It was, maybe, 2000 or 2001. My mother and I lived in East Baltimore on North Broadway, down the street from Johns Hopkins. One thing about my Mom is that she always opens our crib up to anyone who wants to visit. Our cousin Shawanda was coming to visit from South Carolina with her newlywed husband (I forgot his name so we’ll just call him Big Homie) to visit for the weekend. He was mad cool, down to earth, and loved rap. I was 8 or 9 years old so I still had to sneak to watch music videos and all that. My cousins teased me about it but now I understand why parents prohibit their kids from listening and watching content like that at a young age. However, at that age, I was still sneaking. Big Homie asked me did I like rap. I said yeah, showing him my Bow Wow “Beware of Dog” album. He laughed for like 45 seconds, crushing my young ego. He said, “Naw man I mean real rap.” Again, I showed him my Bow Wow CD. He laughed even harder. Big Homie sent me to his truck and told me to get the CD out of the glove box. I always wondered why was there a CD in the glove box and not in the middle compartment. Anyway, the CD was Snoop Dogg’s fifth album Tha Last Meal. The album was already out and I loved the singles “What’s My Name (Part 2)” & “Loosen Control” that he dropped. Big Homie told me I could have the CD and a gem. The gem was “Never think you know it all, but never let anyone make you feel stupid.” Mannnn I bumped that CD every day while my mom was at work. I used to wake early, cut the Dreamcast on, and play NBA 2K1 while blasting Tha Last Meal. Those were the days, ya dig? I don’t have that CD anymore, by the way. It got lost in storage. But that’s another story.
8th Grade!!! That was one of the transitional periods in my life. 10 years ago to be exact. Every morning my godmother would drop my bro (Free Keon) and me off to Before Care at Roland Park Elementary Middle where we attended. We geeked every morning; making up jokes, making fun of each other, and living carefree. My bro Brian aka Grip and I used to talk hip-hop all the time. He loved Common and I loved Lil Flip. So those “opposites attract like magnets.” *Jay-Z voice* One day he brought his CD player to school and had the Three 6 Mafia Album Da Unbreakables on it. I had heard of the album but never listened to it. I knew the anthem Ridin Spinners was on there but that was about it. I heard of Three 6 maybe five or six years prior when my older cousins used to walk around the house playing their music. Of course, Sippin on some Sizzurp was the biggest song in 2000, in my opinion. Grip let me have the CD in exchange for a CD of mine. I honestly don’t remember what I gave him. It might have been Ludacris Chicken N Beer. That was the year Three 6 had dropped their Most Known Unknown album with the classic Stay Fly anthem as their lead single. My stepbrother had bought that CD home. I always took that and Da Unbreakables to school, going crazy over the anthems Three 6 were loved for. Moving on to spring ’06, I met my near and dear friend to this day, Nikia Wright. We made an instant connection, sharing a love for Three 6 music. Nikia had a bigger infatuation with Project Pat, who I always knew for the hilarious classic Chickenhead. She told me to start from the beginning and listen to his first album Ghetty Green. The next year in 9th grade, my guy Eric gave me about 7-8 Three 6 CDs, one of them being Project Pat Ghetty Green!! My life has not been the same since. I stand by the statement that Project Pat is the original Trap God. His first four albums had some of the best storytelling I have ever heard. Thanks to DJ Paul and Juicy J’s production, Pat was able to provide a variety of concepts and anthems that still wow me to this very day…in the last hour.