus window and got me in the arm. I launched out the window and threw the snowball so damn hard, it busted her in her mouth and all I remember was blood running down her white FUBU shirt.

aw well... you learn to be prepared when you're a army brat.

Fri Oct 13, 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Tenacious said...

LMAO why is it that most of the men i know stories start w/visiting some ghetto chick?

that's a lot from me i lived in the 'jects from 5-17 so thats a lot of lil stories. When i was in the 3rd grade there was a drive by in front of my school, 5th grade the guy who lived across from me was shot dead...take ur pick

Fri Oct 13, 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Miss Ahmad said...

ooh I have some project friends when I was in middle school, prior to that I didn't know what the projects were..i mean i'd heard of them but didn't know why they were called projects.

so i'm on the bus with my project friends, bow legged Derrick from 69 Village (project name) and his wild ass Mexican girl friend with the tattoo on her neck and skinny eye brows.

Some guy had grabbed on me on the bus one day and scared the shit out of me and Derrick and his boys stomped that boy within an inch of his life at the bus stop. I mean stomped, jumped up and down on his him, kicked him all up in face and shit...

I bet he didn't feel on no more little girls after that!

Fri Oct 13, 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger i like liquor and tv said...

LOL..people knew you were an outsider cause you were scared to pee outside. LOL@the Mexican standoff..too funny.

I don't really have any project stories. Most of the ones I visited were soft. But one day in ATL I got lost in some projects, Perry Homes? Herdon Homes? All the Homes..whatever Big Gipp said...and when people in the projects see a foreign vehicle they all stop what they're doing and stare. I got shook and almost messed my transmission up trying to get up out of it was night time.

lol@KZ..for some reason I thought of Mobb Deep's Trife Life.

Fri Oct 13, 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger fallen angel said...

i dont have a projects story...i grew up with sidewalks yo! ;-)

Fri Oct 13, 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger G. Mo said...

Ya know maaaan... I don't really have any bad project stories. I've had a few scares, but nothing that I can sit back and reflect on with clarity. Most of those situations came when going to see broads in the Barry Farms and Congress Heights sections of SE DC. On each occasion it was some chic I had met off a chatline or the net and my purpose in going wasn't to play Nintendo. I guess you could say that when a man is on a mission, he tends to ignore some things.

I did however spend many hours walking past the windows, peeking through the blinds/curtains to see if my car was still there. Luckily nothing bad happened. Hell, I think the scariest thing I experienced was the roaches. Project roaches are a lil' bit different than suburban roaches. I kinda compare them to Barry Bonds 10 years ago and Barry Bonds now. Those bad boys eat Raid and Boric Acid for dinner. You gotta get the National Guard to kill them... lol.

Fri Oct 13, 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Mr.Slish said...

Since my alter ego Slasher loves himself some Hood Chicks. I have quite a few project stories. I'll share one that doesn't involve one.

I used to work for a childcare agency picking up kids from their homes. One of them lived in these fucked up projects in Manhattan. I'm talking pissy elevators and you didnt have to wait for anyone to buzz you into the bulding. Elevator didn't work so I had to take the stairs and walk up 10 flights. I pick the kid up and get ready to go back the way I came. As I reach for the stairwell door. The kid puts his arm in front of me and says " Hold Up Mr Slish" and places his ear against the door. " Did you take this stairway to get up here?" I respond " Yeah " Kid says" You lucky cause somebody gettin mugged RIGHT NOW!!" Lol..I could do was laugh..

Fri Oct 13, 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger The Mistress said...

Dayum, this sounds horrific LOL!

Unfotunately I don't really have any legit project stories. When I was little though, maybe about 9, my cousin and aunt used to live in the projects. All I can remember from those visits was my aunt and her friend disappearing in her bedroom for hours while we played unsupervised, and I vividly remember funny smelling smoke coming from my aunt's bedroom. I remember mentioning it to my mom and dad when they came to pick me up and upon investigation, they discovered that my aunt had been hiding a severe crack addiction. My mom was appalled and went the fuck off on her sister for smoking crack while my cousin and I played. The family did a big intervention and sent her ass to rehab stat. She's been clean forever now and we're close but whenever I think of "projects", I remember those times.

Sat Oct 14, 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Nika Laqui said...

I lived there, so I have many stories...

Police brutality, shootouts, riots, my own fights...constant gunshots and not just on holidays..

Sun Oct 15, 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Blah Blah Blah said...

I know where the projects are...I heard about 'em....but I ain't never went over to 'em.

I have one girl friend who lived in what I thought was the projects...turns out, they weren't. I think all of east Oakland is projects...but it's not.
I got shot at once when I went to a Too Short bday party once...that's the extent of my project story.

Mon Oct 16, 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger 1InTheSame said...

I dont have a project story..I just remember that I wouldnt even hold bank for my parents during a spade game...that gets out of control !!

Tue Oct 17, 10:08:00 AM  

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