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About | Introduction | Excerpt #1 | Excerpt #2 | Excerpt #3 | Excerpt #4 | Excerpt #5
Part 4 :

The decade of decadence is a wrap and it's on to the '90s. Notorious B.I.G. is years away from authoring his classic record "Ten Crack Commandments," but Boo-Boo already knows them, and knows them well. He's had conflicts with fiends and fellow drug dealers, but the most omnipresent of his adversaries are the men in blue. With his "hustle hard" mentality, young Curtis Jackson was bound to get caught one day. Here, he's already survived getting arrested without doing any major time, but he's in the midst of another run-in with the cops.

A nyone who hustles hard is supposed to get locked up. He will get locked up the odds just aren't in his favor. A bona fide hustler doesn't take any days off, which means that he commits a felony three hundred and sixty five days a year. If you're hustling hard, you'd easily rack up a couple of thousand felonies per year. It only takes one incident to get sent to jail. The day my odds ran out, I was out early in the morning, getting in some prework drug sales. Train conductors, office workers, teachers these sorts of people have been known to bypass coffee and doughnuts for a hit of crack cocaine in order to jump-start their day. There's good money in the morning rush hour, so I was out there on a park bench. I had on headphones, and Tricia, this chick I was working with, sat a few feet away on a separate bench. We looked like kids waiting for the bus to go to school.

Some guy I had never seen before walked over to me and asked about copping some heroin. I had been through this once and wasn't going to get caught again. Most fiends aren't going to run up to some random person and ask him for drugs because they don't want everybody knowing they do drugs. They know who does what and they know where to go. So when this guy started asking me about drugs, I told him that I didn't know a thing about drugs or the people who sold them. I told him that I was just waiting for a friend to come by so we could go jogging.

The guy was like, "Well, um, you know, when I come through here I usually see this guy who, um, he's usually here riding a motorcycle." I thought, I ride a motorcycle and I hustle. As a matter of fact, I'm the only one around here who hustles and rides a motorcycle, so if you're talking about me and you don't know you're talking about me even though you're talking to me, then I definitely don't know you. I said, "I don't know what you're talking about."

The guy kept on and asked me if I was "working." I told him to leave me alone and waved him off. Instead of leaving, the guy walked over to Tricia and had the same conversation with her. But he switched it up and said that I had sent him over to her. Tricia didn't know what the guy and I had talked about. She just saw us talking and figured that I had given him clearance, so she sold him twenty-five dollars' worth of crack. Like five minutes later, three cars of undercover agents came to a stop in front of the benches and placed me under arrest. When they searched Tricia, they found thirty-six vials of crack and twelve packs of heroin in her underwear.

"Whose drugs are these?" the cop asked me. I ignored him, so they continued to ask the stupid type of questions that only cops ask when they're trying to get someone to talk to them. One of them looked at my ID and said, "Curtis Jackson? That's you? Are you Curtis Jackson?" Another looked at my Walkman and asked, "You just out here listening to music? What are you listening to?" The one looking at my ID said, "Where do you live, Curtis?" which made no sense, considering he was looking at my f---n' ID. Then the one who was interested in my music choices was like, "It's a bit early to be out, Curtis, isn't it?" The guy with the ID went back to the original question: "Whose drugs are these?"

Now, when being arrested by the cops, it's best not to say sh--. I should have kept this in mind, but my patience was running thin and I decided to answer the questions as stupidly as they were asking them. When they asked about my name, I was like, "Ain't that what it says?" When they asked if I was listening to music, I said, "Not right now. Right now I'm answering questions." When they noted that it was early, I told them that I wasn't sure because I couldn't see my watch with my hands cuffed behind my back. They asked where I lived, and I said, "In my house." When they asked me who the drugs belonged to, I said, "I don't know. Where'd you find them?"

In the precinct, they got to working on Tricia and told her that I had ratted her out. "You heard what he said when he was asked whose drugs they were," the cops told her. "He said, 'They're hers. Where'd you find them? In her drawers. They're hers.' "

Of course I never said, "They're hers," but after they got to working on her, that's what it turned into. So they told her, "We know these aren't your drugs. All you have to do is tell us whose drugs these are and you won't have to do any time. You'll get off with probation."

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