Six years ago, Young Jeezy brought the DNA of “the trap” to center stage with the release of his now ungovernable and groundbreaking Thug Motivation 101. And six years ago, Jeezy almost helped me catch an assault case. Kind of.
During the summer of 2005, I was a 19-year-old camp counselor living life working an easy 11-5 job stacking good money and leaving a true impact on kids’ lives. The entire set up was dope, allowing me to do whatever I wanted at night and not wake up too early in the morning. Towards the end of the camp– July 26th actually — TM101 hit shelves and before heading to work that Tuesday morning, I stopped at Circuit City to scoop that and Trey Songz’s first album. Thankfully, I avoided the specific line there to see Trey, who was having an in-store signing, and was off to work with no real delays. Fast forward to that Friday. You see, these were the easy days at camp because kids had the choice to watch movies all day or stay in the gym.
This particular Friday, myself and two other counselors sat the kids down at center court chopping it up with them for about fifteen minutes. We laughed, joked, talked about the upcoming school year, but ultimately presented them with a survey asking what activity they wanted to do for the next three and a half hours. Dodgeball ultimately won by a large margin. The first half went by smoothly and then we broke for lunch. Now, this is where the story picks up. In my age group, the 10-12 year olds, there was this one kid who never seemed to listen to any orders. He wasn’t bad, just hard headed. He picked on younger campers on occasion, but nothing serious as to warrant kicking him out the program. There were times when he had myself and other workers there ready to throw him in a headlock, but again it was nothing too serious.
On this Friday, I had left to grab something to eat from the local pizza spot. The food was good and just what I needed heading into the weekend. Listening to Jeezy on the ride back with the volume on max while drinking two Cokes, however, wasn’t. By the time dodgeball restarted, I was so into the games I forgot I was playing against kids nearly a decade younger than me. I was moving with lightening quick speed and throwing with Peyton Manning-like accuracy and if a MVP award had been awarded that day, I was a shoo-in. Seriously, I was on one that day, feeling like the only thing that could stop me was time itself. Then, out of nowhere, that very kid drilled me in my chest. He and his boys celebrated while I was left with what later became known as the Jason Terry face.
I was pissed. I was hurt. I was angry as hell with nothing but TM 101 running through my head. My revenge was plotted for the next game with “Bang” as my personal soundtrack. In hindsight, I wasn’t sh*t for thinking like this, but at the moment; all jacked-up on soda and trap music, I really felt like Doughboy running up on the guy who killed Ricky. The big moment came when the kid tried to eliminate me again. I moved just in time to see him running away. All of my energy was planted into one throw which connected square on the back of his head causing him to fall face first into the padded part of the wall. I initally basked in what I had just done, like Ali in that famous picture. Yep, a guy who was two years away from being able to legally drink took pride in knocking the sense out of a kid who was still probably three or four years away from seeing a girl naked. Everyone ran over to check on him, with me being the last one. One of the other counselors looked at me with “you f*cked up” face and every camper chimed in unison with the obligatory “oooooooo.”
Needless to say the games stopped immediately after that and basketball was chosen to close the day out. After coming down off my high, I was genuinely worried about the kid who had an ice bandage on his neck because of the whiplash, I guess. The only thing I saw were assault charges from his mother and me losing a good job for future summers all because I let music and adrenaline get the best of me. Thankfully, the kid wasn’t hurt and was back playing basketball in a matter of minutes.
What can I say though? Jeezy motivated the hell out of me that day, and that was his intention of calling the album Thug Motivation, right? So, yes, my perceived near assault charge was 55% my fault, 30% Coca-Cola’s and 15% Jeezy’s. I’m not a thug in the literal sense, but get me on a dodgeball court and I’m your worst nightmare, jack. And that’s not a threat, it’s a promise. Here’s to TM103 hopefully having at least one dodgeball injury themed anthem on there.
Young Jeezy Feat. T.I. & Lil Scrappy – “Bang”