Part 1: Chosen
Theres always that one person in your circle of friends with the biggest dreams. No matter how crazy or ridiculous the dream may seem to us, they will never give up the chase. They will do whatever they have to do to reach their goal and make their dream a reality, or basically, die trying. Chris is that friend. For as long as I’ve known him, now going on 25 years, Chris has always been the smallest guy in my group of friends with dreams bigger than himself. An aspiring rapper, like most young men in the ghetto who lack a jumpshot, Chris wants more than the fame and the fortune. It has always seemed to me, his main goal, his top priority, is the ability to make life easier for his family and friends. Unfortunately in life, nothing is free, and where we grew up, nothing is easy. So in order to reach this goal, this dream to provide so no one else around him has to struggle, Chris has chosen the hustlers life. Or maybe, the life has chosen Chris.
So what is a Hustler? Urban Dictionary describes a Hustler as someone who knows how to make money in anyway that they can or want. A person forced to use their brains to make it in this world. This describes Chris perfectly. When we were young, and I’m talking 9 or 10, Chris always had ideas to make money. He would pump gas at the gas station for cars as they pulled up and collect tips. A ten year old, spending hours at a gas station. The manager would literally have to chase him away. When we were around 11 or 12, he got a UNICEF box from school and would go from block to block collecting money from people, pocketing the donations. Not all hustles are honest. I never said that they were. This is life in the hood, in the ghetto, even for a pre teen. As he got older and wiser, his hustles has expanded. The older a person gets, the more responsibilities they take on. Chris wants to make it in the music industry. This isn’t a cheap dream to chase. A person has to pay for studio time, promote themselves, travel. Everything cost. So while Chris has an honest 9 to 5 job like most people, he also has a 6 to 6.
What is a 6 to 6? The short version is a job where you don’t get much sleep. Where your phone must remain on at all times. Where it doesn’t matter how hot or how cold the temperature is, you have to work your hours. Sadly, this is also the kind of job where a person can end up dead or in jail if you’re not smart enough to follow the rules. You have to pay attention to everyone and everything around you at all times. A hustlers life is never easy. One hustle provides to pay for another in order to provide to pay for the dream. As confusing as that me be, Chris gets it as its his way of life. A dreamer who dreams to escape, but he must first play the game that many before him have tried to play and have sadly failed. He will do his best to be different as the odds are stacked heavily against him. Knowing Chris the hustler, he’s already planning his next move. The path he has chosen is hard. The choices he makes will be difficult. But in order to get where he’s going, and in order to achieve his goal, Chris knows a hustler must never stops hustling.