How do you get something from nothing; forge a path where there was none; build an empire among ruins despite everything stacked against you?
Water From Turnips is the first hand account of this written in heart wrenching, conversational prose covering dreams and goals, love and loss, heartbreak and triumph. Quanstar tells his story with unbridled candor while baring his innermost thoughts of where he has come from, what life changing moments and experiences have shaped him, the dreams he’s chasing, and the driving forces behind those dreams; and eventhough it is evident that this particular turnip is as dry as it gets, as the pages turn you witness the heart and thoughts of a true fighter.
Juggling jobs to pay the bills and fund his music career, organizing his own tours and promotions, and raising a son, Quanstar remains one of underground Hip Hop’s hardest working and most prolific icons that you will ever meet or read about, which in his words, makes him "...the greatest emcee to never be signed".
"Water From Turnips" is the story about how far conviction can take you, and shows that every turnip has its share of water if you only squeeze hard enough.
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Water from TurnipsThe Greatest Story Ever Told About the Best Rapper You've Never Heard Of
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Quanstar
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWhy am I writing this book?
Truthfully, I'm not 100% sure. I can tell you right off the bat that it's part ego. I want my struggle told. I want all of my naysayers and doubters to eat their words. I want all of those people who didn't believe in me to read this book, and see where I am. I want those people who thought I was living a pipe dream to kiss my black ass after a sweaty day. All of those entertainment folks that wouldn't give me the time of day because I didn't sound like this, because I was too ambitious, I wouldn't let them fuck me over, or because I knew too much about the business should read this book so that they see what they're missing out on.
It's also part inspiration. I want people to be able read this book, and see that I'm no different than anyone else on the street right now. I just woke up out of that dream called The Real World. I want people to see what I go through on a daily basis, where I came from emotionally to be where I am right now, and how far I have to go to get where I need to be.
I've read way too many books by people in the business that don't really say shit but, "I'm great, so look at me while I jack my dick and brag about it." There's nothing about how they struggled to get there, and the little there is has no kind of grit to it. I don't want that to be this book. So I'm writing it now while my hustle is fresh and my struggle is real. You'll see it like I see it, and feel it like I feel it.
It's a tribute to every person that's ever helped me. I want everyone who's lent me a hand while I've been in this game to know that I truly appreciate them, and that I would be nowhere without each individual's contribution to my life. Most of you had no other reason to help me but for the fact that you saw something in me that made you want me to make it. I'm eternally grateful for that.
It's for my son. I need him to understand that life is a lot more than what you learn in school, or what you see in the streets. Life is what it makes you. You can have whatever you want as long as you push for it. I don't want him to settle. I don't want him to wait until he's 22 to realize what his purpose is, and for the next 9 years fight to make up for lost time.
Also, I think it's for accountability. I have so many things that I want to achieve in my life, and frankly some of my goals scare me. This book, which makes those goals public knowledge after I finish it, will make sure that I put my all into achieving those goals, or I'll be a laughing stock.
There is another reason that I'm writing this book, why I do all of the things that I do; however, I have no clue what it is. All I can say is that when all of those reasons previously mentioned fail, there is an extra gear that I typically kick into that drives me to where I need to be. Maybe it's my purpose. But it's what made me finally begin this book after so many years of procrastination. Hopefully, I will know what it is by the time I'm finished.
One morning, I was on my way to work sitting in the morning traffic, drinking a $4 cup of coffee, and flipping through radio stations hearing the same songs played by the DJ's that seemed to be telling variations of the same joke, when I saw it: A huge concrete structure that ran the length of the highway. It seemed to be a tunnel of some sort, and it was more monstrous than huge. It had to be at least five stories tall, which only added to my perplexity. I'd never noticed it before.
My first thought was that it had just been built, but something that big and long would have taken an extensive amount of construction. There's no way that I wouldn't have noticed that. Plus on top of that, that shit looked old. It was dingy with graffiti all over it. How had I not noticed this?
My whole life, I have prided myself on being very attuned to my surroundings. Most things rarely get by me, and the ones that do never get by me a second time. I drive this highway everyday, with no exception, and there is no way in hell that I would only see this today if it was always there.
Then it hit me, and I finally understood. Aliens abducted me and erased every memory of this tunnel out of my head; however, even that would raise a few questions:
Why would they erase this particular tunnel out of my head?
What other memories have they erased?
I knew I shouldn't have read "Behold A Pale Horse."
The best answers that I could come up with were that this was where their invasion forces are gathering to take over our world and enslave mankind. Of course a massive operation like this couldn't have been done with this much subterfuge without the help of our government. I think we made a side deal with the aliens for some leniency. It was probably that we agreed in some way to be the "house niggas," and the rest of the world would be the "field niggas."
To conceal it, they put us all under this type of illusion centered mind control that keeps us from noticing these bases. Somehow I was able to break it, probably due to my exceptional mental strength. I wonder if they know that I am no longer under their mental influence.
Then I realized how stupid I was for thinking this. There is no way an alien invasion would be possible. Aliens only stick to small towns with farms, because that's how they make those crop circles. How idiotic of me to think they would have something right off the highway.
I couldn't think of any other explanations, as overactive as my imagination can be. So I did what every hard working American citizen would have done ... I started cursing out and honking my horn at the green Montero that had cut in front of me. Man I fucking hate traffic.
An hour later, I finally got to work, but I couldn't get that tunnel off my mind. What is it and how long has it been there? Why haven't I noticed it? And most importantly, where is it a tunnel to? My first three hours on the clock were spent contemplating this. It must have been visible that work wasn't my forethought, because I was told by my manager twice to get my head out of my ass and work. So for the remaining six and a half hours I still searched for answers, but I did it while I was in mindless worker bee mode. Suffice to say that it pleased my manager. I hate working for other people.
The only good thing about working today is that it would be dark by the time that I got home, and I wouldn't have to notice that piece of shit tunnel. However, as soon as I got on the highway it was lit brighter than anything else. As a matter of fact, when I turned my head to my left to face it, the white light almost blinded me. The rest of the drive, which was still in traffic, I spent trying to ignore it. To no avail, of course.
I even dreamed about it that night. I was driving to work again, with my $4 coffee, still flipping through the radio stations listening to the same bad music, and trying to forget about "trying to forget about the elephant in the room" when this incredible feeling of intrigue rushed over me. I had to know what that tunnel was, and I had to know today. So I cut over to the nearest exit ... well, it was more like "signaled and scooted to the next lane." I was in traffic, remember.
I finally worked my way off, and made the right turn and headed to the concrete monolith. All of the traffic was going back the opposite way, so it was a fairly easy drive. When I got there, the tunnel was even more amazing in every aspect than I imagined. It was bigger, standing at least 100 feet tall. I knew it was older, because the wind and weather damage had it about 50 years from being considered a ruin. All in all, it was even uglier than I imagined, which made its existence even odder than it already was because the area that it was in was the wealthiest part of the city.
Literally across the street from the tunnel were some of the most beautiful homes that I've ever seen. The lawns were immaculate. One house had a porch swing, another had a picket fence, one had a huge oak tree in the yard. There was a hop scotch board sketched in the sidewalk from the day before. The few people that I saw come out were smiling. Wives walked their husbands to the car, and gave them huge kisses. Kids pleasantly waited for the bus stop. The mailman was even making deliveries with a smile. The only thing that I could think about was how a scene so nice and serene could be on the same street as something so aesthetically deficient (SAT phrase).
I turned back to the tunnel, thinking that there had to be some clue as to where this came from and why this is here. That's when I noticed this rusty, blue metal door right in front of me. I could tell that it was newer than the structure, but that was like comparing Methuselah to Moses. I walked up to it and found out the door was unlocked and, against my better judgement, opened it, then walked in.
My jaw dropped; the surprises did not stop coming. The inside of the tunnel was more like a well lit corridor. The walls and the ceilings were gold with platinum trim, and in the middle of the marbled floor was a California king sized bed with a brass frame. Then I heard a giggle, and a voice from behind the door said, "It's about time you found us. Are you coming in and closing the door or what?" Like an idiot I did; however, once I saw what was behind it, I quickly understood that I was the luckiest man in the world.
Picture this: Four women resembling Gabrielle Union, Eva Mendez, Jessica Alba and Serena Williams, underwearless in a half shirt and boy shorts. I instantly knew what this tunnel was now ... Heaven. I immediately dropped to my knees and started thanking God for this ultimate blessing when Gabrielle put her hand on my shoulder and lips to my ear whispering, "Pray later, you need all of your energy now baby." I almost came on myself. Then she stood me up, put her hands on my cheek, and planted the most passionate kiss on my lips. I couldn't believe it. I'm getting tongue from Gabrielle Union ... and Eva ... and Jessica ... and I just got slammed on the bed by Serena. I then thought, I'm not ever leaving this tunnel in my life. I knew that I had found my calling ... sex slave. Then, just as Eva pulled down my pants, climbed on top of me and a naked Jessica Alba sat on my face, I woke up.
It was 3:10 am and my bed was soaking wet. Not even in the good way, either. I laid still with the cover over my head for about an hour trying to go back to sleep. If I had some in the house, I would have even drunk a bottle of Nyquil. How could God be so cruel? What did I do to deserve this? So for the rest of the night I was unable to sleep, unable to think about anything other than what I had dreamed, and trying to decide whether I was going to go to that tunnel.
The next morning, everything started like it always did. I was on my way to work sitting in the morning traffic, drinking a $4 cup of coffee, and flipping through radio stations hearing the same songs played by the DJ's that seemed to be telling variations of the same joke. This time I wasn't really paying attention to any of it. In my head, I was deciding whether I was going to the tunnel, but, in reality, the decision was already made. That dream proved it. Don't get me wrong, I knew those women wouldn't be there; however, they symbolized something different. I'm not sure what, but I was absolutely certain that I had to go to that tunnel.
So, I signaled and scooted from lane to lane until I finally worked my way off. Then I made the right turn and headed to the concrete monolith. Everything was playing out like my dream, which meant that all of the traffic was going back the opposite way, so it was a fairly easy drive. Then I noticed the irony in that thought. I was heading towards a dream that I had while everyone, including myself before this moment, fights everyday to fulfill someone else's.
We get up early, get dressed in uncomfortable clothes, fight the battle called traffic, sit next to people that we don't like at our jobs, go to lunch when they tell us and come back in a specific time, and get paid less than a fraction of what we make them. Every fucking day of every fucking week of every fucking month of every fucking year I do this like a robot carrying out protocol, and I never realized how much I really hated doing it until now. I can't blame myself though, there wasn't anything to compare it with. Now I have something; I want to know what's in that tunnel. Correction, I'm going to know.
When I reached the structure, it looked just like it did in my dream, bigger and older than on the highway. Which also meant that it was the ugliest thing that I'd ever seen, and when I turned to look across the street I saw some of the most beautiful homes. One house had a porch swing, another had a picket fence, one had a huge oak tree in the yard. There was a hop scotch board sketched in the sidewalk from the day before. The few people that I saw come out were smiling. Wives walked their husbands to the car, and gave them huge kisses. Kids pleasantly waited for the bus stop. The mailman was even making deliveries with a smile.
I wondered was I psychic, because this was an exact mirror to my dream. Later I'll try my luck with Tarot Cards, and on Sunday I'll go to Church and testify about my Visions. Either way, I could get paid. Maybe the girls will be in there waiting for me after all.
Then I turned back to the aesthetically deficient ruin in the making to look for that blue metal door. To my expectations it was right there, as much like Moses as ever in all of its rusted splendor. At this point, my loins ached. What if Eva, Gabrielle, Jessica, and Serena were in there waiting for me? I ran to the door, yanked it open, and charged in. Then my mouth dropped ... it was nothing but darkness. "Serena, Serena baby you in there? It's Quan." No answer.
Maybe if I close the door the lights will come on. So I did, and it was still dark. Okay, I'm officially a fucking idiot. What was I thinking? I just missed a whole day of work over a dream that had no way of being true. Why would those women be in a place like this? Maybe if I leave now, I won't get fired for having a no call, no show.
So I turned around and put my hand on the handle to pull the door open, but I stopped. Me walking back out there meant that I was going back to my life ... their life. It meant waking up earlier than I was supposed to, putting on those uncomfortable clothes, driving that crowded highway, being underpaid and not appreciated, getting back on the crowded highway, and repeating the rat race again the next day. This can't be what is in store for me.
My hand dropped from the door. I fell to my knees and cried like I had just lost my mother. Why has God done this to me? Why make me see something that's not there? I could have gone the rest of my life living the mundane with no problem. I can't do that now. I can't plug myself back into the Matrix. I can never forget what I thought I had, especially now that I know I don't.
Excerpted from Water from Turnips by Quanstar Copyright © 2012 by Quanstar. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Why am I writing this book?....................1
Birth Of A Sexual Deviant....................22
Lessons From Johnny....................32
Around The Corner....................46
The Jheri Curl Incident....................51
I'm A Quarterback ... I Think....................75
Fight The Power....................79
The Art Of Rhyming....................92
It's A Ghetto Thang....................97
Can We All Just Get Along?....................118
Be My Girl....................124
Put Me In, Coach....................129
Dreadlocks Fallin' Over Me....................149
Clark Atlanta University....................152
Hustle To Eat....................167
I Owe My Life ACN....................184
First Team Hot Shit!....................187
Laws Of Attraction....................196
The Business Of Planning....................201
When Things Fall Apart....................225
I Am Selfish....................229
A Hard Lesson In Being Selfish....................232
Pursuit Of Happyness....................236
Life Is What It Makes You....................249
It's Not About Me....................272
The Wrap Up....................282