Temporarily Out of Stock Online
|Publisher:||Buck 50 Productions, LLC and Blackstone Audio|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x (d)|
About the Author
50 Cent, a.k.a. Curtis J. Jackson III, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, investor, record producer, author, and actor. He has sold more than twenty-six million records worldwide. His debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, was the largest debut in SoundScan history. He also manages a broad business empire and serves on the board of G-Unity Foundation, a nonprofit organization serving low-income youth. His previous bestsellers include his autobiography, From Pieces to Weight, and the motivational guide The 50th Law. He is also the author of Playground, an antibullying book for young adults.
K’wan is the #1 Essence bestselling author of over a dozen books, including Section 8, Hood Rat, Road Dawgz, and the Animal saga. In 2011 he won the African American Literary Award for Welfare Wifeys. He has been featured in Vibe, King, Library Journal, and Time magazine, to name a few. K’wan received the 2012 and 2013 Street Lit Book Award Medals in adult fiction for Eviction Notice and Animal. His credits also include featured commentary in the award-winning documentary Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp, produced by Ice-T, as well as a reoccurring role as an analyst on TV One’s Celebrity Crime Files.
Read an Excerpt
6 months earlier
Come on Daddy-O, you know me." The young man reminded him, not believing that he'd been turned down. He could already feel the sweat trickling down his back and didn't know how much longer he could hold out.
Daddy-O popped a handful of sunfl ower seeds in his mouth. He expertly extracted the seed using only his tongue and let the shells tumble around in his mouth until he could feel the salty bite. "My dude, why are you even talking to me about this; holla at my young boy," he nodded at Danny.
"Daddy, you know how this little nigga is; he wouldn't let his mama go for a short, so you know I ain't getting a play."
"Get yo money right and we won't have a problem," Danny told him, and went back to watching the block.
"Listen," the young man turned back to Daddy-O. A thin film of sweat had begun to form on his nose. "All I got is ten dollars on me, but I need at least two to get me to the social security building in the morning. Do me this solid, and I swear I'll get you right when my check comes through."
Daddy-O looked over at Danny, who was giving the kid the once-over. He was short and thin with braids that snaked down the back of his neck. Danny had one of those funny faces. It was kind of like he looked old, but young at the same time...if that makes sense.
There was a time when Danny seemed like he had a bright future ahead of him. Though he wasn't the smartest of their little unit, he was a natural at sports. Danny played basketball for Cardinal Hayes High School and was one of the better players on the team. His jump shot needed a little fi netuning, but he had a mean handle. Danny was notorious for embarrassing his opponents with his wicked crossover. Sports was supposed to be Danny's ticket out, but as most naÏve young men did, he chose Hell over Heaven.
For as talented as Danny was physically, he was borderline retarded mentally. Of course not in a literal sense, but his actions made him the most dimwitted of the crew. While his school chums were content to play the roll of gangstas and watch the game from afar, Danny had to be in the thick of it. It was his fascination with the game that caused him to drop out of school in his senior year to pursue his dreams of being a real nigga, or a real nigga's sidekick. Danny was a yes-man to the boss, and under the boss is where he would earn his stripes. He didn't really have the heart of a soldier, but he was connected to some stand- up dudes, which provided him with a veil of protection. The hood knew that if you fucked with Danny, you'd have to fuck with his team.
"Give it to him, D," Daddy-O fi nally said.
Danny looked like he wanted to say something, but a stern look from Daddy-O hushed him. Dipping his hand into the back of his pants, Danny fi shed around until he found what he was looking for. Grumbling, he handed the young man a small bag of crack.
The young man examined the bag and saw that it was mostly fl ake and powder. "Man, this ain't nothing but some shake."
"Beggars can't be choosers; take that shit and bounce," Danny spat.
"Yo, shorty you be on some bullshit," the young man said to Danny. There was a hint of anger in his voice, but he knew better than to get stupid. "One day you're gonna have to come from behind Prince and Daddy-O's skirts and handle your own business."
"Go ahead wit that shit, man," Daddy-O said, cracking another seed.
"No disrespect to you, Daddy-O, but shorty got a big mouth. He be coming at niggaz sideways, and it's only on the strength of y'all that nobody ain't rocked him yet."
"Yo, go head wit all that rocking shit, niggaz know where I be," Danny said, trying to sound confi dent. In all truthfulness, he was nervous. He loved the rush of being in the hood with Daddy-O and the team, but didn't care for the bullshit that came with it. Anybody who's ever spent a day on the streets knows that the law of the land more often than not is violence. If you weren't ready to defend your claim, then you needed to be in the house watching UPN.
The young man's eyes burned into Danny's. "Imma see you later," he said, never taking his eyes off Danny as he backed away.
"I'll be right here," Danny said confi dently. His voice was deep and stern, but his legs felt like spaghetti. If the kid had rushed him, Danny would have had no idea what to do. He would fi ght if forced, but it wasn't his fi rst course of action. Only when the kid had disappeared down the path did he finally force himself to relax.
"Punk-ass nigga," Danny said, like he was 'bout that.
"Yo, why you always acting up?" Daddy-O asked.
"What you mean, son?" Danny replied, as if he hadn't just clowned the dude.
"Every time I turn around your ass is in some shit, and that ain't what's up."
Danny sucked his teeth. "Yo, son was trying to stunt on me, B. You know I can't have niggaz coming at my head that way."
"Coming at your head?" Daddy-O raised his eyebrow. "Nigga, he was short two dollars!"
"Don't say nothing," Daddy-O cut him off. "We out here trying to get a dollar and you still on your schoolyard bullshit. You need to respect these streets if you gonna get money in them," Daddy-O stormed off leaving Danny there to ponder what he had said.
The intense heat from the night before had spilled over to join with the morning sun and punish anyone who didn't have air conditioning, which amounted to damn near the whole hood being outside. That morning the projects were a kaleidoscope of activity. People were drinking, having water fights, and just trying to sit as still as they could in the heat. Grills were set up in front of several buildings, sending smoke signals to the hungry inhabitants.
Daddy-O bopped across the courtyard between 875 and 865. He nodded to a few heads as he passed them, but didn't really stop to chat. It was too damn hot, and being a combination of fat and black made you a target for the sun's taunting rays. A girl wearing boy shorts and a tank- top sat on the bench enjoying an ice- cream cone. She peeked at Daddy-O from behind her pink sunglasses and drew the tip of her tongue across the top of the ice cream.
"Umm, hmm," Daddy-O grumbled, rubbing his large belly. In the way of being attractive, Daddy-O wasn't much to look at. He was a fi ve- eight brute with gorilla- like arms and a jaw that looked to be carved from stone. Cornrows snaked back over his large head and stopped just behind his ears. Though some joked that he had a face that only a mother could love, Daddy-O had swagger. His gear was always up, and he was swift with the gift of gab, earning him points with the ladies.
Everybody in the hood knew Daddy-O. He had lived in the Frederick Douglass Houses for over twelve years at that point. He and his mother had moved there when he was seven years old. Daddy-O had lived a number of places in his life, but no place ever felt like Douglass.
Daddy-O was about to head down the stairs toward 845 when he heard his name being called. He slowed, but didn't stop walking as he turned around. Shambling from 875 in his direction was a crackhead that they all knew as Shakes. She tried to strut in her faded high- heeled shoes, but it ended up as more of a walk- stumble. She was dressed in a black leotard that looked like it was crushing her small breasts. Shakes had been a'ight back in her day, but she didn't get the memo that losing eighty pounds and most of your front teeth killed your sex appeal.
"Daddy-O, let me holla at you for a minute," she half slurred. Shakes's eyes were wide and constantly scanning as if she was expecting someone to jump out on her. She stepped next to Daddy-O and whispered in his ear, "You holding?"
"You know better than that, ma. Go see my little man in the building," he said, in a pleasant tone. Most of the dealers in the neighborhood saw the crackheads as being something less than human and treated them as such, but not Daddy-O. Having watched his older brother and several of his other relatives succumb to one drug or another, Daddy-O understood it better than most. Cocaine and heroin were the elite of their line. Boy and Girl, as they were sometimes called, were God and Goddess to those foolish enough to be enticed by their lies. They had had the highest addiction rate, and the most cases of relapses. Daddy-O had learned early that a well-known crackhead could be more valuable to you than a member of your team, if you knew how to use them.
"A'ight, baby, that's what it is," she turned to walk away and almost lost her balance. In true crackhead form, she righted herself and tried to strut even harder. "You need to call a sista sometime," she called over her shoulder.
Daddy-O shook his head. There wasn't a damn thing he could call Shakes but what she was, a corpse that didn't know it was dead yet. Daddy-O continued down the stairs and past the small playground. A group of kids were dancing around in the elephant- shaped sprinkler tossing water on each other. One of them ran up on Daddy-O with a half-fi lled bowl, but a quick threat of an ass whipping sent the kid back to douse one of his friends with the water. Stopping to exchange greetings with a Puerto Rican girl he knew, Daddy-O disappeared inside the bowels of 845.
The first thing Daddy-O smelled when he stepped off the elevator was piff. Weed itself had a distinct smell, but piff was more like scorched honey. No matter how many windows you opened or how much air freshener you sprayed, if you had a good grade of haze, you couldn't hide it. Piff, haze, Barney, purp...whatever you chose to call it, was up there as far as top- shelf weed went. It wasn't as good as official Cali- Chronic or some of the other high- end grades of weed, but far more accessible.
Daddy-O tapped softly on the door and waited. There was a shuffling of feet and the clink of the peephole as someone tried to peek through it. After getting confi rmation from someone, the bolts began to slide free. The rush of smoke that hit Daddy-O in the face was enough to make him dizzy. The entire house reeked of weed and cigarettes. Daddy-O stepped inside the house with the door slamming behind him.
The young man who had opened the door for Daddy-O was tall and beanpole thin. He wore his hair in cornrows that were pressed against his head beneath his do-rag. When he smiled at Daddy-O, his sharp cheekbones threatened to pierce the skin. Daddy-O had known Sticks for a while, but he still hadn't gotten used to his cadaverous appearance.
The coffee table in the middle of the living room was littered with ashtrays and loose PS2 games. Stone, who was Sticks's fraternal twin, sat on a milk crate tapping away on a joystick. He glanced once at Daddy-O then went back to his game. His opponent was a brown- skinned kid who Daddy-O only knew as Knox.
Knox was a little older than the rest of them, but still hung around with the young boys when it was convenient. He had a boxed head with beady eyes that seemed to be looking everywhere at once. Knox didn't have an affi liation with any crew in particular; he just clung to whoever was holding it down. It wasn't unusual to see Knox making moves with different cats in and around the projects. As long as he stayed out of Diego's way he was cool. Much like E, Knox had managed to get on Diego's personal shit list. No one was quite sure what he did to get there, but it was common knowledge that Diego didn't like him. Whenever he would catch Knox trying to make a move, he would have Manny run him off the block. Everything Knox did had to be done in secret, and that probably explained why he was always skulking around in the shadows. Since Knox had come home from a skid bid, he had taken to spending time with E. Birds of a feather, Daddy-O reasoned. Knox had never done anything to him personally, but he knew that wherever you saw Knox you were more than likely to see E. Daddy-O stepped all the way into the apartment and, as sure as hell was hot, the devil sat at the wooden table against the wall.
Copyright © 2007 by G-Unit Books, Inc.