“My parents got divorced when I was 8. It was hard on all of us kids. I was going through some crazy emotional stuff. I was targeted at school a lot. I was always taught to stand up for myself so I started fighting. But it’s not the fighting that hurt, it was what the kids said to me.
I was getting bullied at home too. I would get the crap beaten out of me. I caught my mom doing things I didn’t want to see. There was probably two solid years where I woke up every single day and didn’t want to live anymore. Maybe this was the first time I was severely depressed. I wrote some songs and some really dark poetry at the time. The only time I was ever smiling back then was when I was playing soccer.
I left home when I was 13. I didn’t know about any of the social services so I did a lot of couch-surfing, sleeping on trains, sleeping at McDonald’s, bus stations and stuff. I was telling everyone I was 15 so I could work.
I was a Christian kid, never stole anything in my life. I was getting ripped off by my employers to barely get crumbs on my table. So I entered the street community, which was a scary place. That’s how I got into the system.
I’m proud of every job I ever got. I thought I was going to be a drug dealer for the rest of my life but I’ve been at this job now for a month and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. It actually has benefits, everything covered from boots to psychological to massages. I could turn this into a career if I can focus on getting a full recovery because I’m still suffering from depression.
Eventually I want to start a farm or ranch type of thing, a totally safe, drug-free environment for kids and teach these guys some life skills and responsibility and it will be therapeutic for them. I love nature and being out of the city. There’s no better environment to heal in. That’s my biggest dream, my desire to give back.
I still try to involve sports in my life because they are a very positive outlet for me. I play on a softball team now. I still want to be part of the hip-hop industry and make music with a positive message that can make a difference in people’s lives. I want to connect with people who are in those negative spaces. I’ve been struggling financially for a while but, when I have the money, I want to put up a studio in my house.
There are a lot of privileged people in this city and I was probably just like them before I went through all this stuff. But now I’ve tasted the dirt spoon and I know that I’m blessed. I thank God for having a roof over my head and food in my stomach.
No journey is made overnight. I’m just taking a different route.”