[How long have you been in the area?]
Ive been in this area my entire life besides when I went to the military and was in the military for 9 years. So I was born and raised in this area, lived my whole life here until I was 21. 21 is when I decided to go to the military because I had a son. I been here so long, my experience has been a little bit of everything. It's been amazing, it's been horrific, it's been fun, it's been boring, happy, and sad, like all the different experiences you could have growing up somewhere is what I've experienced. I had a great time when I didn’t have any regard for life or anything else but fun. That was a very fun time in my life because nothing mattered, you know. As an adult, I look at that and say, Damn, you was super reckless and stupid for doing those things because my life was 50/50—a 50% chance of making it or not. It wasn’t like I was some big gangsta out here doing like a bunch of shit like that, but it was enough shit to be caught up in some shit. And that’s all it takes. Matter of fact, I'll take it to this. So I had a debate with somebody not long ago, and they were talking about, "Well, I knew people from the hood, but they never do shit." And I say honestly, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if they never did shit; they was still around it. And you gotta understand anything can still happen to them the same way shit happens to niggas thats on the corner all day is the same way something could happen to someone who just go to school and work every day. You know what I’m saying, you’re around that environment. People that don’t give a damn about their neighborhood; they’ll come around looking to do harm to anybody. All they see is okay well you within the age range; you probably be with them niggas and thats it. You never know, but yeah, I had some fun times. Man I remember going to all the GoGos in high school, and shit we done piled up in U-haul trucks and road to the GoGos. Man, listen, we used to go to the black hall; we stayed going to the black hall. Every time we went to the black hall, we knew it was gonna be a shootout or some shit. You know what I'm saying—it was just always wild. Always wild, but we had a good time. We went to Ibex all the time, and we knew not to wear fresh shoes in there because the floor would always be sweaty. The groovers used to be there all the time. Yeah, it was some real good times—cookouts, Unifest, all that shit man. [Someone was just telling me about Unifest, and I loved the idea, but I had never heard of that before.] And that's crazy, but I don't think it would work now. Its just too reckless and out of control; too many people got switches; its crazy, its crazy as hell. But this the same shit our OGs and our parents used to say when we was teenagers. Y’all don't care about nothing, y’all wilding; its more out here to life, this and that. But we didn’t want to hear it then. And now we're the ones saying it, but I look at it differently. That's why I won’t give up on the youth. I won’t give up on the youth because I was there at one point. I was out here stealing cars and shit. But guess what? We wasn’t yanking people out the cars; we wasn’t doing it the grand theft auto way. Cause they parents used to sit them on the games, and shit, they desensitized to all that. It wasn’t to that point with us. But again, I had some amazing times here, and that's why I will always love this area. Always. And it will always be part of me, and it taught me so much about life. Like how to be aware, you gotta be aware of all your situations, all your surroundings. That's the shit I learned here: growing up in the hood, you gotta be aware. Its people out here that move around, not aware of nothing they always in some dumb situations. And I learned not to do that here; it was amplified in the military, that taught me how to move a little bit differently, a little more tactically. But you can apply that to so many different areas of life, and that's something that I will always attribute to this area. I had to come up through it, and I applied it to the rest of my life. [Do you have a favorite memory?] I was very athletic growing up, so my thing was football. That's like something I would always go to. So the first year I had started playing football, we had moved to Maryland, but then my buddy’s mother was dating a guy, and he lived in Southeast. Coach Steve, he coached the Woodland Tigers. Everybody was talking like "Oh, you about to play for Woodland!?" I was like, yeah, Ima go out there and do my thing. They was like, "They wild out there man. Them niggas round the lane" and this and that. Im like, "Damn, forreal??" [How old were you?] I was like 11, my first year playing for them. And I went out there, and it was all love, and that's been me my whole life. It's always love everywhere; it's like you give respect to get respect, and that's what it’s all about. Those were some of my best times; I met some real good men out there, had good life experiences, and all that. Anybody that says, "Oh, I've always been this." man, thats BS because you’re not born a man. You have to learn. I done been jumped before and all that, but you gotta learn from your situations and apply it to your life because your life is just starting at those ages. You have to learn at those ages because, as you get older and you're actually out here making life-changing decisions, you can actually apply real knowledge and experience to those decisions.
[What do you want ppl to remember you for?]
I'm not going to say what I want people to remember me for; I'm going to say I know what they’re going to remember me for. They’re going to remember me for always being a solid, stand up and loyal individual, always. That was another thing I had to think about when doing this comedy shit. Ima be putting myself out there in front of so many people, but aint nobody going to be able to say no bullshit. Like I ain't never snitched on nobody, I never put nobody in no fucked-up positions; I never backdoored nobody. And I've always been able to stand up for myself. Ill sit there and laugh at everything all day and turn around and slap the shit out of you if I need to. and you have to have a balance because if you’re too nice to people, that's when you get taken advantage of. If you're too aggressive, you won’t get shit; there has to be a balance. That's me; that's how I live my life. [And why do you think that's important?] I think it's important because being a man is more than just being a male. You have to stand on certain things; what do you have if you don't? You’re just another body; I don't want to be just another body. I want to be able to make a difference with whatever it is I choose to do.
[What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?]
Go with the flow. That's the worst, because what if it's not a good flow? People be saying things to sound good sometimes. “Go with the flow.” Man, why? What if the flow was fucked up? Am I supposed to keep going with it? What if my life was on the wrong path? Let it happen for what? Why can’t I create my own flow? Yeah, I don't like that. Then people say, don't trust nobody. Now that comes with awareness and all that stuff, you have to pay attention to who you’re trusting, who you’re talking to, and all that, but people just say don't trust nobody "I dont trust nobody." Thats bull. You indirectly trust people every day. If you took a flight somewhere, you’re trusting the pilot to get you there safely, or you wouldn’t be on that plane. If you go order food somewhere, you wouldn’t expect them to serve you food off the floor. You would trust them with your food. And they say it like it sounds so cool; man, nobody want to hear that. You out there hustling, trusting the next man not to snitch on you or set you up. I hate when people say things just to say it. [I think sometimes people say that out of anger and probably more so out of fear, you know.] Yeah, and I think fear can be a good thing if you’re in situations that you should be worried about. If you have completely no fear, you could potentially put yourself in harm's way. You can have fear, but you just have to be able to control it and make the best of it however you can. People have fear over starting new jobs, doing interviews, being on stage. You have to be able to combat that. People make fear sound so bad, but its really not. Then you got the people that’ll say, "Oh, you're only supposed to fear God." Thats not even human at the end of the day. They’ll say, "Oh, I don't care if they come around and spin the block; I only fear God." But if a nigga do it, what they doing, running. Because of fear. I'm just realistic when it comes to every aspect of life. [And I really feel like you have to be like that.] Yeah, it helps you to live your life better. And look out for others around you. I got kids. I talk to my kids about shit that people didn’t really talk to me about. They may be tough conversations, but I have them. I talk to my kids about me dying. I tell them, y’all gotta promise me that if I do pass away, when I do pass away, y’all are gonna have to continue living your life. Remember the things that I told you. [That's important.] It is because it's going to happen. If life goes the way that it should, I should die before my kids. Hopefully, that is the damn case, you know. But these are conversations that need to be had. I know people that have lost their parents, and they have not been the same since. I don't want that for my kids, even though I won’t be here. I want them to understand that, look, this is going to happen one day. You can be sad, you can grieve, but don't stop living life.
[When is the last time you’ve done something that made you say “wow I cant believe I did that”]
Stand-up comedy. I’ve never done karaoke in my entire life. Why? I don't like being in front of people, but I chose to do stand-up comedy, where I chose to have a mic and stand up in front of people. In a room full of strangers, people from different walks of life, some people come to comedy shows straight off the block; you know what I'm saying—no smile, nothing. You got some people coming off of work thats ready to laugh. You got some people thats like, "Well, I'm just here for the drinks." But you have to find a way to get through to these people to make them all laugh, and you have to do it like, fuck it, I don't care if you laugh or not. You don't know how hard it is to be on stage and say something you think is funny, and they just be looking around quiet. That can throw you off, and it happened to me before. I've done that. I said something that I really thought was going to kill the room, and maybe three people laughed. and I've gotten in my head before; now I forgot what my next joke is. [So what do you do after that?] You just have to keep your cool and think about it. Comedy is subjective. But every time I'm able to get that mic and go stand in front of people because, you know, I used to be in the streets, I used to do shit, so what really got me at the beginning was that I gotta post my location every time I'm about to go do something. And it's like, well, I don't know who going to walk through the door, who remembers me that I don't remember; you know what I'm saying. So that still astonishes me because I don't like doing things like that. I have fun; put me in a room, and I could talk to anybody, but I'm not an extrovert; I'm more of an introvert, but I can be in any type of atmosphere and be something.
[What is a lie you often tell yourself?]
The biggest lie I tell myself is, "It's going to be alright." [So do you believe it won’t be?] Na, the thing is, I say that without knowing if it's going to be. So I say everything is going to be alright, and eventually it is. I don't know if it's just how the universe is or if I just worked towards making it alright, but I can't solve any problems if I'm getting flustered, and what not you know, I've got to have a level mind. And I'm always thinking; I'm solution-driven. I don't complain about a lot when something happens; it happens, and it's like, okay, it happened, and there’s nothing I can do about that, so now it's time to find a solution. So sometimes prematurely, I say everything's going to be alright, and I just don't know it yet. I'm not saying it won’t be, but I don't know. [It's like faking it until you make it in a good way.] Yeah, there you go. It's going to be alright. And you don't know sometimes, but yeah. That mindset has changed my entire life forreal. I used to be negative when it comes to a lot of shit, but once I actually changed my life and started being positive about life, shit started changing. I don't know if it's the energy of the universe or what, but it's just been on my side.
[What has been your proudest moment?]
Becoming a father. I have 3, 20, 16, and 12. That was my proudest moment; it immediately changed my life. I got a quick story for you: my son was born on November 22, 2003. That was before I went to the military in 2004. From the age of 14, I bought a gun in the back of Forest Creek. I was living around there, went to the back, bought it, and I had it every day. So when my son was born, I didn’t have it at the hospital. My buddy was with me, and he was like, "Yeah, man, let's go celebrate!" So we left, and I said, "Let me go get my strap first." And he say man, we good we just going to the ATM machine. So we go, and why somebody pull around the corner with a pump while he was right there at the ATM machine? I hit the gas, and then I stopped immediately. I'm like, I can't leave him here. So its like, ugh, I just had a son. I'm right here. I could drive off, but I really can't. So he ended up like smacking the gun and ran, hopped in the car and we pulled off. I went back to the house to get it after that. That was the day my son was born, and I felt so wild, like this could’ve literally been it tonight, and he’s not even a day old yet. So that was when I really started thinking like I gotta get the fuck out of here. And with the mindset I had at that time, it wouldn’t have been a good thing for me to stay home. So I did the most drastic thing I thought I could do, which was sign up for the military. It was a crazy decision, but I made it with good intentions. Everybody said, "Jay, you going to the military man. Get out of here." Now at 41 years old, I look back and say that was the best decision I ever made, and it was because the day I had my first child, I realized I needed to make a change, so thats why becoming a father was such a big thing for me.

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