Now the rapper, born Maurice Young, will release a memoir, entitled “Magic City: Trials Of A Native Son,” detailing his life growing up steps away from South Florida’s most popular strip. With the help of author Peter Bailey, the book hit shelves on November 16 and Trick’s given RapFix an exclusive excerpt from the third chapter, “Bang Bang Bang.”
“Scoop didn’t take a liking to being interrupted, but when the first gunshot cracked the night air, everything
went silent. A random gunshot on a Saturday in Liberty City was not out of the ordinary, but tonight, the sound ricocheted in our psyche.
On the weekend, kids in the Beans were up to all kinds of mischief. Who really cared that someone took to blowing someone’s head off on a Saturday in our neck of the woods? Still, it was too early to be hanging on the corner of Sixty-second Street and Twelfth Parkway to pelt the customers with bottles as they drove in for the product. We usually did that when the sun went down. Back then, the only white people we saw were the ones who cruised the parkway on weekends to cop some weed or blow before heading back to the suburbs in southwest Miami-Dade and anywhere else they felt was as far away as possible from Negroes.
When another shot rang out everyone spilled outside.
Scoop continued, “Like I was saying—”
“Scoop, shut the hell up!” someone yelled. “Ain’t nobody tryin to hear that from you right now.”
Another shot rang out. Then pop! pop! pop!
My mother yelled for me to come inside, but what five-year old is going to listen to such orders when it’s pandemonium outside? Then one of my mother’s friends came running up the courtyard. Everyone ran toward him. Even old Ms. Lowery, breathing machine and all, rolled her wheelchair out into the yard.
“What’s all this hollering going on?” the old lady asked.
The messenger took a deep breath. He was sweating like a pig staring down a barbecue. He knelt to catch his breath, then rested his hand on Ms. Lowery’s armrest.
“Y’all ain’t gonna believe this,” he said, panting. “It’s crazy, y’all.”
“Boy, if you don’t let it out, I swear on my mammy’s tombstone!” warned Ms. Lowery.
“Y’all ain’t heard it on the radio?”
“If we did, would we be out here staring at your ugly ass waiting for the news of the damn century?” Scoop fired back.
“They let them go. They free, y’all.”
Of course they did.
I don’t think I had ever felt pain in a person’s eyes, never heard it echo from his cheeks and scream from his chest. But when he said those four words, it was like pain had become a person and smacked everyone in the courtyard squarely on the jaw. Scoop smashed his Johnnie Walker bottle against the wall.
His hopes that maybe there was some retribution on the way for his bitter past faded. The look on his face told on his years of hoping for that moment . . . of when he could say, “Damn, we won” . . . was gone.
Hope is a dangerous thing. It could lead your ass to the middle of the desert thinking there is a water hole somewhere up ahead, but you’ll only die of thirst before you get there. Doubt keeps your ass in the car waiting for help to arrive.
People in the hood use doubt as a defense mechanism. You can’t knock a man for thinking there is no sunshine when he lives beneath a constant cloud. When the obvious reality of “I told you so” comes around, it doesn’t feel so bad if you hold doubt close.
That Saturday afternoon, everyone thought, for once, that folks in Liberty City, Overtown, and Opa-locka would be vindicated. My mother ran inside to turn the radio on, and sure enough Jerry Rushin was on WEDR telling everyone to calm down and keep the peace. Rushin had been the pulse of the inner city for years, our voice on the radio keeping the temperature of Miami’s racial tension lukewarm when it was actually boiling over. But how could Rushin explain four cops caught on tape crushing Arthur McDuffie’s head “like an egg” getting to walk away scot-free? No, not even Rushin had the right words to calm years of coiled resentment from getting it up the rear routinely.
Arthur McDuffie was a cool brother. He was the type of brother in the hood just living life and taking it easy. His only vice was motorcycles. Well, not a vice actually, but a brother flossing on top a Kawasaki in the early eighties in Miami? It wasn’t something cops took kindly to. On December 17, 1979, he popped a wheelie for the last time. Word around the campfire was that McDuffie whizzed past a cop and had the nerve to give him the middle finger. Reports conflict on whether
McDuffie stopped or kept on whizzing by and said to hell with it. When he did finally stop, imagine slave drivers catching Nat Turner on his way to France. Nine cops wailed a can of whup ass on that dude. They jumped on him like he owed them money. They smashed his head with a baton until he fell into a coma and eventually died. McDuffie’s mother, Eula McDuffie, told the press the obvious: “They beat my son like a dog. They beat him just because he was riding a motorcycle and because he was black.”
What do you think of Trick Daddy’s early recollections of life in Miami? Can you relate? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!