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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Difference Between The Streets and The Neighborhood

The terms “Street” and “Hood” they use them interchangeably to describe people who come from the inner-city. However, they’re not the same thing.

The “Hood” person is just that a person from the neighborhood. While they may live in poverty, they’re growing up in a home with parents taking care of their needs and giving them most of the financial and emotional essentials they need to be healthy functioning people when they become adults.

They may not be able to afford the best but they’re doing okay.

The “Street person is a person who also grew up in the neighborhood. But they had a harder life. A life where they had to run up and down the streets of that neighborhood to find a way to survive to the next day.

A lot of brothers and sisters come from the Hood but they don’t have the streets in them.

That’s because the hood and the streets aren’t physical places. They’re a mindset.

And it’s a mindset a child adopts at an early age. A street person learns at an early age that his or her parents aren’t going to meet their needs.

So they have to go out on their own to meet those needs on their own. By any means necessary.

Street people learn that they have to lie, cheat, and steal to survive. They prowl the streets of the neighborhood looking for any opportunity they can capitalize on to get what they need to live. From an early age they learn it’s all about paper.

People in the neighborhood are just tools for people who live in the streets. An end to a means. A way to get ahead.

There are no friends in the street. In the streets there are takers and those who are getting took. A street person can size up a mark, a person they’re looking to take advantage of in less than five seconds. They know the tells in their body language and the way they speak.

As they get older, the kid growing up on the streets learns how to talk. To develop a mouthpiece that will persuade others to act favorably towards them. That’s how they can capitalize on the moneymaking opportunities others can’t see.

When they learn how to capitalize on these opportunities they learn how to hustle. A street person is always on the lookout for opportunities that others in the neighborhood just aren’t looking for.

True street hustlers don’t need to sell drugs. A true hustler has the mouthpiece and the game to sell anything and keep the paper flowing into his or her pockets.

And if there’s a way for them to make money on it, they’ll have made that money and been on their way long before everyone else in the neighborhood has jumped on the bandwagon.

Because they know they have to keep moving to avoid getting caught by the police. Or worse, competitors looking to beat them to the punch on the next hustle.

True Street hustlers know how to get in and out of a hustle. Their main focus is money. Stacking paper. Getting the cash and going. Because at the end of the day he or she who has the most paper has the most power in the streets.

Not guns. Not bodies. Not fights. Not even women. That doesn’t make for cred in the streets.

The only thing that matters most is paper. Paper and the skills to make paper earn a person respect in the streets.

And in the streets it’s not just about being known. It’s about being known to the right people. That’s what’s going to make them money.

Many brothers and sisters who live in the neighborhood think they know street life because they live in the neighborhood as Street people. Or they watch some movie like Scarface or New Jack City.

But again, the streets ain’t in them.

Because they didn’t grow up living in this value system they don’t understand the subtle politics transpiring in the street. These lost brothers and sisters get caught up in the glamour of the flashy clothes, the cell phones and the luxury cars. They get mesmerized by the sight of the guns and the power they wield. They get excited by the fantastic stories about street fights, shootings and stabbings.

And they want the fame and notoriety of being a street hood. A gangsta. A thug.

But they don’t want to do the work of a street hustler.

Moreover, they don’t understand how to do the work of a street hustler. Most of the gangstas and thugs have to sell drugs because they don’t have the mouthpiece or the people skills to sell anything else. Dope boys can’t move candy they bought legit on a moving train and flip it for more than the box cost.

Nor do they have the people skills to network with other hustlers towards finding other opportunities to make money when that hustle goes stale.

They have to use violence to terrorize people because they don’t have the skills to sell their product and keep it selling.

And the thugs and gangstas with the weakest game of all have to do things like purse snatchings and bodega stick-ups. Because they don’t have the people skills to talk that money out of that purse or out of that store owners’ till.

Which is why most of these hood guys wind up getting killed or going to jail over stupid shit like street beefs, women, and turf wars.

These attention whores are too busy wanting stories to be told about them to see how they’re disrupting the flow of money to them.

While the true street hustler goes on to hustle for another day. Making that money and stacking those chips. They know that’s what going to get the right people talking about them.

Most true street guys are quiet. Again, these guys know how to talk. And they know how to take no for an answer. Because they know it takes a lot of no to get to yes. And that yes is what’s going to get them the paper.

And to keep that paper flowing into their pockets they maintain the lowest of low profiles.

You wouldn’t know a true street person if you saw them. They’re not the ones wearing expensive clothes and driving luxury cars on the block.

No, those are the hood posers and wannabes. True street hustlers see them for the Simps and Tricks that they are and keep their distance from them.

True street people don’t want anyone drawing attention to those who can disrupt the flow of that paper to them. People like snitches. People like law enforcement. People like family members.

Again, there are no friends and family in the streets. It’s all about survival out in the streets. Every man and woman is out for themselves.

Which makes it a lonely place.

That’s what makes the streets a sad place. A hustler doesn’t know who to trust. Everyone is out for themselves so a dude or a chick can wind up stabbed in the back by just about anyone else looking to get ahead. They can be flipped by people looking to get out of a jam with the cops at any time.

Street people live in constant fear. They don’t know when someone is going to draw a gun on them, rob them or even if they’re walking into an ambush. In between the hustles it’s a hard life of running, hiding and thinking of ways to outwit and outlast other people who live in the streets and want to get ahead on their names.

So a street hustler sleeps with a gun under his pillow and his eyes open.

While the brothers and sisters in the neighborhood misled by Madison Avenue and Hollywood dreams of being just like them.

Not knowing they're being lied to.

Here’s the truth: Most people who live in the streets don’t want to be there. If anything, they’d give up all that money they earned hustling to have a loving caring family like the people who live in poverty in the neighborhood have. Many brothers and sisters who struggle in the inner-city neighborhood may think that street people are having a great time living in the streets, but the truth is they don’t understand how good they have it. Don’t believe the hype and don’t fall for the game. If the streets ain’t in you, don’t try to make them a part of yourself.

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