The question most wondered but seldom asked is, “How?” How did I get my stripes? How do I know what I know? How did I get to where I am? I’m not even sure myself. All I know is what I’ve done. I learned without questioning. Got my point across without speaking. In the world I came up in, you got your bark and you’ve got your bite – and I’ve mastered both! Not just how to use them but when to use them. That’s what defines your character.

Running the street alongside Dawg we built a rep quick – word spread. Two dogs…young, intimidating, ambitious. The hierarchy had to take notice. Attention, however, isn’t always a good thing. Especially when people don’t like change. It’s a delicate line to teeter. You make too much noise, you can be considered a threat – an enemy. Don’t make enough, you can become a victim – engulfed by the machine.

We shook down a few corners. Strong armed a few crews. One block at a time, we carved out a chunk of a neighborhood. What we quickly learned was, taking a bite out of a piece of territory isn’t exactly like biting into an apple. Not only is it bad for your health, it WILL bite back! One night, we heard loud rustling in the warehouse we were holed up in. Too loud and clumsy to be thieves, we knew it was trouble. Before we could call out to our uninvited guests they made themselves known.

It was dozens of enforcers sent by packs throughout the neighborhood sent to get rid of us before they were next, and the neighborhood was ours. How could two street thugs, no more than pups, stand a chance against season enforcers from a collective of untouchable crews? HOW! They had everything. We had nothing. Nothing but grit. Nothing but gusto. Nothing to lose.

I can’t tell you it was easy, because it wasn’t. I won’t tell you we didn’t bleed because we did. It got dark…it got dirty…it got ugly…but that was home for us. That’s where we thrived. That’s how we survived. A slight limp, a few more scars, a bigger chip on the shoulder, a win in the W column. We take a hit, we give a hit. A harder one. We get knocked down, we get back up, standing taller than before. That’s how we lived. Trying to have more W’s then L’s and we had a lot of catching up to do.

Word of that night got back to the streets. We were somebodies. Rep solidified. The seeds were set for growth and the powers that be took notice. The hierarchy wanted to come down on us with swift punishment, but a soft-spoken bloodhound dubbed Don Coins, bred by legend Bobby Beck himself, saw an opportunity and took advantage.

Unbeknownst to us, Don Coins was trying to take over the territories the enforcers were sent from and when me and Dawg took down their soldiers, it left the remaining crews weak. Making it all too easy for the Don to swoop in and finish the job engulfing the territories, with the permission of the hierarchy of course.

The Don convinced the hierarchy that if such a move was allowed that he would coerce me and Dawg to move under the Don Coins umbrella. That way, we wouldn’t be seen as unsanctioned rogues shaking the order of the hierarchy but protégés of Don Coins, attacked by his enemies in a declaration of war. A war he would win and expand his territory. Once the hierarchy agreed, two young upstarts HAD to agree.

It was simple, we get pardoned, the hierarchy saves face, the Don gets the territory he wanted. Not to mention two – as he would put it – ‘invaluable resources’ to do his dirty work. It was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Accept the terms of the pardon and put in work for Don Coins. From the mouth of the Don himself when we first met and accept this deal, he proclaimed, “You’re pregnant with potential. It’s time to go into labor.”


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