Root of All Evil Yadda Yadda Yadda

So here I was, saved and really walkin' for a solid four years. I was a good, faithful, loving husband. (Yeah, I was and still am sprung on my wife, with her fine self.) I had ditched all the old janky crew (y'know 'em, the ones who turn into crabs in the barrel when it looks like you about to come up or make something of yourself) and replaced them with some real homies, all of them doin' thangs you know what I'm sayin One of my boys was makin' his way in the music world, tryin' his hand at...

Just Another Trap

I'll admit that when I first heard the news about the murder of Matthew Shepherd, I didn't pay much attention. After growing up in Oakland and then living for a time in south central Los Angeles and the projects in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I'm sad to say that news of murder doesn't shock me anymore. It bothers me it saddens me but it never shocks me. After all, I am convinced that human nature is evil at its core. I believe that if people could do better then we would have done so by now. As...

Holier than Thou

The moment I had dreaded was approaching. Peabo Bryson, the R & B singer, was about to finish his set. I've never been a big fan of his, but my wife really digs him, so this one Christmas I bought tickets to see him and a group of other artists perform a concert at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. Cerritos is a quaint little city in southern California about twenty minutes south of Los Angeles. The evening had been nice so far. We'd heard James Ingram, Sheena Easton, and a couple...

Acknowledgments

Let me just say from jump I know I'm going to forget somebody, so cut me some slack. . . . Moving on. To my wife, Sheeri You are the manifestation of God's grace in my life. I could not have come this far in life or completed this book without you . . . you my nuckah. To my children, Chase, Max and Blake I purpose to live my life in such a way that you'll never be ashamed to call me your Papi. I love you. To Bobbi Your determined optimism convinced me early on that I could do anything I set my...

The Right Question

I think part of the reason I appreciate most rap artists is because I identify with them so much. There are the most obvious ways Most of them are black, and so am I. Many of them are, or are close to, my age. Most of them grew up in the so-called 'hood, as did I. Many of them hustled for a living like me. But the thing I appreciate most is their determination to be someplace better. It's as though at some point each one had to look around and think, There's gotta be something better than this...

Foreword

As I watched the young man ascend the steps to the pulpit, it occurred to me how odd he must look to the members of the congregation. He with his shaved head, diamond stud earrings, proudly wearing a Raiders jersey, baggy jeans, and white Nikes with the gray swoosh to match the silver in his jersey of course , not to mention the fact that he is black and thirty-five years old. And the congregation Well, nearly half of them are at least fifty years old and, except for one Indonesian family and...