When I was twelve my parents got a divorce and that messed me up even more, but I stayed in California just trying not to worry. My mom moved to Tacoma, Washington and soon my dad would follow. By the time I turned 14, my mom had moved down south to Birmingham, Alabama and she wanted me to stay with her. I did, and when I got down there I found out that I had another brother that also looked so much like my dad, and he was younger than my little brother and me. But anyway, I went to school in Birmingham and got into so much trouble fighting they kicked me out of the Birmingham school districts. I earned a mean reputation as a kid not to be messed with and if I came around, folks always knew something was fixing to happen, My mom felt like she did all that she could for me so she sent me back up to Washington to stay with my dad. When I got there, I wanted nothing to do with my dad because I felt like it was his fault that he and my mom weren’t together anymore. After this I went to California to stay with my aunt. I ended up in juvenile for six months for assaulting a police officer at the high school. Once I had gotten out I went back three months later for breaking a rival gang member’s jaw at school.
After this, I tried to do what was right, but still found myself in and out of trouble. I was doing gook in school and every summer I’d go see my family in Alabama. I ended up starting my own gang in Alabama, and once the guys saw the movie “Colors” they really wanted to become part of my gang. I was a “Crip” and I started looking at this gang stuff like it was a higher power or something. I finished school and had a chance to go to college to play basketball and football, but I was so out of control that I ended up getting shot in the back, shoulder & stomach which left me paralyzed for 3 months. Now I didn’t want to live anymore. I was praying to God and telling Him to come and get me because I couldn’t live like that.
Well, I found out my girlfriend was pregnant with my son, so now I wanted to live seeing her like that. I was 18 and now had a son on the way. I wanted to be the best father that my son could have, but not knowing if I would be paralyzed the rest of my like had we worried. I didn’t trust the doctors, so I just started praying a lot night and day. One day God gave me a vision and showed me a tunnel of light. As I ran toward it, it would move away from me. But a hand had appeared and once it pulled me into the light I woke up, feeling my body move when at first I could only move my neck. As I started being able to move again I thanked God so much and I had to go through a process, therapy and all. I had to learn how to walk all over again. It was a lot of hard work and I wanted to give up at times, but I just kept thinking about raising my son and being there for him, so I never gave up. I couldn’t do a lot of things like play basketball the way I used to, but I was walking and feeling a lot better. I still have a slug from the bullet that went through my back and lodged in my chest.
Anyway, when my son was born I held him and wanted to just do so much for him that I started selling drugs a lot until I joined this rap group in Birmingham. That slowed me down for a while but I was still selling drugs and buying my son every little that I saw that looked cool to wear. Soon even that failed. I had a manager who wasn’t trying to help me for real, he was just using us to help keep the law off of him, we were making money and opening shows for other big time rappers and it was fun and all, but we wanted to be more than just a local group. Anyway, our manager messed up a deal with a big production company that wanted to sign us, and I got so mad that I just went deeper into the gang stuff. I loved my son and wanted to do so much for him and my homies in the hood, that I messed up and caught a case and got sentenced to 3 years with a six month split. When I came to prison I saw it wasn’t anything like juvenile in California; it was much different. I got out and had another son.
I was so respected in my hood that I was the gang leader, so I didn’t stop slinging dope or gang banging. The devil had me so trapped that I wasn’t even thinking about God anymore; it was all about me. So a year and some weeks later after getting out in 1994 I got locked back up but this time for a murder-robbery case that sent me to prison with a life sentence. While in prison I was still lost, gang banging and smoking weed to try to suppress the pain that I held inside of me. But soon I started reading books and learning a lot about life and as I started seeing my kids grow older and I didn’t want to see anyone else die on me, but I couldn’t let go of violating, so in 2009 I got caught with a cell phone inside of prison and I was happy except for getting a write up. But that was when I got down on my knees and really asked Jesus to come into my heart.
I love what God has done in my life, because now I can give love back to my family and show that His love, grace and mercy can work if we just have faith in His Word. I am proud of myself, seeing what I came from. I joined that praise band in the chapel and I don’t even care about not getting paid for doing music as long as I know I’m doing what my Father would have me do. I give God all the honor and glory knowing that He will be delivering me up out of this prison soon, when I get out, I want to do in the freeworld just what I do in here; inspire others through the love of Jesus Christ.